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Wiki: Back-to-back / immediate turnarounds at Cathay destinations

Wiki: Back-to-back / immediate turnarounds at Cathay destinations

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Old Dec 14, 19, 8:33 pm   -   Wikipost
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On the back of a similar thread on the BAEC board, it may be helpful for those going on miles / tier point runs to know which destinations are preferable for back-to-back / immediate turnarounds.

Thanks to all who have contributed so far. Please add to the below if you have experience of this at any Cathay destinations (edit the wiki below directly if you have recent experience of any destination or you are 100% certain)

Definitions:
- Excellent: you will leave the aircraft and find yourself in the boarding area for departure ("Changi T1, T2, T3 model but not T4, CX's terminal" - no segregation of arriving and departing passengers)
- Good: you have to clear central security and/or immigration before reboarding, but the typical walking + queuing time required and the aircraft turnaround time should be fine
- Possible: you have to clear central security and/or immigration before reboarding, but the typical walking + queuing time required and the aircraft turnaround time make this more risky
- Not possible

Mainland China: Not possible, especially back-to-back (same aircraft) - i.e. XMN, TAO, FUC, CTU, XIY and others
BCN: good (though note it is a 6-hour turnaround so will need to wait)
BOS: possible (though will need to go through immigration and customs and reenter via landside) Although Immigration lines can be atrocious at BOS, there are very few international flights landing at that hour, so it should be reasonable.
CDG: good (though BAEC board does not think so)
CGK: possible (unhelpful transit desk; APEC cardholders may find it more predictable to exit and reenter via landside)
CMB: excellent (though need to print return CMB-HKG boarding pass in advance - see separate thread)
DAD: not possible for U-turns.
EWR: possible (though need to clear immigration and customs and reenter via landside)
HAN: not possible for U-turns.
HKG: good (still need to reclear central security, but efficient. May require high speed walking depending on respective arrival and departure gates. No immigration required)
HND: good (need to clear security; ample time buffer)
IAD: good (though need to clear immigration and customs and reenter via landside)
ICN: good (transfer security available at satellite terminal - no need to take train to main terminal, no immigration)
JFK: possible for CX846/845 and CX888/841 (though need to clear immigration and customs and reenter via landside). Not possible for other flights
JNB: good (though note it is a 6-hour turnaround so will need to wait)
KHH: good
KTM: Possible, but get ISM to notify ground staff so they will assign an escort to take you through all the step. Not Possible without escort
KUL: excellent
LAX: possible for CX880/881 (though need to clear immigration and customs and reenter via landside). Not possible for other flights
LHR: These are 2 hour transit time combos: CX257/238; CX239/256; CX253/254. Walk to gate 3x can be LONG; intermediate transit security area.
Morning arrivals require 6 hrs transit times for 1200ish departures
MAD: good (though note it is a 6-hour turnaround so will need to wait)
MXP: good (though note it is a 6-hour turnaround so will need to wait)
MLE: good (subject to update on separate thread)
MNL: good (best to plan your turnaround on the next flight to be safe. CX906/900 and 918/902/934 depart close to each other to minimise time wastage). No need to clear immigration however your passport will be taken for processing which may take as much as 30-40 minutes.
NRT: possible (need to clear security; tighter turnarounds)
ORD: not possible
PEK: n/a - regular delays mean this is not a viable miles run route (only try to do so if you have a flex ticket)
PVG: n/a - regular delays mean this is not a viable miles run route
SFO: possible for CX872/873 and CX892/893 (though need to clear immigration and customs and reenter via landside). Not possible for other flights
SGN: not possible for U-turns.
SIN: possible, T4-T4 transit may pose some surprise to the staff
SYD: good - transit security but no immigration needed
TPE: good (still need to reclear central security, but efficient and usually empty transit facility)
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Old Jul 14, 17, 7:23 am
  #1  
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Wiki: Back-to-back / immediate turnarounds at Cathay destinations

On the back of a similar thread on the BAEC board, it may be helpful for those going on miles / tier point runs to know which destinations are preferable for back-to-back / immediate turnarounds. Please add to the below if you have experience of this at any Cathay destinations.

