Lufthansa & Austrian Business Class to Tokyo from Budapest for €1,390 (Flex for €1,560)

Lufthansa Business Class Sitz

Flights to Japan have never been particularly cheap. But they are currently even more expensive than they were before the pandemic. In economy class, there is hardly a ticket for under €800, in business class €2,500 and up can be expected from most airports in Europe.

It is cheaper – as so often – when departing from Budapest. If two layovers don’t put you off, you can get business class tickets to Tokyo for HUF 567,200 (~€1,451). Flights are mostly with Lufthansa and Austrian, and availability is (rather limited) from January to September 2023.

The Flex fare is also fascinating, with prices starting at HUF 644,900 (~€1,649). You can then cancel this ticket free of charge at any time before departure. All that remains is an exchange rate risk due to the fluctuating rate of the Hungarian forint.

Info

Entry into Japan: Entry into Japan is now permitted again without a visa. Either proof of vaccination including a booster or a negative corona test 72 hours before departure is required. A health form (MySOS or Visit Japan Web) must also be filled out.

Entry into South Korea: Entry into Korea is also possible again. If you want to enter Korea, a K-ETA is required for ₩10,200 (~€8).

Rebooking regulations: The Business Basic fare requires a fee for rebooking amounting to €250 plus the price difference. Since recently, a change of destination or departure airport is no longer permitted. If anything is unclear, we recommend the Flex fare. You can cancel that one free of charge at any time before departure.

Unfortunately, booking these flights is quite complicated. A simple search on Lufthansa.com is not enough, you have to use a multi-stop search. More on this in the Search & Book section.

There are two layovers on the way there, mostly in Frankfurt and Seoul. In that case, you’ll spend the long-haul flight sitting in a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400. Asiana will fly you from Seoul to Tokyo. On the way back, an Austrian Boeing 777 usually flies directly to Vienna. There are probably other options as well, but Vienna was the most common.

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There’s still one catch: With the tickets for €1,390, you often have a 22-hour overnight stay in Seoul. It’s nice to discover South Korea for a day, but not for people who want to fly to Japan as quickly as possible. There are also connections without an overnight stop – but then usually only the Flex fare is available for €1,560.

Search & Book

How long the offer is still valid is not stated in the fare rules. However, the availability of the cheapest booking class is already very thin, and it is unlikely to get any better in the future. We were able to find cheap tickets for travel from January to September 2023. There’s probably something for October too, but the Matrix won’t display it.

The minimum stay requirement is 3 days or one night from Saturday to Sunday, and there is no upper stay limit. Stopovers (> 24h) in Seoul are permitted according to the fare rules for a surcharge of €150.

Find Flights with the Matrix

The best way to search for connections is to use the ITA Matrix (instructions). In order for the flights to be found, you have to use a few routing codes or extension codes. I used the following:

  • Routing Codes: Restriction to outbound flight via Seoul + return flight with only one stopover in Vienna, Zurich, …
  • Extension Codes: Restriction to Star Alliance flights + possibly maximum travel time with maxdur hh:mm

This is necessary because the calculation time of the matrix is limited. If there are too many options, the options via Seoul are often not displayed at all.

You can then use the flexible calendar search to find dates within a month. These are then displayed to you in the monthly view:

If you can only find tickets here for €1,589, don’t let that put you off. That is usually the Flex fare, while booking flights for around €1,400 in Business Basic (without a cancellation option) is also possible.

Now all you have to do is choose a connection. It is best to pay attention to the duration column here, so that you don’t have 7 hours to change planes in Frankfurt, for example, but “only” 3:

With a click on the connection, you can expand the details and see the flight numbers.

Book on Lufthansa.com

As soon as you have found your desired connection, you can start booking. Unfortunately, the ITA Powertools for forwarding Matrix → Lufthansa.com do not work. And a search directly on lufthansa.com usually does not spit out the options via Seoul.

You must therefore manually start a multi-stop search. You have 2 options for this:

  1. You use our booking form above and only adjust the travel dates there. This is the most convenient option and at the same time, we receive a few euros commission for completed bookings. Thanks for that.
  2. You use the multistop search form on Lufthansa.com. There you have to enter three individual segments. However, the form is very sluggish, especially when entering airport codes.

It is important that you enter three segments individually: Budapest – Seoul, Seoul – Tokyo and Tokyo – Budapest. Pay attention to the time difference, or take over the travel dates from the matrix. Depending on the connection, the Seoul – Tokyo flight takes place one or two days after the long-haul flight.

