China - Mexico Routing (complicated; please help)

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by BrianD, Mar 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status Points:
    80
    I have been racking my brain over this one and am hoping some of the experts may be able to help. My fiance and I are getting married in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in May and it would mean a lot to her if we can find a way for her brother to be able to attend the wedding. He lives in Shanghai but holds a Guinea-Bissau passport/citizenship (long story).

    Our understanding is the Mexico visa will not be an issue. Ideally, he would have been able to come to Dallas for a few days before Mexico. Unfortunately, we grossly underestimated the time needed to obtain a Visitor Visa; they are saying 60+ days and she was use to Taiwan where it takes a week. Unless anyone knows any tricks to expedite those, that option is probably off the table, as well as any flights that connect through the US. It was probably questionable either way as to whether he would be approved...the approval rate seemed to be 50% for Guinea-Bissau citizens.

    Some basic points about what I think we are looking for:
    - Shanghai (PVG) to either Cancun (CUN)/Cozumel (CZM) and return
    - Connecting airports should allow transit without clearing customers or should not require a Visa for his citizenship (unless Visa is easily obtainable for his citizenship & with this short notice)
    - Preferred dates: arrive by 5/18 and depart on 5/22. (wedding is on 5/20)
    - budget; hoping around $2,000 but could do up to $2,500
    - not concerned about miles or airlines at this point but may use them if it is an option

    I have only found one possible option - all on AeroMexico:
    5/19: PVG-TIJ-MEX-CUN
    5/24: CUN-MEX-TIJ-PVG

    The dates are not idea but I believe they only fly the PVG-TIJ route once a week or something. Maybe connecting through Canada is an option but not sure about the Visa requirements there.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Even just a good travel agent recommendation would be helpful at this point.

    Apologies if this is the wrong forum; wasn't really sure how to categorize since it is airline/alliance agnostic.
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Have you looked for flights through HKG, SIN, or INC, possibly NRT/KIX? It might be easier to get to Mexico without transiting the US if you connect elsewhere in Asia, rather than looking for a nonstop from PVG. You should check carefully, but I think these airports don't require visas for transit passengers.
     
  3. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status Points:
    80
    Thanks for the ideas. I hadn't been looking direct from PVG necessarily but that was all I had found. I looked around some more after you suggestion and the only other Asia connection option is PVG-NRT-MEX-CUN. Limited days though and pretty well booked so will be pricey. But it is an option.

    This is the site I was using to explore routes (http://openflights.org) along with Kayak to limit connection airports....maybe there is a better way to explore.

    Canada looks to be a pretty appealing option if we can get him a Transit Visa. Looking on their website it appears to be a much shorter wait but I have no experience dealing with these things.
     
  4. Tinkerer
    Original Member

    Tinkerer Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    5,080
    Status Points:
    4,070
    First of all, welcome to MilePoint and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    I would recommend you try using ITA's matrix tool and Delta's visa and passport info tool.

    ITA lets you search across airlines over a couple days and will show you the connection airports in the results table (if you hover over the airport codes it will tell you the airport name). You can filter results by clicking on the prices in the results table for starters (you can also use advanced routing codes if you want to get fancy but I'm finding things in the 2,200-2,300 range with a straight search). Delta's tool will give you a sense of the visa requirements. That way you can see what may work for him and then just confirm with the Embassies/consulates and do more targeted searches to actually book the flights.

    From a quick search I'm finding connections in the EU (AMS or CDG) via Air France and KLM and they in the budget you mentioned. According to the Delta tool, he would either need a Schengen visa or can Transit without Visa "if holding a valid visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Ireland (Rep. of), Japan, Liechtenstein, Romania, USA or United Kingdom" Hopefully/perhaps getting one of those visas is easier.




     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  5. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Personally, I'm not sure I would rely on DL's visa info except to check it before DL flights as it's likely to be the info that DL agents see. The consulate of the country in question is the official source, although I know that there's also a site that airlines sometimes use.

    I would read the statement quoted above as probably applying to passengers transiting to the listed country whose entry visa they hold. I also don't see some of these countries issuing visas simply so that someone can transit a different EU country without a transit visa. Nevertheless, a EU transit visa might be easier and faster to obtain than a US visa, so that traveling through Europe could possibly work.
     
  6. Tinkerer
    Original Member

    Tinkerer Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    5,080
    Status Points:
    4,070
    Thanks for reinforcing the need to double check with embassies - in complicated cases like these I find the Delta tool a faster "first-check" to avoid wading through tons of embassy sites unnecessarily or trying to catch them during their open hours to confirm. In the end, double checking is essential as I'd mentioned.

    Also, given that the flyer lives in Shanghai he may have some of the visas that allow transiting without visa in Schengen countries already in his possession so I thought it was worth tossing out there. Hope springs eternal, perhaps.

    Do you have any other tools you would recommend to try to facilitate this complicated routing?
     
  7. colpuck
    Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,499
    Likes Received:
    21,640
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Air Canada will do it for 2K. PVG-YYZ-CUN-YYZ-PVG.

    I would suggest not arranging a stop-over in the US. First, the US is too paranoid. Second, the instant you said long story the odds of him actually getting a B-2 visa dropped to nil, and you don't want a visa rejection stamp if at all possible. The U.S. Doesn't do well with long stories.

    For canada he will need a visa as well. That may or may not be problematic, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-how.asp
     
    Tinkerer likes this.
  8. Tinkerer
    Original Member

    Tinkerer Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    5,080
    Status Points:
    4,070
    One more idea - if Aeromexico (or Air Canada, visa permitting) don't work out and you end up needing to force an itinerary with no visas beyond the Mexican one, consider something like

    PVG-DXB-GRU-BOG-MEX-CUN/CZM

    Dubai, Brazil, and Colombia seem to allow transit without visas so if you can get connections within the 24-72 hours they allow you may have another option ... albeit loooong. If you have Continental miles you might be able to snag this if you move quickly and can still book on EK for PVG-DXB-GRU and CM for the rest.

    Good luck!
     
  9. colpuck
    Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,499
    Likes Received:
    21,640
    Status Points:
    16,520
    If he is good for the Mexican visa, just go with that. The extra 10% is well worth avoiding any political hassles with US or Canadian state departments.
     
  10. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status Points:
    80
    I just wanted to follow-up with our results. We pursued the Canadian Visa primarily because he could fly on ideal dates to line up with our trip. Unfortunately he was declined.

    The good news is he was at least approved for a Mexico Visa and he is all setup to fly PVG-TIJ-MEX-CUN. The seem to only fly that route once or twice a week so dates aren't ideal but they will work. And in the end, her brother will be able to attend our wedding.

    Thank all of you very much for taking the time to respond and share your guideance. Much appreciated!
     
    Tinkerer and Gargoyle like this.
  11. Tinkerer
    Original Member

    Tinkerer Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    5,080
    Status Points:
    4,070
    Thanks for the update. Glad he's making it to your wedding :)
     

Share This Page