inter-county thai air travel

Old Mar 8th, 2004, 06:33 PM
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inter-county thai air travel

We are planning a trip to Thailand in the fall and were planning to fly on Thai air to Chiang Mai and Phuket. Anything we should know about flying within Thailand on this airline before I book tickets?
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 03:48 AM
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In my experience (5 trips to Thailand thus far and always taking side trips on Thai) it is very pleasant. The flights to Chiang Mai or Phuket are about one hour. We always book "Thai Royal Executive Class" which is/was about $20 more than the economy class ticket, but this was at a 41 to 1 currency exchange rate. The rate is not quite that good right now!

It is not necessary to book flights far in advance to save money. The cost of the ticket is the same, no matter when you buy it. If you are traveling off season, you can buy your tickets a day or two before you travel. No need to make plans way ahead. If you were traveling during peak holiday season, I'd say to get your tickets and hotel space way ahead, just to be certain you have it! Phuket is very popular over the new year and into January. We've been there two new years eves in a row and booked months ahead.

Enjoy your trip to Thailand. In Bangkok I hope you will get out amongst the people and find out about their wonderful culture! Don't be intimidated by all the power lines, uneven sidewalks, lots and lots of traffic, and people selling wares on the sidewalk.

If you go to the Asia board on this forum, James A can answer a lot of your questions, as he lives in Thailand!

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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 04:07 AM
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Just a suggestion, but if you're flying from US, many of the Asian airlines have a "special, add on fares" that allow you to travel throughout Asia for next to nothing. It may be only $100 or $200 more above your ticket price, but will allow you to fly to many different destinations anywhere in Asia. Do check with the airlines before buying separate tickets.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 06:06 AM
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I also 'pop over to this board' sometimes alo, as Simpsons says you will get more information on the 'ASIA' section.
As you have been advised Thai Airways offers a good service and it is very cheap to fly Royal Executive Class.
Now, if you are flying 'Coach/Economy' except for specific mealtimes you will get nothing more than a cold drink on Thai in Economy/Coach.
There are already 2 budget carriers in Thailand and a 3rd starts in June. On the Asia board we had a lot of discussions about the actual fares the budget carrieras were giving so we did an 'on the spot' test. Booking yesterday for a Thu/Fri return Bangkok to Chiang Mai came out at a total cost of $42 return, now that is short notice. had we booked that a few months back it would have been around $20 return. That compares with roughly $125 return Coach on Thai, an important note though is that Thai Air Asia (Budget Airline) has a baggage(free) limit of 15kgs as against 20-25kgs for Thai Coach or 30-35kgs for Thai Royal Executive Class.
You can buy multi-sector tickets overseas for something like $50 a sector, but you will see that they do not provide a hige saving especially when you compare with the new Budget carriers.
Thai Airways launches their own Budget carrier, 'Nok Air' in June.

Chiang Mai-Phuket, currently only 1 non-stop per day, takes 2hrs 10mins with Thai Airways.

If you are traveling 'Fall' I guess you mean around Oct/November, in that case it is not busy season, I would certainly hold off buying any tickets until say July, by which time Nok Air will also be flying, and I would think it very poor judgement if both of them were not palnning a daily Chiang Mai to Phuket flight for later in the year. Oct/Nov is not busy, so you won't have a problem holding off, but July/Aug would be the chance to get the real cheap seats ( around the $10-20 price ) on budget carriers.

If you DO settle to do Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Phuket-Bangkok with Thai then do get a 3 sector ticket because the one-way sector Chiang Mai to Phuket is expensive.

You can keep up to date with what is going on with Asian Airlines, especially the budget carriers on where they have an airline section which is pretty on-the-ball with all the new carriers.

JamesA is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 06:11 AM
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Thasi Airways I believe has an 0800 number in the US, AAFF or Simpson can guide you on that, give them a call and see what the price is for those 3 sectors, if using Thai you really want to use that '1 flight a day' from Chiang Mai to Phuket otherwise you can to route via Bangkok and change planes.
I did not mention aircraft, from BKK to Chiang Mai it will be all wide-bodied (except for I think 1 737 flight early in the day ) on A 300 / A 330 / 777s and sometimes 747. On the Chiang Mai to Phuket flight should be wide body A 300, on Phuket back to Bangkok would be A 300 / A 330 / 777 and several 747-400 flights.
The budget carriers use 737-300/400s.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Don't forget to collect United Airlines miles when flying with Thai!
chtiet is offline  
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