Friday, August 6, 2010

China Trip Itinerary

I dropped off my passport at the travel agency today. They do a weekly visa run to the Chinese consulate. It used to cost $25 but now they've increased the price to $30. The cost of the actual visa has also gone up to $140. It's still cheaper for non-US passport holders but since I applied for a 12-month multiple-entry visa, the difference is only $50... not worth the effort to use my Canadian passport.

I also had the travel agent check on ticket prices. Cheap seats on Cathay Pacific go quick. To match Leon's itinerary would have cost me ~$2000 since only the full economy seats were left. The best they could do was a ~$1500 ticket on Air China. Back at work, I searched for about a hour and found a reasonable itinerary on CX for ~$1250 but ended up having problems with my credit card on Cathay's site. Afraid that I would lose the "cheap" airfare, I ended buying the tickets through Expedia for ~$12 more. Now I have to call Cathay tomorrow to get seat assignments; hopefully my Silver Marco Polo card will help me get an aisle seat. It's a lot of work being a travel agent!

Aug 28: LAX - HKG - CTU
Sept 12: BJS - HKG - LAX

On Sept 3rd, I'm going with Leon to Shenzhen for a few meetings, then I need to decide whether to go to Taipei for a few days or fly to Beijing directly. I think I have too many days in Beijing so I have time to visit a couple of friends in Taipei. I asked if I could crash at their place so I can save a few bucks since I'm spending a lot on airfare already.


oneworld doesn't have that many options when flying to SE Asia. I think Cathay Pacific is their only major Asian carrier now that Japan Airlines is in trouble. Star Alliance seems have a lot more coverage with 5 or 6 carriers that fly from USA to Asia.

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