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Cheapest way to get from Boston to Tokyo

Cheapest way to get from Boston to Tokyo

Dec 29th, 2008, 05:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22
Cheapest way to get from Boston to Tokyo

I am trying to figure out the most economical way to get from Boston to Tokyo in October. I have heard that it is cheaper to go through a travel agent than to book online, but I can't imagine how the travel agents will have access to something I can't see online. Has anyone out there had experience with travel from Boston to Tokyo? Also, is $1200-$1600 the typical price of a RT ticket from Boston to Tokyo? I am trying to get a gauge of what is a good "deal" and what is not.

Thanks so much for your insights!!
oliverz5 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Right now I see a lot of fares in the $1,200s. It's reasonable. Maybe you'll see something closer to $1,000 in a few months. Just check regularly.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
i travel from boston...many of the flights to asia stop in toyko....i have the most experience with northwest.....boston/detroit or menneapolis/narita

united about the same with a chicago stop

japan from ny

take a look at ANA from new york

air canada might also work

brit air through london
air france through paris
luftansa thru munich or frankfurt

american thru dallas or west coast or chicago

a cheap flight would be $900...usual is probably $1000-1300

cahty pacific might also work for you....they have monthly deals...check them out
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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sorry...that's cathy pacific thru hong kong
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 01:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,624
I wouldn't buy the ticket before April (unless, checking regularly, the price was $1000 all in before then).
mrwunrfl is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 532
I fly overseas to Asia pretty often leaving from Boston. I fly on Northwest all the time because of the extra perks I get with my gold/platinum card. However, there are other airlines you can also use.

Northwest, American Airlines, United and I think Delta all stop in Japan. Some foreign carriers also stop there as well as the Japanese carriers of course.

Sometimes there are travel agencies or independent travel websites that may have special deals or even the latest prices that are lower. But, my opinion is that if you are only going to fly once or twice overseas then shop around. If you have a silver or gold elite card already then see if you can find an airline or partner airline where you can use the perks.

Check the airline websites so you know what price that the airlines are charging - that is the price you have to beat! Don't be afraid to fly on a foreign airline. Check their websites out in case they have special sales on.

Don't fall in love with a particular departure date. Check the price of your "desired departure date" and a few days before and a few days after for any price changes. Sometimes just changing your departure by a few days can save you big money! Sometimes leaving on Fridays, holidays or weekends may be more expensive - check the price on other days too!

Closer to Christmas and New Years Day will cost more. Eventually in late January or early February the price will cycle down. I expect that the lower price of oil will also be a factor pretty soon. (Maybe "hope" the price of oil makes the prices lower is more correct!)

Going to a local travel agent doesn't commit you to anything. You get free info. You can then check their recommended flights on that airlines website to verify if the price is lower.

Since I fly often I use the same airline because of the bonus miles I get which gives me free flights later on. So, a flight on another airline that is $50 or even $150 cheaper would cost me more in the end.

Good luck.

SirHalberd is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 532
I missed the October departure you had written down. All of the flights that I have purchased in the past 13 years for overseas locations have all been within 3 to 6 weeks prior to my departure.

Some travelers believe in long range planning for flights and some don't! I prefer to get flights closer to my departure date, that is when I find more specials.

Closer to the departure time the airlines realize they may be flying with empty seats and they lower the prices to fill those seats.

Sometimes, when there is a plane crash or a terrorist act that involves airplanes or airports some tourists cancel out, sometimes whole tourist groups cancel out - those seats become available at reduced prices!

I think that the airlines are playing it safe with high prices far out because they don't want to commit to cheap seats early on in case oil prices skyrocket and they will lose money!

Thanksgiving week will usually be very expensive, like Christmas and New Years holidays.

Right now on NWA, leaving on January 19 and returning February 3 to Narita is $1141. All the way to Bangkok on the same flight is only $47 dollars more! Same stop in Narita too! (If you are only on a holiday for Japan you will save big bucks on hotels in Thailand compared to Tokyo!)

Make sure any final price you get from a travel agency includes all taxes and any surcharges!

Up to you!
SirHalberd is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 04:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22
Thank you for all of your posts. I think the takeaway is we should wait to book the tickets until we're closer to the departure date and that a travel agency may not be better than just doing it ourselves online. I really appreciate your insights.

Happy New Year!!
oliverz5 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
i like to plan and purchase early...i have experienced some problems getting what i wanted by waiting....for instance seating is important on n/w for the long hauls...waiting is a no no unless you don't mind sitting in the middle seat in the middle of the plane...90 days on the nose for my seat reservations...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 532
"i like to plan and purchase early...i have experienced some problems getting what i wanted by waiting....for instance seating is important on n/w for the long hauls...waiting is a no no unless you don't mind sitting in the middle seat in the middle of the plane...90 days on the nose for my seat reservations..."

When you fly with the same airline all the time you get an elite status. This silver card, gold card or higher status opens up the reserved seats for those passengers. Airlines save some better seats for their special passengers. You can get those seats when you sign up even within a close departure date.

I fly coach when I don't get a free upgrade. In my profile it says only aisle seats! This is with NWA. It is only 25,000 miles to get a silver card and better seats or at least the seat you have in your profile. With the silver card you also get on the plane sooner with the business class passengers.

Even when you get to the airport there may be seats available that you want. But you have to ask for them! Most of the time if you call the night before you can get a seat that you want. Showing up at the airport late doesn't help get anyone a seat of choice.

I fly overseas a lot and there are seats that I never get, seats with walls behind them, they may not recline and other passengers may gather around that area. I don't like walls in front of me, I prefer a seat in front of me so I can stuff my long legs under it - the wall often gets in the way. If you have a seat with an emergency window behind you that seat may not fully recline.

Seats that have the tray in the armrest are often an inch narrower - plus you have to put your bag in the overhead if there is no seat in front of you. I pull out all of the magazines from the pouch (put them in the overhead bin) I keep the barf bag and safety card. This gives me almost another 3/4 inch of knee room and space for my junk! I don't care for seats near toilets or kitchen areas because the light on and off bugs me when I am sleeping not to mention doors banging shut.

Long flights, read, sleep, eat - get up every hour or two to prevent blood clots - repeat as necessary.

Happy New Year!

SirHalberd is offline  
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