The cheapest times to fly from DSM to SHA are

  • January 22nd to April 29th (except the weeks of February 5th and February 26th)
  • August 27th to December 9th (except the week of October 1st)

based on data collected exclusively by Champion Traveler across tens of millions of flights. Among all the dates above, the very cheapest time to fly from DSM to SHA is late October to early November. Prices can be as high as $2938 for Saturday flights during early to mid May, or as low as $860 for Wednesday flights around late October to early November.


When to Fly to Shanghai

Flying from Des Moines, IA (DSM) to Shanghai (SHA) will usually cost between $1152 to $2096 per person if booking more than four weeks in advance. On average the very cheapest time to fly is late October to early November with an average ticket price of $1117. Due to high demand the most expensive time to fly is early to mid May, with an average price of $2164. Planning your trip to low-cost times can easily save you $1048 on economy flights and even more on first-class flights. Generally, any price below $1347 can be considered a good price for a round-trip DSM to SHA flight.

See below for a graph of average weekly prices for the DSM to SHA route. All prices are for round-trip tickets in USD.

DSM to SHA Flight Prices

Compared to other flights, the DSM to SHA flight is slightly more expensive than the average and costs more than the average flight leaving from Des Moines. The average price per mile (for a direct flight) is $0.12, which is far below average.


Flight Prices by Day of the Week

Wednesday is usually the cheapest day to fly to SHA, and Tuesday the cheapest day to fly back into DSM. Saturdays are the most expensive days to fly out or take a return trip. Selecting flights on the least expensive days could save you up to $237 (15%) on this flight.

Departing prices are for round-trip flights returning on the day of departure. For example, a flight departing on Wednesday and returning a week later will cost an average of $1402. Return trip prices are from the SHA to DSM flight, and often highlight the quality of our data in showing the same trend.

Departing Prices by Day

Departure Day Prices

Return Trip Prices by Day

Return Day Prices


Nonstop Flights and Layovers

Travelers looking to fly from DSM to SHA can generally find a 2-layover flight. Because there is not usually a direct flight option the real-world direct flight time of 13 hour 28 minutes may not be realistic.


Alternative Nearby Airports

Champion Traveler tells you which airports are nearby and whether tickets might be cheaper alternative airports nearby. Sometimes it’s worth it to fly into a closer airport and then commute to your destination. Remember that there is not usually a nonstop flight from DSM to SHA while comparing.

Destination alternative #1: Pudong Airport (PVG) in Shanghai

  • 27 miles (43 km) away from SHA
  • Usually 12.14% less expensive than SHA
  • 1-layover flights available

See DSM to PVG flights


Flight Hacking DSM to SHA

Flight hacking is when you book two tickets instead of a layover, sometimes with different airlines. You will need to either bring only a carry-on bag (highly recommended) or leave yourself plenty of time to go through security again. Flight hacking is completely allowed, but airlines don’t always tell you the cheapest way to get from DSM to SHA — but Champion Traveler does!

Hack #1: Chicago, IL (DSM > ORD > SHA)

  • Price for both tickets: $985
  • Average savings: $363 (26.91%)

See DSM to ORD flights

Hack #2: Las Vegas, NV (DSM > LAS > SHA)

  • Price for both tickets: $1001
  • Average savings: $347 (25.72%)

See DSM to LAS flights

Hack #3: St. Louis, MO (DSM > STL > SHA)

  • Price for both tickets: $1005
  • Average savings: $342 (25.39%)

See DSM to STL flights


Flight Questions Answered

Still have questions about flying from DSM to SHA? We’ve got answers.

Which airlines fly this route?

You can find 16 major airlines flying this route most often: Air Canada, American, ANA, Asiana, Cathay Dragon, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Delta, Frontier, Hainan, JAL, Korean Air, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen, United, Xiamen, and potentially more during busy seasons.

How far away is it from Hongqiao International Airport to Des Moines International Airport?

The distance between the two airports is roughly 6938 miles or 11166 kilometers.

How long does it take to fly from DSM to SHA?

The real-world flight time for a nonstop DSM to SHA flight is about 13 hour 28 minutes.

How many flights go between Des Moines, IA and Shanghai?

It depends on the day of the week and the date, but a typical day might have around 75 available flights from DSM to SHA.


Airport Location Info


Departing Airport

Origination codeDSM
Origination airport nameDes Moines International Airport
CityDes Moines, IA
Countrythe United States

Return Airport

Destination codeSHA
Destination airport nameHongqiao International Airport


Other Resources

Please note that while we’ve worked hard to analyzed tens of millions of flights to get you this data, we do not calculate current live prices or guarantee pricing. Please see our partners using the links above for current offers.