SkyTeam airlines KLM, Air France, Xiamen Air, China Eastern, Aeroflot, and ex-SkyTeam member China Southern are currently partnering up to offer a very good deal from various Czech airports to 17 Chinese destinations. Although KLM and Air France now usually charge extra for luggage, their websites clearly state that luggage is included in these flights. The other airlines also allow one piece of luggage.
We found cheap flights to the following destinations:
- Xi’an: €385
- Changsha: €396
- Beijing: €396
- Shenzen: €396
- Guangzhou: €396
- Dalian: €396
- Fuzhou: €396
- Tianjin: €396
- Xiamen: €430
- Haikou: €437
- Nanchang: €442
- Qingdao: €448
- Shanghai: €457
- Zhengzhou: €473
- Shenyang: €474
- Changchun: €474
- Harbin: €474
Unless you’re flying with China Eastern, you would usually first fly to Amsterdam or Paris, and then head on to China. As stated in the introduction, all airlines will allow you to bring one suitcase. China Eastern apparently even allows 2 pieces of luggage. Drinks and meals are also included at all airlines.
Search & Book
The fare rules vary a bit according to the airline and destination, but the earliest expiration date we could find was September 30, 2019. All fare rules state that the trip has to be at least 6 days (or a Sunday) long and may not exceed 3 months. Some airlines only have availability until December, some will even have these cheap flights on dates up until June 2020.
You should use Google Flights to find the available dates that suit you best. Sadly, the China Eastern prices, which are the cheapest, don’t get displayed correctly on Google’s calendar, so for those, you might have to try around a bit (there’s availability until December). Usually, the Chinese airlines will be the cheapest, but if you prefer flying with a European airline such as KLM, the price difference is small.
Once you’ve found the flight you wish to book, look it up on our Travel-Dealz flight search, where you’ll get the cheapest fare. For the China Eastern flights, you’ll even have to do that, as their website charges almost double the price. If you’re flying with an airline such as KLM, however, the price on klm.com won’t be that much higher.
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 to book with the airlines directly. There are two main reasons for that:
- 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.
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