MU vs KE in Y: Transit questions

Old Jul 8, 13, 4:01 pm
  #1  
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MU vs KE in Y: Transit questions

So I'm looking at flights for SFO-SZX and back and, at the moment, the cheapest options are MU and KE (with KE being about $400). Both itineraries involve overnight layovers (KE in ICN and MU in WUH).

What I'm wondering is.... by chance has anyone ever had an overnight layover with MU (and, better yet, is anyone familiar with WUH), does anyone have any insight on how transiting from International to Domestic flights in PVG is, and does anyone know how MU's WUH-PVG-SFO flight is handled at PVG? We've tried calling their offices in China and in the US and have not been able to get a hold of a human in any instance.

And, on that point, is peace of mind worth $400?
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Old Jul 8, 13, 5:04 pm
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SFO to SZX via PVG and WUH? Gosh, that's a long way out for transit.

Why not do SFO-HKG? Too expensive? Or at least SFO-PVG-SZX?

Over night stay in most of in-land domestic Chinese airport is no fun, I will avoid as much as I can. PVG handling should be fine, and even stay overnight is easy. Int'l to Domestic in PVG only involves walking, sometimes a lot of walking, but not really difficult to navigate.

I would choose MU over KE every time, due to poor safety record of Korean airlines, KE is even worse than OZ.
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Old Jul 8, 13, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by MP (Miles+Points) View Post
SFO to SZX via PVG and WUH? Gosh, that's a long way out for transit.

Why not do SFO-HKG? Too expensive? Or at least SFO-PVG-SZX?

Over night stay in most of in-land domestic Chinese airport is no fun, I will avoid as much as I can. PVG handling should be fine, and even stay overnight is easy. Int'l to Domestic in PVG only involves walking, sometimes a lot of walking, but not really difficult to navigate.

I would choose MU over KE every time, due to poor safety record of Korean airlines, KE is even worse than OZ.
Yeah, SFO-HKG is much more expensive if we want any flight times that don't require leaving Shenzhen for HKG at ridiculous hours, and SFO-PVG-SZX is, for some reason, even more expensive. The cheapest ticket I found was SFO-PVG-SZX with SZX-WUH-SFO on return (with the WUH-SFO leg stopping in PVG).

My family's used to flying CI, so I'm hardly concerned about KE's safety record, actually.

What makes overnights in in-land Chinese airports no fun?

Last edited by lolstebbo; Jul 8, 13 at 8:20 pm
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Old Jul 8, 13, 5:29 pm
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KE and ICN are a far more pleasant experience overall. There's nothing nice about transiting Chinese airports if you're not saving a fair amount of money, let alone 2 in your case. Saving $400 on KE is a huge difference, even though you'll pay much more for a hotel either at ICN or nearby, your savings more than offsets that plus a lot left over... Even 4 star hotels in mainland China tend to be a test of patience, I've been through WUH once, but didn't stay so can't comment on what's nearby the airport.

>MP: KE's safety record has been fine in recent years. Last major accident was in 1997 involving a passenger plane, that's 16 years ago. Most of their problems were in the 80's and I think we can all agree, a lot has changed in the industry worldwide since then. MU and their M&A acquisition have had plenty of fatal accidents in their short history, then look at CAAC before MUs formation... I think you'll be hard pressed to criticize Korean carriers with Chinese carriers as your benchmark.
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Old Jul 8, 13, 6:07 pm
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There isn't a decent hotel close to the airport in WUH. WUH traffic is a nightmare, so going into the center may take up to two hours one way, depending on arrival/departure time. I would not do just a simple overnight layover there.

PVG same-day transfers are easier and less crowded than ICN KE to KE (or OZ to OZ) transfers, which can - in my experience - be a lengthy test of your patience due to long queues and slow staff.

For overnight, I would either try to route via ICN or PVG (both airports have airport hotels close by, at PVG even connected to the terminal buildings), but absolutely not via WUH (except you want to stay longer and visit the city).

Last edited by Chinatrvl; Jul 8, 13 at 6:14 pm
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Old Jul 8, 13, 7:02 pm
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Can i ask what price they asking for lolstebbo KE and MU? In the peak August time?

Unfortunate that you wont get any perks flying with them being a CI gold (important ones like lounge access).
The main little perk will be the extra 1 bag you can take if you need.
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Old Jul 8, 13, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by tris06 View Post
Can i ask what price they asking for lolstebbo KE and MU? In the peak August time?

Unfortunate that you wont get any perks flying with them being a CI gold (important ones like lounge access).
The main little perk will be the extra 1 bag you can take if you need.
Around $1200~1300 for MU and around $1700 for KE. We were able to get SFO-NRT-TPE/TPE-NRT-SFO for around $1200 three days ahead of time in mid-August last year, so I'm kinda bummed that we haven't had that kind of luck this time around.

I'm not that concerned about having any perks, but it's just that Chase's booking system keeps spitting out ST carriers for the two cheapest fares.
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Old Jul 8, 13, 8:48 pm
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Ahh ok. Its always a case of booking early. Though a good trick you can try is ring the CI staff and say your looking for a flight on a certain booking code N-K (price is usually less than 1800 usd) and they will put you on waiting list. I often do this and within a few days i get a call that its been sorted and i can now pay for the ticket.This works about 70-80% of the time being an emerald gold not sure what the chances are though.

Hence i can get my ticket to Australia from HK for about 900-1000 usd next month 10th-20th August.

Last edited by tris06; Jul 8, 13 at 9:17 pm
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Old Jul 8, 13, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by MP (Miles+Points) View Post
SFO to SZX via PVG and WUH? Gosh, that's a long way out for transit.

Why not do SFO-HKG? Too expensive? Or at least SFO-PVG-SZX?

Over night stay in most of in-land domestic Chinese airport is no fun, I will avoid as much as I can. PVG handling should be fine, and even stay overnight is easy. Int'l to Domestic in PVG only involves walking, sometimes a lot of walking, but not really difficult to navigate.

I would choose MU over KE every time, due to poor safety record of Korean airlines, KE is even worse than OZ.
Fascinating. Are you more worried about getting on KE than on a highway in China?

Anyway, no Chinese airport is a pleasant experience, that is true. OP, your final destination is Shenzhen? Have you tried CAN (just in case you are going to Dongguan)?
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Old Jul 8, 13, 10:29 pm
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Well, thanks for the input everyone; we snagged SJC-NRT-HKG and back on ANA for around $1000/person (still with an overnight layover, but this time in NRT..... what is it with me and overnight layovers?!?), so, while the flight time out of HKG isn't exactly optimal, we get to fly on the 787 (which, let's be honest here, makes it so worth it).

Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
OP, your final destination is Shenzhen? Have you tried CAN (just in case you are going to Dongguan)?
Yup, Shenzhen is final destination.

Last edited by lolstebbo; Jul 9, 13 at 3:51 pm
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Old Jul 9, 13, 12:34 am
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Originally Posted by lolstebbo View Post
Well, thanks for the input everyone; we snagged SJC-NRT-HKG and back on ANA for around $1000/person, so, while the flight time out of HKG isn't exactly optimal, we get to fly on the 787 (which, let's be honest here, makes it so worth it).



Yup, Shenzhen is final destination.
That sucker is 9-abreast while it was designed to be 8-abreast. But, flying out of SJC makes it worth it. Avoiding Wuhan really makes it worth it.
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Old Jul 9, 13, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
That sucker is 9-abreast while it was designed to be 8-abreast. But, flying out of SJC makes it worth it. Avoiding Wuhan really makes it worth it.
Not on ANA it isn't (at least not out of SJC). Glory to the 2-4-2!
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