I Need Some Help DS just got his orders to Japan

DevilDog

10-Year Member
Hi all. My USAF DS pilot, just found out he is going to Japan to fly C-130's. He will be stationed in Yukota, which is close to Tokyo. Does anyone or has anyone had experience with this base? Also, I was looking on line to check out flights to Tokyo for when my wife and I will visit. The airfares to Japan are majorly expensive. Does anyone know the least expensive way to get there? I am getting older, have had some significant health problems over the past 6 years, I want to make sure I see him and his wife.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, especially from experience.
 

hornetguy

10-Year Member
My USAFA best friend and room mate has been flying C-130s at Yokota since 2015. He loves it there and loves the flying they do (along with the sweet TDYs). I have also spent a month or so at Yokota (and I lived in Tokyo as a kid). It's a great base in a great location. He lucked out on his dream sheet!

Flights can be tough. From major hubs like LAX, SFO, SJC, IAH you can find flights ranging from $750+ for round trip. They have direct flights but those seem to be really expensive, at least from SFO/SJC. I know American Airlines has decent award travel with points. Having done many 14 hour flights, I can begrudgingly handle economy but it will be a pretty miserable experience if you have significant health issues. EconomyPlus (or the airline's equivalent) are comfortable but sometimes deals are hard to find. I did the 14 hour Houston-Narita flight often as a kid - its brutal in economy on United. I would actually recommend trying to find flight options on foreign airlines (or US carriers doing codeshare on foreign carriers). Often they are similar price but the flight experience is WAY more comfortable. There's usually good options on Singapore Air, ANA, and JAL.

If Space-A is an option for you, Travis has fairly regular rotators to Yokota.

Good luck and congrats to your son!
 

THParent

Member

DevilDog

10-Year Member
My USAFA best friend and room mate has been flying C-130s at Yokota since 2015. He loves it there and loves the flying they do (along with the sweet TDYs). I have also spent a month or so at Yokota (and I lived in Tokyo as a kid). It's a great base in a great location. He lucked out on his dream sheet!

Flights can be tough. From major hubs like LAX, SFO, SJC, IAH you can find flights ranging from $750+ for round trip. They have direct flights but those seem to be really expensive, at least from SFO/SJC. I know American Airlines has decent award travel with points. Having done many 14 hour flights, I can begrudgingly handle economy but it will be a pretty miserable experience if you have significant health issues. EconomyPlus (or the airline's equivalent) are comfortable but sometimes deals are hard to find. I did the 14 hour Houston-Narita flight often as a kid - its brutal in economy on United. I would actually recommend trying to find flight options on foreign airlines (or US carriers doing codeshare on foreign carriers). Often they are similar price but the flight experience is WAY more comfortable. There's usually good options on Singapore Air, ANA, and JAL.

If Space-A is an option for you, Travis has fairly regular rotators to Yokota.

Good luck and congrats to your son!
Thank you for the response. He is very excited, he wanted Yokota or Ramhein. He said the flying is really cool there. I do not know what Space-A is.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
My USAFA best friend and room mate has been flying C-130s at Yokota since 2015. He loves it there and loves the flying they do (along with the sweet TDYs). I have also spent a month or so at Yokota (and I lived in Tokyo as a kid). It's a great base in a great location. He lucked out on his dream sheet!

Flights can be tough. From major hubs like LAX, SFO, SJC, IAH you can find flights ranging from $750+ for round trip. They have direct flights but those seem to be really expensive, at least from SFO/SJC. I know American Airlines has decent award travel with points. Having done many 14 hour flights, I can begrudgingly handle economy but it will be a pretty miserable experience if you have significant health issues. EconomyPlus (or the airline's equivalent) are comfortable but sometimes deals are hard to find. I did the 14 hour Houston-Narita flight often as a kid - its brutal in economy on United. I would actually recommend trying to find flight options on foreign airlines (or US carriers doing codeshare on foreign carriers). Often they are similar price but the flight experience is WAY more comfortable. There's usually good options on Singapore Air, ANA, and JAL.

If Space-A is an option for you, Travis has fairly regular rotators to Yokota.

Good luck and congrats to your son!
Thank you for the response. He is very excited, he wanted Yokota or Ramhein. He said the flying is really cool there. I do not know what Space-A is.
Your userid is "DevilDog" so perhaps people are thinking that you are retired or reserve military. If that is the case, you are allowed to "hitchhike" on military
aircraft if there is SPACE AVAILABLE (aka Space-A) for you.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Or, save up for an extended trip to Japan, “bucket list vacation,” when he knows where to go and what to do.

Plan trips to meet in Hawaii. He can hop there, book a military rec cabin on a military beach or rooms at the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach, the military rec hotel.
 

Stealth_81

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Founding Member
I agree on checking out the foreign airlines. We visited son #1 in Korea earlier this year. We got flights on China Eastern from Chicago to Seoul for $602 round trip. The one catch was that it required a 1-night stopover in Shanghai each direction which was a great and unique experience in itself. I will also say that the service and food on the flight was way better than anything I have ever seen on an American-based airline.

