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Shanghai MCT between Hongqiao & Pu Dong airports

Shanghai MCT between Hongqiao & Pu Dong airports

Old Sep 3, 19, 1:42 am
  #1  
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Question Shanghai MCT between Hongqiao & Pu Dong airports

Hi,
Air China just changed the second leg of our three leg journey (Dusseldorf - Beijing - Shanghai Pu Dong - Taipei) on 27 oct 2019
Instead of a transfer within Pu Dong airport, it now put us on a flight from Beijing to Hongqiao, and leaving us 4 hours to transfer from Hongqiao to Pu Dong
Can they just do that? And, if yes, is 4 hours really enough?
What are my options, what do you recommend?
Thanks!
Johan
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Old Sep 3, 19, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by johreg View Post
Hi,
Air China just changed the second leg of our three leg journey (Dusseldorf - Beijing - Shanghai Pu Dong - Taipei) on 27 oct 2019
Instead of a transfer within Pu Dong airport, it now put us on a flight from Beijing to Hongqiao, and leaving us 4 hours to transfer from Hongqiao to Pu Dong
Can they just do that? And, if yes, is 4 hours really enough?
What are my options, what do you recommend?
Thanks!
Johan
1. I'm surprised they hit you with that change, but since they did, I guess they can

2. 4 hours is sufficient if PEK-SHA is on time, which is not a bet I'd be willing to take

3. Most importantly, I would tell them to pound sand in a nice way. CA has 2 nonstops PEK-TPE, 8a and 2p. Ask them to rebook you on one of them, even if it means spending a night in Beijing. BR has an 8p flight as well
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Old Sep 3, 19, 6:38 am
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There are also a number of flights each day from SHA to TSA, including those operated by CA, and some operated by BR with CA codeshares.
I would ask them to put you on one of these flights.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 8:41 am
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Tx Moondog! What are my rights in this case? Can I demand a connection that avoids changing airports? The new proposed route will increase the cost of the trip for us, which we are not responsible for...
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Old Sep 3, 19, 8:42 am
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What are my rights?

Originally Posted by IluvSQ View Post
There are also a number of flights each day from SHA to TSA, including those operated by CA, and some operated by BR with CA codeshares.
I would ask them to put you on one of these flights.
Tx! What are my rights in this case? Can I demand a connection that avoids changing airports? The new proposed route will increase the cost of the trip for us, which we are not responsible for...
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Old Sep 3, 19, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by johreg View Post
Tx! What are my rights in this case? Can I demand a connection that avoids changing airports? The new proposed route will increase the cost of the trip for us, which we are not responsible for...
I honestly don't know what your actual "rights" are, but there is no way in hell I would accept that change. Sure, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to get CA to cover the $50 taxi ride between airports, but this is a minor issue in the grand scheme. The major issue is that they are trying to throw a wrench in the system that has the potential to make you extremely miserable.

I don't like the word "demand" when it comes to interacting with service workers who have the ability to help. IluvSQ's TSA connection idea is a LOT better than the airport switch drill, but I would still push for a nonstop PEK-TPE.

Looking on the bright side, this schedule change might end up being a good thing in the end because I wouldn't have booked the straight PVG connection in the first place; adding unnecessary moving parts to the equation is simply a bad idea when it comes to flying in China.

By the way, when communicating with Air China, use their main customer service number +86-95583 because they people who man it are far more enabled than their counterparts in Europe and the US. Plus, the hold times tend to be quite short. Just remember to be nice to them.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 7:41 am
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I suppose they rebooked you automatically.

Pretty sure an agent can arrange a better connection (or direct one)

Regarding the transit, it's pretty much straightforward in any case (would do such transit only if it includes decent savings over a same-airport connection, though)

There are direct buses (probably best choice overall), direct subway line (no more interchange - by far the cheapest solution), or obviously taxi/private driver like Didi.

All of them will work easily with 4hrs transfer time.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
I suppose they rebooked you automatically.

Pretty sure an agent can arrange a better connection (or direct one)

Regarding the transit, it's pretty much straightforward in any case (would do such transit only if it includes decent savings over a same-airport connection, though)

There are direct buses (probably best choice overall), direct subway line (no more interchange - by far the cheapest solution), or obviously taxi/private driver like Didi.

All of them will work easily with 4hrs transfer time.
If the OP were to actually attempt this (which, he should NOT of course), I was tempted to suggest the bus because it is just as fast as the taxi, but with only 4 hours to make the connection, I'd be worried about the 3x per hour frequency not aligning. Meanwhile, the subway takes a whopping 90 minutes. Taxis can pull off the entire drill in around an hour. Even this would not give me a great deal of comfort when flying from Beijing because 2+ hour delays are still fairly common.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
If the OP were to actually attempt this (which, he should NOT of course), I was tempted to suggest the bus because it is just as fast as the taxi, but with only 4 hours to make the connection, I'd be worried about the 3x per hour frequency not aligning. Meanwhile, the subway takes a whopping 90 minutes. Taxis can pull off the entire drill in around an hour. Even this would not give me a great deal of comfort when flying from Beijing because 2+ hour delays are still fairly common.
Obviously we all agree that OP should try to get the ticket changed onto having a same-airport connection. And I'm fairly sure he'll be successfull with it.

