Gulf carrier Etihad Airways currently has a nice sale going for premium tickets from Madrid to Tokyo. Flights up until December 2020 are available as low as €1,476. All itineraries feature a layover in Abu Dhabi in both direction, where you can enjoy lounge access. While this is unusual for discounted business class fares, the cheapest tickets are available directly at etihad.com.
Etihad serves both routes to Madrid and Tokyo with state of the art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. These planes feature lie-flat-seats in an unusual 2-4-2 seating pattern. Half of the seats are facing backwards. You can read a comprehensive review about this product here.
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, this offer is valid until February 14, 2020. It covers flights leaving Madrid before December 10, 2020 with a minimum stay of four days in Japan. A minimum stay of one month applies. Availability is somewhat scattered, but you can find multiple weekly departures at the lowest fare in May, June, July and November 2020.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Etihad issues these tickets in booking class W. Despite the airline not being a member of any airline alliance, you can still earn some nice mileage with affiliated frequent flyer programs:
- 35,692 Miles on Hainan Fortune Wings Club
- 22,178 Miles on Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
- 22,178 Miles on Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- 22,178 Miles on Asiana Club
- 22,178 Miles on Oman Air Sindbad
- 22,178 Miles on Etihad Guest
- 22,178 Miles on SriLankan FlySmiles
- 22,178 Miles on Alitalia MileMiglia
- 22,178 Miles on Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus
- 22,178 Miles on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 22,178 Miles on Virgin Australia Velocity
- 22,178 Miles on South African Voyager
- 22,178 Miles on Czech Airlines OK Plus
- 22,176 Award Miles + 22,178 EQMs on American AAdvantage
- 21,326 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 21,326 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 21,326 Miles on Korean Air Skypass
- 9,110 Points on SAS EuroBonus
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.
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
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
- Tsukiji Outer Market
A market for fresh seafood. A very vibrant place with lots to see (and smell).
District for electronic and otaku goods. What one might have in mind when thinking of Tokyo. Newest gadgets to be found.
- 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