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China Master Transportation Thread

China Master Transportation Thread

Old Aug 30, 11, 1:43 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I always snag the pillow seat, Susie, in spite of the fact that my *G status presumably entitles me to reserve others. The pillow seat is simply impossible to top (for solo travelers).
What is the "pillow" seat? Never heard of such a special seat on any airline.

I did get through to Air China's US offices in LA and was given seat assignments over the phone. They gave me seats on my 2 domestic flights and the HGH-ICN int'l flight.I asked for 2 aisle seats in the same row. Hopefully they will be there when I actually check in for the flights

Last edited by susiesan; Sep 5, 11 at 6:37 pm
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Old Aug 30, 11, 6:00 pm
  #77  
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
What is the "pillow" seat? Never heard of such a special seat on any airline.

I did get through to Air China's US offices in LA and was given seat assignments over the phone. Hopefully they will be there when I actually check in for the flights
The first aisle seat in Y on the right side of the plane is typically among the very last to get assigned because it is reserved for a big stack of pillows. I tend to board as late as humanly possible (because I know that odds are, I'll sitting on the plane for a long time), so whenever I pass by and there's not a human in it, I poach the pillow seat. The other side of aisle tends to be off limits because reserve crews sit there.
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Old Aug 30, 11, 7:42 pm
  #78  
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
The first aisle seat in Y on the right side of the plane is typically among the very last to get assigned because it is reserved for a big stack of pillows. I tend to board as late as humanly possible (because I know that odds are, I'll sitting on the plane for a long time), so whenever I pass by and there's not a human in it, I poach the pillow seat. The other side of aisle tends to be off limits because reserve crews sit there.
Yeah, this pillow seat trick still works. In fact, usually it's not just the aisle seat on the right side of the bulkhead row, but the whole row that has the pillows in it. The trick is to hang out in the gate area and try to be the last passenger on board. Then if nobody is there, ask if you can sit--answer is almost always yes. The row on the right side just behind the bulkhead row is often also empty...if I'm tired and want to lie down and snooze, I'll often go for that row, since the armrests fold up. However, there are enough Chinese who know this stupid pillow seat trick who will also try to play for "last passenger on board."
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Old Sep 1, 11, 4:14 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
What about when you have to get to Chengdu? Kunming? Urumqi? Bullets (trains) can't solve all your worries.
Who said anything about bullet trains? I imagine moondog sitting on a rusty old K or T train...

Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
This question pertains to transportation in China. I have 3 Air China flights coming up in October as part of my vacation trip. They are award seats. I have a CA confirmation number for the CA segments. The tickets were issued by ANA as etickets.

Is there any way to get seat assignments in advance? Do I call them at the LAX office here in the US? I can't seem to find a way to do it on their web site.
Does CA do advance seat assignments or do I have to wait until getting to the airport for the flight?
I've never had any Chinese airline do advanced assignments before 24 hours (CZ does 24 hr OLCI).

Originally Posted by moondog View Post
The first aisle seat in Y on the right side of the plane is typically among the very last to get assigned because it is reserved for a big stack of pillows. I tend to board as late as humanly possible (because I know that odds are, I'll sitting on the plane for a long time), so whenever I pass by and there's not a human in it, I poach the pillow seat. The other side of aisle tends to be off limits because reserve crews sit there.
Yes, Chinese airlines seem to never want to fill the first row in Y, they usually save it for the one male FA who sits in the first aisle seat.

I owe my self UG success to moondog.
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Old Sep 5, 11, 5:10 pm
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[I've never had any Chinese airline do advanced assignments before 24 hours (CZ does 24 hr OLCI).]

I purchased some Air China tickets using Travelzen and was able to get my *A FF number in the reservation and assigned seats via the LA office. And to my pleasant surprise, the seats were reserved as they indicated and my FF number showed on the boarding pass. China Eastern was a no for advance seating though.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 1:44 am
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This question pertains to my upcoming travels in China with my Wife.

We are planning a 10 day trip from Shanghai -> Beijing -> Chengdu -> Shanghai

I know there is a new bullet train option from Shanghai to Beijing which we will probably book through ctrip. I heard that the bullet train from Beijing -> Chengdu will be canceled?

I am trying to book transportation between Beijing -> Chengdu -> Shanghai, not sure if flying or train is the best way to go.

Any advice would be appreciate.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 4:13 am
  #82  
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Originally Posted by jasonz9238 View Post
This question pertains to my upcoming travels in China with my Wife.

We are planning a 10 day trip from Shanghai -> Beijing -> Chengdu -> Shanghai

I know there is a new bullet train option from Shanghai to Beijing which we will probably book through ctrip. I heard that the bullet train from Beijing -> Chengdu will be canceled?

I am trying to book transportation between Beijing -> Chengdu -> Shanghai, not sure if flying or train is the best way to go.

Any advice would be appreciate.
You can't book train tickets on ctrip without a Chinese credit card (i.e. ATM cards don't make the cut). But, it's pretty easy to book tickets ex-Shanghai. Just bring passport copies to a kiosk and you'll be good to go. Don't depart between 8a and 9a if you care about your sanity, and bring your own food (refer to the thread I started on this topic).

