Star Alliance connection at Pudong Shanghai- very odd & very annoying experience

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  cityprofessional 19 Apr 2017
at 22:20
.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

  • seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    Arrived at PVG yesterday from BKK with Thai to connect to SAS flight to CPH.

    No checked luggage and boarding cards for PVG/CPH/MAN already printed.

    With a 7 hour layover, I had planned to get some sleep in the ‘hourly rate hotel’ I’ve so often seen signposted around the Air China lounge area.
    Off the plane into the terminal and head to transfers only to find nobody is there, it’s deserted.
    Go try find someone to speak to but nobody to be found.

    Ok, head towards immigration and ask airport staff who just look blankly at me when I show them my boarding card. So, I ask an ‘official’ at immigration & explain that I’m only in transit & do not wish to go through immigration as I’m not planning leaving airside let alone leaving the airport.
    I am shouted at to go to immigration.

    I ask again, at the ‘information desk’ and am told to head to ‘transfers’ which I do but, guess what, nobody is there and it’s now cordoned off.
    Back to immigration where it takes me 100 minutes to pass through, explaining in detail to the official that I’m only in transit when she repeatedly asks about my visa and my address in China, then I have to fill out an ‘arrivals card’ and ‘departure card’ – eventually, I’m let through.

    Out into the arrivals area and straight back upstairs to guess where…..immigration & security which takes an addition 90 minutes to pass through.
    I don’t often swear but (in my head only) WTF is going on!!

    So a very simple process was turned into a very annoying, time wasting (more than 3 hours) & pointless episode – thank god my connection was a long one.
    Eventually, I got 2 hours rest in one the China Airlines sleeping rooms (which incidentally, are more noisy than the lounge itself due to their close proximity to the very shouty kitchen & the very shouty kitchen staff)

    Anyone else experienced this before?


    stevescoots
    Participant

    seems like a normal China experiance to me πŸ™‚ not helpful i know but 15 years of flying round China what you had is a good day


    canucklad
    Participant

    And look at the bright side seasoned traveller, next time you head through Duty Free you can invest in an exclusive malt, thanks to the money you saved on the hourly rate hotel : )


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    seems like a normal China experiance to me ? not helpful i know but 15 years of flying round China what you had is a good day

    Steve
    The more I travel in China (currently every 2 months), the more I realise you are correct πŸ™‚


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    And look at the bright side seasoned traveller, next time you head through Duty Free you can invest in an exclusive malt, thanks to the money you saved on the hourly rate hotel : )

    Canucklad

    Oh, if only πŸ™‚

    My company has no problem paying for a hotel…..A bottle of malt though, may be somewhat tricky to explain on an expense claim πŸ˜‰


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    seasonedtraveller, “A bottle of malt though, may be somewhat tricky to explain on an expense claim”

    Not at all – either:
    1. medicinal purposes
    OR
    2. antiseptic.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    It must have been much more satisfying dealing with foreign agencies in the days of Palmerston:

    – sail armoured cruiser into harbour
    – one round, 6″ HE into johnny foreigner’s backyard
    – send message, would you like some more or do you see things our way?


    stevescoots
    Participant

    seasoned traveller: Corporate gift πŸ™‚

    Which takes me back to something many moons ago. It was customary at the time to buy customers a bottle of something at Xmas and most of the customers were men so it was easy. One year in a certain eastern European country I had to ask the customer what she would like as I was not sure of her tipple. she then sent me a link to the Victoria secret website for some…. let’s just say we all know what they sell. So i went to the boss and said ok how do I handle this and he just said they are a good client, buy it which i did! come the end of the month the lady in finance gave me a very wry smile when i put my expenses in. A few months later I was introducing a new guy at our company to the customer to take over the account. We were in the meeting room and this lady was sat opposite us, she instructed me to sit next to her while she gave the new boy a bit of a grilling. After the meeting, she said to me “did you notice” to which i replied notice what? that she was wearing the afore mentioned item at which point my gaze did drop somewhat to notice her blouse half unbuttoned and i went what could best be described as post office red in the face.
    I never met her again but did tell my wife some months later who just said β€œtrashy”


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Reading this reminds me of why I have, by choice, never been to China. Plenty of opportunities over the years but never wanted to go. The Singapore Chinese are bad enough.


    Prayanak
    Participant

    Pudong airport is by far the worst airport I had to endure in 25 years flying around Asia. I have to go through this airport on monthly basis and the way they manage the queues at immigration is terribly bad (you can easily spend 1 hour in normal days to get through), not to mention the usual flight delays imposed in airlines any time they wish under obscure circumstances. If you can avoid it at all cost (not easy if you have to fly from overseas) better choose other PRC airports.


    stevescoots
    Participant

    Agree with you prayanak


    cityprofessional
    Participant

    Sorry I’ve just seen this. The officials were absolutely correct to tell you to go through immigration, and you do need to fill out arrival and departure forms (I’ve personally done this at PEK, although not PVG) – it’s similar to making an international transfer at any airport in North America, although most countries don’t need a visa for a short connection in China (unlike when connecting in the US)

    Pudong does not, and has never, provided an international transfer connection service. Some airlines have negotiated (and presumably paid) for an exemption to this – e.g. I once connected LH-to-NZ at PVG without having to clear immigration, and the transfer passage was opened especially for me, with no questions asked. However, NZ explicitly states that unless you are connecting to their partner airlines (LH/VS/OS/LX, but not other Star Alliance carriers), you need to clear immigration. See advice here: https://www.airnewzealand.co.uk/transiting-via-shanghai

    Anyway, I’m not sure who at TG or SK or your travel agent advised you could use international transfers at PVG, but they were wrong, and they should have advised you against making that connection

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