Transit in PEK
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jan 30, 2012 3:34 AM Last Post By: jiejie
Dec 5, 2011 9:38 AM
Transit in PEKHi,
Early last month, I endured a pretty painless airside transit (without visa) in PEK, between 2 Air China flights.
This January (on a once in a lifetime tour to DPRK), I will need to transit again in Beijing, however the incoming flight will be on Air Koryo from Pyongyang (ETA 10 am) and will need to connect to a departing flight on Thai (ETD 5 pm) the same day. Obviously I will not be able to check in right through to BKK in Pyongyang (or can I do so?), and will need to collect my checked in baggage and recheck on TG.
Is it possible to do this without a Chinese visa / or do I need to have a multiple entry visa, as I will use up the Single Entry visa before departing from Beijing for North Korea at the start of the tour.
Thanks for your response
Dec 5, 2011 4:52 PM
1No problem if your single entry is already used up on the inbound swing from China to North Korea. On the return, the Pyongyang-Bangkok shuffle via PEK can be done same as you did last month, on Transit Without Visa privileges. You will need to check in for each leg separately--Air Koryo doesn't interline with other airlines. Air Koryo departs and arrives from Terminal 2 in PEK which is different from Thai which departs from Terminal 3. Procedure:
At PEK Terminal 2 entry immigration, last time I was through there, they did not have any dedicated desks off to the side like T3 does. They may have one of the row of desks with the overcounter signage designated forr International Transits/Transfers--so head there. (Often it's next to the Diplomatic queue.) If they don't have anything specially-signed for this, use any counter for "Foreigners." Show a printout of your confirmed TG itinerary since you won't have a BP at that point. The officer should stamp you through with the TWOV stamp. Proceed downstairs to baggage claim and pick up your bags, then through Customs (all usually pretty painless). Then you'll need to head for the inter-terminal shuttle buses (Free of charge). You cannot walk between T2 and T3. Once over at T3, you can try to check in for the TG flight and check your bags. By this time (assuming your Air Koryo flight arrived on time) it will be around 11:30-12:00. However, it may be too early to check in, in which case if you want to walk around unencumbered, you can park the stuff at Left Luggage for a nominal fee (don't check valuables). Usually check-in for that TG flight starts around 14:30 or so. The way PEK Air Traffic Control has been lately, it wouldn't surprise me if the Air Koryo flight is late inbound, so your seemingly long cushion of layover time is actually a good idea.
Even if inbound and outbound flights are on-time though, it's just not quite enough time to make a foray into Beijing city adviseable (thought it is actually permitted to leave the airport and do this). If you have lounge privileges (flying TG in a premium class or in economy and a Star Alliance Gold member), then after TG check-in, you can head airside to exit immigration and security, and kilil time at the lounge.
Dec 8, 2011 11:32 PM
2Thanks a ton Jiejie. That's very reassuring.
The Chinese Visa Application Center in Bombay only accepts visa requests for a Dual Entry if your airline ticket shows the same, and since the NK portion is separately booked, and will only be handed over to me in Beijing. I had to accept the Single Entry visa, now my only concern is whether I can board the Air Koryo flight in Pyongyang without a hassle. I have requested the agency in Beijing to revert with this info. I definitely don't want to be stuck in Pyongyang.
Cheers and thanks again.
Dec 10, 2011 5:37 PM
3Oh believe me, the North Koreans won't want you to be stuck in Pyongyang either! I doubt that you'll have a problem, as literally tons of foreigners flying Pyongyang-Beijing are only transiting PEK quickly on their way to somewhere else international. And they are doing it without a valid Chinese visa (or valid entry left). Air Koryo would see this all the time and would be well aware of the regulations, just show them your onward TG flight confirmation when you check in at Pyongyang for the return.
Jan 29, 2012 10:02 PM
Jan 30, 2012 3:34 AM
5Thanks for reporting back. Good to know that Air Koryo in Pyongyang is willing to thru-tag bags, nice new data point for the forum. Maybe a change in policy.
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