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Domestic China to International Transfer @ PVG?

Domestic China to International Transfer @ PVG?

Old Jun 8, 18, 2:57 am
  #1  
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Domestic China to International Transfer @ PVG?

A lot of resources online are about international transfers in China, which, while frustrating is essentially what transferring in the US is like.

Howeverr im coming from a domestic China flight.

1. Will bags check through? Iím flying CA into PVG from CTU and then UA out of PVG.

2. Is there a transfer station I go through or is it a full exit and entrance?

Im now regretting the 2.5 hr connection time I allocated.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 5:45 am
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1- no
2- you'll need to pass immigration among other things. So you need to make a full exit and full entrance as you call it.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 6:43 am
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In China, domestic and international passenger processing are completely isolated from each other. You and your luggage must exit one system before entering the other. In other words, the domestic check-in agents at CTU aren't given the tools to handle international passengers.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 8:19 am
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1 isn't a definite "no". In fact, cz outstation staff are often pretty competent at checking bags beyond CAN.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 8:37 am
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Are you referring to online (CZ to CZ) transfers through CAN? I would have never expected this to be possible, using CA and PEK as my main frame of reference. But for CA to UA transfers, I think the answer is definitely no, no matter if they are through PEK, PVG, or CAN, no?
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Old Jun 8, 18, 9:36 am
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At CTU they told me they could do CA to CA transfers, but because it was UA, nope. The full exit from PVG wasn't bad, but immigration is pretty bad at PVG for the midnight departure flights when you come around < 2 hrs to go. I usually get to the airport a full 3 hrs early and the lines are short, but I think I timed it at the worst possible moment today. The immigration line was at maximum length when I showed up, and when I was waiting in security, I turned around to see the line back down to maybe 1/3rd of what it was when I was in line.

Anyhow, posting from the CA lounge now. The total "transit" time was approximately 1 hr including deplaning from remote stand. Thankfully they had a small bus for the first group of people deplaning which I was able to jump on and get rolling fast.

As for my bag, I carried my jacket with me and changed to my less comfortable shoes so I could keep my bag carry-on to minimize any hassle.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 9:41 am
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Thanks for letting us know about your experience at CTU. I learned something new.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 10:11 am
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My only additional add, probably won't help your connection anxiety, where are you flying from? Some destinations like PEK are notorious for delays due to weather and other.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
Are you referring to online (CZ to CZ) transfers through CAN? I would have never expected this to be possible, using CA and PEK as my main frame of reference.
Yes. CZ aggressively markets its international service in second and third tier cities. It also employs --and trains-- its own check-in staffs (as opposed to the more common practice of outsourcing to the local airport authority). This sort of makes sense because CAN is far more reliant on connecting traffic than PEK or PVG to sustain long haul service.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 12:21 pm
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Smile

Originally Posted by dmo580 View Post
At CTU they told me they could do CA to CA transfers, but because it was UA, nope. The full exit from PVG wasn't bad, but immigration is pretty bad at PVG for the midnight departure flights when you come around < 2 hrs to go. I usually get to the airport a full 3 hrs early and the lines are short, but I think I timed it at the worst possible moment today. The immigration line was at maximum length when I showed up, and when I was waiting in security, I turned around to see the line back down to maybe 1/3rd of what it was when I was in line.

Anyhow, posting from the CA lounge now. The total "transit" time was approximately 1 hr including deplaning from remote stand. Thankfully they had a small bus for the first group of people deplaning which I was able to jump on and get rolling fast.

As for my bag, I carried my jacket with me and changed to my less comfortable shoes so I could keep my bag carry-on to minimize any hassle.
You did fine. Especially getting that little bus for first class passengers though if you say you have a gold card they will also let you on. I allow not less than 45 minutes for outbound immigration and security at PVG 2 and I know the terminal like the back of my hand. It does get congested with many European flights late at night which coincides with that second UA SFO flight, which it sounds like you were on. On a different day you could have possibly gotten the CTU-SFO UA flight which is nice because it is usually not 100% full like the PVG flights.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by uanj View Post
You did fine. Especially getting that little bus for first class passengers though if you say you have a gold card they will also let you on. I allow not less than 45 minutes for outbound immigration and security at PVG 2 and I know the terminal like the back of my hand. It does get congested with many European flights late at night which coincides with that second UA SFO flight, which it sounds like you were on. On a different day you could have possibly gotten the CTU-SFO UA flight which is nice because it is usually not 100% full like the PVG flights.
During boarding, the small bus is for VIP/First/Biz Class/Gold card. I'm *Gold so I was offered the service but declined. What I was referring to deplaning. You get on whatever bus there is. I was in the second row, and everyone in front of me (2 rows of Y + 2 rows of F) got on the small bus. Maybe a few people behind me did as well. I don't recall them saying anything about VIP only.

The reason I don't do the CTU flight is because it's in the morning. I don't really like the morning flights to the US. I'm used to taking the 7:50 or 11:50pm BR flights back to SFO when I used to do TPE a lot, so naturally the 12:30am PVG flight was very fitting for me. That and the CTU flight is usually more expensive, and we're a bit stingy when it comes to flight prices.

Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post
My only additional add, probably won't help your connection anxiety, where are you flying from? Some destinations like PEK are notorious for delays due to weather and other.
I did CTU-PVG-SFO just yesterday. I didn't do much China for work until this past year, but in my early 2012 or 2013 experiences, delays were many. Out of the past 10 or so domestic flights I've taken though during this past year, I've only seen 2 delays. One was over an hour, and the other one was probably ~10-15 min or so.

I think more time would've been nice, but I still had plenty of time to sit down at the lounge and relax with a cold Pepsi, as well as wash my face and take out my contacts in the restroom. With delays though it could've been stressful. The overall timing worked out great. I got a full day's worth of work done in CTU before flying out and am fully cleaned up at home now. Oh and I caught the last 2 minutes of the GSW vs CLE game after immigration while waiting for my Lyft today.

Last edited by dmo580; Jun 9, 18 at 12:39 am
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