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. Travellers should try to book a window-seat for their 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, which included opening a rapid transit line connecting terminals 2 and 3 of Beijing Capital Airport with the Dongzhimen subway station in the heart of the city. Travel time from Dongzhimen to T3 is around 20 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes or so to arrive at T2. 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. Arrivals should also ensure that the metre is in use, as taxi drivers will often try and charge a set, exorbitant fee. Travelling time to the city by car 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, including Hertz and Avis, in operation.
Taxis from Beijing Capital International Airport are metered and should be about CNY100 to most hotels, but fees vary. Tips are not expected. The 17 miles (28km) into the city should take about an hour. Avoid taxi drivers that approach customers and instead wait in the taxi line. travellers should insist on using the meter, as it is common for drivers to try and overcharge customers.
Transfer between terminals
A shuttle bus service runs between the terminals.
Beijing International Airport contains 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. 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, CNY6 for the first hour and CNY5 for every subsequent 30 minutes. The maximum daily charge is CNY80 for the first two days.
CNY90 (international flights), CNY50 (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 travellers need to register their personal information in order to use this facility. Registration can be done through mobile phone (a text message will be received containing login information), or else travellers can scan their passport into the airport's system. Once authenticated, the internet can be used for five hours. However, login information can be used three times, giving a total of 15 hours free wifi internet access. Bear in mind that certain websites cannot be accessed 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.