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 Sep 19, 18, 7:35 am
  #766  
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny View Post
Over 26,000 posts...have any of them NOT included an insult?
90% of my posts are insult free, but I'm not afraid of calling out errors. I happen to know a lot about this topic, and Chinese law in general.
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Old Sep 20, 18, 9:21 am
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Is AA generally OK with you flying AA to China - and then transferring to a LCC on a separate ticket?
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
Is AA generally OK with you flying AA to China - and then transferring to a LCC on a separate ticket?
I'm interested in this too. I've read through most of what is the 52 pages of this topic but I don't see this touched upon.

I am flying MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG. I will then spend 2 days in PVG before flying PVG-ICN on Korean Air, after 3 days in ICN I'll continue to KIX for a week before returning home NRT-DFW-MIA on AA. I meet all the transit requirements, I'll have booked/confirmed tickets for my onward travel, etc. However, I'm a bit concerned because it seems that AA agents (especially LAX ones) seem to not honor this. Anyone fly a similar routing recently? Thanks!
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
I'm interested in this too. I've read through most of what is the 52 pages of this topic but I don't see this touched upon.

I am flying MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG. I will then spend 2 days in PVG before flying PVG-ICN on Korean Air, after 3 days in ICN I'll continue to KIX for a week before returning home NRT-DFW-MIA on AA. I meet all the transit requirements, I'll have booked/confirmed tickets for my onward travel, etc. However, I'm a bit concerned because it seems that AA agents (especially LAX ones) seem to not honor this. Anyone fly a similar routing recently? Thanks!
I just ended up getting 10 year visa as I just couldn't risk it
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Old Jan 25, 19, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
Is AA generally OK with you flying AA to China - and then transferring to a LCC on a separate ticket?
Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
I'm interested in this too. I've read through most of what is the 52 pages of this topic but I don't see this touched upon.

I am flying MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG. I will then spend 2 days in PVG before flying PVG-ICN on Korean Air, after 3 days in ICN I'll continue to KIX for a week before returning home NRT-DFW-MIA on AA. I meet all the transit requirements, I'll have booked/confirmed tickets for my onward travel, etc. However, I'm a bit concerned because it seems that AA agents (especially LAX ones) seem to not honor this. Anyone fly a similar routing recently? Thanks!
Whether you are connecting on a separate ticket or the same ticket doesn't matter, just like it doesn't matter if the onward flight is on a LCC or a full service carrier. The above itinerary is 100% compliant with China TWOV rules and should be no problem. But as with everything related to AA and China TWOV, it all comes down to the individual agents at check-in. If you get a bad one that doesn't know the policy (and isn't willing to look any further) then you can get screwed even with a 100% compliant itinerary.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 1:47 pm
  #771  
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Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
I'm interested in this too. I've read through most of what is the 52 pages of this topic but I don't see this touched upon.

I am flying MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG. I will then spend 2 days in PVG before flying PVG-ICN on Korean Air, after 3 days in ICN I'll continue to KIX for a week before returning home NRT-DFW-MIA on AA. I meet all the transit requirements, I'll have booked/confirmed tickets for my onward travel, etc. However, I'm a bit concerned because it seems that AA agents (especially LAX ones) seem to not honor this. Anyone fly a similar routing recently? Thanks!
As JJeffrey says, this itenierary is 100% compliant.

Worth noting that this itinerary doesn't fall within the 'known' category for AA problems - which is where there's a round trip USA-China-USA but with just a short transit in a third country either inbound or outbound. For example LAX-NRT(2 hours)-China-USA. In these cases some agents have refused to accept NRT (japan) as a third country.

In your case there is no such issue. The ticket for TWOV purposes is simply LAX-PVG-ICN and you have proper stopovers in PVG and ICN.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 6:13 pm
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I did the exact same thing last November. I flew LAX-PEK, had a few days and then flew PEK-SIN on SQ and then SIN-HND-LAX on JL/AA codeshare.
I had a great agent at LAX when checking in, but it still took a bit of time. She knew it was compliant, but had to fiddle with her system to enter a bunch of info to get it to work. I had print outs of everything - all my e-ticket numbers, the TIMATIC info, etc.
I arrived about 3+ hours early to make sure I had enough time and also make sure I didn't get stressed out if there were any issues. I was hoping with daily flights to PEK/PVG from LAX, the agents would be informed...
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Old Feb 11, 19, 9:09 am
  #773  
 
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
I did the exact same thing last November. I flew LAX-PEK, had a few days and then flew PEK-SIN on SQ and then SIN-HND-LAX on JL/AA codeshare.
I had a great agent at LAX when checking in, but it still took a bit of time. She knew it was compliant, but had to fiddle with her system to enter a bunch of info to get it to work. I had print outs of everything - all my e-ticket numbers, the TIMATIC info, etc.
I arrived about 3+ hours early to make sure I had enough time and also make sure I didn't get stressed out if there were any issues. I was hoping with daily flights to PEK/PVG from LAX, the agents would be informed...
Thanks! FWIW I just called and asked regarding my situation (AA MIA-PVG with a confirmed flight to Korea 2 days later) and inquired if AA was accepting of the 144-transit without a visa policy and she confirmed that YES, that it an acceptable routing and I'll be able to board without issues.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
Thanks! FWIW I just called and asked regarding my situation (AA MIA-PVG with a confirmed flight to Korea 2 days later) and inquired if AA was accepting of the 144-transit without a visa policy and she confirmed that YES, that it an acceptable routing and I'll be able to board without issues.
Compliance with the China TWOV rules isn't really the issue. The issue is what the individual check-in agent will do. And, if that agent happens to have an issue with your itinerary, telling them that someone at AA told you over the phone that it will be okay will likely have no effect. Considering that people report issues at check-in at LAX, I'd be even more concerned at MIA, which is where your primary document check will occur, assuming you have a connection and not a stopover to your PVG flight.

