FoL#1 Ellie wants to go to visit her BF in Tokyo for a month over the summer and has asked for us to buy her the flight for her 21st prezzie.
The nearest airport to his family home is Haneda. But flying from Manchester direct isn’t possible. Every flight involves at least one change. The best option seems to be Qatar Airlines, with a 55 minute change at Doha. This also seems to be the cheapest, by a good few hundred quid.
I’m utterly clueless about long haul flights, and am worried about what might happen if her flight from Manchester is delayed given the short amount of time between flights. Also does her luggage get transferred between flights automatically, or does she have to get it off the carousel and check it in again?
Ellie can be a bit flakey at times and stresses out easily so I need to be able to brief her about what to expect.
Although a fairly tight change in Doha if the same airline for both legs they are likely to hold the flight to Haneda if there is a short delay on the inbound flight, especially as they only have one flight a day. The late evening Qatar flight appears to arrive early most mornings which is good news especially if thats the routing the airline quote. If same airline bags will be checked through. I assume Ellie is aware its the hottest and most humid time of year in Japan.
I would say coach to Heathrow and direct flight to Haneda or Narita.
You will get more flights to Narita and it’s not as convenient as Haneda however way more flights go to it so it’s usually cheaper. Also Narita is well set up for tourists and easy to get the train in to Tokyo.
But everyone who lives in Tokyo wants to fly to Haneda as it’s easy for them to go straight to the metro and they can use their pasmo without buying a separate ticket. As a tourist though it’s really no stress, just takes a bit longer.
All UK direct flights go to Haneda but are £3-500 more than the cheapest Qatar flight but also 10 or so hours shorter. Having just done it I would strongly recommend direct flights if the money can be found. Of the European airlines I think only Swiss and LOT go to Narita.
Buy a package from the same airline so if there are any probems the airline picks up the slack. Hanada is a great airport so I hope she has a good itme and you get to test the only real question as a parent.?
You Much Fun Can You Handle ?
Just checked, a direct return flight from Heathrow to Haneda on JAL is £767.
What’s the economy section like on JAL, Qatar economy looks awesome to be honest, but cutting 5 hours off the flight for the sake of a slightly shittier seat and different food ( she’d probably prefer Japanese to international food tbh) might well be worth it.
Thats a very good price if direct both ways. They code share with BA but if on JAL flights both ways a definite win. JAL’s leg room is better, and so is seat width, plus the crew are always a delight. At this rate I will type myself into another trip. Food is good as well.
Are you happy to share the dates plus any flex either side. If so I and suspect Dom and others can do a bit of search based on our experiences and know reasonable connections. For example South Korea was a good option when we were looking and if it hadn’t been the first trip in nearly four years would have been the preferred option.