Beijing’s other airport

Beijing Nanyuan airport is the smallest airport I’ve seen in China. There’s only two check-in lines and no heating. Despite only one airline and ten flights a day, it somehow still manages to have flights delayed in perpetuity due to “air traffic congestion.”


I had no idea how long it would take to get to the south end of the city so I arrived pretty early. In fact, I had never been to that part of the city at all. The check-in line for my flight wasn’t open for another twenty minutes, yet hundreds of people were milling around waiting.

I made the best decision of the day to go get a hot bowl of instant noodles. I came back to be the first person in line. As soon as I moved into the line, the crowd came pushing behind. A ten minute wait with hot noodles in an otherwise freezing room was much better than being in the middle of the herd. A brilliant decision all around.

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