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How to Board & Disembark Flight to Tibet

26 October 2023 Last updated at 11:04

Taking a flight is the most convenient transportation to Tibet and it also offers most comfortable journey. However, there might be difference between boarding procedures in different countries. Checking the following process, you can board and disembark more smoothly.

Prepare Must Document

1. Passport and Chinese Visa

Valid Passport and Chinese Visa are necessary for all foreign tourists to travel domestically in China, and also the prerequisite to get different special permits to visit Tibet.

2. Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit is the foremost permit for foreign passport holders to enter Tibet. It is only issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau and can only be applied by travel agency. As the permit is obtained, travel agency will send you the permit to your hotel in your gateway cities. If you travel from China's other regions to Tibet by flight, original Travel Permit will be checked before you board to the plane to Tibet. If you take a flight from Kathmandu, the scanned copy of Tibet Travel Permit is available.

3. Tibet Group Visa

Tibet Group Visa is a special Chinese Visa required only if you take a flight from Nepal to Tibet. Your travel agency will apply it for you from Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. You need to offer your original passport and a completed Visa Application Form with your signature and bareheaded photo attached. While you are checking in the airports, your Tibet Group Visa will be checked as well. With a Tibet Group Visa, you are able to extend you Tibet tour to any other cities in China.

4. Border Pass

Tourists whoever travel the border area between Tibet and other countries have to get Tibet Border Pass. If you take a flight to Ngari and Qamdo, the origninal Border Pass is a must Document. If you take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, it is needed as well, but the scanned copy is ok.

5. Military Pass

Taking a flight to Ngari and Qamdo, Military Permit is another must document issued by the Military Office in Lhasa. It is also need if you visit to some areas in Nyingchi and Shannan. Just as other permits, it is can only be applied by travel agency and the original Military Pass will be checked before you board.

Tibet Train Travel Permit
The first page of TTB Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)
Military Permit
Military Permit

Get to the Correct Airport and Correct Terminal ahead of Time

Since some cities own more than one airports (like Beijing and Shanghai), you have to find the correct one. The flights to Tibet take off from Beijing International Capital Airport in Beijing. Shanghai Putdong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport both operate the flights to Lhasa. Moreover, there is usually more than one terminal in the airports. Taking Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport as an example, there are two terminals in the airport. Flights operated by Sichuan Airlines take off from the Terminal One and other flights to Tibet depart from Terminal Two. You need to check your e-ticket carefully and reach the correct airport and terminal. You are suggested to get to the airport at least 2 hours in advance to reserve enough time for checking in luggage, passing through security check and boarding.

Beijing Capital Airport
Beijing Capital Airport

Get Your Boarding Pass

You will receive an e-ticket after you book the flight successfully. Check your e-ticket and learn the airline operating your flights. In the airport, there will be a board indicating the counter for different airlines. Take your e-ticket and passport to the corresponding counter, and then the clerk will give you the boarding pass which shows your name, flight number, departure place, arrival destination, boarding gate, boarding time and seat number. It is also ok to ask the clerk for your preferred seat (by the window or not) if there is an available one.

Check in Your Luggage

You need to check in your luggage according to the rules of Civil Aviation Administration. Electronic products containing lithium battery can only be carried on and its content of the battery cannot exceed 160Wh. With content between 100Wh and 160Wh, you can carry it on only with the permission of the airlines. The lighters, gung, controlled knives and hazardous articles are forbidden to carry in hand luggage or checked-in luggage. Other knives, liquid and exceeding baggage can only be consigned in the checked luggage. If the weight beyond the allowed weight of checked-in baggage, you have to pay for the exceeding part. The clerk will glue a note to your boarding pass and you can claim your luggage by this note. Do not leave directly after you get your luggage note. Wait for the broadcast to make sure whether your luggage is checked in smoothly or not.

>> Learn more detailed information about Luggage Service

Beijing Capital Airport
Chongqing to Lhasa Boarding Pass
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Airport
Luggage Check-in in Guangzhou Baiyun Airport

The regulation on the luggage allowance on the plane:

Luggage typeFirst ClassBusiness ClassEconomy ClassAllowed Baggage Size
Allowed Carry-on Baggage 5kg * 2 pieces 5kg 5kg 55cm/20cm/40cm(L/B/H)
Allowed Checked-in Baggage 40kg 30kg 20kg 100cm/60cm/40cm(L/B/H)

Go through Security Check

All passengers along with their hand luggage must pass the security check. After you consigned your checked-in luggage, you could turn to the security check for checking in. The screening line will be long, especially in peak seasons. Take your passport and boarding pass in hand, and the clerk will check it and take picture of you before security check. During the security check, you need to take your coat and put it in the basket, as well as any electronical products, umbrella, keys and other articles demanded. Then place the basket and your bags on the conveyor belt. In some airports, you need to take off your shoes and belt.

Shanghai Pudong Airport
Queue for Security Check (Shanghai Pudong Airport)

Wait for Boarding

As you pass the security check, you get to the waiting room. Take a seat in the waiting room and waiting for the boarding. There are some small shops and canteens you can have some food. Read the boarding pass and find your boarding gate. Remember to pay attention to the broadcast for you flight. Some airports may read out boarding calls over the audio speaker in Chinese only, so you need to keep your eyes on the electronical board to make sure that you don’t miss any information.

Board the Flight

Usually 30 minutes before the departure time, the gate will open to passengers. The attendant will wait at the boarding gate to check your boarding pass. After you board the fight, find the seat according to your boarding pass and place your carry-on luggage on the luggage closet above the seat. If you get any problem of placing your luggage, don’t hesitate to ask the attendants for help.

Note: 1) any electronic equipment is forbidden to use during the flight time; 2) don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the window.

Flight Scenery
Snow-capped Peaks in Succession

Disembark the Flight and Claim your Luggage

Because of the high altitude and strong air flow in Tibet, you may encounter jolt before landing. Take it easy and it is a normal phenomenon. Do not turn on your electronic equipment until the plane stop moving. As you hear the broadcast of disembarking, you can unfasten your safety belt and get ready for disembarking. Remember to take your carry-on luggage. According the indicator, you can find the baggage claim area easily. Sometimes, you need to waiting for you checked-in luggage for several minutes. Keep your boarding pass with you and the attendant will check the receipt on your boarding pass.

Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Arrive at Lhasa Gonggari Airport

Travel with Tibet Discovery

Traveling with Tibet Discovery, we will deal with everything well. Send your passport 20 days in advance, we will apply all the permits for you as well as book the ticket. Our local guide and skilled driver will escort you to the departure airport and pick you up at the arrival Airport. You needn’t worry about anything. During you Tibet journey, you can just focus on sightseeing.

>> Contact us for more detailed information.

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