AS - CX transfer in Vancouver

Old Jun 7, 17, 9:38 pm
  #1  
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AS - CX transfer in Vancouver

Hi -- first post after many years of lurking and learning.

I am flying AS 963 to YVR (arrives 00:10) and connecting to CX 889 to HKG (departs 02:00), all on one ticket. Do I have to claim luggage in Vancouver and transfer it to CX? Also how do I get my Cathay boarding pass?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Moebius View Post
Hi -- first post after many years of lurking and learning.

I am flying AS 963 to YVR (arrives 00:10) and connecting to CX 889 to HKG (departs 02:00), all on one ticket. Do I have to claim luggage in Vancouver and transfer it to CX? Also how do I get my Cathay boarding pass?

Thanks!
I've been in a similar situation with two separate reservations--PDX-YVR on AS and YVR-NRT on JL. When you get to YVR, you'll pass through immigration and get your passport stamped, but you won't go through customs, so you won't see your luggage until you get to your final destination. You'll have to get your boarding pass from a CX gate agent, so it might be a good idea to bring a printout of your CX e-ticket just so you have something to show the immigration officer if he or she asks for proof of onward travel.

If you're returning along the same route, you still won't have to claim your bags, even though you'll be going through US preclearance. You'll be shown a photo of your luggage on a conveyor belt and asked if it's yours.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 12:34 am
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12 1/2 years! Welcome to the posting side of FT!
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Old Jun 8, 17, 12:56 am
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As you are on one ticket, AS should be able to print your BP for you and will definitely check your bag through onto CX. YVR normally has an airside transit on the upper level of international arrivals that means you don't have to go out through customs, just have a passport check. If you have your CX BP, either through a phone app or printed by Alaska, you should be able to use this. The only problem might be if CBSA doesn't staff that transfer area at the time.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 6:30 am
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I never check luggage on that route (SEA-YVR-HKG), but every time I've checked in at the Alaska counter they ask me if I have any they want me to check all the way through. And coming back, it's the same way. CX will check your luggage all the way to the US if you want them too.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by quemalo View Post
I never check luggage on that route (SEA-YVR-HKG), but every time I've checked in at the Alaska counter they ask me if I have any they want me to check all the way through. And coming back, it's the same way. CX will check your luggage all the way to the US if you want them too.
Thanks. I fly the YVR-HKG route a few times a year but until this trip I have always driven to and departed from YVR, so the transit there is new to me.

Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
12 1/2 years! Welcome to the posting side of FT!
I know. At the time I joined I flew NW and lived in Iowa. But I've been able to answer every question I've had since then with a search, and every time I've thought to reply to someone else, the thread already seemed saturated.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Moebius View Post
I know. At the time I joined I flew NW and lived in Iowa. But I've been able to answer every question I've had since then with a search, and every time I've thought to reply to someone else, the thread already seemed saturated.
Search first?!? What kind of craziness is that?!?
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Old Jun 8, 17, 3:14 pm
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I flew this exact route (SEA-YVR on AS893 and YVR-HKG on CX889) a few months back.
AS in SEA was able to print the boarding pass for CX.
AS in SEA was able to check the bags all the way to HKG. However, AS in SEA said because of the arrival time in YVR, the transit area would be closed. I would have to pick up my baggage in YVR, go through immigration and customs to enter Canada, go upstairs to drop off the bags at CX's check-in counter, and then go through immigration and customs again to exit Canada.

I got to YVR, waited for my baggages that never showed up, asked the AS ground crew there and was told no need to pick up baggages. Just go through immigration and customs to enter Canada (nothing to declare of course), go upstairs, and go through immigration and customs to exit Canada. After going through the exit immigration at YVR, there were Canadian customs officers asking all international passengers how much cash they had to make sure they were not over CAD10K. When the Canadian customs also asked me how long I was in Canada, I literally told them 15 minutes. Their eyes widened until I told them I was there in transit, and they let me go.

