SkyTeam members Air France, China Southern, and KLM offer discounted fares for flights to Shanghai or Hong Kong. The cheapest option for a roundtrip will be from Prague to Shanghai at prices starting around €1,293 (~CZK 31,441). If you want to visit Hong Kong, you will have to pay a little more. All trips feature a layover in either Amsterdam or Paris.
All itineraries feature an inner European feeder flight. Of all possible connections to Asia, please note that Air France operates an Airbus A380-800 on certain flights to Shanghai. Sadly, these planes do not feature lie-flat-seats in their business class section. If you want to ensure a full night’s sleep, we recommend avoiding these flights.
Search & Book
Unfortunately, the fare rules don’t indicate as to when this deal will be available. So the better act fast if you want to secure tickets. The offer is valid within the following periods:
- February 10th through June 18th
- August 24th through November 30th
The mentioned dates fit the availability we’ve been able to find exactly. The minimum stay requirements are for five days, and you can spend up to 3 months at your destination of choice before returning to Europe.
The fastest way to find suiting flight dates is Google Flights (instructions). Enter these dates in our flight search to find the cheapest ticket possible. Since Air France and KLM sell these flights for just €30-50 more than the cheapest online travel agencies, we advise you to book directly with the airlines.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Air France and KLM issue long haul tickets in dreaded booking class O. This might be the single most unattractive business class booking class there is. It generates no mileage outside of Flying Blue and Delta SkyMiles. A trip to Hong Kong via Amsterdam yields the following award mileage:
- 13,278 Award Miles + 13,526 MQM on Delta SkyMiles
- 12,778 Miles on Aerolineas Argentinas Plus
- 12,624 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 8,164 Miles on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- 2,094 Miles on Xiamen Airlines Egret Club
- 1,834 Kilometers on China Southern Sky Pearl Club
- 1,764 Kilometers on China Eastern Eastern Miles
- 1,764 Miles on Aeromexico Club Premier
- 1,534 Miles on Czech Airlines OK Plus
- 1,534 Miles on Saudia Alfursan
- 1,500 Miles on Aeroflot Bonus
- 1,314 Miles on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 1,314 Miles on MEA Cedar Miles
- 1,314 Miles on Vietnam Golden Lotus Plus
- 1,300 Miles on China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- 1,096 Miles on Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- 1,096 Miles on Korean Air Skypass
- 1,096 Miles on Air Europa Club
Information & Tips for China
China is the most populous and the third largest country in the world, so naturally, there is a lot to see. The most touristically important cities are the capital of China, Beijing and the financial and trade center Shanghai.
Best Time to Travel
Since the country is vast and extends over several climate zones, there is no best travel time for China. China is connected to Europe through numerous direct flights and the travel time is about 11-13 hours. Flights to China can be found for less than 400€ throughout the year, and there are also often excellent Business Class fares.
A general advice is that travel should be avoided during the Chinese national holidays, which span over the first two weeks of October. During these time tourist destinations are overcrowded with Chinese tourists on their domestic vacation.
Visa for China
Most European citizens will need a visa to enter China.
You can apply for a tourist visa at a Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in your country. There you’ll hand in your visa application personally and can pick it up again after a few days. There is no faster and cheaper way.
Alternatively, you can apply for a visa by mail. The processing time will be up to two weeks, and you’ll have to pay for extra for shipping.
There are also so-called Visa services available that sometimes offer a faster (and maybe even cheaper) way to get your Visa. Check local sites to find out more.
→ All Dealz for China
Information & Tips for Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an Asian city-state and a vital trading metropolis in the Pearl River Delta not far from the Chinese coast. The city has long been a center for trade and business. Hong Kong is one of the largest air traffic hubs in Asia and therefore offers excellent connections to the rest of the world, hence the good deals that various airlines often provide. Flights in economy class usually are between 400€ and 500€ sometimes for even less than 400€.
Best Time to Visit
Winters are mild and dry, whereas summers are hot with rainfall and high humidity. The best time to travel is from October to early December when the weather is sunny, cool and therefore very pleasant.
Entry & Visa
Entry is possible for most EU citizens without a visa, and only a passport is required. A permit for 90 days is issued upon entry. For further information, please visit the website of your countries Ministry of foreign affairs.
The local currency is the Hong Kong Dollar ($, HKD, HK$). One Euro is approximately HK$8. Many credit cards may charge a foreign currency fee (up to 2% for payment) in Hong Kong Dollars.
Getting from the airport to the city centre
The fastest and most convenient way into the city is by Airport Express. This train will take you to the city centre within 24 minutes and will cost you around €12 per trip. Alternatively, you can also get into a taxi and pay approximately €35.
→ All Dealz for Hong Kong
Cover Picture: © Air France