China is a country of vast distances.
If you don't have the time or inclination
for a long drawn-out land campaign, take
to the air.
The Civil Aviation Administration
of China(CAAC) is the civil aviation authority
for numerous airlines, including Air China,
China Eastern, China Southern, China Southwest,
China Northern, Shanghai, Yunnan and others,
which has opened around 1,000 domestic lines
that cover 140 cities with Beijing in the
center. There are also 130 international
airlines and 21 regional airlines, radiating
to 60 cities in 40 countries. Flying along
these lines are some of the world's finest
aircraft, and all the major airports are
equipped with the world's best available
facilities. Air China is one of the safest
air companies in the world.
Planes vary in style and comfort.
The more regularly travelled routes between
cities employ Boeing or Airbus. You may
get a hot meal, or just a small piece of
cake and an airline souvenir. On-board announcements
are delivered in Chinese and English if
there are foreigners on board.
Reservation & Cancellation
You'll need to show your passport
when reserving or purchasing a ticket. Business-class
tickets cost 25% more than economy-class
tickets, and lst-class tickets cost an extra
60%. Children over 12 are charged adult
fares; kids between two and 12 pay half-price.
Toddlers under the age of two pay 10% of
the full fare. You can use credit cards
at most CAAC offices and travel agents.
Buying tickets during the Chinese
New Year, and the 1 May and 1 October week-long
holidays is near impossible, so plan early.
There is an airport tax of £¤50
on domestic flights.
Cancellation fees depend on
how 1ong before departure you cancel. On
domestic flights, if you cancel 24 to 48
hours before departure you lose 10% of the
fare; if you cancel between two and 24 hours
before the flight you lose 20%; and if you
cancel less than two hours before the flight
you 1ose 30%. If you don't show up for a
domestic flight, you are entitled to a refund
of 50%. When purchasing a ticket, you may
be asked to buy insurance (£¤20).
It's not compulsory and the amount you can
claim is very low.
If you have reserved a seat to
continue your flight in China, or for
a return journey on an international or
regional flight, you should reconfirm
its reservation at least 72 hours before
departure if you'll stop over at the boarding
place for longer than 72 hours. Or else
the seat shall be automatically cancelled.
No confirmation is necessary if you stop
over at the place for your continued flight
or return flight for less than 72 hours.
Validity: The validity period of
normal fare tickets, whether for single,
return or circular trips, is one year.
The validity periods of special fare tickets
and discount normal fare tickets are calculated
on the basis of related fares in accordance
with relevant stipulations.
- You need to arrive at the
airport at least 30 minutes before departure.
Fee: A 90-yuan airport fee shall
be collected from passengers departing
from any international airports in the
People's Republic of China. Passengers
holding diplomatic passports, transit
passengers who stop over for less than
24 hours, and children under the age of
12 are exempt from the airport fee.
- Free Luggage
Allowance by Weight: The free luggage
allowance by weight for every passenger
holding a ticket with full fare or half
fare for an international or regional
flight is 40 kg for a first-class ticket,
30 kg for a business class ticket, and
20 kg for an economy class ticket. No
free luggage allowance is granted to babies
who pay 10 percent of the adult fare.
Baggage: 2 pieces for a passenger
holding a first-class ticket; and 1 piece
for a passenger with a business or an
economy-class ticket. The dimensions for
each piece of luggage allowed should not
exceed 20x40x55 cm, and the maximum weight
shall not exceed 5 kg. You'll have to
pay if you bring more luggage aboard than
is allowed in terms of piece or weight.