Getting to Luang Prabang, Laos

Sep 16th, 2005, 05:02 AM
  #1  
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Getting to Luang Prabang, Laos

Hi - we'll be visiting Laos in January to visit friends who are currently living there. We'll be spending about 3 days in Vientenne before heading up to Luang Prabang. I'm assuming the best way to get there is flying on Lao Airlines? Thoughts? We'll only be there for 2 nights before we have to head back to BKK to catch our flight back to the states? The Lao Air website looked a bit scary, has anyone flown them? reliable? safe?
ksblank is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 06:49 AM
  #2  
 
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Don't know what you mean about their website being scary(?), I went onto Yahoo and found straight off:

http://www.laos-airlines.com/index.asp

I think you may have come across another site there is which I don't think has actaully anything to do with them, anyway don't see much wrong with the site, which search engine were you using? The one way fare is shown as USD 60
JamesA is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Lao Airlines has a bad reputation for safety because of significant safety lapses and crashes in the past. They have re-invented themselves and have not had any crashes for several years. They have now purchased many newer planes. You can fly Lao from Vientenne to LP, but Bangkok Air (good airline) flies the non-stop from LP to Bangkok. Thai flies from Bangkok to Vientenne.

The one thing I would check with Lao is to make sure you're flying one of the new planes and not one of the old Chinese or Russian planes. Those have had lots of mechanical problems.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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As Kathie says Lao has improved over the last few years and is fine to fly on. You might consider the Bangkok Discovery pass which Lao Airlines is now a partner off. With the pass it would cost $80+50+80 (plus taxes and other charges) by using Lao for Bangkok/Vientenne/Luang Prabang and Bangkok Air for the return to Bangkok. Two international and one domestic used to cost in total $237 but will be more as fuel charges have increased. I notice that on BA international routes it has increased by $10 from $15 to 25.
Scotters is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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I agree with Kathie. Lao has a terrible reputation and the U.S. State Dept. Consular sheet says not to fly them but we flew them a couple of years ago without incident. We made sure we picked flights that use French aircraft.
laurieco is online now  
Sep 16th, 2005, 08:44 AM
  #6  
 
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We flew several legs on Lao Airlines last year and the year before, they are fine. Planes were modern. Flights ontime. Pilots seemed to be French and Australian. Don't worry!
Kenstee is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 02:36 PM
  #7  
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Thanks, sounds like we'll be fine. I'll be sure to check that we're flying on one of the non_russian or chinese planes.
ksblank is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 05:59 PM
  #8  
 
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I've flown with Lao several times now and found them fine. They use only the AT7's on the Vientiane to Luang Prabang run - still small but the better planes - the older, smaller chinese and russian ones are still used to the little outlying airports where the runways are smaller. The airline reputation is much better now. It use to be that the expat workers in Lao were not allowed to fly with them at all - now they do. My brother in law lives in Vientiane and flies with them a lot with no trouble - he only warns that sometimes you can't get out of the smaller airports because of bad weather. Be warned the flights from Vientiane to Luang Prabang can get very full so make sure you book. Also check near the flight time as they are prone to changing times without much warning.
MaryW is offline  

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