To Thailand over Christmas?

Aug 9th, 2005, 07:10 AM
  #1  
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To Thailand over Christmas?

We are trying to nail down dates for a trip to Thailand. We will be flying from Austin to SFO then to BKK. We are thinking of leaving on Christmas Eve, arriving in Thailand Christmas day.

In all my years I have never traveled ON a holiday. Does anyone have any advise about how this might be? Bad idea?

offwego is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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I have often flown on holidays (in fact I'm flying on New year's eve this year) and there is absolutely no problem. It's been like any other day in my experience.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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its a good time and often planes are not as full..
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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I've never flown in Asia on a holiday, but here in the US, it's the best day to travel. Less crowded and things seem to run more smoothly.

I do note that this will be peak season in T-land. You should make hotel reservations promptly.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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I've flown to or from Asia on Cristmas and New Year's Day - great time to travel. Often the planes are mostly empty. Do you fancy a whole row of seatrs to yourself? You may get it!
Kathie is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Not going to be that empty. You may be talking about 85% full rather than 100%, but won't see whole row of seats for you.

Last year, I flew EWR-HKG on Christmas Eve, arriving Hong Kong Christmas Day. 100% full in coach, with plenty of people trying to standby at Newark.

Having said that, airfare is cheaper on 12/24 than on the several days prior to it.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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We're planning to travel around this time too! Re:airfare and lodging, does it matter when in December, or are all days the same, probably pretty expensive?

Great tip about the planes. It would be nice to stretch out for a 14-hr flight.
paigeTN is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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I have flown to asia on Christmas Eve or Day many times and have always had a full or almost full plane. The difference is there tend to be fewer Americans and more Asians but that could also be because I do not fly US carriers. When I first started flying on the holidays I thought I'd have an empty flight but it has never turned out to be true.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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I really have flown a number of times on major holidays with planes less than 30% full. I usually fly United across the Pacific, so flying a US carrier does make a difference. But of course, you aren't guaranteed an empty plane.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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glorialf, you mentioned to use Thai Air and not a code-share airline like United. Why is this? Also, are Asian airlines cheaper at this time of year? Thank you.
paigeTN is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 11:08 AM
  #11  
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Good info. Not so scared now to go ahead and do it. Will spend this weekend getting myself booked into some hotels.

Thanks for your continued help. This is our first trip "across the other pond" and I have learned a great many things from this board.
offwego is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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I have flown on holidays several times and like it because usually people are already where they are supposed to be by then so the flights/airport I've been on/in haven't been busy at all. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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I'm trying to decide between Siem Reap or Chiang Mai. What do the experts think?
paigeTN is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Paige-- I much prefer the service and amenities on the asian carriers so generally try to use them. It doesn't matter on a short flight but it makes a big difference to me on the long ones. I try to fly Thai, Cathay, Singapore, Japan or Malaysian depending on frequent flier miles which I usually use.

As for Siem Reap vs. Chiang Mai they are completely different. I love Chiang Mai and find it great for crafts, the people and the atmosphere. However, the temples at Angkor are among the wonders of the world and are truly incredible.
But which one is right for you depends on what you are looking to do and experience.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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You're absolutely right Gloria, they're two very different places. We enjoy trekking, river rafting so we'll probably visit Chiang Mai this time, and save Cambodia for when we visit VN. Since you travel to Thailand frequently, which airline would you use for December for the best fare? Also, I understand that Bangkok Air and Thai Air have domestic flights at very reasonable rates. Would you recommend booking now or wait until we arrive to BKK.

Thank you Gloria!
paigeTN is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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If you fly on Xmass day I suspect the planes will be less crowded than xmass eve. Not empty- but should be less crowded-remember that the airlines have cut capacity- which means less flights therefore flight tend to be full.
BillT is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Paige -- I'd first check what airlines leave from SF because the fewer stops the better. That said, beginning in November Thai Air will be offering non stop flights to Bangkok from LA so you should definitely check that out. I'd book my flights in advance since they do sell out. Also at least on Thai Air there are no change fees if you need to change .
glorialf is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 06:37 PM
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definately book in advance to avoid being closed out of the flights you want....we are seeing lots of that this year on this board...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 06:36 AM
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Thanks for the tip Gloria and rhkkmk. Having one stop is not too bad for us though...breaks up the 14hr flight a bit.
paigeTN is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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The flight to Bangkok from SF will be more than 14 hours. It will be about that to wherever you land (Hong Kong or Tokyo are the two most logical). Then you'll have to have at least an hour and often more lay over before flying to Bangkok (another couple of hours). Non stop from LA should be about 14 hours and when you land you're in Bangkok.
glorialf is offline  

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