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Flying is the most convenient means of domestic transportation in China, though it is also the most expensive. For tourists who are only in town for a few days, it's worth it to pay a little more and spend more time seeing the sights that matter.
We've got some helpful tips on flying domestic in China that could save you precious time and energy. More time for you to enjoy the attractions of your destination is what we are all about.
Flying domestic in China can be a stressful experience if you don't know what you're doing. Most travelers enjoy the fast paced travel of the common domestic flights as opposed to the slower option in bullet trains. While China's bullet train system may be the right fit for certain trips, let's focus on the efficient domestic flight options. Follow our tips to streamline the experience.
Arriving early and avoiding national holidays is the best tip to ensure you make your flight on time. The Chinese habit of never forming lines can make airports a stressful place to navigate for foreigners. Give yourself plenty of extra time to avoid any mishaps.
Be sure to examine the flight restrictions online to ensure you bring only what's allowed to the airport. Lighters, liquids, pets, and even some technological devices are banned on flights in China. Check with your airline to make sure all your goods are in compliance with the rules.
Internet access to popular Western sites is limited in China. If you're worried about letting loved ones know you made your flight, make sure to have a VPN installed on your devices to access the Internet.
Understand that you are a visitor and expect things to be a little different. From a rice and fish style in-flight meal to the personal space you can expect from your in-flight neighbor, things are sure to vary from what you're used to. Be ready for the adventure.
Airlines in China are much more likely to ground flights due to weather than airlines in America. Don't be surprised if a rainstorm throws off your flight plans. Traveling is all about flexibility and it's better to be safe than sorry. You can avoid any unnecessary delays by choosing clear weather days for all your flights in China.
Let's explore the merits and the drawbacks to flying domestically in China.
Beijing Airport to Hong Kong Airport: 3 hours and 40 minutes / $190
Hong Kong Airport to Shanghai Pudong Airport: 2 hours and 35 minutes / $150
Shanghai Hongqiao Airportto Chengdu Shuangliu Airport: 3 hours and 20 minutes / $350
Please get to the airport at least one hour before your flight departs, and 2 hours for international flights.
In Shanghai, and many other Chinese cities, there are 2 airports, namely Hongqiao and Pudong International. Please make sure you are arriving at the right airport and terminal to make your flight on time.
The electronic message board will indicate at which counter you are supposed to check in. Find the counter, and present your passport.
After checking, the clerk will give you the boarding pass, which shows your name, flight number, departure place, destination, seat number, boarding gate and time. At the same time, you can have your luggage checked in.
The screening line will be long during peak seasons. DO NOT accept any items from strangers. Keep your belongings close to you all the times.
Your boarding pass shows at which gate you are going to board, and you will easily find the corresponding waiting hall, which is indicated on the electronic message board. Now you can have a rest at the waiting hall.
Please pay close attention to the broadcast for your flight. Most airports will read out boarding calls over the audio speaker in Chinese only. Keep your eyes on the board to make sure you don't miss any details.
After hearing the boarding announcement, go to the boarding gate. The attendant will wait at the boarding gate to check your boarding pass. Now you can board the flight.
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