Finding best airfare to Asia

Old May 31st, 2011, 05:55 PM
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Finding best airfare to Asia

I have a fairly flexible plan to make a trip this winter, visiting friends in Shanghai or Tokyo, and an idea of a class in Chiang Mai. Before I let my imagination/hope run wild, I am wondering if anyone could make some suggestions on how folks go about shopping for good airfares to Asia. I would be leaving from the southern east coast of US, have no frequent flyer miles, just a normal budget and thankfully flexible dates. Since what I am seeing is $1200 to Japan, same to China, and slightly more to Thailand if I were to make them separate trips - I am looking for advice from seasoned travelers on how they go about looking for good deals? It is the largest expense for a trip for those of us without frequent flyer miles and I am guessing the smart people - you folks - have good methods for finding a deal. Or do you all have good travel agents? Thanks for advice - I know all the major websites - but there has to be a better way than plugging in dates, checking prices and then changing the dates and trying again.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:23 PM
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shopping, shopping, shopping....keep looking...

i am in boston and i feel now that any price from $1000-1300 is a good price... don't be afraid to look at foreign airlines (finn air, korean, ANA, japan, luftansa, BA, air france, air canada, singapore, malay, and many others). i am going in october flying ny to bkk and a return from delhi for $1212 all in.....good times and fab service....does require a stopover in helsinki. korean is fab...

i find i can often get better rates from nyc for international flts, so that requires getting there. you might find miami and atlanta work well for you.

being flexible is a good deal too. i usually look at mid-week flights. but that is not always the rule....

just cause a rate is cheaper in dollars, it does not follow that this is always the best flt for you. consider the configuration of the plane (3X3X3 is horrid in my book)----2X4X2 is my preference--- and of course i love the 2 seaters in the back of a 747...

food is another alternative issue...

FF miles are the best for asia travel but if you don't have them cash will have to do or credit.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:25 PM
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i should have mentioned too that flying into one place and out of another can be helpful on the same ticket... and in the case of asia you can often get to the places in between by a cheap low cost carrier like air asia, etc.
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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 04:26 AM
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thank you - good to know I am basically taking the right approach - and I appreciate the tips. ideally I would combine the trip to Thailand with another destination so will look at air asia and other carriers between the locations.
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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 04:43 AM
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might post over on the air travel forum also.

Usually do best from SouthEast US out of ATL

Korean Air best quality value than

airasia.com around Asia

farecompare.com good tips on when to book usually Tuesday PM

in the fall... good screening site also kayak.com/buzz

airawards.com airbrokers.com airtreks.com good values also
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 06:48 AM
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Register with all airlines going to your destination and sign up for email alerts for promotions. Cathy pacific goes to all the places you mention and offers pretty good specials like covering 15+ cities in 30 days at one price with a catch of course.
If you have Amex gold, you can accumulate points for airlines and hotels among other things. Flytalk.com has good info on these sort of thing.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 09:11 AM
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The cheapest option for me last year was to fly to/from Hong Kong and then use low cost carriers like Air Asia to fly to other countries.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 04:44 PM
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I knew I was asking the right people. I work for a non-profit, and have an income to match - so points on my personal credit card are far and few. Travel is important to me - but so is finding an affordable way to get to my favorite places. Thanks for the help!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2011, 07:27 AM
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You have had some of the best responses from the best on this board. I'm fortunate in that I have lots of air miles,so usually fly Biz class for free. However, I often research flight prices to Asia for our "kids" . One important thing to incorporate is the FINAL price, once the taxes, added fees for baggage, fuel surcharge etc. I have had very good luck with Vyama.com and once even found a better fare on my usual airline through them (American) than American was offering - same flight, date destination etc - I took a copy of the Vyama price then booked with American and they not only matched the fare but sent me another $150 because I found better than on their website.
I would devote several days to searching, with several different main destinations and book the rest of your travel through Air Asia, though, plan on packing lightly as Air Asia charges a lot extra for baggage weight. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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I think you mean www.vayama.com
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Another site for research is http://www.itasoftware.com/
which is operated by a firm that provides computer services for airlines. It can give you information across many airline routes and companies, helping you to consider the alternatives. The site does not sell tickets but you can take its information to the appropriate airlines or on-line agencies. It's not so useful for budget airlines in Asia or Europe.
With reference to Mohan's post, that link is www.flyertalk.com It caters to businessmen who spend lonely nights on company travel sorting out strategies to increase their reward miles.
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