One of the most convenient things about the Airport Express is the intown checkin. This service allows you to checkin your bags at Hong Kong or Kowloon stations before you board the train. This can be convenient if you want to avoid the possible hassle of checking in at the airport. It can also be convenient if, for example, you want to free yourself of your luggage and then spend some time in town before later heading to the airport.

We previously featured a Guide to Taking HK Airport Express. In this post we wanted to address a question readers sometimes ask, about using the intown checkin facilities the day before your flight. We did post about this before but wanted to update the information.

Airlines offering intown checkin the day before departure

The MTR website has a helpful guide on which airlines offer intown checkin. Remember that they will only offer it when their service desk at the station is open. For an airline with frequency as high as Cathay this won’t be a problem, but for airlines with lesser frequency you may want to check with the airline that their desk is open before you make plans around it.

Currently airlines which offer intown checkin the day before are:

  • Air India – but only for its flights to Japan and Korea, not India.
  • Air New Zealand
  • Cathay Dragon – but KA168 to Calcutta and direct flights to the United States (CX888 is not counted as direct for these purposes) are excluded.
  • Cathay Pacific –but U.S. flights open checkin only twenty four hours before departure, i.e. not the whole of the day before.
  • China Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Hong Kong Airlines – but see the comment by reader Wayne below where he was not able to check in the day before for a flight to the U.S.
  • Hong Kong Express
  • Mandarin Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines – but SQ002 to San Francisco is excluded.
  • South African Airways
  • Thai Airways

Getting Your Ticket

You’ll need your ticket before you enter the intown checkin area. If you are using a ticket (not Octopus), the fare will be deducted at that point and will not be deducted again the following day if that’s when you take the Airport Express. For more information on getting a discount on Airport Express tickets, see this post.

If you are using an Octopus and have more than ten transactions on it between checkin and taking the train, we suggest that you check your balance to ensure that the fare has only been deducted once.

Left Luggage

If for any reason your plan to use intown checkin at Hong Kong station does not work, it may help to know that there is a paid left luggage service close to the intown checkin area.


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  • Hong kong Airlines doesn’t allow 24hr check in to the US. Maybe other airlines are the same, who knows.

    We carried 4 suitcases to the station today to be told oops sorry you have to check in the same day despite what it says everywhere for their airline. So we had to pay for the suitcase storage for 320Hkd for up to 24hrs rather than try to drag them back and forth again in a taxi in the morning from a hotel and hope to find a taxi that could carry all of that plus our carry ons.

  • That should be possible depending on how early the China Airlines counter opens. As they have early flights, it should be pretty early in the day.
    If you have no checked baggage, you may also consider online checkin to avoid the trip to the Airport Express.

  • If I taking China airlines to Taipei which is by 21:15 flight, can I check in in HK station by that morning before I do to work, I will have a hand-carry small suitcase and no need to check-in bags, I will take the airport express by around 19:30, can I then use the in-town check-in? I would be appreciate if you can give me advise earlier which I need to make decision on the coming flight which I will book shortly.

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