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Help please - booking flights with Laos Airlines

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    Further to my post last week on booking flights, we want to fly from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang on 13 Oct and Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai on 16 Oct. I have first checked on the internet and checked with travel agents in Austalia about fare prices and availability. We can get a flight with Vietnam Airlines for the first leg (which is actually code shared with Laos Airlines flight). However, the travel agent said we need to book any Laos Airlines flights on the internet - they can't book these flights for us as the credit card payment must be in the name of one of the passengers. OK, pretty straight forward you would think, however, there seems to be two internet sites - www.laos-airlines.com and www.laoairlines.com which give different prices, so I'm confused and apprehensive about booking flights on the internet, especially as there are 4 of us travelling. Would ideally love to leave it until we are in Siem Reap to book but we really need to fly on these dates, so I don't know what to do. Also, to add to this dilemma, one of the websites (laos-airlines.com) advertises an excursion pass at a reduced rate for 3 flights or more, but you seem to be able to book for only two legs- link.


    If anyone has had experience booking flights with Laos Airlines on the internet, I'd love to hear from you, especially in relation to which website you booked through and if you experienced any difficulties.

    #1 Posted: 25/8/2008 - 10:51

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  • somtam2000

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    The official Lao Airlines website is: http://www.laoairlines.com. Unfortunately it's a pretty wonky website... though at least it's not as bad as Garuda's!

    The other website you mention, www.lao-airlines.com -- if for a Paris-based travel agent, which probably goes some way to explaining the price difference. There have been complaints about this agent in the past regarding ticketing problems, but I've not heard any recently. People also don't like the agent because they use the airline's domain name...

    Anyway, the excursion pass is the Discovery Airpass. It is a Bangkok Airways-led initiative, in which Lao Airlines participates. You can read detailed coverage of the Discovery Airpass here. The important point, which I'll mention again here, is that you cannot by the Discovery Airpass in Thailand/Laos etc, you must by it in your home country. There is a list of agents at the bottom of the above-mentioned story and I suggest you contact them.

    Let me know if more questions...

    #2 Posted: 25/8/2008 - 12:55

  • befree

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2007
    Posts: 11

    Hi Brisbod,
    I just booked a Lao Airlines flight from Pakse to Vientiane with Flight Centre.
    The airline site is $116 US. “Flight Center’ here for $133 AUS.
    That’s equals current exchange rate of 87 cents.
    I know it easy to book on line. But bought from Flight Centre, as my cc company not give that good rate plus add 2.5%.
    You are welcome to use my post here as an example to them.

    #3 Posted: 26/8/2008 - 04:54

  • SBE

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    "Unfortunately it's a pretty wonky website... though at least it's not as bad as Garuda's!"

    Off topic but has anyone EVER managed to book a flight online with any Indonesian airline? Lion Air and Garuda have websites (of sorts) but booking from outside the country seems to be impossible.

    #4 Posted: 26/8/2008 - 04:58

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    Thanks so much for the replies. I am doing further checking with travel agents here in Australia and have emailed a representative in Sydney regarding the airpass. Will post again when I have some further info, which could be of benefit to other travellers from oz. as a wholesale travel agent has informed me today that Laos Airlines are no longer represented in Australia and you can only book flights with them on line.

    #5 Posted: 26/8/2008 - 11:01

  • befree

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2007
    Posts: 11

    Brisbod, That’s interesting,,, as 4 days ago Friday 22nd August I did as my above post.
    Did your agent say this came into affect as of today ? Yes Pls post again, thanks.

    #6 Posted: 26/8/2008 - 11:32

  • ziphorah

    Joined Travelfish
    27th August, 2008
    Posts: 1

    Just checking to see if anyone has used the "Discovery Airpass" coupons for flights in Asia? We would like to buy some but wanted to get some feedback first. Does it really work?

    #7 Posted: 27/8/2008 - 08:22

  • TonyL

    Joined Travelfish
    19th December, 2006
    Posts: 46

    Answers to the last couple of posts. I have used the Discovery Pass twice and encountered no problems at all. The only difficulty is that you cannot backtrack over the same sections.

    It seems that Bangkok Airways are ticketing the Airpass in Oz so they are probably also handling Laos air bookings. I am using Flight centre for my bookings at the moment and they will be able to get Brisbod the ticket he wants I am sure

    #8 Posted: 27/8/2008 - 13:49

  • befree

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2007
    Posts: 11

    Just received e-mail from Flight Centre.
    < our ticket centre that as of this week we are unable to ticket Lao Airlines flights unless we have tickets an International Flight with Royal Brunei>

    #9 Posted: 28/8/2008 - 09:44

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    After a couple of stressful days, I can now report that we have reservations booked on the dates we need for the flights from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang and Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai. I have ended up reserving these through Laos Air's Siem Reap office at the same price as quoted on the website. It has meant a couple of phone calls to Siem Reap but well worth the cost I think for peace of mind. I was not willing to risk trying to book through an agent in Australia, and wasn't able to book the first leg on Laos Air's website as it was a code share flight. Luckily spoke with someone who spoke English at the Siem Reap office and they have confirmed my emails within 24 hours. Note: if anyone wants to email this office, beware that the email address shown on the Laos Air website is incorrect - the correct address is qrep@camintel.com (hence my second phone call). I emailed the Sydney office of Bangkok Air regarding the Discovery Pass but there were no seats available on flight SM to LP (seats are limited)and they won't do any booking for Laos Air unless you are booking a Discovery Pass. All in all a bit of a marathon, but hopefully we won't have any more problems with this. Now on to looking at accommodation!!!
    Befree your last post is interesting - so it seems this is quite a new event. Another travel agent has told me they had a recent experience when they booked a Laos Air flight for a customer from Australia but when she tried to use her ticket Laos Air were not going to honour it because one of the credit card name was not the name of one of the passengers.
    I'll submit a post on this forum when we return to let people know how we got on with our flights.
    Ah, the joys of independent travel (and we haven't even left yet) - hopefully we'll have lots of interesting and challenging adventures on this trip.

    #10 Posted: 28/8/2008 - 15:49

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  • somtam2000

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    Thanks for the report back Brisbod -- much appreciated. I think I'll put a story together on this, so if you don't mind a couple of questions; how did you pay for the ticket? Credit card over the phone? and was the contact in Siem Reap a travel agent, or specifically a Lao Airlines rep?

    Thanks!

    #11 Posted: 28/8/2008 - 16:51

  • Sarah2301

    Joined Travelfish
    4th August, 2008
    Posts: 7

    Hi, I'm planning to fly with Lao Airlines from Siem Reap to Vientiane on 4 December. I've just looked at the website www.laoairlines.com and it does seem to have an online booking facility now - has anyone actually used this to book their lao airlines flights and does the onling booking work? Thanks!
    Sarah

    #12 Posted: 28/8/2008 - 17:55

  • befree

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2007
    Posts: 11

    Hi Brisbod, hope all is sorted now & you have a great trip. Yep I agree’ the joys of independent travel’
    What happen to me is that I had booked Laos airline thru Flight Centre. Yesterday I went into Flight Centre & they totally refunded me plus whilst there we rebooked on the Laos airlines site ( using my CC). They told me that the airline would not honour my tickets bought through them. This is what probably happen to the customer of your travel agent . By the time I returned home my e tickets where in my e-mail.
    To EX. I found I got a better price using the agent ( ie conversion price) Here in Australia our banks give us a really bad exchange rate plus fees & chargers for using credit cards.


