✅ Verified Review
| Connected at PEK T2 twice on a trip from AMS to SYD. In both directions, we had pretty tight connections to and from a domestic flight to/from CAN. Our itinerary was sold and ticketed by the airline and within the MCT, so we did not worry. We should have. On the way out to SYD, our PEK connection was scheduled to be just 95 minutes. Our flight in from Amsterdam departed on-time and touched down in PEK over 30 minutes prior to our scheduled arrival time. However, it took a while before we were able to deplane. At PEK, we got in line for immigrations. The line moved pretty quickly and it took just over 10 minutes. We were travelling under the 24 hour visa exemption rule which did not have a seperate line. As soon as the immigrations officer realized it needed to stamp a temporary access permit into our passports someone else whas called to bring the special stamp to that officers' booth. There was only one such stamp in the immigration hall. Keep in mind to show them your itinerary (eticket printout) and ask for "24 hour transit" or it will take a lot longer. After clearing immigrations you need to claim your luggage. There is no such thing as through-checks in PEK for a connection to a domestic flight. It took a while for our luggage to arrive and when it finally did, we followed the special CZ transit passengers route. We probably should not have. This was the weirdest part of our connection here. Immediately after entering the transit hall, we had to put our luggage, both checked and cabin luggage through a scanner. We needed to go through a metal detector ourselves. This was a chaotic process with too many people and too few staff. All batteries had to be taken out of our checked luggage and were sealed into a zip-lock bag with a number. We were handed a tag with the same number. After the metal detector, we had to open our checked luggage because it contained a Leatherman tool. "Knive, knive!" is the only english word the chinese official could say. After seeing it was a leatherman she was fine with it. Then we were sent to another desk to pick up our ziplock bag with batteries. Nothing was taken out. This process took over 20 minutes. We were now at T-50 minutes. At this point, I still thought that the next step would be to just drop our bags and walk to the gate. But unfortunately, it doesn't work like that in China. After walking out of the "transfer hall", we simply entered the main check-in hall of the T2 terminal building. We had to walk over to a CZ check-in area for our flight and get in line for a check-in desk, even though we already had a boarding pass, printed in Amsterdam for our next (domestic) flight. The problem is that check-in actually closes 45 minutes prior to departure! We waited in line at CZ domestic check-in, only to be directed to another special desk when it was our turn. We got there at T-42 minutes and the check-in staff was unsure whether our luggage would still make the flight. After some internal discussion, they decided to check our bags and told us to hurry. Yeah, really! Boarding had already started at that time. We got into another security line (note that we just went through full security in the transfer hall). From there we walked to our gate and got onto a bus to the plane with minutes to spare. The way back through PEK was even worse and also required us to check-in again, this time doing a dom to int transfer. Again, minutes to spare with some running involved.