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Air China with layover in Beijing

  1. #1

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    Air China with layover in Beijing

    I have few queries on flying to Europe with Air China including a layover at Beijing.
    1) How is the airline ? punctuality ?
    2) How decent is layover at Beijing ? I assume it's definitely not good Also how much time would be kinda safe to not miss connecting flight at Beijing ?

    I am giving this even a thought at first place due to price difference of about 25%.


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by vyral_143
    I have few queries on flying to Europe with Air China including a layover at Beijing.
    1) How is the airline ? punctuality ?
    2) How decent is layover at Beijing ? I assume it's definitely not good Also how much time would be kinda safe to not miss connecting flight at Beijing ?

    I am giving this even a thought at first place due to price difference of about 25%.
    I have done it a couple of times.
    利大于弊

    1. It's an airline with Chinese characteristics, on one of my flights they were walking around with water in a mineral water bottle, but the content was actually from the kitchen, they just refilled the bottle.
    The good Spanish mineral water they also had on board they wanted to keep for a special occasion aka inflight meal.

    2. the security checks are horrible, other than that it's OK.
    The airlines know how long it takes and sell their tickets accordingly.
    vyral_143 likes this.

  3. #3

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    There is a regular flight from Washington DC to HK with a layover in Beijing on Air China and I have been tempted (this was before the introduction of non-stop flights last April by Cathay). The scheduled layover was about a little over an hour and the next flight out was maybe 12 hours later in case you missed the connection. So I am not sure the scheduling is that great. One hour is hardly enough for even domestic connections in large airports...

    So if you think the layover time is enough, then go for it, especially if there is a later flight about a few hours later in case you miss your connection.

    In my case I was tempted because the airfare was close to 50 percent of the competing airlines (mostly United, which is awful in its own, special way as is its main transfer airport, Newark).

    vyral_143 likes this.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrison
    I have done it a couple of times.
    利大于弊

    1. It's an airline with Chinese characteristics, on one of my flights they were walking around with water in a mineral water bottle, but the content was actually from the kitchen, they just refilled the bottle.
    The good Spanish mineral water they also had on board they wanted to keep for a special occasion aka inflight meal.

    2. the security checks are horrible, other than that it's OK.
    The airlines know how long it takes and sell their tickets accordingly.
    Can you elaborate bit more on horrible security checks ?

    Also for route I am checking, layover is all over the place from 1 Hour to 14 Hours 25 Mins
    MABinPengChau likes this.

  5. #5

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    Yeah, the layover seems to be randomly scheduled by a computer...I figured I would never make my 1-hour layover then could look forward to 12 hours (overnight) in the airport...no thanks...


  6. #6

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    You will have to go through immigration for a temp transit visa and pick up your bags, go through immigration again, clear security again...2.5hrs min.

    Did it in Shanghai and even with local airport helper and going through prioty lines I only had 30mins to spare

    MABinPengChau likes this.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornmeal
    You will have to go through immigration for a temp transit visa and pick up your bags, go through immigration again, clear security again...2.5hrs min.
    Did it in Shanghai and even with local airport helper and going through prioty lines I only had 30mins to spare
    If I remember correctly the in transit stamp is given at separate desks so you actually avoid the normal immi.
    But that was years ago

    Security is a pain because of the scrutiny applied.

    An hour might be enough if you are Chinese.
    I always have a day or three stopovers in PEK

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrison
    If I remember correctly the in transit stamp is given at separate desks so you actually avoid the normal immi.
    But that was years ago

    Security is a pain because of the scrutiny applied.

    An hour might be enough if you are Chinese.
    I always have a day or three stopovers in PEK
    Unless you're from a visa exempt country it's a hassle, line was separate but wasn't fast and involved photos and fingerprints. Luckily the lady convinced the officials to let me ahead of others otherwise I wouldn't have made it, I also didn't check a bag...

    Security wasn't any more vigorous than elsewhere just slow...

  9. #9

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    I have done a similar flight numerous times to North American, a few times with an overnight stopover and other times straight through and never had a problem and never needed to collect my bags. The annoyance is having to go through the security check and immigration even for a transfer as it is a bit slow but they'll move you through if you have a tight connection but they are separate from the regular lines so a bit less busy. I've done a 90 minutes connection without missing it several times no sweat but under an hour would be pushing it in my opinion.

    It is in my opinion a bit more thorough than regular airports, anything metallic, liquid, pasty and they will make you empty your bag and send the stuff through again which slows the process down. Last couple of flights I got brand new planes with new entertainment system with more variety than before. Food is airline food...it's edible but not a joy but no worse than most airlines in my opinion. Going to the East Coast of North America for less than 6K so the price is right.

    Morrison, shri and vyral_143 like this.

  10. #10

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    So I just checked the schedule for DC to HK and the ultra-short layover flights are no longer listed (because I am sure a ton of people missed that connection)- now it's overnight for 13 hours or so.

    And not that cheap- around 700 US roundtrip when I just flew Cathy nonstop for about 750 roundtrip to Washington Dulles.

    So, doesn't look like my usual route is worth it anymore...


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