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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)

PaulInTheSky Apr 18, 17 8:40 am


Originally Posted by FlyingJay (Post 28193790)
I have a email confirmation from the Chinese Embassy confirming my itinerary as qualifying. The TIMATIC guidelines say I cannot have a DIRECT flight back to country of origin. PVG-NRT-LAX is an INDIRECT flight.

Thank You! I will do exactly as you explain. I took my wife and kids to Shanghai Disney for Spring Break. I had no choice but to re-ticket as agent said.

144

I am sorry to hear your troubles. Although LAX check-in agent and supervisors are not incorrect, I think this is the best practice to obtain a China visitor visa for future travels. What I learned about TWOV was it did not matter what the embassy said, but more of what the airline interpreted the TIMATIC rules. I learned this in a very hard way when I was going through HKG-HAN once in JetStar, and HAN-SIN on SilkAir. Any, and I repeat, any airlines, (Vietnamese airlines, CX) said it's ok to go to HAN without TWOV, but JetStar denied, stating I must have a visa even though I am clearly transiting at HAN. The point I am trying to make is, it doesn't matter what the embassy said. I agreed with you that it shouldn't require a visitor visa, but as JonNYC said, you could always interpret it as the TWOV, but what JonNYC interpreted and AA interpreted were not out of line either - You were indeed trying to visit China. If AA front staff interpreted it this way, then there's really not much that we can do about. This is the risk that I wouldn't normally take by trying TWOV. My lesson to learn in my case is to double check if the airlines have interlining policies and if it's within the same ticket. (JetStar in HKG specifically mentioned I was right if it's all within the same ticket). In your case, it's just better to get the visa, or go to another Disney that doesn't require a visitor visa.

moondog Apr 18, 17 8:41 am


Originally Posted by AndyAA (Post 28195508)
I would not expect a front line airline employee to know the ins and outs of every single immigration rule, including these apparent special case loopholes.

That is the job of Timatic. I'd expect them to punch in the itinerary as ticketed, and follow the rules it spits out. Currently, China as a destination requires a visa. If this loophole is indeed valid, language needs to added there for stays less than 144 hours.

Obviously, in order to generate info pertaining to visa free transit, it is necessary to input China as the transit country.

JonNYC Apr 18, 17 8:47 am


Originally Posted by moondog (Post 28195552)
Obviously, in order to generate info pertaining to visa free transit, it is necessary to input China as the transit country.

...even though it absolutely isn't (on a simple r/t ticket to China from The U.S.)

(I know, said I was done, now I am :D)

moondog Apr 18, 17 8:52 am


Originally Posted by JonNYC (Post 28195582)
...even though it absolutely isn't (on a simple r/t ticket to China from The U.S.)

(I know, said I was done, now I am :D)

Again, the ONLY flights that matter are the individual segments to/from China.

The rules are crystal clear on this.

DeltaFlyingProf Apr 18, 17 8:56 am

Dave Noble mentioned the O vs X on a paper ticket but nobody has asked. Was the ticket a return ticket to PVG? Or was it a ticket to NRT with a stop in PVG? This may be as technical as anything else mentioned, but if it was the latter, one could have argued that it is a transit of <144h. If the former, it is a bit more difficult. So maybe having another cancellable ticket to a third place would have avoided the issue.

I once had to do something like that from SIN when I had a turnaround in SGN I think. When the agents started arguing that I could not check in because I would have needed a flight to another place than back to SIN, I bought a ticket from SGN to BKK and after having been given a BP, canceled it.
Once in SGN, I had no issue of course, never having to cross the border.

AZbba Apr 18, 17 9:21 am


Originally Posted by AndyAA (Post 28195508)
I would not expect a front line airline employee to know the ins and outs of every single immigration rule, including these apparent special case loopholes.

Agreed, but I'd expect them to have someone to ask that actually knows the correct rules.

pvgman Apr 18, 17 11:40 am

OP definitely qualified, is routing is totally acceptable from the Chinese immigration officier point of view, period.

jAAck Apr 18, 17 12:03 pm

I have used TWOV several times, all with AA, on similar itineraries...e.g., ORD-PEK-NRT-ORD; all with only a connection at NRT. The first time I checked in, I was a bit nervous and had several pages of documentation printed and ready for the agent regarding the correct input to TIMATIC to meet TWOV rules. It wasn't needed then or on subsequent trips.

It's not unreasonable to think AA stations with China service should be familiar with TWOV requirements, as it's a fairly common practice. While the rules may seem arcane to some, use of TWOV for China visits is used by many, many people without issue. The FT thread on TWOV contains excellent information not only on how to follow the procedure correctly but how to prepare for just the instance that OP encountered at LAX.

