‘Travel Gratefully’ is a series of special or sponsored write ups that add more value and gratitude during my travels. The topics cover unique grateful experiences with specific people, things, places, and many others. For sponsored write ups, all are inspired by my experiences and nothing else. All posted articles are deemed worthy and in line with the main goal of this blog series which is to inspire MORE grateful travelling.
Please note that as of December 2016, there are no direct flights from Manila to Sapporo from any airline. Only connecting flights are available.
I first became aware of Jetstar Airlines back in 2010 during my Australia trip. I did not use Jetstar at the time but I noticed it because of its bright orange star when I was on my way to a boarding gate in Sydney. Since then, more local low cost airlines started to emerge so I never really looked into booking with Jetstar.
But last April 2015, the airline had a sponsored post on Facebook promoting a seat sale to Japan. I was looking for a graduation gift for my sister then and I really wanted to travel to Japan as I have never been so I definitely checked out the sale. Browsing the website, I was so surprised to see the price. I would always see Japan roundtrip tickets to cost as much as P20,000 to P50,000 for one person so to find out that I would be able to fly to Japan for only P7,723.29, I immediately booked a flight for me and my sister.
After having a really good first experience with this airline, I signed up for the Jetstar newsletter so that I would get updates on seat sale promos for Japan or other Asian countries. I also followed all their social media pages as well.
In the first half of 2016, there was another Jetstar seat sale. Since my 26th birthday was nearing, my mother decided to take me to Japan. We were able to book tickets to Japan for only P5,840.00 each.
Here is a summary of the Jetstar flights I have taken so far:
|Travel Date||Destination||Amount||Roundtrip Hours||Inclusions|
|April 2015||June 2015||Manila to Osaka (Kansai)||
|February 2016||April 2016||Manila to Nagoya (Chubu)||
Having really good experiences with Jetstar so far, I really look out for seat sales on social media platforms. Having fallen in love with Japan as well, I am like a deer when headlights come on whenever there is a Jetstar seat sale to this amazing country.
In the past 2 years, I have been to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo, Nagoya, Takayama, & Shirakawago. My love for Japan has indeed grown. Aside from Hiroshima, Mt Fuji, among others, the place I really wanted to visit was Sapporo. It was at the TOP of my MUST VISIT places list in Japan. So whenever there is a Jetstar seat sale, I would always check the prices for a Manila to Sapporo flight.
Based on research, I think JETSTAR is the ONLY LOW COST airline that has a connecting flight from MANILA to SAPPORO. There are Philippine low cost airlines that have flights to Japan but not one that has another flight to Sapporo. There are other Japanese low cost airlines to Sapporo but not one that has another flight to Manila. If you know of any other low cost airlines that have connecting flights from Manila to Sapporo, please comment below.
Knowing this, I decided to take a chance and contact Jetstar and ask them if they wanted this flight to be featured on my blog series. I got an email a few hours later telling me that they would be giving me a complimentary flight from Manila to Sapporo via Nagoya. I was so stunned. In my mind, I was thinking “OMG I am finally going to experience Sapporo” over and over again. I am so grateful to the Jetstar marketing team for the opportunity. Thank you very much!
I did some random bookings on http://www.jetstar.com/ph/en/home and Skyscanner. Here are just some options if you are interested in flying with Jetstar from Manila to Sapporo (as of December 2016):
|Roundtrip hours with transit||Lowest Average Price (when you book on normal dates)||
Lowest Price (when you book during seat sale promos)
|Manila to Sapporo (via Nagoya)||
Manila to Nagoya: P4,999+
Nagoya to Sapporo:
|Manila to Sapporo (via Tokyo)||
Manila to Tokyo:
Tokyo to Sapporo:
These are the lowest average prices I found in the next 6 months from the Jetstar website. For the promo prices, those were the amounts I was able to see during seat sales of Jetstar plus Skyscanner lowest prices. These prices do not include add-ons like meals, reserved seats, baggage, etc and taxes. These are just estimated prices from random checking. These are not set in stone.
So how was my flight experience from Manila to Sapporo with Jetstar?
For my flight to Sapporo:
12:50 MD to 5:55 AM
Manila to Nagoya
5:55 AM to 8:30 AM
|8:30 AM to 10:15 AM||
Nagoya to Sapporo
I have already taken the Manila to Nagoya flight last April 2016 so it was nothing new. The check-in counter opened exactly 3 hours before the flight at 9:50 PM. We boarded the plane at around 1:00 AM. What I loved about the Japanese Jetstar crew is that even though it was 1:00 AM, they still greet you enthusiastically. The head stewardess even complimented my smile.
Every time we get on a plane, we should always greet the flight attendants with grateful smiles. We should always show them how much appreciation we have for them. They will be checking up on us from time to time and make sure that we enjoy our flight.
I was seated at the emergency exit seat. Actually, I am fine with any seat, exit or not. But if you prefer more leg room during a 3-4 hour flight, make sure to add a reserved seat to your booking.
The flight from Manila to Nagoya went smooth except for the latter part wherein the pilot advised that it was very windy at the Chubu Centrair Airport. It was winter so it was very cold and windy in many parts of Japan. I think the descent was a bit long and had some turbulence because of the strong winds but we were able to land safely on the runway.
The plane parked away from the arrival gate so we were picked up by a bus. Make sure to bring a jacket because once you step out the plane, it will be very cold.
Please note that Jetstar has no thorough check-in baggage so even if you have a connecting flight to Sapporo, you still need to pick up your luggage or bags and check them in again at the transit airport.
After immigration, I easily spotted my luggage at the baggage claim belt. Domestic check-in counters are just a floor up and it was not hard to find the Jetstar counter. I handed my luggage, passport, and ticket and I was given a receipt as a boarding pass. Check-in was really quick.
