Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From Zero to JAPAN!

7:00 am: Receive yearly bonus.
7:15 am: Pay off ENTIRE AMERICAN EXPRESS BILL! I am credit-card debt free! Hooray!
12:30 pm: Buy ticket to Japan.
12:31 pm: No longer credit-card-debt free.

If anyone needs information about buying tickets to Japan, definitely call me, because I have done about 86 million hours of research and obsessing, and I have learned about everything there is to know.

1. The cheap tickets (for 864 or whatever) on Kayak.com are a sham. When you go to the site to book the ticket, there's an error message saying they're no longer available. I don't think it's meant to be a sham, but what I've discovered about trying to book tickets to Asia is that some prices are listed with tax and fuel surcharges and some aren't. I think it's a mistake of the code or something.

2. DEFINITELY spend a month or so, if you can, watching ticket prices on various search engines. It'll give you a good idea of what a low price is for the time of year you're traveling. For example, flights to Japan fluctuate DRAMATICALLY between winter and spring; I found tickets for as cheap as 479...if I wanted to go in February.

3. Check out FareCompare.com AND Kayak for international flights. Especially Fare Compare will give you excellent history of pricing so you can see a whole year's pricing at once. FareCompare is how I learned that Japan is so cheap in winter months.

4. Query the hive mind: check Metafilter. I really need to buy a membership to this site, it's awesome.

5. I eventually found my ticket on GatewayLAX, although I also looked at IACE. I paid $925 for a round-trip from Seattle, non-stop, and I think that's a pretty good price for non-stop Japan in May!

So, yes! Had a zero American Express balance today for about five hours! Have bought a Japan ticket! Woo!

2 comments:

C said...

Tag, you're it.

Anonymous said...

How reliable is GatewayLAX? I've never heard of that website and am skeptical at buying an almost 1,000 ticket to Japan from an unknown website.