A Passenger’s Definitive Guide to Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok)

Hong Kong International Airport is the world’s eighth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, serving nearly 70 million passengers a year. It has excellent transport links to most parts of Hong Kong as well as many other cities throughout the Pearl River Delta, 

Moving sidewalks whisk passengers down long concourses at Hong Kong International Airport. Photo Credit: Andrew Martin via Wikimedia Commons.

Hong Kong International Airport is served by more than 100 scheduled airlines, handling nearly 70 million airline passengers a year.

There are scheduled flights to more than 180 travel destinations around the world, including close to 50 cities in mainland China.

Hong Kong International Airport is a hub for Air Hong Kong, Cathay Dragon Airways (formerly Dragonair), Cathay Pacific Airways, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines.

The airport is also a focus city for China Airlines of Taiwan and China Eastern Airlines.

The following Accidental Travel Writer affiliates serve the airport …

The three Middle Eastern airlines offer connecting service to Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East through their respective hubs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Doha, Qatar.


Luggage carts are available upon arrival, and there is no charge to use them.

Passengers disembarking in Hong Kong must first pass through customs.

Nationals of most countries and many territories are issued visas on arrival, and there is no charge. Visas are usually good for 90 days, but there are exceptions.

Click HERE for more information on which countries and territories require visas to enter Hong Kong and how long they are good for.

After passing through customs, passengers can claim their luggage in a large, cavernous baggage reclaim hall.

Changing Money

There are money changing machines and counters located throughout the airport terminal. Generally speaking, you will get better exchange rates if you change money in town.

Keep in mind, however, that not all currencies will be available at money changers in town.

Ground Transport

Ramps lead to the taxi rank (above) , Airport Express Station (right), and bus terminal. Photo Credit: Sengkang via Wikimedia Commons.

Hong Kong has an excellent transport system, and there are several options for getting from the airport to your hotel.

One of the nice things about Hong Kong International Airport is the ease with which you get can from the terminal to public transport.

There are two exits from cavernous baggage reclaim area. If you exit through the exit on the left side of the area, head to the right toward the middle of the Arrivals Hall.

If you exit from the right side of the area, head to the left toward the middle of the Arrivals Hall.

At the middle of the Arrivals Hall is a wide ramp. If you head straight ahead up the ramp, you will arrive at the entrance to the Airport Express transit station, with express trains heading to both Kowloon and Hong Kong every 10 minutes.

If you head down the ramp on the left, you will arrive at the taxi rank with separate lines for taxis heading to Kowloon (red), Hong Kong Island (red), Lantau Island (blue), and the New Territories (green).

If you head down the ramp on your right, you will arrive at the bus terminus with buses heading to Kowloon, Hong Kong, Lantau Island, and the New Territories.

Hong Kong’s Airport Express offers a comfortable ride to Kowloon and Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Kawaguchi via Wikimedia Commons.

Airport Express – The Airport Express will take you to Central on Hong Kong Island in just 24 minutes. Trains depart at about 10-minute intervals from 5:54 am to 11:28 pm and approximately 12-minute intervals from 11:28 pm to 12.48 am. One of the nice things about the Airport Express is that it is easily accessible from the airport terminal – no need for shuttles!

Public Buses – Hong Kong International Airport is well served by public buses, which will take you to and from most parts of Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories. They are relatively comfortable (unless you are six feet tall), always air-conditioned, and inexpensive. You will need exact change or an Octopus card.

Taxis – The fare by taxi to Hong Kong Island starts at about HK$315, which means that if you are traveling with one or two others, the fare can be competitive with the Airport Express. This is because a taxi can take you all the way to your hotel. If you go by Airport Express, you will still have to get from the train station to your hotel. But the Airport Express has an advantage: no risk of getting caught in traffic.

Hotel Coaches – Vigor Airport Shuttle Services can take you to and from major hotels in Hong Kong and Kowloon. The fare to Hong Kong Island is HK$140.

In Town Check-in Services

In-town Check-in at Airport Express Hong Kong Station in Central on Hong Kong Island. Photo Credit: Diablo.

The Airport Express offers express trains linking the airport with West Kowloon (Kowloon Station) and Hong Kong’s Central Business District on Hong Kong Island (Hong Kong Station).

Free In-town check-in services are offered at both Hong Kong Station and Kowloon Station.

You can check in between 90 minutes and one full day ahead of your scheduled flight departure at these two stations.

The fare to and from Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong Station is HK$115. The fare to and from the airport and Kowloon Station is HK$###.

Airport Lounges

The Emirates Airline First Class and Business Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport.  Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
Entrance to one of the Plaza Premium Lounges, a paid-in-lounge, at Hong Kong International Airport. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Many airlines (such as Emirates Airline) have lounges for First Class and Business Class passengers at Hong Kong International Airport.

Sometimes frequent fliers of these airlines also have access to these lounges.

Passengers without such access wanting a place to chill out before flights or on stopovers at the airport between flights can access paid-in lounges such as Plaza Premium Lounges.

Certain credit-card holders have complimentary access to such lounges. Otherwise, there is a charge, which depends on how much time you spend there.

Generally speaking, food, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary. There is a charge for wines and spirits, but the prices are usually lower than at conventional food and beverage outlets in the airport.


Hong Kong International Airport is located on an artificial island named Chek Lap Kok, which adjoins Lantau Island, home of Hong Kong Disneyland, the Big Buddha, and the Po Lin Monastery.

To distinguish the airport from its predecessor, Kai Tak International Airport, it is often referred to as “Chek Lap Kok”

Hotels Closet to the Airport

If you have a late night arrival or an early morning departure – or you have a connecting flight with a significant stopover – you might want to spend the night at a hotel near the airport.

The following hotels are situated close to the airport …

This post contains affiliate links.

A Traveler’s Guide to Hong Kong International Airport




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