Flight to Tokyo is Booked

Cleveland Heights Travel Blog

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This part of the trip has been a pain at times.  As usual, I started my search for inexpensive airfare with Travelzoo's Supersearch (http://supersearch.travelzoo.com/).  For those unfamiliar, the supersearch takes your dates and destination and throws it at a few different websites (Travelocity, Orbitz, Bing, etc.) allowing  you to compare fares.  New to the list of supersearch sources is Fly.com (which, in turn, searches multiple sources).  For this particular trip, Fly.com consistently found the cheapest rates.  Rates it found through another site called airfare.com.

Let me add that my situation is a bit complicated.  In order to hop around Asia without sacrificing my daughter's college fund, I'll be taking advantage of something called the OneWorld Visit Asia pass (http://www.oneworld.com/ow/air-travel-options/single-continent-fares/visit-asia).  The OneWorld Alliance, which is a collection of airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines and others, allows you to travel within a pre-determined region (in this case, Asia) for greatly discounted rates.  The catch is, in order to take advantage of this, my flights to and from Tokyo have to be booked on member airlines.  So, basically, I have to fly American Airlines.

While that's turning out to be more expensive, it's saving me a bundle within Asia.  I'm flying Tokyo to Seoul, Seoul to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Bangkok, Bangkok to Singapore, and Singapore back to Tokyo for about $1250.  A supersearch revealed that round-trip from Tokyo to Seoul alone is $500 (Which is, coincidentally, $300 cheaper than one-way Tokyo to Seoul.  I never understood that.), so I'm sure all five flights woulc come in at well over $1250.  Actually, booking all 5 flights separately, I could probably come in at about $1500, which would mean I'm breaking even, as flying exclusively American Airlines to Tokyo is a couple hundred higher than flights I saw with Air Canada.  But, you add in the simplicity of having everything booked together, and the fact that my travel within Asia is flexible and can any flight can be changed up to 24 hours before departure, I'm coming out good.

So, anywayz, I was able to find a round-trip at just under $900, which I think is good considering I'm going around Christmas/New Year's Eve.  And the flight is connecting through Chicago (where my partner for this particular excursion lives), which allows my travel buddy and I to be on the same flight.  Funny thing is, Fly.com found this fare on Airfare.com, and would link me directly to a page that showed me the itinerary and let me purchase the ticket.  But if I searched directly from Airfare.com, the same flight/fare wouldn't come up.  I found that interesting.

Also, my new debit card hadn't shown up yet on the day I originally planned to book my flight.  Since this trip is officially a business trip for my travel site (I had just incorporated and set up a separate bank account the week before), I wanted to pay for it from my corporate account.  By the time my new card came, Airfare.com was no longer offering seats on those particular flights.  Tickets could only be purchased directly through American for $1500.  See, sites like Orbitz and Travelocity buy seats by bulk which allow them to sell the seats at a discount.  When they've all been sold, you're back to paying the regular price.  The same thing had happened with my friend's Chicago-Tokyo flight.  We decided to wait it out for a couple days, and see if anything popped up.  If it hadn't by the end of the week, we would both fly Chicago-Los Angeles-Tokyo, which still had decent fares.  But, a couple days later, the supersearch pulled up fares through a site called ATIFlights.com that were comparable to what we originally found, so we snapped the seats up.  Done deal. :)

Next orders of business:
1) Setting how many days (and which dates) we want to spend in each place.
2) Booking the travel within Asia.
3) Arranging lodging.
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