Now comes the most important step. For all three flights, you must select exactly the segments that the matrix shows you. You should pay attention to either the flight number or the times here in order to choose the right flights. One wrong click and the ticket suddenly costs three times as much.

After all three routes have been selected, click on Save selection. Now there are two possible outcomes:

  • Option #1: You see prices between HUF 570,000 and 650,000 → All right, you can proceed with the booking
  • Option #2: Prices now jump to HUF 1,000,000 or more. In this case, the availability query of the matrix is obviously not correct. This is rare, but unfortunately, you’ll have to start over in this case.

Mileage

The tickets are issued in booking class P, the Asiana segment is in class D. The following mileage credits await you for the example above:

  • 20,903 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
  • 15,537 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
  • 13,609 Points on SAS EuroBonus
  • 12,625 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
  • 12,625 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • 12,623 Award Miles + 2,494 PQP on United MileagePlus
  • 12,357 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
  • 11,649 Award Miles + 5,828 Tier Miles on LATAM Pass
  • 8,154 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
  • 7,464 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • 7,414 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
  • 7,384 Miles on Air India Flying Returns
  • 7,164 Miles on Asiana Club
  • 6,993 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
  • 6,914 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
  • 6,798 Miles on South African Voyager
  • 6,797 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • 5,080 Award Miles + 14,058 Tier Miles on Miles&More
  • 5,080 Award Miles + 520 Points on Miles&More 2024
  • 1,562 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
  • 976 Miles on TAP Miles & Go
  • 976 Miles on Etihad Guest
  • 518 Award Miles + 653 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
Data provided by wheretocredit.com. Without guarantee on correctness.

Destination

Hotel prices in Tokyo usually start at roughly €35-55, depending on the hotel category and specific dates. Whichever category and hotel you opt for, make sure to get the best price! Our recommendation is to search on booking.com, or even on our own Travel-Dealz hotel search:

Information & Tips for Tokyo

Tokyo is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis as well as one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns, and villages west of the city center.

Today, Tokyo offers a great choice of shopping, entertainment, and culture to its visitors. The city’s history can be appreciated in many excellent museums, historic temples, and gardens. Contrary to common perception, Tokyo also offers many attractive green spaces in the city center.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit Tokyo at any time of year because of its moderate weather. However, the best times to visit Tokyo are from September to November and March to May. Summer in Tokyo is hot and humid and should be avoided.
Although winter in Tokyo is cold, it is not too cold for travel.

Three attractions in Tokyo

  1. Tsukiji Outer Market
    A market for fresh seafood. A very vibrant place with lots to see (and smell).
  2. Akihabara
    District for electronic and otaku goods. What one might have in mind when thinking of Tokyo. Newest gadgets to be found.
  3. Koishikawa Korakuen
    Landscape garden next to Tokyo Dome. An oasis of calm in the middle of a bustling city.

Airports Narita & Haneda

The Tokyo Metropolitan Region has two international airports: Narita and Haneda. Narita is the airport where most flights from Europe will arrive. Tokyo-Narita is located 55 kilometers east of Tokyo city center and is served by the Narita Express. The journey time between the city center and the airport is approximately one hour.

Only a few international airlines fly to Haneda. From Haneda, which is south of the city center, it is much easier to get to Tokyo city center. The JR Tokyo Monorail System takes you to Hamamatsucho Station, which is not far from Tokyo Station.

→ All Dealz for Tokyo

Information & Tips for Japan

Japan, the ‘land of the rising sun’, is located in the east of Asia and is one of the most popular travel destinations on the continent. Big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto convince urban fans while ski fans get their money’s worth in Hokkaido and Tohoku.
Flights to Japan are usually a little more expensive than comparable offers to other destinations in Asia, but there are exceptions, and you can sometimes find bargains.

Best travel time

Since the country consists of many climatic zones it is hard to name a perfect time for travelling to Japan. However, summer should usually be avoided, as June is dominated by the rainy season and July and August offer sweltering temperatures with high humidity.

Climate diagram for Tokyo (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)
Climate diagram for Osaka (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)
Climate diagram for Sapporo (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)

Visa

Most European citizens do not need a visa to enter Japan for a stay of up to 180 days if they do not want to work, study or train. Travelers that arrive under these conditions without a visa will be granted a residence permit as a “Temporary Visitor” for an initial period of 90 days upon entering the country at the airport.

→ All Dealz for Japan

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