We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

Amsterdam
Level Contributor
863 posts
Save Topic
Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

I don't think anyone has reported this wrinkle on the forum before (a quick search threw nothing up, but the search algorithm is famously brain-dead, so apologies if I am repeating others).

If you are thinking of using KLM to fly between Europe and Auckland (New Zealand) via Shanghai, be aware that at check-in in Auckland Air New Zealand will not check your bags further than Shanghai. If you are flying with a Star Alliance partner such as Swiss or Lufthansa, your bags will be checked through to your destination. As a KLM passenger, however, after 11+ hours in the air from Auckland you will have to complete immigration formalities in Shanghai, collect your bags and clear Chinese customs and then wait a couple of hours for the AirFrance-KLM check-in desks to open so that you can check yourself and your baggage in for the next 11+ hours back to Schiphol. As EU passport holders we were given 24-hour Chinese entry visas without additional hassle, but you really don't need this sort of nonsense in the middle of a 30-hour itinerary. Better to choose another airline or another route.

Italy
Level Contributor
39,474 posts
207 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

Thanks for the info.

uk
Level Contributor
3,464 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

Just out of interest, how did you buy your ticket?

Was it through a consolidator?

Was it one through ticket or two seperate tickets for each leg?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
26,490 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

Well this is nothing to do with KLM. Possibly the transit procedure at PVG, or the Air New Zealand check in agent at AKL. If your flights were on one ticket - and KLM does sell AMS-PVG-AKL with a NZ codeshare - then your bags should be through checked to your final destination no matter which other airline you were flying.

So it looks to me as though the NZ check in agent got this wrong. S/he should have through checked your bags to AMS, and then you could have used the transit facility at PVG. If PVG doesn't have a transit facility (like at US airports) then the check in agent should have explained that to you, not given the incorrect excuse that s/he can't through check as KLM is not in Star Alliance.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
838 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

I flew YVR-SIN- BKK-YVR via PVG on the return and on one ticket issued by Air Canada, a Star Alliance carrier. On the BKK-PVG sector I flew Thai, also a Star Alliance carrier. Thai was unable to check my bag straight through to YVR even though both airlines are in the same alliance. I was advised that the Chinese Government will not allow through check-in. I'm guessing this applies to all passengers connecting to another airline at PVG, if not all Chinese airports.

I too had to claim my baggage at PVG, go through Chinese immigration (I was also issued a 24 hour airport only visa) and line up and check in for my connecting flight at the Air Canada counters in the terminal.

Flights may be cheaper via China, but this hassle plus all the reported multi hour flight delays currently occurring at Chinese airports would make me avoid any routing that takes me through China. At least for the time being.

So be warned!

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
26,490 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

Thanks for that information about PVG, smacdvanbc. Very useful.

South Pole
Level Contributor
15,383 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

sort of like transiting the USA but without the check in bit.

Amsterdam
Level Contributor
863 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

Hi. Interesting to read the comments and experience of others.

These flights were on one ticket (AMS-HKG-AKL-PVG-AMS) bought on the AirFrance-KLM website with an NZ codeshare on the HKG-AKL and AKL-PVG legs. On the outward journey we were able to check our bags through to Auckland; we didn't have to recover and recheck our bags in Hong Kong. Given Hong Kong's special status as part of China, it may be that a transit rule enforced in mainland China (PVG for example) does not apply in Hong Kong.

But what I found really confusing was that passengers continuing their itineraries from PVG on Swiss Airlines, on Lufthansa and (if I remember correctly) also on Virgin Atlantic did indeed have baggage checked through to their final destinations. Transit (as the term is usually understood) *is* possible at PVG. There was signage for transit passengers in arrivals, which we had to ignore on our way to immigration and customs etc etc.

Of course we questioned this obstinately and at length on check-in in Auckland. The check-in agent confirmed with her supervisor. There was no way our bags were going to be checked through.

I do see USBusinessTraveller's point when s/he says "this is nothing to do with KLM" but from my perspective as the customer it has everything to do with KLM. I bought a product from KLM and it has this very unhelpful (undocumented) feature. As the customer, I am not concerned whether this bug derives from Air New Zealand the Chinese government or a solar eclipse. It's part of what KLM sold me and it sucks!

8. Re: Hassle on KLM routes between Amsterdam-Auckland, via China.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, August 19, 2014