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New changes at Beijing Airport
From 1st September 2004, you do not need to pay airport tax for domestic or international tickets by buying a voucher. It is included in the ticket price.
From 20th September 2004, the old Terminal Building at Beijing Capital Airport reopens as Terminal 1 for China Southern flights. All CZ flights will operate from this terminal. It is 150 metres to the south-east of the existing Terminal 2. For transfers there is a corridor from the domestic wing of the terminal.
For code-share domestic flights you should double-check which Terminal will be used because I suspect that it will depend on who is operating the aircraft.
e-ticket check-in processes - domestic flights
In most countries, you *can* check in with an e-ticket at any desk, although there are usually also special kiosks or check-in desks as well.
In China, you *must* use special e-ticket check-in desks. Don't bother queueing up at normal check-in counters...they will make you go to the special counter.
At Beijing airport, for Air China domestic flights, use counters G01 to G03 if you have an e-ticket.
Beijing City Airport
It sits a bit of a ways outside of Beijing, but is still close enough to serve the city. Figure a fifteen minute ride by cab from the airport to the city, factor another 10 to 15 to get to the city center.
The airport iteslf has two terminals, with a third one scheduled to open a year before the Olympics in 2008.
Getting around inside the airport is remarkably easy, and there is enough English writing to make sure foreigners don't get lost. Plenty of shops fill up the modern terminal 2, as do dining and ticketing centers.
Just a warning for first time travelers though. Getting into Beijing is easy, getting out is going to cost you. As with most airports in Asia, you must pay a tax to leave. Be sure to save some money to pay your way out. The airport will have more information about the current tax rate, but it was a lot more than I expected on my first trip back in 2001. Keep $50 on you (in Yuan) at the airport, and you should be able to make it through alright, with some dough to spare.
Capital International Airport
Beijing's Capital International Airport is located just northeast of the city. It serves both international and domestic flights. Many world airliners fly to Capital Airport. The new terminal building is more convenient and efficient than the older one. If you are departing from the airport, you are required to pay an airport tax of 90 yuan per person.
There's a cheap shuttle bus that runs between the airport and the city for 16 yuan. You can buy tickets at a stand outside the terminal door. You can also take the taxi for convenience. For the taxi, you are responsible for an extra 10 yuan for the toll on the airport expressway.
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Avoid the buses from the airport!
Listen to other VT'ers here when they tell you to catch a taxi from the airport to your hotel!
Upon arrival at the Beijing airport, we avoided everyone trying to sell us a ride and headed straight for the taxis - but we were caught up by a lady selling bus tickets at an official-looking stand. We showed her the name of our hotel, and she informed us that a bus could get us all the way there for much, much cheaper.
So we got on the bus (one of the nice, long-distance style buses). We showed our hotel name again to the driver, who nodded as if it were no problem.
Well, this bus driver ended up dropping us off in the middle of the city. He just stopped, and everyone got off the bus. There were a ton of people crowded outside the bus, trying to sell a ride to us. This was our first experience in the city and kind of threw us off.
We ended up taking a rickshaw the rest of the way to the hotel, about a 15 minute ride. That was pretty fun actually, but it can be disconcerting being dropped off in the middle of nowhere.
So unless you're up for an adventure, listen to everyone when they tell you to take a taxi from the airport to your hotel.
Getting to the airport - update Sept 2004
As the new airport metro line is now starting to be constructed, the extension of the Airport Expressway down to Dongzhimen is being dug up and there is a lot of construction traffic day and night. This is adding to the journey if you are heading out to the airport from within the Second Ring Road area .
Shuttle bus (limousine) AIRPORT-CITY
There are several lines going to different directions to the city from airport. Be sure to show the correct area of you hotel to the staff at the station and choose the most convenient line for you.
The ticket price should be less than RMB20 (fixed) Sorry, I have never tried , I always take taxi or someone pick me up!
It takes about 30minutes to 1:30 to arrive in city, all depends on the traffic and the area you go.
- Budget Travel
Bus TO and FROM the airport
There are buses that take passengers to and from the airport.
At the airport, on the arrival floor, walk towards the domestic arrivals. Buses will be stationned outside and you need to buy tickets before getting on them. There are different destinations downtown such as Xidan (Min Hang Da Sha) or Beijing Zhan (Beijing train station in the south east).
