MikeCT From United States of America, joined May 2008, 137 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1927 times:
Hello all... I'm a long time reader of these forums, but this is my first post. I consider myself a seasoned traveler, but it seems a lot of people have me beat by a long shot, so I was hoping to solicit some advice.
I'm planning a trip from NYC to SYD at the end of January. China Eastern is the cheapest option by quite a bit. The downside (or upside?) is a 25 hour connection in PVG on the way to Sydney. I was thinking this could be interesting. I checked and don't seem to need a visa for 48 hours or less in Shanghai. I've never been to China, and although only a day, I could at least get a taste of the city. But I have some questions.
Has anyone done anything similar? It it simple enough to get into Shanghai from PVG?
How about China Eastern? Are they generally reliable? I've read reviews online, and some are scathing. But they are also from inexperienced travelers or people who expect more than what they pay for. I love the idea of power ports in economy on the A340s, especially on a flight that long. Other posts on here are all over the place as well. Some people like them, and some would rather swim. There doesn't seem to be much in between.
And if anyone knows their way around the Shanghai airport - what can I do with my luggage? I'd like to just keep my carry-on with me while spending a day in the city. Can I re-check them for the connection right away (and is that a good idea?) or is there somewhere they can be safely stored?
Of course, I'm open to any other tips or pieces of advice you think I may need.
EricAY05 From Finland, joined Sep 2010, 77 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1858 times:
I haven't been to Shnaghai yet, so unfortunately I can't help you on that one. I have heard though that there is a quick railway connection from PVG to the city.
In my opinion a very long layover in an interesting city is always a great opportunity. With the money you save on a cheaper fare you can treat yourself to a hotel room before or after exploring Shanghai. I recently flew BKK-AUH-LHR with a 14h layover in AUH. That was a great opportunity to visit Abu Dhabi, do some shopping and relax for a few hours in the lounge before travelling to LHR.
LAX888 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2010, 256 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 1836 times:
I would definitely check this out again with the visa. To be on the safe side I would rather apply for a simple tourist visa than be stuck at the airport because they don't let you in. I actually never heard of this short 48h visa and I have been to China at least 15 times. However maybe that's a special arrangement for transit passengers.
PVG is a bit far from Shanghai but since you have 25hours it should be no problem. As the previous user has mentioned you can take the Maglev train for 50 or 60 CNY if I remember and it is a very interesting ride and brings you in just 8 minutes or so to Pudong which is one part of Shanghai. From there you can take a cheap taxi or the subway to wherever you need to go. The Bund is a nice place to visit as a tourist and you have a great view of the skyline and of the river.
There should be luggage storage facilities at PVG for a small fee. I am not sure if they check your luggage through to SYD or if you have to collect it.
CAE out of the Chinese carriers is probably the worst of all. The best is Air China and then followed by CZ and then MU. The best Chinese carrier is HU but they don't serve your route. The only good thing about CAE is, that they use Terminal 1 which is less crowded. However service wise they are ok but ground staff is the worst. Their English is non-existent. I am lucky to be able to speak fluent Mandarin and had to many times help non Chinese speakers to translate as the staff can usually only speak basic English. Of course there are many other carriers which are worse than MU but if I had the choice I probably would not take them.
If you don't expect much and can live with sometimes long delays, take MU. If you need to be in SYD or back in NYC at a certain time, I strongly recommend to not use MU as also PVG is not really a transit airport unlike HKG or SIN or NRT.
MikeCT From United States of America, joined May 2008, 137 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 1834 times:
Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 1): In my opinion a very long layover in an interesting city is always a great opportunity. With the money you save on a cheaper fare you can treat yourself to a hotel room before or after exploring Shanghai.
I agree completely. I did a similar thing in AMS a couple of years ago, booking a nearly 24 hour layover on my way to VIE. While not nearly as interesting as Abu Dhabi, it was still a fun day since I had never been to the city. Since I've never been to Asia, this should be an experience.
MikeCT From United States of America, joined May 2008, 137 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 1833 times:
Quoting LAX888 (Reply 3): I would definitely check this out again with the visa. To be on the safe side I would rather apply for a simple tourist visa than be stuck at the airport because they don't let you in. I actually never heard of this short 48h visa and I have been to China at least 15 times. However maybe that's a special arrangement for transit passengers.
I think it is. I found this on the website for the Chinese Consul in New York:
Quote: 3) Citizens of the following countries to transit Shanghai can stay in Shanghai up to 48 hours without applying for visas: Korea, U.S. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, French, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria and Greek.
That seemingly arbitrary list must have something to do with with timing of connections knowing people will be transiting for a day or more.
I also called to make sure. I *think* they confirmed that. It was an interesting conversation. lol One of the reasons I was trying to avoid the visa is the $130 fee for just a day.