For PEK-CTU and CTU-SHA, use airplanes, for sure.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:22 am
  #83  
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Originally Posted by jasonz9238 View Post
This question pertains to my upcoming travels in China with my Wife.

We are planning a 10 day trip from Shanghai -> Beijing -> Chengdu -> Shanghai

I know there is a new bullet train option from Shanghai to Beijing which we will probably book through ctrip. I heard that the bullet train from Beijing -> Chengdu will be canceled?

I am trying to book transportation between Beijing -> Chengdu -> Shanghai, not sure if flying or train is the best way to go.

Any advice would be appreciate.
What moondog said. Train for Shanghai->Beijing, other segments by plane. Buy bullet train tickets once you get to Shanghai at a station or neighborhood ticket office (your hotel will know closest locations). For plane, book online at www.ctrip.com or one of the other providers listed in the Intercity-Domestic Airline section at the top of this thread. Usually best pricing is 2-4 weeks out. Ctrip and the other providers CAN take foreign credit cards for AIR ticket bookings though some may surcharge about 3%.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
You can't book train tickets on ctrip without a Chinese credit card (i.e. ATM cards don't make the cut). But, it's pretty easy to book tickets ex-Shanghai. Just bring passport copies to a kiosk and you'll be good to go. Don't depart between 8a and 9a if you care about your sanity, and bring your own food (refer to the thread I started on this topic).

For PEK-CTU and CTU-SHA, use airplanes, for sure.
I just read the other thread regarding the ID requirement for buying train tickets. Do you know if it's possible for a relative in shanghai to buy the tickets for me with my passport number/their credit card and just have it delivered to them?
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Old Sep 19, 11, 2:58 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by jasonz9238 View Post
I just read the other thread regarding the ID requirement for buying train tickets. Do you know if it's possible for a relative in shanghai to buy the tickets for me with my passport number/their credit card and just have it delivered to them?
Usually, yes, but I was sent back to get a copy (they do not need the original) of my passport on one occasion.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:41 pm
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Thank you guys for the help. jiejie/moondog - Do you guys have any recommendations on which airline to use for city to city travel within china? I usually fly china eastern when flying into/out of china.

Is there other sites besides ctrip or travelzen that I should be checking for best rates on?
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Old Sep 19, 11, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by jasonz9238 View Post
Thank you guys for the help. jiejie/moondog - Do you guys have any recommendations on which airline to use for city to city travel within china? I usually fly china eastern when flying into/out of china.

Is there other sites besides ctrip or travelzen that I should be checking for best rates on?
Not really. I have a slight bias toward Air China because *G gets lounge access (a nice perk in places like Shenzhen or Guangzhou, but a non issue at the vast majority of Chinese airports). For me, schedule, price, terminal in Beijing (T2 is the way to go if you value your time), and a/c type, all trump airline brand.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 9:27 pm
  #88  
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Not really. I have a slight bias toward Air China because *G gets lounge access (a nice perk in places like Shenzhen or Guangzhou, but a non issue at the vast majority of Chinese airports). For me, schedule, price, terminal in Beijing (T2 is the way to go if you value your time), and a/c type, all trump airline brand.
I concur with this. With one addition: if flying on a discounted ticket that can't be endorsed to another airline, I usually like to go with a carrier that has at least one later flight covering that route, so in case of flight cancellation, MX, etc, I can still have a chance at getting out same day.

Check the top of this thread on page 1 for the Intercity Domestic Air master post--there are links to other viable booking agents in addition to ctrip and travelzen.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 10:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
I concur with this. With one addition: if flying on a discounted ticket that can't be endorsed to another airline, I usually like to go with a carrier that has at least one later flight covering that route, so in case of flight cancellation, MX, etc, I can still have a chance at getting out same day.

Check the top of this thread on page 1 for the Intercity Domestic Air master post--there are links to other viable booking agents in addition to ctrip and travelzen.
Pretty much all tickets can be endorsed if the airline screws up badly enough, but I partly agree with you. Basically, the endorsement process sucks up valuable time (it is often necessary to go to the ticket counter to pull it off, though increasingly less so, if you book with a big company like ctrip).

One more factor I just thought of is the remote stand issue. Bus gates are okay on arrival, but can be downright miserable on departure because they: 1) tend to resemble bus stations; and 2) once you're inside a plane that is a mile away from the terminal, the airline has (almost) all the cards. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict with certainty which flights get allocated to remote stands unless you commute on the same route week in and week out.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 3:20 am
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Just read the 1st page of this thread. Oh my - tons of good info.

I have 3 more questions if you guys don't mind

1. Are flight cancellations a common occurrence? I am booking my flights about 70 days out.

2. Planning on taking the the G train from shanghai to beijing, is the 5 hr trip worth getting the 1st class seat over economy from your personal experience?

3. Just wondering if you guys have ever used a private driver in chengdu?
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