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View Full Version : Best time to purchase plane tickets for the holidays?



andsoyouknow
April 27th, 2012, 10:30
My siblings are going to visit me in Japan during the winter break, and I was wondering when are the best times to purchase round-trip tickets for busy crazy holiday times without raping my wallet too much (in my case, from the US to Japan and back)?

Any sites to purchase tickets you'd recommend? Airlines?

(a brand new macbook pro or air is about equal to a round trip plane ticket to japan... I kind of died a little inside).

Lianwen
April 27th, 2012, 10:41
Now. Book now if you value your wallet. Even if you don't know where you're going, it would probably be way cheaper to book now than to wait to find out if you're near a different international airport beside Narita.

I don't know about from US to TYO, but from TYO to US, I was finding 800USD tickets rt from the 28th of Dec. to Jan 4th. Try Kayak.

Tyr
April 27th, 2012, 11:13
Yeah, reasonably you're 99% going to be flying into Tokyo to begin with anyway if you're placed in Okinawa or Hokkaido or even Osaka-not many flights from the western world to there.

Though I have heard it can be cheap to wait till the last minute then book?
Anyone?
As I need to visit home in summer it turns out- wasnt planning to originally but a family member had to go and start dying on me- and its darn expensive.
What makes it super irritating is a return from Japan seems to cost 50% more than a return to Japan.

Lianwen
April 27th, 2012, 13:20
It also depends on airports your`re flying in to. Chicago and Boston Logan are good ones to fly into if you`re worried about price because of the curvature of the earth (so less time too). Most NY international and Philly`s airport have jacked up prices.

It`s also cheaper to layover in China and then fly to Japan (but, the plane is probably going to drop out of the sky on you.).

When were you thinking of going, Tyr? I was looking at a price chart the other day, and prices jack up by a good half k July 15ish until late August.

word
April 27th, 2012, 13:34
I read somewhere recently that the best time to buy is exactly eight weeks before you fly. Dunno if that's true or not. I'm sure it varies wildly, and may not be true at all in Japan.

Check every possible source, though. One time, I found a fantastic deal on Singapore Airlines through Vayama. Another time, Kayak was the source. For MG and I's 'Nam/Cambodia/Thailand romp, STA Travel was the cheapest. This summer, buying directly from United's website was amazingly cheap; 10man cheaper than anything those other sites could do.

So, just keep looking around and checking options. Watch out for quotes that don't include fuel surcharges.

Prospective
April 27th, 2012, 14:17
From Australia we have budget carriers that fly to Japan and do sales from time to time. As a result the best time to buy is when they have a promotion on, something that unfortunately can't be predicted. If you have similar carriers in the US my game plan would be "wait until about 8 weeks before, like word said, if no sales have happened and just buy then".

Earlier isn't always cheaper if it means you miss out on sales or promotions.

Ini
April 27th, 2012, 14:18
Fly into Haneda if you can as narita is the worst airport in the developed world.

Gezora
April 27th, 2012, 17:02
Fly into Haneda if you can as narita is the worst airport in the developed world.

It truly is. They don't even open the domestic terminal until an hour before a scheduled flight.

MJN
April 27th, 2012, 18:12
I read somewhere recently that the best time to buy is exactly eight weeks before you fly. Dunno if that's true or not. I'm sure it varies wildly, and may not be true at all in Japan.

It's all a myth. The only way to know for sure when to book a flight is to have access to the airline's statistics and movements, which isn't going to happen.

It depends on how the airline itself operates mostly, but the major factors are route popularity, if it's carrying cargo or not and if the airline needs a plane at the destination or not.

The only somewhat true factor is that most airlines have a set price on seats until a head count is achieved, usually the break-even cost of operating the flights, at which point it'll either raise exponentially if it's a popular route or become dirt cheap because there's little chance many people will buy.

MJN
April 27th, 2012, 18:16
Fly into Haneda if you can as narita is the worst airport in the developed world.


It truly is. They don't even open the domestic terminal until an hour before a scheduled flight.

I dunno, I've flown into Leipzig-Altenburg and it's pretty bad.


On March 10, 2010, a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, originating from London Stansted, UK on approach to Altenburg could not establish radio contact with the tower and had to divert to Berlin Schönefeld Airport (Germany). Subsequent to the incident, it was discovered that, due to a scheduling misunderstanding, the air traffic controller scheduled had not shown up to work.

Gezora
April 27th, 2012, 18:21
Okay, well compared to other international airports for cities that are in the same caliber as Tokyo, Narita is embarrassing. It reminds me of the time I went to Costa Rica.

coop52
May 1st, 2012, 08:16
It's still not as bad as the security clusterfvck at Hartsfield-Jackson. I can't wait for the new international terminal to open.

MJN
May 7th, 2012, 13:21
If you think Narita is bad, clearly you didn't fly through anywhere in Heathrow when T5 was under construction.

Seriously whats wrong with it? I've found the place a breeze every time I've been there.

coop52
May 7th, 2012, 13:52
I didn't think it was that bad until I had to take the slow-ass bus to get from one terminal to the other. Why don't they have a tram like every other modern airport?

Ini
May 7th, 2012, 13:53
its in the middle of nowhere, the whole place, including public transport, shuts down at night, the choice of bars and restaurants is poor, wifi costs a million pounds and unless you are flying with a japanese carrier you get shafted with only 4 check in desks for an entire flight. Haneda is a million times more convenient.

Gezora
May 7th, 2012, 16:27
I think the shutting down at night is a Japan thing(of course). Still I am eternally grateful that Chubu is my closest international airport.

Ini
May 7th, 2012, 16:32
but at least haneda stays open even if flights aren't going. you can get the last train in at midnight, sit in a bar for a few hours, check in at 4am and be on the 6am flight out of there. at narita you have no choice but to arrive at 6am and then panic and run through security while everyone's shouting that the planes about to leave and you have to hurry. also you can land in haneda at 11pm and still make it into civilisation. if you arrive at 10:30 to narita you are screwed and end up taking a taxi into narita city.