There are numerous airlines that offer direct flights between Australia and China, plus countless others offering one-stop flights through hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong.

One member is planning a trip from Melbourne to Beijing. As there are no direct flights from Melbourne, this member is will need to connect somewhere. Should the member fly straight to a Chinese hub like Shanghai, or connect outside China in somewhere like Sydney or Hong Kong?

I have to fly to Beijing soon, and there are no direct flights. Passed through HK airport plenty of times before, and loving the first class lounge.
So question is, Fly Qantas from Sydney and connect through HK with Dragon Air or Hong Kong ailrines, or fly to Shanghai with Qantas and connect with China Eastern.

Our members have suggested a number of very good options. Flying Qantas to Hong Kong and connecting to Dragonair or Cathay Pacific is a popular choice. Hong Kong is home to a world-class airport that makes for an excellent international transit point. For the onward flight to Beijing, our members recommend flying Cathay Pacific or Dragonair as they are reputable airlines that operate to a high standard. Our members opine that delays are also less likely on these Hong Kong based airlines than on many of the mainland Chinese carriers.

By comparison, our members do not recommend flying into a second Chinese port (such as Shanghai or Guangzhou) and connecting to Beijing from there. Delays on Chinese domestic flights appear to be common, and in some cases even the fast trains appear to be quicker and more reliable.

I haven’t flown the route you mention, however my advice is fly in from Hong Kong and avoid internal connections as long delays are common. I have recently done BNE – CAN – SHA return twice with 4 to 6 hour delays on the internal flights each time. I returned from BNE – SIN – PVG return last night with no delays experienced. Internally in China I much prefer the fast rail to flying.

Air China offers daily direct flights to Beijing from Sydney. Although this is still a one-stop option from Melbourne, the convenience of flying straight to Beijing from Australia is difficult to overlook. According to at least one member, the Air China service offers similar levels of comfort to the likes of Qantas and Cathay Pacific. So, it seems this option would be worth considering.

The easiest and simplest was would be to fly with Air China, non-stop Australia to Beijing. Short, fast, same level of comfort as QF or CX in both business and economy classes, although reduced beverage service in economy with just beer, wine and sodas available.

Have you flown on any of these airlines? Why not contribute to the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

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