PVG: Transition to Hong Qiao (SHA)

Only 3 hour’s transition time from Pudong Airport to Hong Qiao airport? Is it enough? Let’s calculate.

Custom Gate

It takes 10 – 30 minutes to pass the custom. Depending on your position in the long line waiting at custom. So 40 minutes should be a safe bet.

Airport bus

The airport bus line #1 connecting Pudong and Hong Qiao airport operates at interval of 20 minutes (15 minutes in rush hours). So plan for 20 munites for waiting the bus.


The bus should arrive in Hong Qiao in about 1 hour. This is relatively precious estimation because there is no single red light during the road and the bus runs on the Expressway. There should be no traffic jam.

Hong Qiao Airport

Leave at least 20 minutes for you to find the ticket counter, buy the airport construction fee. Also, all domestic flights at Hong Qiao Airport require you to arrive 30 minutes before the departure of the flight. That is 50 minutes.

So, to be safe, you need to leave 45 (custom) + 20 (bus waiting time) + 60 (bus time) + 20 (Hongqiao Transition) + 30 (before departure) = 175 mins (3 hours) between the two flights.

What if I only have 2 hours?

If your flight arrival time in Pudong Airport is only 2 hours ahead of the flight departure time in Hong qiao Airport, chances are, you will miss your flight. However, if everthing goes very smooth, it is not a mission impossible. For example, if you rush out of your plane as the first passenger and use only 5 minutes to arrive the custom gate and pass it, and catch the air port bus in the next 10 minutes (which is possible). 1 hour later, you are already at Hong Qiao airport and you use 5 minutes to get off board the bus and find your counter – you can make it in 1 hour and 20 minutes. It is possible, if you are lucky enough.

24 thoughts on “PVG: Transition to Hong Qiao (SHA)

  1. It’s sounds like a kamikaze planning!

    Have you ever experience this transfer? 40min might be enough if you don’t have to wait for your luggage. I don’t agree with the 1 hour bus ride. Last weekend I took the line to Hong Qiao airport and first it stops in Ji’an district before it’s going to the HQ airport and there are so MANY traffic lights before you reach Ji’an or HQ airport. No traffic jam? You should know it better, you have a car now!

    From Pudong Airport to Hong Qiao airport sucks!


  2. The Pudong Airport Route #1 goes via A1, and A20. It does not goes to Jin’an. Would you please confirm that you are taking the Airport Shuttle Bus #1? There are many others buses connecting the two airports. Regarding the luggage, thank you for your reminder. It should be ready before you pass the long line of custom. Please add more comments to this thread since my experience of passing the custom is different from foreigners.

  3. Do you recomment taking a taxi from PVG to SHA? My flight arrives PVG at about 3:10PM and I am planning to take another flight from SHA at 6:20PM. If I rush through customs and jump into a taxi, do you think i can make it for the 6:20PM flight?


  4. Hi Patrick

    You are arriving in right time to try the Maglev Transrapid train to Longyang Station (8 min., 430 km/h; 40 yuan if you show your flight ticket. Leaves every 20 min.

    There are signs in the arrival hall “Magnetic Levitation Train” (I was there yesterday evening).

    Change to subway line 2 at Longyang – just go downstairs and towards north.

    Buy a ticket in the counter and say “Zhongshan gong-yuan”. Trains coming every 5 min’s.

    This line ends in ZhongShan Park Station (ride time about 25-30 min. 4-5 yuan).

    Time so far max. 98 min. incl. half an hour in PVG for customs and baggage claim.

    Now you’re tired perhaps, so go out of the subway and get a taxi to Hongqiao, max. 20 min’s (40 yuan). You have 190 min’s, so 190-118 min’s is 72 min’s before leaving.

    Check-in first, then go and buy the airport construction fee at the left-most side of the check-in hall.

    The formalities time of 72 min’s should be ok – no Bin Laden or SARS at the moment :-)

  5. Carsten,

    Thanks for the infomation. I think I will try it out. One more question, do you think I should buy my SHA-KWE ticket ahead of time or should I just buy it when I get to Hongqaio. I am flying to PVG from Vancouver and I am not sure that the flight will arrive at 3:10PM.


  6. Hello Wang,

    Can you give more detailed information how to subscribe broadband internet access service in Shanghai?



  7. Hi, I have a flight arriving at PVG but need to go on to Kunming(KMG), which airport is best to travel from, PVG or SHA, also should i buy my ticket before i leave UK or can i get it buy one in the airport, how much should it cost??

    I am arriving on the morning of 30th december at 7:40 am. any suggestions?


  8. PVG is for international and domestic flights and SHA serves domestic. If possible, choosing PVG is a better choice for Kunming because there are about 40 kms between SHA and PVG.

