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Upcoming MR to HKG... int'l noob

Upcoming MR to HKG... int'l noob

Old Mar 6, 18, 1:05 pm
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Upcoming MR to HKG... int'l noob

Hey FT'ers. Member for a while, but don't post much.

I'm taking a MR to HKG on the 18th. I've never even been out of the country (except Canada and Mex), and I'm just jumping both feet first into Asia! I'm arriving on Delta, so I just have a few questions:

1. I've looked at the airport map - about what gate will I arrive?
2. All the times I've flown domestic, I can just check in online. Can I just do that for my return flight, during the flight to HKG?
3. Can someone explain the arrival procedures to me? From the time I get off the plane until I'm out of the airport? I know I'm going to have to do immigration and customs, but I don't know what to expect.
4. I am staying at the Regal at the airport, but I'd like to slip into town to one of the night markets. I arrive at 2030, so would I have time to check into the hotel and take the MTR into the city?
5. I'm in DL main cabin (not Comfort+) on the A332 in both directions. First flight is pretty full, but the return has several preferred seats open. Any recommendations if I were to buy a preferred seat?

Thank in advance!

Last edited by war.eagle.30; Mar 6, 18 at 1:28 pm Reason: Additional question
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Old Mar 6, 18, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by war.eagle.30 View Post
Hey FT'ers. Member for a while, but don't post much.

I'm taking a MR to HKG on the 18th. I've never even been out of the country (except Canada and Mex), and I'm just jumping both feet first into Asia! I'm arriving on Delta, so I just have a few questions:

1. I've looked at the airport map - about what gate will I arrive?
2. All the times I've flown domestic, I can just check in online. Can I just do that for my return flight, during the flight to HKG?
3. Can someone explain the arrival procedures to me? From the time I get off the plane until I'm out of the airport? I know I'm going to have to do immigration and customs, but I don't know what to expect.
4. I am staying at the Regal at the airport, but I'd like to slip into town to one of the night markets. I arrive at 2030, so would I have time to check into the hotel and take the MTR into the city?
5. I'm in DL main cabin (not Comfort+) on the A332 in both directions. First flight is pretty full, but the return has several preferred seats open. Any recommendations if I were to buy a preferred seat?

Thank in advance!
1. Gate changes all the time, but people on the DL forum (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...-skymiles-665/) probably can help better.
2. Ask in the DL forum.
3. Just follow signs for immigration. You pass immigration, then pick up your checked luggage (if any) and exit customs.
4. After exiting customs, you can turn left and walk to Regal. If you don't have checked luggage and like to slip into town immediately, you can buy Airport Express ticket in the middle of the terminal and board the train to the City. Airport Express will probably be closed when you return. You can take a night bus. There also be information booth at the airport (I never look for information booth as I am very familiar with Hong Kong). I hope you know where you are going...
5. That should be asked in the DL forum too.
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Old Mar 6, 18, 2:59 pm
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cxfan1960, thank you!
Mods, please delete this thread. I have posted it over in the DL sub-forum.
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Old Mar 6, 18, 3:44 pm
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Just to add a couple of points...

If you plug the flight number into Google, that will show you the relevant details including gate numbers - DL38 has gone from gate 21 the last couple of days.

After you pass through the customs check at HK, keep an eye out for some display stands which are laden with free tourist leaflets, maps etc. Am sure the concierge in the hotel will have the same if you miss this at the airport.

And enjoy HK - it's a great city in my opinion!
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Old Mar 6, 18, 5:45 pm
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A couple of thoughts. It might be more sensible to stay in town rather than the airport, then you won't have the problem of getting back to the airport after the last Airport Express.

Also, you can save some $$ on the Airport Express tickets by buying them through Klook.
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Old Mar 8, 18, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by war.eagle.30 View Post
Hey FT'ers. Member for a while, but don't post much.

I'm taking a MR to HKG on the 18th. I've never even been out of the country (except Canada and Mex), and I'm just jumping both feet first into Asia! I'm arriving on Delta, so I just have a few questions:

1. I've looked at the airport map - about what gate will I arrive?
2. All the times I've flown domestic, I can just check in online. Can I just do that for my return flight, during the flight to HKG?
3. Can someone explain the arrival procedures to me? From the time I get off the plane until I'm out of the airport? I know I'm going to have to do immigration and customs, but I don't know what to expect.
4. I am staying at the Regal at the airport, but I'd like to slip into town to one of the night markets. I arrive at 2030, so would I have time to check into the hotel and take the MTR into the city?
5. I'm in DL main cabin (not Comfort+) on the A332 in both directions. First flight is pretty full, but the return has several preferred seats open. Any recommendations if I were to buy a preferred seat?

