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Flight choices into Hong Kong considering Macau as an alternative?

Flight choices into Hong Kong considering Macau as an alternative?

May 13th, 2009, 04:25 AM
  #1  
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Flight choices into Hong Kong considering Macau as an alternative?

I am trying to finalise my flights for my trip to Vietnam in November. I have my flights to and from the UK sorted into Hong Kong. However my last leg is Ho Chi Minh to Hong Kong and the flights are soooo expensive so i was considering flying Viva Macau instead (and its a nice earlyish morning flight and very cheap) obviously i know this will mean getting a ferry from Macua to central and it could save me about £260 but of course will add about 1.5 to my journey.
Is this easy enough to do? good idea/bad idea? i have been to HK before (twice) and we are only there for 1 day but will be staying with friends or do you think i should suck up the additional ££££
Smeagol is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 04:49 AM
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For 260 quid a person and not too many pieces of luggage I would do it. Macau airport has a lot of taxis at the airport or you could save more by taking the free shuttle buses to the Venetian casino & resort and then take another free shuttle bus to the ferry. Come to think of it that will take too much time and your poor husband will be cursing at me for recommending it!
Hanuman is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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Actually the saving would be £260 total BUT still a night in a club room at the Hanoi Sofitel!!! is the ferry terminal in Macau a long way from Macau airport do you know (cause yes he will kill me if it turns into a leg of the amazing race!!!- we would be the Bickering Brits!!!!)
Smeagol is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 06:45 AM
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Macau is so tiny that nothing's very far from anything else. But anyway there's a direct airport to ferry transfer service. See this page for details:

http://www.macau-airport.gov.mo/en/v01/01_express.php

Peter N-H
PeterN_H is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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Perfect many thanks Peter. I have been to the Macau ferry terminal before but couldnt think where the airport is. assume i will need to go in and out of macau immigration and then clear HK immigration!!!!
Smeagol is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 08:02 AM
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yea, do it and stay there a nite or two....
rhkkmk is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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I cant i have only one night in HK (and my best friend has just got a job there so will stay with her)

Not sure if Viva macau are any good but @£111 for 2 tix its such a good deal. the cheapest other flight i can get is about £440!!! one way
Smeagol is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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The airport is off the Taipa Island.

The "Air-to-Sea" transfer is fine, and you skip the Macau immigration altogether, but there are only 5 such buses each day. If the timing is not good, you can enter Macau and then transfer to one of the piers on your own.

There is a temporary pier that is adjacent to the airport on Taipa, where you can take the Cotaijet ferries to Hong Kong, which runs every 30 minutes. It is probably a one-minute taxi or bus ride, or 15 minutes walking. Or taxi to the regular pier for Turbojet service that's every 15 minutes.
rkkwan is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 04:37 PM
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Well, I should say that the airport is on Taipa. The runway is off the island.
rkkwan is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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rkkwan lol!

Smeagol,

For a short flight I wouldn't worry. Anything with a flying time of around 1 - 3 hours I take the low cost airlines and found them to be perfectly acceptable.
Hanuman is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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The Macau pier is pretty crowded. To carry the luggages to the 3rd floor departure hall with the Chinese gamblers was quite an experience. It's not worth the hassle.
If you want to see Macau for the first time, that's different.
There are some half day sightseeing packages with lunch in Macau. You may check them on line. Or you may just get around on your own by public buses or by cabs.
You may also want to check with Venetian casino & resort or other hotel casinos in Macau for promotions, most offer discount hovercraft tickets or complimentary meals.
Be sure to get a Portugese dinner and enjoy a bottle of Mateus in Macau.
Cat12345 is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 09:36 PM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback
Cat - the express link actually takes your luggage to the ferry terminal for you, so hopefully no lugging of bags up the stairs but thanks for the tip!!! And as much as i would like to stay in Macau, i am flying from HKG to London the next day and planning on staying with my friend who is moving to HK.(and i have been to Macau before)
Think i will try and find an agency to sort my express link out as not sure on timings but looks like it could be a good option for us!
Smeagol is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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I think overall saving that much money to fly into Macau versus Hong Kong is certainly attractive, but do consider some things:

1. As mentioned above, you might want consider taking the Express Link service when you land at the airport in Macau, which should be faster and easier than you just taking the pubic ferry yourself, as your bags will be transferred for you and the ticket includes bus transfer to the pier and the ferry ticket. Also, if you that service you don't have to bother with immigration in Macau, you will skip it and only go through immigration in Hong Kong. See http://www.macau-airport.com/en/v01/01_express.php for info. For information on Macau airport, see http://www.macau-airport.gov.mo/tran...on_local.phtml. You might want to see if the timings work with your flight schedule. Note that the ferry goes to Shun Tek pier which is on Hong Kong Island, so if you need to be on Kowloon, this may not be as attractive to you as you will have to then schlep with bag and baggage over to the other side.

2. If you take the regular passenger ferries, which side of Hong Kong do you need to get to? For the Hong Kong Island side, you want to take Turbo Jet, http://www.turbojet.com.hk/ which goes to Shun Tek pier. If you are staying on the Kowloon side, you want the First Ferry, go to http://www.nwff.com.hk/. Cotaijaet, mentioned above, also goes to Shun Tek pier on Hong Kong Island, their website is at http://cotaijet.com.mo/en/destinations/index.aspx.

3. If you decide to take the regular passenger ferries between Macau and Hong Kong, and you are making this trip on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, you could find ferries to Hong Kong to be quite crowded, which may mean you might have a long line for tickets and/or may have to wait for a while for an empty ferry. If you are at the ferry pier before about 11 am you probably won’t find them to be too bad, as Hong Kongers will still be heading over to Macau in the morning rather than returning, but nonetheless you never know, and you can get mainland PRC day trippers going to Hong Kong too. If you can pre-book a seat on a ferry, I would do so. Go to the websites below to figure out what time you might think you want to depart and make a booking if possible. On a weekday you should be fine.

