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Boarding time



Tag Heuer



Vertu part II


Lonely Planet

Montreux Jazz Cafe

The Wiggles


There are the obligatory designer outlets and food outlets, but Sydney International Airport has added a healthy dose of tech to make the wait for your flight easier to endure.

In this large lounge area, the large LED panel displaying flight number, destination, time, gate and status of flight means you no longer have to sit at your boarding (boring?) gate. The airport also now offers free wireless access both in and around the international and domestic terminals, using 802.11b Wi-Fi technology, with a download limit of 500MB.

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Apple's world-first concept store in an airport allows customers to test drive some of its products, such as the iPad and MacBook.

All the devices have access to free internet and the store will also let you recharge your iPhone or laptop before you head off. If you're lucky, you might be able to catch one of Apple's Geniuses to give you a hand with any troubles you may be having.

This is probably the only place where you can get a discount on an Apple product, even if it's just the tax exemption of 10 per cent. And here's an interesting note: Apple's Sydney Airport store registered the largest number of iPad sales of any location in Australia in 2010.

An Apple store can also be found at Melbourne airport.

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While Apple's store is more about product "awareness", Sony is all about sales. The full gamut of Sony products can be found here, from Memory Sticks to digital cameras, from Vaio notebooks to PlayStation 3 consoles.

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If you've got money to burn, you can buy a mobile phone from Tag Heuer. On offer is the Meridiist, which ranges in price from $6000 upwards to $52,000.

The Meridiist is moulded out of a single piece of metal and features a sapphire crystal display. Rubies can be found under the keypad guaranteeing the keys bounce back with no wear and tear.

According to the salesperson, a Tag Heuer phone's one-bar of reception is the equivalent of a standard phone's six bars.

Moving on up to the $52,000 phone, it's similar to the Meridiist, but has diamonds on both the face and back of the phone. If that's a bit too much for you, you can opt for the $32,000 phone, which only has diamonds on the face of the phone. Decisions, decisions ...

Just remember, if the phone dies, you can always melt it down into a pair of earrings or cuff links.

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At the Breitling store there is a selection of luxurious and technically oriented watches on offer. Targeted at aviators (or people rolling in dough), some of the wristwatches have a transmitter found under the ticking hands. If you and your fellow passengers ever find yourself in a Lost scenario, you can activate the GPS locator to help rescuers find you (at an additional cost, of course).

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A subsidiary of Nokia, Vertu's luxury mobile phones are hand made and offer a service called "Vertu Concierge" at the press of a button. This service is "free" (translation: the cost of the phone pays for the service) for one year. What it does is give the user 24-hour access to lifestyle managers who can book services such as dining, travel or accommodation.

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Vertu's phone prices start at $6000, which is not exactly an impulse buy — even at an airport. Under the phone's battery you'll find the creator's signature to prove its authenticity.

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This is the first store of its kind to be found in an airport, where you can admire a Harley-Davidson and buy a wide range of branded merchandise.

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At the "world's first and only store", Lonely Planet offers travellers the chance to "pick and mix" chapters and/or books they'd like to purchase for their trip. Prices start from AU$1.99 for individual chapters, which can be uploaded in electronic form (PDF) or even in book format that is printed and bound (in either recycled paper or leather) in around 20 minutes.

The store also sells a range of travel essentials such as chargers, adapters and noise-cancelling headphones.

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This cosy little restaurant located just outside the departure gates has three plasma screens and a sound system hooked up throughout the restaurant playing jazz music. It's an intimate setting that lets people wish fond farewells to loved ones or to have a last-minute business meeting before jetting off.

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Among the toys, DVDs and clothing merchandise, the Wiggles store will keep any child entertained for hours while you wait for your plane's boarding time. Just plop your child down in front of one of the plasma screens and be prepared for the singing and dancing to begin: "hot potato, hot potato ..."

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Sydney Airport now offers a concierge service. On arrival at Sydney Airport you won't be able to miss the open shopfront with many of its plasma screens advertising travel destinations in New South Wales.

If you've just arrived in Sydney and find you've forgotten to book your hotel (or if you want to find out about tours and/or arrange flights or transport), then this is the place you need to be.

The self-serve terminals let people browse through what's on offer, and the concierge will then help you book.

Brand and marketing director Roger Pockley of Grand National Concierge, the company behind the service, said the concierge desk is open from 6am to 11pm everyday and backed by a 24-hour phone service.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi
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