Thursday, March 18, 2010

Okinawa: Getting There!

It has been a year since I was out of the islands, and was likewise my first time flying alone! Part of my travel wish list would be Japan. It was quite a pain getting there because of the difficulty of obtaining a Japan Visa. Now that I have the time and the resources (visa included), that dream was starting to materialize. 

Done with the visa, next would be my quest for the cheapest, easiest way of flying the friendly skies. Philippine Airlines (PAL) used to have direct flights from Manila (MNL) to Okinawa Naha Airport (OKA). I’m guessing that they discontinued the service due to poor demand,. Boo! Other than PAL, there were no other carriers that could fly directly to OKA.

So I first checked out Cebu Pacific since they may have promos for international flights. Bad news is, they only have flights to Osaka and I would still have to search for a connecting flight to OKA.

Cebu Pacific's Manila-Osaka Flight
PAL's Manila-Osaka Flight

When I checked domestic flights from Osaka to OKA, the range would be from $200-$400. Moreover, there were schedule conflicts too. Then again, I realize that I also need to check my luggage twice because I will be transferring to another airline. That would be very stressful then.

That’s when I decided to stick to an airline that could cater to both Manila and Okinawa at the same time.

I did more research on this until I stumbled upon a site that lists down all the airlines that fly to OKA. It showed that the biggest airlines flying to OKA are China Airlines, Asiana Airlines and Hong Kong Express.

D used to buy tickets at China Airlines because there are flights from Taiwan that connected the two countries. I almost resorted to that $800++ flight (I know right) when I found out about Hong Kong Express. They launched the Hong Kong-Okinawa flight just last 2008, and was so glad take advantage of this cheaper alternative. Besides, I get to spend a 2-hour stopover at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), for a possible sight seeing and tour of the airport. Haha!

So to ease the burden of having to transfer from one carrier to another, I picked Hong Kong Express to try out their services.

By the way, if you are going to book flights online, they currently accept Visa cards only. Make sure to print out your e-ticket/itinerary to be presented to the ticket counter. When flying, it is important that you bring the very same credit card that you used in purchasing your e-ticket to validate your identity, or they‘ll refuse to take you in.

Take note as well of the guidelines for checked baggage:

All Flights
Business Class                                               30 kg (66 lb)
Economy Class                                              20 kg (44 lb)
Infant^(Economy & Business Classes)     10 kg (22 lb)
  1. An excess baggage charge will be levied on any baggage that exceed the free checked baggage allowance at the airport. For excess baggage rates, please contact our Reservations Office.
  2. Baby strollers and wheelchairs must be checked.
  3. Oversized and overweight items will only be accepted subject to the available space on board on the day of departure.
      ^Infant refers to a passenger under 2 years old who does not occupy a seat.

To avoid delays, you must also be aware of the ICAO Guidelines for Liquids, Aerosols and gels. Various countries have implemented restrictions on the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels in compliance with the new guidelines laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (

For Japan:

By the time I secured my slot for Feb 12, I had nothing in mind but the memories I will be having with him by his side. Cheese much!

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