For many Americans, traveling to Japan during the San Francisco-Los Angeles-Tokyo round-trip service (Covid) adds tremendous flexibility to their year-round travel plans. Simply put, the round-trip Japan airfare is 30 percent less than what they would pay if they booked the connecting flights to and from Los Angeles (more on that below) and Tokyo. The round-trip airfare to Japan is $629 on Covid this year, starting from JFK or LAX (regional service to San Jose starts at $324), leaving every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The round-trip airfare to Tokyo (Kansai International Airport) is $952, dropping to $640 for Thursday travel or $672 for Saturday travel.
The easiest way to compare flights is to travel in March, when round-trip airfares drop to $477 (from LAX or JFK), dropping to $411 during June through August. These are the cheapest times to fly, but get these fares when connecting in Los Angeles. Avoid being stuck with the long flight to the continental United States if you book those with a connection.
Once you have a confirmed flight, you can travel as often as you want. You have the right to upgrade to first class, or even business class (we recommend economy class for most travelers).
The rules regarding cancellations and refunds are similar to other budget airlines. And while you could save up to 60 percent by buying a round-trip flight with connecting flights, if you cancel before the end of the first day of your projected travel date you are stuck paying the delta fares to the next connected flight — usually over 60 percent off the original round-trip purchase. If you are traveling as many as 12 times in the United States over a two-month period, you should save by putting a chunk of your travel budget toward a monthly Visa credit card membership ($99 per month for an Elite card) and saving up cash each month to pay for your airplane tickets. You can earn up to $600 per year towards airline tickets with the Delta Air Lines Select Privileges program.
Covid is the only airline that can book you the right seats for your carry-on (the airlines can pick and choose the seats you can carry on or stow in the overhead compartments), choose your seat during boarding, and allow for the most legroom. You can also upgrade to larger seats in coach or a better cabin. Plus, if you are sitting next to someone in first class, they can help you access some of the extra amenities you’re wanting, like access to lie-flat seats and 24/7 customer service. The fares are low, all the airfare changes have been done by the airline (like group fares, when you group together you pay less or receive some financial benefits), and we can often get extra flights and discounts to Japan during the November through March Covid air service.
As we know, Americans are forced to travel to Japan because there are no direct flights. Prices are much higher to and from LAX or JFK. And you can’t always book these flights prior to the flight date if you would like to travel in less than two months. So if you’re considering Covid, make sure you save for those two-month periods.