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reliability of domestic flights?

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San Francisco...
posts: 10
reliability of domestic flights?

We have a international flight from Shanghai to Bangkok that departs at 5:30 pm. We will be flying into Shangahi from Nanchang on either Air China or China Eastern. Our two options on domestic flights are one that gets into Shanghai at 9:30 am on the same day as our Bangkok flight or 5:00 pm the day before.

I would rather take the domestic flight that gets in to Shanghai on the same day as our departing international flight, but am not sure how reliable domestic flights are. Should I be worried that it could be very delayed or cancelled? Does anyone have insight on this?

San Francisco...
posts: 10
11. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

Thanks for all the great responses!

I am fairly well-traveled and have a high tolerance for the surprises that travel can bring (I once had to wait three weeks for a seat to open up on a flight outta the Indian Himalayas!) But on this trip, I will have a 6 year old in tow and a beach house waiting for us in Bali, hence my desire to make the trip as easy/dependable as possible.

Kvchina, your post has given me the solution that I was looking for! I was so fixated on getting a same day flight from Nanchang to PVG (because our BKK flight is from there) that I didn’t think of SHA as an option.

So here is what we will do:

Fly from Nanchang to SHA the day before our international flight, drive 20 minutes to the same Hilton that we will stay at earlier in the trip, and then drive to PVG the next day. That will give us better/more options for flights, save us drive time to/from airports, give us more time to enjoy Shanghai…and will hopefully, offer us a bit more peace of mind that we will make our flight to Bangkok!


San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
posts: 2,934
reviews: 44
12. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

I generally avoid using Shanghai as transit point, because all Int'l carriers are at PVG, transit inside China is at SHA, 2-3 hours away and costly, often it also means one overnight Shanghai hotel, as flights from North America arrive in the evening. A big waste of time, money and energy. This a tricky part, because many people don't know that, including travel agents and airline operators, even frequent flyers like us can forget that, the consequence is very bad.

I avoid Beijing as transit point because it has fog which can delay flights for many hours.

I avoid landing/take off at Guangzhou in late afternoon or evening, because Guangzhou has seasonal monsoon rain and huge thunderstorm in the afternoon, airport closes for many hours.

All above happened to us, we learned from bad experience.

For my North Asia trans-Pacific flights, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka always have clear weather for my transit use, all flights in same airports, superior business class lounges, and gives me a chance to stretch my legs after 10 hours, vs 14 hours flights to PVG or Beijing, HKG or TPE.

Edited: 1:43 pm, May 01, 2013
San Francisco...
posts: 10
13. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

I agree--getting out of China on this trip is talking a bit of planning on this trip.

But we are spending a week in Nanchang and needed to stop in Shanghai to check out a summer camp program for my daughter--so Shanghai was not chosen merely as a transit point.

I am sure we will enjoy the trip!

posts: 3,206
reviews: 5
14. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

I think your solution per post #11 is fine. It will be a stopover in Shanghai (albeit brief) rather than trying to transit. This makes flying domestic into SHA and intl out of PVG palatable. You may also find that a week in Nanchang might be overdoing it, in which case getting to Shanghai an extra day or so earlier should be considered---you can always daytrip over to Suzhou or Hangzhou or a water town, if you have not previously seen any of those places.

Have fun on your trip!

Edited: 7:48 pm, May 01, 2013
Shanghai, China
posts: 14
reviews: 5
15. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

1st be sure in the same airport or not.

2nd if u meet flight traffic control, no one can help u.

You can check the flight via app or website Veryzhun.com it's useful.

posts: 175
reviews: 74
16. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

Just came back from China where we had 4 internal flights on China Eastern- all delayed between 1 to 2 hours. We flew midday and in the afternoon. VIP lounges all had showers btw.

Tel Aviv, Israel
posts: 1,600
17. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

Hi there i was in china last year and took three domestic flights (several airlines) . Not only did they all leave on time one of them even left 15 mins early (I assumed we were all on board). The service was great on all the flights, the planes were all in excellent condition, the airports i used were all spotless and its a great way to get round China if you are pushed for time. I booked all my flights on ctrip. Of course weather is a factor but three out of three is pretty good odds.

good luck



Xi'an, China
Destination Expert
for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
posts: 4,421
reviews: 3
18. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

The general situation is, the later in the day you fly the more delayed.

19. Re: reliability of domestic flights?

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