Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Booking Domestic Flights In China  
User currently offlinePagophilus From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4248 times:

I will be travelling in China with my wife in April and I'd like to fly some sectors. I've looked at www.ctrip.com and www.elong.net. Ctrip seems to show many flights, but is unable to book most of them. It tells me the seats have sold out. Elong shows a much smaller number of flights but will book whatever you select. Example, April 29 Lanzhou to Xian. Ctrip shows many flights but cannot book most of them. For example, I'd like to take the flight on Grand China Express on the Dornier 328JET. But it's unbookable. I get as far as inputting our names, then it tells me the seats have sold out and to select another flight. Elong shows only a Hainan Airlines flight. www.chinaticketmaster.com shows the same results as Elong.

Has anyone here been successful in using Ctrip to book flights?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDeguoren From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4241 times:

Ctrip usually works and it is to prefer. Had a lot of trouble with Elong: They say the fare is available, 2 hours later they call and tell you it's not and want you to book a higher fare. Moreover, Elong is very unpunctual in delivering tickets. If you make an appoint for 2 pm, they'll come at 4 or 5 pm. Ctrip is excellent.

However, back to your question.
I think that it's still to early to book flights for April 29. Try again on April 01 or so. In China you usually do not book flights well in advance. Currently the discounted fare may not be bookable because the airline has not yet opened up the discounted fares. You still have time, don't worry, you will be able to get a discounted ticket in April.

Though I might add that recently airlines, especially CZ, have been pushing to introduce early booking and early booking discounts. If you go with them play around on their China Website (www.csair.com/en) and NOT their international one as this does not show discount fares.

Hope that helps, regards!


User currently offlineSpinner145 From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4225 times:



Quoting Deguoren (Reply 1):
I think that it's still to early to book flights for April 29. Try again on April 01 or so. In China you usually do not book flights well in advance. Currently the discounted fare may not be bookable because the airline has not yet opened up the discounted fares. You still have time, don't worry, you will be able to get a discounted ticket in April

Agreed. When I travel in China it's never been necessary to book far in advance for domestic flights. Typically I ask my hotel's concierge or even just a random local travel agent to help me book a flight a day or two before I intend to fly and have no problems. When you do this, be sure to ask for a discount. All flights have a standard price, but that full price is seldom actually charged. It is a standard discount and you don't have to negotiate for it, just ask. It is typically a 10%--20% discount off of the listed price.


User currently offlinePagophilus From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4201 times:

Thanks for the info. I have already booked CAN-LHW return with Elong flying China Southern because the price was good. But I might sit it out for the other tickets. I'm just so used to booking ahead (never been to China before). Flying to some places in tourist season, I'd be booking more than 6 months ahead.

User currently offlineDeguoren From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4197 times:



Quoting Pagophilus (Reply 3):
I'm just so used to booking ahead (never been to China before). Flying to some places in tourist season, I'd be booking more than 6 months ahead.

This is the strategy for every single country ... but not China  Smile
You might get even more expensive quotes booking ahead. If you don't travel during their holidays, that is right now, Chinese New Year, or during the Golden Week (1st of May - and, somebody enlighten me, has been abolished?), then there will probably always be a seat available.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17015 posts, RR: 67
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4165 times:



Quoting Deguoren (Reply 4):
e Golden Week (1st of May - and, somebody enlighten me, has been abolished?)

There are three Golden Weeks. The one you are thinking of is indeed in May. But the October one is no joke either.
* The "Spring Festival (or Chinese Lunar New Year) Golden Week" begins in January or February.
* The "Labour Day Golden Week" began on May 1st (May Day) until 2008.
* The "National Day Golden Week" begins on October 1st.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

I book most of my domestic flights in China through Zuji (http://www.zuji.com.hk).

I have never had a problem yet.

[Edited 2008-02-05 02:41:05]

User currently offlineCarnoc From China, joined Oct 2001, 875 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4122 times:

Slightly off-topic here, but the following website is quite good and handy for checking out domestic flight schedules in China:

http://www.feeyo.com/enflight.htm

Regards.


User currently offlineSQ452 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4059 times:



Quoting Deguoren (Reply 1):
However, back to your question.
I think that it's still to early to book flights for April 29. Try again on April 01 or so. In China you usually do not book flights well in advance. Currently the discounted fare may not be bookable because the airline has not yet opened up the discounted fares. You still have time, don't worry, you will be able to get a discounted ticket in April.

I have typically found discounted fares to be offered about two to three weeks before the flight. I experienced this a lot on MU where the discounted fare wouldn't be available till only 14 days before the flight. If you can, you can even go in person to the airline office to book. But in China, most people buy their ticket within 48 hours...they'll plan their trip for months but won't book the trip till only a short time out. Just about all travel in China operates this way, even airlines.

Quoting Pagophilus (Reply 3):
Thanks for the info. I have already booked CAN-LHW return with Elong flying China Southern because the price was good. But I might sit it out for the other tickets. I'm just so used to booking ahead (never been to China before). Flying to some places in tourist season, I'd be booking more than 6 months ahead.

Definitely too early to book, and chances are they will change around your flight times and flights itself this far out!

Quoting Dalavia (Reply 6):
I book most of my domestic flights in China through Zuji (http://www.zuji.com.hk).

I have never had a problem yet.

Zuji is good, but the discounts usually are not shown. Nevertheless, you might be able to get good deals on Zuji for normal priced fares.

Also, if you plan on accruing miles in your FFP (so Qantas or something), note that not all discount fares are eligible for FFP accrual in china, and if they are, you usually only get 50% of the miles flown. The cheaper the fare, the less likely the chance you'll get miles if your airline is aligned with the Chinese carrier. I know for Asia Miles, MU was tricky and you always had to ask the booking class to find out if it was eligible or not.



SIN > CVG > BOS
User currently offlinePurpleBox From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 325 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4023 times:



Quoting Pagophilus (Thread starter):
Has anyone here been successful in using Ctrip to book flights?

No - I never tried - I've always used eLong and had good experiences. They were very helpful when Hainan cancelled my PVG-XIY flight. The re-booking was cheaper and they refunded my credit card without issues. They even rang me in the UK from China to tell me of the cancellation.

PurpleBox.



Next Flights:STH-ATH-STN (A3), BHX-INV-BHX(BE), LCY-FRA-BOG(LH), EZE-FRA-LHR(LH)
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Domestic Airfares In China: How To Find Good One? posted Mon Aug 20 2007 15:50:10 by Flying Belgian
Any Domestic Flights In Georgia posted Sat Jun 9 2007 13:34:23 by Airevents
Egyptair Domestic Flights In The Mid 90's posted Sun May 20 2007 13:29:22 by BRUspotter
Domestic Flights In Turkey posted Wed Apr 18 2007 21:15:41 by Reifel
Domestic Flights In South Korea posted Tue Dec 26 2006 23:35:40 by Alespesl
Domestic Flights In Bolivia, Peru And Argentina posted Wed Oct 18 2006 17:02:10 by Pe@rson
Domestic Flights In Greece posted Sun Aug 20 2006 21:47:36 by RAFVC10
Domestic Flights In Hungary posted Sun Jul 30 2006 22:29:30 by Reifel
Domestic Flights In Mali posted Sat Jan 7 2006 19:17:10 by Pzurita1
Domestic Flights In Eritrea posted Sun Oct 16 2005 11:48:48 by Airevents