Hong Kong Airport
(Chek Lap Kok Airport)
Hong Kong Airport -
World’s Best Airport 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011
Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok Airport) is the World’s Best Airport.
In March 2011, it was voted the world's best airport again. This is the eighth time that HKIA has won the award since 2001.
This state-of-the-art airport not only impressed passengers by its design and facilities. The traveling public is obviously more convinced by its customer services and efficiency in immigration and customs checks. All these together convinced millions of travelers ranking Hong Kong International Airport number one.
Hong Kong Airport Hotels - A selection of hotels near Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Information
Open in July 6, 1998 by Chairman Jiang Zemin. Prior to its official opening, former US President Bill Clinton flew in from China and became one of the pioneer passengers to use the Hong Kong Airport.
The Hong Kong Airport designed by British architect Norman Foster, is one of the largest and most expensive airport projects in the world (US$20 billion). It is built on Chek Lap Kok of Lantau Island. Therefore it is also called Chek Lap Kok Airport.
Apart from the airport itself, the Airport Core Program involved flattening two islets and pushing back the sea to accommodate two runways; a 1,363-meter (4,475-foot) suspension bridge (Tsing Ma Bridge); a 30-km express highway and a high-speed railway (Airport Express) to link the airport to downtown Hong Kong.
- Distance from city - 34 km
- Free luggage cart
- Free porter service
- Facilities for passengers with mobility and sensory disabilities
- No-driver shuttle train connecting passengers to distant boarding gates
- Travelex Worldwide Money – 11 outlets at convenient locations.
Open 05:30 – 24:00 daily. Telephone: (852) 2854 4938
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Arriving Hong Kong
Once you step out of the plane, you’ll find plenty of friendly smiling faces. Bilingual customer service officers in smart uniform will help you with transfer and any other questions you have.
You would need to go through one check point only which is Immigration where you present your visa, passport and an arrival card. Waiting time is usually short or even no need to wait. The airport is spacious and has plenty of immigration officers on duty.
There are lots of travel information at the arrival hall. You can easily collect a handful of them. Beware of information overflow.
You might spend a few minutes waiting for your baggage but it never takes long.
Customs officers only inspect luggage randomly or if someone is suspected for any reason. Between your landing in Hong Kong and stepping out of the airport to continue your journey, it seldom takes more than 30 minutes.
There are clear bilingual signages everywhere. You would never have to worry about finding your way.
From Airport to city
Airport Express is my number one choice among all airport transportations.
After exiting the customs check, just walk about 50 meters straight ahead, the Airport Express is there waiting for you. You can pre-book an Airport Express ticket on-line. However it is not necessary. You can simply buy a ticket at the ticket booth right after the customs check or at a vending machine. You don’t have to queue for a ticket.
Airport Express is operated by MTR (Mass Transit Railway Corporation) and takes only 23 minutes to central Hong Kong. You can choose to get off at Kowloon Station if your hotel is on Kowloon side.
Airport Express is luxurious, comfortable, fast and reliable.
Airport Express offers the following free services to their passengers:
- Free Airport Express shuttle bus service
- Free porter service at Airport, Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong stations
- Free in-town check-in service
- Central Station provides check-in service 24 hours ahead of your departure time
- Free MTR connections
Taxi is the most convenient door-to-door transportation, though relatively pricy. From airport to central Hong Kong is around HK$350. You would have to pay for cross-harbour tunnel toll and luggage fee. Taxi passengers are required to wear seat belts by law.
Tipping taxi drivers are not necessary. However people usually do not care about small changes. For example, if meter reads HK$19.2 and some people just pay HK$20 without caring the small change.
Airport buses are comfortable, reasonably fast and economic. They are air-conditioned with in-bus display and announcement to ensure you get off at the right stop. The following two routes run pass major hotels on Hong Kong Island.
A11 – HK$40, operate 06:10 – 24:00 daily
Hotels on the route: Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Island Shangrila, Conrad, Empire, New Harbour, Wesley, Wharney, Century, Excelsior, Park Lane, Regal HK Hotel, Rosedale, City Garden Hotel, Newton Hotel, South China Hotel.
A12 – HK$45, operate 06:00 – 24:00 daily
Hotels on the route: Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton, Harbour View International House, Grand Hyatt, Renaissance, Luk Kwok Hotel.
Departing Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Tax - HK$80; children under 12 exempt. You don’t have to take action to pay it at the airport as it is charged to your air ticket.
Departure process is simple and fast. Once you get your boarding pass, you can proceed to the Immigration. You would go through simple x-ray security screening of your hand luggage. You have to put your laptop, wallets and other valuables on trays. Customs officers give each passenger a numbered card in exchange of each tray at the other end. The process is simple however safeguards your valuables while temporarily unattended.
Facilities at the Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport
Eating at the Hong Kong Airport
The Hong Kong Airport is lovely, spacious, light and clean with great shops, good lounges and restaurants.
There are plenty of choices if you want to eat at the Hong Kong International Airport. Chain stores like McDonald's and 7-Eleven sell at same prices as their other stores. Other restaurants are relatively pricy comparing with restaurants in town.
You must be pleased by the choice and quality of food here. There are restaurants ranging from fast food, casual dining to fine dining, together with many lovely lounges.
Coffee lovers will be happy to find five beautiful and comfortable Starbucks here (Airport Gate 2, 16 & 28, Airport Level 5 pre-immigration hall and restricted area). Pacific Coffee also has two shops at the Departure Level.
Shopping at the Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong is a shoppers’ paradise. The Hong Kong International Airport has seven floors of and over 100 shops and services to meet travelers’ needs. If your schedule allows, I would recommend you come three hours ahead of your departure time and explore this award-winning airport.
I have short-listed some shops for your reference.
Relaxing or Working at the Hong Kong Airport
- Perfumes and cosmetics
- 24-hour convenience
- Duty free liquor and tobacco
- Designer fashion and leather goods
- Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
- Jewelry and watches
- Telecom and photo kiosk
- Money exchanges, banks, ATMs
Want to relax or still need to work while waiting? Well, here is a suggestion. For just a fixed fee, all these are yours: hot showers, food & beverage buffet, internet and e-mail, movies and music, CNN area, magazines and newspaper, massage chairs and seated massage.
Fee schedule: HK$400 for 2 hours; HK$500 for 5 hours; HK$600 for 10 hours.
Plaza Premium Lounge
Open 24 hours daily
Level 7 Departures West Hall – Tel: (852) 2261 2622
Level 6 Departures East Hall – Tel: (852) 2261 2668
The Hong Kong Airport is world-class for sure. Your experience here is truly a bonus to your China travel.
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