144 TWOV China- AA Issues/Questions

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AA Ground Staff May Deny Boarding for China Transit Without Visa Issues

This thread is ONLY for discussion of American Airlines' ground staff dealing with Chinese TWOV issues.
For further information, see:

FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > China Forum

China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

and / or

China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV") rules master thread

The issue: though Chinese immigration authorities seem disposed to allow transit without visa for passengers going on to flights with connections in non-China, non-origin destinations, e.g. LAX-PVG <permitted TWOV> PVG-NRT-LAX, AA ground staff have denied boarding to passengers for the XXX-China leg.

Even if such a passenger were to secure alternate arrangements or reimbursement, there is still sure to be considerable inconvenience. Until AA informs ground staff such travel complies with China TWOV rules, purchasing such an itinerary currently entails some degree of risk, as evidenced in the following thread.

AA generally uses IATA Timatic to verify boarding eligibility. Link to Timatic Web provided courtesy of United Airlines; this form provides information on entry requirements, not departure policies as might be administered by any airline.



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Old Apr 27, 17, 7:48 pm
  #586  
 
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Originally Posted by sbjnyc View Post
I've been following this thread as I'm planning to enter China using the TWOV rules in a couple of weeks. Fortunately my itinerary is more straightforward than the OPs.

The common english language definition of the word transit is simply "the act or fact of passing across or through; passage from one place to another." There is nothing in the definition that refers to a particular length of time. While the airlines may have conditioned us otherwise, why would China's immigration policy refer to airline jargon rather than the basic definition of the word?
Exactly, and what bugs me the most is that people are trying to apply a rigorous, "legal" english definition to a translated Chinese policy, and then claiming things like they know the "spirit" or the "intent" of Chinese legislation... seriously???

And this is flyertalk, for crying out loud, full of "worldly" travelers who should know better. The Chinese have set out (in the text of the law) what the exact conditions are, and a forum full of English speakers are, judging from a Chinese document --- "no,no,no based on the title of the law, they didn't mean that- they meant this!" ---- seriously, people..., sigh *facepalm* the world we live in.
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Old Apr 27, 17, 8:04 pm
  #587  
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
Are there even phones capable of doing international calls at the check-in stations? (even simple US domestic call)
And I wonder if calling any gov. agency in China is like calling the IRS. Does ever a real person answer the phone and someone fluent in English? And what about time difference?

Also, I did not know the check-in agents have readily available "indemnity" forms under the counter or even have the ability the create one.
All of these facilities exist, if not at the checkin station, then a supervisor's station or other office facility. Passengers present themselves with damaged or expired passports, or other problems that the airline may wish to resolve before they allow boarding. Calling inbound immigration is not a fantasy. It happens, despite all the potential problems such as time differences.
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Old Apr 27, 17, 10:14 pm
  #588  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
As for noobs applying the common understanding of terms ... it may be that some of those noobs have lived in several countries, flown millions of miles, and might even have some knowledge of China and Chinese government methods of communication.
Yeah but have those noobs every used TWOV, with a 3rd region flight?

I didnt think so.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 12:40 am
  #589  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Well US carriers do use Timatic which is based on information provided by the Chinese representatives to the IATA. Timatic is not used only by American carriers but by a number of carriers around the world. Absence some clarification from the Chinese representative to Timatic, AA agents, like many other airlines, will continue to have the same issues with the terms in Timatic.
The info in Timatic about the Chinese TWOV requirements is quite clear. What is needed is the airlines using Timatic to use it correctly.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 3:08 am
  #590  
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This thread seems to go around in circles every 30 posts or so. I'm going to let it rest for a bit.

The ongoing China TWOV thread is in the wiki, please feel free to read up on the topic there.

~Moderator

Update 7 May 2017: Thread is being reopened as the OP has news to share; please note that the thread will suffer the same fate if it goes back into an echo chamber.

Last edited by Microwave; May 7, 17 at 8:54 am
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Old May 7, 17, 2:33 pm
  #591  
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Final Resolution Update:

AA accepted responsibility and confirmed that I was incorrectly denied boarding based on my itinerary and TWOV guidelines.

I will be refunded the fare difference plus all incidental expenses related to the change of itinerary as well as all MCE fees we paid for the trip.

Additionally, I was offered and accepted 400% of the one way fare for each member of my family. I was able to choose between a combination of vouchers and cash with vouchers being a higher value.

I am thankful and relieved that AA made it right in the end. I will say that it took a plea to the Social Media department (specifically twitter) to get someone to respond to my complaint. All responses I received from the online submission form were completely boiler plate sorry you had a problem. It wasn't until the twitter team read my complaint and forwarded it to a specialty department that my complaint got to the right person.

I appreciate the support from most of you and particularly to those who reached out privately.

Jason
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Old May 7, 17, 2:56 pm
  #592  
 
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Congrats Jason, a solid outcome although never a true remediation for the sort of thing you went through!
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Old May 7, 17, 3:16 pm
  #593  
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Thanks for the update and that you got a semi-acceptable outcome ('semi' because it really shouldn't have got to the stage where it impacted your holiday in the first place )

Is there anything which can be shared with flyertalk, particularly for the main TWOV thread in the China forum, to assist someone else who may find themselves in the same position in the future? For example, the name of the department your issue was finally referred to? This might at least mean issues can be resolved before the plane leaves.
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Old May 7, 17, 3:32 pm
  #594  
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
Thanks for the update and that you got a semi-acceptable outcome ('semi' because it really shouldn't have got to the stage where it impacted your holiday in the first place )

Is there anything which can be shared with flyertalk, particularly for the main TWOV thread in the China forum, to assist someone else who may find themselves in the same position in the future? For example, the name of the department your issue was finally referred to? This might at least mean issues can be resolved before the plane leaves.
Sadly I don't have any particular department to refer to. It wasn't until the twitter team asked for my reference number from the online submission that they (twitter) said they would forward to the appropriate specialty department. From there, i received speedy correspondence and resolution.
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Old May 7, 17, 4:31 pm
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Congrats on the outcome!!
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Old May 7, 17, 4:49 pm
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Justice has been served, cheers!
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Old May 7, 17, 5:09 pm
  #597  
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Awesome
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Old May 7, 17, 5:38 pm
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Finally AA is fixing this properly.
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Old May 7, 17, 6:37 pm
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My faith in humanity has been rejuvenated! I'm glad AA owned up to there own mistake. This was an long read >.>
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Old May 7, 17, 7:05 pm
  #600  
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Excellent News!

Hope that AA provides some training to its agents so that they can properly analyze whether an itinerary meets China's visa requirements.
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