Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > China
Reload this Page >

Intl-Intl connection in Shanghai - visa necessary?

Intl-Intl connection in Shanghai - visa necessary?

Old Feb 16, 06, 2:41 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Nr. Zurich
Programs: LH SEN, BA Gold, Priority Club Plat, Starwood Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,606
Intl-Intl connection in Shanghai - visa necessary?

Anyone here know whether I need a visa for an international to international connection at Shanghai Pudong airport? I know that at the old airport it used to be necessary, but now??

Thanks
Snoopy
Snoopy is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 3:39 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,319
The official answer is "no", but the policies change so quickly that it's hard to keep up. More importantly, if the agent that checks you in to SH isn't in the loop and/or disagrees with your interpretation, you could be denied boarding.

Therefore, I probably wouldn't test those waters without a valid visa, in spite of the fact that I'm generally pretty risk adverse.

It's also worth noting that international connections through PVG are a rarity (i.e. there are very few inbound international flights that connect to other international destinations that aren't better served by other means... with the possible exception of CJU).
moondog is online now  
Old Feb 16, 06, 5:39 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Nr. Zurich
Programs: LH SEN, BA Gold, Priority Club Plat, Starwood Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,606
Originally Posted by moondog
It's also worth noting that international connections through PVG are a rarity (i.e. there are very few inbound international flights that connect to other international destinations that aren't better served by other means... with the possible exception of CJU).
You are absolutely right about that, but if you are trying to travel in and out of Japan using FF miles during Golden Week, well you take what you get!
Snoopy is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 6:02 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: CGK
Programs: LH SEN (LH*G), HH Diamond, AB Gold (1W Saph)
Posts: 5,677
A friend of mine did this in the summer of 2004. She was inbound from Korea on China Eastern and continued to Germany on Lufthansa.

MU and LH do not have an interline agreement, so she was unable to check her bags through all the way to Germany. She had to check-in again in PVG for the LH flight. Since she had no visa, this involved quite a lot of begging at immigration, apparently. In the end, the fact that she could present a valid (paper) ticket onward to Germany on a flight leaving a few hours later led to Chinese immigration relenting (after almost an hour).

Had MU been able to check her bags through to LH, she could have just gotten a boarding pass airside and it would have been an easy connection.

The important thing is to choose two airlines that have interline or even boarding pass issue agreements, then the connection is no problem at all.

As always, YMMV, especially depending on the passport you're travelling on.
alex0683de is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 6:36 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Asia/Europe
Programs: CX, OZ, MU (+AY, DL), Shangri-La, Hilton
Posts: 7,200
My guess is the final destination being in Central Asia?
mosburger is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 9:30 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,729
My guess is that you'll still need a transit visa. China is still a communist country.
bumpme is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 10:01 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 574
Transit Visa

As of a couple of years ago they would issue a transit visa at the airport if you showed your passport and ticket leaving within a certain number of hours. This enabled clearing security and going into the city. If you can stay behind immigration all the way, no one would ask for a visa.
ORDflyer is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 10:07 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: CGK
Programs: LH SEN (LH*G), HH Diamond, AB Gold (1W Saph)
Posts: 5,677
Originally Posted by bumpme
My guess is that you'll still need a transit visa. China is still a communist country.
But they're a communist country that's opened up quite a bit. It *should* be, and with a bit of convincing the immigration staff - is, possible to transit without a visa.

I agree with you that getting a transit visa could potentially save a lot of hassle though. I also expect that they're stricter with some nationalities than with others.
alex0683de is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 10:14 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Asia/Europe
Programs: CX, OZ, MU (+AY, DL), Shangri-La, Hilton
Posts: 7,200
PVG does not have a good reputation for transit anyway. Not really smooth and lacking facilities. That's why I was guessing the final destination would be something on the order of Kazakstan or Uzbekistan where you don't get too many direct connections.
mosburger is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 10:23 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: CGK
Programs: LH SEN (LH*G), HH Diamond, AB Gold (1W Saph)
Posts: 5,677
Originally Posted by mosburger
PVG does not have a good reputation for transit anyway. Not really smooth and lacking facilities. That's why I was guessing the final destination would be something on the order of Kazakstan or Uzbekistan where you don't get too many direct connections.
I don't know about Kazakstan, but for Uzbekistan you would be better off transiting in ICN or BKK.
alex0683de is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 3:57 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Nr. Zurich
Programs: LH SEN, BA Gold, Priority Club Plat, Starwood Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,606
Just to put you all out of your misery and to prevent any further speculation (although I know that is a favourite pastime of most FTers), I am not going anwhere with a "stan" in it!!

I managed to get tickets on FF miles out of Japan at Golden Week, in itself a minor miracle at this late stage. I'm flying NRT-BKK on the outward leg and SIN-PVG-NRT on the return. It was the only possible connection on the way back and, with it being Golden Week, well you take what you can get!

Inbound to PVG is SQ and outbound is NH: both Star Alliance, so interlining should work ok. Connection time is 90 minutes, so no time for sightseeing anyway.

Maybe I will live dangerously and not bother with the visa ...... ;
Snoopy is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 4:24 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,319
Originally Posted by Snoopy
Maybe I will live dangerously and not bother with the visa ...... ;
Now knowing more about your situation, I'm also changing my recommendation to "go for it." In the unlikely event SQ has a problem with your visa status, they can put you on a direct flight.
moondog is online now  
Old Feb 16, 06, 4:36 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: CGK
Programs: LH SEN (LH*G), HH Diamond, AB Gold (1W Saph)
Posts: 5,677
Originally Posted by moondog
Now knowing more about your situation, I'm also changing my recommendation to "go for it." In the unlikely event SQ has a problem with your visa status, they can put you on a direct flight.
Agreed. BTW, could you tell us what kind of passport you're travelling on? I think this might actually make a difference, since the Chinese tend to be a bit hard-nosed when it comes to making things easy for Americans.

Same raw deal for people from the Indian subcontinent, the Arab world, most places in Africa and any country that recognizes Taiwan instead of the PRC (which includes several in Central America), but it's for different reasons than for Americans in those cases.
alex0683de is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 4:56 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Asia/Europe
Programs: CX, OZ, MU (+AY, DL), Shangri-La, Hilton
Posts: 7,200
I organized a trip to Korea for my OW loyalist parents and since the fastest way was via China ended up routing them via PVG. Luckily, dad has been doing business in China for a long time and so prepared multiple entry visas for both.

Long story short: OW Status and hand luggage only didn't help, they were forced to go through customs and check-in and do security at PVG again. With the huge security lines that Sunday morning they wouldn't have made the 90 minutes connection if mom hadn't asked some staff to get them to the front of the queue.

Well, the PVG - ICN flight was then delayed by more than an hour so we had our lunch guests at the Incheon Hyatt waiting impatiently for us when I picked them up there.

And I have a trip to Central Asia coming up very soon, that's why the "stans" creep in...
mosburger is offline  
Old Feb 16, 06, 5:46 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,319
I just remembered that MU actually markets Europe -- Australia services via PVG and many of those pax don't have China visas. See:

http://www.chinaeastern.co.uk/transit.html
moondog is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread