Member since 29 Oct 2018
Total posts 9
Does anyone know if it is possible to use the in-town check in facilities at either Kowloon or Hong Kong stations but not take the train to the airport (and not be charged for the entire Kowloon/HK to Airport fare)? The reason for asking such a strange question is that I am planning to go visit the Ngong Ping 360 and Tai O on my last day and would just take a local bus to the airport from Tung Chung.
Member since 12 Feb 2013
Total posts 19
No, the in town check in facility is provided as part of the Airport Express service/ticket/fare. Alternative would be to do the check in at the airport in advance (if provided by the airline) first by taking the A/E route buses if you don't want to take the MTR, then take the local bus to visit Ngong Ping 360 and Tai O.
Member since 24 Feb 2015
Total posts 55
You need an Airport Express ticket to access the check in area
I will be using an Octopus card and understand that the in-town check in area is in a different part to where the actual platforms are (as in I will need to "touch on" separately to access each area).
I was thinking about that but after some searching it seems that BA check in counters don't open until 3 hours prior to their flights. Unless flying first class makes a difference and they will allow me to check in earlier (flying BA28)
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 23 Oct 2013
Total posts 767
You can use the in town check in but you'll be charged for the airport express fare even if you don't take the train. From memory the airport express fare is actually deducted upon enter the in town check in area.
Member since 24 Apr 2012
Total posts 1,111
Correct, you have to scan your ticket or Octopus card to pass through the barriers and reach the check-in area.
Member since 20 Aug 2012
Total posts 35
I would advise: Check-in, in town. Take airport express train to airport. Then catch S1 bus from airport to Tung Chung. Once you are done in Tung Chung, take S1 bus back to the airport. Given Tung Chung is very close to airport, the S1 bus service runs regularly (usually at least every 15 minutes) and is cheap (you can use your Octopus).
Member since 24 Aug 2011
Yes, you are charged at the point of entering the check-in area. I understand this is because the operator is transporting your luggage in the front carriage of the train, hence the charge. It's a great service.
Member since 22 Feb 2019
Total posts 3
Honestly it wouldn't be that hard to sneak into the Hong Kong station check-in area. Just follow someone else when they walk in. The closing barriers are quite wide for baggage and slow and security is minimal around that area.
The Airlines actually pay for the privillage of in-town check-in service is why you don't see some budget airlines offering it. e.g. Air Asia.
Member since 20 Nov 2015
Total posts 39
I came here to say exactly this. There is almost zero 'security' at the in-town checkin area. You would normally use your Octopus card to enter the checkin area, then you tap to leave this area and go down to the station where you tap in again. There are big wide swing gates for luggage and trolleys, those gates stay open longer so people can get their luggage through them, and it's very very easy just to step a little quickly in behind them and you're into the checkin area, then you can check in for your flight and repeat the tail-gating process to leave. You don't need to stand around looking suss, just pull out your smartphone and be looking at this like but keeping a little side-eye on the luggage gates. Easy!!!
Member since 18 Jul 2018
Total posts 16
There are lockers at the citygate outlets as well so another option is to just skip the city-check in and leave luggage at the Citygate outlets lower level lockers then retrieve after the Ngong Ping visit.
Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer
Member since 17 Nov 2014
Total posts 78
Airport express check in town requires tap on, however it is free for passengers tapping on using a Child Octopus card under certain promotional periods.
Member since 13 Sep 2013
Total posts 114
Don’t buy a ticket. It’s so easy to just walk behind someone going in, or just go in through the exit when someone is coming out. I do it frequently... as a matter of fact, I did it yesterday morning.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Hong Kong Airport Express: in-town checkin
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox