Category Archives: Flights

Overweighed Carry-on Not Allowed

Please not the important change in Beijing Airport regarding carry-on baggages. The 5kg limitation will be enforced from July 1, 2004. I am going to Beijing next Monday and this change has already impacted the way I package my stuff.

Dear Respected Passengers:

Please be noted:

As reported, to ensure the flight safety and avoid impact on boarding procedure due to overweighed baggage, starting from July 1, 2004, all X-Ray machines in Beijing Capital Airport will be added a overweighed carry-on baggage control device, all overweighed and oversized carry-on baggage will not be allowed to pass through security check X-Ray machines.

Starting from July 1, 2004, passengers traveling within China are required to limit their carry-on baggage to not more than 5 kilograms, all overweighed baggage will be required to be checked-in as checked baggage.

For details please call information desk at Beijing Capital Airport: 010-6459 9567

PASSENGER INFORMATION Carry-on items: A passenger holding first class ticket may carry 2 pieces of articles on board; a passenger holding business or economy class ticket may carry one piece only. The dimension of each piece shall not exceed 20 x 40 x 55cm and the total weight of the above two pieces shall not exceed 5 kg. The carry-on items in excess of the above mentioned piece, weight or dimension shall be checked-in as checked baggage according to regulations

Airport Construction Fee

Airport Construction Fee

I don’t have the impression to pay for this fee when I was in U.S. or Singapore. Michael asked about whether it is required for departing passengers or arriving passengers. The answer is, it is for departing passengers only. You need to hold your flight tickets and the airport construction fee receipt to enter the waiting area. It is collected at all airport in China.

Fee

It is 90 RMB for international flight, 50 RMB for domestic flight and 30 RMB for branch flight (from major city to small city).

Usage

It is gathered and put into the governmental funding to improve the aviation system in China. According to this report, in China, 50% of the airport construction fee will be handed in to the central goverment and the rest 50% will be kepted by the airport.

It is reported that the Airport Construction Fee may be put into tickets so passengers don’t have to buy it at airport.

Who can void the Airport Construction Fee

According to Xinhuanews, the following passengers don’t have to pay the China Airport Construction Fee:

  • International Passenger transitting in China airport. The ratio of transition passengers seem still very low currently. Shanghai, or Beijing is still far behind Tokoyo in terms of aviation hub. Not many flight transits in Shanghai or Beijing. So chances are, you are not in this category.
  • Diploma passport holders taking flights to leave Mainland China.
  • Children under 12 (including 12)
  • Domestic transition flights with interval less than 8 hours.

Update Airport Construction Fee combined wth tickets September 3, 2004

See this article Airport Construction Fee Included in Tickets for more information about the change.

Update Airport Construction Fee continues in 2007 May 11, 2007

With all the requests from passengers to cancel the airport construction fee, it is announced that the 50 – 90 RMB construction fee will continue to be collected in 2007, making it the 16th year to collect this fee. According to this news, 30 billion RMB has been collected from this so far.

First Class On MU5106

Finally, I managed to go back home at the Valentine’s Day. The airport (both Beijing and Shanghai) were very crowded. I was informed at the counter that the tickets for my flight MU5106 at 11:00 AM were over-solded. There was no seat for me. Fortunately, I was compensated with a free upgrade to First Class. The seat No. is 1A.

There is no big difference for small planes (maybe a AB320). There are 12 first class seats there. The seat was bigger. The major difference was the meal:

beijing-meal-first.class.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Also, I got enough orange juice this time since the drink cart was already available. Ha. This is the first time I fly at First Class.

Beijing Airport

I am very pround to take the Beijing Airport from the plane when it just took off from runway 36R.

beijing-airport-middle.jpg

From the picture, you can see the second runway has been completed (at the other side of the terminal).

Houses near Shanghai Airport

shanghai.vanke-city.garden-birdeyes.jpg

PNR on United Airlines Ticket

There is a PNR record on all the United Airlines ticket. Typically, it is printed on the upper-right corner on every page of the ticket. I always wanted to find out the secret behind the 6-digit alpha-numeric code. PNR seems the abbr. of PartNeR to me, but it is obvious a wrong guess.

I still remember when Wendy was planning her trip to U.S via United Airlines, the agent from UAL (800-810-8282 or 21-62798009) asked about the reservation ID. It may referring to this special number. I know that they have a system that provided with this 6-digit number, they are able to pull out all the travel information about my trip from the computer system. BTW, if you are interested, the United Airlines Shanghai Office is located at Shanghai Level 2 South Podium Suite 204, Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel, 1376 Nanjing Road West – a very nice place. The airport bus #2 just stop before the building. Their telephone system is smart. When you dial their toll-free telephone number 800-810-8282 from Shanghai (this is a toll free number in Beijing which can be judged by the middle “-810-“), you are automatically routed to their Shanghai office.

PNR is Passenger Name Record

Today, I finally found out that PNR is not for partner. It is the abbr. for Passenger Name Record. It is a strange name – why call it Name Record? Here are two very good explanations about PNR

A PNR in itself, is just simply a 6-digit alpha-numeric reservation number, which is generated by the computer when you buy/book/reserve a ticket. It allows any UA employee to bring up your entire reservation by punching that 6-digit number into the computer.

Alternatively, they can find your entire record by also searching one of your flight numbers then looking up your name. Even though schedules change, flight numbers, times, etc., the PNR number never changes.

As for the info contained in it…Unless you specifically tick off a UA CSR when discussing that particular record, there’s not going to be anything bad about you in it. When your trip is completed, that PNR is purged from the UA system (or so they would like us to believe–for all of you conspiracy theorists).

I think I know what you’re getting at here…A PNR is non-recurring, not like your Mileage Plus number…The MP info carries from one reservation to another, but not your PNR. And there is a very limited amount of info carried from res to res on your MP account–your status, seating prefs, silver wings (senior), class of service, and (I think) special meal prefs…But no room for permanent individually-entered pokes at you.

Text Credit: MBS PremExec from FlyerTalk.com

The Passenger Name Record (PNR) is the generic name given to the files created by the airlines for each journey any passenger books. They are stored in the airlines’ reservation and departure control databases. PNR allows all the different agents within the air industry (from the travel agent and the computer reservation systems (CRS) to the carrier and the handling agents at the airports) to recognize each passenger and have access to all relevant information related to his/her journey: departure and return flights, connecting flights (if any), special services required on board the flight, etc.

The number and nature of fields of information in a PNR system will vary from airline to airline. There are approximately 20-25 possible fields of PNR data, some of which include subsets of information, expanding the total to approximately 60 fields and sub-fields.

Text Credit: FAQ about PNR on EU website.

They are very good study materials.

CSR in airline industry

I am interested in how the ticket booking and seat arrangement work. I even observed the ticket booking transactions behind a ticket reservation agent. The system people use to book domestic flight in China is different than all the other part of the world. It is called the CAAC Reservation System.

Code English Name Scope

1A AMADEUS Europe

1E CAACSYS China

1F INFINI Japan

1G GALILEO Euro-U.S

1J AXESS Japan

1P WORLDSPAN U.S

1T TOPAS Korea

1W SABRE U.S.

1X GETS U.S.

Credit: Thanks for the Ruizhi BBS

I have discussed this in my previous blog at PVG: Book Domestic Flight in China.

There is PNR record on paper ticket in China. Instead, it is marked as Book Code. They are 5-digit alpha-numeric code. Sometimes, there is a tailing /1E marking the code is available for the CSR in China.

It seems not easy to access the system using web interface. :-(

E-Ticket

As I described in this article: United Airlines is Good, the E-Ticket service by United is amazing. This is what the world should look like. There is no E-Ticket in China.

BTW, many people are asking about whether e-ticket can be used in China. The answer is yes and no. For flights like United, e-ticket can be used. I used my e-ticket to check-in at PVG for my flight from PVG to SFO. However, airlines based in China, including Air China, do not offer e-ticket.