Definitions:
- Excellent: you will leave the aircraft and find yourself in the boarding area for departure
- Good: you have to clear central security and/or immigration before reboarding, but the typical time required and the aircraft turnaround time should be fine
- Possible: you have to clear central security and/or immigration before reboarding, but the typical time required and the aircraft turnaround time make this more risky
- Not possible


CGK: possible (unhelpful transit desk; APEC cardholders may find it more predictable to exit and reenter via landside)
CMB: excellent (though need to print return CMB-HKG boarding pass in advance - see separate thread)
HND: good (need to clear security; ample time buffer)
KUL: excellent
MLE: good (subject to update on separate thread)
MNL: good
NRT: possible (need to clear security; tighter turnarounds)
PEK: n/a - regular delays mean this is not a viable miles run route
PVG: n/a - regular delays mean this is not a viable miles run route
SIN: excellent (while still at T1)
TPE: good-to-excellent
XMN: not possible
Too much travel is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 9:38 am
  #2  
 
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How does this work and why do this?
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Old Jul 14, 17, 9:46 am
  #3  
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Mile/points run: take the flights but not visit the destination or incur accomodation surcharges (I use this one to illustrate to my missus how a hairpin turn should work Deep, deep, deep, deep undercover. On EK... . My missus eyes roll when I suggest we go to Maldives and come straight back)
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Old Jul 14, 17, 11:31 am
  #4  
 
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Regarding PEK: It is doable while a massive gamble. Done that before (on separate tickets too), but you would need a flexible ticket. But agree that this is not a viable back-to-back destination.

Things you need: A flex ticket so you can change you flights before departing HKG, the boarding pass for the return leg (paper ones).

Make sure you are booked on the same aircraft (risky coz they could change the aircraft at PEK)

On KA the turnaround time is usually around 1:10-1:20, if the aircraft parked at a gate far away from the transit checkpoint you WILL need to walk fast. Prepare for an awkward conversation with the securities but they should let you through.

Unless you are desperately unlucky, you should able to make it back to the gate before they even start boarding.

If there is an ATC delay from HKG, forget about it, change your tickets to another day before you board the flight to PEK.

Don't even attempt it if you are not on a flex ticket.


Also, TPE should probably be excellent if going through airside. Good transit facility (usually empty).
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Old Jul 14, 17, 12:28 pm
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Anyone has experience at KMG & CTU?

Last edited by bibikang; Jul 14, 17 at 12:33 pm
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Old Jul 14, 17, 1:47 pm
  #6  
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GREAT thread. Next thing we need is a wiki of ex-XXX published fares to all our desired destinations.

Anyway,
JNB - Good. 6 hours in between. Intl-intl transit available, mobile BPs okay, identity verification with passport stamping. Third-party lounge open and immediately accessible after security. Possible to get paper/onward BP at transit area with dedicated CX counter. Layover feels shorter as return flight boards t-60.

ORD - not possible. Apart from customs/immigration re check, the turnaround time fails CX's own MCT, so no protection/endorsement available.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 1:51 pm
  #7  
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BOS - possible; while ORD is not, BOS is fine with its long layover time. Just have to enter and exit the US (and obviously, easier for VWP/APC/GE eligible users.)
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Old Jul 14, 17, 3:12 pm
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Don't forget the extra scrutiny you get a CGK for doing a quick turnaround. I read somewhere that they might look at you as a drug mule!

Not sure if that's the case for other Indonesian airports.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 3:24 pm
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MNL is good and not good in a sense as most hairpin turns can get you caught out if the frame arrives late due WX or busy ATC. You'd need to plan your turnaround on the next flight to be safe. The good is that 906/900 and 918/902/934 depart close to each other so your time is not overly wasted.

*Caveat - Unless onward BP printed and there is escort
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Old Jul 14, 17, 5:26 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Mile/points run: take the flights but not visit the destination or incur accomodation surcharges (I use this one to illustrate to my missus how a hairpin turn should work Deep, deep, deep, deep undercover. On EK... . My missus eyes roll when I suggest we go to Maldives and come straight back)
Ah - Eightblack writes the best trip reports!
Too much travel is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 5:29 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by G-CIVC View Post
GREAT thread. Next thing we need is a wiki of ex-XXX published fares to all our desired destinations.
Yes, that would actually be a very useful thread to have on this board! If I remember someone did actually suggest it a few months ago but it fell by the wayside. Would be great to have something like that.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 7:11 pm
  #12  
sxc
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ICN is "good". You need to clear transit security but the layout and process is simple - similar to HKG.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 7:47 pm
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Can you please make a sample quick turnaround itinerary, with MNL as starting port?
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Old Jul 14, 17, 8:31 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by sxc View Post
ICN is "good". You need to clear transit security but the layout and process is simple - similar to HKG.
Thanks. Out of curiosity, is the transit security in the satellite terminal where the CX lounge is, or do transit passengers need to take the train back to the main terminal first? I've never transferred at ICN so am not familiar with the ICN transit layout.

Also, feel free to edit the wiki directly!
Too much travel is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 8:32 pm
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If you can enter Taiwan, actually KHH is a very good choice, but ex-KHH is usually a bit more expensive than ex-TPE

Another thing is if you are going to do MR, better consider the TP cutoff... Ports that just cross the threshold would be good in this sense like PVG and SHA.... (which should not be considered for immediate transit)
sscywong is offline  

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