FWAAA Apr 18, 17 12:25 pm

Clearly, some AA employees in the United States believe that their job is to enforce their interpretation of the intent of China immigration law and not the letter of the law. After all, AA gate agents at LAX certainly know better than the Chinese authorities at PVG and PEK.

Generally, AA's employees are dutiful bureaucrats when it comes to AA's rules yet they go their own way when it comes to Chinese laws.

azepine00 Apr 18, 17 12:31 pm

Aa is completely at fault here but i am not sure if they will admit it. For all practical purposes you did everything reasonable to derisk your situation ahead of travel

Lack of twov understanding by aa agents (lax seems particularly incompetent) is well documented on this forum. Unfortunately when you deal with aa agents you agree to play by their rules and being right doesn't always help you much.

Dave Noble Apr 18, 17 1:57 pm


Originally Posted by DeltaFlyingProf (Post 28195635)
Dave Noble mentioned the O vs X on a paper ticket but nobody has asked. Was the ticket a return ticket to PVG? Or was it a ticket to NRT with a stop in PVG? This may be as technical as anything else mentioned, but if it was the latter, one could have argued that it is a transit of <144h. If the former, it is a bit more difficult. So maybe having another cancellable ticket to a third place would have avoided the issue.

I once had to do something like that from SIN when I had a turnaround in SGN I think. When the agents started arguing that I could not check in because I would have needed a flight to another place than back to SIN, I bought a ticket from SGN to BKK and after having been given a BP, canceled it.
Once in SGN, I had no issue of course, never having to cross the border.

PVG was the furthest point in the itinerary and the itinerary exceeded the MPM for a r/t to NRT by 16% ( LAX-PVG-NRT is 7603 mi. with MPM of of 6549 )

Also, the fares for a r/t to NRT on AA appear to be higher. taking this weeks fares with a ticketing date of early march, the lowest NRT fare is $699 plus tax vs $100-$200 plus tax to PVG in the same booking class. Add 10% to the $699 fare for the MPM excess and that would bring it to $770 plus tax

I cannot imagine it very likely at all that the ticket was anything other than a r/t to PVG

With PVG being the destination, I cannot see how AA did anything incorrect in classing PVG as the destination; when PVG is put in as a destination in Timatic, it shows a visa requirement. The passenger was not en route to NRT via PVG but had a destination of PVG

sukn Apr 18, 17 2:14 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 28197024)
PVG was the furthest point in the itinerary and the itinerary exceeded the MPM for a r/t to NRT by 16% ( LAX-PVG-NRT is 7603 mi. with MPM of of 6549 )

Also, the fares for a r/t to NRT on AA appear to be higher. taking this weeks fares with a ticketing date of early march, the lowest NRT fare is $699 plus tax vs $100-$200 plus tax to PVG in the same booking class. Add 10% to the $699 fare for the MPM excess and that would bring it to $770 plus tax

I cannot imagine it very likely at all that the ticket was anything other than a r/t to PVG

With PVG being the destination, I cannot see how AA did anything incorrect in classing PVG as the destination; when PVG is put in as a destination in Timatic, it shows a visa requirement. The passenger was not en route to NRT via PVG but had a destination of PVG

You can argue this point until the cows come home but China did not turn the OP away, AA did and they were incorrect in doing so.

I'm open to being wrong, but do you have any examples of Chinese officials turning anyone away under your interpretation of the rules?

Dave Noble Apr 18, 17 2:20 pm


Originally Posted by sukn (Post 28197092)
You can argue this point until the cows come home but China did not turn the OP away, AA did and they were incorrect in doing so.

If you use one of the Timatic online services and put PVG in as a destination, what does it say?

It doesn't matter what might occur at immigration, what matters is what is documented regarding travel requirements in the system used for determining eligibility to permit travel

sukn Apr 18, 17 2:21 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 28197118)
If you use one of the Timatic online services and put PVG in as a destination, what does it say?

It doesn't matter what might occur at immigration, what matters is what is documented regarding travel requirements in the system used for determining eligibility to permit travel

Actually China has the last word on the matter, not Timatic.

Again, please provide examples since you're so sure.

Dave Noble Apr 18, 17 2:31 pm


Originally Posted by sukn (Post 28197123)
Actually China has the last word on the matter, not Timatic.

Again, please provide examples since you're so sure.

When it comes to permitting travel to the country, the airline is required to ensure that the passenger meets the documented terms for admission to that country - allow an ineligible person to travel and the airline get penalised

Timatic is the system that is set up with visa requirements and with PVG as a destination ( which is seems clear that it would have been , just based on fares) , how else would you expect an airline to check eligibilty other than as PVG as a destination?

Whether , beyond meeting eligibility to travel to China, an immigration offivcer would allow/deny entry is irrelevant ; if the airline has ensured that the passenger met the documented requirements to allow travel to the country, it is not then liable if person is refused entry


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