    Sarah, I haven’t used yet but my friend just returned last month ( using the online booking site) she didn’t have any problems. Make sure all details are correct & you should be fine.
    Btw, I read that australian Post Office’s now sell money, here in N’QLD I have been into two PO’s & got price. I checked the current rate & better than the banks. Although, only sell in 1000aud lots. I not planning on buying any, was just curious.

    #13 Posted: 29/8/2008 - 03:20

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    Hi Somtam. It’s difficult to say with 100% accuracy, but I believe the contact is Laos Airways’ representative and office in Siem Reap . I got the phone number from the Lao Airlines website under their branch offices contact information. The person I spoke to said they were Laos Air office and emails they are sending me are showing from "Lao Airlines SiemReap_Cambodia". I specifically requested their address and they provided the same address as shown on Lao Air website for Siem Reap .
    We haven't paid for the tickets yet - they are reserved for us until we arrive in Siem Reap . As we arrive in Siem Reap several days before we fly to LP, they have said we need to come to their office to have the tickets issued by 2:00pm 3 days before flying, otherwise the reservation will be cancelled. They have also reserved our flight from LP to Chiang Mai for us. This suits us as we are paying no money up front and can pay in cash when we arrive, which saves us credit card fees.

    As for the ticketing situation through travel agents in Australia, I phoned a wholesale travel agent friend again, who did some checking, and apparently Laos Airlines has not had representation in Australia for nearly a year.

    I’ll be sure to let everyone know how we got on with our flights when we return early November.
    befree - thanks for your good wishes.

    #14 Posted: 29/8/2008 - 18:20

  • TonyL

    Joined Travelfish
    19th December, 2006
    Posts: 46

    I have just phoned Flight Centre to enquire about the above problems having personally booked a Discovery Pass with a Lao Airlines leg for November. Their response is as follows: "Since about May all tickets have to be e tickets so they have to book via Bangkok Airlines office in Sydney. The latter are issuing these e tickets in departure order and as there is quite a backlog they will probably be issued about a month before I depart. Flight centre are not aware of any financial problems that Bangkok Air or Lao Air could be having but assure me that they can book a Discovery Pass. Perhaps befree was just trying to book an individual Lao Airlines ticket not a Discovery Pass. In that case I believe that Flight Centre may not be able to issue a ticket. Anyway, I have shot off an e mail to Lao Airlines giving details of the problems that people are having and asking for confirmation that my first Discovery Pass leg from CMX (Chiang Mai) to Luang Prabang booked via Flight Centre/Bangkok Air will be honoured.
    Watch this space!!!.

    #15 Posted: 30/8/2008 - 09:02

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi

    I have booked tickets 4 times now using the following email addrees rbkk01@laos-airlines.com. I have paid for half of the cost of the tickets before leaving but paid the difference both in vientiene or in bangkok - this time i paid in advance by email from Canberra.

    I have never had any problem with Laos - they are a good company and cheap. The price i get using that email address is normally less than the price on the website and they have more up to date schedules.

    Doug

    #16 Posted: 30/8/2008 - 17:46

  • TonyL

    Joined Travelfish
    19th December, 2006
    Posts: 46

    I have just had a reply from Lao Airlines which only tells me that I have to get my travel agent to put my ticket number on my ticket so that I can be reconfirmed.

    It completely failed to answer my question about Flight Centre bookings. No doubt something got lost in the translation. However the general gist of the e mail seemed to indicate that my booking would be OK once the ticket number was put on the ticket.

    Here's hoping I dont have to hitch hike from Chiang Mai to Lauang Prabang !!.

    #17 Posted: 31/8/2008 - 08:02

  • maliamaui

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2008
    Posts: 17

    I am looking to buy a ticket from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap around December 20, 2008. I sent an e-mail to both the laos airlines address from their website and to the rbkk01@laos-airlines.com address offered by queanbeyan.

    No response from laos airlines (as many have posted), but rbkk01@laos-airlines.com was very quick to respond, helpful, and cheaper. However, I have read many reports (mostly from late 2007) about their tickets not being honored.
    Despite, some people's difficulty booking through the actual site www.laoairlines.com (it works for me on internet explorer) it seems that at least tickets booked through this site are always honored.
    However, their are differences in the flight schedule between the two. For example, the laos airlines website shows flights between LP and SR for the 19th, and rbkk01@laos-airlines.com says that there are only flights on Monday, wednesday and saturday (dec 20th).
    Also, the laoairlines site offers two flights a day. One "nonstop"
    10:20 Luang Prabang (LPQ)
    12:00 Siem Reap (REP) 1:40 0 stop(s)
    and one one-stop flight
    10:50 Luang Prabang (LPQ)
    14:15 Siem Reap (REP) 3:25 1 stop(s)

    While rbkk01@laos-airlines.com says there is only one flight, three times a week with slightly different times:
    QV 513 LPQ / REP 10.20 / 13.50

    Can anyone clarify this? The direct flight of course sounds great, but does it exist? or is the website not updated?

    Also, we are passing through Vientiane 5 days before our flight and arriving in Luang Prabang two days before our flight. Would it be better to book at one of these offices then even in high season? Would I have to worry about fake offices?
    Also, Brisbod mentioned contacting the office in Siem Reap and reserving a ticket that could be paid for on arrival a few days before. Has anyone contacted the Luang Prabang office?
    Sorry for all the questions--- any advice would be much appreciated.

    #18 Posted: 14/9/2008 - 02:39

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi

    I normally book my flights through the rbkk01@laos-airlines.com address and I have never had any problems. I have visited their office in Bangkok and also the Lao Airlines office in vientiene and both have been friendly and helpful. The rbkk01@laos-airlines.com is cheaper and has the latest schedule information - ask them to confirm the flight details and then you can confirmn world travel mate for the actual times too.

    They now offer an e-ticket service and this is issued from Lao airlines - so it beats me how the airline cannot honour its own e-ticket but this is Laos - so it appears that somethings sometimes seem to go astray!!


    Doug

    #19 Posted: 14/9/2008 - 03:05

  • maliamaui

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2008
    Posts: 17

    queanbeyan thanks for your fast response!!! So are you saying that rbkk01@laos-airlines.com is a travel agent or an actual lao airlines contact? Also, we have a full day in Bangkok on the 13th of December (one week before the flight we are wanting to book). The quote rbkk01@laos-airlines.com gave me is only about $15 cheaper (for 2 tickets) than the price quoted on the laoairlines.com website, so if the Bangkok office would likely quote me that price, it would be worth the $15 to me to do it direct. I imagine that the bangkok office would have up to date flight times. Would this be far enough in advance in December? Could I call the office to reserve a ticket and pay on arrival? What do you suggest?

    #20 Posted: 14/9/2008 - 03:40

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Maliamaui

    Last year in March and in October I booked tickets from ChiangMai to Luang Prabang and then back to Bangkok and at that time the arrangement with rbkk01@laos-airlines.com was that pay half now and half when collect the tickets. I was only going to be in ChiangMai for 2 hours before the flight to luang prabang so I asked them if i could collect the ticket at their office in Soi Asoke in BKK (one week earlier than the flight). That was easy for me because I have family who live near there anyway. If you book with rbkk01@laos-airlines.com now - they like payment up front and will issue an e-ticket. You should ask them if there is any risk with the e-ticket but I cant see how there could be - it is virtually the same as a boarding pass(?!???)

