Known as the “Factory of the world,” China is the second-largest economy and has continued to grow its economy steadily for the past 30 years. Shanghai is one of China’s largest cities and its financial hub. But besides economics, Shanghai has a unique culture, awe-inspiring natural and man-made landscapes, and mouth-watering cuisines, making it a highly-visited city in China.
Whether you are planning a business trip or an adventure, this article will give you important information that can help make your flight-booking process a lot easier. Pay particular attention to the tips shared at the end of this post if you are planning to book cheap flights to Shanghai from the United States, and also make sure your Chinese visa through Visaexpress.com is ready.
International Airports for Flights between the United States and Shanghai, China
Your trip can begin at several international airports from the different cities in the United States when you are traveling to Shanghai. To help you find the best flights, here is a list of airports in the US with their codes where you can find flights to Shanghai.
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Shanghai has two international airport destinations. These are:
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
- Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA)
Top Airlines to Choose From
Several airlines provide flights to Shanghai from different states in the US. Apparently, that would be a long list, but here are a selected few from the major airlines:
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air France
- All Nippon Airways
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- China Eastern Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- EVA Airways
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Turkish Airlines
- United Airlines
We have handpicked some of the highly-rated airlines for your consideration. While most of these airlines offer premium services, you can still find cheap flights to Shanghai on some of them.
United Airlines is a member of Star Alliance and has codeshares with several airlines such as Lufthansa, Air Canada, and more. The airline has more than 770 aircraft in its fleet all comprising Boeing and Airbus planes.
United Airlines serves more than 200 airports across the world covering Germany, France, Belgium, China, Japan, and many other countries.
Passengers can choose from a variety of travel classes, including Economy Plus, United Polaris, Business Class, and Premium Plus. The Economy section comes with spacious seats and enough legroom. The United Polaris provides access to a cozy bed and silk pajamas, among other amenities. Passengers on the Business Class get two free checked bags in addition to a hot meal. The Premium Plus section offers free alcoholic drinks plus upgraded seats.
You can find flights to Shanghai on United Airlines starting from $3,795.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, American Airlines is one of the pioneering carriers in the world with nine different hubs in the United States. The company’s massive fleet size services over 50 countries of the world.
The fleet comprises McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Bombardier jets. The Boeing 737-800 model is the airline’s most commonly flown aircraft.
Travel classes for the airline come in Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class. Passengers are offered non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, regardless of section. However, customers flying First Class have access to personal pods.
Flights to Shanghai on American Airlines start from $3,695 for roundtrips and an average of $2,939 for one-way flights.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline is among the oldest in the world. Delta (as it is commonly called) prefers narrow-bodied jets that are in the short-to-medium range. The airline has a fleet consisting of McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, and Airbus aircraft, with the Boeing 737 and Airbus a321 being the most commonly flown models.
Travel classes for Delta Air Lines include Economy, Premium Economy, and Business Class. Passengers on all flight sections are offered Starbucks coffee. A wider meal option and increased legroom are available for passengers flying Premium Economy. In addition to all of these, the Business Class section offers skincare products, comfy bedding, and noise-canceling headsets.
On average, the cheapest one-way flights to Shanghai on Delta Air Lines can cost around $890.
Air China is the official national carrier for the People’s Republic of China. It is one of the most prestigious airlines in the region, covering about 35 countries on nearly all the continents of the world.
All flights offer Economy and Business Class, while the First Class is available in some of the aircraft. Some of the amenities available for premium tickets include reclining beds, sliding privacy boards, and headphones, among others.
The cheapest average price for a one-way ticket for flights to Shanghai from the US is $560, while roundtrips can cost up to $1,173.
Lufthansa is a premium carrier that strives to provide maximum passenger comfort and hospitality. It is the first European airline to attain a 5-star accreditation and the second-largest airline in all of Europe. Lufthansa’s services cover more than 80 countries of the world.
Passengers can choose from Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class. Each travel class offers various free checked baggage ranging from one bag of up to 50 lbs (for Economy Class) to 3 bags of up to 70 lbs (for First Class).
Depending on the cabin class, passengers have a variety of meal options, including lactose-free, gluten-free, low sodium, kosher, low cholesterol, light whole food, Muslim and Hindu non-vegetarian, child meal, and more.
Prices can range from $1,381 to $4,050 for roundtrips, depending on the time of year, class of flight, and where you are flying from.
China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines serves over 30 different countries across Asia, Europe, and more. In addition, it serves over 150 destinations in China.
Many of the aircraft offer Economy, Business, and First Class options. Economy passengers have access to pillows and blankets, while those in Business Class can recline on seats that convert to flatbeds. First Class passengers are typically only six in modern jets, with each having full comfort in pod-style booths. Chinese tea is served alongside all meals, regardless of the class option.
You can find cheap flights to Shanghai on this airline from $661 for one-way tickets and $1,221 for roundtrips on average.
Emirates airline is a world-renown premium carrier based in the United Arab Emirates. It is the fourth-largest airline in the world serving more than 140 different airports across 70 countries around the globe. It has its major destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
With a large fleet of planes numbering over 250 and consisting of Boeing and Airbus, Emirates has nearly all categories of passenger aircraft. The airline has in its fleet the Airbus A380-800, renowned as the largest passenger plane in the world. It can airlift up to 615 passengers and is used for long-distance trips.
