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 Aug 24, 17, 2:06 pm
  #646  
 
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Currently on my way to PVG.

My wife does not have a valid visa for China. We booked BOS-PVG with AA and have a flight on same day from PVG-HKG. No issues in Boston, in Chicago, I spoke to the GA and told her that we will be transiting only in China. Immediately she tells me that this will not work, that we need to have it all on one itinerary. I called BS, I have traveled many times without a visa to transit and explained that to her. Her response was that she was "98%" sure that we will be denied boarding, unless something changed in 24 hours that she didn't know about. Supervisor comes by, looks at our onward tickets goes "they are good and can travel". It would be nice if they had GA's who knew the damn rules.

Thinking of going to the consulate for get my wife a visa so we don't have to deal with this BS.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 3:26 pm
  #647  
 
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Originally Posted by rushfan02 View Post
Thinking of going to the consulate for get my wife a visa so we don't have to deal with this BS.
No, Chinese Consulate will not issue you a visa when you do not need one. Chinese Consulate will issue visa only when presented with a document (i.e. airline ticket itinerary, invitation letter from Chinese corporation or academia, etc.) showing a need for Chinese visa.

I tried that once at Chinese Consulate at Los Angeles. My coworker needed Chinese visa where I did not need one. My coworker never applied for visa for any country so I went along with my coworker to help him out. Thought why not get one for myself to be on safe side, but no dice, showing my ticket itinerary and told I do not need visa.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 3:34 pm
  #648  
 
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I love how GA's and check-in agents all have their own version of the rules... Flew ORD-PEK as well yesterday, and during check-in, all I said was I have an onward flight PEK-SGN the following day, and was issued my boarding pass without any question. Didn't even have to show proof of onward travel, as I am flying Air China (ew) on a separate itin.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 3:43 pm
  #649  
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
No, Chinese Consulate will not issue you a visa when you do not need one. Chinese Consulate will issue visa only when presented with a document (i.e. airline ticket itinerary, invitation letter from Chinese corporation or academia, etc.) showing a need for Chinese visa.
If that is indeed the case with some consulates, you can present an itinerary or ticket that will satisfy the need for a visa. The ticket can be fully refundable, and there is no need to enter China on the same itinerary or ticket used to obtain the visa.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 11:10 am
  #650  
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Family of 3 (with US Passports) No Chinese visas.

PNR#1 SJC-YVR-PVG
PNR#2 PVG-SFO
Does this meet the requirements of the trip?

Do I need to book something else?
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Old Aug 27, 17, 11:43 am
  #651  
 
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin View Post
Family of 3 (with US Passports) No Chinese visas.

PNR#1 SJC-YVR-PVG
PNR#2 PVG-SFO
Does this meet the requirements of the trip?

Do I need to book something else?
How long will you stay in China? If not longer than 144hrs, all fine.

You should have a hotel booking (for overnight stays) - or, if staying at a private place, the phone number of the host
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Old Aug 27, 17, 12:01 pm
  #652  
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Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
How long will you stay in China? If not longer than 144hrs, all fine.

You should have a hotel booking (for overnight stays) - or, if staying at a private place, the phone number of the host
I will be staying Monday-Sunday (under the 6day / 144hr rule) That being said based on the interpretation http://www.sh-immigration.gov.cn/lis...?lx=40&id=4414 the clock starts at 00:00 of the following day.

7.Q: When does the 144 hours of visa-exemption stay start?

A: After confirming his / her qualification for 144-hour visa-exemption transit, the immigration inspection station will issue the foreign passenger a temporary entry permit. Then from 00:00 of the next day upon his / her arrival in China, he / she can stay in the administrative precincts of Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province without a Chinese visa for 144 hours.
We have a booking at the Fairmont on the Bund.

We could even outbound via NRT/Other, but I don't feel this is necessary.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 12:52 pm
  #653  
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin View Post
Family of 3 (with US Passports) No Chinese visas.

PNR#1 SJC-YVR-PVG
PNR#2 PVG-SFO
Does this meet the requirements of the trip?

