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Intra China air travel???

Intra China air travel???

Old Oct 31, 08, 6:32 pm
  #1  
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Intra China air travel???

I am looking for advice on buying air tickets for travel within China including PEK to HKG which is considered an international destination by China. Also other destinations out of PEK within China proper. However I want to buy these tickets in advance before I get to China!

If one goes through a Canadian travel agent, one gets soaked due to somesort of international regulations (eg PEK-HKG return is quoting at $1500CDN) but these fares on recognized airlines are a fraction of the cost if booked somehow. My question is HOW?

One site is www.flychina.com but I do not know if this is reliable. Likely there are other places to buy these but I want something reliable and legitimate. Hence this request.

Any experiences/advice most appreciated and I do not care which airline to use. *A mileage not an issue. Cost is the issue as I am buying tickets for several people.

Last edited by 100,000miler; Oct 31, 08 at 6:42 pm
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Old Oct 31, 08, 7:10 pm
  #2  
 
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If you know the dates you will be travelling on your China domestic flights, you can purchase them as part of your international ticket.

It is best to deal with an asian travel agent in Canada before you leave.

For example:

YVR-PEK-PVG-PEK-YVR is cheaper than YVR-PEK-YVR + PEK-PVG-PEK

Also, some airlines offer "side trip addons" (available only through certain travel agents) that you can purchase in conjunction with your international ticket.

For example: If you purchase a CX YVR-HKG-YVR fare, you can purchase a HKG-PEK-HKG addon (which must be issued on the same ticket) for around CAD 300.

You can also consider buying a YVR-PEK-HKG-PEK-YVR (Basically YVR-HKG ticket with a stopover in PEK) published fare. (This will cost less than YVR-PEK-YVR + PEK-HKG-PEK).
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Old Oct 31, 08, 7:28 pm
  #3  
 
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check the "China" forum. Lots of info there.
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Old Oct 31, 08, 10:55 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sniles View Post
check the "China" forum. Lots of info there.
SNILES, what threads in particular. I just checked but do not see much relevant to this topic. All suggestions welcomed.
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Old Nov 1, 08, 8:36 am
  #5  
 
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Try ctip.com, the largest online ticket provider in China.

This question has been discussed here many times, you will find more info if you do a search here.
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Old Nov 1, 08, 12:16 pm
  #6  
 
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just do a search on the China forum, this comes up all the time.

Don't bother booking way in advance your intra-China tickets. Generally speaking the discounts to standard fare are zero or minimal and then the discount starts to improve as you get closer to the date. Then, a day or two before the flight, the fares usually go back to zero discount. The discount you can get varies but I've had up to 70% off, 30-40% is common

I think I am correct in saying that overseas travel agents cannot access the discounts, they will only sell full price fares (I had this when I started travelling to China and quickly started to book them myself)

two good websites, both of which you can book from outside China with a Credit Card. I've used them loads of times. At the very least they will show you the discounted fares and you can then check that your Canadian travel agent is getting the same prices

http://english.ctrip.com/
http://www.chinaticketmaster.com

nickyboy
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Old Nov 1, 08, 4:09 pm
  #7  
 
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nickyboy's advice is correct on economy tickets. But if you want first class tickets, you'd better don't leave it too late. The price is the same, no discount availble, and seat number are limited to 8 on normal A320/B737 - the most common aircraft types in China.
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Old Nov 1, 08, 5:54 pm
  #8  
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Thanks guys, this is good advice. Much appreciated.

What about cheaper tickets from PEK to HKG which is considered international?
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Old Nov 1, 08, 7:39 pm
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Still the same. Use a chinese local travel agent or go through ctrip.com, yoee.com type booking engines
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Old Nov 2, 08, 8:19 pm
  #10  
 
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While perhaps not helpful, I found my hotel in China was able to book an intra-China itinerary at reasonable rates. I provided my passport info and picked-up the tickets on arrival. They even spotted the fare waiting for me to show-up in Tashkorgan of all places!! Seems ridiculous on hindsight.

I'm sure other FT'ers will know much, much more.
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