    Ask rbkk01@laos-airlines.com to send you an invoice, and have a look at the full cost - their price includes surcharges and airport taxes. I found that some agents don't include that in the quoted price. You can print the invoice, fill out the details and then email the scanned copy back to them. You then have a confirmed and paid booking. The invoice also has the lao airlines logo.

    Ask them also if there is any risk of the airline not honouring the ticket.

    I don't know the status of rbkk01@laos-airlines.com but I believe that they are the ticketing office for Lao Air - that has been my experience - picking up tickets in the past in BKK, and Vientiene has been easy because they are waiting for me and it takes 5 minutes. The office in BKK is a the rep for a few small airlines. The vientine office is the head office of Lao airlines.

    Just to re-iterate - i have always had good dealings with rbkk01@laos-airlines.com and I prefer to have the flight paid for and ticketed up front.

    Hope this helps.

    Doug

    #21 Posted: 14/9/2008 - 07:55

  • devonsongbi-
    rd

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2008
    Posts: 3

    Booked flight BKK to Luang Prabang from UK on Lao Airlines website. Absolutely no problem - the site seemed to work well; it was an e-ticket and check in was fine.

    #22 Posted: 15/9/2008 - 02:46

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    rbkk01@laos-airlines.com
    Has nothing to do with the official Lao Airlines web site. There have been problems with people not getting their tickets. I would also object strongly to someone who has set up a website that pretends to be the official Lao Airlines site. I regard this as out and out fraud.

    #23 Posted: 15/9/2008 - 12:53

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Rufus

    How do you know that that site is not part of Lao Airlines? I have always assumed that it is because Loa referred me to them from contacting the link on the lao airlines website and they always have the lao tickets and use the logo. If they are not part of Lao Airlines - then i dont want to recommend them or use them again but I would like to know how you know this for sure. Have you lost money with them? Happy to be corrected for the sake of other travellers.

    Doug

    #24 Posted: 15/9/2008 - 15:04

  • somtam2000

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    Doug,

    www.laos-airlines.com is a Parisian travel agent -- they have nothing to do with the official airline, other than they sell their tickets -- just as many other travel agents do.

    In the past there have been complaints about them, but I've not heard any recently -- they got a lot of flack for using a domain name similar to that of the airline, and for a while, passed off the website as the official airline site -- though they've stopped doing that now.

    #25 Posted: 15/9/2008 - 16:05

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Somtam,

    I have been to their office in soi Asoke - so while they might be registred as a company in Paris - there is no way that French people can speak english as badly as these guys!!

    Lao airlines uses agents in many countries and I think that this mob are the Bangkok based ticket agents. Evidenced by the requirement to pay in thai baht - why would a french company require thai baht payment.

    The Lao agent in Australia was previously Adelaide based and apart from giving the wrong advice about the dates, was twice the price of the group of rbkk01@laos-airlines.com. The email address also leads me to think that this part of the company are in bkk - "rBKK01@laos-airlines.com".

    I have never had any unpleasant dealings with these guys but I speak Thai and Lao so they are maybe unlikely to try anything on - but I suppose it is 'buyer - beware' with all travel agents - some even go bust before they pay the airline too.

    I suppose we all have to trust someone for these things - and going to a reputable local travel agent is maybe the safest. I wont be recommending rbkk01@laos-airlines.com again - especially if those more travelled than I have doubts about their service or honesty.


    Doug

    #26 Posted: 15/9/2008 - 18:40

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Doug, I have spoken to the staff at Lao Airlines here in Vientiane and they are also not happy about the bogus site, but there is not much they can do about it.
    I think you will find the Lao agent in Aust was Melbourne based as well as there is a LA office in Melb.

    There was a period about 2-3 months ago where this bogus agent was not accepting any bookings due to not having paid bills or something similar.

    #27 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 07:38

  • maliamaui

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2008
    Posts: 17

    Wow! i'm glad to see so many responses. First of all, here is what they told me when I asked if they were Lao airlines or an agent:
    "We are Agent of Laos Airlines. Our policy passenger who make a booking with us have to pay full payment for guarantee seats. After you pay full payment already we will send E-ticket to you and you use e-ticket check in at the Airport.

    Please find the the ticket reservation and the payment conditions as below;
    1. Full payment have to be pay when you receive invoice and accept the price (by credit card).
    2. After we receive your payment, we will issue e-ticket to you.
    3. Your booking will be auto cancelled if the payment haven't been settled.

    Note: Please do not worry about your credit card details, we do the handle for many years and have no any problem. After we receive your payment we will keep in secret.

    If you agree with us please send information flight after we will booking and send invoice to you.
    Should you have any questions, please feel free contact us.
    Best Regards,
    Ms.Nittaya Keawklom - Internet Reservation
    RBKK01@laos-airlines.com"

    I'm assuming that this means they are a travel agent. Giving the varying reports, I would rather book through the actual laoairlines.com website since I have yet to come across any reports of problems with this site (aside from it not working on some people's browsers). The difference in the price is only about $10 per ticket.

    However, there is still the problem that the laoairlines.com website shows about 2 flights a day between Luang Prabang and Siem Reap , one direct and one indirect, and RBKK01@laos-airlines.com says that there are only flights Monday, thursday and Saturday : QV 513 LPQ / REP 10.20 / 13.50 and they are not direct.

    It is not hard to imagine that the laosairlines.com website might be out of date, but what happens if you purchase a flight that doesn't exist? I was planning on buying a ticket for Dec 20th anyways so at least that is a saturday, but the difference in schedules is making me wonder.

    I have also read about someone calling the Siem Reap office of lao airlines and getting a ticket reserved that they could pay for three days before at the office. This would be ideal, but does anyone know if they would speak english? Is there anyone that has actually flown this route recently and knows the schedule?

    Thanks Doug and everyone else for your feedback.

    #28 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 10:54

  • maliamaui

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2008
    Posts: 17

    sorry to clarify, by "they" i mean the lao airlines office in luang prabang--- has anyone been to or called this office or should I call the one in Vientiane ? Or should I just even though its high season to book until I get to Vientiane or LP 5 or 2 days before? sorry for all the questions? thanks again

    #29 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 11:00

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    Obviously my problem with booking flights is of interest to a few people - it's great to see so much feedback from travellers out there. Doug, after you posted the details of the Laos website you have dealt with, I decided as an exercise to email them to see what info they would send back. I've attached below the relevant info from my email and their reply. What's interesting is that the days I have received info of flights from travel agents in Aust, Laos Airlines website and the office in Siem Reap , this agent says there are no flights. Also they avoided my question of where their office is located. I would be very wary of trusting this website. Maliamaui, I phoned Siem Reap office as I thought there would be a better chance of someone speaking English, and I had no problems. For your peace of mind, I think it's worth a phone call to Luang Prabang - or at a minimum an email to their office - Email : lpq@laoairlines.com.

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Many thanks for your e-mail. As we are Agent of Laos Airlines. Please see flights and prices as below:

    QV523 11OCT REP / LPQ 14.35 / 18.00 == Operate.
    QV523 12OCT REP / LPQ 14.35 / 18.00 == Do not operate on this date.
    QV523 13OCT REP / LPQ 14.35 / 18.00 == Do not operate on this date.

