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Author: ddalexa

Joined: 12/12/2012
Posts: 15
Trips Taken: 14
Traveler Since: 2003

December 11, 2012

Traveling late March, 2013.  Trying to prepare options before GCT air staff call us.  Typically are flights home from HongKong to the states, or HongKong to Beijing and back to states?   We will be flying out of Detroit Metro.  Going to China, is there any good way to avoid arriving around midnight prior to the first full day of touring?  If stuck with the late arrival, has anyone arrived a day early?  If so, how well did that work out?

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 98
Trips Taken: 16
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

December 11, 2012

There are definitely many flights from HK directly to the US.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 445
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

December 12, 2012

 When we returned in 2007, we flew non-stop from Hong Kong to Chicago, connecting to Boston. Before talking to the GCT travel, go to http://matrix.itasoftware.com to see air alternatives. To see a report on our trip go to http://jackthetravelingman-china.blogspot.com. It was a fantastic trip.

Author: piercove

Joined: 6/11/2010
Posts: 19
Trips Taken: 18
Traveler Since: 2003

December 12, 2012

 We use Detroit Metro quite a bit, and when we took an OAT trip ending in Hong Kong several years ago we flew home on Northwest (now merged with Delta).  The flight made one stop in Tokyo Narita, where we may have had a change of planes.  From Tokyo it was non-stop to DTW.  This is by far the fastest, easiest route, and I hope the air staff books you this way.  

Author: richinct

Joined: 10/23/2012
Posts: 14
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2013

December 12, 2012

 We are going in April and did change what GCT had for us because it arrived after 10pm in Beijing. We are flying fromJfk changing in San Francisco and arriving in Beijing at 315pm.  Trip home reverses and leaves Hong Kong at 1130am and eventually gets into JFK at a reasoable time.  All on United.  Hope this helps 

 

Author: leesail

Joined: 12/14/2012
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2009

December 14, 2012

This was our second trip with GCT and our first to China.  We found this trip ro be   most interesting and a great learning experience.  We saw a lot of the ancient China and quite a bit of modern China.  We were amazed by the Great Wall, the large Three Groges *****and the Terra Cotta Soldiers. The flights within China were excellent and right up to par with the flights in the USA. We really appreciated the organization of everything from the guides to the baggage handling. We st rongly recommend this trip as a must do!

 

Lee and Doris Baum

Author: suepoor1234

Joined: 7/20/2011
Posts: 38
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

All the states except Hawaii; east and west Canada, all of Western Europe(except Iceland and Greenland); the Baltics and Scandanavia; Belarus, Poland, Ukraine; Russia; Turkey, Jordan and Israel; China, Mongolia, and Tibet; Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania; Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatamala, El Salvador; Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Peru, Argentina; Australia and New Zealand; Antarctica.

Traveler Since: 2007

December 16, 2012

Arrived at night and waited for others to join me in Bejing. They never showed, so the arrival person put me in a pre-paid private car (rather than the bus) and he waited for the others.  I spent the night in a nice hotel. Up early the next morning to start the tour. Others had arrived in the night.

I have flown into/out of Beijing 10 or 12 times (both the older airport before the Olympics and the newer one). My advice is that you should, if at all possible, fly straight from Hong Kong into the US. If you stop in Beijing, you will be subjected to immigration coming into the airport from HK and then again as you go to your gate for the plane to the States. Maddening and a huge waste of time. Officials seem to be especially snarky for the outbound travelers. Good luck; have a great time.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2007

December 17, 2012

 We have found that the best thing for us to do when having a conversation with Grand Circle/OAT regarding flights to venues which are a considerable distance, is to check one of the travel sites for a comparison of what is available.  Nanaandpapa have previously provided one; there are others.  Pick one and check.  it really doesn't matter which one, because all you're doing is finding out what flights are available.  Armed with that, you can have a conversation with Grand Circle.  Sometimes, they can get you a more desirable flight for what they will pay; sometimes not, and if you want the more desirable flight as far as schedule is concerned, you'll have to book your own air.  We have found that when we go to those far-foof places, that it is preferable for us to book the air with Grand Circle/OAT for convenience and included transfers.  However, that is up to you.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 217
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

December 17, 2012

And don't forget--you can personalize your flights when you book, or when airlines publish their new schedules.  (E.g., GCT couldn't book my flights because the airlines have not published 2013 flights yet for my trips which begin in Sept 2013 and end in Feb 2014--they need 330 days out, as I checked myself).  But, I was a lucky person in that they did find me Sept /Oct 2013 flights, and it is an airline that I would have wanted anyway, so I was lucky.

According to their ads, brochures, website, they can personalize your flights for a fee, or if you are inner circle, they mostly waive that fee.  So, you can talk with the Air Dept and see what they can do for the flights you want.  For my flights, the GCT price was the best price, and the schedule I want, too.

 

 

 

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