booking air travel in thailand

Old Dec 12th, 2016, 07:41 AM
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booking air travel in thailand

I am in Thailand for 16 days, hoping to visit bangkok, chiang mai and either Phuket or Ko Samui. I am coming from Siem Reap and departing home from Singapore.

what is the most reliable airline to use and do I need to book far in advance?

Thanks for your help.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 10:11 AM
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You can book in advance, as it will be less expensive. Some of those flights you can do on Air Asia (a budget airline), other options are Bangkok Air and Thai Air. What time of the year will you be there? That makes a difference as to which beach area will be best.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 08:16 PM
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The budget airlines offer reduced luggage limitations for free but you can upgrade.

I like nok air and thai air, but air Asia goes everywhere. Most use the old airport, not bkk.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 10:04 PM
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NOK Air is the cheapo wing of Thai Air. We're using them in February fron Don Muaeng to Hanoi and back.

The further in advance you book the greater the chance of departure times being brought forward or put back. So it's best not to have any connections at either end of the flight.

If you book direct with the airline [advisable] they should e-mail you with any changes, but it's worth tracking your booking reference a few days before the flight.

If booking online watch out for look-alike websites. You could get stung if you book with one.

Some of the cheap airlines drip-release their super economy flights, which is something to be aware of.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 10:49 PM
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We flew all of the destinations you mention with the exception of KS, in 2015 using Air Asia and were very impressed with the service. All are short flights so you don't really need the refreshment service but you can buy on board if required. I suggest that you sign up for their newsletter for deals etc.

Book as soon as the offers come out and you can get some exceptional fare. The offers are pretty frequent.

Travelling with carry on bags only ( they are not strict on weight) , check in online and you can sail through arrivals in no time.
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 12:35 PM
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Thank you all for your advice!

I am in thailand feb 11-28th. I tried booking using Bangkok airlines discovery pass and found that many routes have no availability for the dates of my hotel reservations.

I am now looking at flying from Siem Reap to Chiang Mai and spending 7-10 days exploring Chiang Rai and Luang Prabang before seeing Bangkok and a Beach locale. I would love to see Ko Samui but fear that I left it too late!

I could try Asia Air or attempt to decode the discovery pass.
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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Have you extended your trip, or are you planning to visit all of those places in the time you have? I would highly recommend that you not rush - you'll miss it all. Are you going to fly from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang?

In terms of a beach, stick with the Andaman Sea side of Thailand.
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Old Dec 20th, 2016, 09:08 AM
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If flying between CNX and LPQ your only option is Laos Airlines ( I think) took it a few weeks ago reliable, clean hassle free journey. We used a mixture of Bangkok Air ( which includes lounge access at the airports) and Air Asia for the other flights.... have used a 3 Airlines before and I usually go with the departure time that suits me best, AA is usually the cheapest but not always the best schedule.
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Old Dec 21st, 2016, 08:37 AM
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In a similar vein, I am looking at flying Chiang Mai to Siem Reap at the beginning of February, and a week later on to Bangkok.

I will have my carry-on size suitcase as well as my daypack -- so two pieces of cabin luggage if that is permitted -- I am working now to decipher the baggage rules of Air Asia, Bangkok Air and Thai Air so that I don't get his with nasty baggage charges.
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Old Dec 21st, 2016, 09:28 AM
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In 2015 we took around 25 flights around Asia, mostly with Air Asia with Carryon only. We tended to check in online, print boarding passes and go straight to the gate. The reality is that no one really checked weights or numbers of bags and we had no problems whatsoever. We saw many people carrying v. Large bags on board, plus a day park/ handbag without being challenged. The only ones who seemed to have problems were those who checked in at the desk to pick up boarding cards.
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Old Dec 21st, 2016, 12:47 PM
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Good to Know. Thank you, Crellston!
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Old Dec 21st, 2016, 08:22 PM
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Thank you all for your help.

I'm looking at nok air and air Asia. I am considering 7 days in chiang Mai , 3 days in Bkk and 5 days in KS, 3 days in Siem Reap.

I'm looking forward to some great day hikes, some good food, a day at the elephant park and perhaps a spa day or two.

Am I expecting too much?

I will be there from Feb 11-28
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 09:18 AM
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I would be wary of visiting the north of Thailand at that time of year which is often the beginning of the burning season which can cause widespread air pollution. We were there at that time in 2014 and the visibility was down to a few hundred metres. Some people were actually wearing gas masks on the streets! We left after a few days for the cleaner air of Bangkok - something I thought I would never find myself
saying. I happens every year these days, it is only a question of how severe and the exact timing of the arrival of the dry season. You may be lucky, maybe not.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 09:22 AM
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Listen to crellston on this.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 08:02 PM
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Well- now I'm in a bit of a quandary.

I was looking to spend a week in northern Thailand in mid February and then follow that w a week in Koh Samui. I have read mixed reports about travelling north in the burning season.

I can see spending 5-6 days in Bangkok and another 5-6 days south at a beach.

Kathie- why the west side of southern Thailand vs Koh Samui?

And- any suggestions for my last 5-6 days?

I like hiking, kayaking, swimming, and I love watching elephants.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 09:45 PM
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"I have read mixed reports about travelling north in the burning season." so have I ! The thing is the arrival of the "burning season" is dependent upon the arrival of the dry season which can vary from year to year. We have visited the region several times. January has always been great with no smoke at all, twice we have been in Feb and both times it was bad, in 2014 , really bad. You may be lucky in mid Feb but basically the earlier you go in the month te better. The stuff you read on various forums will usually say that March and April are the bad months, and they often are, but our recent experience is as above in Feb. In these days of global warming predicting such things are not an exact science.

The monsoons affect the east and west coasts of southern Thailand at different times. The West coast will get great weather in Feb whereas KS on the east coast is not quite as good and will probably get a some showers. I wouldn't choose KS, not because of the weather, but because in recent years it has turned into a major party island. If that is what you are looking for, fine. If not do reconsider.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 05:38 AM
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Thanks crellston

I am seeking a tranquil beach holiday.

Of all the Hawaiian islands- I prefer the "garden island" of Kauai for its natural beauty.


Perhaps I should try Vietnam instead?

I could visit halong bay, Hue, Hanoi , instead,
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Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 05:56 AM
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Hue and Hanoi are wonderful places but not for a "tranquil beach holiday". For that you would be better considering somewhere further south, maybe Phu Quoc or Con Dao islands. or maybe even one of the island off the coast of Cambodia.

Lots to choose from. a few ideas here https://www.travelfish.org/islands

if it were me i would probably consider a few days in phnom penh, followed by Kampot, a laid back riverside town and then some time on the Beach on one of the islands listed above. if you want some luxury, consider the Vietnamese islands i mentioned coupled with Hanoi and or Hue. how An also has some beaches and a quaint town to explore.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 07:08 AM
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Yes, the Andaman Sea side of Thailand will have better weather in February than the Gulf of Thailand side. If you already have tickets into and out of Bangkok, I'd stick with Thailand Bangkok and a beach. No problems with smoke in either place.

There are lots of beach options in SE Asia, if you change your mind about your destination.
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