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Cheap flights to

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Flights to China overview

Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members save approximately 38% compared to normal flight prices to China.

Cheapest Going deal


Average price roundtrip


Average Going deal price roundtrip


Best month to fly

Going found the most deals with travel dates in February, September, and October.

February, September, October

Worst month to fly

Going found the least deals with travel dates in March, April, May, June, July, and August.

March, April, May, June, July, August

Top tips for finding a cheap flight to China

Book tickets in the Goldilocks Window

Although great deals on airfare can pop up at any moment, there are points in time before a trip when tickets will usually be at their cheapest. This is something we call the Goldilocks Window, which is 1-3 months before a domestic trip and 2-8 months before an international one. If, however, you’re flying over a major holiday or during peak season, or your travel dates are locked in, and you can’t be flexible with them, we suggest adding a few months to the equation.

Keep in mind that tickets very rarely drop dramatically in price at the last minute. On the contrary, airlines are most apt to raise ticket prices as the departure date gets closer, especially 21, 14, and 7 days before takeoff, so be sure to book before then.

Try the Greek Islands Trick

One of the money-saving tips we love to use is affectionately known as the Greek Islands Trick—but don’t be fooled by the name; it works on destinations all over the world. The idea is to find the cheapest long-haul flight you can that gets you close to where you really want to be. You’d pair that with a train trip, a boat ride, or even a short flight to make up the distance.

With relatively few nonstop flights to China at the moment, tickets can be costly. Instead of looking at flights into China, however, you may be able to save big by flying into another major international hub elsewhere in Asia. Flying from Seattle to Beijing, for instance, may cost $1,400 or more roundtrip. If you fly from Seattle to Tokyo for $830 and from Tokyo to Beijing for $330, you’re still saving more than $200 overall. Yes, this kind of itinerary requires a little more planning on your part, but sometimes the savings really make it worthwhile.

Search flights from different departure airports

Even if flights from your home airport to the city you want to visit in China don’t seem outrageously expensive, it can still be a good idea to compare the cost of flights from other departure airports—even if they’re not very close to where you live.

For instance, if you’re trying to find a deal on nonstop flights from New York to Shanghai, it may be a little disheartening to see that nonstop flights are $3,000 or more roundtrip. By zooming out on the map a bit, you may find roundtrip tickets from LA to Shanghai are less than half that cost—and since you also stand a good chance of finding a cheap flight from New York to LA, you could be saving $1,200 or more. The bottom line is that it never hurts to look for other departure options, no matter where you live.

Schedule flights when it’s cheaper

This probably sounds like an obvious piece of advice, but bear with us for a minute. This money-saving tip is about flexibility. Traveling when it’s not peak tourist season, for instance, can often mean big savings on everything from airfare to hotels. But not everyone has the luxury of choosing when they get to take a vacation. If your travel schedule isn’t entirely in your control, there are still a couple of things you can do to save a little bit on airfare.

First of all, if you’re traveling over the summer, look at flights in the first two weeks of June and the last two weeks of August (essentially the beginning and end of the season). These are some of the cheapest summer weeks to fly. Second, try to schedule your actual flights on the days when it’s cheaper to fly (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays), avoiding the days when it’s usually more expensive (Fridays and Sundays).

Set up alerts for trip itineraries

Most people don’t have the time (or desire) to spend their free time combing the internet for deals on airfare. You can automate some of the work with fare alerts. Just sign up for alerts on the trip you’d like to take, and you’ll get an email when the price of a ticket drops into the range you want to pay. If you’re considering multiple itineraries, you’ll have to set up multiple alerts. And we recommend doing this a few months before you plan to book your flights so you stand the best chance of finding a great deal. Of course, you can outsource the entire task to us by joining Going—this is kind of our thing.

There are hundreds of airports of all sizes in China, with 18 of them seeing at least 10M passengers every year. At the moment, however, there are only a few nonstop flights from the United States into a handful of Chinese airports. Shanghai (PVG) and Beijing (PEK) have the most connections with the US. China’s airports are, however, well-connected throughout the region, with dozens of flight options from elsewhere in Asia. In other words, the Greek Island Trick mentioned above may be a money saver for a while.

Frequently asked questions about flying to China

When is high season in China?

Whereas the peak tourism season in some destinations is based almost entirely on weather, in China, it’s also closely tied to the festival calendar. Broadly speaking, China’s high season is the late spring into summer, roughly May to August. This is when crowds are plentiful, temperatures are extremely high, and rainstorms are a regular occurrence.

There are three major national holidays in China that are known as “Golden Weeks.” These public holidays mean most people have work vacations of 8-9 days, which many use to do their own traveling to visit family elsewhere in the country. In other words, if you’re in China during one of the Golden Weeks, be prepared for even bigger crowds on transportation, not to mention some shops and businesses being closed. The Golden Week holidays in China are May Day (May 1), National Day (October 1), and the Chinese New Year, which falls between January 21 and February 20 each year.

When is the best time to visit China?

