Shanghai is one of China’s biggest cities that witnesses tons of visitors on business and pleasure trips around the year. The culture, sights, trade, and cuisines continue to call out to people from across the globe.

Whether you are among the thousands of yearly visitors drawn to one of China’s most beautiful cities or you are just curious to know about flights from Chicago to Shanghai, you will find useful information in this article.

International Airport Destinations from Chicago to Shanghai

If you are planning to fly from Chicago to Shanghai, China, your take-off airport is typically the O’Hare International Airport, with the designated airport code ORD.

Shanghai has two airports that serve international airlines. Your destination is going to be either Shanghai Pudong International Airport with airport code PVG or Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport with code SHA.

If it is your first time heading out to Shanghai the various codes might be a bit tricky to figure out. Whether your ticket lists ORD to PVG or ORD to SHA, you now know what the various codes mean. If you are not on a direct flight, your ticket will list additional stopover airport codes.

Top Airlines to Choose for ORD to PVG or SHA

Several airlines service Chicago to Shanghai, China. The list includes:

  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air France
  • All Nippon Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • EVA Airways
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Finnair
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

The travel duration from ORD to PVG or SHA depends on the airline and the number of stopovers. Most of the flights have two or three stopovers with varying waiting times. Only a handful of airlines offer direct flights. These include United Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, American Airlines, and sometimes Air China.

The fastest flight to Shanghai will take close to 15 hours. If your departure time is around 10:00 am CST, for example, you will get to China at about 1:30 pm CST. But whether you can get a direct flight, do not forget that there is a 14-hour time difference between China and Chicago, Illinois, with the former being ahead. It will help if you take note of that when planning your arrival time.

Passengers looking for the airline with the least delays should consider flying China Eastern Airlines. It has a 96% on-time average, making it one of the timeliest airlines that can get you to Shanghai at approximately the time listed on your flight ticket.

Many of the airlines to Shanghai perform fairly well but as any frequent wanderer will agree, there are no perfect airlines. However, we’ve been able to identify five top airlines serving Chicago to Shanghai (PVG).


Based in the United Arab Emirates and ranked as the fourth-largest airline in the world, Emirates serves over 140 different destinations across 70 countries around the globe, with a particular concentration in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

With a large fleet of planes numbering over 250 and comprising 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.

Average Price

A one-way flight to Shanghai will cost an average of $1,354 and roundtrips can be as cheap as $1,436 or as high as $4,727 depending on availability.

Turkish Airlines

Headquartered in Istanbul, Turkish Airlines is Turkey’s national carrier serving over 100 countries of the world. Its flights are primarily to Asian, European, and African countries. Its fleet comprises Airbus and Boeing aircraft with each airplane featuring the airline’s characteristic red tail.


Passengers flying Turkish Airlines can choose between Economy and Business Class. In addition to standardized meals, the Economy cabin comes with a decent number of amenities, such as sleep masks, lip balm, earplugs, and socks. Children can enjoy adjustable seats. The Business cabin offers porcelain tableware and reading lamps. Plus, passengers in this section get to enjoy in-chair massages. Turkish cuisines are offered in the Business Class.

Average Price

The cheapest one-way trips are priced around $874, while roundtrips cost roughly $833.

Delta Air Lines

Based in Atlanta, Delta Air Lines pride itself as one of the oldest airlines in the world. The airline tends to prefer jets with narrow bodies in the short-to-medium range. Its fleet comprises McDonnell Douglass, 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.

Average Price

The cheapest one-way flight from Chicago to Shanghai on Delta Air Lines is around $890.


Lufthansa is a premium carrier dedicated to providing maximum passenger comfort and hospitality. The German carrier is the first European airline to attain a 5-star accreditation status and the second-largest airline in Europe. Its services extend to over 80 countries across all continents except Australia.


Lufthansa’s travel classes include Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class, with each offering 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.

Average Price

Prices can range from $1381 to $4,050 for roundtrips, depending on the period or month you book a flight and the class of flight.


KLM is not only respected as the oldest operating airline in the world but also one of the brands that cover every continent on the globe (except Australia). KLM serves over 65 countries with a larger focus on 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.

Average Price

Roundtrips can cost up to $5,048 and one-way trips are around $6,971.

Travelers flying from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) can find a few reliable airlines for their trips. Three of the highly-rated carriers are Japan Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Air China.

Flight Times from ORD to PVG or SHA and Routes

The distance from Chicago to Shanghai is roughly 7,046 miles (11,340 kilometers). The fastest non-stop flight takes 14 hours and 50 minutes to travel that distance. Apparently, it will take a lot longer than that if you are booking airlines with stopovers or connecting flights.

Multiple airlines have three stops that can push the travel time to as long as 59 hours and 5 minutes. For example, Delta Air Lines has two stops, putting the total travel duration at 28 hours 15 minutes. If you travel on Air China with two stops, it will take 32 hours and 40 minutes to get to Shanghai.

Here are some major airlines and their non-stop flight times:

  • ORD to PVG on United Airlines takes 14 hours and 50 minutes
  • ORD to PVG on American Airlines takes 14 hours and 50 minutes
  • ORD to PVG on Air China takes 14 hours and 50 minutes
  • ORD to PVG on China Eastern Airlines takes 15 hours and 5 minutes

The flight duration from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) via Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) is a 22-hour long flight on Asiana Airlines. The one-stop 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.

Another popular one-stop flight is on Air Canada from ORD to PVG via Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Canada (YUL), which takes 34 hours and 20 minutes. The trip begins with a 2-hour and 2 minutes flight from ORD to YUL with a painfully long 17 hours 58 minutes wait. From YUL to PVG takes another 14 hours and 20 minutes.

Notes on Flight Prices

Airfares are not static; prices can and do often change without prior notice. The prices listed throughout this article are for one adult ticket and are the cheapest for each category. However, they are subject to change and availability. Besides, airline policies and additional terms may significantly affect prices.

Tips for Finding Cheap Flights

Airfares can be expensive and the high cost is one of the major reasons many people put off their dream trips. Luckily, you can find good deals if you know what to do and where to look.

The following tips will help you find a cheap flight to Shanghai whether your destination is the Pudong International Airport or Hongqiao International Airport.

Chicago to Shanghai Pudong International Airport

  • A full month ahead of when you want to travel is the most ideal time to book a flight to Shanghai if you want to get a fantastic deal. On average, getting the cheapest flight might mean booking up to 43 days before departure.
  • The average price for a round-trip flight is $865 but you can get a good bargain of $667 or lower if you book way ahead of time. A one-way trip can be as low as $324, and you might even get a better deal if you are lucky.
  • On average, you will find cheaper flights in the morning than evening. An evening departure is 33% (or thereabout) more expensive than a morning flight.
  • November, December, and January make up the high season, so prices are typically through the roof during this period. But the early days of November is the best time to beat the crowds and get unbeatable price drops.

Chicago to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

  • If you are hoping to beat the average airfare, consider booking your flight at least two weeks before departure. Some passengers have found the cheapest flight 81 days in advance. Flight prices will naturally go up as travel dates draw closer.
  • The average round-trip is $833 but you can get a good round-trip deal for as low as $552 (or even less) if you book early enough. For one-way trips, booking long ahead of time might mean getting a cheap flight of $521 or less.
  • On average, evening flights are roughly 45% more expensive than morning departures. This alone can save you some good money if your flight is scheduled to take off in the morning.
  • Consider planning your vacation to Shanghai toward November because that is the cheapest month to fly. But it’s okay if that is not feasible. You can travel any other month and still get reasonable prices except for July, August, and September. These months fall into the peak season when prices are at their highest.

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