Beijing Capital International Mega Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport took 10th place as World’s Best Airport in 2015 according to a passenger poll by SkyTrax; down three places from their 7th place position in 2014.
Early in 2015 Beijing Capital International Flight hub released a very strong statement of customer service by releasing this statement of seven goals. The statement is available on their webpage. These measures are to help “warm” the airport atmosphere. They include helping their clients in the following ways:
- A barrier free passageway through security checkpoints for those that are ill, pregnant, the elderly and those traveling with small children.
- A Quick inspection channel for those without luggage. This inspection and security checkpoint
Is for those traveling light with perhaps a small bag and would get through security very quickly.
- Extra service personnel during busy times at the airport hub will be available to help customers in need. These persons will carry red “fanny packs” and will have supplies such as paper, writing utensils and first aid to help those that request it.
- Loving Heart Escort Service is available for those that would like help and assistance getting to and from the airport. Those that might need service include pregnant, ill, elderly and other passengers that might need special assistance with their baggage.
- Free electric cart for those needing it.
- Security check personnel are no longer going to require passengers to turn around for their inspections. The security personnel are now required to move around the person as they are checking them. This sounds like a very small thing, but the security personnel will be seen as less demanding.
- Help finding your car. Staff wearing the color yellow (such as yellow fanny packs) will assist customers that have forgotten where they have parked their car.
There are many features at Beijing’s Capital Flight hub for business clients. There is a Business Center in each Terminal at the airport offering photocopying, internet access, international calling and other services. There are also Business Service booths that include reservation desks with staff that can book hotels, cars and other services if desired. Business clients can also find a fitness facility in the vicinity of the airport as well as a full spa where you can get a massage.
Digital entertainment in Terminal 2 and 3 are available as kiosks where one can watch movies, play games and otherwise use the airport hub’s digital resources. Some such games include audio-video and Xbox. This is in an effort to address the customer’s feedback to have something to do at the airport transit hub on long layovers.
Hourly Lounges are available for clients that would like to relax away from the business of the airport. Here are four lounges at Beijing’s airport hub, one at Terminal 1, two at Terminal 2 (one domestic and one international) and one at Terminal 3. It is recommended that clients make reservations at one of the lounges ahead of time due to high demand at the hourly lounges. Reservations will be kept for 10 minutes past the reservation time and then must be released to other customers. Customers of the hourly lounges will receive a shower and wake-up call as part of their service fee. Some of the lounges offer beverages, WiFi, foot massages, flight information, private sleeping rooms and bath/shower rooms.
If you are in the mood to shop, there are many duty free stores in Terminals 2 and 3. These stores carry perfume, accessories, electronics, liquor and cigarettes. Brand names that can be found include Bally, Burberry, Alfred Dunhill, Lacoste and Omega. In Terminal 3 there is a China specialty store if you are looking for gifts or memorabilia from your trip through Beijing’s mega transit hub.
What trip to China would be complete without visiting a tea house? There are at least three at the Beijing Airport; one in each Terminal. The tea houses are called Comfort Garden and they offer some of China’s most authentic and best teas, there is also a light menu to accompany your tea selection. Relax at the Comfort Garden an oasis in the middle of a busy airport atmosphere.
If you are traveling with small children through Beijing’s airport hub, you might want to take them to one of the three Kids Activity Zones located in each terminal. Let them run around and get some of their energy out prior to boarding your plane. The Kids Activity Zone is supposed to be a happy place where kids can play and you can feel good about their safety.
Beijing’s airport hub offers a 72-hour free visa for visitors. There are some rules and conditions, but if you hadn’t planned to stay the night in Beijing, but now have time, you might want to take advantage of this option. The offer is available to the following 51 countries according to their website:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia , Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar
This is great marketing on Beijing’s part because how many people get to say they stayed two nights in Beijing on their way to their destination? If they didn’t offer this service, many people would not be able to experience China’s beautiful country side, cuisine, and culture. On the airport’s website you can view day trips that you can take with your 72-hour visa, or simply ask at one of the Tourist Information Centers at the airport.
If you are on a shorter layover and just want to get a bite to eat in between flights, you can find Chinese and Western fast food, cafes, sit down Chinese and Asian style restaurants, ice cream, bakeries, tea houses and much more. A must try is any authentic wonton soup! If you are craving sweet and extravagant, try the Meiyuan Dairy Snack. These imperial dairy products in days past were for the privileged Chinese households only and were considered delicacies. This is because the Chinese people did not eat dairy products. Now, you can try these sweet snacks made in the traditional ways whenever you like.
If you haven’t been through Beijing’s transit hub in a while, expect big changes. They updated their Terminal 2 and 3 in recent years and there are more restaurants and shopping to choose from. This is due in part by their fantastic years in 2010 and 2011. In fact in 2010 they served almost 74 million passengers, making them the second busiest airport in the world that year. In 2011 they were approaching 81 million served. They increased sales by 12% and instead of taking large bonuses, they reinvested in the airport structure. A wise decision and their customers are happy.