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why i don't go to australia no more...

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taxico
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why i don't go to australia no more...

Postby taxico » Wed, 27 May 2009 10:35 pm

this was the portion of my reply within ozchick's tullamarine terror thread that i removed...

i never enjoyed going through australia customs, even if i wanted to pop over to landside just for a few krispy kreme donuts or to meet friends when i have 6-8hr layovers.

the final straw came about a year ago, when i was flying from wellington, via sydney, to singapore. as practiced in australia, even in transit, carry-ons are re-x-rayed.

i had with me a wooden box that contained a recently purchased but uninsured watch that i did not want anyone touching.

despite just being in transit, i was scolded by the persian customs officer for not declaring the wooden item, and he took me into a holding room and left with the box and my precious watch.

he came back some time later and again started going on about how i should have declared this, and i should not be traveling with the watch. (did i mention i was on my way to a connecting flight?)

i was also scolded for the way i have packed my luggage, and that i had too many wires and cables and books. my passport and tickets were scrutinized although he was not an immigration officer.

he then proceeded to go through all my stuff and when he couldn't pull anything else out, he stared at my sandwich ziplock bag, and pulled out a bottle of topical ointment i had prescribed to myself.

it had nothing on the label or marks indicating its quantity, and thus he declared jubilantly that he feels the bottle contained over 100ml of liquids and he will be confiscating it.

having handled them regularly, i know the bottle was 90ml, and i have traveled on many many occasion (including through and in the US) without having a problem with that same bottle.

i did not argue and allowed him to have it. behind him, 3 non-persian custom officers were sniggering away.

since that experience (which was not my first, nasty, uncalled for, experience with australian customs), i've stopped flying into/through australia.

i now only fly on SQ/AirNZ to get to/fro NZ, both of which skips australia, and have nothing but good things to say about kiwi customs officers and kiwi people.

...unfortunately some of SQ's older planes have a rather tired interior for their kiwi routes.

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despite working hard at my job so that i can stretch out, and despite knowing that in the kangaroo sector qantas has a better premium product at a lower price, i'm adamant that i will not fly with QF because i have to transit through australia.

i should not be subjected to such lousy treatment even if i got my F tickets for free!!!

TommyD
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Postby TommyD » Fri, 05 Jun 2009 2:33 pm

Hi,

I'm Australian, and i agree our customs is the most painful experience of any customs department in the world (that i've been to so far anyway) even for Australians, we get no special treatment at our own customs. They have their reasons, but yes, they certainly take it too far sometimes.

But. . . can i ask what the fact that the customs officer was Persian has to do with the story?

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Quasimodo
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Postby Quasimodo » Fri, 05 Jun 2009 3:24 pm

why i don't go to australia no more...

Is it because you use double-negatives and the Persians don't understand you?

TommyD wrote:Hi,

I'm Australian, and i agree our customs is the most painful experience of any customs department in the world (that i've been to so far anyway) even for Australians, we get no special treatment at our own customs. They have their reasons, but yes, they certainly take it too far sometimes.

But. . . can i ask what the fact that the customs officer was Persian has to do with the story?


I'd also agree, they are professional to the point of being anal-retentive but completely without personality . . . second only to US Immigration.

As for the Persians comment . . . I have rarely seen a non-Immigrant at customs in Sydney . . . as for Persians . . . odd how you come to that conclusion.
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