Looking for information on cheapest airline travel routes
May 6, 2007 5:21 PM   Subscribe

If I wanted to fly from one mainland to another -- North America to Asia, for instance -- but I'm willing to fly out of any city in North America to any city in Asia, how can I find out the cheapest route?

Is there a website that says, for instance, that LAX->HND (Tokyo) is the cheapest US-->Asia flight, and it is cheapest from April-June? Is there a chart somewhere? Help!
posted by nitsuj to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have an answer for you, but if noone else does, either, this would be a perfect question for FlyerTalk
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:48 PM on May 6, 2007

This seems like the kind of thing a good old fashioned travel agent might keep track of.
posted by tiamat at 6:01 PM on May 6, 2007

Always choose big hubs. E.g. I once checked flights to Ukraine and the ceapest one fom NYC was about 3000 US$. When I choosed to fly via Moscow it boiled down to 1300 US$.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 6:30 PM on May 6, 2007

Kayak's Buzz is about as close as you'll get. You'll have to run through the main US hubs manually, but it'll find the rest of the info for you.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:36 PM on May 6, 2007

One thing to try would be the ITA flight search. You can say that you want any flight within 300 miles of the destination, so you can cover most of the West Coast and Asia in a few searches.

It's hard to make general rules, since fares may increase by $300 in one day.
posted by smackfu at 7:07 PM on May 6, 2007

Look for fare sales on the big airlines. Example: JAL had a great fare from Chicago to Tokyo in March. Check the American carries and the Asian carriers.
posted by birdherder at 7:16 PM on May 6, 2007

Best answer: If you're looking to travel between now and late September, chances are good you'll get the best deals from a West Coast hub like LAX, SFO, SEA or YVR if only because of fuel costs. After the peak travel season ends in September, you may see deals from other places to fill empty seats. As yoyo_nyc says, you're usually going to have the best prices flying between large hubs. I've found that flights between the US and Asia are not nearly as numerous as between the US and Europe, so there's not as much competition and thus not as much incentive to keep fares low. (Cf. the perennial dirt-cheap fares between JFK/BOS/IAD and LHR.)

Oh, one more option for you if you are indeed going to Asia is Oasis Hong Kong Airlines. They begin flying non-stop between HKG and YVR (Vancouver) on June 28 for a one-way fare beginning at US$250. Round-trip including taxes comes to about $650, according to their website.
posted by armage at 7:18 PM on May 6, 2007

Use the month-search on ITA Software linked above, along with using the within-300 miles trick, but ALSO remember that you can put in multiple airports in the to and from boxes - so your "from" box can be, say, "NYC;WAS;ORD;LAX;SFO;SEA" to search all flights from the New York/Washington/Chicago/LA/SF/Seattle-area airports, and the "to" box can be a long string of Asian airports.

Results display in a chart; choose a day and view the results "by airport."

More here on their help page: it's easy to just copy and paste.

Also: FareCompare maps.
posted by mdonley at 8:14 PM on May 6, 2007

Flying to HK, a major hub, I've that Philippines Airlines are the cheapest when flying from LA or SFO. I've used them 3-4 times when shopping around.

However, the cheapest airport to fly into in the region is Bangkok. LA/SFO-BKK is probably your best bet for lowest fair. Bangkok is also a great place to get cheap fares throughout SE Asia, it's a major hub.
posted by bluejayk at 11:33 PM on May 6, 2007


posted by xanthippe at 4:15 AM on May 11, 2007

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