When I decided to go to Asia a few months ago, I was only confronted with one major problem, shelling out for the hefty ticket! I’ve been to Europe a few times, and I’ve managed to do so under a thousand dollars, but to Asia, I was pretty much just seeing any price I was used to paying cubed.
With a little hard thinking and research, I was able to land a roundtrip ticket for around $1300, here’s how!
1. Search for a flight leaving from the West Coast
Any time I was searching for flights from Miami to Manila, I was seeing astronomical prices. So I figured, flights must be cheaper from the West Coast states as 1. There are a lot of Asians living in those places probably going back and forth, and 2. It’s the closest geographically to Asia (unless you’re going over the north pole like some flights from Chicago and the Mid-West do, but are super expensive). I managed to find a one way ticket from Miami to San Francisco for $165 on American and decided to spend a few days there to check it out, and find the cheapest flight to Manila from there in and around my dates of choice.
2. Use Airline Alliances
I have an American Airlines credit card from Citi Bank so I try and fly with them or their partners as much as possible for the miles. They are a member of the One World Alliance with partner airlines all over the world, so, I was able to search for a flight from San Fran to Manila and I found a itinerary for a little over $600 from San Fran to Manila flying with Alaksa Airlines and Hawaiian Air (both members of the One World Alliance). My flight left from Oakland (across the bay from San Francisco) through Honolulu and then a straight nine and half hour shot to Manila. Alaska Air even gave me the options of upping to first class for the 5.5 hour flight for only $150!
3. Be flexible with your itinerary
One of the main reasons I was able to land a good fare was for the fact that I was flexible and looked at my trip to Asia as more of a journey rather than a destination. I spent a few days in San Francisco because I saw the cheapest fare was early the following week and I arrived there on a Friday. It also helped that I researched airports in the area, as I left for Manila from Oakland which is part of the Bay Area and just across a bridge from San Fran. By “waiting” for the best time to fly, I scored a good deal. The airlines get you when you have a super rigid itinerary because now a days, finding the flights at the exact times and days you want is going to cost you a pretty penny.