The Airport Express train is the best way to travel to and from Hong Kong International Airport. Read on for how to buy discounted AEL tickets!
Hong Kong boasts one of the most efficient airport trains in the world: the Hong Kong Airport Express. Taking the Airport Express is by far the quickest way to travel between downtown Hong Kong (Central) and the Hong Kong International Airport in Chek Lap Kok. Trains depart at approximately 10 minute intervals from 05:50 to 00:48 daily, and the journey takes just 24 minutes from the airport to downtown Hong Kong! Read on for how to score discounted Airport Express tickets in Hong Kong.
How to get to the Airport Express in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Airport Express stops at a handful of stations: Hong Kong station in Central (the CBD), Kowloon station, Tsing Yi station, Hong Kong International Airport and the AsiaWorld-Expo (2 minutes past the airport). To get to the station, you can either take the MTR subway to Central, Kowloon or Tsing Yi, or tell your taxi driver to take you to the gei teep zam.
Traveling to Hong Kong for the first time? Click here for for the most iconic sights and must-see places to add to your Hong Kong itinerary!
Hong Kong Airport Express timetable
The Hong Kong Airport Express pretty much runs 365 days a year, even during typhoons*. The first Airport Express train leaves the airport towards the city at 5:54 AM, and the last train departs at 00:48 AM. Conversely, the first Airport Express train leaves the city towards the airport at 5:50 AM, and the last train departs at 00:48 AM. View the detailed timetable here.
If you arrive in Hong Kong outside of the Airport Express operational hours, I recommend catching a taxi into town – it will cost approximately HK$350 to get from the airport to Central or Admiralty. You can check fare estimates here.
*The Airport Express very rarely suspends or delays services due to mechanical issues, on government orders or during extreme weather. In my experience they provide free airport shuttle buses when the train is not operational, or they provide fewer services at longer intervals instead of every 10 minutes.
Why take the Airport Express in Hong Kong
The Airport Express is by far one of the most cost effective and efficient ways of traveling to and from the airport in Hong Kong. Apart from the speed of travel (24 minutes between Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong Station in Central), there are also a few other key benefits (not including the impeccably clean and air-conditioned carriages):
In-town check-in is available for many major airlines at Hong Kong and Kowloon stations. What exactly does this mean? This means that you can check-in any baggage and collect your boarding pass between 90 minutes and up to 1 day ahead of your scheduled flight departure time. Taking advantage of in-town check-in is fantastic because you can travel to the airport without having to wheel your luggage around.
Most major airlines handle in-town check-in, though you should contact them ahead of time to determine the exact close-out time for each individual airline. A number of airlines including Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have permanent check-in desks at the Airport Express stations.
Free shuttle buses are also offered for passengers taking the Airport Express train to or from the airport. There are a number of circular routes that run every 20 minutes and take you to and from the Hong Kong/Kowloon Airport Express stations. Many stops are at major hotels on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon side – check the specific routes by clicking here.
For people who require the service, there is also a left baggage service where you can store your luggage for anywhere from a few hours to more than a day. Read more about the Airport Express luggage storage charges here.
Budget-friendly fares are a big draw for people traveling to and from the airport using the Airport Express. How much is the Airport Express in Hong Kong? Tickets bought from the sales counters start at just HK$70 (US$9) between Tsing Yi station and the Airport, and go up to HK$115 (US$15) between Hong Kong station and the Airport. But here’s the thing…you can easily purchase Airport Express at a reduced price!
Ready to purchase your discount Airport Express ticket? Click here!
How to buy cheap Airport Express tickets online
Let me let you in on what all Hong Kongers use to nab cheap Airport Express tickets!
There are a number of ways to get your hands on discounted Airport Express tickets, the easiest being via Klook which allows you to buy your Airport Express ticket online. You can read more on what Klook is by clicking here, but long story short it is an online booking website for tickets, tours, transportation and more.
Sign up for a Klook account using this referral link and get HK$25 (US$3.5) off your first travel booking!
It usually costs HK$115 (US$15 or 12 Euros) for a one way trip between Hong Kong station and the airport, but it costs just HK$80 (US$11 or 8.5 Euros) on Klook – a whole 30% off (or 1 glass of wine at happy hour!). A round trip ticket between Hong Kong and the airport usually costs HK$205 (US$26 or 22 Euros) but if you buy via Klook the ticket costs HK$140 (US$17 or 15 Euros).
All you have to do is select the date of travel, direction (one way or round trip), fare type and which station you are traveling to or from (Hong Kong, Kowloon or Tsing Yi). The best part about booking using Klook is that you receive immediate confirmation and use the QR code sent via e-mail or via your Klook mobile app to enter the gate – there’s no need to print the ticket out, and there is no lining up required!
If you’re not certain about your date of travel don’t worry: tickets are valid for 90 days from the date of purchase, but you must use the return ticket within 30 days of the first leg. Click here to buy discounted Klook Hong Kong Airport Express tickets and sign up for a Klook account using this referral link to get HK$25 (US$3.5) off your first travel booking!
Should you buy a Hong Kong Airport Express ticket via Klook?
I would say that buying an Airport Express ticket online via Klook makes sense most of the time, especially if you are traveling alone or as a pair – it really is the most direct way to get to and from the airport. However, if you are traveling as a group of 3 people and above you can take advantage of the group ticket offered by the Airport Express. Simply purchase the ticket at the counter upon arrival. The Airport Express also occasionally offers special promotions for children and seniors.
If you only have a short layover in Hong Kong and want to do a quick trip into the city then you may want to buy a “Same Day Return” ticket from the official ticket counter instead of via Klook. The Airport Express charges the same price for a one-way ticket as a same-day return ticket (HK$115 or US$15 between downtown Hong Kong and the airport). As far as I know, you can not use a Klook one-way ticket for same-day return, and you will need to purchase a round-trip ticket even if you are traveling to and from the airport on the same day.
Insider tip: You only need to present your ticket before boarding the train when traveling to the airport. This means that you can hop on the train when you land in Hong Kong (and skip any ticket queues), purchase a cheap Airport Express ticket while you’re already sat on the train, receive instant confirmation and scan your QR code upon arrival at Hong Kong, Kowloon or Tsing Yi station!
Taking the Airport Express is the best way to travel to Hong Kong airport. Try it out and let me know what you think! You can also get an Octopus card via Klook to get around Hong Kong with ease: it is a stored value card (much like the Oyster card in London) that works on all public transportation in Hong Kong, but not in taxis. You can purchase your tourist Octopus card in advance here – pick it up from the airport when you arrive, and it comes with HK$50 already pre-loaded.
Visiting Hong Kong and looking for some insider guides? You might find these reads helpful:
- There are many common misconceptions about Hong Kong. Here are some top things to know before you visit
- Visiting Hong Kong for the first time? Here is my list of essential things to do for first time visitors to Hong Kong
- And this lists out some off-the-beaten-track and unusual things to do in Hong Kong that probably aren’t in your guidebook
- Here are some important dos and don’ts in Hong Kong to know before your trip
- Venture beyond the main areas of the city and head out on one of these Hong Kong day trips
- Foodies will love the culinary scene in Hong Kong. Here are some of my favorite Hong Kong restaurantsHong kong airport express
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