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Domestic airfare

Domestic airfare

Old Oct 29, 2023, 3:37 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by mlin32
Yes, the flight to HRB I have the choice of a correspondance at PVG with FM/MU (1h30) or HGH (2h30) with MF, both around 240-260 EUR. I'm inclined towards the latter because I hear from my chinese friend here that PVG tends to be a bit more time-consuming....
How about the CAN option? CZ runs a relatively tight ship there for I-to-D connections.
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Old Oct 29, 2023, 4:17 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by moondog
How about the CAN option? CZ runs a relatively tight ship there for I-to-D connections.
Yes, but then I arrive past midnight.....less than ideal. But my friend from Fujian speaks highly of CAN as well.



Last edited by mlin32; Oct 29, 2023 at 4:24 am
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Old Dec 19, 2023, 10:58 pm
  #48  
 
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Planning my first ever trip to China for next year around Easter time and have learnt too that flights get cheaper closer to the time and not the other way round like in most parts of the world.

My Mandarin teacher is recommending booking through WeChat which luckily offers an English version of their flight booking engine as my Mandarin is still very basic, even after weekly lessons for over three years now. Does anyone have experience booking through WeChat? As an airplane nerd Im thinking booking business class fares ideally on the few wide-body flights that can be found on the major routes rather than going on the train.

My teacher also knows that Im a bit of a princess when it comes to travel so he warmly recommended to chose the plane over train which I think says it all
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Old Dec 19, 2023, 11:29 pm
  #49  
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I prefer ctrip to WeChat, simply because it's less dependent on mobile. Why does your teacher prefer WeChat? I'm guessing your fondness of business class might wane a bit when you start to encounter y300 v y3000 (extreme example, but still fairly common) decisions.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 12:08 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog
I prefer ctrip to WeChat, simply because it's less dependent on mobile. Why does your teacher prefer WeChat? I'm guessing your fondness of business class might wane a bit when you start to encounter y300 v y3000 (extreme example, but still fairly common) decisions.
Not sure why- he seems to think that just doing everything on WeChat is the easiest way to go (heard similar from some friends who hail from mainland China) but will check out ctrip, thanks for the advice.

The routes I am looking at are Shanghai-Beijing, Beijing-Chengdu and Chengdu-Shanghai and close to the date, they seem all to range between 1500 and 2000 RMB which seems more than fair to me for a 2-3 hour flight in Business class. Would be way more here in Australia.

On that note- if anyone has advice on which airlines to chose or can point me to an article or blog that gives some information on that topic, Id be very grateful. Quite difficult to find info on that from outside China I find and my teacher is an Economy kind of guy.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 2:46 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by Sydneyberlin
Not sure why- he seems to think that just doing everything on WeChat is the easiest way to go (heard similar from some friends who hail from mainland China) but will check out ctrip, thanks for the advice.

The routes I am looking at are Shanghai-Beijing, Beijing-Chengdu and Chengdu-Shanghai and close to the date, they seem all to range between 1500 and 2000 RMB which seems more than fair to me for a 2-3 hour flight in Business class. Would be way more here in Australia.

On that note- if anyone has advice on which airlines to chose or can point me to an article or blog that gives some information on that topic, I’d be very grateful. Quite difficult to find info on that from outside China I find and my teacher is an Economy kind of guy.

RE: where to book
Yeah, there's a few people who try and do as much as possible all within WeChat. Never quite understood their fascination; it's not difficult to switch apps.
In the end it won't make much difference where you book. Choose a site/app that you find easy to navigate. Pricing will be pretty much the same no matter what.
As long as they offer booking options (insurance, cancellation options, etc.) and offer a good customer service avenue if something goes wrong, you should be fine.
I like ctrip/trip myself.


RE: train vs. plane
If you are dong all those trips, you should at least try the train for one of those. All those trip-lengths are within where I'd consider the train vs. plane, with Beijing/Shanghai an overall wash, as far as door-to-door trip length is concerned (depending on your actual origin and destination of course).
On the high-speed trains, Business class has really nice seats and small, cozy cabins: business class seat is above First Class, unlike on the plane, where it's the other way around.
Business class train price should be about First class plane equivalent.

RE: which airline
This may depend: are you a member of any loyalty program already? If yes, you could try and choose an airline that is in the same alliance.
Otherwise, I'd say they're pretty much all about the same. I like Hainan Airlines.
But you may find the airline specific to the region you're traveling to offers the best schedules.

ADDED: oh, I see your profile lists QF, BA and SQ. No Chinese Oneworld member, I'm afraid (China Southern may join as a partner but hasn't yet). Air China and Shenzhen are in Star Alliance like SQ.

Also keep in mind, that all those cities you mentioned each have two major airports (the latter being the more 'domestic' one):
Beijing: PEK and PKX
Shanghai: PVG and SHA
Chengdu: TFU and CTU
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Last edited by narvik; Dec 20, 2023 at 2:56 am Reason: added alliance info
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 3:06 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik

RE: which airline
This may depend: are you a member of any loyalty program already? If yes, you could try and choose an airline that is in the same alliance.
Otherwise, I'd say they're pretty much all about the same. I like Hainan Airlines.
But you may find the airline specific to the region you're traveling to offers the best schedules.

ADDED: oh, I see your profile lists QF, BA and SQ. No Chinese Oneworld member, I'm afraid (China Southern may join as a partner but hasn't yet). Air China and Shenzhen are in Star Alliance like SQ.

Also keep in mind, that all those cities you mentioned each have two major airports (the latter being the more 'domestic' one):
Beijing: PEK and PKX
Shanghai: PVG and SHA
Chengdu: TFU and CTU
First off- thank you so much for all the info, great and useful stuff there! So weirdly hard to find any such information on English speaking sites I find.

