As one of the most popular tourist destinations in China, Xi’an is a major transportation hub and departure location for travelers heading on to Tibet. In addition to the regular Tibet train, the flight from Xi’an to Lhasa is also preferred by many tourists, for time-saving and convenient reasons. So, how to get the air ticket from Xi’an to Lhasa? Are there some matters to attention when taking the flight to Tibet from Xi’an? Find the answers in the passage below.
When is the best time to fly from Xi’an to Lhasa?
Flights from Xi’an to Lhasa can be taken throughout the year, and with more than one daily flight to the Tibetan capital, there is usually no problem finding a flight to suit your trip itinerary. Only in the summer months, when it is the peak period for Tibetan tourism, are the flights sold out quickly. This is when you need to make sure that you book your flights well in advance, to ensure you get tickets for the days you want.
In Xi’an, the best time of year to visit is normally from March to May and September to November, the spring and autumn seasons. Warm and dry, with plenty of sunshine, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in the spring and the colorful leaves in the autumn in this temperate climate of central China.
Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Xi’an.
For tourists traveling to Tibet, the best time to take a flight from Xi’an to Lhasa is normally from around April to the end of October. Spring to late autumn is the best time for travel in Tibet, with spring and autumn being the dry times of year, and summer being the peak season for tourism in Tibet.
As for the best time of day to fly, you should try to book morning flights, to allow yourself more time to relax and acclimatize once you arrive in Lhasa.
How to take the flight from Xi’an to Lhasa?
Flights from Xi’an to Lhasa are not hard to book and board. Different from booking the train from Xi’an to Lhasa, you can usually find a decent flight to match your schedule from the many flights that run daily to Lhasa in Tibet.
1. Book the Flight from Xi’an to Lhasa
Booking your flight to Lhasa from Xi’an can be done from any number of places, both in travel agencies here in China or online through comparison websites and through the airlines’ own websites, depending on your preference. With three to five non-stop flights departing from the Xi’an Xianyang International Airport daily to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport in Tibet, as well as two flights that stop in either Xiahe or Xining en route, booking is simple.
The latest flight schedule for flights from Xi’an to Lhasa for 2020 is as follows:
||Sunday to Friday
||Sunday to Friday
2. Obtain the Tibet Travel Permit before You Go
However, before you can board your flight to Lhasa, there is one thing you need first - the Tibet Travel Permit. Obtainable only once you have already booked a tour of Tibet with a registered Tibetan travel agency, the Tibet Travel Permit is the main permit requirement for travel into and around Tibet. Without this permit, you will not be able to board the flight to Lhasa.
In order to ensure that you can board your booked flight, you need to book a tour with a travel agency like us, as independent travel is not permitted in Tibet. Once you have booked your tour with us, we will make the application for the Tibet Travel Permit on your behalf, using scanned color copies of your passport and visa. Processing for the permit normally takes around 10-15 days, and once completed, we will forward the permit to your hotel in Xi’an ready for your flight to Lhasa.
For flights, the airlines will accept a scanned copy or photocopy of the permit as proof of your eligibility to board the flight, so if you are short of time for your trip, we can send the scanned copy to your email address for printing before you board.
3. Board the Flight from Xi’an to Lhasa
The flights to Lhasa from Xi’an depart daily from the Xi’an Xianyang International Airport, which is located in the Weicheng District of Xianyang, around 25 kilometers to the northwest of central Xi’an. You need to be at the airport at least two to three hours before your scheduled departure time, as the check-in counters close 40 minutes before the flights are scheduled to depart.
The flights to Lhasa from Xi’an depart daily from the Xi’an Xianyang International Airport.
Domestic flights to Lhasa depart from either Terminal 2 or Terminal 3, depending on the airline you are flying with. And getting to the airport for your flight can be done in a number of ways.
For those that understand how the shuttle buses in China work, you can get the local airport shuttle from the Downtown area of Xi’an of from Xianyang. There are two lines from Xianyang to the airport and 14 lines from Downtown Xi’an, which all terminate at Terminal 2. From there, you can get a cross-terminal shuttle to the terminal of your choice if you are not departing from Terminal 2. The shuttles generally cost around 30 yuan from Downtown Xi’an and around 10 yuan from Xianyang.
For those taking the Metro to the airport, you can use Airport Line 13, which links Terminal 2 of the Xianyang Airport with Xi’an North Railway Station. The Metro link from Xi’an North takes around 33 minutes to get to the airport, and costs from as little as 16 yuan per person. However, you are limited on the amount of luggage you can carry on the Metro.
The last alternative, unless you want to pay high fares for a taxi to run you all the way to the airport, is to book a private airport transfer through your hotel or travel agency. This is normally cheaper than a taxi, which charges high fares of around 60-70 yuan for airport transfers, but is more costly than the Metro or shuttle. However, it is worth using if there are a few of you with lots of luggage to bring.
The airport has a wide range of services available for departing passengers, so whatever you need, or maybe forgot, you can normally find it in the airport concourse. This includes plenty of restaurants for eating while you wait, a free Wi-Fi service available throughout the airport (only for use with a Chinese mobile number to receive the linking password), currency exchange, ATMs, free mobile phone charging sockets, and plenty of baggage trolleys.
4. Arrive in Lhasa Gonggar Airport
When you arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar International Airport in Lhasa, you will need to pass through customs and immigration again, despite already being inside China. All international travelers to Tibet are required to pass through an immigration checkpoint to check your papers, including passport, visa, and Tibet Travel Permit. This is merely a formality, and normally only takes a minute to check you have the required documents to enter the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Upon arrival in Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, you will be picked up by our guide.
After you have passed the immigration checks, you will be able to collect your luggage from the carousel, and exit the airport to travel to the city. The airport lies around 65 kilometers to the southwest of the city of Lhasa, and you will need to be transferred to your hotel once you arrive. If you have requested it, your guide will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive, or will be in the parking area waiting for several passengers to arrive together.
For those that do not require the guide to meet them with our dedicated shuttle service, there are shuttle buses at the exit of the airport that run regularly to Lhasa. The shuttles depart every 30 minutes, with the last shuttle leaving at 9:30pm. The shuttles terminate at the Lhasa Civil Aviation Bureau on Niangre Road 1, from where you can get a local bus or taxi to your hotel.
Flying from Xi’an to Lhasa is one of the best options for flights to Tibet, due to the excellent location of the city, the high number of daily flights, and the stunning attractions of Xi’an itself. And with shorter flight times, you can get to Lhasa easily with plenty of time to spare for your Xi’an Tibet tour.