What I meant was more for any other traveller that might not get the option to fly into and out of the same airport in Shanghai (honestly, FT ranks highly up when searching the internet, and it wouldn't surprise me if others in the same situation find this thread as one of the first results) and is stuck with a SHA-PVG or PVG-SHA connection.

Assuming on-time arrival (meaning: Landside no later than 3hrs prior to departure at the other airport) I might actually be tempted to take the subway from PVG to SHA, less so from SHA to PVG (seat guaranteed when boarding in PVG, other direction when boarding the metro in SHA might see you standing at least half way). But the bus clearly is more comfortable.

If arriving (always meaning landside) between 2.5hrs and 3hrs before departure time, the bus would be my vehicle of choice. Between 2.5hrs and 2hrs, a taxi (or Didi) probably still cut it. If you're holding the onward boarding pass (and no luggage to check), anything till 2hrs before departure is still possible, albeit you better prey for no traffic. No traffic you can make the ride definitely below 1hr, about 50min is realistically possible.

The metro has the advantage over the bus/taxi that it's driving time is pretty much guaranteed on the minute. Once you're in the driving train, you know when you arrive in SHA/PVG.

If there is a low chance of making it - even with a taxi/didi (You should know this already prior to landing, possibly still while on the ground before the flight to Shanghai happening) I'd inquire asap for a rebooking with the airline. They'll see if arrival time still gives a realistic chance of making it. And as long as it's on one ticket, you're protected to some extend (it's actually an interesting question.. are you required to take the fastest connection between two airports, or is a slower one still "protected".. not just regarding Shanghai but also other cities having several airports and airlines allowing transfer between them on one ticket)

In case it's "only" tight (say, getting in a taxi 1hr 30min before departure without luggage and BP in hand during non-rush hour time..) but realistically possible, I'd definitely make sure to have alternatives in mind. If the next feasible alternative is out of the same airport I'd probably rush to get a cab and try to make it, so in case of not making it, you'd not suddenly be on the wrong side of the city again.

If the next alternative would be from the airport you just landed on, I'd try whatever I can to get rebooked onto that alternative. Definitely no fun to have a roundtrip for nothing.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
What I meant was more for any other traveller that might not get the option to fly into and out of the same airport in Shanghai (honestly, FT ranks highly up when searching the internet, and it wouldn't surprise me if others in the same situation find this thread as one of the first results) and is stuck with a SHA-PVG or PVG-SHA connection.
Got you. Well, the planned subway connection should make the inter airport transfer much easier, but even when its time comes, I will still strongly advise against booking tickets that entail both SHA and PVG unless they contain true stopovers. That having been said, for people that find themselves stuck in the ~4 hour connection situation, I agree that it is doable, as long as the inbound flight is close to on time. I would vote for the bus if I was out the door within 30 minutes of flight #1's scheduled arrival time, a taxi if the number is between 30 and 90 minutes, and throw in the towel for anything north of that. On a semi-related note, I'd also like to point out that, unless you're flying 9C, domestic to international connections at SHA kind of suck because the terminals are on opposite sides of the airport.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 4:53 am
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i just had an email confirmation from Air China call center that minimum connection time from SHA to PVG should be at least 5 hours. seems like a strong case to ask for an alternative...:-)
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Old Sep 8, 19, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by johreg View Post
i just had an email confirmation from Air China call center that minimum connection time from SHA to PVG should be at least 5 hours. seems like a strong case to ask for an alternative...:-)
Even if they claimed the MCT is 2 hours, you'd still have a strong case because the ticket you purchased did not include an airport hop.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Even if they claimed the MCT is 2 hours, you'd still have a strong case because the ticket you purchased did not include an airport hop.
Agreed. Despite what many airlines seem to think, the contract of carriage shouldn't be a one-way street. Doesn't matter if CA want OP to self transfer from PVG to SHA or PVG to JFK, it's not what was agreed upon when OP paid up for the ticket and therefore OP should absolutely contact the airline to change the flights to what suits OP, not the airline.

For an example of how it's done right, a few years ago, SQ changed its PEK schedule by upgrading its afternoon flight to an A380 and cancelling its midnight-ish A330 service. Of course I was originally booked on the A330 and then automatically re-booked onto the A380. Only problem being that I had already booked a connecting evening flight from HRB which would arrive about 4 hours after the A380 departed,

Called up SQ's Beijing office, got a human straight away who took less than 10 minutes to rebook me onto the B777 midnight-ish flight and send me the new ticket and itinerary confirmation to my email at no extra charge.
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Old Oct 17, 19, 2:25 am
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The Locals normally take the direct shuttle bus from PVG to SHA. It takes less than 1 hour and is pretty comfortable
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Old Oct 17, 19, 2:28 am
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Originally Posted by guyi0914 View Post
The Locals normally take the direct shuttle bus from PVG to SHA. It takes less than 1 hour and is pretty comfortable
What sort of locals do that?
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