Njyashar
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:44 am

Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:26 am

Hi,

This summer I’ll be flying from Tokyo Narita on Japan Airlines to Beijing Airport (PEK) to connect to an Air China flight to San Francisco. What is the procedure for connecting to a flight in Beijing? I’ve never been to China so I was hoping someone could give me a rundown of what I will be doing when the plane touches down at PEK.

Thank you!
 
VSMUT
Posts: 3478
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:52 am

Njyashar wrote:
Hi,

This summer I’ll be flying from Tokyo Narita on Japan Airlines to Beijing Airport (PEK) to connect to an Air China flight to San Francisco. What is the procedure for connecting to a flight in Beijing? I’ve never been to China so I was hoping someone could give me a rundown of what I will be doing when the plane touches down at PEK.

Thank you!


Is it on one ticket or two tickets?
 
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N14AZ
Posts: 3999
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:11 am

Njyashar wrote:
I was hoping someone could give me a rundown of what I will be doing when the plane touches down at PEK.

Nothing! Sitting in your seat, seatbelt on, window shades open, mobile phone off...

I often change plane in PEK but it's usually a connection from an int'l CA-flight to a domestic CA-flight, which works fine (as of late).

As VSMUT asked, would be good to know your flight details.

At least, I can tell you that both CA and JAL are in Terminal 3, so at least you won't have to change the terminal.
 
Njyashar
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:44 am

Re: Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:50 pm

It is on 2 tickets
 
SoCalPilot
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:37 am

Re: Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:51 pm

I transited through PEK on two different tickets, American Airlines LAX to PEK and then Hong Kong Airlines to HKG. Process was easy, followed everyone else to immigration and went through the line for transit without visa (needed for American citizens without a tourist visa) after deplaning, picked up my bags, walked around the airport for a bit, and then checked in and went through security for my flight to HKG.

Hardest part of the trip was convincing the AA customer service rep at LAX that a) Hong Kong and mainland China are different for immigration/transit purposes and that our flight from PEK to HKG counted as "leaving the country", and b) that my girlfriend with a Filipino passport also qualified for TWOV at PEK. Almost missed our flight because they were convinced that Filipino citizens didn't qualify for it, even after looking it up online and misinterpreting what it said.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3520
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:06 am

I've done more or less the same flight (mine was to JFK, though). Unless something has changed, you will most likely be kept segregated from the rest of the terminal as you pass through immigration and then check in for your connecting flight. There is a separate pathway for transiting passengers that is guarded at various points so you don't wander off in the wrong direction.

Overall it's probably not hugely different from transiting through any country's airport on the way from one country to a third country. I did find security a little tighter, though, and certainly once I was on the jetway security was tighter than anywhere I've seen... they were hand-checking everybody's bags and shoes. *Everybody's*. I don't know if this was a random thing that day or if it's normal for PEK, but it was the one annoying thing about the experience there.

In general, once we had checked in and were waiting for the JFK flight in the terminal, it was like any other modern airport. There are places to shop, eat, etc. and all the furnishings and finishes look just like any other Asian airport. It was just the security on the jetway that was my only reminder of where I was.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
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N14AZ
Posts: 3999
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: Changing planes in Beijing with a layover

Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:39 am

spacecadet wrote:
once I was on the jetway security was tighter than anywhere I've seen... they were hand-checking everybody's bags and shoes. *Everybody's*. I don't know if this was a random thing that day or if it's normal for PEK, but it was the one annoying thing about the experience there.

I never had this a security check on the jetway in PEK. I had it in provincial airports in China but never in PEK so I guess this was something irregular. What I can confirm is that the intensity of the safety checks varies, e.g. starting from about three weeks before the annual party meeting there are more checks.

spacecadet wrote:
IThere are places to shop, eat, etc. and all the furnishings and finishes look just like any other Asian airport.

Hmmm, didn't you forget something? Hint: this is an aviation enthusiasts webpage ;-) ... just kidding: from Terminal 3 you have a nice view onto the "action" on the apron and on particular onto the central runway, where most of the take-offs take place.

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