Help with LAX-Hong Kong in December

Jun 3rd, 2005, 05:50 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 316
Help with LAX-Hong Kong in December

I've been browsing the Asia board for a few weeks now but this is my first post here. I'm planning a trip to Hong Kong (my first time to Asia!) for about 10-12 days in Dec.

I would like to go to both Hong Kong and Beijing. But I'm getting a little overwhelmed researching airfares and would love some advice.

This is what I found so far for RT LAX-HKG for my travel dates, which are Dec. 22 - Jan 2 (but are somewhat flexible):

American website (Cathay Pacific codeshare) - $1750
Cathay Pacific website - same
Travelocity - $1350 (Cathay Pacific)

I prefer nonstop, but would consider other flights. The price seems very high to me, but the advantage of booking on American is the FF miles I will get.

I could also use some American FF miles and upgrade to Business class if I fly LAX - Tokyo then Tokyo-HKG.

But I still have to get to Beijing. I was thinking originally I would purchase a round trip HKG-Beijing after I get this ticket. Or should I fly into one city and back from the other? The prices I've found so far for that are just so high. Are there other airlines I should be looking at?

So many choices...if only I was rich.
JohnH is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 06:45 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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CX flights usually cost more than others like UA or NW, even when booked as AA codeshare. And to earn AA miles, you basically have to book as AA numbers as only the most expensive CX fares earn AA miles.

I suggest you call up a Chinese travel agent in your area who have consolidator fares from AA.

If you want to do an open-jaw, then consider AA to NRT, and then JL NRT-PEK and HKG-NRT. Many JL fares earn AA miles, though sometimes only 70% or fewer.

Finally, mid-to-late December is peak season for airfares to/from HKG. Try to go early - like before Dec 11 or so. For 12/22-1/2, $1,350 is not too far off. Still, you can probably wait a couple months. Most consolidators don't get fares this far out, so check with them around early September.

HKG-PEK is not the cheapest route. One-way is at least US$150, double for roundtrip. Cheaper if you fly from Shenzhen instead of HKG. Put them into your consideration whether to do HKG roundtrip or open-jaw.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 06:49 PM
  #3  
 
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I just punched in LAX-HKG 12/22, and PEK-LAX 1/2, on beta.itasoftware.com. JL has fares of $1,047, in class S and M. All earn 70% AAdvantage miles.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:01 PM
  #4  
 
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A similar itinerary on AA ticket, using CX for NRT-HKG, and JL for PEK-NRT, is $1249. While the LAX-NRT flights on AA will earn 100% miles, the CX and JL fare classes don't earn anything, so you end up with about the same miles, but having spent $200 more.

Those fares are all bookable on Orbitz.com, and I think ~$1,050 for those dates are very reasonable.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 11:09 PM
  #5  
 
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Call CX and ask if they have any special sales on tickets that will gualify to earn AA miles.

I usually can get a CX "Seat Saver" fare for $800-$1000 depending on when I book it/time of year. I only learned about this by fishing around with a CX rep on the phone. My last trip (LAX to HKG mid thru late April was $1400 on CX, but $1020 all in on the "seat saver." It was an H which earns AA miles.

Note, however thast you can't upgrade using AA miles if you take this approach.
cjbryant is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 07:48 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for some great suggestions. I can't go in early December - it needs to be somewhere around Christmas.

rkkwan - thanks for checking on those flights and fares - would you book the JL flight now or wait and talk to a travel agent and check fares again later in the summer?
JohnH is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:15 AM
  #7  
 
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12/22 is really PEAK PEAK PEAK season for flights to HKG. I paid around $1,100 last year for 12/25, and any seats from 12/20 to 12/23 would be over $1,500.

I think you may want to call up a few Asian agent in the next few days to see what they say. And unless they are certain to find cheaper fares later on, I'd get the JL fares right now.

And airfares would not be cheaper this year than last.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:21 AM
  #8  
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OK I'll make some calls - thanks.

Since it's PEAK season, finding a reasonably priced hotel room will probably be the next challenge...
JohnH is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hotel shouldn't be too bad. Most of these people flying to Hong Kong are students returning for holiday and people with roots there - like me - going to see relatives and friends. Many of them stay at people's homes, not hotels. With few business travellers, the 4* and 5* properties shouldn't be too expensive to book.

The wild card this year is the Disneyland, which opens in September. It mainly caters to visitors from Mainland China, and Christmas isn't holiday up there. However, it's too soon to say if the theme park will increase hotel occupancy (and rates) across the board - and if so, then you'll be paying more than years past.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 10:01 AM
  #10  
 
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Go to <www.onetravel.com>

Just found :

LAX and HKG r/t fare is $980 (including tax, fees and service charge) on Korean Airline based on dates you mentioned.

Open jaw
LAX - HKG
PEK - LAX
Fare is $1056 (including tax and fees) on All Nippon or Japan Airline based on same dates.

Need to check it out to see if seat is available. Also to see if there are other charges.

I have used this website often to shop around. Have never done any business with them. However, I believe they are reputable.
lxchiang is offline  

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