If you’ve got extra time on your China itinerary, you’ll often save big bucks by skipping the western world’s flight booking engines (kayak, expedia, travelocity, etc.), and going straight to the source in China. Here are our top tips for getting great deals on flights within China, and around SE Asia, including some new developments.
2)Not all of the budget airlines are on Ctrip & Elong, so you’ll want to check their respective websites. The top budget airlines are Spring Airlines and Air Asia. If you’re going to the Philippines, Cebu Pacific has some great deals through Shanghai.
3)Air Asia now flies directly from Shanghai PVG. You’ll have to connect in Kuala Lumpur to any other destinations, but now you don’t have to take the high speed train and taxi/metro combo to get to Hangzhou airport. (But remember to check Hangzhou as your departure city still if you’re really sleuthing for a deal.)
4) Spring Airlines opened up a route to Bangkok recently, so there is finally a budget option there (2x daily now)! There’s also several routes to Japan.
5) High speed trains are taking over China. The Beijing-Shanghai route has multiple departures per hour, takes around 5 hours, and costs about RMB 550. It’s not the most scenic ride, but a fun alternative to the slog of yet another flight. Most concierges can book tickets for you, or point you in the right direction. You won’t have trouble securing tickets on most routes as long as it isn’t during a major Chinese holiday. If you can read Chinese, check out HuoChePiao for schedules.
5)Remember budget airlines have strict baggage rules! If you have lots of bags, the cheap flight may not make up for the extra fees.
We’re always happy to assist our guests how we can at UnTour Shanghai, but these resources are a great place to start.