Yesterday I booked my flight from Beijing to Chengdu. I used Expedia to see what airlines were flying on the date I was leaving Beijing. I decided I’ll stay a night in Beijing to rest before flying out to Chengdu where I’ll meet the university representatives. More on that later…

The airlines flying were: Air China, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Chine Eastern, and a few others out of my price range. I looked at the reviews for each airline and none of them were great. Hainan Airlines had decent reviews so I chose them. I was going to book with Expedia but did a bit more research on booking Chinese airlines. I found out about Ctrip and Elong. They were reliable web sites from what I read.

Elong was difficult to navigate so I booked with Ctrip. The Chinese web sites were much, much cheaper to book on. I chose a first class flight on Hainan Airlines for a few dollars more than what I was going to pay for economy on Expedia. The web site was very easy to use and understand. I even tried out their mobile app but I don’t know if I could use it since I have an international credit card…it wouldn’t work for me.

I booked using Paypal for $293.39 which included the flight, fees, and Paypal fees. I got confirmation of the purchase right away and ticket number a few minutes after. I tried seeing if I could find my flight on Hainan Airlines no go on that so I’ll give it a few more days and call if their online system still doesn’t find me.

I’ll talk about my hotel booking tomorrow. Stay tuned…