Coming back on HKG-YVR-SEA is a bit different. CX could not print AS's boarding pass. The TSA at the YVR pre-clearance area would not allow anyone to go through without a boarding pass. So at YVR's transit area (right before TSA and passport desk), I had to use a phone on the wall to call an AS agent to come over, and she would print a boarding pass right there. I have done this several times, and each time I have to wait between 10-20 minutes for the AS agent to show up. The AS agent said she would have to go through security to get there, and that took some time.

Make sure you print a copy of the Canadian ETA. It is supposed to be electronically tied to my passport, but for some mysterious reasons, the system was never able to find it. AS in SEA can't find it, and they were happy as soon as I show them my paper copy. CX in HKG has to call Canada every single time to verify and get an exception code when I check-in. CX in HKG said they had to call Canada 20-30 times every day to get that exception code. Even the Canadian immigration officer at the transit area did not see it when I was doing a transfer for SEA-YVR-HKG on another day flight. I had to show him my paper copy before he would let me go while he was scratching his head. He said the system has had problems. Not sure if it has been fixed and gotten better now. I have avoided transiting in YVR now for the ETA problem and have been using SFO and LAX instead.

Last edited by buschoi; Jun 8, 17 at 3:19 pm
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Old Jun 9, 17, 12:15 am
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Do you not check in online and print your own boarding passes? I have never had a single issue transiting YVR, but I always make sure I have passport+boarding passes pre-printed (and on my phone).

As for luggage, avoid checking it when you can and carry on. Again I've never had it not transit properly, but I hate worrying about whether it'll actually make it or not.
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Old Jun 9, 17, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by quemalo View Post
Do you not check in online and print your own boarding passes? I have never had a single issue transiting YVR, but I always make sure I have passport+boarding passes pre-printed (and on my phone).

As for luggage, avoid checking it when you can and carry on. Again I've never had it not transit properly, but I hate worrying about whether it'll actually make it or not.
I usually do check in on-line but have had limited success doing so on the multiple-carrier itineraries that require a visa check (I left out the detail that am connecting to China from HKG) ... As for avoiding a checked bag, I also try to do the same, but have a few too many things to bring along with me this time.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by quemalo View Post
Do you not check in online and print your own boarding passes? I have never had a single issue transiting YVR, but I always make sure I have passport+boarding passes pre-printed (and on my phone).

As for luggage, avoid checking it when you can and carry on. Again I've never had it not transit properly, but I hate worrying about whether it'll actually make it or not.
I have never been able to check-in online and print boarding passes with AS/CX, whether I was in SEA, HKG, TPE, NRT, etc. The online check-in always says my passport has to be checked at the airport. Not uncommon since this is an international itinerary.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 2:00 pm
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I've ignored reading all the replies to posts here, because I've got the straight goods

As for the boarding pass, I assume you should get it in SEA...

However, for the baggage, I'm pleased to tell you that you will NOT have to claim your luggage. As a ramp agent who routinely handles this exact flight at YVR...we transfer those bags via the belt system. So no need to collect your stuff.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
I've ignored reading all the replies to posts here, because I've got the straight goods

As for the boarding pass, I assume you should get it in SEA...

However, for the baggage, I'm pleased to tell you that you will NOT have to claim your luggage. As a ramp agent who routinely handles this exact flight at YVR...we transfer those bags via the belt system. So no need to collect your stuff.
I have completed my trip and you (and the others) are correct. My bag was transferred at YVR without me ever seeing it. I did have to get my Cathay boarding passes in Vancouver, though; for some reason, the AS agent was not able to print them in Seattle.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 11:55 pm
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The BP part is odd...but I'm glad you got your bag ok, if it was within the last week there's a good chance I did the flight.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 12:07 am
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
The BP part is odd...
I had the same issue flying PDX-SEA-DXB a while back. AS issued me the first BP in PDX, but I had to go to EK for the other once I got to SEA.
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