If you don't know where to stop, the easiest way would be to ask the person who sells the ticket.
For Xidan, it's 16 RMB and it takes around one hour to get to the aiport.
For the aiport, I've only taken the bus from Xidan and there is a bus leaving every half an hour.
Buses are air conditionned and confortable. But if you are more than one travelling, sometimes, it may be cheaper to take the taxi.
Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport locate at the east northern of Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China that is 25.35 Km far to the center of Beijing -- Tiananmen square. It is at the most important location and is the largest scale and in which establishment is the most consummate. In 1999, the new four-storey terminal (including basement level) covers an area of 336,000 square meters--three times the size of the former terminal--and puts much more emphasis on passenger comfort. The complex also includes a large-scale public parking building and a cargo station. It attract 66 airline companies including 11 domestic companies and 55 national companies. To be open to navigation or air traffic cities are are 88 domestic and 69 international. Everyweek there are 5000 flight start from here to all over world.
Airport Shuttle Bus
You can catch a bus from the airport into Downtown Beijing from the airport for a very cheap price. I took a bus from the airport to a stop near the Forbidden City (Xidan) for 16 yuan (which was about $2 in early 2006).
Check out: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/beijing/0201030149.html for more info.
Air-conditioned services, run by two different companies, leave from in front of the domestic arrivals area. The Airport Shuttle Bus runs three routes; the most useful, Line A, runs 24 hours a day, departing every 15 minutes from 8am to 10pm, less frequently through the night. The fare is ¥16 ($2). Destinations include San Yuan Qiao (near the Hilton and Sheraton hotels), the Dong Zhi Men and Dong Si Shi Tiao metro stations, Beijing Railway Station, the CAAC ticket office in Xi Dan, and Hangtian Qiao (near the Marriott West). Lines A, B, C, and D all pass through San Yuan Qiao, but only Line A lets off passengers at a location convenient for picking up taxis to continue to other destinations. Most hotels in the center of the city can be reached by taxi for under ¥20 ($2.50) from there. The Civil Aviation Traveler Regular Bus, to the left of the exit, runs the same routes, but it also offers stops at the CAAC ticket office at the north end of Wangfujing Dajie.
- Budget Travel
Shuttle bus Xidan - Airport
In my opinion, this is the best and cheapest way to travel from and to the airport in Beijing.
I made the connection XIDAN - AIRPORT, line 2, and it is convenient because Xidan is served by underground.
First Bus departures from the airoport at 07:00, and from Xidan (building aviation) at 05:40.
Fare is 16 CNY, and the journey time is about 55 min.
Taxi from airport to city center and vice versa
The most convenient way to reach city center from airport or vice versa is by taxi if you are a couple or 3 people. Taxi will cost about 100 Yuan including highway toll. The taxi stand is easy to find on airport terminal exit. If you have too many luggages, you may need to take some inside the car since some taxis may have narrow trunks.
- Budget Travel
Getting into the city from the airport
The cheap way to get into the city from the airport (till the subway extension is available in 2008) is to take one of the airport shuttle buses. There are 5 services, going to different parts of the city.
All you need to do is to hop out at the terminal stop and then connect via subway or public buses to the place you wish to go.
The 1-way fare is 16RMB (circa Jun 2007). Look out for exits 11 and 13 at the Arrival Hall and pay the fare at the ticket desk. Upon that, proceed to the right bus and take your seat. (Free seating). The bus will leave once the bus is filled up.
Journey into the city is about 30 minutes, baring no traffic jams or accidents along the Highway.
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Bus service from/to city
There are bus service in airport to the city. When you walk out from international arrival, you can see there are several buses there. The ticket price is 16RMB comparing with taxi, about 100RMB.
Of course, when you are leaving, you may also take the bus from city to airport.
Here is the link for map and service:
- Budget Travel
Airport "shuttle buses"
There are about 5 different shuttle buses from the airport. You should see them as you exit the international terminal. There is a small ticket desk nearby but the English spoken was very limited. Bus number two takes you to the airplane ticket sales center a few blocks from the main gate to the forbidden city and Tiananmen Square. I did not see the number two on the bus as they said I would but it was labeled Xidan. I like the fact that I was going to the last stop and it happened to be near where I wanted to be.
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