Air China punctuality concern

Old Jan 14, 20, 3:27 am
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Air China punctuality concern

I have a SFO-PEK-BOM all through Air China. The layover in PEK between the two flights is 1 hr, 20 mins and from flightstats website, it appears Air China's SFO-PEK is almost always late. I am afraid I'll miss my connecting Air China flight PEK-BOM.

Will Air China give hotel stay or meals or some alternative arrangement if this happens? I've heard they sometimes make the connecting flight wait for passengers (thus delaying the other flight too) -is this true? Should I put a word to the air hostesses or Air China personnel of my connecting flight before hand?

Also read that security can put "blue Air China stickers" that'll help speed up the security checks at PEK airport so that passengers can board the connecting flight quickly -is this true? How to get such a "blue ticket"?

Lastly if we miss Air China PEK-BOM due to delayed Air China SFO-PEK flight landing at PEK airport, can Air China put me on PEK-DEL flight and I don't mind arranging my flight from DEL-BOM in India? This wouldn't help much as the connecting Air China PEK-DEL flight is also ~40 mins later than the Air China PEK-BOM flight but still it might help.

Also is it true that Air China can cancel a flight if there are not enough passengers? I've read this too causing passengers to strand in PEK airport indefinitely or they having to arrange their own flight.

Last edited by lmajestic95; Jan 14, 20 at 3:37 am
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Old Jan 15, 20, 1:16 am
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Old Jan 15, 20, 1:22 am
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Are you on one ticket? If so, relax, you’ll just get put on a later flight.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 4:23 am
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Yes the ticket is confirmed.

The refund rules show $300 penalty fee but is it per leg or for the total trip (to and fro)? If its a single $300 penalty, I am okay to cancel this trip and rebook on a different airline but if its $300 per leg => 4 legs * $300 = $1200 which is too much.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by lmajestic95 View Post
Yes the ticket is confirmed.

The refund rules show $300 penalty fee but is it per leg or for the total trip (to and fro)? If its a single $300 penalty, I am okay to cancel this trip and rebook on a different airline but if its $300 per leg => 4 legs * $300 = $1200 which is too much.
What do you mean 'confirmed'? I was wondering if you are on one ticket or two. The cancellation fee of $300 will apply to the ticket, but you should understand that delays into PEK are often the result of ATC, so the same problem could arise with any other airline. I would just relax and see what happens on the day. The realistic worst is you get put on a later BOM flight.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
What do you mean 'confirmed'? I was wondering if you are on one ticket or two. The cancellation fee of $300 will apply to the ticket, but you should understand that delays into PEK are often the result of ATC, so the same problem could arise with any other airline. I would just relax and see what happens on the day. The realistic worst is you get put on a later BOM flight.
Sure, he's on one ticket because buying SFO-PEK and PEK-BOM separately is a lot more expensive than buying SFO-BOM.

I give the OP fairly high odds of pulling this off, but he should mentally prepare himself for "One night in Beijing".
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Old Jan 15, 20, 5:44 am
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With TWOV? It's same terminal but still unless the queues in PEK are a lot better than what I've seen in PVG
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Old Jan 15, 20, 6:09 am
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
With TWOV? It's same terminal but still unless the queues in PEK are a lot better than what I've seen in PVG
PEK is now better than PVG from a practical standpoint. I never dreamed this would be possible because the train at PEK has always slowed things down a lot, but PVG honestly managed to raise the bar (i.e. become even less user friendly) with S1 and S2. The queues are an afterthought in the context of all of the pointless walking and the train rides.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 8:43 am
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Its a single ticket, all Air China booked on AirChina.us website. I am unable to reach their US call center number. I don't want to be put in a crappy hotel or spend a night in Beijing. I am unsure how many passengers on my SFO-PEK flight will also be connecting to their BOM flight -I just want to ensure I am not the only one stranded in Beijing all night. Noticed the JFK-PEK and LAX-PEK also land in PEK around 6-7 pm local time so there should be some passengers flying to BOM and I should have some company in Beijing airport in this situation.

I am okay to pay $300 penalty but don't want to fly Air China now, really scared
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Old Jan 15, 20, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by lmajestic95 View Post
Its a single ticket, all Air China booked on AirChina.us website. I am unable to reach their US call center number. I don't want to be put in a crappy hotel or spend a night in Beijing. I am unsure how many passengers on my SFO-PEK flight will also be connecting to their BOM flight -I just want to ensure I am not the only one stranded in Beijing all night. Noticed the JFK-PEK and LAX-PEK also land in PEK around 6-7 pm local time so there should be some passengers flying to BOM and I should have some company in Beijing airport in this situation.

I am okay to pay $300 penalty but don't want to fly Air China now, really scared
You're overthinking this. As I said upthread, I give you good odds of making the connection. I don't think they will offer you a really bad hotel if you misconnect, but if you don't like their options, you can pay for a hotel yourself, which isn't expensive.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 9:37 am
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Update: I applied for Online Refund on AirChina.US website so assume that's for cancellation of the entire ticket/trip. I can't travel with so much stress, then run at PEK airport to catch my flight, might have to apply for transit visa to get to ticketing if I miss my connecting flight and fear losing/delay of my bags when I reach BOM. Booked my all time fave Emirates. Hope AirChina sends me the refund minus the penalty fee!
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Old Jan 15, 20, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
You're overthinking this. As I said upthread, I give you good odds of making the connection. I don't think they will offer you a really bad hotel if you misconnect, but if you don't like their options, you can pay for a hotel yourself, which isn't expensive.
Thank you moondog, LondonElite for responding to my post. Appreciate your promptness.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by lmajestic95 View Post
Update: I applied for Online Refund on AirChina.US website so assume that's for cancellation of the entire ticket/trip. I can't travel with so much stress, then run at PEK airport to catch my flight, might have to apply for transit visa to get to ticketing if I miss my connecting flight and fear losing/delay of my bags when I reach BOM. Booked my all time fave Emirates. Hope AirChina sends me the refund minus the penalty fee!
You can transit in Beijing without a visa; we refer to this policy as Transit Without Visa, and have an enormous thread on the topic
Throwing away $300 seems silly to me because the misconnection risk also applies at all other airports that connect SFO with BOM
In the event you get stuck in Beijing for a night, you can enjoy it; it's not nearly as cool as it was 10 years ago, but it's still a nice place to visit
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Old Jan 15, 20, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
You can transit in Beijing without a visa; we refer to this policy as Transit Without Visa, and have an enormous thread on the topic
Throwing away $300 seems silly to me because the misconnection risk also applies at all other airports that connect SFO with BOM
In the event you get stuck in Beijing for a night, you can enjoy it; it's not nearly as cool as it was 10 years ago, but it's still a nice place to visit
This.

Don't bite off your nose to spite your face. Stick with your flights and see what happens.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
PEK is now better than PVG from a practical standpoint. I never dreamed this would be possible because the train at PEK has always slowed things down a lot, but PVG honestly managed to raise the bar (i.e. become even less user friendly) with S1 and S2. The queues are an afterthought in the context of all of the pointless walking and the train rides.
Glad to hear.

Potential 24 hour delay - OP's MMV but that would put me off. Risk premium = damage the risk will cause x the probability the risk will occur.

I accept the probability is low but the damage will be high (for me) if it happened. This isn't HKG where there're two flights a day to BOM (assuming I booked the earlier one)
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