    QV635 15OCT LPQ / CNX 13.10 / 14.10 == Do not operate on this date.
    QV635 16OCT LPQ / CNX 13.10 / 14.10 == Do not operate on this date.
    QV635 17OCT LPQ / CNX 13.10 / 14.10 == Operate.

    Price
    ==The total promotion excursion pass airfare is 330USD/person (270USD for REP-LPQ-CNX + 10USD for Luang Prabang Airport Departure Taxes + 50USD for International Fuel & Insurance Surcharge)

    To make a flight reservation and more informations, please visit www.laos-airlines.com
    Or please to feel free to contact us to make your reseravation reserve@laos-airlines.com.

    Ms. Nittaya Keawklom--Internet Reservation
    reserve@laos-airlines.com

    ------------------------------------------------------

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: rbkk01@laos-airlines.com
    Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 7:07 PM
    Subject: Ticket inquiry

    I have obtained your email address from a travel forum over the internet. We are looking to reserve flights as follows:

    Siem Reap to Luang Prabang - either Sunday, 12 October or Monday, 13 October
    Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai - either Wednesday, 15 October or Thursday, 16 October.

    Can you please advise flight availability and cost.
    Can you please advise where your office is located?

    #30 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 17:26

  • Sarah2301

    Joined Travelfish
    4th August, 2008
    Posts: 7

    Well after all that I think I'm going to stick to the official website http://www.laoairlines.com/ and book with their online booking facility direct with the airline, as a couple of people have said this does work (providing the website does not crash) and their seems some doubt with other agents as to who you are dealing with.

    By the way I am in the UK. Am hoping to fly from Siem Reap to Vientiane on 4 December. I'll let you know how I get on.

    #31 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 17:35

  • Sarah2301

    Joined Travelfish
    4th August, 2008
    Posts: 7

    I have now booked my flights! I went to the official website direct with the airline www.laoairlines.com - the website all worked perfectly and I now have a confirmation number for e-tickets, which says my booking is confirmed and reservation guaranteed. I paid in full by credit card.
    The cost was US$175 each for the one way flight REP to VTE. The flight is sort of direct - it counts as one flight but there is a 'technical stop'.
    Anyway I'll let you know once I've done the trip if it all went so smoothly or not once I got to the airport!
    Happy travels all,
    Sarah

    #32 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 18:15

  • maliamaui

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2008
    Posts: 17

    Sarah~ If you don't mind me asking, what day of the week is your flight and at what time. I agree that the official website is the way to go, but it just seems strange that the other website, a real agent or not, would have different information on days and flight times. I'll try to contact the Luang Prabang office first since I have time. Good investigative work everyone.... hahaha.... what a lot of confusion over something that could be so simple

    #33 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 23:53

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Somtam,Sarah and others,

    Feeling bad about possibly recommending a company that has a dubious reputation, I went to the official site and followed the links to 'contact us' and 'General sales agents' and the link to ECCR is still on the official website under Europe and France as an agent.

    I then decided to check my e-ticket by going to www.checkmytrip.com and my e-booking number doesn't appear to be registered with the official site. I have sent a copy of the e-ticket to the official lao airlines site and I have asked ECCR to check the PNR code for the ticket.

    Hope that I haven't been a victim of some sort of scam - but I'll let you know how I go with my enquiries on this one.

    This is the sort of stuff that you don't need 3 weeks out from a trip!!

    Doug

    #34 Posted: 17/9/2008 - 03:28

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    I wouldn't worry too much Doug. I think you'll be ok.

    #35 Posted: 17/9/2008 - 12:43

  • happyjan1

    Joined Travelfish
    17th September, 2008
    Posts: 1

    I was about to book an internal flight for December(Vient to Luang Prabang ) using the 'other' site's reservation email. This site only has flight schedules up to october, which may be where the confusion lies with times. I don't know if there are any discrepancies with the official site because currently it won't link to its schedules at all!
    I endorse Doug's comment - the offcial site has the 'other' site down as the preferred agent for Europe.

    The person who replied to me from the 'other' email address also offered me the Excursion rate for combining the purchase of internal flights with our follow on flights from Luang Prabang to Hanoi . The costs are slightly hgher than on their website - this may be because of the tax etc being included.

    Very little is currently working on the official site - I can put my preferred dates in but nothing happens when i click 'go'! No access to schedules or prices links.

    My guesthouse in Hanoi is offering to book our flights from Luang Prabang to Hanoi with Lao Air for us. Is this going to result in problems using the tickets because we werent the ones who paid for them?

    #36 Posted: 17/9/2008 - 16:05

  • CunningMcFar

    Joined Travelfish
    20th August, 2004
    Posts: 163
    Total reviews: 45

    try using Internet Explorer as your browser when booking tix on the Lao Air website, that button does not seem to work when other browsers, like FireFox, are used.

    #37 Posted: 19/9/2008 - 04:59

  • odessafile

    Joined Travelfish
    27th August, 2008
    Posts: 8

    I am in US and I use Internet Explorer. I needed to book several flights with Lao Airlines via www.laoairlines.com. It is a nightmare! I tried many different variations. But, it just does not want to take my credit card! It comes back with an error all the time. I tried to call the airline in Laos using their phone number from the website. NOBODY speaks English! I called 3 times. Every time somebody else answers, but nobody can speak English!!!
    I dealt with laos-airlines.com. They are propmpt and give communicate back right away. I read Doug's postings and thought that they are reliable. I am about to send them my credit card information to book 3 flights. I am confused with all the posts that I read. What should I do?

    #38 Posted: 19/9/2008 - 09:17

  • Sarah2301

    Joined Travelfish
    4th August, 2008
    Posts: 7

    My flight is on a Thursdsay, 4 Dec and departs Siem Reap at 10.05, arriving Vientiane 13.00.
    I used www.laoairlines.com from the UK using internet explorer and it all worked fine for me. If the website doesn't seem to be working for you I can only suggest try again later?
    I also noticed the other website doesn't have the timetables for after Oct 08.

    #39 Posted: 19/9/2008 - 15:32

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Odesasafile

    I have confirmed my tickets with the lao-Airlines.com website. They provided me with a link to a webiste - www.virtuallythere.com/abacus which has my e-tickets there.

    As I said in my previous post - I am not recommending that site - but in this case my tickets have no problems and are valid. I paid about two thirds or the price that the Lao Airlines website was quoting too!

    Every time I have tried to pay for a flight on laoAirlines.com I get an error message - I think that is why I decided to use the agent in paris.

    Hope this helps - not a recommendation but not a criticism too!

    Doug

    Doug

    #40 Posted: 19/9/2008 - 16:50

  • Layabout

    Joined Travelfish
    17th March, 2008
    Posts: 27

    I have just come back from doing the Siem Reap - L/P -- Chiang mai trip and after reading all of these notices it appears lots of people had the same problem I had booking flights so I waited until I got there and found that it was cheaper and easier to walk into a travel agent and pay cash and fly out easily. If you go to or from Laos on Weekend or after 1700 you will be charged $1US extra for overtime pay.

    #41 Posted: 19/9/2008 - 17:32

  • cactusjoe

    Joined Travelfish
    21st September, 2008
    Posts: 7

    I am on a discovery air pass. I could not get my main carrier to book the Vietnam air flight from Phnom Penh to Luang Prabang I actually have to backtrack to Bangkok.
    However Bangkok took care of the Laos flight. Someone was correct about the tracking. They gave me a bad connection in Bangkok to Kho samui after my flight from Vietiane

    #42 Posted: 22/9/2008 - 10:28

  • shunhe78

    Joined Travelfish
    14th August, 2008
    Posts: 1

    Wow....seems like so many people are sharing the same dilemma as me. I should have read these postings long ago. They've definitely given me much clarity.

