The beauty of having Hong Kong as a travel hub is flying with HK Express. Also known as Hong Kong Express Airways Limited, the airline flies to many destinations in Asia including Japan, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand.
As one of the Hong Kong budget airlines, HK Express has amazing promotions throughout the year. I flew with HK Express seven times over the last four years and saved significant money. So I want to share everything I know about the budget airline and how you can save money by flying with HK Express.
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My HK Express review is an opinion of my own, and I did not receive any compensation. I only want to share what I love.
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How is Hong Kong Express Airways
I have flown with many different airlines throughout my travelling life. From long-haul flights with full-service carriers to many different budget airlines worldwide, I’ve been on too many flights that I lost count.
And it is hard to compare the low-cost airlines with the major airlines because you get what you paid for.
However, I will share five reasons why I like Hong Kong Express.
1. HK Express flights are affordable
HK Express prices are competitive, and the promotion prices are even more attractive.
I have found that rates are much lower than other larger airlines. It is possible to find flights for $15USD for a one-way trip from Hong Kong to Hualien, Taiwan! However, the price does not include check-in baggage, seat selection, in-flight meals or any other add-ons.
2. Ability to book a one-way and open-jaw ticket
You can book a round-trip, one-way, or open-jaw ticket with HK Express.
The beauty is the flexibility of flying into one city and home from another. It all depends on the route or itinerary at your destination. The flexibility to have an open-jaw ticket is a definite selling point!
And the price of a one-way HK Express ticket is not inflated like other commercial airlines. For some major airlines, booking a one-way ticket costs more than booking a round-trip ticket. I have no clue the reason behind it, but I only care about how I can book the cheapest one-way ticket. And HK Express is the answer!
3. HK Express travel routes
HK Express flies to many destinations in Asia. The list of cities may change from time to time, depending on the demand but the budget airline flies to many popular cities in Asia. I particularly like to travel to Japan, and HK Express flies to many different cities in Japan.
The list of destinations will change over time, so check the travel routes before planning your trip.
4. Comfortable in-flight experience
I am not an expert, but HK Express planes are pretty good. The seat size, legroom, and everything else seems “normal.” Nothing really to rave about but also nothing to complain about either. After all, the plane ticket price is low, so you get what you paid for.
However, I will say that I find the entire plane experience to be quite good. For example, the air condition level is sufficient, the air quality is good, etc.
A comfortable environment is especially important to me because I fear being in an enclosed space and not having enough airflow. I felt relaxed and comfortable in my past experiences with HK Express.
5. Incredible promotions
I have seen many low-cost airline promotions where the promotional deal is fantastic, but you only have one hour to book for a travel period one year away. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit, but my point is that some low-cost carrier promotions are hard to take advantage of.
With HK Express promotions, the booking period is quite generous. And the travel period is long, i.e. sometimes the travel period can be up to six months!
I really took advantage of online promotions. For example, I booked a return trip to Japan in January for a travel period from September to October. I only paid $150USD!
Most of all, I saved a ton of money flying with HK Express in the last few years. I calculated – I paid $510USD for seven flights. If I purchased my tickets with other competitors, I would spend at least $1,585 for all the same flights. I saved $1,075USD! That is a 67% savings!
Where does HK Express fly to
I have flown with HK express several times in the past few years. They operate within Asia and fly to most major cities.
Currently, HK Express has routes to the following countries:
- Cambodia – Siem Reap
- China – Ningbo
- Japan – Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Takamatsu, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Okinawa, Miyako, Ishigaki
- Korea – Seoul, Busan, Jeju
- Singapore – Singapore
- Taiwan – Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung
- Thailand – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket
- U.S. Territories – Saipan
- Vietnam – Da Nang, Nha Trang
Is Hong Kong Express safe
To be honest, I didn’t look up any safety records or reviews for HK Express. I may have done that briefly in the past but didn’t research too much about it.
And over the last little while, there were a few incidents regarding low-cost carriers: not minor incidences, but horrific accidents.
But the same incidents can happen to any airline carrier.
So it makes me think I would be safest to stay on the ground! But it would mean that I would never travel again. What is the point of that?
However, air travel is considered one of the safest forms of transportation.
I have flown with HK Express several times in the past few years and haven’t had any issues.
HK Express is accredited by the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and is a member of the Flight Safety Foundation. But it probably doesn’t mean much to me and the general public.
But I will talk about a bit about my own experience. I feel the airline crew takes safety very seriously especially when it comes to putting on seatbelts, being seated while the seatbelt sign is on, etc. I can see that the flight attendants comply with all the necessary procedures before closing the door and taking off. They follow instructions and procedures to make sure all the passengers are safe and well.
I don’t know what goes behind the scene, but from what I experienced, I feel HK Express does take all the necessary precautions to create a safe environment for all the passengers.
Loyalty Program: Asia Miles
You can earn Asia Miles when you fly with HK Express.
The previous loyalty program, Reward-U, is no longer.
The downside of HK Express
However, there are two negatives associating with HK Express. Let’s dissect this, shall we?
1. Check-in baggage fees
If you travel with more than a 7kg carry-on bag, you will have to pay more for check-in baggage.
