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NYC area to Southeast Asia and back - flight suggesions

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Mar 31st, 2014, 02:40 PM
  #1
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NYC area to Southeast Asia and back - flight suggesions

These forums were a great help when arranging our European travel, and I am back for more advice. My wife and I are finally ready to book some plans for our Southeast Asia trip in July and August. I am going to post our rough itinerary on another discussion, but here I have a question about our flight plan.

I think we will break up our flight from the NYC area to Southeast Asia in LA. We will stay in LA for a few nights and then travel LAX to BKK. I think we are going to brave the long flight home directly or as close to direct as we can get it. I've been researching for a while and it seems BKK to NYC is the most cost effective airport to return home from. Unless our plans and final destination change, I'm thinking of booking the NYC to LAX, LAX to BKK and BKK to NYC flights soon. The price has stayed at about the same level for a while and it seems as good as its going to get, about $1800 each for the whole thing. If our plans have us ending up far away from Bangkok then our return flight would change, but we're thinking of crafting our plans to have us start and finish in Bangkok.

Here are my questions:
1. Any other major airport run regular, more direct/shorter and possibly more inexpensive flights from that part of the world to the NYC area that I should check out before booking this flight combination? For example, if Hong Kong to NYC might offer us a cheaper and/or more direct flight home to NYC then we might arrange our plans to have us end in Hanoi, then fly to Hong Kong for a few nights and then Hong Kong to NYC. Based on my research, it seems BKK to NYC is best.
2. When should I book our country to country flights? For example, if we planned to go Thailand to Viietnam and Vietnam to Cambodia. Do I need to book early to get an inexpensive flight or will flights probably stay inexpensive? If I don't have to lock us in to flights, I will wait until right before or during our trip so that we can be flexible in regards to rain or other sudden changes in our plans.
3. Any words of warning or other pieces of advice for booking the long journey NYC to SE Asia and back?

A post with our rough itinerary will be posted shortly. Thank you very much for any help you can provide.
Sean
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Mar 31st, 2014, 05:14 PM
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With so much air traffic into NYC, you could also look at flying east rather than west, connecting in Europe (perhaps with a few days layover in some gateway you like.)
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Mar 31st, 2014, 05:48 PM
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I agree with Southam that from NY go East instead and connect in the Middle East or Europe. Check out Emirates, Qatar and Etihad for special fares and they are all good airlines. Emirates and Qatar connect to VN and you can do open-jaw tickets and their prices are normally very competitve.

For example NY - Dubai - BKK and return from Ho Chi Minh - Dubai - NY etc.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 08:31 PM
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finn air is a good choice going east..

swiss is also good

emerites, Qatar and ethiad are all good with good timing

I love Korean going west on the A 380---most comfortable economy seats...

forget LA stop...take a sleeping pill and the time flies... night flts help too..

air france might be an option too
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Mar 31st, 2014, 09:21 PM
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You really want to go north from NYC to get to BKK.

LAX is not on the way from NYC to BKK. Flying the 2475 miles from JFK to LAX only gets you 400 miles closer to BKK (and that is assuming the Thai LAX-BKK nonstop is still operating, otherwise you connect in Tokyo or Seoul or Hong Kong, and maybe a connection in San Fran).

You would do just as well, probably better, to connect in Hong Kong or Seoul or Tokyo instead of Middle East or Europe, tho Moscow might bet best.

Am considering only flying distance and not fare or schedule.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 11:41 PM
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The Thai Airways LAX-BKK nonstop flight ended quite some time ago. They only operate a one-stop connection via Seoul now and even at that, it's only runs a few days a week. Rumor has it that Thai will be getting out of the US-BKK market completely since it's a big money-loser for them.

All that said, I agree with the other posters. Fly East. Hanuman's suggestion of the Middle East carriers is a good one.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 01:27 AM
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We've tried several different routes and carriers and keep coming back to Singapore (SQ). Costs are a little higher, but the flexibility and service makes up for it. The best deals are on-line.

We find SQ's economy seats some of the most comfortable and their inflight entertainment terrific. Their cancellation and change policy is liberal. If you're still working out your destination choices, Singapore makes an excellent transit hub to all of Southeast Asia, both peninsular and Indonesia. (And a good destination of itself.)

I wouldn't worry about breaking up the trip, unless, of course, you really do want to stop along the way. The SQ flight from JFK-Frankfurt-Singapore are relatively painless and onward connections are good. To me, it's best to just keep going till you get to where you want to be.


Within Asia, I'd choose Air Asia whenever possible. The downside is that cancellation is difficult (and sometimes not allowed) and changes are charged. It's also an "ala carte" airline and there are additional fees for baggage, meals, etc. The service and reliability is excellent, however, as is the price. Unlike many Asian airlines, their website is easy to use.

August is a major travel month, both within Asia and to Europe and the U.S. especially mid-to-late August when the kids are returning to school. You should make your long haul reservations as soon as you can.

