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mbuhrig Nov 29th, 2012 07:34 AM

Air Bagan and Myanmar Agents - No response!
Hi, all! Thanks much for the great advice on Myanmar; the posts and TR's I've read have been invaluable in planning our oh-too-short trip to Myanmar in early January 2013. I've been able to book all hotel and air travel independently on each company's respective websites with one exception: our return flight from NYU to RGN on Air Bagan.

I checked all the airlines I was aware of (Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Asia Wings, Air Yangon, Air Mandalay, Air Kanbawza) and while I understand flight times change frequently, Air Bagan was the only one showing an early AM departure on January 6. So, for the past six weeks I've been desperately trying to book two seats on that flight by every means I could think of (submitted ticket requests through their online form, emailed the travel agencies listed on the Air Bagan website, and emailed and submitted online forms with several of the favored travel agencies talked about here: Santa Maria, Myanmar Shalom, etc. I did get ahold of Sammy at Myanmar Shalom by phone (he's based in NYC) , and while he was extremely friendly and helpful, he was unable to book the flights. He said the combination of internet issues in Myanmar and the influx of tourists is the reason for the lack of response, and I should just keep trying. I understand agencies may not want to put much time into a client who needs only two tickets, so I've offered to pay commissions on the hotels we've already booked, as well as book guides and tours, etc. and still no response.

So, to the seasoned Myanmar travelers, I'd greatly appreciate any guidance or advice as to (a) whether we'd be foolish to wing it (pardon the pun!) and just try to get tickets when we arrive, 4 days in advance of the flight we need, and/or (b) whether there's anything else I should be doing to book these seats.

Thanks again for any help! Truly appreciate it!


Kathie Nov 29th, 2012 07:58 AM

Booking flights without the assistance of an agent in Yangon is not very reliable. How did you book your other flights? None of the airline websites take credit cards unless you have one of the scam sites, notable for the hyphen in the middle of the name ( in which case they will be glad to charge your credit card, but no assurance you'll ever get a valid ticket.

Given the huge influx of travelers to Burma, I wouldn't count on being able to book the flight once you get to Burma. You might be able to, might not.

mbuhrig Nov 29th, 2012 08:44 AM

Thanks, Kathie. We are only on one other internal flight; Air Mandalay from RGN to NYU (our BKK-RNG are on Thai Airways). For the Air Mandalay flight, I submitted an online form and email to [email protected] and exchanged some confirmation emails with them. They did not take any credit card information, just confirmed my booking, provided a confirmation number and stated I must pay for and pick up my tickets at the Air Mandalay office in Yangon by a certain date and time, or else they'll release our seats.

In my emails to the travel agents, I also asked if they could handle booking/collecting the Air Mandalay leg for us, but no luck! I even emailed the two hotels at which we're styaing (Trader's Hotel and The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate) for help or recommendations for travel agents, and while they wrote back to re-confirm our rooms, they didn't offer anything on the flights.

Kathie Nov 29th, 2012 10:40 AM

The whole system in Burma is swamped. Air Mandalay will take email reservations, so you look like you are ok on that one. I believe you can pick up your tickets at the airport by going to the domestic terminal, but the Air Mandalay office might be just as easy.

If you were travel a couple of years ago, the hotels might be willing to make arrangements for you, but right now they are so overwhelmed, I expect they cannot.

If you cannot get a flight, you'll have to take a bus.

mbuhrig Nov 29th, 2012 03:19 PM

Thanks, Kathie! I'll keep my fingers crossed! I'll be sure to post upon return as to how things worked out.

Happy travels!

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