BEIJING SUMMER GAMES 1O1
For China Olympics, Let the Planning Begin
The Summer Olympics in Beijing may be a year and a half away, but it's never too early to start planning to be part of the event whose motto is the ever-hopeful "One World One Dream." Flights aren't yet available for purchase, but package companies are already taking reservations.
WHEN: Aug. 8-24, 2008
GETTING THERE: United's nonstop Dulles-to-Beijing service commences March 28; tickets for the 14-hour trip so far start around $880 and climb rapidly. Connecting service with various carriers is available from the Washington area starting at about $1,000. But prices could change dramatically by next year. Many companies arranging packages to the Olympics won't book the flight, and if they do, it may not be the cheapest rate available; as Kevin Steele, president of CoSport, an official sponsor of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, said, "Our core competency is the Games themselves." Enlisting a travel agent or scouring the Web might turn up better fares.
TICKETS: For those living in mainland China, tickets should be available in April through http:/
CoSport (877-457-4647, http:/
PACKAGES: CoSport will sell individual event tickets as well as tickets/accommodations-only and full-service packages including accommodations, tickets, airport transfers and excursions; the cheapest full-service package is expected to run between $5,000 and $6,000 per person based on double occupancy. CoSport does not arrange flights.
Roadtrips (800-465-1765, http:/
Anbritt Stengele of Sports Traveler (888-654-7755, http:/
BONUS POINTS: Venues outside the capital will hold some Olympic events. Qingdao will host sailing; soccer preliminaries will be held in Shanghai, Shenyang, Qinhuangdao and Tianjin; and Hong Kong will be home to the equestrian events. . . . The Paralympic Games, which have been held in the Olympic host city since 1960, will be in Beijing Sept. 6-17.
MORE INFO: Beijing 2008, http:/
-- Anne McDonough