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Internal flights in Thailand - buy ASAP or no big deal to wait?

Internal flights in Thailand - buy ASAP or no big deal to wait?

Sep 17th, 2014, 10:14 AM
  #1  
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Internal flights in Thailand - buy ASAP or no big deal to wait?

Hi

Planning the next stage of my trip. I will be flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and then from Chiang Mai to Krabi, then Krabi back to BKK. I was wondering about a few things:

1. Should I buy the tickets ASAP now that I have my hotels or are these like a train or bus ticket (commuter type flight) where a walkup purchase is no big deal price wise? This is for November.

2. Any sites you'd recommend for getting tickets?

3. How much time to allow for the whole flight - meaning arrival at airport, security, getting from the next airport into town, etc?

4. For Krabi especially - how much of the day will be spent in transit? Is the airport close to the town or do I have a long bus ride ahead of me on both ends?

Thanks for any thoughts!
flygirl is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 10:27 AM
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I personally would not wait. We flew on Thai Air. Had tickets in advance. I bought our tickets on hipmunk.com. They give you several options.

Get to BKK with a couple of hours. There is some interesting shopping there. Chiang Mai is small. Taxi to hotel is a short trip. Check in and security was fast. I haven't been to Krabi so I can't say.
Belinda is online now  
Sep 17th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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In times past, before the new airport, I'd fly in to BKK and walk over to the domestic terminal, buy a ticket for the next flight to Chiang Mai and be on my way. I've been to both places since but not from one to the other so my information in that regard is out of date.

But what I suggest, for research purposes, is to go on the websites of the airlines that fly the route (Thai, Bangkok Airways, Lao) and search for flights today or tomorrow and then the date you plan to travel, see if there's a significant difference. Air Asia flies from Don Mueang, the old airport, now used, I believe, for all the low fare airlines.

I've always had good luck in Asia buying as I go but see which might suit you better. If you'd like to leave some wiggle room in your plans, this will tell you if it's worth it.
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 17th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Hello

Thank you Belinda and MmePerdu. I will check your tips out.

I will be in BKK for a total of 5 nights - three on the front end (which only means two full days as my arrival is at 11 PM!) and then the last two nights, which, depending on how long it takes to get from Krabi to BKK (all-in) might be just one full day - arrive late, leave VERY early the morning of the second night.
flygirl is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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ps. or should I say, "Kop Koon Kah"!
flygirl is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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Check out Nok Air as well, they use DMK and have an easy website.
sartoric is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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In general, last minute tickets cost more than buying in advance. That is especially true with Air Asia. Bangkok Air has a Discovery Pass which can be a good deal deepening on where you are flying. Check it out on their website.

In general, you are best off buying directly from the airline rather than another website.
Kathie is online now  
Sep 17th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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For those of us who are prone to changing plans occasionally, buying ahead can sometimes be less useful. I've had to eat a few non-refundables when the spirit's moved me to go another direction. So paying more for a last minute ticket can end up costing less overall for those so inclined.
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 17th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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Buy early
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 04:04 PM
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Nowadays buy your ticket as early as possible to save money. Also, several low cost airlines now have options of changing flights, at a cost, unto the day before your original booking. Therefore:

1. Buy now it will cost less. Walkup will be more expensive and domestic air travel in Thailand are quite full.

2. Go direct to the carrier's web site for the best prices. The major low-cost airlines are Thai Smile, Nok Air, Air Asia, Thai Lion Air, all operating out of Don Muang airport.

3. For Don Muang domestic I normally arrive 1 hour prior to the departure time. Lines are not long at Don Muang and the walk to the gate is not as far as BKK. For someone not used to the airport perhaps arrive 1.30 hours prior to your flight.

4. For Chiang Mai to Krabi Air Asia have direct flights so no transit time in Bangkok and the airport is close to town.

Again, when buying from low cost airlines you have the option of buying the more expensive class tickets and this will allow changes to your dates. For the lowest price options Air Asia does not allow changes but Nok Air allow changes at a cost unto 24 hours prior to your flight.

FYI Thai Smile and Nok Air are own, majority shareholder, by Thai Airways international.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 04:15 PM
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Also, note that you can fly with multiple low cost airlines and this will not affect the cost of your ticket. For example Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Nok Air, Chiang Mai to Krabi on Air Aisa and Krabi back to Bangkok on Thai Smile etc. Does not have to be on 1 airline.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 05:25 PM
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Thank you again everyone. I just did a very cursory search on hipmunk and all flights are under 100 bucks (at least for certain times). I will look more in depth tomorrow at options, where to where, when, airlines, etc etc. But at least I know the prices are cheap.

Kop Koon Kah! (I hope I got that right...)
flygirl is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 05:38 PM
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Great advice above.
If you already have hotels booked, I'd get onto booking the flights now for the convenience of having it done.

I use Skyscanner to check for flights, but always book directly with the airlines website.
sartoric is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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We have just purchased our NOK Air tickets for BKK to Phuket. Our travel is over the new year busy season, so I didn't want to wait. Son is in Bangkok right now, so he went to a travel agent to buy the tickets. He will also visit the local Avis office to book a car for the trip as well. We want to make sure we have a larger sized SUV-type car for 4 people plus luggage for our stay on Mai Khao beach at the Marriott Phuket Beach Club. The location is a bit remote and a car gives us the option to do a lot more exploring.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2014, 06:39 PM
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@flygirl - "Yin dee krub" translate to roughly "you're welcome!"

Do read the small prints for these airlines as they try to add on unnecessary extras.
Hanuman is offline  
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