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Connecting / airport transit inside PVG Shanghai Pudong [Merged PVG connection thread

Connecting / airport transit inside PVG Shanghai Pudong [Merged PVG connection thread

Old May 10, 2010, 4:37 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cornellalum
I will be flying ICN-PVG on either China Eastern or China Southern, and will fly PVG-SIN on Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Did you ask SQ about changing to an ICN-SIN flight?
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Old May 10, 2010, 4:41 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog
Did you ask SQ about changing to an ICN-SIN flight?
It's a UA award ticket that's already been ticketed, and I am spending a few days in Shanghai before flying out to ICN. At this point it's cheaper just to buy a PVG-ICN roundtrip (~200USD).
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Old May 11, 2010, 1:14 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by cornellalum
Thanks! I guess I won't count on being able to transit airside ... I will have a multi-entry China visa so I'll just exit and check-in with SQ.



I won't have long to wait -- should I interpret this to mean that disembarking/immigration/customs/SQ-checkin/security/immigration will take a long time? I thought a 4 hr window would be sufficient on a Thurs night.
Hehe... no. Sorry for the ambiguity!

Arriving, diembarking, immigration and baggage claim should take an hour tops. That is allowing for long immigration queues (which you may or may not get... the longest i have waited was about 30 minutes and that was for a very long queue). Generally however I have done all of the above much much quicker - like 20-30 mins.

So by the time you have done all the above then the check-in for SQ will be open not long after.

Going back the other way is generally very quick - but even with long exit queues for immigration I have only waited about 20 mins.

PVG is a very good airport in terms of speed for arrival and departures.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 6:28 pm
  #34  
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Connecting in Shanghai: how long minimum and is visa required?

Can one make an air-side connection in PVG without going through customs/immigration? If not, what kind of visa is required?

Also, how long would a safe minimum connection be? I'm looking at (ORD-PVG-HKG) and seeing just over 2 hours going out and about 3 hours going back...
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 6:36 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by nkedel
Can one make an air-side connection in PVG without going through customs/immigration? If not, what kind of visa is required?

Also, how long would a safe minimum connection be? I'm looking at (ORD-PVG-HKG) and seeing just over 2 hours going out and about 3 hours going back...
Assuming you have a US passport, you'll be able to stop over for up to 48 hours in each direction without a visa. I think 2 hours is safe, especially on the west bound... for the other direction, you should check on the on time stats for your HK-SH flight; some of them are pretty poor. If you're determined to avoid the (infinitely more convenient) nonstop on this route, you might as well do a true stopover or two, and maybe catch Beijing instead in one direction (24 hour max there without visa).
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 7:11 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by moondog
Assuming you have a US passport, you'll be able to stop over for up to 48 hours in each direction without a visa. I think 2 hours is safe, especially on the west bound... for the other direction, you should check on the on time stats for your HK-SH flight; some of them are pretty poor. If you're determined to avoid the (infinitely more convenient) nonstop on this route, you might as well do a true stopover or two, and maybe catch Beijing instead in one direction (24 hour max there without visa).
Thanks much for the very quick reply! I've got a US passport, and will double check the time statistics on the HKG-PVG (or HKG-PEK leg) - there are quite a few flights that seem to qualify on this fare on this

I'm looking to take advantage of the AA double EQM ex-PIT/STL/RDU which only qualifies on AA metal, so the direct flight out of SFO (much preferable otherwise) is out of the question. I'm not sure if it excludes stopovers - if it does not exclude them and it doesn't increase the fare by too much, doing a stopover in one or both sounds like a very good idea.

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 9:10 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by nkedel
if it does not exclude them and it doesn't increase the fare by too much, doing a stopover in one or both sounds like a very good idea.
On international itins, stops of less than 24 hours do not constitute "stopoevers", so you should be in good shape.

In SH, you can check out Expo (sounds pretty awful to me, but as long as you're there...), and BJ is just plain cool.

