Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   Airport Transfer in Beijing Shanghai (

Klgallo Jan 4th, 2005 03:25 PM

Airport Transfer in Beijing Shanghai
Our tour company quoted us the following for airport transfers
$35 per person for transfer from the Beijing airport and $50 per person from the Shanghai airport. Since there is 5 of us, 4 adults and 1 child, the cost would be $175 and $250 respectively.

This can't be right. How much is a taxi into town in Beijing and Shanghai? The tour is putting us up at the Gloria Plaza Hotel and it doesn't look like the hotel has a shuttle service. Are there any limosine services?

Thanks for your help.


xgao Jan 5th, 2005 05:52 AM

The taxis should not cost you more than $20 to get into town in either Beijing or Shanghai. The prices quoted by your tour company probably are for limousine services, which really is not necessary, expecially if they are price by no. of person.

Cicerone Jan 5th, 2005 06:48 AM

The $20 taxi price quoted for Beijing seems low, to me, as the airport is almost an hour by car. Also, with 5 people and bags, you may need two taxis.

Have you contacted the hotels to ask about shuttle services or the prices for private car transport? They should also be able to estimate the taxi price. Send them a fax or e-mail. I donít know of private limo companies in China, I am sure they exist, perhaps others will have contact info. I also use the hotelís transport service, it is more than worth any extra cost as they meet you as you enter the arrivals hall, help with luggage, and know exactly where to go. You donít have to deal with lines for taxis (which can be long at peak hours or in bad weather), or a driver who does not know where your hotel is located. If you have never been to China and are arriving jet lagged from a long international flight, the last thing you want to do is wait in a taxi line and possibly get a driver who doesnít know where he is going and/or takes the ďlongĒ way. All in all, a hotel car is the way to go in China, IMO.

If you donít want to use a private car, there are several options. In Shanghai, I assume you are flying into Pudong International Airport and not Hongqiao International Airport. Pudong Airport has a very cool and fast MAG train from the airport to the Long Yang Road metro stop in downtown. It takes under 10 minutes and costs 50 RMB one way (about US$6). I am not sure where your hotel is in relation to Long Yang Road metro stop, but most likely the taxi fare from the train station to your hotel would be quite cheap. Also, you could just take the metro from Long Yang to the stop nearest your hotel, your hotel should be able to give you directions. With a lot of luggage, the metro may not be the best way. (If you are flying into Hongquio, the airport is quite close to the city and a taxi should cost you about $8 and I would simply take a taxi or a hotel car.)

There are several paid hotel shuttle bus circuits from Pudong Shanghai Airport, take a look at the website (see below). I donít know what hotel you are staying at in Shanghai, but check the list, and if it is not on the list, perhaps you can figure out if one of the hotels on the circuit is near your hotel, then you could take the shuttle to that hotel and walk to your hotel.

Finally, there are public buses running from Beijing and the Shanghai airports to downtown areas. Website for Beijing International Airport is (click on English in upper left), website for Pudong Shanghai International airport is (click on English in upper right). The websites should provide public transport info.

A useful map of the Shanghai subway system is at, and for Beijing at

Patty Jan 5th, 2005 01:25 PM

A metered taxi from Pudong airport to central Shanghai is around 150 yuan (or about $20). If you're flying into Hongqiao airport, it'll be less. You'll need the name and address of your hotel written in Chinese.

The maglev option from Pudong airport will cost more and won't save you any time overall vs. just taking a taxi directly from the airport, but you can certainly take it for the novelty factor ;) Longyang station is nowhere near central Shanghai (it's not even close to most of the Pudong hotels) and from there you'll need to take a taxi or the metro to your hotel (the latter is not recommended if you have lots of luggage).

See my maglev report if you want more details about this option:;tid=34516814

dperry Jan 5th, 2005 04:57 PM

Be careful, chinese cab drivers from airport are notorious for overcharing!
This happened to me. All other taxi drivers I encountered while there were honest, though. The estimate of approx $20 from the airport into center city is correct, from what I've read elsewhere.

