Is Zipair a good airline?

Are you considering travelling to Japan and searching for an affordable yet reliable airline to get you there? Look no further than ZIPAIR. In this comprehensive review, we discuss “Is Zipair a good airline”, Japan’s pioneering low-cost flight, to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your next journey.

What is ZIPAIR?

ZIPAIR is a budget airline owned by Japan Airlines. It offers something different from other low-cost carriers.

One of the most striking features of ZIPAIR is its innovative approach to cabin classes. Unlike traditional low-cost carriers that offer only economy seating, ZIPAIR provides passengers with the option to upgrade to its version of business class, known as ZIP Full-Flat. While the lie-flat seats provide extra comfort during long flights, passengers should know that they’ll need to pay extra for additional services like meals and checked baggage.

Pros and Cons

Like any airline, ZIPAIR has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a rundown of what we love and what we don’t love about flying with ZIPAIR:

What we love about ZIPAIR:

  • Affordable fares, particularly on routes to Japan
  • Multiple route options within the U.S.
  • Lie-flat seats available for under $2,000 roundtrip in business class

What we don’t love about it:

  • Ancillary fees for nearly everything, including meals and baggage
  • Limited route network compared to traditional carriers
  • Difficulty redeeming miles for rewards


ZIPAIR operates flights to and from Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo, Japan, connecting travellers to a variety of domestic and international destinations. ZIPAIR’s route map includes the following destinations:

  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Changi Airport, Singapore
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu
  • Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • San Jose International Airport
  • Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand

While ZIPAIR’s route network is currently focused primarily on connecting Japan with key cities in the United States, Asia, and the Pacific region, the airline continues to expand its operations and may introduce additional routes in the future. Travellers can refer to ZIPAIR’s official website or contact the airline directly for the most up-to-date information on available destinations, flight schedules, and booking options.

With its strategic hub location at Narita International Airport and a growing network of international routes, ZIPAIR provides travellers with convenient access to popular destinations around the world, making it a preferred choice for budget-conscious travellers seeking affordable and reliable air travel options.

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ZIPAIR offers two main fare types to cater to the diverse needs of travellers: Standard and ZIP Full-Flat. Additionally, the airline imposes various fees for baggage, seat selection, food, and other amenities. Let’s explore each in detail:

Types of ZIPAIR Fares

  1. Standard: This fare type includes a seat in the regular economy section of the aircraft. It provides a no-frills travel experience, getting passengers from point A to point B without additional amenities.
  2. ZIP Full-Flat: ZIP Full-Flat offers a premium experience with lie-flat seats, resembling a stripped-down version of business class. While passengers enjoy the comfort of lie-flat seats, they should be aware that additional charges apply for food, luggage, and amenity kits.

Baggage Fees

  • Carry-On Bags: ZIPAIR is relatively generous compared to other low-cost carriers, allowing passengers to bring up to two carry-on bags free of charge. The dimensions for the first bag are 16 inches X 10 inches X 21 inches, while the second bag can measure 14 inches X 10 inches X 18 inches.
  • Weight of the bags: The combined weight of both bags must not exceed 15.4 pounds. However, overweight bags up to 26 pounds combined can be brought for a fee, which is $41 on flights from the US to Tokyo.
  • Checked Luggage: All checked luggage is subject to charges, with prices varying based on the destination and weight of the bag. For instance, on flights from the US to Tokyo, a 50-pound bag will cost passengers $59.

Seat Selection Fees

Seat selection fees on ZIPAIR flights vary depending on the route and the type of seat chosen. Passengers can choose seats up to 24 hours before the flight, except for exit row seats and seats in the first row, which can only be booked up to 48 hours before takeoff. While passengers who opt not to pay for seat selection will be automatically assigned a seat at check-in, changes are not permitted. Booking seats online or via ZIPAIR’s contact centre incurs an additional charge, so passengers are advised to book online to save money.

Here are some examples of seat selection fees on flights from the U.S. to Tokyo:

Other Fees

In addition to baggage and seat selection fees, ZIPAIR also imposes charges for food from $9 to $20. However, Wi-Fi is provided free of charge onboard.

ZIPAIR Travel Experience

Check-In Process

ZIPAIR’s website mentions that eligible customers will be automatically checked in for their flight 24 hours before departure. However, currently, ZIPAIR does not offer online check-in. All passengers must visit the airport to have their documents verified and receive their boarding passes.

Lounge Access

Indulge in pre-flight pampering at the Narita TraveLounge. For just $12, enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, tantalizing beverages, and delightful desserts. It’s the perfect start to your journey.


Since ZIPAIR doesn’t prioritize passengers with elite status, the boarding process is straightforward. Boarding occurs by row, with those seated in the front rows boarding first. This means that passengers in ZIP Full-Flat seats are among the first to board, as they are located at the front of the plane.

Economy Class

In ZIPAIR’s economy class, seats are arranged in rows of three, offering standard width and legroom. While the cabin may appear worn, it feels less cramped due to thinner seats and a less crowded layout. However, comfort may be limited for longer flights. Meal service is not provided, but passengers can pre-order food or purchase snacks and drinks onboard using the in-flight Wi-Fi service

Business Class

ZIPAIR Food Menu

ZIPAIR’s business class features Full-Flat seats in a 1x2x1 layout, offering direct aisle access. While slightly narrower at 20 inches, they provide 42 inches of pitch before reclining fully. There’s no onboard entertainment, but passengers can use free Wi-Fi for movies and shows, and order food/drinks. Blankets are not provided but are available for purchase. Despite this, ZIPAIR’s business class offers great value for long-haul flights across the Pacific.


In summary, ZIPAIR offers a great choice for travellers who want affordable flights to Japan and other places. While it’s a budget airline and has some downsides like extra fees and fewer amenities, it still offers good value overall. Whether you’re watching your budget or just want a different flying experience, ZIPAIR could be a good option for your next trip.

So, is ZIPAIR a good airline? It depends on what you’re looking for as a traveller. But with its fair prices, different cabin choices, and more routes, ZIPAIR is making a mark in air travel.

Disclaimer: All information provided in this review is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Travellers are encouraged to verify details directly with ZIPAIR before making any bookings or travel arrangements. Visit their website at to book your next adventure!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you book travel or make purchases using these links.

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