Thank in advance!
1) Whilst i am not a DL expert, I know the ops of the airport a little. I have a feeling DL does operate near the gate 21-24 area, or 15-19 because that's where the lounge is, the office for the ground handling agent, and most importantly, have more space for USA-bound flight checks. or more likely it would be 18 19 21 (IIRC 20 is a narrow body gate nut i'm not sure if it fits something bigger). That said, this is not fixed so is subject to changes.
2) If you have no luggage, i believe its ok. they will check your ID at the gate if you meet a gate agent before then.
3) you will go thru the security area in segregation mode. so juts follow the stream (you may or may not have to take a train) and arrive at the immigration hall. join a queue for visitors (non-HKID holder) and you'll make it to luggage hall in 5-30 minutes. pick up your bag then go thru customs. report accordingly. most people who has nothing to report will be unhassled thru the green gate. if you get checked then just answer accordingly. assuming you didnt lie you shall be fine. then you would be landside.
4) IF you land at 2030 and I would assume you'll be at the regal for checkin at 2130. I would suggest taking the A21 bus to jordan/mong kok area and enjoy the city (as opposed to the train, which you will need to change at least twice to get to the same area.). On the return, take A21 or N21 at somewhere near the oposite direction of nathan road. N21 runs every 30 minutes throughout the night. Or alternatively I would recommend staying in the city so you dont have to deal with night busses.
IF you are taking DL 38/39, where your flight leaves at 1145 from HKG the next day, you only need to take the bus at 0845; or 0900 train and arrive the airport with PLENTY of time. if you take the train, there are shuttle busses connecting to the train station at major hotels in the area.
5) ask the DL guys.
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Old Mar 9, 18, 2:17 am
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@kaka, thank you so very much for that info! (Especially point 3... for someone having never been international, the "process" is intimidating)

I can't cancel my room at the Regal, so I'm stuck there this time. That said, I have been very encouraged by what everyone has said about Hong Kong, and I do believe I will book a room in the city on my next trip!

I've been hearing that the A21 or A22 bus may be an easier way to get to Jordan than bothering with the train. You have confirmed. Thanks!
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Old Mar 9, 18, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by war.eagle.30 View Post
[MENTION=101566]I've been hearing that the A21 or A22 bus may be an easier way to get to Jordan than bothering with the train. You have confirmed. Thanks!
Less expensive, more direct and much faster than Airport Express in most cases. A22 is a little more expensive (than A21) but very fast - first stop (12km) just before the Tsing Ma Bridge; second (another 20km) in Shanghai Street, already in Jordan; third (500m or so) just across Nathan Road, also in Jordan. However, if you need to go to South Jordan and Tsimshatsui, A21 may be better but you need to pay attention to the bus stops.

Last edited by cxfan1960; Mar 9, 18 at 2:33 pm Reason: Quantifying A22 is just a little more expensive when compared with A21.
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Old Mar 9, 18, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by cxfan1960 View Post
Less expensive, more direct and much faster than Airport Express in most cases. A22 is a little more expensive but very fast - first stop (12km) just before the Tsing Ma Bridge; second (another 20km) in Shanghai Street, already in Jordan; third (500m or so) just across Nathan Road, also in Jordan. However, if you need to go to South Jordan and Tsimshatsui, A21 may be better but you need to pay attention to the bus stops.
Agreeing with just getting on the bus and not doing train --> bus! This time of night you shouldn't have any major traffic trouble.

Have a great first HKG MR, and Hong Kong trip - you picked a great destination IMHO!!
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Old Mar 13, 18, 4:42 am
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There is an A21 discount "return ticket (pair)" that you should buy from the ticket window on the left immediately after you exit the airport building heading for the A21 bus stand.

Bus stops are announced on overhead displays on the bus. Learn your stop number beforehand on Hong Kong Bus Route A21 - Airport Transfer to Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui

I wonder if Argyle Street might be a good destination? Then walk East several blocks....
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Old Mar 13, 18, 4:50 am
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OP: I see 3 mistakes on this MR.