4. As you have a flight out of Hong Kong airport the next day, there may be some advantage to you in seeing if you can check in for your onward flight as soon as you land in Macau and getting them to take your check-in luggage as well. This would depend on your airline’s rules for early check-in (most airlines allow it up to about 18 hours before a flight, but there are different rules and esp different rules for US-bound flights). I am also not entirely sure how the ferry/flight transfer works when you are not in fact departing on a flight the same day, but take a look at http://www.turbojet.com.hk/eng/airport/passenger.html to determine if this is possible The advantage to this is that you could obtain your onward boarding pass, and check in your big bags. This would save you a good bit of time the next day, and save a good bit of wear and tear on you in terms of dragging bag and baggage between ferries, taxis, buses. etc. You may also be able to use their ferry service to go to Hong Kong Airport, from where you could take the Airport Express train into town. (And if they won’t let you check bags or check in for the flight, you could at least store your bags. There are checked baggage facilities located in the main arrivals hall on the ground floor (called the Meeters and Greeters Hall). It will cost you about US$6 a bag and is well worth not having to drag big bags downtown with you only to have to lug them out there the next day.)
Cicerone is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Ciccerone
Many many thanks for your detailed response. Am i to assume then that if i land in Macau i "may" be able to check my bags in there for my onward flights the following day out of HKG or are you saying i will need to go to HKG and do that?


I think the express ferry link sounds like a great bet for me as i think we will be going to central rather than Kowloon (my friend is in the process of moving there) However if it is Kowloon is assume this is still doable? (the saving on flight price is just so attractive to me!!)
Smeagol is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 03:10 PM
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You can only check-in for your flights in Macau departing from HKG if you are taking the Turbojet service from Macau to HKG (i.e. the airport). You will be transferred "airside" immediately at HKG without having to go through Hong Kong immigration.

The air-to-sea "Express Link" transfer in Macau seems to work for both Turbojet service to HK Island as well as for NWFF service to Kowloon. But not for the Cotaijet service that departs from the pier on Taipa.
rkkwan is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 11:14 PM
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Ahhh i see. Ok no problem will just lug my luggage with me!! I checked flights from HCMC again and it seems that taking the Viva macau option will now save me £440!!! well worth it in my opinion!
Smeagol is offline  
May 23rd, 2009, 05:56 AM
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leave the 3 steamer trunks at home and just bring a regular suitcase
rhkkmk is offline  
May 23rd, 2009, 06:18 AM
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Bob i have to confess my case is usually the heaviest AND we will have just spent 2 weeks in Vietnam!!! (I am hoping the shopping will be plentiful)
Smeagol is offline  
May 24th, 2009, 06:39 PM
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Smeagol, yes I would say that it is just a “maybe” at this point on the question as to whether you will be allowed to use the Air-Sea service offered to Turbo Jet for early check-in for your flight out of Hong Kong which is the next day. Hong Kong allows early-check in for flights up to about 18 hours in advance, but whether you could do it from Macau would depend on several factors, including the early check-in rules of your own airline and whether the Air-Sea service has provisions for early check-in. As I have not used the service at all, I can't say with certainty whether you can use the service for next-day flights. The website indicates you must have a ticket for “same day departure”, but it is hard to say what that means (i.e., if you arrived into Macau in the afternoon and had a flight out of Hong Kong at 12:15 am, it seems to me you should be able to use the service even though technically your flight is not the “same day”. Same day may mean a 24-hour period and not a calendar day.)

I would suggest you at least ask at the Turbojet Air-Sea counter when you land in Macau as to whether this is possible, if they say no, then that is fine, you have several options. You can use the “Express Link” service which will take you by express bus to the ferry piers where you can get the ferry to Hong Kong. Or you can take a public bus or taxi to the ferry piers. Or you can just take a taxi to the Cotaijet pier and take that ferry service. (The ferry pier in Central where the ferries from Macau dock and the station for the Airport Express are actually not very far from one another, so you friend could easily meet you at either once you let him know which method you end up using.)

If you are allowed to use the Air-Sea service to check-in early, you will be taken by ferry directly to Hong Kong airport. You will skip both Macau exit Immigration/Emigration and Hong Kong entry Immigration and will find yourself walking directly into the main departure gate area behind this (what is referred to as “airside” above). However, it would be quite easy to just walk from this area to Hong Kong Immigration, go through Immigration with other arriving passengers, and then take the Airport Express train into town. To do this, once you arrive at Hong Kong Airport, just follow signs for Immigration/Baggage Claim. (This may involve going downstairs one level; you will need to fill out an arrival card, you can find them at Immigration.) You check-in luggage would have been taken from you in Macau and will go to a holding area to await your flight the next day, and you would have only your carry-on (or any other luggage you might also possibly be able to check the next day assuming your airline allows this).
Cicerone is offline  
May 24th, 2009, 07:51 PM
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Just to make this clear, we're talking about two separate services here.

One is the Express Link service run by the Macau airport to transfer from a flight into MFM, then bus to the ferry terminal without going through Macau immigration, and to put on a ferry to Hong Kong.

The other service is the Turbojet Air-Sea service, that's to check-in for your flights departing HKG, then to take the ferry to HKG and transfer to bus and bypass Hong Kong immigration.

First, I don't think one can combine the two services. Second, the OP is going into Hong Kong, so the Turbojet Air-Sea service does not apply. I don't see any way for the OP to check-in and deposit bags in Macau for their flights out of HKG the next day.
rkkwan is offline  

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