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-   -   144 TWOV China- AA Issues/Questions (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-airlines-aadvantage/1837368-144-twov-china-aa-issues-questions.html)

deskover54 Apr 17, 17 10:50 pm


Originally Posted by nutwpinut (Post 28193871)
I am interested in how this works out because I do want to do this MR some day. From my understanding, this is legal, but confusing.

OP, please post back when you get your answer from AA.

Also agree, want to see how it works out...however, why not just get a Chinese Visa. It's so simple. And its what like $150 for 10 years? Seems like a tiny investment.

FlyingJay Apr 17, 17 10:51 pm


Originally Posted by JonNYC (Post 28193872)
Yes, for sure-- that was quickly pointed out to me, that many folks have been told by many sources this is allowed and may succeed.

And, it may well be that one can prevail (either later as a poster upthread did, getting a refund) or even have a good % chance (probably a very good % chance) of not having this problem.

The section from TIMATIC states:


I'm not sure where else in the section itself one can find an affirmative statement to help any check-in agent -not- assume that this is a visit to China, not a transit in China-- since that's exactly and precisely what it is. But it' true that many do say affirmatively "go for it!" and even go so far as to state that the rule -is- satisfied by the transit in NRT. Again, I'm no expert.

Where I -am- a bit of an expert in is how AA operates, and, I'd say the odds of AA "straightening out" it's check-in agents on this, to the extent that that's called for or not, is very close to zero.

At one point the supervisor told me I needed an indirect flight TO PVG based on this part of TIMATIC

FlyingJay Apr 17, 17 10:53 pm


Originally Posted by nk15 (Post 28193880)
I think you were technically correct, but it seemed (and was) one of those marginal cases open to debate/interpretation. Because it looked like (and was) that you were in essence wanted to travel to China, and relying on a technicality to get the TWOV. It was very risky and didn't work out. I would try to recoup loses from AA or travel insurance, but who knows if you will get anything back.

Im hoping AA will take care of it. The re-ticketing fee should be at least refunded. I did book with the Chase Reserve Card that has trip insurance. Not sure if this would qualify.

ORD2NRT Apr 17, 17 10:54 pm

People are confusing practice with policy.

In practice, weak enforcement by Chinese officials and airline staff have allowed many itineraries to work just fine for Chinese TWOV. People come and go pretty easily.

In policy, many itineraries that "work" aren't really allowable. It doesn't even require a deep reading of the rules. It's in the name of the policy - TRANSIT without visa. The name in and of itself differentiates between a destination country and a transit country. Many of these itineraries have China as the destination. You do not qualify for a transit without a visa if China is actually your destination.

Again - policy vs practice. In practice, yeah, the trip would likely have been fine if you could talk the agent into listing China as your transit point (even thought it clearly isn't) and the fact that many Chinese officials could care less what your travel plans actually are. But in policy, no - you're doing it wrong.

So really everyone is "right".

no2chem Apr 17, 17 10:55 pm


Originally Posted by JonNYC (Post 28193819)
No one should.



But the rule is you must be in transit to a 3rd Country, you were not.

Well, that certainly depends on what your definition of transit is. It's pretty clear that people have different definitions of "layover" and "stopover" too. China's definition clearly says as long as you don't return to the same country you originated from, that counts as transit.

Anyway I have a 10 year business visa now, but I've done TWOV at PVG many times without issue. I think this is either a product of the make up your own rules culture at AA, or perhaps people having issues at PEK. Unless people are actually getting turned back, not sure what's in it for AA to stop people.

I had a problem once, but the key is to convince the agent to not put in China as the final destination in TIMATIC. Which I guess, would be pretty hard to convince, with a 30m layover.

JonNYC Apr 17, 17 10:56 pm


Originally Posted by IggySD (Post 28193866)
Jon - I know you have good inside sources at AA but I would encourage you to get a second (or even third and fourth opinion) here as in my situation I received conflicting information from AA. I did a good bit of research while standing in line / trying to convince the agent and everything I found on line indicated that the term "transit" in this case merely refers to traveling to a third country. No requirements regarding the length of time in the third country. This was from from the regular blogs, as well as a law blog (I have no idea if he's really a lawyer but he specifically answers this question: http://lawandborder.com/china-72-hou...t-visa-waiver/ Additionally the Chinese embassy has a FAQ which does not specify any requirements for the length of the stay in the third country.

Additionally, since a refund was offered with no question and the response I received from CS was as close to an apology and acceptance of error from a corporation as I'm ever likely to see I have to assume that there are a significant number of people within AA who see it my way rather than yours (additionally, if you read the TWOV thread it is agrees with the interpretation I presented).

I totally hear ya. Although "length of the stay in the third country" I'd still say is misleading a bit-- and more importantly very likely to trip up check-in agents-- as there is NO "length of the stay in the third country" on a transit in said country.

