We have all heard of the ZIPAIR news making its rounds on social media. The airline, with a full-flat seat has finally started offering flights from Singapore to Tokyo. A subsidiary of Japan Airlines, ZIPAIR was formed to compete with other budget airlines for the ever-growing Japan market in Asia. Is it really an airline you should go for? Read on to find out more!
ZIPAIR only has flights going to Tokyo from Singapore, specifically Narita Airport. They offer two types of seats and have a variety of different add-ons that you will have to go thoroughly through to make sure you do not get charged extra! You can book your flights up to 6 months in advance, too.
Their check-in counters for ZIPAIR are located on the second floor of Terminal 1, Changi Airport. For Narita Airport, it is located on the fourth floor of the north wing of Terminal 1.
When you first open up the booking page of the website, you will be greeted by a calendar-style booking system with an option to choose either the standard seat or their hyped ZIP Full-Flat seat. You can book tickets even on the day itself! I tried booking today (25 September) and was offered a flight for 5pm. However, I do not recommend booking your flights last minute (unless it is due to unforeseen circumstances like flight cancellations etc).
Important to note! All prices are in USD, so remember to change your currency on the home page before choosing your destination!
Note: All prices are for round-trips. It is not inclusive of check-in baggage fees, in-flight meals and other services.
From October to December, Standard tickets range from $212 to $662 for in-bound and outbound each! Most of the tickets that are on the expensive side are for Fridays to Sundays, as well as during the most sought-after month: December.
ZIP Full-Flat tickets are (expectedly) much more expensive. Ranging from $662 to $1, 462, the tickets are up to 3 times more expensive than regular seats! These seats are limited, however. Hence I recommend booking a month in advance, at least, to enjoy them.
There is only one flight out of Singapore daily, so booking in advance is highly recommended. The flight timing is only given once you have selected your dates.
From what we observe, the flight either leaves at 00:50 or 01:20 in the early mornings where you will reach Tokyo at around 9am. The duration of the flight is 6h 45 minutes. Returning flights are done at 5.20pm and you will reach Singapore close to midnight.
There are two flight packages that you can choose from: Value or Premium. For an additional $66 for Value, you will be able to book your seat in advance, have an in-flight meal and be allowed to check-in baggage of up to 30kg.
For an additional $122 for Premium, you can select your seat in advance as well, have an in-flight meal, be given an amenities set (without a tote bag), be able to check-in baggage of up to 30kg and bring on-board carry-ons totalling 15kg.
There is another package offered but it depends on its availability. It is the Biz Package with seat selection and an additional carry-on included for $39.
There are two types of seats available for ZIPAIR: Full-Flat and Standard. We will be covering any information about the seats here!
However, there is a common characteristic that both seats share which is: No in-flight entertainment systems. They do offer free Wi-Fi for all passengers, though. You can either use your own devices to watch videos or listen to music. Or you can use their own selection of entertainment on their webpage. Meals are also not served but can be booked in advance as well (we will cover this later on!)
Note: You are not allowed to change seats when on board the plane.
#HHWT Tip: Bring along a sleeping mask if you would like to nap in the plane during the day, as the windows do not have physical blinds. They are electronically dimmed but do not block out the sunlight fully. Especially if the sun is right outside your window.
#HHWT Tip: Download your entertainment beforehand as the Wi-Fi speed may not be high enough to accommodate all passengers streaming at the same time. You can still use the Wi-Fi to text online though!
1. ZIPAIR Full-Flat seats
ZIPAIR's Full-Flat seats are their barebones version of Business Class. It is a great way to experience the comfort of Business Class without paying the price of one! Just remember that it is not an actual Business Class, as ZIPAIR does not have any distinction. They are separated by the type of seats you choose!
The main draw for ZIPAIR's Ful-Flat seats is the ability to, well, lay fully flat which is great for the flight to Tokyo as it is in the wee hours of the morning. All of these seats have aisle access, so you do not have to worry about squeezing past others to get out of your seat. The seats in the middle have a privacy barrier, so you need not worry about the person next to you judging your entertainment choices.
Note: Passengers with children under 6 years old are not allowed to choose these seats.
#HHWT Tip: Bring along a blanket or jacket (or order an amenities kit in advance) as the seat can get cold.
2. Standard seats
The ZIPAIR standard seats are just like your regular Economy Class, except that there is no in-flight entertainment system. To enjoy the entertainment they provide, you can access it through your mobile phone with the free Wi-Fi that they provide. You can watch films, read magazines, play music, and even access content made by ZIPAIR themselves.
For kids under 6 years old, there is a U6 fare that is charged instead of the full flight ticket. An adjacent seat will be given for free for them as well. For children under the age of 2, it is encouraged to use the child seats that the airline provides! An adjacent seat will be given for free for them as well.
