Airfare - great prices recently listed for Japan by Delta

edited August 2019 in Essence of Japan

Going on this trip in April 2020. Been watching airfares and Delta just listed their new flights to HND (they're pulling out of NRT). Initial prices are dirt cheap, relatively speaking. Just booked Delta One (biz/first) flying into HND and out of KIX for just under $4K. United is over 10K and Air Canada is 5.5K to my home airport (DEN). Don't think I've ever flown Delta before, as they have such a minor presence here, but I read good things about them.

Comments

  • In the past few years have taken United, Alitalia & Delta business class to Europe. Delta has been by far the best. Good choice.

  • edited August 2019

    BKMD. 9:47AM edited 10:15AM in Essence of Japan, Going on this trip in April 2020. Been watching airfares and Delta just listed their new flights to HND (they're pulling out of NRT). Initial prices are dirt cheap, relatively speaking. Just booked Delta One (biz/first) flying into HND and out of KIX for just under $4K. United is over 10K and Air Canada is 5.5K to my home airport (DEN). Don't think I've ever flown Delta before, as they have such a minor presence here, but I read good things about them.

    We use Delta almost exclusively. You might want to check the fare again. If correct, that is an amazing fare. I checked just now and only saw fares in the $9,230 - $10K+ range for open-jaw r/t DEN - HND + KIX - DEN and random dates in April 2020. If you depart from and return to LAX the fares start at under $4K so if you are really flying in and out of DEN it might be cheaper to split the itineraries into two bookings: r/t DEN - LAX + LAX - DEN and the LAX to Asia flights.

    In any case, you will most likely be flying in one of Delta's newly refurbished (all new interior) Boeing 777-200LR, new Airbus A330-900neo, or their new ("flagship") A350-900, all with the new Delta One suites in business class, at least westbound! We'll be flying on a refurb 777 with suites and a refurb 767-400 (almost suites) on Jordan & Egypt Mar/Apr 2020.

  • Alan - I just checked the itinerary again and it's now priced at $10.530. Wow, did I luck out. I booked it yesterday in the afternoon and it was $3950. Maybe a mistake on their part, but it's booked!

    Yes, the westbound flight is on the 777-200 including the delta one suite (thru LAX). The return trip is on a 767-300, via SEA, and has the older-style cubicles.

  • edited August 2019

    i guess you did get a deal. I remember reading about a deal on their website and Facebook, but didn't check it out since we had nothing to book. I usually book at the 330 max window and had a similar experience when I booked our Jordan & Egypt flights. At the time the website didn't show either refurb'd aircraft, but a day or two later the refurb 777 and 767-400 popped up and the price had jumped like crazy. The exact same itinerary is now, still over 200 days out, several thousand more per ticket!!

    Maybe you will get lucky between now and then and they will swap out the 767-300 with a refurb 767-400, 777-200 or one of their new aircraft. The first time we flew Business it was on a 767-300. We didn't know any better so thought it was great! While the refurb 767-400s have newer seats, a tad more foot space an much larger TV screens than the older 767-300 and 400, the seats are actually 1" narrower! One FlyerTalk post reported troubles with the recline on several seats during a recent refurb 777 flight. It is good there is plenty of time until our trips to work out issues like that

  • I usually start looking at flight options at the 330 day mark to get a feel for pricing and route options. However, I usually wait until 6-7 months out to book, as I try to optimize layover times (not too long, not too short). Problem I've run into booking further out is they change the flight schedules multiple times. On my trip to Patagonia last year, American cancelled their 8 AM DEN to DFW flight I booked, so I had to catch the 6 AM flight, leaving me with a 4 hour layover. ugh.

    My worst biz class experiences have been with British Air (old, rundown 747s) and Lufthansa (side by side non-cubicle seats on the transatlantic flight, and "leave the middle seat of an economy row empty and call it biz class" on the shorter flight to.from FRA or MUC.

  • edited August 2019

    I haven't had too many issues with changes with Delta. In two cases I really made out. In one case we physically couldn't make the connection while in the other case the new connection time met the published minimum for the airport, but just barely. Before calling Delta, I scoped out alternative itineraries, a number of them including the ones I preferred, were more expensive. Delta let me change (to the more costly ones) at no extra cost and no hassle. I ended up with better routing, better planes/seats, and perfect layovers, for no added cost. We seem to fluctuate between Delta Silver and Gold Medallion status, but I don't think that had anything to do with it.

    My flight search/selection criteria, in order, is- shortest flight time, then departure time (hate getting up real early), aircraft/seating, and cost. We typically select aircraft with 1 - 2 - 1 or 2 - 2 - 2 seating in Business and sit in the middle so we both have aisle access- especially important for red-eye flights to Europe, which we take regularly. Due to noise, reading, watching movies, or sleeping, etc. we don't talk too much during our flights, so for one leg on our upcoming Jordan & Egypt flight itinerary we selected window seats, one in front of the other in a plane with 1 - 2 -1 seating, e.g. seats 2A & 3A, so we each have a window seat for a change. We'll see how that goes.

    You are right, Continental First class is a joke- same 3 - 3 seating and limited pitch (seat spacing) as coach, just the middle seat on each side left empty. I have avoided BA because of their poorly designed seats- sitting backwards (really?) and many require you face a stranger or step over their legs or they must step over yours.

  • In case anyone doubts my stated price, here's the change in flight price recorded in Google flights, flight tracker:

  • We are on the April 9, Essence of Japan tour. I used points to book RDU to Chicago - Economy; ANA to Haneda - 1st Class; and return from KIX on OZ (Asiana) KIX to INC (Seoul) Business then Air Canada home in Business via Toronto. Total cost to me $443. Points 100K.

    Are you on the same tour?

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