Beijing Capital International Airport

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Beijing, China

Beijing Capital International Airport Reviews

cotton_foam cotton_f…
321 reviews
one of the best airports... Mar 30, 2015
When one decides to travel via commercial airline, an airport is your door to connect to another country. For this segment of the trip to Beijing, we will observe the overall appeal, accommodation, and ease of traveling thru this modern air passenger terminal.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and in anticipation of the increase in aircraft traffic and the influx of travelers, modern terminal 3 was constructed.

We arrived at their modern terminal at night. This terminal is a double Y shape connected opposite of each other on its base. It is a four-story structure and divided into T3-C (Domestic Departures), T3-D (Domestic Arrivals), and T3-E (International Arrival and Departures). Arriving passengers use the third floor. Upon disembarkation, we walked to immigration counters and people will be segregated to tourist and Chinese citizens. Before proceeding to the immigration counter, one has to fill out an arrival form. This is to avoid filling out the form while standing in line. In our case, the immigration officer asked us to step aside and fill out a form and then come back to his counter. The immigration officer was firm on his instruction for us to remove our eyeglasses. The reason for this is to compare our passport pictures to our face without corrective glasses. After immigration counter, we walked and took escalators to go to the second floor and catch “automated people mover” train. This train connects Terminals C, D, and E. Terminal D is a domestic transfer, do not exit this building and wait for the announcement “all passengers must exit” for the baggage claim area. At the baggage claim area, carts are free for use until one exits the terminal. It took us less than thirty minutes from immigration counter to baggage claim area and out the terminal.


Our tour bus dropped us off on the fourth floor of the building at designated airline dropped off point. Again, free carts for use to the check-in counter. Counters open three hours before flights. In our case, we were indeed at the counter three hours early, and our tour group were the first in line. After check-in, we proceeded to the immigration counters. From this point, our tour guide had to bid goodbye to all of us because she could no longer proceed.

Remember to fill out a departure slip before approaching the counter. Congestion build-up from this point. After immigration, we walked to the security check, no need to remove you shoes or take off a coat. The alarm activated when I walked thru the detector machine and was asked to step aside for a closer scrutiny with a handheld detector. The detector alarmed again, when it was on my left upper arm. I told the security officer that I broke my arm and now have a 8 inches titanium metal plate with eight permanent metal screws. He accepted my explanation allowed me to move on.

Time to relax after the hassle of security check. Since this is a big airport, we took an escalator down to the third floor and hop into an “automated people mover” train. Do not disembark on terminal T3-C for domestic departure, listen to the announcement “all passengers must exit”.

We had so much time to spare, so we decided to look where our departure gate E31 and come back later. A helpful transfer cart driver said; there was a gate change from E31 to E25. Six gates apart, no problem, but these two gates were far from each other. Quickly, we found our gate, but since we still have so much time to spare, we went for a walk and admired the beautiful and spacious airport. We saw charging stations for mobile devices – some are next to the chairs and some located on the floor. Wi-Fi is free, but we did not use due to lack of English translation.

Total time spent from check-in counters to walking to the departure gate is 45 minutes. There is no terminal fee nor fees to use baggage carts. We spent our last local currency on presents for our relatives and, our lunch as well. And speaking of where to eat, there are quite a few restaurants offering different kinds of meals. Potable water fountains furnished, and it is free to fill up a water bottle.

This airport is by far one of the best, spacious, clean, well-maintained, relaxing, stress-free, and one can communicate with anybody with the absence of language barrier. Thank you very much for reading, and I hope this review was helpful as you travel to Beijing and use this airport.

-- Ed
10 / 10 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
jeminigirl says:
Great review Ed/May - very informative as usual =)
Posted on: Apr 12, 2015
cotton_foam says:
Ils: Ed, extends his thanks to you!! :))

Scot: oh yeah? I will let Ed know about your comment! :))

Thank you for comments, guys! ~ May
Posted on: Apr 09, 2015
hanleyscot says:
You managed to make an airport look interesting!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2015
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portia portia
216 reviews
About the new airport, terminal 3 May 15, 2008
The new terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is brand new and very spacious, but that's also one of its disadvantages. After the airplane lands, it takes a long time, sometimes 10-15 minutes for it to taxi to somewhere, which may not be the gate! But far out on the tarmac in a corner of the airport, and you would get off on the airport and walk down stairs to the tarmac. Then an airport ferry bus would come to take you to the terminal, this bus ride can also take a long time, 10 minutes or more. Once you get into the terminal, you would probably be impressed by the tall ceilings and modern architecture. If your gate is at the far end of the terminal, it could be a good 5-10 minute walk to immigration and customs and health quarantine. The immigration is usually very fast, as they have lots of agents serving the travelers. If you did not get an entry card to fill out on the airplane, you can find one here and fill it out.

The luggage area is also very spacious, the speed the luggage shoots out of belt into the carousel was the fastest I have ever seen! Free luggage carts are available here if you have a lot of luggage.

With your luggage, you go past the customs probably with nothing to declare, and through the Greeting Hall (very large) to the outside to catch a taxi or airport bus to Beijing. Check the web site for the official information on taxis and buses.

When you take a flight from the airport, you may find some reclining lounge chairs at certain gates, but they are likely to be occupied by the early birds. They have a business center before you walk way out of the branches of the terminal

For domestic departure, as of this writing (May 2008), no liquids are allowed in carry-on, and you must check them in checked luggage. Even though the signs said for domestic only, the rule apparently applies to international also. You would probably take the train to your terminal, like all the E gates are far away and you have to take the train to it. The train comes every 3 minutes. After getting off, you will then go through the quarantine, immigration (fill out a departure card), customs, and security. This may take 20 minutes total. Then you are at the gates area. Here you should find a business center where you can use the internet for 10 RMB/15 minutes or 30 RMB for unlimited use.
airplane on the tarmac
taking the ferry bus to the termin…
nice recliner chairs at the waitin…
another view of the end of the ter…
lauro lauro
236 reviews
Beijing Capital International Airport Dec 18, 2008
Beijing capital international airport is the busiest airport in china. It had a major overhaul when the summer olympics of 2008 was held in beijing.

my flight to manila from paris had it's 2nd stopover in beijing in terminal 2. Inside, it is very confusing, because i am not leaving the airport for i had only 3 hours stopover.

indeed, because i have to aply first for a transit visa after landing, and it does not state to which counter the transit visa is. For sure there is already a ground stewardess waiting at the arrival explaining thing, but you can really understand what she's saying, it makes it more confusing than it was.

inside the aiport after having your passport stamped and going through customs, the check in counter for other airlines is confusing. You have to go down pass a different hall and you'll basically get lost because there are no signs to where the check-in halls are.

staff in the check-in halls are not really friendly, theyre like ants programmed only to do one thing, and if something goes out of the program, they would be confused and lost.

so hope and pray that your baggage would not be lost like mine, so you have a smooth sailing check in and flight.

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