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Overnight “Owl” Trips to Japan for 230,000 Won

Posted February. 04, 2004 23:27,   


All Nippon Airways and Skymark Airlines are the most affordable airline companies for trips between Korea and Japan. They are connecting Incheon Airport and Haneda Airport one to three times a week with their late-night chartered planes. The ticket prices range from 210,000 won to 270,000 won. This is an exceptional bargain.

This is possible because they are all red-eye flights, which are quite inconvenient for conventional travelers. The weekend trip (one night, three, days) departs Incheon on Saturday at 3:00 a.m. and arrives at Haneda at 5:00 a.m. The returning trip departs Haneda at 11:30 p.m. and arrives in Incheon at 2:00 a.m. The passengers to Haneda should arrive by 12:30 a.m. at Incheon Airport and returning passengers will return home at 5:00 a.m. Therefore, sleep to and from Japan will be skipped. “Tokyo Owl” by Skymark and “ANA Lightning Bug” are names that phrase this characteristic well.

Despite the inconvenience, the popularity of these chartered flights never goes down. It is all because those “owls” can make the best of their weekend without having to spend much money. The passengers are mostly women in their twenties, with women passengers numbering 80 percent as a whole. There are mothers who carry kimchi to support their children studying in Japan, teenage shoppers of Japanese manga and games, and people in their thirties who shop for electronics or clothing. Many of them do not speak Japanese. They picked up their information through travel stories on travel agency websites, guidebooks, and information pamphlets. They are still not deterred in browsing Tokyo and its surrounding area via subways and trains.

The passengers are required to stay in Tokyo for one night. Almost 95 percent of them purchase an air-tel offer with a flight ticket and an accommodation. The price for the one night, three day offer ranges from 230,000 to 500,000 won by Skymark according to accommodation; ANA offers theirs for 299,000 won and 329,000 won for Saturday departures. Transportation in Japan and other fees are, of course, on the travelers. The estimated cost of the travel excursion is around 10,000 to 15,000 yen.

The passengers are not all Koreans. After the Koreans get off, then the Japanese step on. That way, the planes travel between Japan and Korea every weekend. The Japanese are also taking “owl” trips. They usually head to the Namdaemoon market first, and then they head to famous tourist attractions in the city. Their Korean counterparts visit Nikko, Hakone, and Yokohama.

Other creations of night travels are developed by Korean agencies. Doctor Travel Inc. offers a one night, two day ski trip in which travelers can enjoy skiing at the Shiga Highland and the Gitashiga Highland, Nagano only for 449,000 won. The price is certainly ground breaking since they are some of the best and the largest ski resorts in Japan.