Travelling to Okinawa or Taiwan
April 22, 2004 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Advice on traveling from Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. to Okinawa or Taiwan cheaply. [General advice appreciated, three specific queries inside.]

The particulars: I need to get from either Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. airports to Naha, Okinawa sometime in late June. Dates can be flexible.

1. Other than the biggies -- I've searched Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz and -- does anyone have some secrets on the best place to get tickets to Okinawa?

2. I'm open to flying into Taiwan and taking a day-long ferry to Okinawa from there. The ferry would cost about $175 U.S., though, so I'd have to find a sub-$800 fare to Taiwan to make this worthwhile.

3. The least expensive fares I've found are from the limited-date vouchers, and the rules seem straightforward enough, but they make me nervous. Anyone have experience with these?
posted by jeffmshaw to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Jeff, I have a baseball teammate here in Seattle from Okinawa, he goes back at least 1x per year. I'm going to see him on Saturday and I'll ask if he has any recommendations.
posted by vito90 at 1:31 PM on April 22, 2004

I don't know if this experiences translates to Taiwan, but mainland Chinese (living in China or the US) often can't afford American airfare prices. So very often they get *very* cheap flights by talking to a travel agent who is ethnic Chinese. If you know anyone in Taiwan or China, or anyone with close ties to Taiwan or China, who would be willing to ask around for you, they might be able to get you a similar rate.
posted by gd779 at 1:41 PM on April 22, 2004

JustFares is a Seattle-based ticket consolidator that has mad cheap tickets ($610 rountrip Seattle-Taipei). However I have never done business with them, so I can't vouch for their honesty / ease of use. Oh, and you can only fly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
posted by falconred at 1:50 PM on April 22, 2004

Shame you don't have a little more time... because those are all major ports, so stearage (getting transit on cargo shops crossing the Pacific) might have been an option.
posted by silusGROK at 2:25 PM on April 22, 2004

Response by poster: silusGROK, I've got family in Okinawa, and will undoubtedly be going back fairly often ... so I'd love to hear more about how one goes about arranging steerage.
posted by jeffmshaw at 2:39 PM on April 22, 2004

If you can find a cheap fare to Tokyo or Osaka, ANA has "Visit Japan" fares, where each domestic segment costs 12,600 yen. I used this when I took a short trip to Japan a couple of years ago. I paid $450 roundtrip from San Francisco to Tokyo, so if you could find a similarly cheap fare from Seattle, the whole thing would run you under $700.
posted by m-bandy at 3:10 PM on April 22, 2004

Hi jeff, my buddy (who also lives in Tacoma, and tells me Tacoma boasts maybe the largest Okinawan community in the US!) uses Navitour. It is a Canadian entity (he says he always flies out of Vancouver). I took a quick look at the site and it appears to be for travel agents but I didn't inspect too closely. Good luck!
posted by vito90 at 9:06 AM on April 25, 2004

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