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Best airline for travel within China?

Best airline for travel within China?

Old Sep 22, 03, 6:44 pm
  #1  
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Best airline for travel within China?

Any suggestions for which airlines to choose and which to avoid for intra-China travel? Specifically, Shanghai to Chengdu.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 24, 03, 3:13 am
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I'd go with FM (Shanghai Airlines) on that route because I find the service a little better than CA/MU (and much better than the lower tier airlines) plus noone flies big planes to Chengdu (I always take the CA 744 whenever offered). All that said, price should be the most important consideration. Chances are, if you book within 2 or 3 days of your flight, the better discounts (40 or 50%) will only be available on several flights. PVG is usually easier to book than SHA, but is less convenient from just about every part of Shanghai; therefore SHA flights are usually worth an extra Y100 or so IMO.
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Old Sep 24, 03, 3:18 am
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PS - I try to avoid Hainan Airlines at all costs these days (I'll pay a premium of up to Y250 to avoid them) because some of the carriers they recently acquired (e.g. Xinhua Airlines) are downright dreadful (single class; 29" pitch; bus gates at empty airports, etc). Actual Hainan metal is okay, but I haven't yet figured out how to guarantee such (on flights that don't involve Sanya or Haikou).
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Old Sep 24, 03, 11:57 am
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Thank you moondog for your always helpful suggestions.

I'm actually flying into PVG from the US and planning to go to Chengdu the next day. So probably a PVG flight will work for me.

This will be late December. Any risk of Chengdu flights selling out? Should I book sooner rather than later? Would you recommend using a travel agent in Shanghai or the US or booking directly from the airline.

Thanks again for your help. Hopefully, I will be able to reciprocate one day.
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Old Sep 24, 03, 5:38 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by RJSachs:

This will be late December. Any risk of Chengdu flights selling out? Should I book sooner rather than later? Would you recommend using a travel agent in Shanghai or the US or booking directly from the airline.
</font>
Since you're apparently flying directly to Chengdu, you might want to consider airlines that offer through fares from the US (CA, MU, and soon UA). Otherwise, you'd be burning money if you didn't use a Shanghai-based TA. I posted my favorite TA's (Liz) phone number in the Shanghai thread in this forum. Several others have successfully used her since.

Purchasing and picking up the ticket might be a little challenging if you're not planning a Shanghai stop.... but, not impossible. Since your flight isn't until December, you could pay with a credit card (4% surcharge, but still much less than US booking engines) and have your ticket sent to the airport or mailed to you. Alternatively, if you know anyone that's going to SH between now and then, they could buy you a ticket.

I've never booked a ticket more than 3 or 4 days in advance so I'm not sure if the deep discounts get loaded months out (though I'm guessing they do). In any case, what you're looking for is a 40, 45, or 50% discount. Any TA can book these. If they're not available when you call, ask when they think seats will open up.

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