Stealth_81
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
I’ve flown Cathay Pacific several times over the last 3 decades - Hong Kong, Singapore, Narita, Bangkok, others. Always a good experience.
 

2022mom

Member
I lived on the navy base Yokosuka 2014-16 and have been to Yakota many times over those two years. He will love it. Public transportation is easy to get around and traveling to Southeast Asia for vacation is cheap and easy. As far as flights, set an alert up on kayak to keep an eye out for cheap flights. If you can go during Sakura season (cherry blossom) usually end of March, it is one of the most beautiful times of the year.
 
We live near Columbus, Ohio but always book from either Chicago or NYC overseas. We can typically finagle a cheap flight to the hub we are leaving from and get a much better rate. Cathay Pacific is amazing.
 
I agree on checking out the foreign airlines. We visited son #1 in Korea earlier this year. We got flights on China Eastern from Chicago to Seoul for $602 round trip. The one catch was that it required a 1-night stopover in Shanghai each direction which was a great and unique experience in itself. I will also say that the service and food on the flight was way better than anything I have ever seen on an American-based airline.

Stealth_81
We've eyeballed China Eastern but haven't tried them yet. Good to know. Son flew RT to Bangkok for $600 on Cathay Pacific to Thailand from Chicago and was upgraded to business class. His travel time included a short layover in Hong Kong. Oh la la is all I can say from the pics.
 

DevilDog

10-Year Member
My USAFA best friend and room mate has been flying C-130s at Yokota since 2015. He loves it there and loves the flying they do (along with the sweet TDYs). I have also spent a month or so at Yokota (and I lived in Tokyo as a kid). It's a great base in a great location. He lucked out on his dream sheet!

Flights can be tough. From major hubs like LAX, SFO, SJC, IAH you can find flights ranging from $750+ for round trip. They have direct flights but those seem to be really expensive, at least from SFO/SJC. I know American Airlines has decent award travel with points. Having done many 14 hour flights, I can begrudgingly handle economy but it will be a pretty miserable experience if you have significant health issues. EconomyPlus (or the airline's equivalent) are comfortable but sometimes deals are hard to find. I did the 14 hour Houston-Narita flight often as a kid - its brutal in economy on United. I would actually recommend trying to find flight options on foreign airlines (or US carriers doing codeshare on foreign carriers). Often they are similar price but the flight experience is WAY more comfortable. There's usually good options on Singapore Air, ANA, and JAL.

If Space-A is an option for you, Travis has fairly regular rotators to Yokota.

Good luck and congrats to your son!
Thank you for the response. He is very excited, he wanted Yokota or Ramhein. He said the flying is really cool there. I do not know what Space-A is.
Your userid is "DevilDog" so perhaps people are thinking that you are retired or reserve military. If that is the case, you are allowed to "hitchhike" on military
aircraft if there is SPACE AVAILABLE (aka Space-A) for you.
Long ago Marine.
 

AJC

Member
If you connect through Seoul, Korea it is much cheaper.
Also Air Canada through Toronto is cheaper than flying direct to Narita .
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
EVA airlines...Taiwan airline, flies fairly inexpensive from CA to Taipei; then you'd have to switch to a flight up to Tokyo. They might be a lower fare though. And their three class airplanes: coach (do NOT fly that), mid-level (VERY nice, like business class was 20 years ago) and their version of business class which is too expensive for what you get. Guess which option my wife and I use?

Yokota is a GREAT assignment for a new pilot!!

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

DevilDog

10-Year Member
EVA airlines...Taiwan airline, flies fairly inexpensive from CA to Taipei; then you'd have to switch to a flight up to Tokyo. They might be a lower fare though. And their three class airplanes: coach (do NOT fly that), mid-level (VERY nice, like business class was 20 years ago) and their version of business class which is too expensive for what you get. Guess which option my wife and I use?

Yokota is a GREAT assignment for a new pilot!!

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
Thanks for the help. This is actually his second assignment. He has been an IP for the last few years. This was his 1st choice on his wish list. My wife and I would have preferred Ramstein or Travis. He is young, and just got married, they are looking for an adventure.
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
EVA airlines...Taiwan airline, flies fairly inexpensive from CA to Taipei; then you'd have to switch to a flight up to Tokyo. They might be a lower fare though. And their three class airplanes: coach (do NOT fly that), mid-level (VERY nice, like business class was 20 years ago) and their version of business class which is too expensive for what you get. Guess which option my wife and I use?

Yokota is a GREAT assignment for a new pilot!!

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
Thanks for the help. This is actually his second assignment. He has been an IP for the last few years. This was his 1st choice on his wish list. My wife and I would have preferred Ramstein or Travis. He is young, and just got married, they are looking for an adventure.
Ahh...I missed that; second assignment.

Okay...tell them to hold off on kids and ENJOY ASIA!!! Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, etc...etc...etc...

THEN...the family if that's their plan.

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

fencersmother

10-Year Member
Founding Member
My son's dear friend from his winging class had his first assignment in Japan. HE LOVED IT, as did his then-new wife. WAY better then Hell-Rio.
 
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