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Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

Level Contributor
7 posts
3 reviews
Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

So I was denied boarding this morning by AirAsia for my KUL to SZX flight. I had a subsequent SZX to SEA flight that I then missed. They denied me boarding because I do not have the 10 year China visa. However earlier this month I had entered China through SZX on a 24 hr visa and entered Hong Kong within that time. No problems.

Now correct me if Im wrong but they improperly denied me boarding right? Not only did I not even need the transit Visa as I was staying within the international terminal but the 24hr transit Visa would have applied anyway.

The guy who denied me at the gate didn't know about the SZX 24 hr visa on arrival. Later at the help desk they tried spinning some web about them sending an email out at 4am asking for a transit Visa but I doubt their claim. Am I in the right and do I have any recourse?

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
23,859 posts
47 reviews
1. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

First of all, it's not a transit visa. It's transit without visa. You probably used the wrong terminology and the desk person was probably not knowledgeable or inexperienced. Did you show them your onward flight on a different airline, leaving Shenzhen within 24 hrs? Did you ask for a supervisor?

Level Contributor
7 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

Yes I showed them my continuing flights I asked for a supervisor. The gate agent was an jerk and didn't care. After the fact they claim they are a point to point airline or something.

Level Contributor
7 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

hongdaservice.com/blog/new-free-72-hour-shen…

I am in the right. Now what do I do about it?

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
45,747 posts
824 reviews
4. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

You need to file a complaint with the airline. First you need to get your terminology straight. Stop using expressions like trannsit visa or visa on arrival. These have nothing to do with your situation. And one does not need a 10-year visa to enter China, just a visa.

Also note that the visa exemption in the case of a transit has conditions. One such conditions is that not all passports qualify. We have no idea of what passport you hold. Also, did you flights have any stopovers?

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
9,856 posts
5. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

JPDeM, for the 24 hour transit additional stops in China don't matter as long as you are no more than 24 hours in China.

Level Contributor
7 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

I have a us passport. There were no additional stops.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12,234 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

There is no "24 hour transit visa." A Chinese transit visa is something one gets in advance. You are probably referring to Transit Without Visa (TWOV) and that is something completely different. Different legally, different logistically, and different terminology.

Bad news for you--you didn't read the fine print on Chinese TWOV. Shenzhen is one of the few Chinese airports that DOES NOT HAVE Transit Without Visa. This is clearly mentioned in the TIMATIC database that is used by airlines the world over to determine eligibility of boarding. While it's odd given Shenzhen Airport's size and international flights, it is probably a local protectionist measure by more powerful Guangzhou city and Guangzhou airport (which does have TWOV). The excluding of SZX from TWOV is not new.

You were correctly denied boarding and I'm afraid have no recourse. The burden is on you to comply with requirements and by trying to do a TWOV through SZX, you couldn't. If you had routed via CAN, you wouldn't have had any problems.

I have no idea what you're talking about on that previous visit when you said you entered at SZX then went to HKG. The only way you could have legally done that is with a Chinese visa--which was presumably a single-entry that then went void once you left the mainland.

Edited: 01 July 2017, 03:53
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12,234 posts
5 reviews
8. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

That link you provided in post #3 was dated February 2016. If you read it properly, it shows that Shenzhen was planning to institute this. The sponsor of that website was wildly optimistic and failed to clearly point out that this was not a done deal. It was Wishful Thinking on the part of Shenzhen and to this day (18 months from the article date) still has not been put into force.

Again, airlines refer to the TIMATIC database which is an official IATA publication, updated regularly. They do not use Embassy websites or random press announcements as a means by which they judge boarding eligibility.

Chalk the experience up as a lesson learned--failure of proper due diligence--and move on.

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13,063 posts
22 reviews
9. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

>>Not only did I not even need the transit Visa as I was staying within the international terminal <<

>>The gate agent was an jerk and didn't care. After the fact they claim they are a point to point airline or something.<<

This point is true. Whether you want to leave the terminal or not is irrelevant. Clearing Immigration (for which visa is needed if your passport is not visa free for that country) and collecting check in luggage are usually a must in between flights booked under separate reference numbers.

Edited: 01 July 2017, 08:41
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
696 posts
10. Re: Improperly denied boarding or not? China visa legal question

Besides of the statement in posts #7 and #8, as you would continue your journey on a DIRECT flight to the US, it is the second condition that you are not eligible for Transit Without Visa policy.

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