Book Domestic Flight

To find out domestic flight information in China is not easy. I was surprised when I receive help request from people in U.S. for domestic flight information. Typical questions are:

Is there any flight from Shanghai to Chongqing….

In my opinion, There is no good information on the Internet for domestic flight in China, just like the limited resource on Shanghai Pudong International Airport. It is a shame for the air industry in China again.

Experimental Flight Information Page

As an experiment, I created a China Domestic Flight Information page. The page listed the flight information departing or arriving at Shanghai Airport.

For example, here is the flight information for flight from SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao to KWL – Guilin

SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao to KWL – Guilin

Click the table header to sort the column.         Returning flight: KWL – Guilin to SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao

Air

Airl

Code

From

To

Dept

Arrv

Plane

Day

Price

Book
Shanghai Airlines

Shanghai Airlinesa

FM335

SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao

KWL – Guilin

08:30

10:50

B738

A1234567

1150 RMB or 139 USD

China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlinesa

MU5343

SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao

KWL – Guilin

10:15

12:45

B733

A1234567

1150 RMB or 139 USD

Shanghai Airlines

Shanghai Airlinesa

FM331

SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao

KWL – Guilin

16:30

18:40

B752

A1234567

1150 RMB or 139 USD

China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlinesa

MU5313

PVG – Shanghai Pudong

KWL – Guilin

17:00

19:20

A340

A1234567

1150 RMB or 139 USD

The Experimental Flight Information Page Reached the Top Return Result in Google

Surprisingly, when you search a flight information between Shanghai and other cities in China in Google, for example, searching for flight from Shanghai to Haikou, flight from shanghai to xiamen, or flight from Shanghai to Dalian, the list pages are returned as No. 1 in the search result.

This is the result of two factors:

  1. High Goolge PageRank value of my site. The PR value for http://home.wangjianshuo.com is PR5 now. It is relatively high for a personal website. The higher PR a site have, the better the position in Google search result it is. The PageRank value is contributed by the high quality of article on this site.
  2. The lack of domestic flight information in China. It also an evidence that no one are really taking the advantage of the Internet to do business.

You are encouraged to have a try with the system. It really works. Someone is monitoring the site and help booking flights ticket. :-)

Happy Flying!

PVG: Book Domestic Flight in China

Wendy sent me email asking about how to book China domestic flight.

Thanks for your great website. I am taking a trip to Fuzhou via Shanghai. I think I probably need to spend a night in Shanghai as I will be arriving at Pudong at 8:35pm on that day. Would you be kind enough to let me know the flight schedule from Pudong to Fuzhou for airlines such as Air China, Xiamen Air, or China Eastern Airlines? Also, do you have any other hotel recommendations other than Jin Jiang Inn that are close to the airport.

Here was my answer (modified)

Thanks for your comment. Regarding the flight from Shanghai to Fuzhou, the routine information is not available on U.S. travel website like Expedia.com. Here is the list I got from China domestic travel agencies:

….. detailed flight information in Chinese cut ……

I also have friends in travel agency and I you need, I can ask him to book flight for you if you want.

Regarding Hotel, it is hard to say – it depends on your budget. I don’t suggest you to stay in the Jin Jiang Inn – it is not convinient at all. You can try hotels near the central Shanghai – let me know your budget so I can recommend. You can get very good hotel at about 80RMB and low-end price is about 15USD.

Book flight in China

China uses seperate air ticket booking system different from that used in U.S and Europe. Here is a list of major airline ticket distribution system.

Code English Name Scope

1A AMADEUS Europe

1E CAACSYS China

1F INFINI Japan

1G GALILEO Euro-U.S

1J AXESS Japan

1P WORLDSPAN U.S

1T TOPAS Korea

1W SABRE U.S.

1X GETS U.S.

Credit: Thanks for the Ruizhi BBS

When I try to search flight from SHA (Shanghai Pudong Int’l) to FOC (Fuzhou), Expedia reported:

No Matching Flights Found

=================================

No flights were found between Shanghai, China (SHA-All Airports) and Fuzhou, China (FOC) that matched your request.

