How are you booking your CA and MU flights?

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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:50 pm
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How are you booking your CA and MU flights?

I would prefer to book directly with the airlines whenever possible such as with AC and UA flights. I've never booked directly from CA or MU's websites before. Just wondering how are you guys booking CA and MU Y/J fares and looking to maximize your earnings with your credit cards?
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Old Aug 10, 19, 11:33 pm
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For domestic and regional, I almost always use ctrip, and don't care about mileage.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
For domestic and regional, I almost always use ctrip, and don't care about mileage.
You're not crediting your CA and MU flights to any program? I've never used Ctrip before. Do they display the fare type so that I know exactly how many miles I'll get when crediting to a partner program?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:33 am
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I credit CA to UA and MU to DL; no need to book on their websites. But, the miles earned are almost too much of a pittance to bother with. Let's put it this way, I would never pay an extra y500 in order to earn an additional 500 Delta miles. That's basically throwing away money imo
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:42 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I credit CA to UA and MU to DL; no need to book on their websites. But, the miles earned are almost too much of a pittance to bother with. Let's put it this way, I would never pay an extra y500 in order to earn an additional 500 Delta miles. That's basically throwing away money imo
Gotcha, but does Ctrip show the fare type? I guess there's not much to worry about with MU since pretty much all of their flights get 100% MQM on DL right?

I was also hoping to use AMEX Platinum to book since it gets 5x, but only if booked directly from the airline.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Gotcha, but does Ctrip show the fare type? I guess there's not much to worry about with MU since pretty much all of their flights get 100% MQM on DL right?

I was also hoping to use AMEX Platinum to book since it gets 5x, but only if booked directly from the airline.
I think they show the fare type, but it's also pretty easy to figure out based on the discount percentage. I'm also not averse to flying on 9C whenever they are really cheap (pay an extra 100 to get row 2).

For 5x, I suppose I would consider booking directly from the airline. However, the fact that ctrip is carrier agnostic can be a huge plus when things go south because dealing with them is much nicer than dealing with airlines.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I think they show the fare type, but it's also pretty easy to figure out based on the discount percentage. I'm also not averse to flying on 9C whenever they are really cheap (pay an extra 100 to get row 2).

For 5x, I suppose I would consider booking directly from the airline. However, the fact that ctrip is carrier agnostic can be a huge plus when things go south because dealing with them is much nicer than dealing with airlines.
I don't have any experience booking from CA or MU's website. Compared to western carriers like UA, DL, or even BA, CA and MU's websites look terrible. It really doesn't give me a lot of confidence, but if the price is the same, it feels weird giving up 5x just to use Ctrip. You've had good experience with Ctrip when things do go wrong?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I don't have any experience booking from CA or MU's website. Compared to western carriers like UA, DL, or even BA, CA and MU's websites look terrible. It really doesn't give me a lot of confidence, but if the price is the same, it feels weird giving up 5x just to use Ctrip. You've had good experience with Ctrip when things do go wrong?
Yes. Whenever flights are seriously delayed or cancelled, changing directly with the airline can be a serious drag, but ctrip often has the ability to get the ticket endorsed to a different airline completely behind the scenes.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:15 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Yes. Whenever flights are seriously delayed or cancelled, changing directly with the airline can be a serious drag, but ctrip often has the ability to get the ticket endorsed to a different airline completely behind the scenes.
Do you speak fluent Mandarin?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Do you speak fluent Mandarin?
Yes, but my friends who don't get by just fine.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Gotcha, but does Ctrip show the fare type? I guess there's not much to worry about with MU since pretty much all of their flights get 100% MQM on DL right?

I was also hoping to use AMEX Platinum to book since it gets 5x, but only if booked directly from the airline.
I have booked many international MU tickets on Orbitz. The charge has always shown the merchant as MU so I've gotten the 5X using Amex Platinum. I like Orbitz because it has a generous 24 hour cancellation policy. It is usually longer than 24 hours. If booking on a Friday, it can be cancelled for free until Monday night at midnight US pacific time. Orbitz air fares always earn 1% Orbucks which can be used for hotel booking discounts. Sometimes they have a 2% promotion. Orbitz will show the fare type under the fare rules, or on the itinerary receipt after booking.

For China domestic flights, non-China sites will usually have much higher fares, but most of the time (not always) the fare will be the same for international. I've used MU china website for domestic tickets frequently, but sometimes US credit cards work and sometimes they don't. I haven't used Ctrip much because in the past I've seen somewhat higher fares for MU domestic tickets, but I haven't tried it recently.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:13 am
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I have been amazed with the customer service on CTrip previously and although I speak a few words of mandarin not enough to handle a rebooking. Their English language line staff were able to rebook a flight and cancel a non-refundable hotel with minimum hassle and no penalties to myself. They called me back several times to confirm progress and I ended up with service would never have expected from a western OTA.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:24 am
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I usually book direct from CA for international flights to snag tickets on a correct booking class.

For domestic chinese flights i use either Ctrip or Fliggy (Alibaba's ctrip). Ctrip works better and has way better customer service as reflected by many members. Fliggy works as a good backup or when I am absolutely sure I won't be making changes to the ticket.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by plunet View Post
I have been amazed with the customer service on CTrip previously and although I speak a few words of mandarin not enough to handle a rebooking. Their English language line staff were able to rebook a flight and cancel a non-refundable hotel with minimum hassle and no penalties to myself. They called me back several times to confirm progress and I ended up with service would never have expected from a western OTA.
That's awesome! I guess I gotta give Ctrip a try at some point in the future for domestic flights in China. What does your credit card categorize Ctrip purchases as?

For trans-pacific flights, better to just book with Orbitz since it'll pass off as purchasing direct from the airline for 5x from AMEX Platinum?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by razorblade View Post
I usually book direct from CA for international flights to snag tickets on a correct booking class.

For domestic chinese flights i use either Ctrip or Fliggy (Alibaba's ctrip). Ctrip works better and has way better customer service as reflected by many members. Fliggy works as a good backup or when I am absolutely sure I won't be making changes to the ticket.
Oh nice, you're the first guy to have mentioned that you booked direct from CA's site. I'm guessing you use CA's USA site? They accept Visa, Mastercard, and AMEX? Or just the first two? Usually the lowest price? Any issues when something does go wrong? How would you compare Orbitz to CA's site?
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