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MSheinberg Jul 31st, 2010 10:58 AM

Purchase Airline Tickets For Trip Within China
Can anyone suggest source to purchase plane tickets for travel within China? Wish to purchase before arriving in China so we can firm up details prior to departing US. We can purchase from Air China on line but, thought we might get better price from a travel agency, perhaps even in Hong Kong. RKKWAN did suggest HK agent who never did respond to my e-mails.

mashi_m Jul 31st, 2010 11:27 AM

I'd been reading older posts and found a reputable site with lower fares than expedia and the original chinese airlines like Air China, China Southern and China Eastern. (listed on NASDAQ..) has low fares. I'd booked multiple one way fares using their early bird specials since I too like a set itinerary and not wait a few days to hunt for discount tickets while I am on a trip in a foreign land.

They answered many of my questions via their CHAT service (has to be at night since the site is operated from China). I even booked airport pick up from them since the hotels quoted nearly double the price for a much smaller car. And I am hesitant to use taxi.

Take a look at the site and let me know. eLong is another site but I went with CTrip since I was able to chat to someone and things were confirmed with emails for my e-tickets.

Good luck and let me know which company you end up using. I am always looking for new travel sites with lower prices, better support, etc.

rkkwan Jul 31st, 2010 12:56 PM

Just use ctrip.

PeterN_H Jul 31st, 2010 01:48 PM

Overall you're better off to buy your tickets as you go. Ctrip, eLong, and other similar China-based agents will often have tickets at similar prices, but sometimes not, and there can be problems with bait-and-switch, with using foreign credit cards (varies over time), and with refunds. The true lowest prices for tickets are not generally known until three weeks or so before flying, so if you do decide to book on-line, don't try too far in advance. Travel in China doesn't work this way, and most transport and accommodation services are only purchased shortly before they are actually needed, or at the time of need.

Peter N-H

sandiej Aug 12th, 2010 08:41 AM

I used the to buy tickets in advance without a problem. However, like the U.S. you should not buy too far in advance or to close. The best way to tell is to look at the cost for the date you want, and then play "what if" a month before, two months etc and compare. (I use the same method when buying tickets in the U.S.) You need to know that May 1 and October 1 are Chinese holiday weeks so travel would be more expensive. Or try and look at the cost for each day on its calendar. Not sure if you can buy tickets for China. I used to find a route back to NY when our flights were canceled from Cairo to NY and then went directly to the airline knowing the lowest price.

Clark55 Aug 12th, 2010 09:44 AM

We waited until we got to China and had our concierge book our flights but we found that if we had booked them the week before or 2 weeks before from home we would have paid less, only about 10 dollars but our real problem was that we had to stay one day longer in 2 places as the flights were booked for that day which caused us problems with hotel bookings and mucked up our itinerary. If we had to do it again I would book from home but only a week or 2 before.

PeterN_H Aug 12th, 2010 04:23 PM

> We waited until we got to China and had our concierge book our flights but we found that if we had booked them the week before or 2 weeks before from home we would have paid less,

But probably only because you booked through the concierge, rather than doing the job yourself. While some upmarket hotels connect you with decent agents, others insist you have to pay up to four times what is actually possible.

kimtonone Aug 12th, 2010 11:18 PM

There are many trustworthy tour operators online, such as China Highlights, TCG, China Tours online, COT or TTC. You can search more comments from the trip adviors.

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