Mildura airport has an average of 10 flights a day… the first to leave (to Melbourne) generally departs at 6.35am, with the last to arrive (also Melbourne)getting in at almost 8.30pm.
There are 3 main airlines operating out of Mildura. Virgin Australia, Quantas, and REX (Regional Express). 50% of the flights are either to or from Melbourne, with the rest to/from Sydney, Adelaide and Broken Hill.
Parking at airports… we all hate it don’t we? But Mildura is only small, and parks are easy to find. Better still, the first 2hrs is free. After that, it is $3 per hour. 2hrs should give you lots of time for pickup and drop-offs without having to pay.
The facilities inside the airport are rather sparse for people waiting. There is a café, but it is on the other side of security. When I have caught flights to Melbourne my wife sometimes comes through security to wait in the café with me, but not everyone will want the extra hassles of doing that.
There are laptop and phone charging points, as well as free wifi and a few cubicle workstations – a pleasant surprise in a small regional airport.
Rental Cars: There are the normal rental car agencies at Mildura Airport, and they will be there to meet all bookings. (click to call from within Australia)
This is by far the most common route, it is one I have taken frequently, and all three airlines offer flights. Of these, I have never yet found Quantas to offer reasonably competitive flights compared to the other two. In fact, I just checked the cost of one way, Mildura to Melbourne at short notice (4 days).
All things being roughly equal (price, as well as flight time being convenient) then I always try to book REX, if I can. The reason for that comes down to the fact that I hate standing in long lines. And if you have ever been to the domestic check-in line with Virgin at Melbourne airport, then you will know why I dislike it so much.
At many regional airports, each flight has its own check-in desk. However, at Melbourne they put them all together, so no matter how early you arrive at the airport, there will always be a huge queue.
But flying with REX, that line is so short that it is often non existent… you can probably go straight up to the REX counter, check in, drop your bags, and be on your way before the Virgin queue has even moved. That is worth the few extra $$ of the ticket price for me. You also tend to be on your way much quicker when you arrive as well, because they have a lot less bags to unload and get onto the luggage carousel. All in all, it’s a much nicer experience.
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