Beijing Terminal 2 Duty Free Shopping ….
Now outshone by the much grander Terminal 3, this building still has a lot to recommend it when it comes to its retail facilities***
Since 2008, the focus at Beijing Capital Airport has been on the flashy, space-age Terminal 3. T2, completed at the end of the 1990s, can’t compare but, with almost 20 gates directly connected to the building, it still processes a lot of passengers on its three floors and therefore remains an important piece of Beijing Capital’s infrastructure – and still does not look too dated.
Departures is divided into domestic (Gates 1 to 10) and international (11 and above) with key Chinese airlines such as China Eastern, China Southern and Xiamen Airlines plus Skyteam members based there and operating extensive national networks, as well as international destinations. Hainan Airline’s international route network and Korean Air are also in T2 which means the terminal caters to a lot of high-spending Chinese and Korean passengers who are flying on intercontinental flights. Star Alliance and Oneworld partners are in T3.
Food options are limited at T2 although there are the ubiquitous big chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Starbucks present as well as various restaurants offering Asian cuisines the most intriguing of which is called Celestial Cuisine and where the Chinese menu is extensive.
In international departures there are three large stores branded Sunrise Duty Free which house a vast array of local and regional liquor brands such as Moutai, Jiugui from Zhenwu, Shaoxing wines and the famous five-grain Wuliangye. If you want a more international, chiefly European, selection there are also expensive cognacs from the likes of Camus, Hennessy, Martell and Rémy Martin, and whiskies from Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker and Royal Salute among others.
Centrally located in the departures hall is the perfumes and cosmetics area, also run by Sunrise, where the big brands, popular with the Chinese, have pride of place with their own consultants: Chanel, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder and Lancôme. And numerous other brands such as Biotherm, Givenchy, Guerlain and YSL are readily available and nicely presented. Names that you may not regularly see in beauty include: Amala, Anna Sui, Cacharel, Escada, Jurlique, Kaloo and Vera Wang. Sunrise runs another similar store in the east wing of the departure hall.
Tobacco is a core purchase for many Asian travellers and China’s Chunghwa and Korea’s Esse are present with global brands like Davidoff, Dunhill and Marlboro in several locations in T2, usually alongside liquor. And Cuban extravagance is also very well catered for in the form of Bolivar, Cohiba, Montecristo and the Partagás brands if a fine cigar is what you’re after.
A department store-style shop is a useful stop if you want to browse from a wide assortment of products from accessories like watches and jewellery to sunglasses and travel items. Such a unit is located near Gate 12 with brands that reflect mixed pricing (Benetton, Dior, Elle, Folli Follie, Gucci, Lacoste, Misaki, Ralph Lauren, Samsonite, Swatch) so it’s a good place to compare and contrast.
T2’s passenger profile also means that there are a large number of branded boutiques so if you know what you want in the pursuit of luxury you can choose from the jeweller Frey Willie, watchmaker Omega, and high-end fashion from Alfred Dunhill, Celine, Etienne Aigner, Hermès, Salvatore Ferragamo and, for a more eastern-oriented mix, there is Shanghai Tang.
Tibetan artifacts also have a dedicated store here, easily visible thanks to its garish colour. Here you can find Thangka period items, Buddha sculptures, folklore oil paintings and traditional jewellery necklaces and bracelets that define Tibetan culture.