When you purchase your HK Express ticket online, you can buy check-in baggage at the time of booking. The price starts from $290HKD for 20kg check-in baggage.
If you didn’t purchase check-in baggage as an option during your initial booking, you can either add it to your ticket afterwards online for a higher rate or pay even more at the check-in counter on the day you travel.
Excessive baggage weight (over 30kg) and sports equipment are additional costs. So check the full listing for all the baggage fees before you book your ticket.
The beauty of a low-cost carrier is the affordability of the actual plane ticket because it is typically cheaper than other airlines. However, you will have to pay for each piece of luggage you check in.
2. Purchasing in-flight food
Your HK Express ticket does not include in-flight food. However, you can pre-order food while you are booking your ticket. Or you can purchase food when you are on the plane. It is 20% cheaper to pre-order your meal.
But the good news is the quality of the in-flight food is quite good and it is not too expensive. The HK Express menu has hot and cold Asian meals, beverages (regular and alcoholic) and snacks.
I’m not sure if it’s a disadvantage for HK Express for not serving food especially if the flight is short, then you don’t care if there’s food. It would be nice to have food for longer flights as all the other major airline competitors offer food (but their prices are also higher).
And you cannot bring your own food and beverage onboard. However, I don’t think the flight attendants will be mad if you bring your own candy or chocolate bar. Just don’t bring a whole take-out container of food!
Related Post – Try the best local food in Hong Kong
HK Express promotions I found in the past
I have flown seven times with Hong Kong Express over the past few years and found their prices very affordable. I’ve listed all of my previous trips below and the promotions I found online.
From Hong Kong to Korea
- I found a flight from HK to Seoul Korea for $100USD, and the return flight for $75USD. And I purchased the ticket a month before my departure date. A larger competitor airline was charging $330USD and you have to book your ticket as a round trip ticket, not one-way.
From Hong Kong to Japan
- For my one-month Japan trip, I paid $95USD flying into Osaka Japan and flew back to HK from Tokyo Japan for $75USD. A larger competitor airline was charging $440USD for a return flight between HK and Tokyo. Moreover, the airline charges more if you book your ticket as a one-way ticket. A sample price for a one-way ticket for HK to Tokyo was $900USD. It costs less to book a return ticket! Bizarre!
- Another time I booked a flight from HK to Tokyo Japan for $100USD and a flight from Kagoshima Japan to HK for $50USD. A competitor was charging about $680USD for a round trip ticket between HK and Kagoshima and you have to transit in Tokyo. But a one-way ticket from HK to Kagoshima costs more than $1,000USD! It is insane that a one-way ticket costs more than a return ticket!
From Hong Kong to Taiwan
- A couple of years ago, I flew to Hualien Taiwan, from HK for $15USD! Yes, I typed $15USD!! I paid $15USD for a 1.5-hour flight from HK to the east coast of Taiwan! And I didn’t have to book it months in advance. A larger competitor airline was charging $270USD or more for a round-trip ticket, and you had to connect via Taipei or Kaohsiung. (Note: the route from Hong Kong to Hualien Taiwan is no longer available on HK Express).
From Hong Kong to Thailand
- I was browsing on HK Express website and saw a promotion for flights from HK to Chiang Rai Thailand. A return ticket from HK to Chiang Rai with HK Express costs about $100USD. I found this deal at the end of October 2018, and the trip was from the beginning of November to December of the same year. Again, the competitor airline was charging $350USD, and you must connect via Bangkok, Thailand.
How to save money with Hong Kong Express
1. Sign up for the HK Express newsletter and book with the promotion code
First, sign up for the HK Express newsletter, and they will notify you of their current promotions.
And there are many promotions throughout the year. They promote specific routes or have promotions like getting your return ticket for $1HKD.
I read the newsletter religiously because the promotions are not advertised greatly on the website. Each deal has a specific discount code so make sure to enter the code when you search for flights.
2. Browse the HK Express website
Whenever you are planning a trip, and you are flying from Hong Kong, check the HK Express website and see if there are any current promotions.
The website doesn’t have a section for last-minute tickets, but the homepage will display the current special offers. Check the website and see the actual cost of the flight. You’d be surprised how cheap the tickets cost!
Is HK Express for you?
Air travel can be quite expensive, but if you can take advantage of promotions and fly with low-cost carriers, you can save a ton of money.
Flying with HK Express is perfect for you if you are:
- Based in Hong Kong or travelling from Hong Kong to other Asian cities
- Flexible when you travel
- Flexible to where you go
- Travel with a 7kg or less carry-on bag and one personal item (handbag, laptop bag or camera bag)
- Want the flexibility to book one-way tickets or open-jaw tickets
Related Post – How to pack less for your next trip
My HK Express review: yay or nay?
Definitely a yay!
It has been such a saving grace for me in the past seven years of living in Hong Kong. HK Express flies to the majority of places I want to explore at ridiculously low prices. Flying with anyone else is hard. Their prices are hard to compete with!
I’m not an affiliate of HK Express, but I genuinely like the airline, the affordability, and the range of destinations the airline flies to.
I hope you find my HK Express review useful. Let me know in the comments if you like HK Express and have memorable experiences flying with this budget airline.
Thank you for reading my HK Express review post
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