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 Mar 14, 18, 7:31 am
  #676  
 
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Originally Posted by lds89 View Post
I now have to go to Beijing in addition to Shanghai, and work will pay for expedited visa services; I've just played it safe and gone the visa route.
Actually, “playing it safe” is the wrong way of saying “I am now required to obtain a visa.” No ifs ands or buts. Your revised itinerary does not qualify for TWOV.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
I disagree with the posters who are using the term "intimidation" here. China has very clear rules about the way it applies its TWOV scheme. Pointing those out is not "intimidating" anybody. It's simply stating the facts.
Agreed, but calling someone a troll or suggesting they're anti China is more than stating ones view of the facts. And of course, the facts are that occasionally people have difficulty with a number of airlines using TWOV or with Chinese immigration.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Agreed, but calling someone a troll or suggesting they're anti China is more than stating ones view of the facts. And of course, the facts are that occasionally people have difficulty with a number of airlines using TWOV or with Chinese immigration.
It was about his postings in other threads which are cleatly Anti-Chinese. And then this nonsense here, which matches up with his history of trying to make people not considering visits to China. Call it as you like..
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Old Mar 14, 18, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post


Actually, “playing it safe” is the wrong way of saying “I am now required to obtain a visa.” No ifs ands or buts. Your revised itinerary does not qualify for TWOV.
I understand that the new itinerary requires me to get a visa. I had the option of pushing to have all the meetings in Shanghai - but given the troubles others say they have had with the AA interpretation of TWOV it's best not to risk it given I have the time (and reimbursement) to grab a visa using expedited service. This thread is very useful because without it I might have chanced it on the old itinerary (having some clients come meet me in Shanghai) and had a really bad situation Saturday when I couldn't get to China on time.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 2:38 pm
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I actually almost got denied but I went to my airport which is smaller just to see if they were aware of TWOV and they thought I was some dumb lazy kid (I’m a young looking 25 year old) and luckily I had time to drive to Houston and get a visa but I emailed customer service and got 2 $150 e vouchers.
And we were trying to do PEK and HKG and they said we couldn’t do more than 24 hours in either since they are both China. So completely wrong there.

Last edited by Snorkel 378 TH; Mar 14, 18 at 2:55 pm
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Old Mar 15, 18, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Agreed, but calling someone a troll or suggesting they're anti China is more than stating ones view of the facts. And of course, the facts are that occasionally people have difficulty with a number of airlines using TWOV or with Chinese immigration.
Sure, but I didn't do either of those things. The trouble that people have with TWOV usually originates at check-in at airports outside of China. Check-in agents who don't know the rules are flat out wrong.
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Old Mar 15, 18, 2:10 am
  #682  
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Let's not forget that the outcome of the original issue was that AA accepted responsibility for incorrectly interpreting the rules and the OP was made whole again with sufficient compensation.

The last few posts disputing the need for the transit to be of 'good intent' are indeed correct in doing so. The poster that made the claim has no basis to do so, and appears was doing so to unfairly discourage people from using TWOV, and causing enough doubt to force them to go to considerable additional expense and time to get a visa. (Or alternatively, get them to cancel their trip to China outright.)
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Old Apr 5, 18, 1:15 am
  #683  
 
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144 Hour TWOV question

Flying AA SAN-LAX-PVG. Staying in Shanghai 3 nights and then taking an 8-night cruise to Japan.

Return to the same cruise port from Japan then flying out that evening PVG-LAX-SAN.

I have been told that my trip qualifies from the 144 hour TWOV exemptions (USA-China-Japan then Japan-China-USA). However, I am also aware that some have had problems with AA and have been denied boarding. Our flights aren't for a few months, FWIW.

I have a very tight connection in Los Angeles and really don't want any hassles over not having a Chinese Visa. Do you think I could get jacked up by AA given this itinerary? It is risky to do this without a Visa, or not so much? Is there any way to get an okay from AA in advance, so if I am jacked up, I can just show them the message? Thank you in advance!
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Old Apr 5, 18, 5:40 am
  #684  
 
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Originally Posted by Stockjock View Post
Flying AA SAN-LAX-PVG. Staying in Shanghai 3 nights and then taking an 8-night cruise to Japan.

Return to the same cruise port from Japan then flying out that evening PVG-LAX-SAN.

I have been told that my trip qualifies from the 144 hour TWOV exemptions (USA-China-Japan then Japan-China-USA). However, I am also aware that some have had problems with AA and have been denied boarding. Our flights aren't for a few months, FWIW.

I have a very tight connection in Los Angeles and really don't want any hassles over not having a Chinese Visa. Do you think I could get jacked up by AA given this itinerary? It is risky to do this without a Visa, or not so much? Is there any way to get an okay from AA in advance, so if I am jacked up, I can just show them the message? Thank you in advance!
Even if you have a perfectly fine and "normal" TWOV scenario (say you were just flying LAX-PVG-NRT with a 18 hr. stop in PVG) there's always a chance someone at AA could cause problems. The fact that your transit is on a cruise ship is certainly different (although still allowable under the TWOV rules) and provides an added layer of "uncertainty" for the AA reps. Reading through this thread, you'll see plenty of examples of mis-informed AAgents that don't know the rules.

And there's no way to get an OK from AA in advance, I would certainly not rely on the Twitter team or customer service email team to provide correct info regarding the TWOV rules. And even if they did come back and say "OK," it's unlikely that the AA dragon check-in rep that was causing problems would even consider it.

