Giant on the move
New Beijing airport terminal
And opinions are very divided. It generates strong views — people either love it, or hate it. There seems to be little middle ground.
Personally, I’m not a fan. For a start, it’s way too big. To get to and from the international section, you have to take a little train. Fun if you have the time, but a drag if you are in a hurry to get out of the airport and on with your life.
The much vaunted promises of better shops and restaurants also appear to have been ignored, aside from the arrival of the city’s first Burger King outlet, a much welcome addition.
At least when it comes to one gripe, poor serivce, the message does seem to be getting through to some of the staff ahead of the Beijing Olympics. On a recent flight, the lady checking me in gave me a broad smile once I had completed the proceedures, and wished me a pleasant trip. It was such a surprise, it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.
They are much more compact, making getting to and from the gate a breeze, have a good selection of restaurants in the basement, and there are still a large number of destinations you can fly to from there.
The international side of Terminal Two these days is especially unhurried. So my suggestion? Sure, go and admire the amazing architecture of Terminal Three, but when it comes to flying, stick with the much nicer old terminals.
Photos by China Daily (top) and Jason Lee.