Southeast Asia forum

When is the best time to book internal SE Asia flights?

  • Tazzfalcon

    Joined Travelfish
    20th December, 2008
    Posts: 18

    Hi all,

    My girlfriend and I are planning a three and a half month stint in SE Asia starting the 2nd week of Jan in Ho Chi Minh and ending 3rd week of April in Bali.

    Over the course of this trip we'd like to see just about every country in SE Asia except the Philippines. Obviously to do this in the time allotted we're going to need to take quite a few flights within SE Asia, and I was wondering - given the time we're there - should we be booking now or waiting till we're on the ground for the best prices?

    Some of the flight routes we're looking at:

    Hanoi to Phenom Pehn (although I know it's prob more likely HAN to HCM, then bus because £££).

    Bangkok to Yangon

    Mandalay to Bangkok

    Luang Prabang to Kuala Lumpur

    Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta or Yogjakarta



    #1 Posted: 20/8/2014 - 07:43

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  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1065
    Total reviews: 2

    Some of those routes do not have nonstop service, and can be rather expensive (such as Luang Prabang to KL - Air Asia flies to KL from Vientiane). You are also right that it's far easier/cheaper to get to Cambodia from Saigon than Hanoi. Most local carriers have budget fares that fill up quickly, so I would book as soon as your plans are set in gold. I've already booked my flights on Vietnam Air and Air Asia for Feb/March. Make sure you book on the carrier's own websites.

    Since the fatal crash last year on Lao Airlines, I no longer recommend travel on that carrier. You also couldn't get me to fly any carrier based in Myanmar!

    #2 Posted: 20/8/2014 - 16:41

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2583
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    I'd agree with daawgon that it is best to book flights as soon as your plans are set. As daawgon says, the budget flights fill up quickly, and prices will get more expensive as you get closer to the flight date. We took two domestic flights during our recent trip to Indonesia. We booked them several months in advance and watched as the price continued to climb after that. Also, the flights were full down to the last seat, and we also noticed quite a few disappointed tourists trying to book last-minute flights but not being able to find an available seat.

    #3 Posted: 20/8/2014 - 17:06

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