Everything you should know about flying in and out of China.
You’ll find many different options for flying direct and non-direct from the US. This short and simple guide will give you information about what airlines fly into and out of China and what documents you’ll need to get there.
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What airlines fly direct to China from the US
If you plan on flying to China and don’t feel like dealing with a layover, you’ve got a handful of options — however, you’ll likely pay more for a direct flight. Here are your options for airlines that fly direct:
- Air China
- American Airlines
- China Eastern
- China Southern
- Continental Airlines
- Hainan Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Pacific Airways
- US Airways
- United Airlines
Direct flights to China typically last between 12 and 15 hours, so pack some snacks and big bottle of water to keep you hydrated.
Passport and visa information for China
You’ll need both a passport and visa when traveling to China. The one exception for traveling to China without a visa is if you’ll be staying strictly in Hong Kong. Here’s what you need to know about both documents before you hop on plane.
Passports for China
As with traveling anywhere out of the country, you’ll need a US passport. You can obtain a passport from the nearest passport agency. If you’re traveling within the week, you’ll need to have your passport expedited so you can receive it either day of or overnight. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you already have a passport, it will not be useful if it’s within six months of its expiration date.
Visas for China
You’ll also need a visa to get in the country — this will allow you to travel from city to city. If you’re found without visa, you’ll likely be swiftly deported and heavily fined. To get a visa for China, you’ll can either apply at a Chinese Embassy or Consulate General, or through a courier service that deals directly with expediting visas. There are several different kinds of visa depending on what the reason of your visit is, they are:
- Business visa
- Tourist visa
- Student visa
- Work visa
- Crew visa
- Journalist visa
- Transit visa
- Permanent resident visa
A visa for China will cost anywhere from $140 to $170 and you should apply at least a month before you travel to make sure you’re good to go when it’s time to fly.