Transferring in Shanghai

Old Nov 15, 19, 12:22 pm
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Transferring in Shanghai

Hi all,

So we're starting business in China and I'm heading to Shanghai for the first time in December. I've got annual leave to use before Christmas, so I thought I would bolt some holiday onto the trip and visit Japan for the first time as well. Return fights to Shanghai are already booked with BA, so the Japan bit will be a totally separate itinerary. I am already staggered by the price of JAL flights and the Peach ones are at horrific times of day, luckily I have realised you can book JAL flights with Avios on BA.com, what a life saver for 9000 avios and £46 each way.

On my way home the JAL flight I would like to get from Tokyo to Shanghai lands at 21.55 in Shanghai and the BA flight is departing for London at 01.55am (so 4 hours later). Firstly could anyone who knows Shanghai airport let me know if this is enough time to connect (separate tickets, no hold baggage)? Secondly do I need a China Visa for this connection or will I just be a transit passenger and therefore should I declare my departure from China as my flight from China to Japan 5 days earlier?

Thanks and have a nice weekend.
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Old Nov 15, 19, 1:11 pm
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Well I'm sure you are aware of the issues of separate tickets and the risks that come from that.

I know PVG reasonably well, it is fairly slick, the slowest stage are the two passport checks, but assuming you land and depart from T2 then you don't need to worry about that. There is a transit route via gate 71 in the arrival channel and you just need to show your documentation and onward flight details. This will be carefully checked. There is a desk for BA's ground handling agency in PVG, they may ask you to go there even if everything is in order.

Clearly if not HBO then you have to go out and come back in, you get a transit without visa via immigration, collect bags, then up to departures. It's still do-able within this timeframe, anything over 2.5 hours should be fine, assuming services are on time. Also double check that your first arrival and departure are properly cleared down and stamped, but I don't think they will be too concerned about that since it should be on their computer.
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Old Nov 15, 19, 2:53 pm
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Thanks as ever CWS, I think Iíll take the chance then!

I guess if JAL are having a nightmare for whatever reason in Tokyo, they might be amenable to other options to London as a one world member, but this maybe wishful thinking!
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Old Nov 15, 19, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Joshm300 View Post

I guess if JAL are having a nightmare for whatever reason in Tokyo, they might be amenable to other options to London as a one world member, but this maybe wishful thinking!
I'm afraid that is indeed entirely wishful thinking and a wrong guess. JL (and Japan in general to be honest) is extremely focused on rules and departure from rules are exceedingly rare. In this case, the rule is that your JL contract of carriage is to PVG and it is overwhelmingly likely that they will refuse any rerouting to LHR instead even in the (unlikely) case of a long delay which is their fault.
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Old Nov 15, 19, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Joshm300 View Post
...
Secondly do I need a China Visa for this connection or will I just be a transit passenger and therefore should I declare my departure from China as my flight from China to Japan 5 days earlier?
You won't need a visa for the trip home - TYO-PVG/PVG-LHR qualifies for transit without visa (TWOV), allowing you 144htrs in the Shanghai/Hangzhou/Suzhou area. For more details see the dedicated thread in the Destinations/China forum.

I assume your question about when to declare you are leaving China relates to the visa application - in that case yes, when you leave for Japan it will in effect be will be the end of your China trip.
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Old Nov 17, 19, 12:26 am
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Have you thought of one way PVG to TYO then calling BA to ask about a change to a LHR-PVG then TYO-LHR openjaw.

I may cost only a bit more and be offset by not getting the TYO to PVG back.

Also, PVG (as far as I'm aware) can have some air restrictions due to planes from the military base.

Any slight delay and you are stuffed. I wouldn't risk it.
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Old Nov 17, 19, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by Joshm300 View Post
Hi all,

So we're starting business in China and I'm heading to Shanghai for the first time in December. I've got annual leave to use before Christmas, so I thought I would bolt some holiday onto the trip and visit Japan for the first time as well. Return fights to Shanghai are already booked with BA, so the Japan bit will be a totally separate itinerary. I am already staggered by the price of JAL flights and the Peach ones are at horrific times of day, luckily I have realised you can book JAL flights with Avios on BA.com, what a life saver for 9000 avios and £46 each way.

On my way home the JAL flight I would like to get from Tokyo to Shanghai lands at 21.55 in Shanghai and the BA flight is departing for London at 01.55am (so 4 hours later). Firstly could anyone who knows Shanghai airport let me know if this is enough time to connect (separate tickets, no hold baggage)? Secondly do I need a China Visa for this connection or will I just be a transit passenger and therefore should I declare my departure from China as my flight from China to Japan 5 days earlier?

