Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has put a nice price tag on economy class tickets from Milan to Tokyo-Narita. For just €450 the carrier offers you a checked bag up to 23 kg and excellent board, food and beverage services on your way to the Japanese capital. You can find multiple departures at the lowest fare each week until from October 2021 through May 2022. A short layover in Abu Dhabi is necessary both ways.
For flights before October 31, 2021, Etihad’s generous rebooking policies, allow you to change your travel date and even destinations without further cost.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
Etihad sells these tickets for €450. If you want to save more money, you can check out the prices online travel agencies have to offer, which are usually around €420.
Etihad uses Boeing 787-9 aircraft on all of these flights. You can expect at 3-3-3 seating pattern with personal monitors in every seat back.
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The fare rules for these tickets don’t specify a sales period. It applies to all roundtrips longer than five days and shorter than a month. Availability is very good, except for the Christmas holidays.
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.
Cover Picture: Johannes Kinast