    I've actually made a booking with laos-airline.com long ago but they requires me to fax them my credit card number + CCV + expiry date + signature to confirm the booking. I'm very hesitant as with these information, they can abuse the credit card. Sadly they have just cancelled my booking due to no payment and I hope to settle it soon before there's no more seats.

    Hi Doug and everyone. Did you fax them this information? Any advise? I hope it's safe.

    Thank you everyone and having fun.

    #43 Posted: 23/9/2008 - 07:14

  • maliamaui

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2008
    Posts: 17

    I finally just went ahead and booked on-line with the official site laoairlines.com for my flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap in December. They sent e-tickets right away. The price I paid was only slightly higher ($10) from what laos-airlines quoted me, so shunhe78, if you haven't given them your credit card info yet maybe you should book through the official site on internet explorer browser if the price is comparable.
    But there no longer was the option of choosing the shorter/direct flight (1 hour 40 minutes)-- only a 3 hour 40 minute flight. It seems strange that both the direct and not-direct flights to Siem Reap would leave only a half hour apart on the same day (especially since they supposedly only fly every other day). Does anyone who has done this flight know if there really are two flights a day? Could I maybe show up early and get on the direct flight? I know most on this forum either haven't flown yet or haven't flown with them in a while, but just thought I'd ask just in case.

    #44 Posted: 23/9/2008 - 07:33

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Shunhe78,

    My booking with lao-airlines.com is fine. I have now puchased 8 tickets with them over the last 18 months. I was a little bit worried when my booking didn't show up on www.checkmytrip.com but it is on virtuallythere.com instead. Each agent will use one or the other sites - but not both!?!

    No problems with credit card issues too. I normally scan the completed invoice into my pc and send it by email - it seems to work well that way and I know that it can't end up on the wrong fax machine somewhere.

    Hope this helps.

    When are you travelling?

    Doug

    #45 Posted: 23/9/2008 - 14:13

  • vily

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Hi,

    was wonderin if anyone have experienced this. iam cathing a flight from bkk to udon thani, thinking of catching a bus onward to nong khai and straight to vtn.

    is this the right route to go?? for a start is it safe?
    which bus? what number???
    i so skeptic about this???

    please help.

    #46 Posted: 23/9/2008 - 19:00

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    "Is it safe?" You sound like Mengele in the Dustin Hoffman movie. Why wouldn't it be safe? I have done this many times. Catch a bus from Udon straight to Talat Sao in Vientiane. About 9.30 I think.

    #47 Posted: 23/9/2008 - 19:12

  • vily

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Rufus,

    you are a champ!!!!!.

    what bus number by the way so that i can start booking my air fair frm bkk now.

    thanks

    #48 Posted: 23/9/2008 - 19:24

  • Ramblergirl

    Joined Travelfish
    8th July, 2008
    Posts: 17
    Total reviews: 8

    Dear Quenbeyan,
    thank you very much for good postings and expecially for good sites to check online bookings. I have booked some flights from LA, and also from Air Asia and did not get throught to their members' site to check out the flights. Now I have other sites, thanks to you, and I dont need to start emailing AA Customer Service for reconfirming my flights.

    #49 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 11:15

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Sorry don't know the bus number, but anyone at the bus station will be able to help you. Wasn't expensive either. If you go Mon to Thirs there are not so many people as well.

    #50 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 14:42

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    Hi everyone

    Not wanting to add fuel to the fire, but I again emailed the reserve@laos-airlines.com site querying why their email to me listed flights on different days to what was shown on the official website and this is the reply I received:

    "Thank you for your e-mail.
    Due to our website is not update yet and we've just received the update schedule from our Flight Control in Vientiane as following;

    QV 523 REP / LPQ 14.35 / 18.00 Every Mon, Thu and Sat.
    QV 635 LPQ / CNX 13.10 / 14.10 Every Tue, Fri and Sun"

    This is still different to days shown on the official website. For example, we have been told that there is a flight 635 - Luang Prabang to Chaing Mai on Thursday 16 Oct. How can you know if there really is a flight going on a day you have booked and paid for? Who can you believe?

    #51 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 16:02

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    #46:
    if you already have a visa for Laos, or don't need one to enter Laos (don't know your nationality), you can take the International bus from the main bus station in Udon Thani (there are 3) which will bring you all the way to Vientiane. they don't sell tickets to people who need to get a visa on arrival (ticketing staff will ask to check your passport).

    if you have to get visa on arrival for Laos: (1) minivan from Udon Thani airport direct to Nong Khai friendship bridge, or (2) bus from Udon Thani town to Nong Khai + tuktuk to bridge. then find own transport across bridge & then transport into Vientiane.
    can't recall what others have posted about timings, costs & ease, not tried these 2 options before.

    #52 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 18:27

  • vily

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2008
    Posts: 5

    wanderingcat.

    thank you for your most useful infos. i am australian national(lao/oz)this means i will be needing to stop @ nong kai first, get a visa and then find my way to vientaine.

    can i get this said visa from the friendship bridge??
    or do i need to go to an immigration office for one????


    cheers

    #53 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 18:33

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi vily
    I suggest you get your visa in oz first - the Lao embassy is quite friendly and fast and it will save you any hastles and give you more options.

    I have an e-copy of the visa application - that i can send to you - and it takes about one week - including postage time - to get the visa.

    Let me know if you need the e-copy.

    Doug

    #54 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 19:05

  • vily

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Hi Doug,

    That would be a great idea. do you mind???

    i reckon if i do one now, then that will give me a peace of mind.

    will this be thru postage?? or email???

    let me know i will give you the address.

    so nice to know there are actually nice people out there.

    #55 Posted: 24/9/2008 - 19:34

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Vily

    Even though I live not too far from the embassy, I have normally downloaded the visa app from their website. The link is

    http://www.laosembassy.net/visas.html

    This is the OZ version. Takes 10 days - but only 3 in person.

    Hi Somtam - I hope its ok to put this on the forum - sorry for not checking first.

    It might be a good set of links on your wonderful website - 'Visa documents' !!

    Doug

    #56 Posted: 25/9/2008 - 03:45

  • minfelise

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd October, 2008
    Posts: 1

    Hi,

    Does anyone know how much the bus is from Vientiane to Udon Thani is? Any approximate number would be helpful.

    I am trying to plan to go from Vietnam - Cambodia - Laos specifically from Ho Chi Minh - Siem Reap - Vientiane then back to Bangkok.... and I was trying to book flights between all the cities, but it seems pretty hard. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or is it easier to book bus trips and trains? Keep in mind I have a very limited time scale, but I still want to keep a budget.

    Thanks for any Help.

    #57 Posted: 2/10/2008 - 15:53

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    was 22,000kip/80baht a year ago when the exchange rate was still 1 baht = ~275kip...baht has dropped since

    #58 Posted: 2/10/2008 - 15:59

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    The bus is still 80 baht.

