Flights To Japan

silva

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We are (finally!) about to bite the bullet on our first trip to Japan. Any tips on excess luggage fees? I’m trying to decide between JAL vs ANA - both have similar prices for similar dates, but I’m not sure if there’s a catch lurking in the baggage fees.

We only need to take one snowboard bag. We are fine overall for number of items and weight, but the snowboard bag is going to exceed the 290cm total length rule. Both airline websites seem to say it’s Y20,000 extra for that one bag. Am I reading that correctly? I recall reading horror stories about Japanese airlines and excess baggage charges.

We have flown to Tokyo with ANA - 2 adults 1 child, 2 snowboard bags at 23kgs each, 2 suitcases at 20kgs each no problem either way (I did see them getting measured and while both would have been over the required dimensions they did not say anything - they only seemed to be checking length not width or height).
 
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silva

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IMO if you turn up with a silly overweight ski bag. You are going to invite trouble.
Keep it 20-23kgs and you'll be fine.

I agree with this - standard OHS weight limits are set at 50lbs = 23kg so if you keep bags under 23kgs they don't tend to raise any eyebrows. A heavy bag is up to 32kgs (70lbs) which means they are usually checking to see if you are entitled to have bags that heavy (usually biz class etc). Anything over 23kgs requires a 2 man lift at most airports around the globe so the airlines want to avoid if possible. Anything over 32kgs is freight = big hassle = take more lighter bags rather than one big heavy one.

Note - we have only ever had a problem once - snowboard bag packed and weighed in in Aus at 22.8kgs under 23kgs = no problem. In LA bag is still 22.8kgs = 50.26 lbs but technically the limit there is 50lbs. Took out a jumper - no problem again. Lesson learnt - if travelling to or through the US aim for a max of 50lbs (22.6kgs), not 23kgs per bag.
 
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Crispy013

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My general perception has been that weight is key. We did get stopped in Tokyo flying to Europe on Cathay where the imfamous ruler came out. But the weight was all good and they let us through. They did note that if you can give advance warning of an oversized article on your flight booking, this helps ensure that there is space in the luggage hold of the plane.
 
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smackies

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Singapore Airlines this year had the tape measure out. And last year too.

Mine was a girthy sausage, but not that long.
 
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Zimbooo

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Serves you right for booking so late
Actually, best deals out of Brisbane to Tokyo "booking early" have been with Singapore Airlines this year. But they were 16hr+ type flights. I have no need for a Singapore stop over etc........so no deal.
 

PiggabeenBoarder

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Jetstar flights out of Coolangatta to Narita on sale at the moment. Actually pretty dirty as it's coming in around $1000 cheaper for my family of 2 adults and 2 kids (with all the extra baggage etc) .... I booked about 1 month ago. I don't know if this is typical timing but I'm going to try and note it for future reference. Hopefully this helps someone else out there score pretty awesome sales prices, cheers.
 
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skivet

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I made the same mistake! Paid $1150 each including baggage ect and the same dates $850 now. I assumed that mid January would be a very popular time to leave. Maybe Jetstar is loosing some of its gloss. Last few years flown Qantas but each year has been getting dearer.
 
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Kimski

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I made the same mistake! Paid $1150 each including baggage ect and the same dates $850 now. I assumed that mid January would be a very popular time to leave. Maybe Jetstar is loosing some of its gloss. Last few years flown Qantas but each year has been getting dearer.

Ouch. I booked Singapore for around $740 for late January ages ago. No direct flights from Adelaide so a good deal for me.
 
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skivet

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Qantas has a special on at the moment. From jan 20th and all of Feb. cheap flights over around $350 but the full price back. The dates I played with ended up around $1200 return ex Brisbane. Sale ends June 21st
 
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Heinz

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Qantas has a special on at the moment. From jan 20th and all of Feb. cheap flights over around $350 but the full price back. The dates I played with ended up around $1200 return ex Brisbane. Sale ends June 21st

They called it a 'fly away' sale. Understood what that meant once you put dates in.
 

grantn

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I think there are some Qantas sale flights with the return leg cheap as well, but dates don't suit skiiers. My son in grade 12 just booked last night for schoolies (fly over mid Nov, back mid Dec) for $640 return, Bris-Tokyo, direct flights. I think that's amazing value.
 
