Shanghai to Beijing flight

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Apr 26th, 2012, 08:15 PM
  #1
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Shanghai to Beijing flight

What is the best airport to use when flying from Shanghai to Beijing? Staying downtown in both cities.
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Apr 26th, 2012, 11:24 PM
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None. Take the high speed rail.

But if train is not an option for whatever reason, fly SHA-PEK.
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Apr 26th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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I avoid Beijing at all costs but my friends here in town are raving about the high speed rail....
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Apr 27th, 2012, 04:14 AM
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Just curious Cokesmith - why do you avoid Beijing at all costs?
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May 16th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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I'm making the trip in reverse....and was wondering if it would be better to fly or take the train.......
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May 17th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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I don't know that Beijing and Shanghai really have a "downtown" as they are quite large cities and their business centres are rather spread out. Beijing's physical centre is Tiananmen. The airport is maybe 30 miles north east of that. For Shanghai, I am not sure what you would call "downtown", are you staying in Pudong or Puxi or elsewhere?

If your hotel is on a subway line or a short taxi ride to Longyang station in Pudong (the end station for the high-speed rail to Pudong airport), it is hard to beat the speed and convenience of the rail trip to Pudong airport. There seem to be a fair number of daily flights to Beijing from this airport, so that makes in convenient as well.

Whether Hongqiao airport is closer would all depend on where your hotel is located. From Pudong/Puxi near the river with little traffic it is about 45-60 minutes by taxi and costs about 160 RMB. Traffic in Shanghai can be quite bad, so bear that in mind if you have a departure during rush hours on a weekday. You can take the subway to Hongqiao airport, I have not done this so don't know how convenient it is or how long it would take.

If you are considering the train, note that Hongqiao train station in Shanghai is located next door to Hongqiao airport, so getting out to that airport or the train station would be exactly the same in terms of time and distance from your hotel. The train takes about 5 hours for the fastest ones (if all goes well), the flight just over 3 hours (ditto). Normally with that little difference between travel time a train would generally work out better because you need to allow for security and check-in at an airport. However, there will be lines for security to enter the train station and at the entrance to get down to your track, which will be crowded (the station is massive, it has arrival and departure levels like an airport), so you actually need to be there a bit early compared to trains in Europe or India (I'd say 30 minutes), so door to door the flight will most likely work out to be faster or about the same as taking the train.

The high-speed rail between Shanghai and Beijing has had more than its share of delays and other problems over the last year; you might want to do some reading up on it. So do bear that in mind.
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May 17th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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Generally it is better to fly out of Shanghai out of the Hongqiao airport - even if you are staying in Pudong - as it is closer. I often use the train now. Quick and lots of space and generally cheaper. I have not heard of any delays on this train. I and many friends take it often and it is 100% on time in my experience. Can't say the same about flying.
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May 17th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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Also you don't need to be there early except if you don't know you way around the station. I have arrived as late as 5 minutes before departure (although this was not the original plan). Same as Europe. Actually simpler than Spain where I was last week.
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May 17th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Flight delays in China has started to become legendary. Well, familiar for those who fly to/from the Northeast US, but not to other population of the world.
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May 18th, 2012, 03:21 AM
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Right but nowhere near as bad as the US in my experience (and I fly often). But I was commenting on "...The high-speed rail between Shanghai and Beijing has had more than its share of delays ..." I think that this is not a valid comment at all.
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