Mthomp77 Jan 5th, 2005 06:16 PM

$20 maximum in both cities! There are cab queues at both airports in Shanghai and in Beijing where the drivers will use a meter. If you are arriving late at night I'd suggest having the hotels arrange for a car (not limo) as it can be difficult even if one speaks the language. (which I do)

The Gloria Plaza (Kai Lai fandian) is a decent place and will assist you if need be. I have arrived with colleagues late in the evening so have pre-arranged for a car to pick us up. The car should be $35-50 for all of you not per person.

Personally I would dump your tour company if at all possible. Sounds to me like they are rip-off city kind of folks.

EdEdwards Jan 5th, 2005 07:20 PM

We were in China last August, 2 adults and 2 teens. We can confirm that taxi rates were very cheap to and from the hotels -- $20 sounds like more than enough. However, you will definitely need 2 taxis if you have even 4 fullsize people. What we did was to arrange for vans to transport us -- from Beijing Airport at the start of our trip, then to Shanghai Pudong Airport at the end, from our hotel on Nanjing Road. The vans are called "mien bao" which I believe means "bread loaves" or something to that effect, because their squared off backs are similar to the shape of the end of a loaf of bread. They amply fit 4 or 5 people plus luggage. I don't remember exactly, but I think the rate in Shanghai to the airport from the hotel was at most $50, and well worth it, we felt, for the convenience (in comparison to dealing with 2 taxis). Interestingly, the official hotel shuttle at the Sofitel Hyland in Shanghai was about $200 for the same kind of van transport. Frequently, there are posted prices, but at the same time people are willing to arrange alternative service providers at much lower cost -- and they sometimes even suggest the cheaper alternative on their own. We arranged our Pudong Airport mien bao with the Bell Captain, who also could arrange the "official" transport at the higher price. So, I would definitely call the hotels from the States, ask to speak to whoever arranges airport pickups, and make your own arrangements.

OJudy Jan 5th, 2005 07:34 PM

My husband and I paid 80 yuan ($9.60) for a taxi ride from the Beijing airport to the Marco Polo Hotel, just west of Tiananmen Square.

Klgallo Jan 8th, 2005 09:23 AM

Thank you for all your help. You all confirmed what I thought. I have now contacted my tour company and asked them to double check the charges for transportation. If they don't get in line, I'll make our own arangements.

Neil_Oz Jan 8th, 2005 12:51 PM

Kathy, those transfer fees are a gigantic rip-off - you're dealing with con artists!

A 45-minute cab ride from our Shanghai hotel to the airport was Y140 or US$17. In Beijing, from airport to city hotel Y90 (US$11), obviously an overcharge as the return trip was Y60 (a bit over US$7). Still cheaper than the hotel's offer of Y120 (their car didn't turn up).

Note that tipping is NOT expected and not practiced in China other than by foreigners who don't know any better. Not for cabs, not for restaurants, not for anybody except, I'm told, tour operators and guides with foreign clienteles. We took one day tour and it was noticeable that the guide made no attempt to secure a tip - most of our fellow tourists were Chinese nationals, who would have laughed at her. (As a further example, we paid half what the other western customers did for that tour. Unlike them we stayed in a hotel with a mostly Chinese clientele, so ours was the "real price".)

If you opt to just catch your own cab from the airport you will definitely need the name of your destination written in Chinese, as the cabbie won't have any English and almost certainly won't understand you if you try to pronounce the hotel name in Mandarin. Also, make sure to take a cab from the rank - give the brush-off to anyone who approaches you offering a "metered taxi", also to anyone offering to take charge of your bags.

We found regular (licenced) cabbies in China almost always efficient, good-humoured and honest. Even if some of those airport guys can't resist the opportunity to milk a few extra yuan out of unsuspecting foreigners, it's still a cheap way to get around. All licenced cabs will offer you a printed receipt, by the way.

Klgallo Jan 10th, 2005 02:11 PM

Thanks for all your help. My tour company got back to me and they are standing by their numbers. I told them their information was inaccurate and I would make my own arrangments.


Cicerone Jan 21st, 2005 12:08 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:02 PM.