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elSpike

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I had a look - could book mid Feb out and mid March return for around $700.
That’s incredible value. Usual best fares ex Singapore are in the SGD560-590 with most being more like 700.
 

nezumi

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That’s incredible value. Usual best fares ex Singapore are in the SGD560-590 with most being more like 700.
When we went in 2018 it was through a Jetstar "return for free" promo. As we went *just* before our son turned 2, he counted as a lap infant for the trip, so we got return flights Mel - Osaka (KIX) for under $AUD1,000. We wouldn't have been able to manage that with snow gear or anything tho - and we will definitely try and book a direct flight rather than with a stop next time we go.
 

ojisan

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When we went in 2018 it was through a Jetstar "return for free" promo. As we went *just* before our son turned 2, he counted as a lap infant for the trip, so we got return flights Mel - Osaka (KIX) for under $AUD1,000. We wouldn't have been able to manage that with snow gear or anything tho - and we will definitely try and book a direct flight rather than with a stop next time we go.
I did crap* a few times in the past & will never go with them again.
Going direst is the way to do it... I flown with singapore air which is also pretty good, although there is a 1-2 hour stopover in singapore but changi is one airport where you don't mind a stopover
 

nezumi

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I did crap* a few times in the past & will never go with them again.
Going direst is the way to do it... I flown with singapore air which is also pretty good, although there is a 1-2 hour stopover in singapore but changi is one airport where you don't mind a stopover

Walking between the domestic and international terminals in Cairns carrying our bags + 2 year old, while being ready for Japanese early spring weather was..... not pleasant.

I have seen some killer prices for Melb - Tokyo flights, but I would massively favour direct over a 1 stop. My Ideal would be going JAL to Japan and Qantas home, to have an overnight flight each way :D
 

LMB

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Walking between the domestic and international terminals in Cairns carrying our bags + 2 year old, while being ready for Japanese early spring weather was..... not pleasant.

I have seen some killer prices for Melb - Tokyo flights, but I would massively favour direct over a 1 stop. My Ideal would be going JAL to Japan and Qantas home, to have an overnight flight each way :D
Bags not checked through?
Always have been for me, except arriving back in.

Travelling from Perth and usually via HK getting the travel outfit right is key. Going from 40 odd degrees to snowy and below zero is a huge change.
 

Donza

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Bags not checked through?
Always have been for me, except arriving back in.

Travelling from Perth and usually via HK getting the travel outfit right is key. Going from 40 odd degrees to snowy and below zero is a huge change.
Sometimes bags checked. Otherwise it's clear customs in cairns
 

brissmith

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what's the best website to compare flight prices on? Looking to fly Brisbane - Tokyo return for a family. Won't be bringing ski equipment.
 

ojisan

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ANA have just announced a flash sale.. rtn sydney/perth to tokyo.
dates up to feb 2020
 

Melskius

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Thinking of heading to tomamu end of feb with the family. We usually fly GC to NRT via jeststar at that time of year and most we have paid us $2200 for 4 of us including bags.
Has anyone flown BNE to CTS via seoul on Korean - seems you get 23kg bag, ski is included in this. Flight times are just an hour or 2 longer than direct into NRT. Korean would require an overnight stay in seoul. Then onto CTS the next day (anyone know if bags would be checked through, or needed to be collected due to overnight?) Other alternative seems to be jetstar overnight in NRT then onto CTS. Prefer less travel time and layover due to travelling with 2 kids.
 

Crystal

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My thoughts would be you would need to collect bags if you are leaving airport or secured area. Surely someone here has done that leg lately :)
 

LMB

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Thinking of heading to tomamu end of feb with the family. We usually fly GC to NRT via jeststar at that time of year and most we have paid us $2200 for 4 of us including bags.
Has anyone flown BNE to CTS via seoul on Korean - seems you get 23kg bag, ski is included in this. Flight times are just an hour or 2 longer than direct into NRT. Korean would require an overnight stay in seoul. Then onto CTS the next day (anyone know if bags would be checked through, or needed to be collected due to overnight?) Other alternative seems to be jetstar overnight in NRT then onto CTS. Prefer less travel time and layover due to travelling with 2 kids.
My thoughts would be you would need to collect bags if you are leaving airport or secured area. Surely someone here has done that leg lately :)
I haven’t done this and would suggest you’d need to check with the airline if the bags will be check through or not.

I did do a Dubai overnight where our bags were checked through. Was awesome. Just had a change of clothes and one nights toiletries in hand luggage. We stayed in airport hotel but could’ve left the airport if we wanted (which we didn’t).

If you stay in Seoul be careful - we stayed in an “airport hotel” - dingy disgraceful substandard accom (and I’m not picky) that was half an hour drive from the airport with unhelpful late and rude pick up. Stayed in Seoul city for same price in a beautiful room/apartment.
 
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travelislife

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Thinking of heading to tomamu end of feb with the family. We usually fly GC to NRT via jeststar at that time of year and most we have paid us $2200 for 4 of us including bags.
Has anyone flown BNE to CTS via seoul on Korean - seems you get 23kg bag, ski is included in this. Flight times are just an hour or 2 longer than direct into NRT. Korean would require an overnight stay in seoul. Then onto CTS the next day (anyone know if bags would be checked through, or needed to be collected due to overnight?) Other alternative seems to be jetstar overnight in NRT then onto CTS. Prefer less travel time and layover due to travelling with 2 kids.

Not sure on Seoul, but I have checked bags through at other airports on long connection (and left the airport) but less than 24hrs. Might have to say you will be staying in transit to do so though.

I think other good options (all better than Jetstar!) out of BNE to CTS could be Eva, Thai or Cathay. Travel agent may have better fares than you see online with Thai.
 