-Staying at the airport hotel

-Staying only 1 night

-Flying the trip in coach
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Old Mar 13, 18, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by roberto99 View Post
OP: I see 3 mistakes on this MR.

-Staying at the airport hotel

-Staying only 1 night

-Flying the trip in coach
IMHO a 1 day HKG MR is a right of passage , though I do agree one nigh is never enough for such an amazing city.

In 2015 I did a one night HKG turn and on the way back sat next to a woman who did a 0 day immediate turn, and a guy who had done a two day turn. We talked at length about our three different approaches to the same MR.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 12:54 am
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Originally Posted by roberto99 View Post
There is an A21 discount "return ticket (pair)" that you should buy from the ticket window on the left immediately after you exit the airport building heading for the A21 bus stand.

Bus stops are announced on overhead displays on the bus. Learn your stop number beforehand on Hong Kong Bus Route A21 - Airport Transfer to Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui

I wonder if Argyle Street might be a good destination? Then walk East several blocks....
The return ticket pair can be used on either A21 or A22 (at least in the past) and both tickets much be used within 90 days of purchase.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 8:55 am
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I'm curious about the cost of the bus vs. the cost of the bus. The (undiscounted) cost of the airport express is around 100HKD, or about $13 USD. How much do you save by jumping into a crowded / cramped bus?

I would imagine the bus would give a unique "local flavor", but I would imagine it to be more intimidating to a first-time visitor. I go to HK 2-3 times per year, and have been doing it for 10+ years, yet I'm not sure precisely where to go to catch the bus or where to buy the tickets. I'm sure I could figure it out, and imagine it is somewhere on the lower level in the ground transportation area, but I'd be looking with the benefit of having been to the airport many times. I only took the bus once or twice during my first trips to Hong Kong 10+ years ago when I was accompanied by my Chinese friends who didn't want to pay the "outrageous" cost of the Airport Express. I do remember that my big American carcass just doesn't fit well in those seats. :-)

The Airport Express, on the other had, is easy to find with a staffed counter, and only three choices of stops (Tsing Yi, Kowloon, and Hong Kong). It makes just one stop (Tsing Yi) between the airport and Kowloon, and has the electronic progress LED's displayed on the ceiling arch are probably reassuring to someone who has never been. From the Kowloon station, it would be maybe 50HKD taxi to Jordon? (I'd suggest giving a specific destination in Mong Kok / Jordan because without one it just looks like a bustling city street.) Those areas can be fun, but without knowing where to go -- and being alone -- what would a first-time visitor do?

The Hong Kong side is an equally good choice. For the first time visitor the more "touristy" things are not a bad choice as you can still get a flavor for the city, but not be overwhelmed. Take the AE to Hong Kong station, then a taxi to LKF (Lan Kwai Fong). While it's not necessarily a "Pure Hong Kong" setting, it IS easy to walk around there alone for a few hours in the active atmosphere loaded with ex-pats, western visitors, and hong kong residents. It's a fun experience. Or go to Times Square. Wander around in the lights and bustle, people-watch, and get a street-food snack. It's an easy walk from Times Square to the Excelsior Hotel, where you can go to the rooftop bar for a slightly overpriced drink and a view of the city.

The city doesn't really sleep much, so you can stay out pretty late. I'd just take a taxi back to the airport. Might not be the most cost-effective way at probably 400HKD (or around $50 USD), but it's probably the easiest at late night / early morning. Uber works there too.

I'd also suggest you think about a communication plan... make sure you know your carrier's international plan. Verizon has a $10 per day travel pass that lets your phone work there same as it does here. Probably easier than trying to screw around getting a SIM card. And be aware that the GPS/Maps on your phone can be spotty at times because of the tall buildings in the city, and it doesn't always seem accurate... or a times seems to be a little slow to react. I'd choose a destination before you go and get a little familiar with the area on a map BEFORE you go. That way it might be less intimidating, and your phone will be an AID rather than your only way of navigating.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 8:28 pm
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Gongzuokuang:

Really now, suggesting visiting LKF to get a flavour of HK for a one night visitor?
The streets of LKF is a bunch of drunk visitors with "yellow fever"
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