    #59 Posted: 3/10/2008 - 16:03

  • Karimster

    Joined Travelfish
    11th September, 2008
    Posts: 15

    On Laos flights - just been to the Laos airlines office in Siem Reap . It was brilliant, cheaper than any other prices I've seen (including the various sources discussed here). Seems like the flights don't book up too fast. My strong advice would be to wait until you get to Siem Reap before booking your tickets - if you're spending a few days here. It doesn't take cards though, so bring cash (they will reserve your ticket if you turn up cashless, however).

    #60 Posted: 8/10/2008 - 18:26

  • Brisbod

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 20

    Hi everyone

    As we have now returned from our holiday, I thought I should add a postscript to this incredibly long trail of posts that I started way back in August.

    Unfortunately, the inevitable happened. When we arrived in Siem Reap we had our tuk-tuk driver take us straight out to Laos Airlines office so we could pay for our tickets for the flights we had reserved with them. Yes, wouldn't you know it, Laos Airlines had cancelled the flight on the day we had reserved to fly from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai and there was no flight either the day before or the day after. We couldn't fly any other time as it wouldn't fit in with our schedule, which meant that we never made it to Laos!!! Very disappointing, but as they say c'est la vie.

    Thanks everyone for contributing and providing much needed advice.

    #61 Posted: 17/11/2008 - 17:23

  • collapsis12

    Joined Travelfish
    4th March, 2009
    Posts: 4

    Brisbod, I'm sorry to hear that your flight didn't work out and that you weren't able to get to Laos!

    I'm planning a trip to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia next month and came across this forum after being confused by the whole laos-airlines.com vs. laoairlines.com website issue. After reading all the posts, it seems like the "other" website seems to be an okay (albeit slightly more risky) option, so I emailed rbkk01@laos-airlines.com to enquire about some reservations.

    Since it seems like a lot of people on this forum have traveled around the area and know it pretty well, I'd like a bit of advice about my itinerary. Right now, I'm leaning towards:

    Hanoi (3 days) > Luang Prabang (3 days) > Vientiane (1 day) > Siem Reap [probably via overnight train to BKK and bus to Cambodia] (2 days)> Phnom Penh (2 days) > Ho Chi Minh City (2 days) > Depart

    Does this sound like it will allow me enough time to at least experience all of the highlights of each place? It's not a lot of time in any one place, so I'm open to eliminating either Phnom Penh or Vientiane - thoughts?

    Thanks, and happy travels!

    #62 Posted: 4/3/2009 - 13:33

  • somtam2000

    admin
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    At least 113

    collapsis12,

    You'll probably get more replies if you post this as a new question rather than as a part of an existing thread.

    That said, yes, your plan is doable, though I'd lean towards flying VTE to Siem Reap and skipping Bangkok as otherwise it's just a wasted day or so in what is already a pretty lean trip.

    Hope that helps

    #63 Posted: 5/3/2009 - 12:05

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    laos-airlines.com is NOT the real agent. If you have booked via this site, good luck. The guy is a crook and I hope you don't lose your money. However there have been many warnngs regarding this. If you don't listen to them its your own fault. I have booked via the real site many times with no problems.

    One day in Vientiane is by far not enough to see everything there. I would spend at least 2.

    #64 Posted: 7/3/2009 - 10:12

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    Collapsis -- it all depends on your budget. I'd skip Vientiane entirely and fly from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap, but I think only Bangkok Air flies that route and they are expensive. That gives you an extra day in 3 different places.

    #65 Posted: 8/3/2009 - 10:39

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi all,

    I manageed to have the time of my life in Laos since arrving in October 2008. I travelled to places that were so remote that I had to rely on my Lao language skills. I ate many different things and animals and plants - bears - a goat - snakes -cats and dogs - never got sick in 5 months - extended visas at places that people said were impossible and never had any trouble with the law or local officials.

    I met so many young people having a year off - met so many people my age just getting away from it all - shared beds, rooms, drinks, etc with people that i never met before and will never meet again. Absolute fun - thanks to all who helped me plan my adventure.

    The issue with tickets from the non-official Laos Airway site was a non-issue. I confirmed in bkk and the booking was fine. Maybe others have had problems but I have now booked over 10 flights with that groups and have had no trouble - so i will stick with them due to the lower prices. When I was in Luang Namtha I had to rebook a flight that i had bought with the non-official site and the office staff at the real Laos Airways place told me that many people book with the unofficial place becasue they are better and cheaper!!! I am going to lao again in June with 2 other people and we will book with the unofficial website. While others may have had troubles I have been lucky and will test that luck again.

    Cheers

    Doug

    #66 Posted: 8/3/2009 - 12:43

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    eljefe have you ever been to Vientiane ? Most people who make silly comments like this one haven't: "I'd skip Vientiane entirely ...."

    #67 Posted: 9/3/2009 - 13:06

  • collapsis12

    Joined Travelfish
    4th March, 2009
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for the advice y'all! I've decided to fly to Siem Reap from Vientiane instead of going through BKK. I'd rather spend a litle extra money and have an extra day to explore than to save a little and spend nearly an entire day in transit.

    Thanks again for the advice - I can't wait!

    #68 Posted: 9/3/2009 - 13:26

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    Rufus wrote, "eljefe have you ever been to Vientiane ?"
    Of course. Three times, unfortunately. I live in Chiang Mai and spend a lot of time in Laos, most of it in places more interesting than Vientiane.
    You're entitles to your opinion and "silly comments". I'm entitled to mine.

    #69 Posted: 11/3/2009 - 14:02

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    I am curious as to what you actually saw, or perhaps i should say "didn't see."
    By the way, it is entitled, not "entitles."

    #70 Posted: 12/3/2009 - 11:36

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Actually Rufus, it is 'I' not 'i' - since you are being so perfect!

    #71 Posted: 12/3/2009 - 14:41

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    Rufus, I'm sorry my spellcheck isn't good enough for you. I'm also sorry that you can't accept other people's opinions. That's sad.

    #72 Posted: 12/3/2009 - 16:01

  • somtam2000

    admin
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    At least 113

    eljefe, rufus -- can we keep this on topic please -- ie booking flights with Lao Airlines. You're welcome to start a new thread discussing the virtues of Vientiane

    Thanks

    #73 Posted: 13/3/2009 - 07:34

  • lizzy4946

    Joined Travelfish
    5th June, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Flights to Laos

    For what it's worth-- I just arrived home from our vacation. We did the following: Saigon-> Siem Reap -> Luang Prabang -> Hanoi ->Sapa->Halong Bay.

    I tried to plan some our our flights before we left the states. In doing so, I was so fed up with the Laos Airlines website, that I finally just called a US travel agent in Los Angeles where I live. She was easily able to book tickets from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang in minutes for a reasonable price on Vietnam Airlines.

    We did not purchase a flight from Luang Prabang to Hanoi before our trip, because we did not know how long we would like to stay in Laos. We ended up buying our ticket to Hanoi at the Vietnam Airlines desk in the Luang Prabang airport (and getting a multi-entry visa!) about 3 hours before we flew to Hanoi. It was very easy.

    #74 Posted: 8/7/2009 - 05:26

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Lizzy

    You mention "getting a multi-entry visa!" in about 3 hours before you flew on the day.

    Can you enlighten us more.

    The reason I ask is that if Vietnam Airlines can organise entry visa's that quickly, it is a reasonable assumption that this could be another way to get and save the hassle with the embassy.

    If my assumption is correct, maybe you could do a detailed post on the 'Visas & Borders' site (as well?)

