Chapter 12 – Booking a Flight

Be aware that flights to Hong Kong and China during the peak seasons of April and October are very full and sometimes overbooked. Everybody in the import business is headed there at those times and you need to book your flights as early as possible.

A Different Time Zone

After booking your accommodations and your Trade Fair attendance, ask your travel agent to book your flights to Hong Kong or China accordingly.

Keep in mind that coming from western countries you will cross the International Date Line and may arrive more than a full day after you left home.

It is a good idea to arrive one day earlier to adjust to the different time zone and climate, take a stroll around your hotel neighborhood, confirm your appointments, and then rest.

After a long flight, a little walking exercise helps invigorate your body and keeps you fit for the exhausting days ahead.

It is definitely not a good idea to copy the behavior of some visitors. Those that arrive from a long distance flight early in the morning (the majority of flights from Europe arrive between 6:30 and 8:30 AM) with their first appointment scheduled at 10:00 AM or they attend the Trade Fair on the same day as a long flight.

The Far East is a fast-paced place and you must be alert not to miss out on anything. Without enough sleep, you will be concentrating on not falling asleep instead of listening to what is discussed during your meetings.

Don’t Plan to Change Your Flight Schedule

I mentioned before that the flights are quite full during the peak seasons. The same applies to your outbound return flight.

If you want to postpone or leave early, you will face problems. It is nearly impossible to change flights during this time. Plan your schedule carefully to avoid any changes in your return flight schedule unless there is an emergency. It makes no difference whether you booked business class or economy, the result will be the same.

Business Class Flights

Since I mentioned business class and economy class, I would like to draw your attention to the substantially higher cost of business class flights.

It is similar to the situation with the higher cost for executive floor hotel rooms. You have to decide if the following advantages are worth the higher cost of flying business class:

  • Complementary visit to the business class lounge
  • Separate business class check-in counter
  • Larger luggage weight allowance
  • More comfortable seats
  • Choice of different meals
  • Faster service after take off
  • More in-flight entertainment choices
  • Less crowded toilets
  • Complementary high quality amenities bag

Some people say that if you can afford it, business class is totally worth the cost. Is it really? Considering the high cost, make a few calculations before making your decision.

Economy Class Flights

If you book an economy class flight with one of the airlines famous for good in-flight service, you will also end up with a decent meal, better than average leg space, reasonably comfortable seats, and can still save a lot of money.

I do not know whether you are aware that there are at least three different kinds of economy classes. Of course, nobody talks about it but if you sit in the very rear of the plane together with the tourist groups, you have been booked in the cheapest and least comfortable location on the plane.

If you sit in the first few rows immediately behind the business class area, you have been rewarded with the best seats available in economy class but your ticket price will be higher. However, still much cheaper than business class.

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