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Beijing Capital International Airport

Everything you need to know before departing from or arriving to Beijing Capital Airport

Transfer at Beijing Capital Airport

Krystof Hajek updated 21. 12. 2023

Beijing Capital Airport has two terminals, with the buildings designated as Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.

The original Terminal 1 has been incorporated into Terminal 2 after renovation.

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Terminals 2 and 3 are completely separated from each other and the distance between them is approximately 3.5 km.

  • Terminal 2 - the original Beijing Airport terminal, a compact and relatively small building with distances within a 10-minute walk.
  • Terminal 3 - the new terminal, opened in 2008, is one of the largest in the world. It contains two satellite buildings, which can be reached from the main terminal by a free underground automatic train (running 24/7 at intervals of 3-5 minutes).

Which terminal?

Both terminals handle domestic flights within China and international flights abroad.

The terminals are divided by airline.

  • Air Algerie - T2
  • Air Astana - T2
  • Air China - T3
  • Air France - T2
  • Air Koryo - T2
  • Air Macau - T3
  • All Nippon Airways - T3
  • Asiana Airlines - T3
  • Azerbaijan Airlines - T2
  • Cathay Pacific - T3
  • China Airlines - T3
  • China Eastern Airlines - T2
  • Delta - T2
  • Egyptair - T3
  • Emirates - T3
  • Ethiopian Airlines - T3
  • EVA Air - T3
  • Grand China Air - T2
  • Hainan Airlines - T2
  • Hong Kong Airlines - T2
  • Japan Airlines - T3
  • Jeju Air - T2
  • KLM - T2
  • Korean Air - T2
  • Kunming Airlines - T3
  • Loong Air - T3
  • LOT - T3
  • Lucky Air - T2
  • Lufthansa - T3
  • Mahan Air - T2
  • MIAT Mongolian - T3
  • Pakistan International Airlines - T2
  • Philippine Airlines -T3
  • Shandong Airlines - T3
  • Shenzhen Airlines - T3
  • Sichuan Airlines - T2
  • Singapore Airlines - T3
  • SriLankan Airlines - T2
  • Thai Airways - T3
  • Tibet Airlines - T3
  • Turkish Airlines - T3
  • Turkmenistan Airlines - T2
  • United - T3
  • Uzbekistan Airways - T2
  • Vietnam Airlines - T2

Transportation between terminals

Currently you can only move between terminals via the public section.

An airport shuttle bus connects the two buildings.

  • Frequency - 10 minutes during the day, 15 minutes at night
  • Travel time - 20 minutes
  • Price - free
  • Operating hours - 24/7
  • Stop at Terminal 2 - at Gate 7
  • Stop at terminal 3 - at exit 5

Transfer between flights

Transferring at Beijing Airport is clear and easy if you don't need to change terminals.

The vast majority of guaranteed transfers (i.e. both flights are on the same booking) take place within the same terminal.

What checks do I go through when I change planes?

What are the exact procedures for each type of transfer?

  • International -> International: security check
  • International -> domestic: immigration and security check
  • Domestic -> International: immigration and security check
  • National -> national: no check

Do I have to leave the transit zone?

If you have luggage all the way to your destination or are travelling with hand luggage only, you do not need to leave the transit area.

Do I have to collect my luggage?

If both flights are booked on the same reservation and you have less than 24 hours to transfer, you do not need to collect your baggage.

Do I need a visa for China?

You do not need to arrange a visa for China for an international transfer.

Visa-free entry for transfers within 144 hours

Many airlines also offer long layovers of several days.

Beijing-Capital Airport is included in the visa-free entry program up to a maximum of 144 hours.

Upon arrival, before going through immigration, look for the special counter where these visa-free entries are processed.

Please note that if you cross within 24 hours, the officer may refuse to issue a visa-free entry permit and you will therefore have to spend time in the transit zone.

For transfers over 24 hours, visa-free entry permits are always issued without any problems. However, you need to present your flight ticket from China and your accommodation reservation.

Krystof Hajek

Krystof is the editor-in-chief of Cestee. He is also an avid traveller with 574 flights and 73 countries visited.

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