I had around 1.5 hours to spare before my boarding but I decided to rest at the gate as I have already explored Chubu Airport during my last trip. Make sure you go to the observation deck where you can see planes depart and land. There are so many convenience stores and restaurants as well plus money exchange counters.
At the Chubu boarding gate for Sapporo, there was a nearby kiosk where you can fix your things and charge your devices. Wi-fi is pretty strong at this airport as well. We boarded the plane at 8:05 AM and I noticed that we used the same kind of plane that was used for the Manila to Nagoya flight which was an A320. I was surprised that this flight was fuller than the international flight. A lot of locals really travel to Sapporo.
The flight was really quick and smooth. After about an hour into the flight, the captain already advised of descent. Most announcements are in Japanese and some are translated in English but not all.
I was seated at the front of the flight and seeing the view outside, I was really amazed. The clouds were a lot fluffier than usual. It was really a beautiful view in the morning after being on a 4 hour flight + 2 hour transit + another 1.5 hour flight. The view of the sun and clouds just makes you realize that it’s a new day. It’s a new place. There will be new experiences. It was a grateful moment. It was my arrival in Sapporo. It was my moment.
The plane parked away from the airport again and we were picked up by a bus. Once we arrived at the gates, the baggage belt was already moving and I already spotted my luggage. It was so efficient! I love the Japanese! ANG GALING TALAGA! After I picked up my luggage, there was a big beautiful photograph right above the baggage belt that said WELCOME TO HOKKAIDO! I’ve definitely arrived!
Overall, the Manila to Sapporo flight was great. The descent with turbulence at Nagoya just got me a little dizzy but in the end, I was grateful and satisfied with the Jetstar flight.
For my flight back to Manila,
3:55 PM to 5:55 PM
|Sapporo to Nagoya|
5:55 PM to 8:10 PM
|8:10 PM to 11:35 PM||
Nagoya to Manila
When I woke up on the day of my flight and opened my window curtains, what I saw outside made me have super mixed feelings. First, I felt like a kid giddy and amazed at the snow flurries falling outside. But on the other hand, I felt nervous because my flight was on that day and if it kept on snowing that hard, there could be possible delays and cancellations.
I shrugged off the nervous feeling and just enjoyed the amazing white snow for the time being. When I reached the airport, check-in opened exactly 2 hours before the flight. When the lady at the counter was checking my flight, she told me that my Sapporo to Nagoya flight was delayed. My first reaction of course, was to worry. I only had 2 hours and 10 mins in transit at Nagoya so with the delay, I would only have 1 hour & 10 mins to pick up my baggage from the domestic arrival gate, check-in, pass through immigration, and walk to the international boarding gate.
The Jetstar staff assured me that they would notify the team at Nagoya and will assist me to make sure that I get on my next flight.
In flights like these, especially in a place where it snows a lot, you have to expect delays or cancellations. While waiting for my Sapporo to Nagoya flight, I thought of every possible option that could happen. I was only human and in matters like these, we worry. But I made sure that I packed extra clothes and money in case I end up in situations like these.
I did most of the gift shopping at the Sapporo (New Chitose) airport so that I would not have to worry about it in Nagoya. Setting aside the delay, the airport really looked amazing with a lot of snow around it. Even if it caused something negative, it really looked positive. I tried my best to just see the positive things around me instead of worrying.
Since it was snowing outside, there was no bus ride. The aircraft was near the gate. We boarded the plane at 4:45 PM and departed at around 5:15 PM. Announcement for descent was made at 6:30 PM and we landed at around 7:05 PM. When the plane doors opened, I stood up so quickly and rushed out with those in front. We rode the bus to the arrival gate and when I stepped out, someone was calling my name. When I saw the Jetstar staff holding up a sign with my name on it, I felt so relieved. I knew then that I would be okay.
She led me to baggage claim and told me that I will reach my flight back home. After I got my luggage, I checked it in again at the international departure counters. I ran to immigration and finished after 5 minutes. I got to shop for about 15 minutes and when I reached the boarding gate, it was already the final call. In that moment, I felt so relieved and grateful at the same time.
After that, everything went smoothly.
It was a grateful end to my amazing Hokkaido adventure.
I was really lucky that my delay was just an hour. We have to realize that it is not the airlines’ fault if things like that happened. There are really factors that we cannot control and the airlines just want its passengers to be as safe as they can. If delays or cancellations happen, I am sure it is for the passenger’s well being and safety. It is alright to get impatient or to worry, but in the end, we have to accept what is. We just have to make the best out of the option(s) handed to us and take everything positively from there.
Because of this Jetstar flight, I had one of the most amazing travel experiences I have ever had in my entire life so far.
Because of this Jetstar flight, I got to experience Niseko.
Because of this Jetstar flight, I got to explore Sapporo.
Because of this Jetstar flight, I got to visit Otaru.
Because of this Jetstar flight, I got to increase my levels of patience and gratitude.
We sometimes overlook the significance of flights.
It starts our adventures.
It brings us back home.
It makes us fly.
Flights are important parts of our travels. We should always be grateful for them – the flight, the crew, the management. Never take your flights for granted! Always be grateful for your flights!
FLIGHT FREQUENCY (As of December 2016)
Manila to Nagoya: Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Fridays
Nagoya to Sapporo (and vice versa): Everyday
Nagoya to Manila: Saturdays, Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays
Manila to Tokyo (and vice versa): Everyday
Tokyo to Sapporo (and vice versa): Everyday
Fly Gratefully from MANILA to SAPPORO With JETSTAR!
Book your flight TODAY!