Since AA's PEK schedules are dreadful at the moment (maybe not an issue if you're flying a few months out), you'd probably want to save BJ for your return (i.e. arrive in afternoon and leave really early the next day).
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 9:51 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by moondog
On international itins, stops of less than 24 hours do not constitute "stopoevers", so you should be in good shape.
Good point; I'd forgotten that. A quick check of fares shows a ~17-20 hour stop in each has no cost impact if I route back through PEK (out could be either way, although I'd do PVG to get more miles) and adds about $250 if I route back through PVG (may just be the individual days, thought.)

In SH, you can check out Expo (sounds pretty awful to me, but as long as you're there...), and BJ is just plain cool.
Both on my list of places to see, and if I can get a day without a visa in each direction, it's definitely too good to say "no" to (even having spotted on some days a "saner" routing ORD-NRT-HKG with the last on a codeshare instead of a non-mile-earning KA/CX flight for the last leg.)

Since AA's PEK schedules are dreadful at the moment (maybe not an issue if you're flying a few months out), you'd probably want to save BJ for your return (i.e. arrive in afternoon and leave really early the next day).
This would be in November/Dec, either the week of Thanksgiving or the week immediately after.

Thanks again for the advice!
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 8:36 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by nkedel
Can one make an air-side connection in PVG without going through customs/immigration? If not, what kind of visa is required?

Also, how long would a safe minimum connection be? I'm looking at (ORD-PVG-HKG) and seeing just over 2 hours going out and about 3 hours going back...
Hey nkedel - would you care to share the routing and price? Also, have you checked with AA to find out if they'll let you board without a visa?

Thanks
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 1:17 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by nkedel

This would be in November/Dec, either the week of Thanksgiving or the week immediately after.
I predict that AA's PEK schedule will similar to United's by October, so you'll probably have the option of a sane stopover in either direction. That having been said, it still makes better sense to go there on your way back.

Assuming it gets switched to a 5p departure, 2p flights out of HKG would make the cut.

Have you considered getting a PRC visa? You have lots of time, it's not extremely expensive ($150 plus agency fees), and you'll be able to start building a visa history. If you've never been to BJ before, you'll surely regret the fact that your stay is limited to 23:59... though 48 hours in SH is more than enough.
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 2:42 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69
Hey nkedel - would you care to share the routing and price?
Here's one set of days that gets this fare around the time I'm going -
946.70 USD AI (834.00 USD before taxes/fees) Fare code is QKX7HP6S - AA segments are mile-earning, KA/CX segments are non-mile-earning (some of the alternative PEK/PVG-HKG flights are actual CX metal but it won't matter)

Weekend days bump it up by about $40, I think. Not sure what the date range is - I'm basically looking from the 15th-30th of Nov.

PIT-PEK is even cheaper ($894 AI, same days); PIT-PVG slightly pricier ($1034 AI, same days). There are some longer domestic routings (DFW, MIA, etc) which could boost the PIT-ORD mileage by a bit.

Nov 16:
AMERICAN AIRLINES OPERATED BY AMERICAN EAGLE #4114
Dep: PIT Pittsburgh Nov 15, 2010 06:00 AM
Arr: ORD Chicago Nov 15, 2010 06:30 AM
ER4 Economy miles: 412

AMERICAN AIRLINES #289
Dep: ORD Chicago Nov 15, 2010 10:35 AM
Arr: PVG Shanghai Nov 16, 2010 03:05 PM
777 Economy miles: 7057 Lunch Dinner

Nov 17:
CATHAY PACIFIC OPERATED BY DRAGONAIR-HKG #6861
Dep: PVG Shanghai Nov 17, 2010 01:20 PM
Arr: HKG Hong Kong Nov 17, 2010 04:05 PM
321 Economy