For an ideal mix of more temperate weather, lower prices, and smaller crowds, China’s shoulder seasons are a great option. The shoulder seasons roughly correlate with spring (March-April) and fall (September-October), with the exception of the Golden Week around National Day (October 1). In both the spring and fall shoulder seasons, you’re far less likely to experience extreme heat or sudden downpours—and you’ll also avoid the bitterly cold weather of the winter months.

How many airports are there in China?

There are nearly 250 airports throughout China with passenger service and 18 that see 10M or more passengers annually. Of those, there are currently seven airports with nonstop service from the United States: Beijing (PEK), Chengdu (CTU), Guangzhou (CAN), Shanghai (PVG), Shenzhen (SZX), Wuhan (WUH), and Xiamen (XMN). And while deals on flights to China are relatively rare at the moment, we have found a few mistake fares to Shanghai and Beijing recently.

Which city in China is the easiest to get to?

Before the pandemic, there were more than 350 weekly flights between the US and China. The number of direct flights from the US to China has slowly been increasing, but it’s still only a small fraction of the pre-pandemic volume. There are seven airports at the moment that have direct flights from the US, and most of these land in Shanghai or Beijing.

  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is the busiest international gateway in the country, with service from 78 airlines. It’s a hub for Air China, Shanghai Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, and Spring Airlines, as well as a focus city for Hainan Airlines. There are eight airports in the United States with direct flights to Shanghai.
  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is one of the busiest airports in Asia. There are 44 airlines serving Beijing, which is a hub for Air China and Hainan Airlines, as well as a focus city for Sichuan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, and Shandong Airlines. Six US airports have nonstop flights to Beijing.
  • Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) is a hub for Air China, Chengdu Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Lucky Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and Tibet Airlines. There is only one nonstop flight from the US to Chengdu Shuangliu, a seasonal United Airlines route from San Francisco (SFO).
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) is one of the largest airports in Asia, with 67 airlines operating out of Guangzhou. It’s a hub for 9 Air, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines, as well as a focus city for China Eastern Airlines. China Southern has two direct flights from the US, from Los Angeles (LAX) and New York City (JFK).
  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX) is a hub for China Southern Airlines, Donghai Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines and a focus city for Hainan Airlines. There is one nonstop flight from the US: an Air China route from Los Angeles (LAX).
  • Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) is a hub for XiamenAir and a focus city for Shandong Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Spring Airlines. There is one direct flight from the United States to Xiamen: a XiamenAir route from Los Angeles (LAX).
  • Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH) is a hub for Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines, with an additional 35 airlines serving Wuhan. There are seasonal direct flights operated by China Southern flying from San Francisco (SFO).

What are the rules for traveling with pets to China?

Bringing a pet with you on a trip to China is pretty challenging but not impossible. There are only two kinds of animals allowed—dogs and cats—and each traveler is limited to one animal. If you want to be able to bring a dog or cat with you, arrive in any port of entry, and skip the usual 30-day quarantine upon arrival, you have to meet all of the following:

  • The animal must be up to date on rabies vaccines and have had at least two rabies vaccinations.
  • The animal must have a microchip for identification, and you may need to travel with a microchip reader if your pet does not have an ISO-compliant chip.
  • You must have proof of rabies titer test performed on or after the day of the second rabies vaccination and tested at an approved laboratory.
  • You must carry an international pet health certificate, which is issued by USDA-accredited veterinarians, dated within two weeks of your arrival in China.
  • The health certificate, an original copy of the rabies vaccine certificate, a copy of your passport, a photograph of the animal, and a photocopy of the photograph must all be provided to the General Administration of Customs office at the airport.
  • If you are traveling with a dog and staying for more than a month, it must be registered with the local police within one month of arrival.

If you’re unable to meet any of these requirements, you’ll be limited to specific ports of entry, and your animal will be kept in quarantine for 30 days. Keep in mind, too, that these regulations are on top of any rules the airline has for flying with a pet—so be sure to check on those rules, too.

You can read these requirements in greater detail on the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service site.

How long is the flight to China?

Both the United States and China are big countries, making this an impossible question to answer simply—so here are a few flight time estimates in a handful of cities around China to give you an idea of what to expect.

  • There are eight options for nonstop flights to Shanghai from the US. From the West Coast, it’s about 13.5-14.5 hours. From Dallas, it’s about 16.5 hours. From Chicago and Detroit, it’s around 14.5-16.5 hours. From the East Coast, it’s 15-15.5 hours.
  • There are six options for nonstop flights from the US to Beijing. From Los Angeles or San Francisco, flights are around 14-15 hours. From Chicago, it’s about 13.5 hours. From New York or Washington D.C., it’s about 13-14 hours.
  • There are two nonstop flights to Guangzhou from the United States. From LAX, the flight is about 16 hours. From JFK in New York, it’s about 16 hours.
  • The only nonstop flight to Chengdu from the US is from San Francisco, and it’s about 14.5 hours long.

Going helps you find flight deals to China and save big. Try Going Premium today.

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Airline slip-ups we've caught to China


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* Prices are per person and include all taxes & fees in USD. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing, however, prices are not guaranteed, as airline pricing can change by the minute. Average Going fares are based on average prices of deals found by Going.

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