I definitely defer to those who say they've succeeded and even those who say the rule can be/should be/is often-- or even -is- that technically that transit in NRT solves all. But I'm steadfast in my opinion that winning that argument with a check-in agent will get no easier, until/unless the language in TIMATIC changes.

sukn Apr 17, 17 10:58 pm


Originally Posted by ORD2NRT (Post 28193891)
So really everyone is "right".

OP claims he had an email from the Chinese embassy. How much more right can one get than that?

FlyingJay Apr 17, 17 10:59 pm


Originally Posted by deskover54 (Post 28193884)
Also agree, want to see how it works out...however, why not just get a Chinese Visa. It's so simple. And its what like $150 for 10 years? Seems like a tiny investment.

Times 4 people... Obviously I would have rather done that had I known this was going to be an issue. I mean its LAX. They run LAX-PVG every single day. It took them over two hours to finally tell me they would not honor the itinerary. They were completely confused. HAd they told me staright upfront I could have still made the flight that day and not lost an extra day of our trip.

FlyingJay Apr 17, 17 10:59 pm


Originally Posted by sukn (Post 28193901)
OP claims he had an email from the Chinese embassy. How much more right can one get than that?

I tried to post it but needs moderator approval.

ORD2NRT Apr 17, 17 11:01 pm


Originally Posted by sukn (Post 28193901)
OP claims he had an email from the Chinese embassy. How much more right can one get than that?

An email from someone working at an embassy is not sufficient documentation of anything. Someone from a US Embassy can issue you a visa and CIS can still turn you away at the border. It's just an email.

FlyingJay Apr 17, 17 11:02 pm


Originally Posted by ORD2NRT (Post 28193907)
An email from someone working at an embassy is not sufficient documentation of anything. Someone from a US Embassy can issue you a visa and CIS can still turn you away at the border. It's just an email.

The email was from below:

Visa and Passport Office
Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles
Add: 3rd Floor, 500 shatto place Los Angeles ,CA,90020
Tel: 213-201-1765
Fax: 213-380-0372
Office Hour: 9:00-14:00, Monday to Friday (Holidays excluded)

JonNYC Apr 17, 17 11:03 pm


Originally Posted by ORD2NRT (Post 28193891)
People are confusing practice with policy.

In practice, weak enforcement by Chinese officials and airline staff have allowed many itineraries to work just fine for Chinese TWOV. People come and go pretty easily.

In policy, many itineraries that "work" aren't really allowable. It doesn't even require a deep reading of the rules. It's in the name of the policy - TRANSIT without visa. The name in and of itself differentiates between a destination country and a transit country. Many of these itineraries have China as the destination. You do not qualify for a transit without a visa if China is actually your destination.

Again - policy vs practice. In practice, yeah, the trip would likely have been fine if you could talk the agent into listing China as your transit point (even thought it clearly isn't) and the fact that many Chinese officials could care less what your travel plans actually are. But in policy, no - you're doing it wrong.

So really everyone is "right".

Well put, (and welcome to FT!) but, I would take tiny exception with "So really everyone is "right" -- -not- out of some need to be right personally here, rather, I'd say it only matters if the check-in agent is right-- and certainly it sounds like your take is, they are (to not allow the ticket as-is.)

sukn Apr 17, 17 11:04 pm


Originally Posted by FlyingJay (Post 28193902)
Times 4 people... Obviously I would have rather done that had I known this was going to be an issue. I mean its LAX. They run LAX-PVG every single day. It took them over two hours to finally tell me they would not honor the itinerary. They were completely confused. HAd they told me staright upfront I could have still made the flight that day and not lost an extra day of our trip.

I would have gotten on the phone with AA and booked a PVG-HKG award flight just to get on your flight and then cancel it once you clear customs/immigration at PVG.

ORD2NRT Apr 17, 17 11:05 pm


Originally Posted by FlyingJay (Post 28193912)
The email was from below:

Visa and Passport Office
Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles
Add: 3rd Floor, 500 shatto place Los Angeles ,CA,90020
Tel: 213-201-1765
Fax: 213-380-0372
Office Hour: 9:00-14:00, Monday to Friday (Holidays excluded)

As someone who works with a lot of government actions, I would emphasize that governments are big and full of people who say a lot of things. Having something in writing from a government employee does not supersede the actual law/regulation. I've seen government employees tell people in writing dozens of things are totally fine only to find out it was, in fact, not okay.

Again - it's just an email.

JonNYC Apr 17, 17 11:06 pm


Originally Posted by sukn (Post 28193901)
OP claims he had an email from the Chinese embassy. How much more right can one get than that?


Originally Posted by ORD2NRT (Post 28193907)
An email from someone working at an embassy is not sufficient documentation of anything. Someone from a US Embassy can issue you a visa and CIS can still turn you away at the border. It's just an email.

I, too, am told that such letter is completely irrelevant.Or, if one disagrees with that, 100% irrelevant to an check-in agent who is to be guided by only by TIMATIC


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