You may want to change dates, departure times, destinations, or search options. Click the Change Search button below to go back and change options to perform a new search on Expedia.com, or click the Cancel button below to go back to home page.

It may because Expedia does not connect to the Ticket Reseller System in China so they don’t know the existance of the ticket.

Book flight online

I am not sure how difficult people to book China domestic flights outside China. Is it impossible or just not easy? Please help me to understand that.

Updated: Book Ticket Online Made Easy July 31, 2003

Domestic Flight Information and Reservation on Pudong Airport website is ready.

Major cities

Beijing 北京
Chengdu 成都
Chongqing 重庆

Other cities

Changsha 长沙
Fuzhou 福州
Guilin 桂林
Guiyang 贵阳
Hangzhou 杭州 – No flight. Use buses or train.
Hefei 合肥
Huangshan 黄山
Jinan 济南
Jinjiang 晋江
Kunming 昆明
Lhasa 拉萨
Lianyungang 连云港
Lijiang 丽江
Liuzhou 柳州
Luoyang 洛阳
Nanchang 南昌Nanjing 南京 – No flight. use buses or train.
Nanning 南宁
Ningbo 宁波
Qingdao 青岛
Shantou 汕头
Shenyang 沈阳
Shenzhen 深圳
Shijiazhuang 石家庄
Taiyuan 太原
Tianjin 天津
Urumqi 乌鲁木齐
Weihai 威海
Wenzhou 温州
Wuhan 武汉
Wuhan 武汉
Wuyishan 武夷山
Xiamen 厦门
Xian 西安
Xishuangbanna 西双版纳
Xuzhou 徐州
Yantai 烟台
Yichang 宜昌
Zhengzhou 郑州

Flight from Shanghai to Beijing

Here is the flight information from Shanghai to Beijing. It seems I need to travel between the two cities frequently. Just keep a record here for my future reference.

Flight 	From/To 	Leave/Arrival 	Model

MU5101 	Hongqiao	8:00	319

Beijing	10:00

FM101 	Hongqiao	8:15	767

Beijing	10:15

CA1590 	Hongqiao	8:55	772

Beijing	10:50

FM103 	Hongqiao	10:55	757

Beijing	12:55

MU5107 	Hongqiao	11:00	319

Beijing	13:00

MU5111 	Hongqiao	13:00	JET

Beijing	14:55

FM107 	Hongqiao	13:30	767

Beijing	15:20

MU5113 	Hongqiao	14:00	319

Beijing	16:00

HU7602 	Hongqiao	14:15	738

Beijing	16:05

FM105 	Hongqiao	15:20	757

Beijing	17:20

MU5119 	Hongqiao	17:00	319

Beijing	19:00

FM109 	Hongqiao	17:50	757

Beijing	19:45

MU5121 	Hongqiao	18:00	AB6

Beijing	20:00

FM111 	Hongqiao	19:35	757

Beijing	21:30

HU7604 	Hongqiao	19:50	767

Beijing	21:45

CA176 	Pudong		20:15	JET

Beijing	22:10

Updated: More Accurate Informaiton August 5, 2003

Here is the more accurate information: Flight from SHA – Shanghai to PEK – Beijing and Flight from Beijing to Shanghai

Frequent Flyer – Jian Shuo

During the clearance of my drawer, I found a notebook with the following flying records:

Aug 24 7:30 PM Shanghai -> Hefei

Aug 26 8:15 AM Hefei -> Shanghai

Aug 29 7:15 PM Shanghai -> Beijing

Aug 31 6:30 PM Beijing -> Shanghai

Sept 4 8:15 AM Shanghai -> Guangzhou

Sept 5 7:50 PM Guangzhou -> Shanghai

Sept 8 7:00 PM Shanghai -> Beijing

Sept 10 7:00 PM Beijing -> Shanghai

Sept 17 7:00 PM Shanghai -> Beijing

Sept 18 7:00 PM Beijing -> Shanghai

It is among the busiest time I had during my life. It is in the year of 2000.