Nov 21:
CATHAY PACIFIC OPERATED BY DRAGONAIR-HKG #6874
Dep: HKG Hong Kong Nov 21, 2010 03:00 PM
Arr: PEK Beijing Nov 21, 2010 06:15 PM
330 Economy

Nov 22:
AMERICAN AIRLINES #186
Dep: PEK Beijing Nov 22, 2010 04:55 PM
Arr: ORD Chicago Nov 22, 2010 03:45 PM
777 Economy miles: 6580

AMERICAN AIRLINES OPERATED BY AMERICAN EAGLE #3945
dep: ORD Chicago Nov 22, 2010 08:05 PM
arr: PIT Pittsburgh Nov 22, 2010 10:35 PM
ER4 Economy miles: 412

Also, have you checked with AA to find out if they'll let you board without a visa?
I have not checked with AA to find out if they'll let me board without a visa. It's a good question to ask this afternoon when I call AAdvantage customer service to double-check that the itinerary is valid for the PIT 3xRDM/2xEQM promo. (The CX/KA legs aside, of course)

update: Spoke to AAdvantage customer service. Don't take the exact itinerary above if you want to use the PITTD promotion; they said in very certain terms that using a different international gateway each way would invalidate the promotion. Out and back via PEK /or/ PVG as long as it is the same one both ways would be fine, however, as would sub-24-hour layovers (24hr+ stopovers are not, and AFAICT also bump the fare to about $1500)

Last edited by nkedel; Jul 11, 2010 at 2:36 am
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 2:52 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by nkedel

I have not checked with AA to find out if they'll let me board without a visa. It's a good question to ask this afternoon when I call AAdvantage customer service to double-check that the itinerary is valid for the PIT 3xRDM/2xEQM promo. (The CX/KA legs aside, of course)
non issue
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 3:04 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by moondog
Have you considered getting a PRC visa? You have lots of time, it's not extremely expensive ($150 plus agency fees), and you'll be able to start building a visa history.
Are the agency fees obligatory? I'm not far at all from the SF consulate, and had planned if I were to need a visa to just go in person.

If you've never been to BJ before, you'll surely regret the fact that your stay is limited to 23:59... though 48 hours in SH is more than enough.
There are some limitations to both the promotion, and it appears, the fare I'm using as well - I plan to get to China for a real trip in the next year, but I don't think I can do that on this promotion unless I skip Hong Kong, which is an option.
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 3:37 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by nkedel
Are the agency fees obligatory? I'm not far at all from the SF consulate, and had planned if I were to need a visa to just go in person.
You can do the visa thing yourself. Back when I was living in Mountain View, Newport Beach, and Baltimore, this was my preferred approach.

Even then, the costs of going to the consulates (twice) outweighed the agency fees, but I placed a premium on the face-to-face time that often helped me fetch better visas.

Since I'm currently living in Portland (far from a consulate), using agencies is a no-brainer. Based on your posts, I assumed you were in Pittsburgh (equally inconvenient).
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Old Jul 10, 2010, 3:45 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by moondog
You can do the visa thing yourself. Back when I was living in Mountain View, Newport Beach, and Baltimore, this was my preferred approach.

Even then, the costs of going to the consulates (twice) outweighed the agency fees, but I placed a premium on the face-to-face time that often helped me fetch better visas.

Since I'm currently living in Portland (far from a consulate), using agencies is a no-brainer. Based on your posts, I assumed you were in Pittsburgh (equally inconvenient).
Nope - just routing through Pittsburgh to visit friends and take advantage of the promotion; otherwise, I'd just be doing the non-stop into HKG out of SFO. I'm about half way between the city and Mountain View, and am up in SF a lot, so it's a pretty easy hop - it might not really be worth the time to do it myself, but it seems like a worthwhile part of the experience and as long as it doesn't go over two hours (limit of the free spots I know nearby before a residential-permit or getting a pay lot is required) there's not much additional cost required except in time.

Is two hours likely to be enough to drop off and pick up my passport, or should I allow more time?
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