During our June vacation this year, we visited Taiwan and Okinawa in the same trip. Being budget travellers, we flew via Scoot between Singapore and Taipei, and Peach Airlines between Taipei and Okinawa. In case you have never heard of Peach Airlines, it is a budget airline (low cost carrier / LCC) based in Japan.
Peach Airlines Experience (Taipei – Okinawa)
The seats on Peach Airlines were definitely not comfortable. Leg space was pretty cramp. I know I shouldn’t complain since it is an LCC. But considering I took another LCC, Scoot, in the same trip, I can safely say that Scoot’s seats were much more comfortable than Peach’s. And Scoot definitely had more leg space. It was bearable for the short 1.5 hours flight from Taipei to Naha, but I definitely wouldn’t take it for long flights.
If you are tall, you may want to consider paying for the emergency exit seats which have much more leg space.
Because the flight from Taipei to Okinawa was very short, the only hot meal they served was congee. They also had snacks, like this Japanese mochi we ended up buying. And sweets. And that was about it. Lesson learnt: On our return leg, we brought our own cookies to entertain the kids on the flight. If you are returning from Japan, your luggage would definitely be full of those beautifully wrapped Japanese omiyage. Just stash a box into your carry-on bag.
Currently, the flight timings for Taipei-Okinawa flight on Peach are as follows:
- Depart: 0935 Taipei – 1215 Okinawa
- Return: 0830 Okinawa – 0900 Taipei
Since the general guideline for international flights was to arrive 2 hours before the flight, the departure flight was not too bad a timing. We stayed at Zhongli in Taoyuan the night before and could leave our hotel at around 7.10am.
The return flight was a huge problem in terms of timing. We had to reach Naha Airport at 6.30am. Most car rental companies were NOT open at that time. This was one of the main reasons we had no choice but to go with OTS Rent-A-Car, which I have explained in my previous post. The problem was made WORSE by the fact that Peach used the LCC Terminal at Naha Airport. This meant an additional shuttle bus ride from the main terminal if you are thinking of getting to the airport via public transport. So just imagine how early you would have to wake up to catch this flight. (You can read our full itinerary for the trip here. We were awake at 4.30am and checked-out of our hotel at 5am that day. But I have shared some tips on how you can get more sleep in my post about OTS.)
The flights we took were very punctual. Both flights departed and arrived as scheduled.
Peach used Terminal 1 at Taoyuan International Airport. It is NOT a budget terminal, so your experience at the airport would be no different from taking a full cost carrier. You can enjoy all the facilities there. There was even a water cooler just before the boarding gate for you to fill up your water bottles to bring onto the plane. You know, so you don’t have to pay for overpriced bottled water on board LCC flights.
Peach used the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Terminal at Naha Airport. This, together with an early departure flight, was the biggest issue I had with this Peach flight which I explained earlier. But if not for the super early flight timing, I have no complaints about using an LCC Terminal. It was… interesting.
The LCC terminal was located together with all the warehouses for cargo and military facilities. When we landed, we were surrounded by military planes instead of commercial planes. Which was actually pretty cool.
The LCC Terminal was nothing more than a container warehouse. When you get off the plane, you WALK from the plane into the terminal. No buses, no gangway. But I got to say, I found it very fun actually. LOL. And there was no belt for your luggage. They basically unload your luggage and leave it on the floor.
Here are photos of all there was to the public area:
And the boarding area.
Now, I really have no complaints about the lack of facilities at the LCC Terminal. The issue I had was with transport. You need to catch a shuttle bus if you wish to get to the main terminal at Naha Airport. If you wish to save the hassle of doing so, there were only 4 car rental desks at the LCC Terminal, which greatly restricts your car rental options.
And although you see 4 rental desks above, the ONLY ONE that was manned when we arrived was OTS Rent-A-Car. If you are taking the Peach flight from Taiwan to Okinawa and want to rent a car, I highly recommend that you go with OTS.
I have layed out all the cons of Peach Airlines for you.
- Uncomfortable Seats
- Early flight from Okinawa – Taipei
- Use of LCC Terminal at Naha
- Limited car rental options
So should you still take Peach Airlines? There is only 1 reason anyone would opt for a LCC: To save money. What you need to do is to compare the price difference between taking an LCC and a full cost carrier and determine for yourself whether you are willing to put up with the inconveniences for that price difference.
Pin it for later
Posts from the same trip (Okinawa)
Posts from the same trip (Taiwan)
My Japan Travel Blog
Find more Japan travel itineraries and travel tips on my Japan Travel Blog!