The price of the flight to Japan is usually the most expensive of our trip to the country. And together with the Japan Rail Pass and accommodation, it forms a triangle that takes most of our travel budget. That is why it is so important to try to find the cheapest flights, because here can be the difference between traveling cheaply to Japan or not.
But the price of the flight is more or less cheap, it is clearly an important investment. And once the flights are bought, there is usually no going back and our trip to Japan begins to be a reality. Therefore, in addition to the price, we have doubts about issues such as documentation, visas, travel insurance, airlines, etc. So we will respond to all that in this post so that finding the flight is as easy as possible.
How do I search for the best flights to Japan?
Before even telling you some tips and resolving frequent doubts, many of you surely want to know in advance in what price range flights are to Japan. And with which airlines, how many stops, in what classes, etc.
Doing these searches on each airline can be tedious, because we also may not know all the ones that take us to Japan. That is why we recommend using a flight search engine that compares between airlines.
In addition, another advantage of using this search engine is that you will be totally anonymous for the airlines. There has been much talk that airlines store cookies in our browser when we search flights on their websites. And that with these cookies, if we do not buy the flight at the moment, then we increase the price. Actually this is an urban legend, but as we know that many people still believe it, if the search you do is totally anonymous, less risk to you.
And, with the search engine we have in collaboration with Skyscanner, the information you see about flights is provided by the airlines. And they don’t know who the search engine users are. Only in the final step, the purchase, will you be connecting directly with the airline. And at that time the cookie will no longer be necessary or be careful with this issue.
How is the price of a plane ticket calculated?
Before continuing, it is interesting to know how the airlines do to set the prices of their tickets. To Japan or any other destination, of course. Airlines, like hotels, have complex computer systems that use techniques known as revenue management or yield management.
These techniques analyze data and make forecasts based on the information obtained to maximize the benefit of the airline. Thus, each flight or each route initially has a series of seats available depending on the different existing price levels. And no, these levels are not the classes we see. For an airline, the same class can have several price levels internally.
Naha Airport (Okinawa)
The number of seats in each level depends on this analysis of historical data, which allows you to know how well a particular flight sells. What does this mean? That, for example, if we fly on a holiday, when everyone has vacations, there will be many fewer seats available at a discount. This is because the plane is going to be filled equally even if each seat is more expensive. And what the airline is looking for is to fill the plane but maximizing its profit. Therefore, if we look for that same flight in low season and during the week, it is surely possible to find better prices.
As seats are sold, and depending on the speed of sale, prices are adjusted. It could be that for some reason, the flight is not selling as well as previously thought. In that case, the system will place more seats at lower prices. Anyway, the most normal, as we approach the date of departure of the flight, is that prices rise. Thus, about two or three weeks before each flight, when there are already few seats, those that remain are usually no longer cheaply priced. Because those who decide at the last minute tend to be very clear that this flight is the only one that is worth them. And they pay whatever is necessary.
Also, these systems also know that many travelers usually plan important trips well in advance. Therefore, in many cases we will see expensive prices when we look at tickets well in advance. Because if we want to have the security of the square, we are still willing to pay a little more.
In the end, these systems try to balance two aspects of vital importance for the airline. One of them is to fill the plane and another, get each traveler to pay as much as possible. A full plane is much more efficient for the airline, in terms of cost. Putting a plane, with its crew and a significant fuel expense, to carry a few passengers, is very unprofitable. But of course, the ideal would be if all those passengers paid the full fare.
Try to fly early or too late
In line with the previous advice, the ideal is to combine it with this one: fly out of the most typical hours. There are schedules that allow us to have shorter connections but, precisely because of that, they are the ones that are filled before. Therefore, in them the airlines do not need to have so many seats at reduced price levels.
In addition, if we fly very early in the morning or arrive late, already at night, it will also be much better. In the end, the vast majority of travelers want mid-morning flights, with short stops, and not arriving too late. Therefore, if we don’t mind getting out of this, we can find better prices.
Try not to fly on the weekend
To continue adding options to find cheap flights to Japan, it is ideal to try not to fly on the weekend. Already, the weekend is usually the time of the week in which we can all travel, because we work or have children with school. Precisely for that reason, these flights are the ones that have less cheap seats, of course.
Of course, the weekend is usually a good time to look for flights. It is very possible that we find cheap flights these days, so keep that in mind.