Flying to China doesn't have to cost a bundle! Regent Travel is an airfare consolidator for major U.S.-China airlines and works with all major airlines flying from North America to China and other Asian destinations. You can obtain the latest group-based individual China-bound airfares in our ChinaPlanner (http://www.regenttour.com/planner), and you can also obtain current Asia-bound individual airfares at wholesale pricing at our Wholesale Airfare section of the site. Compare our airfares against those offered by others, including the airlines themselves, and you will see the advantage of traveling with Regent--in cost savings as well as other Regent perks.
All group-based seat assignments are done at the airline check-in counter at the international departure airport. If you have an individual air ticket, your seat can be confirmed prior to arriving at the airport. Note that airlines often save bulkhead seats for travelers with infants and those who are physically disabled. If you wish to request bulkhead seating, obtain a letter from your physician and present a copy of the letter at airport check-in. Be aware that the airline cannot guarantee a seat assignment prior to check-in.
When you arrive at your departure airport, make sure that your luggage is checked through to your first city in China. For example, if you live in Cleveland, are flying to China via Chicago, and your first stop in China is Beijing, double-check that your luggage is marked for arrival in Beijing.
It is a long flight from North America to China. After all, you are traveling halfway around the world. During the flight, try to move around as much as possible. Walk the aisles frequently in order to minimize swollen feet and ankles. When seated, put your feet up on the edge of your carry-on case in order to keep the seat edge from limiting the circulation in your legs. Place the airline's pillow or your own roll-shaped cushion behind the small of your back. Neck pillows or inflatable pillows also help to make long flights more comfortable.
There are exercises you can do while seated that will help you relax. Move your head back and forth and from side to side in order to relieve neck tension. Loosen your shoulder muscles by shrugging. Relieve facial tension by opening your mouth as wide as you can, letting your tongue hang out, and opening your eyes as wide as possible. Stimulate your abdominal and gluteal muscles by contracting and releasing several times. Point your feet and wiggle your toes. Flex your hands, spread your fingers wide, and then make a fist.
Pack a sweater and a pair of slipper-socks in your carry-on. Be prepared in case it gets too cold for your comfort on the plane. Ask the flight attendant for a blanket if necessary.
Set your watch to China time as soon as you board the plane. This will help you start thinking in terms of your destination time and diminish some of the psychological effects of jet lag. In order to prevent dehydration, try to drink at least four ounces of water per hour of flight time. Flight attendants will serve water and fruit juice frequently. Avoid alcohol as it accelerates dehydration. Also, to counter the effects of the dry air in the cabin, use a moisturizer on your face and hands or spray your face with water from an atomizer bottle. Some people develop earaches during flight. In order to relieve ear pressure, "pop" your ears by holding your nose shut, closing your mouth, and attempting to blow air through your nostrils before take-off. During the flight, swallow frequently, chew gum or candy, and "pop" your ears as pressure builds. Do this especially if you feel you are coming down with a cold.
Luggage loss is rare--at an average of one piece out of every 1,000 items. If an airline does lose your luggage, complete the lost baggage report with the appropriate airline. Leave your itinerary with the airline so that when your luggage is found it can be delivered to you wherever you are. Keep receipts for any items you may have to purchase while your bags are missing in order to make it easier to obtain compensation from the airline for those items. Also, check your bags carefully for damaged or missing items before leaving the airport; the airline may not honor your claim once you have left the baggage claim facility.
U.S. and Chinese airports charge various airport taxes and fees. U.S. side of the airport taxes are reflected on your invoice. China side airport taxes are due at each local airport. You should prepare to pay approximately US$6 for each airport departure in China. For example, if you are flying from Beijing to Hangzhou, you should prepare to pay about 50 yuan (about US$6.25 at the January 2000 exchange rate) in airport tax at the Beijing airport. Your local guide will assist in this matter at the airport.
When you leave China, there is a departure tax. Currently, this tax is 90 yuan (about US$11).