Looking for some affordable tickets to save on your vacation? Worried about the quality because the fare is just too cheap? Here are some of the most popular budget airlines in Japan that you ought to know.
1. Peach Aviation
Peach can be considered Japan’s first ever low-cost carrier airline. The company has been operating since 2012 and has made stable growth and profits since establishment. A plus point of Peach is its variety of fare discounts and programs. Every year, Peach opens three main discount season: one in spring, one in summer and one in winter. Other than the holiday season discount, Peach also offers countless small events for customers flying outside of the holiday season.
The brand is based in Osaka, and they offer flights between many airports within the country. Most of the flights are from Narita and Osaka International Airport. However, if you fly to Seoul, Hong Kong or Taiwan, you will get to fly from Haneda. The ticket fares during holiday discount season flying domestically only cost around 4000 Yen for a round trip from Tokyo to Osaka or Okinawa and back. For international flights, the fare is a bit higher, but still a decent offer, with only 10,000 yen for a round trip to Seoul or Taiwan.
The downside of Peach is that they are very strict about their luggage allowance, and normally you will get to carry only a small bag with you on board. For that reason, if a customer travels internationally, he/she will have to pay for greater luggage allowance (usually 1800 yen for the 2nd piece of luggage).
2. Vanilla Air
If you are new to Japan, you will probably see this brand as a completely new airline in the industry. However, it is actually the old Air Asia Japan. In 2012, the Malaysian based airline came to Japan as a low-cost carrier brand in partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA). But after one year of unsuccessful operation, due to differences in culture and service quality, the brand had to stop its service and rebrand itself as Vanilla Air under the ownership of ANA.
Flying with Vanilla, you will have the chance to fly with the best deals while still experiencing some Japan-quality in-flight service. The ticket fare range is similar to that of Peach Aviation. However Vanilla primarily flies domestically. Until now, it has only offered flights to 6 international destinations. The brand is still gradually growing and expanding, so if you are taken with Vanilla’s service quality, bear with them.
3. Jetstar Japan
Jetstar is the first international low-cost carrier brand that was able to enter and successfully operate in Japan. The brand is originally from Quantas (Australia). When expanding in Japan, the airline cooperated with Japan Airlines (JAL) in operations. The brand is based in Narita and mostly serves flights from Narita and Kansai. Jetstar Japan mainly runs domestic flights, and only serves a couple international cities (Hong Kong and Taiwan, as of now). The fare is a bit more expensive than the two airlines mentioned above. However, it is still quite a good deal for those wanting to save costs on traveling.
The question with Jetstar is the mixed views from customers about the quality of the company. Some said that Jetstar Japan is one of the most punctual low-cost carriers they have experienced. However, there are also people who have gone through sudden delays just 1 hour before their flight. Moreover, Jetstar also received criticisms about their customer service and support on and off the plane. Another negative point is their strict luggage allowance. Normally, a customer only gets to carry a bag of 7kg maximum, and they have to pay around 4000 yen ($37) if they go over the limit.
Is it worth the price?
As you can see, since it’s a low-cost carrier type, there will obviously be some limits to service and quality. Buyers should take some time for research, as it is a part of their travel plan. They also need to accept the unexpected risks that might happen when purchasing. Sometimes it seems to be all about luck.
However, these airlines are based in Japan, which means they need to obtain a certain level of Japan-quality service. And we all know that Japanese people have very high expectations about service quality. Furthermore, you are paying a much lower price than you would normally expect, which means you can save a bit more for your traveling and shopping.
Above are some of the popular budget airlines in Japan. We hope this list provides a nice introduction to the low-cost carriers available in Japan. There are many other small domestic brands that you can look up yourself for a wider range of options. Just take your time, do some research, and you will find the best choice for you.
Happy travels everyone!