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Navigating Hong Kong International Airport With Kids

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TravelPost Category - TravelTravel - Post Category - Inspiration & TipsInspiration & Tips - Post Category - GuidesGuides

We all love a good holiday, but it certainly looks a little different when you’re travelling with children in tow!

Travelling with kids is stressful at the best of times. You might be so worried about the long flight, the jet lag or what to pack that you haven’t actually thought about navigating Hong Kong International Airport. I know I was a whole bundle of stress when I took our son on his first holiday! Thankfully, after a few years of travelling with a baby and now a toddler, I can safely say Hong Kong Airport is one of the easiest to get around with kids.

Jump to:
Transport to Hong Kong Airport
Checking in
Security and immigration with kids at Hong Kong International Airport
Facilities for families at Hong Kong Airport
Transiting through Hong Kong International Airport
Baggage claim and arrival information

Read more: Travel Tips: How To Help Babies And Toddlers Overcome Jetlag

fly Hong Kong international airport kids travel

Transport to Hong Kong Airport

Pre-kids it was all so easy! A checked suitcase and a carry-on and off we went. Now, you have children and all the stuff they need to travel with. You’ve got their things crammed into your suitcase (or maybe extra luggage for them), plus everything you need for the flight, and that’s before we even get to the stroller and perhaps a car seat and travel cot.

With all the extra bits and pieces, you may find it easier to get a taxi or Uber all the way to the terminal. If you do get dropped off at the airport you just need to keep in mind that there is now a passport and ticket check to enter the building and so you MUST allow extra time for this, especially if travelling at a busy time of year.

Taking the Airport Express is still a great option with kids if you are able to use the in-town check in (see below). Your tickets will still need to be checked as you hop off the train, but in my experience, the lines are shorter and the process a lot smoother. If you use your Octopus cards one-way tickets from Hong Kong Station are $110 for adults and $55 for children under 12 (under 3 years old travel free). There are regular promotions for seniors and children with Octopus cards, so this is your best bet. Otherwise, if you are purchasing a ticket at the station it is $115 for adults and $57.50 for kids. You can also check Klook for discounted tickets.

Sassy Mama tip: There are baby care and breastfeeding rooms in the paid area (after you have scanned your ticket) of Hong Kong, Kowloon and Tsing Yi Stations. They are hidden away, so you just need to ask the staff and they will take you.

Read more: Car Seat Laws When Travelling: What You Need To Know

hong kong airport express train travel

Checking in

If you’re taking the train with your family, it is definitely worth taking advantage of the in-town check in at Hong Kong and Kowloon. The lines are often very manageable and you can be rid of your bulky items quickly so that you are just travelling on the train and through the airport with your necessities for the flight. The service is available for most major airlines and opens 24 hours before departure (and closes 90 minutes before).

If you are arriving by car or bus, you’ll need to make your way to the departures area. Check the HKIA website to see which aisle your airline is checking in from. Many airlines also offer self-check-in kiosks.

Most airlines will allow you to gate check your stroller so that you can have it with you until you reach your gate.

Security and immigration with kids at Hong Kong International Airport

The security staff make travelling with family, especially babies and young kids a breeze. Before you go through, look for the priority line (it’s also where flight crew enter, so follow the uniforms). You still need to empty your pockets and take out your laptops, but there’s no problem having extra liquids for baby including expressed breast milk, baby food and water (and you don’t need to take them out of your bag). Infants can even stay in the stroller (just be sure to empty the basket and any pockets) and the staff will do a quick visual check. It certainly makes for a nice change from the stern faces and strict rules at other airports.

At immigration, you’ll need to go through the counter with staff when travelling with children under 12. I’m sure I’m not the only one counting down the days until I can use the automatic gates and just use my HKID card again!

Read more: Carry-On Essentials: What To Pack For Young Kids On The Plane

kids play area Hong Kong international airport travel

Facilities for families at Hong Kong Airport

Children’s Play Areas

There are several play areas throughout Terminal 1. The biggest is located between Gates 23 and 25 (a short walk past the Starbucks) and has a large carpeted area and a few small kids’ activity stations. There are also play areas near Gate 41 and Gate 510, as well as TV lounges near Gate 1, Gate 5 and Gate 60. The airport playgrounds aren’t too fancy, but they are good for letting the kids burn off some energy before getting on a flight (especially the dreaded long-hauls!).

nursing room HKIA travel

Nursing and changing rooms

One of my biggest fears the first time I travelled with my baby was where I could breastfeed or pump before my flight. Unfortunately, I never did master the art of breastfeeding in public — I blame a baby who would always pull the cover off! Thankfully there are 33 well-equipped nursing and changing rooms at various locations throughout Hong Kong International Airport (there are also changing tables in most female toilets). In these rooms, you’ll find at least one (but usually two) changing areas, a chair in a private room for feeding or pumping, as well as a bottle warmer.

Medical facilities

As much as we hope our families don’t need it, there’s something quite comforting about knowing that Raffles Medical Group provides 24-hour medical services at Hong Kong International Airport. There is a clinic located on Level 6 of the non-restricted area (before check-in, security and immigration) which can provide general practitioners, x-rays, vaccinations and emergency care. There is also a medical post located near Gate 34 in the restricted area (after security and immigration) which is covered by a nurse from 8am to 4pm and 5pm to 9pm daily.

plaza premium first Hong Kong airport travel

Lounges

If you’ve got a bit of time, you might like to think about buying a lounge pass (unless you’re lucky enough to have it included in your ticket!). There are Plaza Premium lounges near Gates 1, 35 and 60, or for a little bit of luxury before you fly, a Plaza Premium First Lounge (the premium Champagne, wines, cocktails and whiskey, as well as a la carte dining, are a lovely pre-flight indulgence) near Gate 1. There is also a Centurian Lounge near Gate 60 for selected American Express cardholders.

Other handy info

Drinking water is readily available at water fountains so bring an empty bottle so that once you’re through security you can fill it up. If you’ve decided to leave the stroller at home (or checked it in with your luggage), there are infant strollers you can use free of charge. They may not be the most comfortable mode of transport, but they do provide respite for little legs and some luggage storage for your bags.

hong kong international airport children travel

Transiting through Hong Kong Airport

If Hong Kong isn’t your final destination after you land, it’s worth knowing that there are complimentary showers near Gate 12 and 43. Just make sure you visit before you pass through the transit area (to get to your connecting flight) or immigration. There are complimentary hair dryers, shampoo and body gel, and towels are available from a vending machine.

This is also a handy one to keep up your sleeve if you have just landed and can’t make it home before changing clothes (all parents will know the pain of kids destroying even your spare set of clothes!).

Baggage claim and arrival information

Once you arrive, it’s all pretty straightforward. Proceed through immigration and to baggage claim before exiting into the arrivals hall. Then you either proceed straight ahead to get on the Airport Express, or follow the signs to the taxi rank. If you’re taking an Uber, there are two pick-up locations, one near the Regal Hotel and the other in the car park (which is on your right as you come out of arrivals).

Happy travels!

Read more: Sassy Mama’s Complete Guide To Hoi An, Vietnam

Featured image courtesy of Getty, image 1 courtesy of Jimmy Chan from Pixabay, image 2 courtesy of Klook, image 3 courtesy of Jess Mizzi, image 4 courtesy of HKIA, image 5 courtesy of Plaza Premium First, image 6 courtesy of Getty

 

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