Do I need to book something else?
As I understand it, you are not supposed to just go and return, as that makes China your destination. TWOV rules are:

In order to qualify for the 72 or 144-hour TWOV, the traveler's inbound and outbound flights must directly arrive at and depart from one of the acceptable ports of entry from or to a third country (including one of the two SARs). Both flights must have no stopovers of any kind within Mainland China prior to arrival or after departure at the port of entry, and the outbound flight's first stop or destination must be in a different country than the inbound flight's. Travels between U.S. territories and the contiguous U.S. are also ineligible for 72 or 144-hour TWOV, unless one of their flights has a stopover in a third country or a SAR.[1]

*from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_p..._144-hour_stay
So if they choose to declare SJC and SFO to be the same, this might not pass. You will need to pick another location to "transit" via.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 1:04 pm
  #654  
 
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
As I understand it, you are not supposed to just go and return, as that makes China your destination. TWOV rules are:

In order to qualify for the 72 or 144-hour TWOV, the traveler's inbound and outbound flights must directly arrive at and depart from one of the acceptable ports of entry from or to a third country (including one of the two SARs). Both flights must have no stopovers of any kind within Mainland China prior to arrival or after departure at the port of entry, and the outbound flight's first stop or destination must be in a different country than the inbound flight's. Travels between U.S. territories and the contiguous U.S. are also ineligible for 72 or 144-hour TWOV, unless one of their flights has a stopover in a third country or a SAR.[1]

*from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_p..._144-hour_stay
So if they choose to declare SJC and SFO to be the same, this might not pass. You will need to pick another location to "transit" via.
That is not how the rule works. From China's perspective, AMRivlin's family are flying YVR-PVG-SFO. Canada to China to the US, making the US a third country in this itinerary.

AMRivlin's only risk here is a rogue GA, not Chinese immigration. OTOH, that's also clearly not an AA itinerary, so probably better to take that question to the TWOV thread in the China forum.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 8:51 pm
  #655  
 
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I don't see this as working as it is basically a return vs a connection to/onward travel to another country.


Originally Posted by AMRivlin View Post
Family of 3 (with US Passports) No Chinese visas.

PNR#1 SJC-YVR-PVG
PNR#2 PVG-SFO
Does this meet the requirements of the trip?

Do I need to book something else?
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Old Aug 27, 17, 9:15 pm
  #656  
 
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It will work as far as China is concerned. For TWOV purposes, they look at the itinerary as being YVR-PVG-SFO (Canada-China-USA). They care only about the actual plane that brings you to China and the one that takes you out of China. Where you were before and where you'll be after don't matter. The Wiki in the very long relevant thread in the FT China forum goes into great detail about this.

The problem identified in this not-as-long thread are gate agents and check-in agents outside China who don't understand how this works. Admittedly, it does sound odd, but China is perfectly willing to allow this.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 9:39 pm
  #657  
 
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Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
I don't see this as working as it is basically a return vs a connection to/onward travel to another country.
Tons of travellers do it every day. I myself have flown stuff like Austria-China-Switzerland with TWOV. Never a single problem. This is perfectly fine according to the rules and Chinese immigration just follow the rules. Never a problem there!
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Old Aug 27, 17, 9:45 pm
  #658  
 
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Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
Tons of travellers do it every day. I myself have flown stuff like Austria-China-Switzerland with TWOV. Never a single problem. This is perfectly fine according to the rules and Chinese immigration just follow the rules. Never a problem there!
totally agree - I usually just book the return via Tokyo (few hour layover) to take advantage of this. Definitely works, they only care about arriving and departing countries not being the same.
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Old Sep 21, 17, 7:24 pm
  #659  
 
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would LHR-HKG-PEK-HKG work for TWOV?

I'm planning a trip from LHR to HKG and am thinking of starting in PEK for a few days. The best fares seem to be on CX at the moment.

But for purposes of the TWOV program, even though I am starting at LHR and only transiting via HKG to get to PEK, because I will be going back to PEK afterwards does this mean I am no longer eligible for TWOV?

And if I put the PEK leg at the end, since there are no CX flights from PEK to LHR, it will have to transit via HKG anyways, so again would this mean I just can't fly CX to take advantage of TWOV for a few days in China?
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Old Sep 21, 17, 7:58 pm
  #660  
 
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Originally Posted by donnywong View Post
But for purposes of the TWOV program, even though I am starting at LHR and only transiting via HKG to get to PEK, because I will be going back to PEK afterwards does this mean I am no longer eligible for TWOV? And if I put the PEK leg at the end, since there are no CX flights from PEK to LHR, it will have to transit via HKG anyways, so again would this mean I just can't fly CX to take advantage of TWOV for a few days in China?
It's pretty clearly stated in the Wiki of the TWOV master thread referred in the Wiki above. Only immediate points count. HKG-PVG-HKG is not transit. How long you spend in and whether you enter HKG do not matter and cannot be traced by Chinese immigration.

Last edited by HkCaGu; Sep 22, 17 at 9:31 am Reason: Mistaken thread
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