From today, passengers traveling through Beijing Capital International Airport will spend no more than 3 minutes going through customs and less than 10 minutes waiting for a security check.
Those are just two of the promises made jointly by airport companies, airlines and government departments at a meeting in Beijing yesterday.
Dong Zhiyi, general manager of the airport, told a press conference he wanted to provide passengers with a level of service as good as any in Europe, as part of its preparations for next year's Olympics.
The airport currently lags behind Sydney and Athens, the hosts of the two previous Olympics, in terms of its customer satisfaction rate, he said.
In a survey on customer satisfaction conducted last year by the Airport Council International last year, Capital was given a score of 3.51 on a scale of one to five.
"We want to achieve 3.7 by the end of this year, which is higher than Sydney (3.69 in 2006), and reach 4.0 before the Games begin, which would be higher than Athens (3.82 in 2006)," he said.
The airport has introduced a series of measures to reduce waiting times and improve the overall level of service.
One new service is sending delayed luggage on to passengers in Beijing free of charge within 24 hours.
Others include setting time limits on procedures to ensure passengers never have to wait too long, he said.
Passengers on international flights will spend no more than 45 seconds in frontier inspection, and a maximum of 3 minutes at quarantine and customs, he said.
Exceptions will be made only in cases where officials believe an individual merits closer inspection, he said.
Ninety-five percent of all international travelers will wait no more than 25 minutes before entering the processes of check-in and border checks.
As for flight delays and expensive catering and shopping facilities, which have been the two most common complaints in recent years, he said airlines will provide free food to passengers whose flights are delayed for more than 2 hours due to airlines' reasons, and free accommodation if flights are delayed for 4 hours due to airlines' reasons.
Meanwhile, products on sale at the airport will be priced the same as in Beijing's downtown area, he said.
For example, Beijing roast duck used to sell for 98 yuan ($13) at the airport. Now it will be priced at 72 yuan, the same as downtown.