Travelers can choose from three travel classes, including Economy, Business, and First Class. Free beverages, meals, and entertainment are offered in the Economy Class, while passengers flying Business and First Class have larger screens, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and additional amenities such as seats that can convert into beds.
One-way flights to Shanghai can cost an average of $1,354 and round trips can be as cheap as $1,436 or as high as $4,727 depending on availability and where you are flying from.
Aeroflot Airlines is a Russian carrier with an extensive reach covering over 140 airports spread in 52 different countries. The airline has over 250 aircraft in its fleet consisting of Boeing, Irkut, and Airbus.
Passengers booking flights to Shanghai from the US using this airline will likely fly the popular Airbus A320-200 designated for medium-range flights serving Asia and Europe.
While the economy class comes with a free checked bag, you will get a more comfortable seat with better entertainment and two free pieces of checked luggage in the comfort class. The business class gives passengers priority check-in, access to the waiting Lounge at airports, and seats that can be transformed into beds.
Depending on what part of the US you are traveling from, the cheapest one-way trips are available for around $554 on average, while roundtrips can cost up to $993.
Established in 1919, KLM is the oldest airline in the world and still operates under the same name. Apart from Australia, the airline serves every continent of the world, extending its reach to more than 65 countries. KLM’s concentration is in major international airports in England, China, France, Norway, Canada, Germany, Spain, Norway, and Italy.
The airline has a combination of Boeing and Airbus planes in its fleet, with the Boeing 777 being the most commonly operated model.
KLM flights offer Economy and Business Class. Both cabins feature ergonomic seats, with the Business Class having four extra inches of legroom plus an amenity kit.
Roundtrips can cost up to $5,048 and one-way trips are around $6,971. This depends on the city you are flying from.
Flight Times From the US to Shanghai and Routes
The total distance from the United States to Shanghai is approximately 7,063 miles (11,367 kilometers). Direct, nonstop flights to Shanghai from the US usually have an average total flight time of about 14 hours 38 minutes.
Your exact flight time might change dramatically, depending on several factors such as stopovers, connecting flights, wind speeds, take-off and landing, and more. If you are planning a trip, it is usually more practical to add extra time for unforeseen delays in addition to the time it takes for the plane to taxi from the gate to the runway.
Keep in mind that Shanghai is 13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, USA and even within the states there are several time differences. Remember to factor this in for the particular state you are flying from when calculating your arrival time.
Nonstop Flights to Shanghai
Following is a list of direct, nonstop flights between different US international airports to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. These airlines and routes are your best bet if you are hoping to get to Shanghai, China in record time.
- LAX to PVG on American Airlines
- LAX to PVG on Delta Air Lines
- LAX to PVG on United Airlines
- ORD to PVG on American Airlines
- ORD to PVG on United Airlines
- DFW to PVG on American Airlines
- ATL to PVG on Delta Air Lines
- DTW to PVG on Delta Air Lines
- SEA to PVG on Delta Air Lines
- EWR to PVG on United Airlines
- SFO to PVG on United Airlines
One-stop Flights to Shanghai
Here are a few one-stop flights with their waiting times:
- United Airlines from LAX to SHA via San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has a total flight time of 17 hours and 4 minutes. The trip starts from LAX to SFO for one hour and 29 There is a 2-hour and 15 minutes wait at SFO before the flight continues from SFO to SHA for another 13 hours and 20 minutes.
- United Airlines from LAX to PVG via Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) has a total flight time of 23 hours and 55 minutes. Traveling from LAX to ORD takes 3 hours and 54 minutes. The waiting time at ORD is 5 hours and 11 minutes. The rest of the trip from ORD to PVG takes 14 hours and 50 minutes.
- Air Canada from ORD to PVG via Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Canada (YUL) has a total flight time of 34 hours and 20 minutes. The trip begins with a 2-hour and 2 minutes flight from ORD to YUL. The waiting time is 17 hours 58 minutes before spending another 14 hours and 20 minutes to get from YUL to PVG.
- Asiana Airlines from ORD to PVG via Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) has a total flight time of 22 hours. The flight takes 14 hours and 5 minutes to go from ORD to ICN, where the waiting time is 5 hours and 50 minutes. The trip from ICN to PVG is 2 hours and 5 minutes.
Notes on Flight Prices
Flight prices do often change without prior notice. The prices mentioned in this post are subject to change and availability. It is usually best to find out the current available price from your preferred airline’s website when booking a flight. This will help you budget more accurately.
Tips for Finding Cheap Flights to Shanghai
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are looking to cut costs while booking flights to Shanghai. No one wants to throw away money, especially if it can be avoided. Paying for air tickets between countries is not particularly inexpensive, so it is a smart move to actively look for highly affordable fares if you are planning such a long trip.
Here are a few tips that can help you find cheap flights to Shanghai.
- Book your flight long before the departure date. Usually, as the flight date draws close, the prices will go up. Depending on the particular state you are flying from, you may want to book your flight with your preferred airline at least two weeks before the due date.
- If you plan on flying the same airline to and from Shanghai, consider paying for a roundtrip, as that is the most cost-effective option.
- To get the most fantastic deals for flights to Shanghai from the US, consider booking up to 30 days (or more) before departure. This is especially suitable if you are considering a one-way trip.
- Flights to Shanghai are generally cheaper in the mornings. Depending on the city you are traveling from, flight prices can be up to 45% more expensive in the evening than morning departures.
- Each flight route has high and low seasons. Find out the low seasons for your particular route if you want to get cheap flights to Shanghai.