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I'm planning a holiday.

  • I will first travel from Jakarta to San Francisco, planning to have several days there.
  • Then I will fly to Los Angeles, where I will also stay
  • On my return trip from Los Angeles to Jakarta I will transit in Japan at Narita.

Can I stay for several days in Japan if I have a Japan visa? How do I book the ticket?

I'm considering United or ANA which have transit at those airports.

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    To book the ticket, try your favourite travel agent, or online booking system. No issues what so ever, most will happily sell you it as a Multi-City trip – Gagravarr Jul 31 '14 at 12:57
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    In addition to what Gagravarr wrote, as a general rule of thumb for multi-city trips, do not only search on the airline's website, but also use a one or more search engines. Sometimes for such itineries the cheaper fare classes are not available directly from the airline websites. – DCTLib Jul 31 '14 at 13:26
  • Depending on if you rent a car in LA/SF, you can make these a single stop-over, as you can drive from one city to another (that might be way cheaper than flying from one to another to then exit the country) – Vince Nov 23 '14 at 22:56
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    When I want to specify my stopovers exactly, I research prices on flight search engines, then take all those notes to a travel agent in person. But these days I've started just buying tickets to the hubs of low cost carriers and buying separate tickets out. The most flexible kind of stopover but you have to be aware you might be asked for proof of onward travel as they'll often be one-way tickets. – hippietrail Nov 24 '14 at 4:23
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In practice, if you want to do it yourself online, you have to use the “multi-city ticket” option, i.e. instead of looking for a return ticket and then somehow adding stopovers, you would search for a trip with four legs: Jakarta-San Francisco, San Francisco-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Tokyo, and finally Tokyo-Jakarta.

Multi-city searches are not available everywhere but the functionality does exist, e.g. on Kayak and, in this case, United (‘multiple destinations’). Unfortunately I was not able to find it on ANA's website. You can also use ITA's Matrix to look for a good connection and than go to a traditional brick-and-mortar travel agent to book it.

Incidentally, it's also possible to book something like Jakarta-San Francisco and Los Angeles-Jakarta on one ticket (it's called an “open jaw” ticket) and then add a stop-over in Japan and take care of transportation between San Francisco and Los Angeles yourself (flying with another airline, renting a car, taking the bus or the train…). Since San Francisco and Los Angeles are reasonably close to each other, it could be a good alternative in this case.

Behind the scenes, your ticket might have additional transit points, be a return ticket with two stop-overs, an open jaw combined with a one-way ticket or some other combination of fares but the multi-city option should hopefully be able to find the cheapest solution. Because small changes can make a huge difference to the available fares and total price, finding a good price often requires a bit of work.

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  • Is it normally cheaper to book multi-city ticket option vs buying several one way tickets? – Danger14 Feb 12 '19 at 20:18
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    @Danger14 Yes I think so, at the very least it can be cheaper (I have used that myself but in a completely different region so I don't know about ANA or flights to Japan specifically). – Relaxed Feb 13 '19 at 1:14

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