Archive for February, 2008

Airport Codes and Mileage Calculator

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Here at AirportCityCodes we have two helpful data sources – our Airport Codes Database with information about airports all over the world, and our mileage calculator that allows you to get the distance between most airports: Mileage Calculator Airport Codes

If you have any simple airport questions feel free to email me and I”ll try to find the answer for you: jhunkins@gmail.com

Weather Delays in Chicago and

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Yesterday, Officials at Chicagoland airports told travellers to expect some cancellations and delays on travel because of bad weather.

Meanwhile Waashington DC also had many problems as bad weather raged along the east coast of the USA, causing travel problems at several airports.

Winter travel tip: Prepare for delays at the airport by bringing reading or computer work, using your phone to catch up with personal or business calls, and other distractions. Wear comfortable clothing in case your trip lasts much longer than planned, and try to maintain good eating and drinking habits as much as possible to avoid indigestion from the inevitable travel stress.

Most of all: Don’t PANIC!

China Trips – open jaw is often fine

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Although the airline ticket market is so fast, furious, and whacky you’ll want to check many sources before booking, a few tips I’ve learned from my China ticket booking:

* Although I was told by a ticketer that generally Hong Kong is the cheapest destination it seemed Shanghai and Beijing (PEK) tickets were in the same price ballpark of 800-1000 from my rural area, and perhaps 100-200 less for round trips from San Francisco.

* Vayama was often the low rate among consolidators, but it was not clear if changes would be more severely penalized through a consolidator so we went directly through United.com. This was $46 more on my $886 ticket, an open jaw from MFR to Hong Kong, then Beijing to MFR. Airfares.com offered the same flights for $840. I’m assuming changes will be much easier directly through United, but not clear if this was worth the extra money.

* Open jaw did not seem to increase the price much if at all.

* Fees and taxes are not reported by all consolidators online, and it seemed there were no “killer consolidators” who offered rates much different from the Airlines for economy classes. I would guess that for first class things become driven by strange forces and your company should shop around carefully to avoid getting gouged. Some of the first class seats were showing at $25,000. I can’t imagine what I’d need in terms of comfort to justify that price, even if money was absolutely no object.

Flights to China

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Update: Well, we’ve been finding better fares by leaving a day earlier. March 31 departure seemed to knock back fares by about $175 from Medford to Hong Kong. Also, the open jaw trip via Beijing was no more expensive for a return in late April. SFO to Shanghai tickets were in the 700 range. I’m not sure if I just missed these before or if the fares have changed, but I think it is because we were not checking for March departure dates.

After a few months of casual searching it has become clear that the prices for China Airline tickets really do not seem to vary much, and you don’t seem to save much by going from the larger Airports. The lowest I’ve found so far were $928 from Medford to Hong Kong but the trip is longer, via Tokyo and we could not stay there for a few days without spending a lot more. A better route is about $1060 via United, and my friends return via Biejing is costing about the same as my round trip to Hong Kong.

My friend who travels often to China said months ago that $1000 is about what we should expect to pay regardless of other circumstances, and I think he’s right. The market is probably not as competitive as US routes and people going to China are often not shopping nearly as aggressively as they do for US Flights. I exhausted a lot of options but it looks like we’ll wind up with what we could have had with a quick Kayak search.

Irish Air Traffic Controller strike looms

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

The Belfast Telegraph Newspaper is reporting that Air Traffic Controllers may strike throughout Ireland within days if demands are not met during their negotiations.

Nude German Airline?

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

A German travel agency has set up flights to a Baltic resort where customers strip down after takeoff and ride in the buff. ossiurlaub.de is the travel agency. Most reports are exaggerating the story, suggesting this is a “nude airline” when in fact it appears it is simply a sort of nudist tour to the resort.

Delta and Northwest may merge – announcement expected soon

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines may announce a merger within a few days, reports the Atlanta Constitution Newspaper

As Airlines struggle with rules, lower travel traffic, and a severe profitability squeeze this would seem a logical step at this time as mergers often bring efficiencies as management functions are consolidated.

India to add 500 Airports in next 10-12 years

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

India plans to add five hundred Airports across the country over the next ten to twelve years according to a recent report. Economic Times reports.

This amazing number of new builds suggests the optimism India has, justifiably, for the burgeoning economy of the country that will eventually become the world’s most populous nation. (China’s population controls of the past few decades have worked and will keep that population in check, where India is expected to keep growing).

New Zealand Hijack attempt thwarted

Friday, February 8th, 2008

A woman attacked the pilots on a New Zealand flight but has been detained and only minor injuries were reported. Here is more from NZ

China Airfare and Dailan Info

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Ctrip.com is a Chinese booking site that appears to offer a good “checking point”. I understand it does not always offer the best rates but is a good starting point for checking fares and hotel rates. http://english.ctrip.com/

I learned of this site while planning the trip to China in April, coming across a *great* local travel site from a journalist who has been there for some time: http://daliandalian.com

I wish more people would create this type of website. It offers a lot of insight into the city, tips for travelers, and more. Unfortunately I’m not going to Dalian, but hopefully will find more sites like this about China cities. If all goes according to Hoyle I’ll be *creating* a lot of content about travel tips for a first trip to China, but we’ll see how that goes.