I was recently asked to find a cheap flight from San Antonio, Texas to Japan, which unfortunately isn’t an easy task because San Antonio isn’t a major airport hub especially for flights headed to Asia. This meant that I would have to get creative with my flight searches. My first step was to see if I simply booked a flight from San Antonio to Japan what it would cost. I popped over to kayak.com/explore and searched for the cheapest flight in February and beginning of March. The result wasn’t great. The cheapest flight was $988 roundtrip. Ouch! I was going to have to break this flight down into smaller pieces to save money.

Sometimes it’s best to work your way backwards starting from the destination – which US airport has the cheapest flights to Japan? It’s just a matter of searching the major hub airports, 95% of the time, the cheapest flight to an international destination is going to be from another major international airport.

This search was for fights in February 2017:
Seattle to Tokyo $681
LA to Osaka $519
LA to Tokyo $518
Long Beach to Tokyo $703
San Francisco to Tokyo $515
New York to Tokyo $526
Dallas to Tokyo $954
Austin to Tokyo $894

I’m always hoping to find an amazing deal but when you are limited to a single month to search travel to one destination it can be difficult to find an amazing deal. So, these are the flight deals I had to work with. Next was to find the cheapest flight from Texas to one of these US cities.

The cheapest option was to fly out of Austin to LA. That flight would be $192 roundtrip. 

Together the flights total $710 roundtrip, Which is certainly cheaper than the direct booking price of $988 but booking flights separately do come with some risks and down sides such as the inability to check luggage under the plane and have it automatically transfer. Or if your flight is delayed or canceled, your following flights can be difficult and costly to change. However, if the layovers are long enough between tickets, you are usually pretty safe.

In conclusion, buying tickets to a specific location in a specific timeframe, makes it difficult to find good deals but there is still money to be saved.