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Discover what customers are saying about ZipAir, the Tokyo based airline. Read customer reviews and find the most affordable way to fly💸

Zipair is a relatively new Japanese budget airline and subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL) that offers low fares for flights between Narita Airport and cities across Asia and North America. As travelers look to resume travel after COVID-19, Zipair provides a cheaper way to fly to Tokyo with fares up to 50% less than full-service competitors.

Zipair is a new low-cost carrier offering affordable fares between the US and Tokyo. A recent roundtrip flight from San Jose to Tokyo provides insight into what passengers can expect when flying with Zipair.

Booking Zipair Flights

Fares and Fees

Zipair emphasizes low base fares and then charges additional fees for amenities like checked bags, meals, seat selection and more. This lets passengers only pay for the extras they want. A standard roundtrip economy ticket from San Jose to Tokyo can be around $550. With one checked bag each way, two pre-ordered meals, and exit row seating, total one-way costs per person are approximately $320 – still far below regular airlines. It’s important to factor in these fees when comparing Zipair to other carriers.

Limited Schedules

As a new airline, Zipair currently has a limited schedule and destinations. From San Jose, there is only one daily flight. Travelers with flexible dates can check their calendar for cheaper fares on less popular days. Those without flexible dates may have no choice but to pay higher fares due to the limited options.

Booking Process

Zipair’s online booking process is smooth and user-friendly. Passengers can add extras like bags and meals later if undecided at booking. One annoyance is that even basic seat selection comes with a fee, and exit rows with extra legroom incur an additional charge.

Check-In and Airport Experience

Quick and Easy Check-In

The check-in process at San Jose is quick and efficient. Zipair opens check-in 3 hours before each flight, and passengers can breeze through bag drop and security in under 30 minutes. There are no long check-in lines even an hour before departure.

Limited Airport Services

As a budget airline, Zipair offers limited airport services, with no airport lounges or priority security lines. Despite adding Global Entry information during booking, it may not appear on boarding passes. Still, security lines move swiftly.

Onboard the Flight

Standard Legroom Seats

Zipair’s standard economy seats are arranged 3-3-3 with average legroom for US airlines. On an almost 11-hour flight to Japan, the seats can feel cramped, especially if the seat ahead reclines fully. Paying extra for exit row seating provides abundant legroom.

Amenities and Entertainment

There is no seatback entertainment. Passengers need to connect their own devices to the plane’s spotty, slow wi-fi to access a limited selection of movies and shows through their web browser. Downloaded entertainment is recommended as backup. Bathrooms are clean, seats have standard power outlets and USB ports, and complimentary water is distributed mid-flight. Reasonably priced food, drinks and amenities can be purchased onboard after an hour of flight time.

Bumpy Ride

Significant turbulence is common when cruising near Alaska on this long transpacific route. The plane may shake violently at times, but the seatbelt sign is diligently kept on so passengers stay safely seated. This can occur on any airline for this flight path.

Service and Comfort After Landing

Quick Disembarkation

Upon landing at Narita Airport, the plane disembarks swiftly. However, customs and immigration can take over an hour due to limited staffing. Having Global Entry ready helps speed up the process. With prompt luggage delivery, passengers can expect to exit the airport about 90 minutes after landing.

Airport Transfers

A downside of Narita vs Haneda Airport is the 1.5-2 hour drive into Tokyo. Zipair only flies into Narita, so airport transfers or train tickets should be booked in advance since taxi queues can be long. This is still cheaper than conventional airlines flying into Haneda.

In summary, Zipair provides an affordable way to fly to Tokyo without excessive sacrifices in comfort, even in standard seats. The key pros include very cheap base fares, only paying for desired amenities, quick and easy airport check-in, reasonably priced extras onboard, and free inflight wifi. The cons are limited schedules, no seatback entertainment, cramped legroom for long flights, no airport lounge access, and lengthy customs and immigration. For substantial savings, the tradeoffs may be acceptable to budget-conscious travelers who prioritize price over amenities and can navigate a low-cost carrier. With managed expectations, Zipair makes Tokyo more accessible thanks to its low fares.

Budget Airline with Amenities for a Fee

As a low-cost carrier, Zipair provides basic transportation from point A to point B for cheap base fares. However, they offer extra amenities for additional fees. Travelers can pay for options like checked luggage, inflight meals and drinks, seat selection, onboard wifi, and more. This allows customers to customize their flight by only paying for the services they want. While the base fare may seem very cheap, be sure to factor in fees for bags, food, reserved seats when comparing to full-service airlines.

