Trip Preview: Catching the (Very) Delayed (New) AirAsia Japan Inaugural

While I normally try to write these overviews before I go on a trip, this one comes a bit late as I wanted to finish reports from my Cathay Pacific first class and Korea trips first. That said, I already gave a brief preview of what to expect in a quick article about the AirAsia Japan inaugural flight that I wrote on the day of the flight.

Anyways, let’s take a step back and see how this trip came to be.

Trip Preview: Catching a (Very) Delayed (New) AirAsia Japan Inaugural

Catching a (Very) Delayed (New) AirAsia Japan Inaugural

This trip was born when AirAsia Japan announced that it would finally be starting operations.

…just two weeks after making the announcement!

AirAsia Japan A320

Given their track record in Japan – quitting a joint venture once and then delaying the start of the second one over and over, it was hard to believe it was actually happening. But, this time Tony Fernandes’ tweet was right, and AirAsia Japan did indeed start selling tickets on October 17, 2017, as announced.

I tried to grab one of their ultra cheap fares at midnight when they opened the bookings, but their servers were overloaded. As such, I didn’t managed to book the ticket until the third or fourth trial. And, by that time the price had gone up to 6,000 yen (about 50 dollars).

Oh, well…

Getting Home from Sapporo

Until now, I didn’t mention the route – after all, what mattered was the fact that it was an inaugural of a (kind of) new airline.

Not the fact that it was a Nagoya Centrair to Sapporo flight. Still, I needed to somehow position myself to the departure and arrival airports of the inaugural flight.

Given that there are many options between Tokyo and Nagoya, I didn’t worry about that too much. Instead, I decided to solve the way back from Sapporo first.

There are many airlines flying between Sapporo and both of the Tokyo airports. However, since I booked this trip fairy late, most of the options were either too pricey or departing at unsuitable time.

The one flight that departed at a reasonable time – a couple of hours after my arrival in Sapporo – and was reasonably priced was with Jetstar Japan.

Jetstar Japan A320

Given that it was a quick trip and I didn’t need any checked-in luggage, I went with it – and booked the ticket between Sapporo and Narita for 10,670 yen (a bit less than 100 dollars).

Since I reviewed a flight with Jetstar Japan on the same route in the other direction recently, I will not be writing a detailed article about that flight this time around.

Getting to & Overnighting in Nagoya

With the AirAsia Japan and Jetstar Japan flights booked, the last “problem” that needed solving was getting to Nagoya.

While I considered taking a bus or Shinkansen (bullet train) as well, in the end, I decided to fly.

Both ANA and JAL operate a couple of daily flights between Tokyo Haneda and Nagoya Centrair airport. And, both of them cost the same – 8,900 yen (about 80 dollars). Having just flown on the route with JAL recently, I went with ANA.

ANA 737-800

The AirAsia Japan inaugural was departing at 7:10AM, meaning I had to take the positioning flight the night before. As such, I also needed to find a hotel for the night.

The choice fell on TUBE Sq – a capsule hotel located inside Centrair’s terminal. While I certainly booked it because of the price and convenience, I also booked it out of curiosity as I’d never stayed at a capsule hotel before the trip.

Stay Tuned!

With the above, the final itinerary looked as follows:

  1. ANA flight from Tokyo Haneda to Nagoya Centrair
  2. A night at the TUBE Sq capsule hotel at the airport
  3. AirAsia Japan inaugural flight
  4. Jetstar Japan flight from Sapporo to Tokyo Narita

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting detailed reviews of those experiences.

I will also keep adding links to those below, so stay tuned!

List of Articles Related to This Trip

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