I don't mean to create undo worry. What I would do is get to the MIA check-in counter at least 3 hours before departure so that you have time to work out any issues.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 11:10 am
  #775  
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Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
Thanks! FWIW I just called and asked regarding my situation (AA MIA-PVG with a confirmed flight to Korea 2 days later) and inquired if AA was accepting of the 144-transit without a visa policy and she confirmed that YES, that it an acceptable routing and I'll be able to board without issues.
I might carry a printout of the TIMATIC results for your travel, as OskiBear did. One page you can do this is the UA TIMATIC page: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 11:17 am
  #776  
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IIRC AA has a headquarters phone number for agents to call regarding questions about travel document sufficiency, so if there's a problem, the supervisor at the airport could be encouraged to call and ask. The special desk seems to keep something like 9-5 Monday through Friday schedule.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 11:43 am
  #777  
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
Compliance with the China TWOV rules isn't really the issue. The issue is what the individual check-in agent will do. And, if that agent happens to have an issue with your itinerary, telling them that someone at AA told you over the phone that it will be okay will likely have no effect. Considering that people report issues at check-in at LAX, I'd be even more concerned at MIA, which is where your primary document check will occur, assuming you have a connection and not a stopover to your PVG flight.

I don't mean to create undo worry. What I would do is get to the MIA check-in counter at least 3 hours before departure so that you have time to work out any issues.
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
I might carry a printout of the TIMATIC results for your travel, as OskiBear did. One page you can do this is the UA TIMATIC page: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC.
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IIRC AA has a headquarters phone number for agents to call regarding questions about travel document sufficiency, so if there's a problem, the supervisor at the airport could be encouraged to call and ask. The special desk seems to keep something like 9-5 Monday through Friday schedule.
Yes, you can talk to everyone at AA and have all the paperwork possible, but it all comes down to the GA's ability/willingness to read far enough down to see that you're allowed to travel without a visa. I was in the same position and they even called the AA Travel Czar in Dallas and he was not familiar with the rules. However, he did call back and offered to approve boarding IF I accepted any charge/fines should I be rejected by the local authorities. Talk about a long, pensive flight! No apparent issue upon arrival but didn't understand any conversations behind the counter.

Given that AA only flies to a few airports it just makes sense they distill down the rules that apply to their operation and provide a simple decision tree that walks their agents through the rules. This would be an easy task for a summer intern and not impact the AA Brain Trust.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 1:31 pm
  #778  
 
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Hi folks, me again... next week is my trip and I am risking it without a visa and will try to go for the 144-hour transit visa. I have ongoing flights Shanghai to Seoul about 48 hours later with confirmations ready to go to prove it.

My routing is MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG (Milesaver biz before anyone asks why that routing) and my first segment is at 5:45am MIA-DFW on Wednesday. I work very close to the airport, would I have any luck if I tried to go and check-in with an agent the evening before to mitigate any potential issues that might arise? Thoughts?
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Old Apr 23, 19, 2:01 pm
  #779  
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Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
Hi folks, me again... next week is my trip and I am risking it without a visa and will try to go for the 144-hour transit visa. I have ongoing flights Shanghai to Seoul about 48 hours later with confirmations ready to go to prove it.

My routing is MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG (Milesaver biz before anyone asks why that routing) and my first segment is at 5:45am MIA-DFW on Wednesday. I work very close to the airport, would I have any luck if I tried to go and check-in with an agent the evening before to mitigate any potential issues that might arise? Thoughts?

I did similar routing MIA-DFW-PVG 2 years ago. No issues.. Just make sure you know the rules, and that your onward travel is compliant. Recommend you arrive with some extra time just in case there are any issues and have printouts of your other tickets, the rules, TIMATIC, etc. in case you need additional details.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by dsp6178 View Post
Hi folks, me again... next week is my trip and I am risking it without a visa and will try to go for the 144-hour transit visa. I have ongoing flights Shanghai to Seoul about 48 hours later with confirmations ready to go to prove it.

My routing is MIA-DFW-LAX-PVG (Milesaver biz before anyone asks why that routing) and my first segment is at 5:45am MIA-DFW on Wednesday. I work very close to the airport, would I have any luck if I tried to go and check-in with an agent the evening before to mitigate any potential issues that might arise? Thoughts?
If you live close, you can certainly go over and try to check-in the evening before, they should be able to take care of it as long as you're within 24 hrs. Not a bad idea.
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