Reasonable Fares to China in Mid AugustBack to Forum
Anonymous29 Jul 2012
I need some advice pretty urgently please.
Myself and 4 or 5 colleagues have to go to China in mid August (out around 14th, returning a week or so later). Whilst I will be flying Business, probably with Swiss or Lufty, my colleagues are having to be more price sensitive and have to fly Economy (largely because they are funding the trip themselves – as am I).
As the Chinese Government client is picking up the domestic flights (we are going to a city in Central China), it does not matter whether we fly into Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongching etc.
We would prefer to depart BHX, but LHR, LGW and MAN are all on the radar as possibilities. The guys would prefer to have any transit in Europe, to give them a long outward and return leg. Although the Middle East is not totally ruled out.
My initial web-based searches are coming in at around GBP 1,000 in Economy, and it is the return leg that is pushing up the price. I have looked at most permutations and the cheapest I have been able to track down are Virgin and Austrian, both at about GBP 800.
Has anyone any ideas on this?
I have looked at departures ex-mainland Europe, but by the time one adds the connecting flight in from the UK, any price advantage is negated.
Also, has anyone any idea why mid-August flights from China should be so disproportionately expensive? As an example, Swiss are quoting GBP 800 for the return leg alone, whilst the same flight in Business is only a few pounds more expensive……
Many thanks in advance, Simon29 Jul 2012
It’s not a route I fly, but whenever this sort of thorny problem emerges I’d recommend also considering a Round the World ticket; if you can add in a few other stops which are of use to you, professionally or personally, they can work out better value.29 Jul 2012
I think 800 is a steal for a very last minute booking in the middle of the school holidays, im actually surprised you were able to find a seat at all. And that answers your question as to why mid august flights are expensive….. summer holidays is the busiest time of the year to travel.
VK, try booking a round the world ticket for mid august last minute like this and you are looking at least twice the amount he’s already been quoted, probably closer to £2000 i should think.29 Jul 2012
Thanks – but that’s no point. The question is why the return leg should be so much more expensive than the outward (which is also during the summer holidays).
I was also asking for any ideas of money-saving routings that I might have missed.
Simon29 Jul 2012
Thanks. We had thought of Hong Kong. However, the Government will only pick up the tab for our domestic flights, and flights from Hong Kong to Mainland China are considered to be international flights (as are Shenzhen and Macau).
A real pity as I’ve not been there for a decade and would love to go back!
Simon29 Jul 2012
bucksnet, I just took a look and those fares you are quoting, and they have a 10 hour connection in DXB, for a decent connection the cheapest I can see to PVG is £745.
Simon the reason it is more expensive is everyone is needing to get back by the end of august to get back to work/school/uni, whereas going out it is spread out more evenly, still busy, but nowhere near as bad as trying to come back at the back end of the holiday period.29 Jul 2012
Finnair offers £755 on those dates to either Beijing, Chongqing or Shanghai, though connection times for the cheapest flights are bizarrely long.
Aeroflot offers £760. Changing in Sheremetyevo is less painful than it used to be.
Transaero can do £640 via Domodedovo. Long connection times, though.
Good luck!29 Jul 2012
Just checked Swiss, bhx- pvg, out 13 back 23 for £1,108 return all inclusive. A bit more expensive than others are showing but at least no middle of the night changes.
A suggestion though as there are maybe 6 of you. Call the Swiss service centre and tell them your predicament and what others are charging. They may find a fare that is more attractive especially if you can move the dates a day or two.
I did this to CPT two years back in peak season – January – and we were 6. Me in F, Mrs. LP in C and three kids + nanny in Y. I can’t remember the savings but on the Y fares she found one about chf 300 a person cheaper than I could find.29 Jul 2012