We arrive Sunday AM at the Tianjin Binhai International Airport
. We are running late, but there is a nice calm and quiet to the airport. It's a nice modest airport without the craziness and crowds of LAX.
We pass through three screens: health quarantine, immigration, then customs. Each process is fast and efficient. The airport is small, and the distance from the first official (health quarantine) to exiting the secure area must be only a few hundred feet.
We exit the secure area, and there is the usual group of drivers with hand-made signs, along with plenty of family and friends faithfully waiting for passengers. We know someone will meet us, but we don't don't know who. Then we see a sign with the company letters. We point to him, he smiles and greets us.
The driver's van is parked in front of the exits of the airport. This is not really a parking lot, more like a waiting and flow-thru zone, where several lines help is organizing the cars. The van is less than 100 feet from the exits. "W" is our guide. I ask him, "is it always this easy at the Tianjin airport?". W responds in very good English, "yes, it's a smaller older airport". In the van, we make small talk about how Tianjin is the secret to arriving for the Olympics. At only an hour away, it's a viable option to the Beijing Airport.
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