    Cheers

    #75 Posted: 8/7/2009 - 06:00

  • lizzy4946

    Joined Travelfish
    5th June, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Hi Bruce Moon-

    We made the mistake of only getting single-entry visas to Vietnam before we left, when we should have obtainted multiple-entry ones. We realized this a little late, and were sitting in Laos, trying to figure out what to do.

    The travel book mentioned trying to obtain landing visas by calling Vietnamese travel agents, but it was Sunday and no one was answering the phone. We then called the Vietnam Airline ticket office in Luang Prabang, and the guy told us that he could get us our visas in a couple of hours. We drove out there, gave him our passports, and he actually gave us a ride back into town. 3 hours later we had our visas, and plane tickets to Hanoi.

    I don't know if all Vietnam Airline offices can do this, but it was a trip-saver for us.

    On the other hand, it was not difficult to obtain our first Vietnam visa from the US Embassy-- we sent in the form, a picture and the $$ and the turn-around time was only about 5 days. If you haven't left for your trip, this is probably a safer option.

    #76 Posted: 11/7/2009 - 01:54

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
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    Location Australia
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    Lizzy

    Could you post these details as a separate 'post' to both 'Visas & borders' and Vietnam.

    I'm thinking this is an important contribution that few know about, and will undoubtedly help some.

    - - -

    Also did you get the original from a US embassy, or a VN embassy in the US?

    Cheers

    #77 Posted: 11/7/2009 - 07:15

  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    Just throwing in my experience with the Laos Airlines office in Vientiane:

    friendly and competent staff, cheapest tickets I found (booked LP->Chiang Mai). Try to call them if you are not passing by early enough, everyone spoke english when I was there.

    (and SBE: yes, websites from the smaller indonesian airlines are absolutely bizarre. weirdest design, creative errors. calling does not really make anything better if you do not speak bahasa... a NATO phonetic alphabet printed out will come in handy)

    #78 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 19:22

  • kgrl7

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2009
    Posts: 4

    Hi I am trying to book a Vietnam Airlines flight from HCM - to PHu Quoc from China... and no matter how many times I try I keep receiving a booking number, but then recieve an error message that the tickets cannot be purchased. The Vietnam airlines office in shanghai is trying to sell the tickets at double the website price, and refuse to accept cash payment for the online booking. Can anyone help!?

    Plus I really need to book this ticket in advance as I land in HCM at Midnight and need to take the first plane to Phu Quoc... thanks :)

    #79 Posted: 7/9/2009 - 14:12

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    The last time I tried to purchase Vietnam Airlines tickets online (Feb or March), they were unable to issue e-tickets. I don't recall if I was even able to make a reservation thru the website as I eventually used another carrier. You should try using an independent travel agent. If that doesn't get you the price you are looking for, you should try posting this on the VN board instead of here on the Laos board.

    #80 Posted: 8/9/2009 - 03:17

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
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    Location Australia
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    kgrl7

    VN air only works when using Internet Explorer 7 or better.

    Cheers

    #81 Posted: 8/9/2009 - 05:28

  • kgrl7

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2009
    Posts: 4

    Brucemoon thank you! Once I updated Internet Explorer (I was previously using Version 6), the booking went through on the Vietnam Airlines Website!

    Incase anyone else has trouble using your credit card on the website, you can also email telesales.sro@vietnamair.com.vn and they can help you book a ticket ----- provided you make a bank transfer to Vietnam Airlines.

    #82 Posted: 8/9/2009 - 11:10

  • smash

    Joined Travelfish
    21st June, 2009
    Posts: 162

    God I wish these guys would load their schedules for May 2010 already! Severely hindering my travel plans! Hehe...

    #83 Posted: 8/9/2009 - 15:27

  • ynay

    Joined Travelfish
    15th December, 2009
    Posts: 7

    Hi everyone!

    Am making a trip to Laos in Jan. After reading the posts above, I suppose it's safe to say www.laos-airlines.com can be trusted. I've sent in reservations to them and am now waiting for their reply via email. Hope this works out coz they're offering the BKK-LPQ flights at USD173 (taxes inclusive) compared to www.laoairlines.com's USD230 for the same leg.

    But I've also come across www.laos-airTICKETS.com, and am wondering if anyone's booked through that site? The prices are also different from www.laos-airlines.com & www.laoairlines.com. They are offering USD189.

    This is really confusing!

    #84 Posted: 15/12/2009 - 09:40

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    www.laos-airTICKETS.com is a travel agent based in Bangkok. i have no idea what their affiliation is with Lao Airlines, if any. Use at your own risk.

    http://www.laoairlines.com/ is the official site of Lao Airlines.

    http://www.laos-airlines.com/ is a Thai company that is supposedly an authorized agent of Lao Airlines.

    #85 Posted: 15/12/2009 - 15:16

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    I don't think you read the posts correctly. The Lao Airlines website expressly stated that tickets booked with
    www.laos-airlines.com
    may not be honoured. They are a French site, masquerading as the real Laos Airlines site and there have been many problems with tickets booked via this agency. They have an office based in Bangkok, but they are French. You should have read the posts carefully. I hope you get your money back.

    #86 Posted: 15/12/2009 - 16:40

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Yes just checked. The official site still has this warning:
    "Urgent Message: >>> Passengers who buy air tickets with ECCR may be at risk of not being admitted onboard with Lao Airlines."

    Well, you were warned in the above posts, and poster #85 should definitely get the facts correct before posting on this topic again.

    #87 Posted: 15/12/2009 - 16:46

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    Hi Rufus,

    I wrote above "www.laoairlines.com/ is the official site of Lao Airlines."

    According to the www.laos-airlines.com website:
    "ECCR CO., Ltd is a full registered Company with Head Office in Bangkok (Thailand) with State License and all necessary agreements.
    Company has its own French Paris Office to offer best assistance to Europeans travelers, other travelers are managed by Head Office in Bangkok."
    Does it really matter whether they are a French company with a Thai office or a Thai company with a French office?

    "supposedly an authorized agent" means it may be true but there is no conclusive evidence. No facts stated. I apologize sincerely if that was misleading.

    So, which of my facts were wrong?

    #88 Posted: 15/12/2009 - 17:03

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Two things el jefe. You also clearly did not read the previous posts and follow the thread which clearly states that this "www.laos-airlines.com" is not and has been proven to be not an authorised agent. By even suggesting they they might be you amy well be misleading readers. Note the poster who has booked via that group and now may well have problems.

    #89 Posted: 16/12/2009 - 07:08

  • ynay

    Joined Travelfish
    15th December, 2009
    Posts: 7

    Hi eljefe & Rufus,

    Thanks for your responses. No need for a tiff over the details I think! Yup, understood that there's a risk booking with ECCR (www.laos-airlines.com), but from various previous posts about travellers having had no problems booking through them, I've decided to take the risk and give it a shot.

    An update: they responded rather fast and I received the invoice & credit card authorization form within the same day that I made the reservation. Scanned and mailed them my details, and they should send the e-ticket within a day or two.

    Anyway if things should turn bad, guess I have to hang on to the hope of being able to quickly (& officially) book the same flight in time. And of course, that ECCR will refund for the deal gone bad.

    Gotta roll with the punches when you travel! Let's see if 2010 is a lucky year for me :)

    #90 Posted: 16/12/2009 - 08:48

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    "And of course, that ECCR will refund for the deal gone bad.
    "
    Some posters have complained of not getting refunds in the past.
    The other question is if Lao Airlines will even let you on the plane. There website says they may not.

