Which airline is worth my hard earned money? Do I take a Japanese airline? Something more international? If I want good travel deals, where do I look? This short article is here to provide some insight into that.
1. Budget Flights
Some budget flights include Scoot, JetStar, TigerAir etc. However, please do not add AirAsia to your list of budget airlines. It should be considered unclassified. Taking that airline will ruin the first day of your trip. You’ll feel like tearing the airport apart.
I’ve personally taken Scoot and its services are decent. As mentioned in the video, standards were really good at the start but have dropped over time in terms of their ground service and food quality. There is room for improvement for Scoot and so I would say Scoot is a decent.
Pros of a budget airline:
- Can be a lot cheaper than a non-budget airline.
- The transiting of flights is beneficial for those who need a break from flying.
- Transiting at an airport, in another country, gives you an experience in an airport of another country other than Japan (eg.: Scoot transits in Bangkok or Taiwan. So if you have never actually been to Taiwan, you actually get a chance to interact with Taiwanese at the airport…POSITIVE THINKING!)
Cons of a budget airline:
- Can be more expensive when non-budget airlines are having promotions.
- You have to top up for a lot of stuff such as food, checking in of baggage, seat selection, etc.
- Extra hours (E.g.: It takes 6-7 hours to get to Japan from Singapore via a non-budget airline but around 9-10 hours for a budget airline, because of the transits)
- You have to transit (If you hate to transit)
2. Non-Budget Flights
The ones I frequent are ANA (All Nippon Airways) and SIA (Singapore Airlines). I’ve flown JAL (Japan Airlines) only once, and that was a really long time ago. So there’s not much insight I can provide at this point in time but you can always try it out and let us know.
The key to getting really low prices via airlines such as ANA and SIA is to book the flight at least 4 MONTHS in advance.
- When you book 4 months in advance, the price per ticket can go down to S$600+ (maybe even cheaper than a budget airline ticket).
- Food, seat selection, check-in baggage services are all inclusive (Not inclusive for BUDGET AIRLINES)
- No need to transit
- Hours are much shorter
- More expensive when you book too near to the date
- For those who need to take a break from the late can’t
3. Travel Agencies and Travel Deals
Some travel agencies include NATAS and JTB, two that I consider efficient and good. There are many others, but I’d like to consider these two the better options. JTB (Japan Travel Bureau) would, of course, be the most ideal because it is a Japanese company. A majority of its staff are Japanese. JTB has an office at Ngee Ann City (in Singapore).
JTB has walls full of packages and itineraries for you to choose from. JTB’s services include arrangements for flight and accommodation. Their links with airlines and accommodations are efficient so they are able to help you get the best prices possible. They’ve got group tours available. This would be great for those travelling to Japan for the first time, especially if you know nothing about Japan, Japanese culture, and the Japanese language.
JTB also distributes JR Rail Passes. JR Rail Passes are good if you are travelling by train quite often in Japan. Once you buy the pass, you basically get to ride the JR lines as many times in a day as you want over 7, 14, or 21 days (depending on how long you buy your pass for). I will talk about this in an another episode of Surviving in Japan and in a separate article.