Strollers can be checked in for free (but are counted as check-in baggage).
To find out more, you can check out their website here!
3. Standard Booking Pricing
Front of the plane seating map | Credit: ZIPAIR
Seats can be booked in advance (with a fee). You can either opt in for a package that covers both the seats and the baggage, or you can choose the seats on your own, right before the payment page. This can be done right up until 24 hours before departure. Within 24 hours from departure, you will be assigned seats automatically based on their Auto Seat Assignment.
There are additional fees for booking different types of seats:
- Extra legroom (Yellow): $48
- Window/Aisle seat near the front (Blue)t: $18
- Middle seat (Green): $13
- Window/Aisle seat near the back (Orange): $16
- No recline seat (Purple): $4
The cheapest seat you can get are the No recline seats, which is great if you do not need to lay down to get some rest.
There are some limitations to their seats. For example, there are seats (mainly those with extra legroom) in which you cannot lift the armrest that they have stated on their website! The seats all the way at the back are also not adjacent to the windows.
Note: The pricing for outbound and inbound seats are different and we urge you to check the booking page itself!
ZIPAIR has the usual guidelines for baggage, which you can check out here! But in general, carry-ons have a leeway total of up to 7kg. However, you are only limited to 2 carry-ons for each flight, so the total weight of both carry-ons must be 7kg and below for it to be free. You can add on 1 more carry-on with a total of 15kg for all 3 luggage, for $31
For check-in baggage, however, there is a fee for every baggage that you check-in. It costs $51 for each piece and each luggage has a limit of up to 30kg. Any other specialised luggage such as sports equipment, will need to be bought separately and costs $72 to $109.
Food and drinks are not included in your basic booking. Therefore, you will have to purchase one in advance or bring your own snacks!
ZIPAIR has a variety of in-flight meal options, including halal ones! There are 3 options to choose from: Gyudon (Beef Bowl), Vegetable Penne Pasta, and Spicy Chicken Rice. All of them cost $12.53 each. For drinks, there are 3 to choose from: Water, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and Coca-Cola (with Coke Zero). Plain water costs $2.41, while the rest are $2.89 each. There is a stock limit, so the drinks might not be in stock during your flight! We recommend booking in advance if you are interested in getting a drink!
The deadline for meal bookings is based on your departure location. For departures from Japan, it is up to 24 hours before the boarding time. For international departures, it will be up to 48 hours before the boarding time.
One of the most interesting parts of ZIPAIR are its add-ons. They offer snacks such as the Tokyo Banana Kit Kats ($11.08) or the Shiroi Kobito ($8.48) cookies. However, we cannot confirm if they are halal-certified so please dine at your own discretion.
Bé-A shorts ($67.47) are also for sale. They are meant to prevent accidents from happening during menstrual cycles as it can absorb liquid and keep you feeling fresh throughout your flight with ZIPAIR. Their sizes range from S to L and come in Beige or Black.
For $24, you can get an amenities set, which includes an eye mask, neck pillows, ear plugs, slippers and a blanket.
If you are travelling back home from Narita Airport, you can opt in for the Narita TravelLounge prior to your flight for $15.42. If you purchase the option from ZIPAIR, you are entitled to one free dessert from the menu. If you pre-purchase the option, the lounge pass will be given at the check-in counter. As it is a fee-based lounge service, passengers over 12 years old need to pay fees online. Those 6 years old to 11 years old can be paid for at the counter itself
The lounge is open from 7am to around 9pm.
Is it worth it?
We looked at the price for a round-trip ticket for a week-long holiday. We chose the Value package as it encompassed the price for a meal, one check-in baggage and advanced seat bookings! It was cheaper than booking each individually without compromising on comfort! In total, it rounded up to around $660.
It is a direct 6-hour flight, AND you reach Tokyo at 9am, which is ideal for most. The flight to Tokyo is in the early hours, and it would be better to rest rather than stay awake the whole time, so the lack of in-flight is not a big issue. The packages that they offer also save costs in terms of baggage. You can definitely play around and customise your ticket to suit your needs!
The seats are limited, and there is only one flight time that you can choose. There is free Wi-Fi, but it could be unavailable during your flight (we hope not!). For big families, the luggage cost can add up and might result in a ticket as expensive as a regular airline. Additionally, you will need to prepare entertainment for younger kids since there is none on the plane. 6 hours is a long time to be cooped up!
Verdict: ZIPAIR seems worth it for solo travellers, friends or couples going for their yearly trips/honeymoons. If you have the flexibility and don't mind not having a few amenities (in-flight entertainment and meals), ZIPAIR is a good option.
At the end of the day, your comfort and safety matters the most, so choose the airline that you think fits best for your budget and needs!