Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is one of the world's largest and busiest airports, and the major gateway to the most-visited country in Asia. The airport used to be slightly drab, but it was revamped and upgraded for the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 and is now a world-class international hub. Beijing Airport has three terminals, all of which have a top-quality selection of shopping, food and beverage options. Passengers transiting through Beijing International are certain to notice the beauty of the airport. As with much traditional Chinese architecture, the art of feng shui is employed to imbue the building with good luck and positive energy. Try to book a window-seat for your flight into Beijing, as the view of the ring-roads encircling Tiananmen Square is breath-taking.
The airport is situated 17 miles (28km) north of Beijing.
Getting to the city
Beijing's transport system was revamped for the 2008 Olympic Games. Shuttle buses run regularly to the city centre (about 45 minutes), Beijing Railway Station and major hotels. Metered taxis are also available, but it is recommended that passengers have their destination written in Chinese to avoid confusion. Travelling time to the city is about an hour.
Local time is GMT +8.
Tel: +86 (0)10 6454 1100
Car rental is available at the airport, with several outlets operating there including Hertz and Avis.
Taxis from Beijing Capital International Airport are metered and should be about RMB 76 ($12) to most hotels, but fees vary. Tips are not expected. The 17 miles (28km) into the city should take about 40 minutes to drive. Avoid taxi drivers that approach customers and instead wait in the taxi line and insist on using the meter.
Transfer between terminals
A shuttle bus service runs between the terminals.
There are several bureaux de change, a bank and ATMs, as well as telephones, tourist information, numerous shops and duty free, and a business centre with internet access in Beijing International Airport. A food corridor provides a range of eating and drinking options, while an entertainment centre offers everything from films to Chinese massage. Facilities for the disabled are good, but passengers should contact their airlines in advance for more information. Smoking is banned throughout the airport.
The parking garage is located close to Terminal 3, and is connected to the terminal building by means of an underground walkway. There is also an airport subway, linking the parking garage to the terminals. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes; and thereafter, RMB 6 for the first hour, and RMB 5 for every subsequent 30 minutes. The maximum daily charge is RMB 80 for the first two days, and RMB 50 per day from the third day onwards.
RMB 90 (international flights), RMB 50 (domestic).
As it is one of the busiest airports in the world, it is easy to book flights to Beijing Capital International Airport on a wide range of carriers. Terminal 1 handles domestic flights on China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Grand China Air, Tianjin Airlines and Deer Air. Flights to Beijing Airport on Star Alliance member airlines, as well as Shanghai Airlines, China Southern, China Eastern, Skyteam and Air China generally use Terminal 2. The beautiful and relatively new Terminal 3 handles most of the other international flights to Beijing Capital International Airport, on airlines such as Qatar Airlines, Air China, Qantas, Shandong, El Al Israel Airlines, as well as Oneworld members and some Star Alliance flights.
Free wifi is available throughout the airport, but you will need to register your personal information in order to use this facility. Either you can register with your mobile phone (you'll receive a text message containing your login information); or else, you'll need to scan your passport into the airport's system. Once you've received authentication, you may use the internet for five hours - but you can use your login information three times, giving a total of 15 hours free wifi internet access. Bear in mind that you will not be allowed access to all internet sites while in the airport, as internet access in China is characterised by extensive firewall restrictions.
VIP Lounges located throughout the airport have telephones, internet access, printing, faxing, and other business facilities. The airport also has a business centre, offering internet access, as well as computer and fax facilities. Conference facilities are available at the airport, as well as at the nearby Beijing Airport Garden Hotel.
Beijing International Taxis: the taxi fares above are intended as a guideline only.