A couple of days before our return, there had been a security scare and there were reports of enhanced security measures being in place at airports. We allowed a little extra time for this, but in fact it wasn’t the security measures that caused delays.
The first hold up was the traffic from the north into Cairns at 8.15 am – it slowed to a crawl some kilometres north of Cairns. But when we got into town, returning the car was a breeze, just park it in the drive way, they said, which we did and transferred our luggage to the waiting shuttle bus. So we ended up at the airport with what we thought was plenty of time – until we saw the Tiger check in queue, which was our next big delay. Our return flight was on Tiger, as had been our flight to Cairns.
The queue for baggage drop at the Tiger check-in for those with pre-printed boarding passes was short, but I hadn’t had access to a printer while away, so I hadn’t been able to print them. And in Melbourne, Tiger had had check-in machines, which we had breezed through (which in fact printed out fresh boarding passes, even though I had already done this). No machines in Cairns, however, so we endured the queue.
The queue negotiated, we headed for security – but notwithstanding the publicity, there was no real delay here, although increased security was evident: police wandering around, the person in front of us in the check-in queue had been “randomly” selected for extra checking and perhaps extra staff watching the security check processes.
At Melbourne, on arrival, again the security queue in Terminal 4 (which we were able to observe) didn’t seem excessive, but a number of the doors to gain access to the building were closed, seemingly to require people arriving to enter by doors where there was someone keeping an eye on things.
Anyway, the flight itself was uneventful, A picked us up, and we were unloading our bags at the front door 70 minutes after touchdown.