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air travel - cheaper to book when I'm there?

  • Intrepid82

    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2009
    Posts: 33

    Is it cheaper to purchase domestic/international flights once you are in the country of origin??

    IE if I want to fly from Siem Reap to Vientiane or from Vientiane to Phonsavan should I wait until I am in Cambodia/Laos to book?

    #1 Posted: 27/7/2009 - 09:12

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  • buecax

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    i´d be interested in the answer to that as well ;-)

    #2 Posted: 27/7/2009 - 18:31

  • BruceMoon

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    I hope Somtam comes in on this one.

    My understanding is that aside from AirAsia to Vientiane (as a low cost carrier) and Bangkok Airlines to Vientiane and Luang Prabang (as a mid priced carrier), both of whom offer discounts to early paying pax, the remainder are what is termed full cost carriers and tend not to offer discounts to early booking pax.

    I would like to be wrong, so I'll await Somtam's knowledge as he's closer on this than I.

    Cheers

    #3 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 14:26

  • somtam2000

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    Low cost carriers - eg NokAir, AirAsia, Tiger and Jetstar have special deals all over the shop. You can gamble and leave it till the last minute hoping for a killer fare, but it doesn't always work that way.

    I think though the OP is referring to tickets for Lao Airlines and Vietnam Airlines being cheaper to buy in Laos and Vietnam respectively (rather than say New Zealand, Chad or Mexico) -- in that they are right, tickets for those two carriers are cheaper in-country...

    HOWEVER, some of these routes fill up fast (for eg the Siem Reap - Vientiane flight) and it becomes a balancing act between saving money and walking. In VN you can book well in advance by booking through one of the 47 b'dillion Vietnamese travel agents online, in Laos, there's less choice, but still possible.

    Some still report actually being able to book online through the Lao Airlines website, but there is no way I'd put my credit card anywhere near it.

    If you're getting to Laos or Cambodia outside of peak season and will have some leadtime to buy the tickets, and are flexible on departure date, then book on arrival, but if you have zero flexibility and little time, then I'd consider working through an agent.

    Hope that helps

    #4 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 18:12

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    I managed to book an online flight for Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang for later this year on the Laos Airlines website, just last week. The site is a bit flaky, but got there in the end.

    I had some problems with it initially and emailed an agent in Chaing Mai to see if they could do the booking for me. They could, but at a more expensive price. In the end the website worked and all went through OK.

    This was the official site, by the way, not the Paris based one.

    I haven't read anything before about this site being potentially a bit iffy with credit cards. Should I be concerned ? What's the story ?

    #5 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 18:50

  • valmobabe

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd June, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 1

    We are spending 5 weeks in Laos and Cambodia from September. I also am interested in where and when to buy flights.
    We want to fly from Xieng Khuang to Vientiane and Pakse to Siem Reap and maybe if short of time Vientiane to Pakse. I have tried in vain to buy a Discovery Pass - I live in the UK and am getting no reply from the Bangkok Airways agents - so am resigned to buying flights separately. However the official Lao Airlines site has a condition that says "To ensure you obtain the ticket(s) at the quoted fare(s), they must be purchased in the country of departure." Does that mean Lao or UK?
    Is there a serious question about credit cards in Laos. I have already given details of ours when booking the Luang Say cruise.

    #6 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 19:11

  • hotchily

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2009
    Posts: 14

    here's something for you valmobabe (email from Bangkok Airways) regarding flight from Pakse to Siem Reap ......
    ___________________________

    Thank you for your interest in Bangkok Airways' service.

    With reference to your email. We sorry to inform you that Bangkok Airways is not operate both flight that you prefer. We would like to advise you to contact Laos Airlines for Pakse - Siem Reap and Airasia for Siem Reap - Kuala Lumpur.

    Should there be any further inquiries or more assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Sincerely Yours,
    BUSARA TARAKASEM
    Reservation Contact Center
    8/3/2009 11:58:17 AM
    ________________________
    Bangkok Airways Co., Ltd
    Address: 09 Mu 14, Vibhavadirangsit Rd.,
    Chom Phon, Chatuchak,
    Bangkok, 10900, Thailand1
    Email: reservation@bangkokair.com
    Tel.: 66 (02) 270 6699, Local Contact: 1771
    Fax: 66 (02) 265 5556

    #7 Posted: 6/8/2009 - 10:56

  • BruceMoon

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    val

    Xieng Khuang to Vientiane is an internal flight and Laos Air will be the company.

    Elsewhere, people have said they can purchase Laos Airline tickets online but only through IE. I've got IE8, and I just tried and I can buy (if I wanted to) at US$78.

    Make sure you go to http://www.laoairlines.com/, NOT the one with a hyphen between Lao and airlines.

    Note also, the Laoairlines website has domestic and international sections and you must direct to whichever to get 'connected'.

    - - -

    Pakse to Siem Reap is operated by a couple of airlines. My understanding is that the Pakse airport is being upgraded (apparently for some major event) and I'd heard that it was intended for re-opening in August sometime (but, in Laos, that has to be a guide only).

    Again, I tried the Laoairlines website and for September 9, it is showing I can book online for US$110 pp 1 way.

    I understand that Siem Reap Airlines and Cambodia Air also do this trip.

    Cheers

    #8 Posted: 6/8/2009 - 11:14

  • traveldoc77

    Joined Travelfish
    28th August, 2009
    Posts: 2

    I have just had an email from Laos airlines confirming that Pakse airport is closed - whilst it was supposed to open at the end of august they expect it will not open until the end of september.
    They will still fly to Savanakhet as mentioned on other postings.
    Does anyone know if I can get a visa on arrival in Savanakhet airport?

    #9 Posted: 28/8/2009 - 22:59

  • buecax

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    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2009
    Location Germany
    Posts: 42

    hm, i´ve actually have a confirmed reservation for pakse - siem reap for october 20th... now i´m a lttle worried...

    #10 Posted: 29/8/2009 - 00:07

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  • somtam2000

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    Pakse Airport is scheduled to reopen August 30, but as per traveldoc77 they're running late -- in the meantime they continue to use Savannakhet instead.

    I'd assume you will be able to get visa on arrival there (if only because it was possible at Pakse airport and is available at the land crossing into Savannakhet). I've not heard any complaints about people being turfed out of the country for not having visas, so I guess they've worked something out.

    Siem ReapAirways has been grounded for almost a year now after the EU added it to its list of unsafe airlines -- in this case for inadequate compliance to safety standards (more info here: http://www.siemreapairways.com/suspension/index.php ) In practise they're just using Bangkok Airways planes for most of the flights that SRA used to fly -- I don't think that is the case on the Pakse run though.

    Cambodia Air? Is there yet another new Cambo airline or do you mean Cambodia Angkor Air? If the latter, as far as I know they don't fly to Laos at all.

    buecax - at worst you'll have to fly from Savannakhet.

    #11 Posted: 29/8/2009 - 07:39

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