Air Asia has a lot of flights and they're usually available within a day or so, but the prices can vary considerably as you get closer to the travel date.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Depending upon your routing you may want to check out the BKK Air Discovery Pass. And that should be booked well in advance.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 03:55 PM
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You've got a lot of good advice here, so I'll just add my own recent experience. My husband and I recently returned from a 3-week trip, beginning in Bangkok and ending in Siem Reap. We flew Korean Air and were very happy with them.

There are no direct flights from NYC to Bangkok, so I looked for the flight with the shortest overall travel time. The stopover in Seoul was also easy -- Incheon/Seoul is very user-friendly, with good amenities and great wi-fi.

The price was one of the lower fares I found, and I was glad to be able to fly in one place and out the other. My single complaint was the poor selection of movies! But overall, I have to say the experience with Korean Air was surprisingly good.

I also want to add that their customer service prior to our trip was wonderful. I had some questions and minor problems with the website (not so user-friendly) and, after writing a letter expressing, shall we say, my frustration, I got many calls back to make sure my problems were resolved. I was really touched by the efforts that they made.

Paule
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Apr 1st, 2014, 05:14 PM
  #10
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Thank you everyone for your advice. I think we're going to scrap LA and fly straight to Singapore or Bangkok. There are some good prices for flights right now.
We're looking at
10 nights in Myanmar
5 nights in Bangkok
6 nights in Siem Riep
6 nights in N Vietnam
7 nights in Bali
I'm looking to book the long flight tonight.
If this is our itinerary, should we fly into Bangkok and out of Bali or Singapore?
Sean
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Apr 1st, 2014, 05:28 PM
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If Bangkok is your first and Bali is your final destination then it makes a lot of sense to fly with Korean Air IF they allow "open jaw" tickets without a high air fare.

If Korean don't allow it then I would fly Qatar who does allow open jaw ticket without any extra fees.

NY - Doha - BKK on Qatar and for the return DPS (Bali) - Doha - NY.

For all the internal flights while is S.E. Asia look at Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Vietnam Airways etc.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Looks like a good plan! I'm jealous.

In my opinion the best way to get from Bali to NYC is SQ through Singapore and Frankfurt.

However, since Burma is your first stop you may choose a different airline. You have to weigh the connections and the costs of different combinations. You can certainly get to Yangon from both Singapore and Bangkok, and to both Singapore and Bangkok from Bali/Denpasar, but the connections and rates will be variable. Even more so if you add regional carriers like Air Asia or Silk Air to the mix.

As a general statement (there may be exceptions) it's cheaper to stick to one airline for the long haul flights, but you need check the number of connecting flights and layover time carefully.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 05:43 PM
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If, as per marmot's post above, you're flying to Myanmar first then Qatar airways have direct flight from Doha as well.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 07:05 PM
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Hanuman, Qatar now flies Doha to Yangon? I had heard rumors of that, but not confirmation.

Yes, if you opt for Burma first, Qatar into Yangon and out of Bali would make great sense. Then use regional carriers within Asia.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 07:12 PM
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Have you looked at the possibility of flying Eva Airlines in Elite/Evergreen Deluxe Class to Taipei and then onward in Asia? I haven't tried this airline, but this class of travel looks similar to Premium Economy (e.g., 38+ inches of legroom) and the price doesn't look a lot higher than economy. You can fly NYC-Taipei or from SFO or LAX. Eva is part of Star Alliance, too.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 07:44 PM
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Kathie - yes they started last year and Qatar have 3 direct flights from Doha per week to Yangon.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Thanks, Hanuman!
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 11:52 AM
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if you fly into SIN, and then to bali you can take air asia to bkk directly from bali or to various spots via K/L and then home from Hanoi or bkk
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 02:42 PM
  #20
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We've booked our long haul flights
Cathay Pacific
July 8th NYC to BKK and then
Aug 13th Singapore to NYC before seeing some people's advice. We are still deciding about spending any time in Singapore.

I put this information in another post, but for everyone who helped me here and wants to know our itinerary:

NYC to BKK arrive July 9th around 10:00 AM

Bangkok July 9th - July 14th

BKK to Myanmar July 14th

Myanmar July 14th - July 25th

Rangoon to Hanoi July 25th
(Rangoon seems like the best airport to fly out of)

Hanoi July 25th- July 30th

Hanoi to Siem Reap July 30th

Siem Reap July 30th - August 4th

Siem Reap to Bali August 4th

Bali, August 4th - 11th

Bali to Singapore, August 11th

Singapore August 11th - 13th

Singapore to NYC August 13th

I booked the flight home already from Singapore but we may not stay there at all in order to save some money. Maybe put those last two nights somewhere else.

What do you think about the whole thing? Any suggestions? Is not flying from place to place a "good" option at any point?
(Good being dramatically cheaper, interesting journey, mostly convenient, safe, maybe with a nice stop for a night)

Thank you very much for your thoughts and advice.
Sean
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