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TRAVEL TIP | Hong Kong is a popular stopover point, especially for travellers on Cathay Pacific flights to Asia, Europe and the USA.
And even if you're not breaking your journey with a night or two in Hong Kong, it's a great airport to transit through with some top lounges to visit (especially those of Cathay Pacific and Qantas) before your onwards flight.
So it makes sense to reduce time spent standing in the transit queue with all those other passengers, and in turn maximise your lounge time.
That's why you don't want to step off the plane and, in a sometimes travel-numbed mental state, blindly follow the flow and head for the main transfer gates located at either end of the airport's arrivals level.
These are marked E1, E2 and W1 on the map below.
Most transit passengers trudge sheep-like to those gates, oblivious to the fact that there are also three smaller transit channels strategically placed throughout the terminal – and circled in green on the map below.
They're located adjacent to arrival gates 29, 42 and 63, and offer much faster transfers from the arrivals floor to the departures floor.
Despite being well-marked these secondary transit channels can still be easy to miss (especially those near gates 42 and 63) if you're on post-flight 'autopilot' and following the crowd along the moving walkways.
But keep your eyes open for them, because you won't need to head all the way to the east or west transit gates and you'll be facing a much shorter queue at these lesser-known channels.
There's just one caveat: only the main East (E1, E2) and West (W1) transit channels have airline desks where you can obtain a boarding pass for your onwards flight.
The secondary transit channels don't have any such facility, so in order to use them you'll need to already have your boarding pass in hand.
Bonus tip: when you walk off the plane, one of these transit channels might be in the other direction to where all the passengers are streaming – a quick double-back will see you settled into the lounge with a meal and a drink in no time at all.