    #91 Posted: 16/12/2009 - 10:23

  • eljefe

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2008
    Posts: 25

    Hi Rufus, you're absolutely correct that I did not read every word on a year old thread for the 3rd time. But from scanning the posts again it seems there are first hand reports from satisfied customers of ECCR, and 2nd and 3rd hand reports of problems, hence my use of "supposedly". Those same posters reporting problems also claim that ECCR is hiding that they are a Thai travel agent. It's clearly stated on their website. Click on "About us".

    Rufus, I know you don't like me. But in the spirit of the season, I'd like to call a truce. You're entitled to the last post so please go ahead. I promise I'll take another 9 month break from this thread.

    Ynay, best of luck with your trip. Please let us know how your tickets work out.

    #92 Posted: 17/12/2009 - 15:38

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    "Rufus, I know you don't like me. But in the spirit of the season, I'd like to call a truce."

    Sure, but I don't know how you deduce I don't like you? After all, I don't even know you.

    #93 Posted: 17/12/2009 - 16:46

  • ynay

    Joined Travelfish
    15th December, 2009
    Posts: 7

    hello all,

    would just like to update on the result of my booking with ECCR (www.laos-airlines.com) - there were no problems at all with my booking. after sending them my credit card details they responded with my E-ticket, which was accepted with no questions at all at the check-in counter in BKK (i flew BKK-LPQ by the way).

    perhaps the method of booking does not appear to be secure, but i will have no qualms booking with them again for future trips!

    hope this helps all who are planning to fly with lao airlines!

    #94 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 09:09

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    ynay, just curious what advice you would give to the two people who were turned away from the Laos Airlines check in at Wattay airport last Monday for not having proper tickets. Can you suggest how they can apply for a refund?

    #95 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 09:18

  • ynay

    Joined Travelfish
    15th December, 2009
    Posts: 7

    i assume they booked with ECCR?

    if i was in their shoes, i would contact the person in the ECCR office i dealt with through emails. In my case it was Ms. Wiyada Kambok (email: RBKK05@laos-airlines.com). She explicitly stated to contact them if there were any problems.

    #96 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 09:29

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Doesn't help them much when this specific warning is on the front page of the Lao Airlines site. (Copied from the site).

    "Urgent Message: >>> Passengers who buy air tickets with ECCR may be at risk of not being admitted onboard with Lao Airlines."

    #97 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 11:29

  • ynay

    Joined Travelfish
    15th December, 2009
    Posts: 7

    you are talking about www.laoairlines.com right?

    coz strangely, i haven't seen that "urgent message" before and i still don't see it on the homepage now...

    #98 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 12:48

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    have seen that message there for months now.
    it's here: http://www.laoairlines.com/indexb.php

    ECCR is excluded from their list of sales agents:
    http://www.laoairlines.com/SalesAgentsb.php

    #99 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 13:30

  • ynay

    Joined Travelfish
    15th December, 2009
    Posts: 7

    thanks wanderingcat, now i see it!

    strange though, that they have that message on that particular page, but not if you simply go to www.laoairlines.com

    not sure why it should be so confusing just to book a flight on one airline (and with different prices across the different sites too), but perhaps travellers should try to contact the airline directly to clarify. i personally didn't have a problem flying in from BKK, maybe that's because ECCR is based in Thailand.

    #100 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 14:18

  • nanzhao

    Joined Travelfish
    16th February, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Just to muddy the waters, my family and I flew three separate legs from Siem Reap-Luang Prabang-Vientiane-Kunming and were allowed to fly all three times with tickets purchased via ECCR. From Feb 4 to Feb 10.

    #101 Posted: 16/2/2010 - 21:17

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    You must feel strongly about this as you posted this message in two threads.

    #102 Posted: 17/2/2010 - 07:35

  • satori

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    www.laos-airtickets.com appears OK.

    In April 2010 I used www.laos-airtickets.com to buy several tickets between Bangkok and Luang Prabang . I had no problems whatsoever.

    8-Apr-2010: Ordered ticket BKK-LPQ from www.laos-airtickets.com and paid via PayPal.
    8-Apr-2010: Received e-ticket.
    8-Apr-2010: Sent email to reservation@laoairlines.com asking them to confirm my e-ticket. They replied that all is fine.

    15-Apr-2010: Ordered another ticket BKK-LPQ-BKK for a friend and paid via PayPal.
    15-Apr-2010: Received friend's e-ticket.

    17-Apr-2010: Asked www.laos-airtickets.com to change the date of my own e-ticket to a few days later, because I wanted to travel together with my friend. They did so without charge.

    29-Apr-2010: Flew from Bangkok to Luang Prabang with my friend. No problems.
    9-May-2010: My friend flew back to Bangkok.

    #103 Posted: 11/5/2010 - 13:58

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Of course you won't have any problems buying the tickets. You might have a problem getting on the plane - see the Lao Airlines web site.

    #104 Posted: 11/5/2010 - 15:38

  • CunningMcFar

    Joined Travelfish
    20th August, 2004
    Posts: 163
    Total reviews: 45

    a brand new poster has been spamming the ThornTree forum the past few days with laos-airtickets.com, all the posts were removed this morning it appears. Same poster also spamming TripAdvisor, goes by the name
    lazalas, is satori a new incarnation of same same?

    #105 Posted: 11/5/2010 - 21:33

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    #105:
    noticed the same spam/plugging of that lao-airtickets site on thorntree too ;)

    #106 Posted: 11/5/2010 - 22:51

  • satori

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    #104:

    Rufus: if you are able to read messages (#103), you would have noticed that I and a fried *actually* flew Lao Airlines with tickets booked via www.laos-airtickets.com.
    Furthermore, those e-tickets were confirmed by Lao Airlines before we flew.

    I'm trying to be helpful by reporting my own experience, which is only a few days old.

    How much actual evidence do you have to claim the opposite?
    And how old is your evidence?

    Posts from myself (satori) are not SPAM.

    #107 Posted: 12/5/2010 - 08:06

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    So why are you spamming Thorn Tree and TA?

    #108 Posted: 13/5/2010 - 08:10

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    One further wonders why a "legitimate" site allows bookings to Pakse airport which is currently closed. Would you book on a site that appears not even to know if the airport is closed or not?

    #109 Posted: 18/5/2010 - 07:41

  • agarlao

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2008
    Posts: 30

    Any company which uses a bastardised but similar name to a genuine service provider to unnesessarily force themselves between the consumer and the real company is bogus and to be avoided in my opinion. The genuine site is www.laoairlines.com, so why use parasitic third-party sites like www.laos-airlines.com or www.laos.airtickets.com? Same goes for some parasitic hotel booking agencies, but that's another story.

    #110 Posted: 19/5/2010 - 07:33

  • glomer

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd February, 2010
    Posts: 86

    Urgent question. I need to alter my ticket with Vietnam Air due to name change (marriage), and they are saying I need to cancel the ticket and book another flight on another day (my original flight, which my husband is still on--for our honeymoon, no less--is sold out). The exact same flight is offered by Lao Air, and still available, according to the website. Should I cancel with Vietnam Air and book online with Lao Air? Are people still having problems with their website? A travel agent is recommending that I drive an hour and half to Vietnam's West Coast office and throw myself on their mercy, but I would love to save myself the trip, if the other option is secure.

    #111 Posted: 18/11/2010 - 05:16

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