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Tuesday, July 4, 2023

TRAVEL: Fly to Tokyo - Manila via ZIPAIR

Heads-up! There's a new budget airlines that flies from Tokyo to Manila and vice versa and it has very reasonable rates. ZIPAIR, JAL's low-cost airlines has now included Manila in its routes beginning July 1, 2023. 

I was supposed to fly back a week ago but upon learning about ZIPAIR, I decided to extend a bit and fly home with ZIPAIR on its second day run. I know it's memorable to fly on its maiden flight to Manila but I am not ready to go home yet.

So upon learning about ZIPAIR,  I excitedly downloaded the app and checked the rates. Wow, rates starts at $100 usd but of course, that's all taken now. What I got was $114 plus $40 for 23kg bag check-in, paid seat, and food. Plus 7kg hand-carry. My total one-way cost is only  $159. Not bad! PS. I just created my account using the ZIPAIR App but I made my flight booking and payment via the website. 

Flight schedule from Manila to Tokyo: 14:35 - 20:05  (Narita Terminal 1, North Wing)
Flight schedule from Tokyo to Manila: 09:25 - 13:10  (NAIA Terminal 1)

Since flight from Tokyo to Manila leaves at 9:25AM, it is best to be at the airport by 6-7AM. Online check-in is not yet possible during my flight so you need to go to the airport to do it. There are a lot of self check-in machines in Narita airport. 

I took the airport bus from Tokyo Station (Yaesu entrance) to Narita. Earliest bus leaves Tokyo Station at 5AM. You can't reserve bus seat and there's already a long line of passengers when I arrived around 4:45AM. Luckily, I was traveling alone so I was able to snag the last seat. 

If you're not in the mood to ride the airport bus (Y1300), you can also take the Narita Express Train or the trains via Asakusa (cheaper). 

Note: So as not to be late for the 5AM airport bus, I booked at overnight stay at Hotel Sunroute Ginza

Check-in was a breeze except I need to transfer some of my hand-carry items to my big luggage because they are strict when it comes to the 7kg hand-carry. That's a combination of 7kg for the small luggage and my personal bag. I have my laptop and 3 phones (plus chargers) with me so I was over by a kilo. Huhu!

ZIPAIR staff are also very efficient and friendly. Duty Free at Narita 1 is also nice but let's not talk about that. (I wonder why?)

Upon boarding time, the staff are also in control and we were all ushered in in no time. 

ZIPAIR ZG095 is a huge plane, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Wow! 

I love the elegant black seats and it was really, really spacious. Each seat has an assigned overhead compartment and has a comfortable leg-room. I chose a window seat at the back, so I'm assuming the seats in front has more leg-room space (maybe). It also has in-flight WiFi but for some reason, it wasn't working during our flight. Not really sure thought because I just slept during the flight to Manila. 

And here's my food- Cold Soba noodles because I haven't eaten much soba during my stay in Tokyo. Other choices includes sandwich, pasta, curry. There's also unagi and other premium meals but you need to pay extra for that. The soba was so good, btw. It also comes with bottled water. 

The flight itself was amazing, didn't encounter turbulence. Thumbs up to the pilot for a very smooth flight (take-off and landing), you won't feel any bumps. 

Overall, I did enjoy my first ZIPAIR experience and looking forward to more travel with Zippy! And here's the best part, I also got to see Mt. Fuji again. Lucky window seat. Yey!  

PS. Aside from making flight reservations directly via the airline's app, you can also book flights via Klook App

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