Think you'll go crazy trying to figure out how much a flight will cost, depending on whether you travel on a Wednesday in a month containing "r" or are willing to change planes in Tucson?

Yet another reason to come to China! (I say this as a fan of Chinese airlines.) Making a trip tomorrow from Beijing to Shenzhen. Four different airlines to choose from; a wide range of aircraft models; departures conveniently spaced through the afternoon. And fortunately the one factor I don't have to worry about is the price:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/CtripShenz4.jpg

This is via CTrip.com, one of the main online travel sites. Yes, Ctrip often shows a range of fares; and yes, travel agents often have special deals for less than this official price. But this is s an interesting contrast to a similar array of US fares. In its own way it is weirdly comforting not to have to run the differential equations to see which is the best deal.

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