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Hong Kong travellers can once again enjoy the convenience of dropping their luggage in the city rather than at the airport, with the Hong Kong Airport Express’s city check-in service restarting on Wednesday, July 5.
Check-in counters have now opened at Hong Kong Station – the terminal for the rapid Airport Express line, which reaches Hong Kong International Airport in 24 minutes.
However, at first Cathay Pacific will be the only airline accepting with staffed Airport Express check-in desks, and those will be operating only from 6am to 3pm, according to news service Bloomberg.
Bloomberg adds that “a decision hasn't been made on restarting check-in at Kowloon and Tsing Yi stations”, the other two stops on the Airport Express line.
The popular in-town check-in service was suspended in April 2020 when Hong Kong, along the rest of the world, clamped down on international travel in the face of the pandemic.
Visitors to the Asian metropolis have long enjoyed the convenience of checking their luggage in Central, Kowloon or Tsing Yi stations and then hitting the city for the rest of the day, before later making their way straight to the airport knowing their bags have already gone ahead.
The return of in-city bag drop is yet another positive sign in Hong Kong’s recovery, with foreign visitation steadily climbing since the removal of all restrictions in April and a number of global connections resuming in recent months, including Qantas flights from Melbourne on June 20.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board estimates that by the end of 2023, annual visitor arrivals will have reached almost 26 million, or close to half of the average number of pre-pandemic arrivals across 2017-2019.
Are you headed to Hong Kong? Here’s how your Australian passport can be used to skip the immigration queues at Hong Kong Airport via the automated e-Channel lanes.