Airport charges to deliver confiscated items home

A Beijing Capital International Airport employee checks a passenger’s belongings Monday. Passengers can send items banned from flights via express delivery. Photo: Wang Zi/GT

A new airport delivery service aimed at passengers who do not want to lose items banned from flights has attracted criticism for its high prices, with rates comparing unfavorably with competing companies.

The service started a trial run at Terminal 2 at Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) on July 12, allowing passengers to send items including liquid cosmetics, lighters and pocketknives to 79 cities nationwide.

The service costs 20 yuan ($3.10) within Beijing and 100 yuan to other cities, if the package is less than 3 kilograms, and passengers can pay cash on delivery.

Airport security staff will tell passengers about the service if they confiscate items.

“The service sounds good but it’s too expensive compared with regular delivery companies,” said a passenger surnamed Deng, who works in international consulting and often flies for business.

“These forbidden items usually weigh little,” she said, “I don’t get why they’re charging for a minimum weight of 3 kilograms.” Deng said that she has often had to abandon her belongings at the airport security check, including a Swiss Army knife worth more than 1,000 yuan and pricey cosmetics.

“The pricing was not our decision to make,” a publicity employee at BCIA who insisted on anonymity said Monday.

Prices are set by their partners, China Air Express according to the market, he said, but the airport can give some advice on price adjustment if there are complaints.

Passengers can choose to leave banned articles at the airport for 30 days, said a women employee with the airport temporary storage section. “But few people bother to get their belongings back,” she said.

A service hotline operator with Shanghai-based Yuantong Express told the Global Times that to deliver a parcel within Beijing of less than 1 kilogram they charge 7 yuan, with 3 yuan added per extra kilogram.

The price varies for deliveries to other cities, for example, a delivery from Beijing to Shanghai costs 12 yuan for the first kilogram and 8 yuan per extra kilogram, she said.

Wang Zi contributed to this story

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