Thanks and have a nice weekend.
Given the cost of a missed connection I'd be inclined to see if I could ammend the original BA ticket to be returning from Tokyo direct to LHR. If the ticket rules are in your favour it could be a fairly easy change
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Old Nov 17, 19, 6:34 am
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Do you have any visa for China?

Return flights to shanghai with BA are not eligible for transit without visa as you are not flying A-B-C as per the transit without visa rules. However if you add on the Japan trip then you would be as for the purpose of TWOV you would be:

LHR-PVG-Japan (any airport) shanghai port offers 72/144 hour transits.
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Old Nov 17, 19, 7:09 am
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Risk of Christmas in NRT is snow, isn't it?
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Old Nov 17, 19, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Risk of Christmas in NRT is snow, isn't it?

Hi,

I think the risk of snow in NRT/HND ( I do not think the OP said which airport they fly out of Toky from) is minimal in December ( maybe more likely in Jan/Feb but still small. There was some disruption in Sep/Oct following the typhoons ( no transportation to/from Tokyo)

Regards

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Old Nov 17, 19, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot View Post
I think the risk of snow in NRT/HND ( I do not think the OP said which airport they fly out of Toky from) is minimal in December ( maybe more likely in Jan/Feb but still small. There was some disruption in Sep/Oct following the typhoons ( no transportation to/from Tokyo)
JL 9:55pm to PVG is from NRT

But I may have confused snowstorms in NRT with CNY. Apologies.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 4:36 am
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Thanks for your help/suggestions all. I'm on an I class Club World ticket, which does not offer much flexibility and I didn't fancy covering the cost of changing out of pocket.

The JL flight is from Narita and it is currently green all the way down flight radar for on time, so I think I am happy with the 4 hour transfer window.

nshep - my plan is to have a multi entry work visa, with this being my first trip on that Visa, I am going to the centre in London tomorrow to get it sorted, so I shouldn't end up having to worry about TWOW, but as a general rule, are you saying that connecting flights have to be booked as one itinerary to qualify for transit without visa and that just having a boarding pass for an onward flight is not enough?
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Old Nov 18, 19, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by Joshm300 View Post
... my plan is to have a multi entry work visa, with this being my first trip on that Visa, I am going to the centre in London tomorrow to get it sorted, so I shouldn't end up having to worry about TWOW, but as a general rule, are you saying that connecting flights have to be booked as one itinerary to qualify for transit without visa and that just having a boarding pass for an onward flight is not enough?
No need to have a single itinerary for TWOV - just a confirmed booking, though if you don't (have a single itinerary) it is advisable to arrive a bit early for check-in so that there is time to sort out any issues (any issue would only be at check-in for your first flight from Japan - not at the Chinese immigration - sometimes a check-in agent will incorrectly put SHA/PVG as the destination rather than transit point when querying TIMATIC). With a multi-entry work visa though you can ignore TWOV for this trip.

Last edited by GinFizz; Nov 18, 19 at 6:47 am
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Old Nov 18, 19, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by GlasgowCyclops View Post
Also, PVG (as far as I'm aware) can have some air restrictions due to planes from the military base.
In my experience, Chinese ATC tends to prioritise international flights over domestic ones, when the PLA randomly shuts off sections of China's airspace. I've seen domestic China flights with 3-hour-plus ATC delay while an international departure from the same airport heading in the same direction can depart perfectly on time. It helps to maintain China's external-facing image as a developed country...
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Old Nov 18, 19, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by Joshm300 View Post
Thanks for your help/suggestions all. I'm on an I class Club World ticket, which does not offer much flexibility and I didn't fancy covering the cost of changing out of pocket.

The JL flight is from Narita and it is currently green all the way down flight radar for on time, so I think I am happy with the 4 hour transfer window.

nshep - my plan is to have a multi entry work visa, with this being my first trip on that Visa, I am going to the centre in London tomorrow to get it sorted, so I shouldn't end up having to worry about TWOW, but as a general rule, are you saying that connecting flights have to be booked as one itinerary to qualify for transit without visa and that just having a boarding pass for an onward flight is not enough?
It is not clear if you have ever had a visa for China before. If not, then being granted a multi-entry visa for the first visa might prove difficult.

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