This technology allows travelers to check in at the Central Hong Kong or Kowloon station, between 24 hours and 90 minutes before their flight. With either a single ticket for the Airport Express or using their existing Octopus card (daily electronic contactless payment card for commuting around HK) travelers can access the check-in area.
The process is similar to that at a typical airport check-in; At the airline desk, travelers collect their boarding card and deposit any luggage. The check-in agent should also provide information about the last Airport Express train for them to connect with their flight at the airport. Once at the airport travelers can proceed straight to security and immigration.
This check-in baggage service helps reduce the trouble of getting from the city center to the airport, located 40km away. The usual options travelers can use to commute to the airport include going by car and traveling by train (e.g. Airport Express).
Often with the burden of multiple pieces of luggage, travelers with the means might choose the convenience of going by car. This comes with its own problems of traffic and high cab fares or parking fees.
The alternative of taking public transportation can be a daunting task, especially when certain stations are crowded or not equipped with escalators or elevators, and luggage is bulky and heavy. For some travelers, this task may be physically impossible, leaving no other option but to pay for private transportation.
As such, the in-town check-in service provides travelers with an attractive and flexible option to take public transportation once they have deposited the main burden of the journey at a convenient location, well connected within the city center. This can help reduce the number of individual car journeys and in turn hopefully ease the traffic as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
- Local Government
- Transport planners and operators
- Airlines operators
The implementation of this technology requires the partnership between individual airline operators, local planners and the transport authority. To connect the new infrastructure with existing public transportation lines, this must be led by the public sector. At the same time, the technology’s success is also dependent on the private airlines to man the actual operation and logistical coordination between baggage checked in the city center, ensuring that it reaches the airport and gets on the correct out-bound flight. In order to ensure that the system is well-utilized, they must maintain a strict standard. Given the high upfront costs of installing the infrastructure, they must make sure that travelers feel secure and trust that their bags will be there when they arrive in their final destination.
About Travel, In Town Check in at Hong Kong Station and Instructions: http://gohongkong.about.com/od/hongkongairpor1/a/intown_checkin.htm
MTR, Services and Facilities: http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/services/complom_checkin.html