How to Save Money on Tonga Airfares
Any money saved before your big trip to Tonga means more whale swimming, more epic snorkelling excursions or even another glass of refreshing Tongan beer! Sure, getting to these remote islands in the South Pacific is never going to be a cheap task. However, there are a fair few ways to shave the “pa’anga” off flights, which we go through in this list of tips for saving money on a flight to Tonga!
1. Fly in the Low Season
The best time to fly to Tonga when looking for cheap airfares is during Tonga’s tourist low season. This is when the demand for flights are at their lowest, so airfares drop in order to entice more passengers. The low season in Tonga runs from December to May, where airfares tend to be at their cheapest. However, airfares don’t drop until the Christmas and the New Year period are over. Learn more about visiting Tonga in the low season in The Best Time to Visit Tonga.
2. Avoid Flying on a Friday or Saturday
To narrow down the “best time to buy a cheap plane ticket” further, the best days to fly for cheaper airfares are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Prices creep up for the weekend on a Friday and on Saturday. Remember, flights don’t operate in Tonga on a Sunday due to Tongan law.
3. Compare Flights on Comparison Websites
Flight comparison websites are a good place to start when searching for the best price on flights to Tonga. Comparison websites not only give you an idea of the possible routes from your departure airport but also show you the airlines available and display the prices. Once you have all of this information, we recommend talking directly to the airline to see if they can beat the price of the comparison website. Often, they’re happy to oblige in order to save on the commission they would otherwise have to pay to the comparison website.
4. Use Private Browsing
5. Check Airfares from all Possible Departure Cities
Have you considered the best departure airport to get to Tonga? The closest airport to where you live might be an obvious choice to depart from, but you might find that cheaper flights that depart from other nearby airports. With that in mind, be aware that there are direct flights from the following cities so that you can compare: Auckland, Sydney, Nadi, Suva, Apia and Pago Pago. Learn more in Which Airlines Fly to Tonga?
6. Use Two Different Airlines
If you need to take a flight to Tonga with a stopover in between, then consider using two different airlines! For example, Air New Zealand might offer flights from Los Angeles to Tonga with a stopover in Auckland, but you might actually find a cheaper flight by using another airline to get from Los Angeles to Auckland… It’s worth investigating!
7. Book Connecting Flights Separately
In relation to the above point, it’s sometimes cheaper to book flights separately than all together in one booking. If you’re coming from North America or Europe, for example, it’s likely that you will need to take at least two flights to get to Tonga. While searching “London to Nuku’alofa” will bring up flights to book all together, we recommend comparing the full trip price to booking each flight separately. In this case, it might be “London to Hong Kong” then “Hong Kong to Auckland” then “Auckland to Tonga”. You’ll often find that airfares are cheaper this way. However, this will make the logistics of your journey a little more challenging, as you’ll likely need to retrieve your check-in luggage at each stopover. With that in mind, you absolutely need to leave enough time between each flight!
8. Fly to Fua’amotu International Airport
There are two international airports in Tonga, Fua’amotu International Airport in Tongatapu and Lupepau’u International Airport in Vava’u. Due to the higher frequency of flights to Fua’amotu Airport, flights to this airport tend to be cheaper than international flights landing at Lupepau’u Airport. For more information, see What Are the Airports in Tonga?
9. Be Aware of Extra Fees
While seat selection, in-flight meals and full access to entertainment systems are included in most long-haul flights, this is not the case for many short-haul flights to Tonga. So be aware that when going through the online booking process for your flight and you’re prompted to choose a seat, select your meal package or extra baggage, you’ll likely be charged an extra fee for it.
10. Use Your Frequent Flyer Points
Many of us have been raking in the Air Miles/Airpoints/Flybuys or some other frequent flyer points for years now, not even realising how many points we have! If you’re on any of these schemes, it’s worth seeing if they can be applied to your flight to Tonga.