Long-Haul Flight Experience

For long-haul flights over 10 hours like San Jose to Tokyo, the economy cabin can feel cramped, especially for tall travelers. The seats have standard legroom but little padding. Reclining seats ahead can further reduce space. Travelers aiming for comfort may want to pay extra for exit row seats with ample legroom. Inflight entertainment is limited to your personal device connected to free but inconsistent wifi. Downloading movies beforehand is recommended. Zipair flights typically encounter occasional turbulence crossing the Pacific. The crew keeps the fasten seat belt sign illuminated to ensure safety.

New Routes and Updated Offerings

As a new airline established in 2020, Zipair continues to expand routes and services. In 2022, they launched long-haul flights beyond Asia to destinations like Los Angeles and San Jose. They plan new routes like Seoul and Honolulu in the future. Over time, their schedules have increased to offer more daily flight options. And amenities have improved with the introduction of new perks like free inflight wifi. While still a barebones experience, Zipair constantly tweaks offerings based on customer feedback.

Reviews and Recommendations

According to customer reviews, Zipair provides solid value given the low base fares. Budget-minded travelers willing to sacrifice some comforts and prep their own food and entertainment can fly to Tokyo at a fraction of the standard cost. Yet amenities like lie-flat business class seats are also available for those seeking an enhanced experience. Most reviews recommend Zipair for flexible travelers who don’t mind navigating a low-cost carrier. Though not for everyone, it can deliver savings over 35% for flights to Tokyo.

Customer Reviews of Zipair

Most customer reviews of Zipair are positive given the cheap airfares. Budget-conscious travelers willing to prepare their own inflight amenities don’t mind the lack of included extras. Many praise the friendly Japanese flight attendants who provide courteous service despite limitations as a low-cost carrier. Some reviews warned that standard legroom seats feel overly cramped on lengthy flights to Tokyo. Taller travelers often book exit row seats for extra legroom. Negative reviews cite barebones amenities, limited inflight entertainment, and spotty wifi as drawbacks. But overall, customer feedback confirms Zipair as an affordable way to fly to Tokyo if you set expectations accordingly.

Extras and Amenities

Zipair does offer a variety of inflight extras and amenities for purchase if desired. Food and drink options range from light snacks like chips to full noodle-based meals. Inflight shopping lets you buy items like neck pillows, headphones, and comfort packages. Lie-flat business class seats provide a way to fly in enhanced comfort. Travel insurance gives peace of mind against potential cancellation issues. One underutilized inflight amenity is free wifi, though speeds are inconsistent. Downloading entertainment ahead of time allows you to pass the time despite limited inflight screens. While priced separately, Zipair does furnish options to enhance the journey.

Luggage Allowances

When flying with Zipair, be aware of luggage allowances if you want to avoid fees. Carry-on bags are permitted but restricted to 10 kg maximum for standard fares. Checked bags up to 20 kg incur a fee starting around $50 per piece. Prepaying for checked luggage keeps costs minimal, so know your baggage needs when booking. Some customer reviews mentioned Zipair was not overly strict about weighing carry-on bags as long as they fit in the sizers. Still, it’s smart to pack as lightly as possible. Soft-sided duffel bags can squash down if needed to avoid excess luggage costs.

Travel Tips

Given Zipair’s low-cost model, what can savvy travelers do to maximize the experience? Booking exit row or business class seats provides more space and comfort for long flights. Bring neck pillows, snacks, empty water bottles, entertainment, and other essentials. Be ready for limited recline andseat padding. Keep inflated during the inevitably dry flight. Stay hydrated with your own drinks. Socializing with neighbors makes time pass quickly. Move around on breaks. Prepare for turbulence. And most crucially, keep expectations realistic. Follow these tips and advice from customer reviews to have an informed, cost-effective flight to Tokyo on Zipair.

To Sum It Up

When flying with Zipair to Tokyo, be prepared that it is a true no-frills budget airline. There are extra charges for amenities many travellers consider essential on long flights – like checked luggage, inflight meals and drinks, seat selection, and more. The airline provides the bare minimum to deliver you safely from point A to B. While the cost savings can be substantial compared to full-service airlines, you must pay extra for bags, food, seat assignments, and essentially everything beyond the flight itself. The airline relies on ancillary fees for profitability. Inflight wifi is free but can be spotty. Most customer reviews say despite barebones service, Zipair offers solid value given the low base fares. Still, flyers should understand what they are getting with a low-cost carrier before booking. For some, the lack of amenities and complimentary refreshments could make a 12+ hour flight uncomfortable. Though I’d fly Zipair again for the savings, I do suggest bringing your own food, entertainment, and comfort items for the best experience.

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