Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gold Coast Airport in Coolangata, Queensland

Another Survival Post, this feature has Gold Coast Airport (GCA), formerly Coolangata Airport. Located at the southern end of the Gold Coast, effectively straddling part of New South Wales, the airport is located a few minutes from the eastern coast, and 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Brisbane. It services both international and domestic flights. It's also the third fastest growing airport in Australia.

A refurbished facade.
GCA is small and, relatively "simple". It offers a no-frills arrival and departure in Queelnsland, i.e. it's more functional than it is a leisure/recreational hub. This airport welcomes more than 350 direct flights each week from many international and domestic destinations including flights from Australia, 

New Zealand and Asia, particularly Kuala Lumpur, being serviced by Air Asia-X. There is a section of retail outlets including a Duty Free store to ensure the experience at Gold Coast airport is both enjoyable and efficient.  

There are airport shuttle services that take arriving passengers to Surfer's Paradise. Soon, even a train line will connect the airport to the area's main tourist drag. 

The Arrival Hall has a few shops and restaurants, just before you check in. The pre-departure area has a busy vibe, and the hallway is filled with dining tables and chairs. In fact, it feels more like a dining hallway than a pre-departure area. What's more important - food is relatively affordable, and there are several options. There are some check-in machines if you don't have a luggage to check-in. Otherwise, you'd have to queue at the baggage drop counter, which is a busy line. I arrived here via Air Asia-X and left with Jetstar, one of the most affordable airlines we've encountered while traveling in Australia. If only they re-train their flight stewardesses to be more congenial to their passengers, it would even attract more customers. Though my experience was particularly pleasant, I observed some not-so-palatable situations involving flight attendants and their customers. Let's just say patience re-training should be inculcated. In fact, shouldn't it be inherent in their job description? But yeah, I'd still fly Jetstar. What's a two-hour flight to Melbourne or a one-hour flight to Sydney?

Parking at the Gold Coast Airport is easy. You have two options: the covered parking and the open air parking, both locateed just across the entrance-exit hall. There are parking machines (below) where you pay for the time and space used. Girlie, in fact, leaves her car at the parking whenever she travels through Coolangata than Brisbane International. The public bus, if you decide to use it, has to be informed of your arrival (if you decide to avail of its service), and this usually takes quite sometime because the bus has to individually drop its passengers all over the Gold Coast. 

This is the Eye in the Sky!     

This is the departure hallway right after clearing immigration and customs.

Queue at the check-in counters.

Self check-in if you haven't done it online.

Baggage Drop

Sumo Salad and Hungry Jack's

Nope, it isn't just a food court. This is actually the Pre-departure Area where the Boarding Gates are.

A Boarding Gate

Arrival Hall

Where to?

Covered Parking just across the Departure/Arrival Hall

Parking machine. Get your car park ticket here and pay with your credit card.

Can you believe this is Queensland at 4:30 AM?

Map of Gold Coast Airport (legend below).


NRIGirl said...

After a long time I visited your blog and happily caught up with all the posts. Now I feel like going somewhere!

eye in the sky said...

Haha. Welcome back. I'm sure you noticed the successive lazy posts. :)