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current intra-China fare data plus comments

current intra-China fare data plus comments

Old Oct 7, 05, 1:31 am
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current intra-China fare data plus comments

As you can see, I have some extra time on my hands this afternoon (China is basically shut down this week) so I've taken it upon myself to do a little number crunching with the hope of providing those interested with a better understanding of the way air fares are priced in China. The following chart is based on data extracted from ctrip and the Great Circle Mapper:



PHP Code:
route    km    y    y/km    c    f    low    low/y
pek
-kmg    2113    1810    0.86    2350    2720    540    29.8%
pek-can    1876    1700    0.91    2210    2550    680    40.0%
sha-ctu    1662    1610    0.97    2090    2420    1290    80.1%
sha-can    1174    1280    1.09    1660    1920    900    70.3%
pek-sha    1075    1130    1.05    1470    1700    450    39.8%
pek-xiy    934    1050    1.12    1370    1580    630    60.0%
szx-hak    459    690    1.50    900    1040    210    30.4%
kmg-ljg    176    530    3.01    690    800    210    39.6%
sha-ngb    153    420    2.75    ---    630    250    59.5
Comments:

-all currency units in RMB (/8 to get USD equivalents)

-base (y) fares are set by the government. c is y +30%; f is y +50% (rounded to the nearest 10 rmb). The airlines themselves have a reasonable amount of lattitude with respect to the numbers of discount seats they make available.

-column four is the y fare divided by distance. In the past, this was pretty much standardized across the board (for train travel, it still is), but it now appears that shorter trips cost more.

-column seven refers to the lowest price on offer for flights leaving tomorrow. I have no idea why the ex-SHA fares are so much higher than the rest (has been the case all summer, actually), but I will point out that SHA-NGB for y250 is a good deal.

-the last column (eight) refers to the low price divided by the y price. Chinese quote discounts in this (bottom-up) manner, except they move the decimal two places to the left. As such, travel agent business cards that advertise 2-8折机票 mean that they sell tickets for 30-80% off full fare Y.

-Generally, it's tough to get deep discounts ex-cities where your travel agent doesn't have a local ticketing presence. For example, I can always find good fares to Kunming, but have never been able to find anything below y1000 on the return without calling up agents there. (For tomorrow, ctrip's low on kmg-pek is 1090, a 6折 or 40% discount.)

Edited to add: Sorry, that's the best I can do with respect to table formatting, given my limited knowledge of this interface.

Last edited by moondog; Oct 7, 05 at 1:46 am
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Old Oct 8, 05, 12:07 am
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Thanks, moondog. Anything as a frame of reference is appreciated.

I asusme these are all one-way fares and no additional taxes?

Also, how bad is coach on Chinese airlines?

How about a thread of prices that FTers should be aiming for when negotiating with vendors in the markets, like:

Ties-----10Y
Belts----10Y

etc. (common stuff that we might want to purchase to bring home)
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Old Oct 8, 05, 2:48 am
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Originally Posted by Vulcan
I asusme these are all one-way fares and no additional taxes?
one way, yes. additional taxes = y50 (the airport construction fee which used to be sold at airports and is now collected by ticket sellers)

Also, how bad is coach on Chinese airlines?
opinions vary, but i have no complaints. one nice thing about traveling in china is that connections aren't all that common. you just plant yourself in a seat and within a few hours you're at your destination.

How about a thread of prices that FTers should be aiming for when negotiating with vendors in the markets, like:

Ties-----10Y
Belts----10Y

etc. (common stuff that we might want to purchase to bring home)
that would be challenging if not fruitless because quality variances are significant. furthermore, prices vary from city to city and, less so, market to market.

as such, i think equipping yourself with a good shopping strategy (something a little more sophisticated than "shoot for 75% off list") is about the best you can hope for when walking into a market. if you're interested, i wrote a post in the "shanghai shopping" thread about month ago, in which i recounted the key points gleaned by a friend who logged 100+ hours in xiushui this summer.
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Old Oct 8, 05, 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
if you're interested, i wrote a post in the "shanghai shopping" thread about month ago, in which i recounted the key points gleaned by a friend who logged 100+ hours in xiushui this summer.
That post was great, moondog. I just returned from Shanghai, and had so much fun following your advice. Plus, I got (what I consider to be) some great deals! Thank you very much.
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Old Oct 8, 05, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by jpdx
That post was great, moondog. I just returned from Shanghai, and had so much fun following your advice. Plus, I got (what I consider to be) some great deals! Thank you very much.
Thank you, and I'm glad things worked out for you. I'm actually going to pdx this week (I now live there when I'm in the US), and am very much looking forward to it.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 11:03 pm
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Chinese Domestic Travel

Originally Posted by Vulcan
Also, how bad is coach on Chinese airlines?
Based on a few CAAC flights, a China Eastern, and a Sichuan Airlines flight, I would say they are better than the typical U.S. domestic coach experience.

You get a food service (but breakfast is usually rice gruel).

Hardware is newer.

Flight attendents are polite, not surly (Southwest and JetBlue excepted).

The CAAC attendents do a syncronized bow, which is pretty cool.

Most domestic flights are basically coach only, or have a few business class seats that I don't think FT people would think would rate as business class.

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Old Oct 10, 05, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by Bowgie
Most domestic flights are basically coach only, or have a few business class seats that I don't think FT people would think would rate as business class.
I would say it's one notch up from NW F, only because there is an awful lot of hand holding. I've actually been flying a lot more F recently on my PEK-SHA runs because I made a new friend last month that works for FM. When it's free it's nice, but I get an uneasy feeling whenever I read posts by FTers that are planning on bopping around China in F. If anyone of them would allow me to help them spend their fare differences on the ground, I guarantee that significantly more satisfaction would ensue.

Last edited by moondog; Oct 10, 05 at 10:39 am
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Old Oct 10, 05, 10:28 am
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Thanks moondog! As always, valuable information..
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Old Oct 11, 05, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
Thank you, and I'm glad things worked out for you. I'm actually going to pdx this week (I now live there when I'm in the US), and am very much looking forward to it.
If you have time, I'd love to buy you a beer while you're in Portland. PM me if you'd like.
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