Friday, March 28, 2008

Travel to Japan 02

Purchase of Japan Tickets
Tickets to Osaka via United
Friday, March 28, 2008

I have started to inquire about my upcoming trip to Osaka, Japan in late summer 2008. I first started my search using the regular websites like, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and OneTravel. However, since I am leaving from a small town in the USA my flight options in late March 2008 for a trip in late August were not good. Several of them quoted prices in the 1500 range.

So I decided to modify my plans so that I will leave from a bigger city in the US and try to fly to Tokyo or Nagoya both of which have relatively larger International Airports compared to Osaka. In addition, since I will be traveling to Japan just after the Olympics in China gets over, I assume that may contribute to the high cost of the ticket.

Even after exploring the options I was unable to find good fares either through the above mentioned sites or even through airlines themselves like Delta, NorthWest, and Continental.

Then I spoke to people who are native of Japan and they suggested I contact Travel Agents who specialize in travels to Japan. One such vendor was IACE-USA Travels. They have offices in Orlando, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other places.

I sent out my plans and the next day they sent me an itinerary via e-mail. Then I spoke with one travel agent who helped me fine tune my departure and arrival as per my request. It turned out that if I traveled out of Orlando (MCO) and arrived Nagoya (NGO) they would offer me their best price. So I decided to go with that itinerary. This meant I had to travel to Orlando by car and take a train to Osaka after arriving in Nagoya. Another option would have been to arrive at Tokyo/Narita (NRT) International Airport and change to Haneda (HND) Domestic airport in Tokyo and arrive in Osaka. I preferred to fly to NGO and take the train rather than shuttle between two airports after a long journey.

Once I gave my selection they sent me the tickets in United Airlines. The tickets were reasonably priced in the 1300 range.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Trip to Konxville TN 01

Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association
Knoxville, Tennessee
I wanted to travel to Knoxville, TN to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association at Knoxville Convention Center. Since Knoxville is served via Delta (I always start my searches with Delta, since Tallahassee is well connected via Delta than any other carrier), I tried to look for flights that left late evening and arriving their in before 10 PM (CDT).

I found couple of them and decided to book one of them using Delta's own website. But when I tried to book reservation for my stay and flight, Expedia turned out to give me a better deal for the combination rather than separate reservations. So I went with Expedia.

My flight routing was TLH to ATL and then ATL to TYS. The return journey was simply the reverse of the forward journey. When I tried to combine hotel, car rental, and flight that combination was more expensive. So I decided to do car rental separately.