This is another post covering the trip my son and I took to Hong Kong this summer. Previous posts are:
Arriving passengers at Hong Kong International airport (HKG) take a train from the gates to the immigration and baggage claim areas.
HKG to Hong Kong Station
Once through immigration, Alex and I considered the options for getting to the city. There are several including a taxi, bus or the airport train. Being up for a little adventure and wanting to “mingle” with the locals and save a little dough, we decided to take the Airport Express train.
Taking the train is really quite easy, and in my view, a lot more fun than a taxi or bus. The Airport Express is clean and comfortable and leaves from a station that is right inside the passenger terminal. Much of the trip is above ground so Hong Kong scenery will be on display.
As the sign in the photo above states, the Airport Express is the fastest way to the city. From HKG it is only 20 minutes to Kowloon station and 24 minutes to Hong Kong station. That is faster and less stressful than a taxi, bus, or shuttle service. Depending on traffic, traveling by road takes 30 – 40 minutes (or longer potentially) to get to central Hong Kong.
The Airport Express costs about $13 per person to Hong Kong station. A taxi will charge about $40 plus any luggage fess and tolls for the same trip. The bus is the least expensive mode of transportation, but it takes the most time.
Purchasing tickets for the Airport Express is easy. It is darn near impossible to miss the ticket office. It is the first thing you see after exiting baggage claim.
Tickets can also be purchased at machines in and near the station. You won’t wait long for a train. Trains run every 10 minutes during the day and every 12 minutes during off-peak times.
The Airport Express has luggage racks for your bags. It also has high-speed, broadband wifi. Cars 1 and 7 are equipped with USB power.
Going to Hong Kong, the train makes three stops, Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong stations. A tracker shows the train’s progress.
The Airport Express ticket includes bus transportation from Kowloon and Hong Kong stations to major hotels nearby. MTR connections within one hour of arrival at Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong stations are also included.
Taxis are another option at each station. Taxi fare is not included with the Airport Express ticket price.
There are several complimentary bus routes from Hong Kong station. The hotels on each route are listed on the door that the bus departs from.
Our hotel, the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, is on the H2 route. We only had about 10 minutes to wait for a shuttle.
We were at the Grand Hyatt 10 minutes after leaving Hong Kong Station. From boarding the Airport Express at HKG to arrival at the hotel, the entire trip took less than 50 minutes.
Kowloon Station to HKG
The Airport Express is super convenient for travel to HKG. You have the same options for free bus and MTR connections to Hong Kong and Kowloon stations plus these stations also provide free check-in services for flights on major airlines.
On the day we flew home, Alex and I took a taxi to Kowloon station, checked in and received our boarding passes. It was quick and avoided the hassle of finding the right check-in counter in a huge airport. I have never seen more than one or two people in a check-in line at Hong Kong station. For those flying economy class, that definitely beats the lines at HKG.
Although individual airlines can establish their own requirements, check in is generally available at these stations between one day and 90 minutes before scheduled departure. It is impressive that you can check luggage in Hong Kong 90 minutes before a flight and the bags will be transported to HKG and make the flight.
The Final Analysis
For one or two people arriving at HKG and going to Kowloon or central Hong Kong, it is hard to beat the Airport Express for price, speed and convenience. The Airport Express check-in option for going to HKG, which eliminates the stress of potential traffic and check-in delays, makes the Airport Express a no brainer for departures.