Transferring at Hong Kong airport

By dylanmalloch | Apr 17, 2019, 04:04 PM
Hi everyone,

In May I arrive in Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific flight from Seoul at 1pm and then fly out of Hong Kong via Virgin Australia at 7pm. This leaves me 6 hours to kill in Hong Kong airport. And, since I'm on Cathay for one flight and Virgin for the other, I can't check my bags all the way through.

I don't believe Virgin Australia check in will be open when I land in Hong Kong, so does anyone have any advice on what I can do to spend the time? I won't have heaps of luggage but it'd be a little annoying to drag it with me if I was going to head into the city from the airport.

Anyone else had experience with long layovers in Hong Kong which involve a change in airline?

Thanks
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By AsiaBizTraveller | Apr 17, 2019, 04:16 PM
'In-town check-in' at the Airport Express stations is your friend. You arrive on CX at 1pm. You and your luggage catch the Airport Express to Kowloon or Central, depending on what you want to do, although I would suggest Central for a trip up Victoria Peak. Either way, as soon as you get off the Airport Express and go through the exit barriers, you go straight up to the airline checkin area and check in for your VA flight and drop off your checked luggage. The ONLY caveat here is you want to check with VA that they do have checkin at the Airport Express station, I'm sure they would and they definitely should. Anyway, assuming they have in-town checkin you can drop off your bags and then just carry around your backpack or whatever your regular carry-on luggage would be.

If VA doesn't have in-town checkin there is a checked luggage storage area in the basement of T2 but there's usually a big queue to drop off luggage and that's frustrating.
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By Sparksy | Apr 17, 2019, 04:45 PM
Virgin has in-town check-in at Kowloon and Hong Kong / Central, opens from 7am and is available until 2 hours prior to flight departure time. It's a fantastic feature.
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By DanielPark | Apr 17, 2019, 04:47 PM
Virgin Australia has downtown check in at both Hong Kong and Kowloon stations however from past experiences it doesn't appear to open until 4 hours before scheduled departure.
If you have access to Plaza Premium lounges via Priority Pass or a card, they can hold luggage for you there While you pop downtown. I did this a couple of weeks ago.
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By CityRail | Apr 17, 2019, 04:56 PM
I think Virgin Australia uses Hong Kong Airlines check in counter in Hong Kong and Kowloon Station.
Virgin Australia counters open at about 4 - 5pm Hong Kong time, so in the meantime I suggest:
1. Leave your baggage in storage in Hong Kong
2. Go to 7-Eleven or OK Convenience Store and get Octopus card, including: an Senior Octopus Card, which enables all ordinary bus services at only HK$2; or get a child Octopus card, which enables free travel on Airport Express.
There are a few places you can visit during this short stopover:
- Lantau Island - Tung Chung outlets
6 hours stopover might not be a lot of time, considering 1 hour exit and 1.5 hour pre-departure. So perhaps use your time wisely and be flexible.
Last edited by CityRail at Apr 17, 2019, 04.57 PM.
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David Flynn

By David | Apr 17, 2019, 08:17 PM
Also, if you often visit Hong Kong, definitely consider getting authorised to use the eVisitor Channel, it's a real time-saver! See https://www.ausbt.com.au/how-to-skip-the-queues-at-hong-kong-airport-passport-control for more on this.
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By ratrace | Apr 17, 2019, 09:41 PM
You won’t have 6 hours by the time you get out of HKG!

I would just clear arrivals, check in again and hit the lounge and relax.
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Jennifer Toon

By andrewjason81 | Apr 18, 2019, 11:10 AM
You won’t have 6 hours by the time you get out of HKG!

I would just clear arrivals, check in again and hit the lounge and relax.

I agree. From landing to taxiing to immigration to collecting luggage, cut off the best part of 90 minutes. Then if you have to re-check luggage and do immigration again, cut off the best part of an hour. So you have 3.5 hrs left realistically. To get to HK island and back is about 60 mins roundtrip with airport express. So you have 2.5 hrs. I don't think I'd want to be traipsing around in HK (especially on a weekend with soooooo many mainlanders clogging every bit of space up) in that amount of time.

Your other option, if you happen to arrive earlier, is collect your luggage, walk upstairs and check in and get your boarding pass. Then take airport express to city and have a meal at a rooftop bar like Ozone in Kowloon. Then straight back.
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By dylanmalloch | Apr 18, 2019, 12:15 PM
You won’t have 6 hours by the time you get out of HKG!

I would just clear arrivals, check in again and hit the lounge and relax.

I agree. From landing to taxiing to immigration to collecting luggage, cut off the best part of 90 minutes. Then if you have to re-check luggage and do immigration again, cut off the best part of an hour. So you have 3.5 hrs left realistically. To get to HK island and back is about 60 mins roundtrip with airport express. So you have 2.5 hrs. I don't think I'd want to be traipsing around in HK (especially on a weekend with soooooo many mainlanders clogging every bit of space up) in that amount of time.

Your other option, if you happen to arrive earlier, is collect your luggage, walk upstairs and check in and get your boarding pass. Then take airport express to city and have a meal at a rooftop bar like Ozone in Kowloon. Then straight back.

Good feedback, but check in won't open till 3 or 2.5 hours before boarding. So I won't be able to check in straight away. Assuming it takes 60 minutes to disembark, go through customs and collect my luggage, it'll still be a couple of hours till check in opens.

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By blingwad | Apr 18, 2019, 01:32 PM
I would 100% take the train into the city. And i think you will have more time than you think. I did plane to train in 15 minutes on Tuesday, including getting my bag. While this is exceptional i would say it never takes me personally any longer than 30 mins to get out.

I've done this a few times recently, transiting from china to Australia, have done the following:

Lunch at Tim Ho Wan in the mall above HK airport express station

Walk across to central station (underground connection from Airport Express) and catch the train up to Kennedy Town, they have a Little Creatures outlet there, nice food and beer

Walk across to central station (underground connection from Airport Express) and catch the train up Wan Chai, exit to lockhart road, few pubs there, food is ok bit of a boys trip feel to the place.

And yesterday i spent the full 5 hours at the pier lol.
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dylanmalloch

By NoAngelNZ | May 05, 2019, 08:14 AM
I've done this a couple of times recently. I dropped my bag at the left luggage at the airport, which didn't have more than a 5 minute wait, then catch the bus/cab to Tung Chung and go for a ride on the Ngong Ping Gondola (about 25 mins each way). The tourist trap village at the top isn't much to write home about, but the gondola trip is spectacular. There's also a large mall at Tung Chung and it's only 10 mins on the bus to the airport.
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