China is opening the door to international travel. However, flights are still scarce, and it is still expensive to enter China due to strict epidemic control. A flight costs thousands of dollars.
Airlines are raising prices due to rising fuel and labor costs. Prices for flights to China have soared, sometimes as much as ten times higher than before the pandemic.
According to United Airlines Holdings, a one-way economy-class ticket from San Francisco to Shanghai with a stopover in South Korea will cost $4,000 or more next month. In addition, passengers also have to pay up to hundreds of dollars or quarantine at the hotel.
Internova Travel Group, a New York-based travel service, pointed out that the price of an economy-class ticket from San Francisco International Airport to China is ten times higher than in 2019.
James Zimmerman, a lawyer in Beijing, said that his flight from San Francisco to Shanghai cost as much as $12,000.
Michael Hart, president of the Beijing-based American Chamber of Commerce in China, said that he paid $3,000 for a return flight after visiting family in the U.S. he considered flying direct, but that would cost around $5,000, and the risk of flights being canceled would be higher.
High flight fees and other pandemic-related regulations have made many foreign tourists reconsider coming to China. Chinese citizens overseas also face difficulties in returning home.
Glen Hauenstein, Delta Air Lines Inc. President, said, ‘We don’t have a concrete solution to the problem of travel to China.’