Get the Cheapest Flight to Japan with FlightFox

FlightFox is a unique new Web startup that can save you a lot of money on your ticket to Japan.  For $29, you can save $100 or more on your ticket and possibly even get an upgrade.

Biz-classThe site is a marketplace that matches people who fly for fun (you and me) with expert frequent flyers who compete to find you the best, cheapest flight. Those guys know the deepest details of every airline and deliver more consistently than a travel agency can. They're so good that they booked a round-the-world trip on 6 continents for $1,730!

Here's how to use it:

1. Create a new "Contest" at FlightFox.com with your destination and dates, like any other flight booking site.
2. Answer 4 simple questions about your flexibility and frequent flyer miles.
3. Set your bid price. International flights start at $29, but the higher you bid, the more attention you'll get from experts.
4. The flight experts all compete to find you the best and cheapest flight using their knowledge of how to avoid taxes, surcharges and fees and how to get you the most frequent flyer miles.
5. Pick the winner and book that flight! Congratulations, you've saved money.

FlightFox is my new favorite way to book a flight. I'm tired of searching on travel sites, and I happily pay $29 to have my own personal travel agency that works at my pace.

Go book your flight!

Flight Deal: $299 from Los Angeles or Four Corners areas (Contest)

Travel agency IACE is holding a lottery for flights to Japan for $299 if you're from southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico or Hawaii. 

Japan-airlines-stewardessEntering the lottery is free. 5 winners will be chosen on January 28, and the winner will get a roundtrip to Japan for just $299.

The entry deadline is January 27. If you're not lucky enough to win one of the five golden tickets, visit Konnichiwhoa's guide to picking good flights for advice on getting a cheap ticket any time, or check our latest flight deals for cheap tickets to Japan.

Fill out IACE's form here.

via Twitter (Japanese)

A special note about Japanese-language links

As a former and current expat in Japan, I read Japanese fairly well and I use that to bring you the best flight deals in both Japanese and English. I can't teach you Japanese, but I do recommend brushing up a tiny bit to improve your travel. Why not learn the best English keywords for Japan travel or 10 easy kanji?

Flight Deal: Los Angeles to Tokyo, $500

Malaysia Airlines is running a big deal this spring with a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo roundtrip for $500!

Malaysia-airlinesThe discounted flights are available from March 24 to May 31, so you'd be going on the tail end of the famous cherry blossom season. The weather should be fantastic.

You can book on any site you like for this one so long as you keep the search restricted to Malaysia Air. 

This rate is temporarily low because Malaysia is changing up its flights. Its Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles route now goes through Tokyo instead of Taiwan, so the cheap fares are customary for new routes.

If you do book this flight, do you know how to pack your suitcase?

via The Flight Deal

Flight Deal: Air Canada from West Coast, $454

Air Canada 747. Image courtesy diplomatinvestissement.comThe flights keep getting cheaper!  The deal-seekers at SlickDeals.net (which I usually use for electronic gadgets and such) are starting to take advantage of cheap flights. (Maybe Akihabara's starting to look like a cheap place to shop again?)

Writes SlickDeals user musicabrutal:

$454 all-in, flight from SFO/LAX/SEA > NRT (Tokyo, Japan)
Want to head to Tokyo for a fun trip across the Pacific? Want to do it for less than $500 for the flight? Here's your opportunity:

Default routing is sfo-yvr-nrt [Editor's note: San Francisco – Vancouver – Tokyo] on Air Canada (Founding UA/Star Alliance Member, so miles are 100% transferable to/from UA)

Use the flexible date search on Orbitz… Departure Mon-Thur until June 30 – return Tue-Fri before July 29.

musicabrutal was even nice enough to include an example link to give would-be travelers an idea of what to search for.  Good catch!

Read more at the SlickDeals forums.

Flight Deal: From Atlanta, $704 + tax

Atlanta skyline If you're a Konnichiwhoa reader and you're from Atlanta, I haven't had you covered very well – until now.  How about a cheap flight to Tokyo this summer for a mere $704 (probably just under 800 after tax)?

Like yesterday's flight deal, if you're able to book your ticket this week, you can take advantage of that price all the way through the end of August, letting you take advantage of a cheap summer vacation overseas. 

The deal comes from travel agency Sankei, and their website is all in Japanese.  But if you email or call them, they'll answer you in English.

The email address is on the website, and their phone number is 1-800-225-7479.