Born2ski

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Other alternative seems to be jetstar overnight in NRT then onto CTS. Prefer less travel time and layover due to travelling with 2 kids.
Have you looked at EVA Air or China Airlines ? Both fly out of Brisbane with a short stopover in Taipei and then onto CTS. EVA Air is the better of the two airlines but China Airlines is still decent.
 
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Kimski

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Thinking of heading to tomamu end of feb with the family. We usually fly GC to NRT via jeststar at that time of year and most we have paid us $2200 for 4 of us including bags.
Has anyone flown BNE to CTS via seoul on Korean - seems you get 23kg bag, ski is included in this. Flight times are just an hour or 2 longer than direct into NRT. Korean would require an overnight stay in seoul. Then onto CTS the next day (anyone know if bags would be checked through, or needed to be collected due to overnight?) Other alternative seems to be jetstar overnight in NRT then onto CTS. Prefer less travel time and layover due to travelling with 2 kids.

I overnight and send bags through to my final destination all the time. Not sure if there's a time limit on this though.

For example on my way to London from Adelaide earlier this year I landed at Singapore Airport, 3pm, taxi to my hotel for the night (surprisingly cheap option in Singapore) and flew out at 9am the next morning. My bag was waiting for my in London when I arrived.
 
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grantn

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Have you looked at EVA Air or China Airlines ? Both fly out of Brisbane with a short stopover in Taipei and then onto CTS. EVA Air is the better of the two airlines but China Airlines is still decent.
We've done both China and EVA from Brisbane to Sapporo and both are great. Yes, EVA is slightly better. Both have 30kgs luggage, no issues with heavy and large ski bags. We've also done some with layovers and some without, all with kids. Even though you stated you would prefer no layover, if you do have a layover I actually really liked Taipei. Great food and really cheap accom and food!
 

skivet

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Cheap flights jetstar on offer. Booked for my son and friends $450 return including baggage. Considering I paid $1100 return several months ago think this is a very good deal. Direct Gold Coast to Narita. Saturday 8th feb return two weeks later.
 
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nezumi

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Cheap flights jetstar on offer. Booked for my son and friends $450 return including baggage. Considering I paid $1100 return several months ago think this is a very good deal. Direct Gold Coast to Narita. Saturday 8th feb return two weeks later.

Flying from Melbourne, the options are around $620 return stopping in the Gold Coast, or around $850 direct with JAL (and Qantas, depending on dates, is about the same).
 

LMB

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Wow!
So cheap.
I remember when school holidays from Perth you’d be happy with anything under 3k
 

Melskius

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Just booked GC to NRT last week feb,first week march, family of 4, 3x 25kg over 4x 25kg return including oversize ski bag and seat selection $1780. Too cheap not to jump at.
 
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Budgiesmuggler

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Cheap flights jetstar on offer. Booked for my son and friends $450 return including baggage. Considering I paid $1100 return several months ago think this is a very good deal. Direct Gold Coast to Narita. Saturday 8th feb return two weeks later.


Them outside school holiday fares!

I was looking first weeks in Jan and can get for around $950 return direct on JAL
 

K_Bird

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Thanks all for the info/tips on oversized baggage. Looks like JAL might be a good option for us (missed the recent Qantas sale which I’m kicking myself over).

Any advice or tips for JAL with kids?
 

Jonkl

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How are you guys taking kids out of school during Feb Mar? Just planning ahead with future trips as my oldest is going Prep next year :)
 

Jonkl

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Thinking of heading to tomamu end of feb with the family. We usually fly GC to NRT via jeststar at that time of year and most we have paid us $2200 for 4 of us including bags.
Has anyone flown BNE to CTS via seoul on Korean - seems you get 23kg bag, ski is included in this. Flight times are just an hour or 2 longer than direct into NRT. Korean would require an overnight stay in seoul. Then onto CTS the next day (anyone know if bags would be checked through, or needed to be collected due to overnight?) Other alternative seems to be jetstar overnight in NRT then onto CTS. Prefer less travel time and layover due to travelling with 2 kids.
Flown to CTS from BNE with China Airlines this March with missus, very good experience on the new A350 plane, longish layover but manageable.
Flying back again with Eva this Christmas (23rd til 7th Jan), 2 kids and 4 adults for just over $6k, will report back how it goes. And will be on the newly delivered B787-10 Dreamliner as well (looking forward to it as I worked in Aviation), and also on a Sario Themed plane with one of the legs (2 young daughters should be happy). We chose the shortest layover time as well so should be sweet, getting there early afternoon and leaving late afternoon.
 
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Melskius

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How are you guys taking kids out of school during Feb Mar
I'm a teacher also. I take long service leave. I have found week 4-5 of term 1 as a sweet spot that doesn't impact students as they are usually drafting and is still skiable in japan. My kids are in prep and grade 4, their school is supportive of the experience they get. The older does extra work before she goes. My kids go to a small country school with only 130 kids.
 
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