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Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

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Madrid, Spain
posts: 2
Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

Hi!

I'll travel in China during New Year holidays and I've already booked two flights on Ctrip because their price seemed pretty fair.

I don't know if I should book the two other flights? Their price is high but I'm afraid I won't be able to buy them if I wait to long for last minute offers, as flights will probably be crowded for Spring Festival.

At the moment, these flights cost:

2013-02-04: Beijing=>Jinan RMB630

2013-02-14: Xi'an=> Beijing RMB1050

What do you think? Should I wait (if it's the case, till how long before departure date?)?

What would be a fair price for those two flights?

Thank you very much in advance!

Magog, Canada
posts: 25,697
reviews: 456
1. Re: Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

Do not fly to Jinan, way to close. The train ride is less than two hours and cost less than 200RMB. There are many trains all day. The flight could be your backup.

The Beijing to Xi'An flight may not go down in price much for such a date.

Madrid, Spain
posts: 2
2. Re: Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

Thank you for your answer!

I know Jinan is very close, but some people told me it could be really hard to get train tickets for this period, even if there are trains every hour. I'll travel with my grandmother (78 years old), so it's a bit stressful to wait for the last moment (Il'll arrive in China on the31th of January) to try to buy train tickets.

I think I have four options, but I don't which is the best!

1) wait to be in China and buy train tickets to Jinan at Beijing airport (3 days before the journey)

2) book train tickets though an online agency (there's an extra fee and there's no guarantee they will be able to book them, or so they say)

3)book a flight on Ctrip now even if it seems expensive

4)wait to book a flight on Ctrip to see if the price goes down

About Xi'an do you think I should buy the plain ticket now or I can still wait?

Magog, Canada
posts: 25,697
reviews: 456
3. Re: Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

I don't think that you'll save much money on the Xi'an tickets by waiting, so why take a chance.

For the Jinan tickets, given that there are so many trains each day, if you are a bit flexible on time then an agent should be able to get you some tickets. Even by paying a fee of $10 per ticket it is still much cheaper than flying and much simpler.

Guilin, China
posts: 206
reviews: 22
4. Re: Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

Agree with JP.

Considered that you will have a trip with your grandmather, the earlier booking will be better. The better way to get a confirmed ticket may be asking a help from ticket agency. Generally, tickets for agents are usually offered but not too many, so the rule is the erarlier the better if you choose to book from the angent.

In my experience, Beijing - Xi'an air ticket is always not in a good price even in the low season. May be you are very very lucky if you can get a discount of 20% to 30%. And according to your travel time, very favorable discount may not offered, but you can wait to see whether there is any lucky thing happens.

Beijing, China
Destination Expert
for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
posts: 4,450
reviews: 3
5. Re: Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

Wait, wait.

since Xian-Beijing is already the full rate, why not wait for the possible special promotion? Air companies generally will launch some low rates to catch eyes in advance even it is hot travel holiday. The low rate shall be at 300-500.

Best way Beijing-Jinan is taking bullet train, not plane. Train is much cheaper and faster.

Edited: 10:20 pm, November 18, 2012
6. Re: Ctrip & Chinese New Year: book now or wait last minute?

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