Flight Deal: United from D.C., $872

Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy dckaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/ Here's a good one: a nonstop flight to Tokyo on United from Washington, D.C. for $872 after taxes and fees.

It's advertised as a fare of $714, but they estimate another $158 in taxes, fees and the fuel surcharge.  That price is good for flights all summer long, and after August 31 prices go up higher. 

The summer's shaping up to be a cheap one for vacations to Japan, and cheap nonstop flights are a bonus.  As the Konnichiwhoa Guide says:

The fewer layovers you have, the fewer times you have to have your
luggage inspected, take off your shoes, show people your tickets and
passport, stop to eat expensive airport food, and turn your iPod off
then on again.  Plus, it's a shorter trip, and who doesn't love that?

If you're a more experienced traveler, there are also deals for flights to Osaka and Nagoya, too.  But be quick – the deal expires this Friday, May 15.  Get the details and make reservations at H.I.S. Travel.

Flight Deal: Delta from Salt Lake City, discounted

Delta Airlines Boeing 777. Image courtesy Delta Airlines. Delta Airlines is starting up a new non-stop flight from Salt Lake City to Tokyo, and to celebrate lots of travel agencies are discounting tickets on the first flights.

IACE, for example, is taking $50 off.  The trip should normally cost around $700 after taxes and fees, so that brings it to about $650 for a roundtrip. 

The deal applies for flights in June, because the route starts flying on June 3.

Expats haven't had much to say about Delta's flights to Asia (because the flights haven't started yet), so it's best to study up on Airplane Yoga just in case.

People who want to give the new Delta flight a spin should book by April 30 (that's today!) to get the discount.  Use discount code SLC016.  Check IACE Travel for the details.

Flight Deal: Multiple Airlines from Houston, $663 + tax

Houston, Texas Normally, May is an expensive time to travel to Japan.  The first half of the month is covered by the Golden Week travel boom, and the later half is covered by the start of summer vacation.

This year's different, however, and suddenly May has become a very nice time to travel.

Travel agency JTB is offering flights on any of three unidentified American carriers (really American, United and Northwest) from Houston to Narita for just $663 plus tax roundtrip, bringing the total to a little under $750.  That's peanuts for what's usually a really expensive time to travel.

The flights won't be nonstop, but the layovers shouldn't be too bad.  The Konnichiwhoa guide usually recommends nonstop flights for convenience's sake, but Houston residents really can't go wrong with this deal for a last-second Golden Week vacation.  Personally, I've done Northwest's route of Houston through Detroit to
Tokyo, and it was just fine.  Flying straight north actually cuts some
time off the longer leg of the flight.

If you're thinking about going, you should get right on booking a hotel, though!

See a full fare chart and make reservations at JTB.  Make sure to select Houston Int'l from the drop-down menu.

Flight Deal: Cheap Tickets from D.C., $481 + tax

Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy blog.mobissimo.com Golden Week, one of the three peak travel times for Japan, is almost upon us.  But that hasn't stopped a few enterprising travel agencies from offering super-cheap tickets, like this one out of Washington, D.C.

If you can hop on a plane next week, you'll pay just $481 and tax.  That figure does include the fuel surcharge, which for most airlines has just recently gone way down.

Once you get into the real Golden Week holidays, that fare goes up a bit, but it's never more than $606 plus tax – still a steal, given the season.

The catch is that the name of the airline isn't published, but it's probably American, given the route and their recent tendency to slash prices on East Coast flights to Tokyo.  They're not renowned for their service, but that's how I honed the art of Airplane Yoga.

The cherry blossoms have already faded from central Japan, but the weather is absolutely beautiful.

Get the details from H.I.S. New York, or call them directly at 1-800-275-4447 to make a reservation.  If they answer the phone in Japanese, don't panic: they speak English.

Find airline tickets with fees already calculated

A website has surfaced that finally takes a lot of time out of planning your own travel.  TripAdvisor has been around for a while, but it's taken on a new life of its own after unveiling a very cool trick: calculating all your additional fees for you and showing you the real price of a plane ticket while searching online.

I gave it a whirl and planned a test trip from Dallas/Fort Worth to Tokyo and TripAdvisor came back with $610 for the cheapest flight.  After clicking that flight, I was taken directly to the American Airlines website with an open reservation awaiting confirmation. 

The real price?  $609 after fees and taxes.  Pretty impressive.

If you need speed above all else in your airline reservations, give TripAdvisor a whirl.  But don't be afraid to come back and check Konnichiwhoa's flight deals

Read more about the site at the New York Times.