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Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

Brisbane, Queensland
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Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

Do flight prices get better closer to the date in Yunnan? We want to fly either to Xishuangbanna or Chiang Mai from Lijiang, Dali or Kunming in mid April (depending on the Mekong ferry availability). I am not sure whether to make a decision and lock in a flight booking now or wait until near the date?

Tony

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Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Lijiang
Lijiang
Yunnan, China
Dali
Dali
Yunnan, China
Kunming
Kunming
Yunnan, China
1. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

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Removed on: 20 February 2011, 01:05
Brisbane, Queensland
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2. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

Thank you, that's great info.

Edited: 01 February 2011, 07:09
Brisbane, Queensland
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3. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

For anyone else following this thread, a Chinese friend in Beijing also confirms that airline seats booked around 45 days out from departure are cheaper than at other times. I will update again after I've booked our flights.

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New York City, New...
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4. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

Thanks tony, will be waiting for your update! have a similar problem too!

Brisbane, Queensland
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5. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

For those who are waiting on the outcome, I have now booked my flight from Xian to Kunming and paid less almost one third of the full fare price. I had a good Chinese friend make the bookings for us from Beijing.

So this does prove the theory that tickets booked around 30 days in advance are much cheaper than those further from the date.

I'll now see what can be done with Lijiang to Chiang Mai in about a week from now. I hope I get a similar result.

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Kunming
Kunming
Yunnan, China
Lijiang
Lijiang
Yunnan, China
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Brisbane, Queensland
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6. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

TripAdvisor staff ... what was wrong with the first reply to my question? I thought it was excellent information. Are you being too picky???

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

tony, thanks for giving a followup. lots of people do not. by the way, what did the first post say? might have been advert. don't remember about it though.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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8. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

I did not see the first reply but it was possibly a case of self-promotion which is not allowed on TA.

There are no simple rule for optimal booking time. It really depends on the route and time of the year. In the ned it comes down to supply and demand.

The best way to figure it out is to go to an online travel agent such as ctrip.com (China's largest). No need to buy from them but ctrip has the best tools.

The first thing to do is to check fares for various dates to see how they vary, how low they go and how many days prior to departure. So you check your itinerary for tomorrow, next week, 2 weeks from now, next month and 2 months from now. They also show you fare for one week prior and after the date selected. You can do this again the next week to see how it changes. So after some studying you can figure out the best way to save money for that route.

Ctrip also has a nice feature called "fare alert". you enter your travel date and the fare you would like to pay and they will send you an email once the price reaches your target for that day.

Again, you do not need to buy from ctrip. The other popular online travel agents with english websites are elong.net and travelzen.com

Brisbane, Queensland
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9. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

Hmmm ... interesting. Ctrip has exactly the same price as I go for that flight, but I can't seem to get to Chiang Mai from Lijiang or Kunming on Ctrip, even though it's a China Eastern (intl) route. Any thoughts?

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Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Lijiang
Lijiang
Yunnan, China
Kunming
Kunming
Yunnan, China
Beijing, China
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10. Re: Flights in Yunnan - when to book? Now or later?

To Chiang Mai the flight would be an international one, you can check the relevant item on the online booking websites.

And flight booking for the 45days prior is not the rule, for the flight running between two small places, if only one or two flights avaible, you'd better choose one of them as soon as you checked out the reasonable price. But for the hot destinations, there would be many flights to choose and can make the decision around 30-20days.