#no 1 travel
No 1 Travel Agency in Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan 1,250 forum posts
#2 of 4
Wow! I had read exact the same question from a Japanese travel forum. A Japanese woman who lives in the U.S. bought a ticket from a travel agent when she backed to Tokyo and was surprised, worried and asked about her ticket. I tried to explain to you in English (=foreign language for me), but please also read the Japanese forum using online translation.
First, I understand your matter but I don t think it is unnecessary to be worried too much. I have never used No.1 Travel , so don t know their service quality; but got to know the agent name couple of times from English newspaper and magazines here. I have ever bought air tickets from travel agencies in other countries include US and Hong Kong ; it is very different system compare to them in Japan. Your situation is NOT strange here.
This is general things.
If you buy a ticket from a travel agent in Japan, it is usually to get your ticket just one week before the departure or on the flight date at Narita Airport. At Narita, there are ticket delivery counters and travel agent representatives will come. It doesn t matter the ticket is E-ticket or traditional paper type. Some representatives help for a baggage check-in as their service (perhaps you don t need, but this is one of Japanese hospitality way.)
Do you buy a ticket that is Koukuken Mimei/unknow airline preference? If so, it is happened that you will get to know which airlines you will fly in one week from the departure date and get the ticket later. As you know, Japan has Takuhaibin/Takyuubin postal system, people believe and trust that the ticket can be delivered in one day.
For reserving and confirming the ticket, travel agent need your full payment. And Travel agents can t keep seat reservation without payment. A ticket wholesaler have managed all tickets and seats. If you ask the agent ticket to airline company, the airline company doesn t tell about your seat reservation or simply they doesn t know clearly because all airlines sells a block to agents. Sometimes PNR numberings are different. The ticket from travel agent usually comes from group tour tickets and travel agents like No.1 Travel sell a air portion from a tour to a individual traveller.
So, yes. after reserving a seat, they require your payment very soon but do not issue ticket immediately. This is normal in Japan. And your $200 fare is not strange as discount tickets (=tickets from travel agents) to Asia can be often seen between 10,000 to 30,000 yen.
Few online travel agencies can issue E-ticket QUITE soon. People who want to get ticket in hand immediately prefer to buy a bit higher normal ticket from airline directly. Personally, I m always hesitated over which sellers to choose for my plane tickets — from a travel agent or a airline. Now UA sells some Asian cities 13,000+ yen and 39,000+ yen to US west coast without taxes. Unfortunately UA doesn t fly to Shanghai from Narita, Beijing will do.