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Hong Kong Airport Customs/Immigration

Travel Forums Asia Hong Kong Airport Customs/Immigration

1. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

I've been reading that it takes no more than 45 to go through immigration/luggage/customs to get back to the departure hall for connecting flights. I know times vary, but can someone tell me how long it, on average, is to clear immigration/luggage/customs?

2. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

I need to know if I should book a flight arriving @ 1030 or @ 500 to catch my connecting flight @ 1320.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 5y

Quoting LaurenLolz

I've been reading that it takes no more than 45 to go through immigration/luggage/customs to get back to the departure hall for connecting flights. I know times vary, but can someone tell me how long it, on average, is to clear immigration/luggage/customs?

If you are just connecting to another international flight you probably won't have to go through immigration and customs at all!

I have passed through Hong Kong in the past and did not have to pass through immigration while in transit status. You may have to pass through a quick security check and then you are free head to your departure gate.

Where you have a problem is when you use 2 different airlines especially if one of them is a discount airline.

Are you in transit connecting to another flight at the same airport? If so, are the flights from the same airline or different companies?

If with the same airline the airline should be able to transfer any luggage to the next flight for you. If you are using different airline companies you can ask the first airline (where you first check in) to transfer your bags for you. You will need the flight confirmation number of the final flight. Many airlines have some sort of "cooperative agreement" where they assist each other most of the time. There are exceptions. If the connecting flight is with a discount airline you may have to reclaim your bag but it won't hurt to ask anyway..

It has been a few years since I had to pass through Hong Kong but I don't remember the immigration process taking an unusually long time.

Need more info from you.

4. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

Quoting karazyal

Quoting LaurenLolz

I've been reading that it takes no more than 45 to go through immigration/luggage/customs to get back to the departure hall for connecting flights. I know times vary, but can someone tell me how long it, on average, is to clear immigration/luggage/customs?

If you are just connecting to another international flight you probably won't have to go through immigration and customs at all!

I have passed through Hong Kong in the past and did not have to pass through immigration while in transit status. You may have to pass through a quick security check and then you are free head to your departure gate.

Where you have a problem is when you use 2 different airlines especially if one of them is a discount airline.

Are you in transit connecting to another flight at the same airport? If so, are the flights from the same airline or different companies?

If with the same airline the airline should be able to transfer any luggage to the next flight for you. If you are using different airline companies you can ask the first airline (where you first check in) to transfer your bags for you. You will need the flight confirmation number of the final flight. Many airlines have some sort of "cooperative agreement" where they assist each other most of the time. There are exceptions. If the connecting flight is with a discount airline you may have to reclaim your bag but it won't hurt to ask anyway..

It has been a few years since I had to pass through Hong Kong but I don't remember the immigration process taking an unusually long time.

Need more info from you.

It is two separate airlines on two one way tickets. I will not have an onward boarding pass, and I will not have luggage checked through to my destination. I am flying on either Cathay to HK or Jetstar to HK then China air to Taipei then to LAX.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Apr-2011, at 18:52 by LaurenLolz ]

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 5y

It is two separate airlines on two one way tickets. I will not have an onward boarding pass, and I will not have luggage checked through to my destination. I am flying on either Cathay to HK or Jetstar to HK then China air to Taipei then to LAX.

It might be easier to use the same airline all the way to LAX. I have used China Airlines from BKK through Hong Kong, to Taipei and on to LAX and SFO many years ago.

You may be able to print up your boarding pass ahead of time too:

http://www.worldtravelservice.com/boarding_pass.html

Sometimes one way flights can cost the same as round trip tickets. A long time ago I would fly to Bangkok or Manila on a round trip ticket - see those countries for a while - and from those cities fly round trip to other countries and then return for the flight home. This worked out cheaper than several one way flights. I picked up a lot of frequent flier miles for future flights too by using the same airlines over and back to the US.

Good luck:

6. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

Quoting karazyal

It is two separate airlines on two one way tickets. I will not have an onward boarding pass, and I will not have luggage checked through to my destination. I am flying on either Cathay to HK or Jetstar to HK then China air to Taipei then to LAX.

It might be easier to use the same airline all the way to LAX. I have used China Airlines from BKK through Hong Kong, to Taipei and on to LAX and SFO many years ago.

I appreciate your help .... but

UGHHHH! Can you just tell me how long it is on average to go through customs/immagration and collect luggage in order to get back to the depature hall?

Sorry, but I don't need help buying a ticket and this is really getting off topic and away from the question I want answered? I mean can no one really tell me how long I should be waiting to get off the plane .. and back on another one. And why is 3 hours not sufficient for an airport that is rated #1 in the world, several years in a row?!? And also, why do I read, "HKG is no more than 45-60 mins to clear customs." I just need these statements disproved or confirmed. Can ANYONE do that?!!

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Apr-2011, at 07:46 by LaurenLolz ]

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 5y

Can you just tell me how long it is on average to go through customs/immigration and collect luggage in order to get back to the departure hall?

I don't think anyone can give you an exact answer! A lot depends on how many flights land around the same time you arrive. Maybe the immigration people are at a meeting or some are on lunch break meaning a reduced staff to handle the arrivals. Maybe you will pass through immigration before the bags come out. Or not!

My personal experience in Hong Kong is 2 years old but what I said in my first post still stands!

"It has been a few years since I had to pass through Hong Kong but I don't remember the immigration process taking an unusually long time. "

Have a good day!

8. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

Ya know 45-120 mins would be helpful, but noooooo.

9. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 5y

I think karazyal has been helpful in his replies to what is effectively an unanswerable question.

Trying to quantify the unknown is a bit difficult, as already said by karazyal any number of things could happen that would alter the transfer time needed on the day - and that is forgetting for the moment about delayed flights.

I would suggest leaning towards using Cathay to fly to HK rather than JetStar if there's a connection involved, and allowing as much time as possible. It's better to be sitting around in an airport for a number of hours sipping on a drink, than it is to be rushing for a connection and missing it.