  9. Gentlemen:

    I expected to board an airplane from Beijing and reach at Hongqiao Airport on 1200 hour. My scheduled departure time for my plane from Shanghai Pudong Airport is 1500 hour. My local airline agent suggested that the transion time from Hongqiao to Pudong Airport of three hours is not enough and recommend me take next plane which has a scheduled departure time at 2150 hour because it is safe for me to catch the plane. Please advise me in this matter since I do not want to wait long at the airport-nine and a half hours. By the way I am a Bangkok resident and have a plan to visit Beijing and Shanghai in April 2005

  10. I guess you can try your luck. Your agent is right that 3 hours may not be enough if you encounter any problems when to pass custom. 1 hour is enough for taxi from Hong Qiao to Pudong if there is no traffic jam. The chances to have traffic jams on A20, connecting the two airports, is very small though. The conclusion is, you can try to do it, but keep in mind that if anything goes wrong during the transition.

  11. I am flying into Pudong Ariport from Los Angeles, arriving at 6:15 pm. I need to get from Shanghai to Wuhan. Is it possible to get a flight that same evening, or will I need to wait until the next morning? To get to Wuhan, can I fly from Pudong or must I fly from Hong Qiao? Should I purchase my ticket in advance or wait to purchase the ticket to Wuhan once I arrive in Shanghai? If so, how much will the ticket to Wuhan cost? If I have to wait until the next morning to fly to Wuhan, can you recommend a convenient hotel for getting to the proper airport the next morning? I have a lot of questions, as I have never been to China before and do not speak Chinese, I am a little nervous. Thank you!

  12. I’ll be arriving PVG in the evening at 6:15pm, and then have a connecting flight from SHA the next day at 11:40am, and am looking for a hotel for the night. Where would be the best location to stay, which will then also have convenient transportation to SHA? near PVG, then take airport bus #1? or would something in the city center work as well?

    Thanks for any advice. This is an extremely helpful site.

  13. Hi

    i have gone through the comments and opinions..quires and clearance from this site.My son is travlling to Yichang from shnagai on 3rd sept..i am so convinced by going through this..my son is comg to shanghai from Kuwait..How can i book a ticket for him by the domestic flight from here.please advice

  14. What is the most efficient way to get from Suzhou to the Hongqiao airport and how long should I expect the trip to take?

  15. I read that carsten suggested to get maglev,but I also read on the other page that it was hard to get ticket.If I can’t get maglev ticket, I think i will not catch on the time of my next flight in hongqiao…

  16. Thank you for your invaluable information on this site. Tomorrow I am flying to Shanghai (PVG) from Australia and will fly from Hong Qiao (SHA) to Xiangfan. My PVG flight arrives at 13:25 and my SHA flight leaves at 15:55, giving me 2 and a half hours transition time (inc. customs & bus/taxi trip & the rest!).

    I will let readers of this blog know how it goes when I get back!

  17. Hi!

    I read your suggestions on the Internet before travelling to china and changing airports in shanghai.

    It took me a little more than 2 hours to get off my plane, change airports and check in again. So if there are no problems at the airport, you might not need 3 hours for changing. Though I would recommend to plan your trip with more than just 2 hours time.

  18. Dear Wang,

    I will be arriving Pudong airport in end May at 05:50, and need to catch a connecting fright from Honggiao airport to Beijing at 10:00, my questions are: (i) When is the airport bus line 1 starts operating from Pudong to Honggiao in the morning? (ii) Will 4 hours be enough for the transit by using airport bus? (iii) How much is the Taxi fare (roughly) from Pudong to Honggiao? Your prompt advice will be much appreciated!

  19. @Jude, it starts operation when you arrive. 4 hour is enough, as you can see from the article you posted comment, 3 hour is also OK. Taxi fare should be around 150-200 RMB (I didn’t try it recently). More information is on this website. Just take some time to read it.

  20. My flight arrives in Shanghai (Pu Dong) at 11:45pm. I have a flight the next morning at 7:55am out of HongQiao Airport. I would prefer to go to HongQiao Airport that night. How late does the Airport Bus #1 run? What time is the first bus in the morning?

  21. Took this bus in Feb 2010 during Chinese New year after reading some instructions on the procedure. Very smooth. Flt 289 from ORD arrived around 3:15p. ( This flight is late frequently it seemed)Deplaned and through customs/immigration fairly fast. Walked to terminal 1, went downstairs and caught the #1 express bus to SHA at about 4:10p. Just get on the lady will collect the fare later. It made another stop at the PVG airport then hit the expressway. Arrived SHA about 4:55p. It does make a brief stop at a hotel across the street from SHA. Slightly delayed by the huge taxi que blocking the exit from the hotel. The driver got out and yelled at the taxi driver after he ignored the bus horn. LOL We were on our way again. Walked in and went to China Southern ticket booth, bought a ticket to Nanning. BTW, Cheaper than I could of gotten it online had I pre-purchased it. 1035RMB. I then take receipt to another line to check bags if needed and get boarding pass. Go through security and walk to gate. I think I was in the gate area by 5:30 or 5:40p. About 2 hours 20 minutes all together. This was on a Wednesday and traffic was light. Plenty of time to catch a 7:55p to Nanning. Happy journey.

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