Really depends on how much you value those 3 days in Shanghai. Personally, if I were landing in PVG and going straight to a cruise I would never attempt it (and I've done China TWOV many times over the years). However, since you have a 3 day buffer, I would probably give it a go.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 6:13 am
  #685  
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Originally Posted by Stockjock View Post
Flying AA SAN-LAX-PVG. Staying in Shanghai 3 nights and then taking an 8-night cruise to Japan.

Return to the same cruise port from Japan then flying out that evening PVG-LAX-SAN.

I have been told that my trip qualifies from the 144 hour TWOV exemptions (USA-China-Japan then Japan-China-USA). However, I am also aware that some have had problems with AA and have been denied boarding. Our flights aren't for a few months, FWIW.

I have a very tight connection in Los Angeles and really don't want any hassles over not having a Chinese Visa. Do you think I could get jacked up by AA given this itinerary? It is risky to do this without a Visa, or not so much? Is there any way to get an okay from AA in advance, so if I am jacked up, I can just show them the message? Thank you in advance!
The technical part of your TWOV is fairly straight forward. China is a clear and easy-to-understand transit point. This is not a case of USA-China-Tokyo (two hours) and back to the USA.

The potential complication is no onward air ticket (but cruise).

The rules are pretty easy though and the main TWOV thread here on FT has the full extract of TIMATIC. You may want to print that out from the wiki so that if there are any problems, you can show the check-in staff where to look (TIMATIC is long and has many parts. Knowing where your exact part is can help.)

Allow as much time as you can at your originating airport in the USA. You could in theory head to a ticket desk at SAN next time you're out there and show them all the documentation. If they agree it's TWOV then you have a pretty good idea you're good to go. The call centre or social media channels are not as reliable. They're not front line.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 10:46 am
  #686  
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Though I’m not an advocate of purchasing tickets one will not use for most reasons, I’d say this might be a case to have a fully refundable, cancelable and obviously TWOV qualifying air ticket departing PVG under 144 hours after your arrival - and cancelling it prior to boarding your cruise ship. Ship’s personnel will likely handle the China departure formalities with migration staff.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 11:08 am
  #687  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Though I’m not an advocate of purchasing tickets one will not use for most reasons, I’d say this might be a case to have a fully refundable, cancelable and obviously TWOV qualifying air ticket departing PVG under 144 hours after your arrival - and cancelling it prior to boarding your cruise ship. Ship’s personnel will likely handle the China departure formalities with migration staff.
Terrible idea. Just terrible.

I hope the other regulars here join me in, in saying that your comment - especially coming from a moderator - is about the worst advice you could give about TWOV.

With 3 days in Shanghai, I'd just go ahead and not worry about anything. If AA fails again, they'll have to compensate you on a later stage and you reach China one day later, and from all I heard it wasn't too bad of an outcome for the FTer involved. Chances are very slim that might happen (every day, hundreds or even thousands travel via China on TWOV), since even AA might learn and train their staff better.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Though I’m not an advocate of purchasing tickets one will not use for most reasons, I’d say this might be a case to have a fully refundable, cancelable and obviously TWOV qualifying air ticket departing PVG under 144 hours after your arrival - and cancelling it prior to boarding your cruise ship. Ship’s personnel will likely handle the China departure formalities with migration staff.
Why would my current itinerary of USA-Shanghai-Japan (cruise) and Japan (cruise)-Shanghai-USA not be obvious? Seems apparent that Shanghai is the transit point for the onward trip to Japan via vessel. Unless I'm missing something. How dare she injure her ankle (it was obvious) and request a pre-board without a Doctor's note, which they rudely insisted upon?!

Still, I've dealt with AA before and they are not always so reasonable or logical. My ex-GF injured her ankle (2x normal size) and not only did AA refuse her per-boarding, but they did a retaliatory gate check of her nice carry-on bag, with the counter woman running over to insist that it be checked, even when it clearly fit in the sizer.

Last edited by Stockjock; Apr 5, 18 at 11:27 am
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Old Apr 5, 18, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Stockjock View Post
Why would my current itinerary of USA-Shanghai-Japan (cruise) and Japan (cruise)-Shanghai-USA not be obvious? Seems apparent that Shanghai is the transit point for the onward trip to Japan via vessel. Unless I'm missing something.
Many of the itineraries that get discussed here are not obvious "transit." For example, some flies from LAX to PVG with a connection in NRT and stays in PVG for three days and then returns to LAX with a connection in KUL. The TWOV advocates state that PVG immigration will normally treat PVG as a "transit" in that scenario for purposes of TWOV even though most of us would not consider that to be a transit and there are stories of various airlines from the Australia, Europe and the US denying boarding. Your itinerary seems more obvious -- you're just going to Shanghai as a traditional transit point to get on your cruise although I'm not sure how the going to/from Japan works so I'll leave that issue to the TWOV advocates.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Many of the itineraries that get discussed here are not obvious "transit." For example, some flies from LAX to PVG with a connection in NRT and stays in PVG for three days and then returns to LAX with a connection in KUL. The TWOV advocates state that PVG immigration will normally treat PVG as a "transit" in that scenario for purposes of TWOV even though most of us would not consider that to be a transit and there are stories of various airlines from the Australia, Europe and the US denying boarding. Your itinerary seems more obvious -- you're just going to Shanghai as a traditional transit point to get on your cruise although I'm not sure how the going to/from Japan works so I'll leave that issue to the TWOV advocates.
"Transit" essentially means you're entering with no plans to stay. The Chinese government set rules for what transits are allowable and of those, which do or do not require a visa. How the airlines define transit in terms of ticket construction is irrelevant but unfortunately used occasionally to interpret the Chinese government's rules which are instead based on the common definition of the word.
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