I am fully aware of the two airports in each city but to be honest- as an air travel nerd, seeing as many of those massive brand new airports in China is almost (not quite) as important to me as seeing the Great Wall. Ive majorly irritated my poor Mandarin teacher with this but I still want to experience as much as possible of Chinese air travel.

And yes, Im a One World loyalist which is the one alliance not found in China (if you count out Hong Kong) but also a member of Star and Sky. Just earning some points isnt a reason to forgo a nice airplane experience though so not a major consideration. Ive read elsewhere that Hainan is somehow a step above the rest so will try to book them on at least one of the routes (they do have a lounge in Beijing, dont they?).

Lounge access will be one of the considerations tbh- dont want to miss this and unsure which airlines have which lounges. Would think that Business class gets you in somewhere at least but I also got a Priority pass and an Amex Platinum card if that helps in China.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 3:36 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by Sydneyberlin
Lounge access will be one of the considerations tbh- dont want to miss this and unsure which airlines have which lounges. Would think that Business class gets you in somewhere at least but I also got a Priority pass and an Amex Platinum card if that helps in China.
Yeah, you could easily check out PKX and TFU then; the newest airports.
(Hainan still flies out of T2 at PEK, so pretty 'old'! )

Lounges...err...hmm...overall not great, I'm afraid. Lounges are not super nice in China.
The main ones at PEK T3, for instance, are still worse than pre-Covid. As an example, they offer only some pretty bad Chinese wines and Johnnie Walker Red Label. Food is so-so. First and business class lounges are identical in their offerings (just mirrored in their layout).

Definitely spend some time on prioritypass.com. They do offer access to some smaller lounges & some interesting non-lounge perks, such as 30-minute free massages at PEK and PKX.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 5:49 am
  #54  
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I dont want to be a Debbie downer but you should aim to minimize your time spent in any airport in China. The lounges are all poor, the places are usually massive and customer unfriendly. The stamping and security sections are ridiculously officious and once you get on board, youll have long taxis and waits to take off. When its time to land youll have to have your seat back upright an hour before touchdown and be prepared for a half hour taxi to the gate, or even better a bus, on arrival and a long taxi/subway ride into town.

China is a great country but its civil aviation experience leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 6:52 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Sydneyberlin
I am fully aware of the two airports in each city but to be honest- as an air travel nerd, seeing as many of those massive brand new airports in China is almost (not quite) as important to me as seeing the Great Wall. Ive majorly irritated my poor Mandarin teacher with this but I still want to experience as much as possible of Chinese air travel.
While your teacher's obsession with trying to use WeChat to do everything under the sun is a red flag, I fully appreciate his/her being confused, if not downright irritated, by your obsession with Chinese airports...unless you happen to be an industrial engineer researching bad ideas. You'll have hundreds of chances to see other malls (same stores and restaurants) during your time in China, without dragging yourself to behemoth airports in the middle of nowhere. After you log a few flights at some of our least convenient airports, I predict you'll come around towards a more pragmatic approach to travel.... getting where you want to go in the most efficient way possible.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS
I don’t want to be a Debbie downer but you should aim to minimize your time spent in any airport in China.
Originally Posted by moondog
... I fully appreciate his/her being confused, if not downright irritated, by your obsession with Chinese airports...unless you happen to be an industrial engineer researching bad ideas.
Completely disagree with both of your assessments here.

For anyone not familiar with these airports, not being solely focused on traveling from A to B, and coming from a country where massive airports are far and few between, I think a visit to the new PKX and TFU are definitely worth it and have quite a bit of appeal.
OP already mentioned they are an "air travel nerd", so I ABSOLUTELY recommend a slightly prolonged visit to those airports and enjoy their design and expanse.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 9:38 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik

OP already mentioned they are an "air travel nerd", so I ABSOLUTELY recommend a slightly prolonged visit to those airports and enjoy their design and expanse.
Flying in China generally means "expect delays," so a slightly prolonged visit is already included in the OP's ticket at no extra cost.

As someone who also likes to check off airports, I happened to go through Beijing Daxing and Chengdu Tianfu this past summer, among others. Massive and flashy does not a pleasant experience guarantee.

Checking-in is still painful, food options are subpar, security checks way too suspicious of my umbrella and Japanese yen, and again, delays are to be expected (be it for military reasons, weather, mechanical, or someone's QR code isn't loading).

It's pretty much like flying in the U.S., but with newer airports and more nebulous delays.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by FindingFoodFluency
It's pretty much like flying in the U.S., but with newer airports and more nebulous delays.
I prefer PKX and PEK to EWR!
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 10:02 am
  #59  
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Originally Posted by narvik
I prefer PKX and PEK to EWR!
EWR offers some nice lounges with good food and booze. Youre also much less likely to get poked and prodded going through security and have your bag reexamined 5 times due to an old coin floating in the bottom of your backpack.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik
OP already mentioned they are an "air travel nerd", so I ABSOLUTELY recommend a slightly prolonged visit to those airports and enjoy their design and expanse.
Thank you for noticing Prolonged taxi rides sounds rather appealing to me, especially in a country that Ive never been before. Security lines not so much but Ive been warned frequently of that so I am prepared. The likes of Tom Bradley or London Heathrow in peak hours are also not exactly pleasurable, not quite sure how much worse China can be but I shall see.

In any case, I will make sure to report back and leave reviews on every airplane and hotel that I encounter. Theres a severe lack of English language travel reports when it comes to China which is quite astounding. Appreciate all the great tips and advice on here!
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