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My father is flying from NZ to the UK via Beijing. He arrives on an Air New Zealand flight at terminal 3E and departs on a BA flight also from Terminal 3E a few hours latter.

Will he need to go through customs and immigration or can he just connect? I also assume he needs to recheck his luggage as Air NZ and BA don't code share?

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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I took the novel step of calling Air New Zealand, and they said the flight was booked directly through them even though he used webjet.co.nz (which was why I was reluctant to call them in the first place) the flight is connecting and he will be issued tickets and have his bag checked through from his point of departure.

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I assume that since AirNZ and BA don't code share, your trip is on two separate tickets. This might be a problem. The best bet is to ring AirNZ and ask them about the luggage being checked through. If it's not, you're going to have to clear immigration (with a visa) pick up his bag, check in to his second flight, and go through security again. This can take a long time.

What's your connection time in Beijing? Risky with anything less than four hours. These kind of trips with legs on seperate tickets can be quite risky, as if the first flight is late and you miss your connection, you now have an argument about who's liable, and it'll probably be you.

Air NZ's website has this to say:

Connecting with Other Airlines

If you have a connecting flight with another airline, your baggage may be through-checked if Air New Zealand has an interline agreement with the other airline. Your flights must also all be on the same ticket. If your flights are ticketed separately, baggage may only be through-checked if your tickets are issued in conjunction with each other. Please contact your booking agent if you are unsure whether your baggage may be through-checked.

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Also see this thread on flyertalk: flyertalk.com/forum/air-new-zealand-air-points/… where people had different experiences when going through LHR. So ring AirNZ and check! –  Ray Feb 29 '12 at 17:22
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He'll be fine. Even switching airlines you can usually get the bag checked through.

As for changing flights, this should be possible in transit, and even if he has to leave, assuming he's on a NZ passport:

Chinese Transit Visa(G):

  • Visas are not required of aliens, who hold final destination tickets and have booked seats on international airliners flying directly through China, and will stay in a transit city for less than 24 hours without leaving the airport.
  • Visas are not required of Citizens of the following countries, who transit through Pudong Airport or Hongqiao Airport of Shanghai, provided they hold valid passports, visas for the onward countries, final destination tickets and have booked seats, and stay in Shanghai for less than 48 hours: Republic of Korea, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland.

(note their spelling mistake for "Luxembourg" is their one, not mine)

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