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Buy Domestic Plane tickets early or wait till Im in Thailand

  • DaniGriff

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd November, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Hi I am traveling to Thailand for 3 weeks over Christmas and New Years. I want to start off going up to Chiang Rai , Chiang Dao and Chiang Mai and then fly down to the island for the second half of my trip. I am thinking Chiang Mai to Phuket and the fly from Surat Thani to Bangkok. I would prefer if I could fly Chiang Rai to Phuket and Koh Samui to Bangkok but those flight seem to be way more expensive. Does anyone know if I should buy my tickets before I get to Thailand or will it be cheaper to buy them once I get into Thailand. If buy them early what is the best website to buy domestic tickets in Thailand. One more questions do you recomend staying in Chiang Rai, Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai for a few days each or just pick one to spend the most of my time and if so which one. Thanks I would appreciate any advice.

    #1 Posted: 3/11/2010 - 20:21

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  • rawjer

    Joined Travelfish
    20th January, 2010
    Posts: 104
    Total reviews: 9

    For domestic flights in Thailand you won't do better than Air Asia, and since that's high season you should buy ASAP as long as you are sure of your dates.

    http://www.airasia.com

    They are a classic discount airline in that they sell the first 20% (or so) of seats on every flight for a very low price, and then as the plane fills up the price keeps jumping. They also have some extra fees to add to the price you see at first, but most of those fees are pretty reasonable.

    #2 Posted: 3/11/2010 - 21:00

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2410
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    That's a pretty busy time of year for travel, particularly over the New Year's holiday, so I'd book my flights in advance just to make sure I got the dates and routes I wanted.

    Air Asia is a good discount choice, and as rawjer says, the earlier you book with them the better deal you can get. There are a few other discount airlines as well, so have a poke around a site like kayak.com to see which routes are available for you. Good luck.

    #3 Posted: 3/11/2010 - 22:23

  • DaniGriff

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd November, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Thanks I appreciate it!

    #4 Posted: 3/11/2010 - 22:50

  • timayarlay

    Joined Travelfish
    27th October, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Hey there, My friend and I are having difficulty booking flights within Thailand via Air Asia. It has been one obstacle after another. The latest issue has been my friend's credit card and debit card being declined, and she has been living in Thailand for a few months now. Have you had any success? Also, thanks for the Chiang Dao suggestion within your itinerary. I'm trying to develop an itinerary virtually on my own as well.

    #5 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 02:50

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2090
    Total reviews: 20
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    At least 107

    Is the credit card a Mastercard by chance? I had a problem with mine earlier this year and it turns out they introduced a new security measure - and extra 'password' that you had to enter. It caused me a fair bit of grief while I was away (not just on Air Asia), but I fortunately had a backup Visa card that worked fine.

    Don't Air Asia have a direct debit option for people with bank accounts in Thailand? I recall seeing this as a payment option. Might be useful if your friend has a Thai bank account.

    Good luck!

    #6 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 03:11

  • DaniGriff

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd November, 2010
    Posts: 16

    I just tried to book my ticket, but Im not sure what to do either. I am currently living in China but am from the States. I get paid in RMB at my job and have a bank account here and have a paypal Debit card. I only have a debit card in the States but currently there isn't really any money in that account since I have been living in China and was planning on using RMB changed to Thai Bata. But on air asia they don't have a pay pal option for debit card. Does anyone else know of a diff website I could use that will except my payment or let me pay in cash when I get there. Would it be better to maybe call air asia or will that not help at all either?

    #7 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 19:30

  • timayarlay

    Joined Travelfish
    27th October, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Thanks busylizzy for your response. I was trying to use her debit and credit cards, which are both visa cards issued in the states, without success, but she was able to make the reservation with her mom's credit card issued in the states. We don't know the reason, but she will be calling her banks.

    DaniGriff- you may want to try kayak.com. I recall that there was another travel site that allowed you to book a flight on air asia. Unfortunately, they charge additional money for their service. Good Luck

    #8 Posted: 14/11/2010 - 01:51

  • DaniGriff

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd November, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Hey so I just decided to use my credit card for air asia, my visa was declined and I don't know why and I tried my Master card but had the same problem with the extra password protection. I had my friend use her card but her's was also declined and she called the bank and they said their was no holds or anything so she should be able to buy the tickets. Both of our cards are from the states. Any suggestions I would really like to buy these tickets today because they are already going up fast but I can't seem to pay for them and have tried to contact air asia but there number in China doesn't work and they dont have a 1800 number.

    #9 Posted: 24/11/2010 - 10:35

  • dskny

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd December, 2010
    Posts: 2

    I haven't flown Thai AirAsia since 2008 but I experienced the same problem with multiple CC as well, both MC and Visa. In the end after a few tries using a Visa (Chase Bank), it finally went through. Nothing changed, I just tried over and over again. I also checked with Chase that only one transaction was made and completed.

    Also, you might want to try contacting the CS in Malaysia instead as that is their HQ. I had to do that in 2008 when I got stuck in Laos during the BKK airport shutdown and had to be rerouted out via KUL.

    I've since quit using AirAsia due to the nickel and diming with all these fees now along with the CC hassle. Domestically in Thailand I just use ThaiAir as they usually aren't as "excess" fee hungry as AirAsia. I'm flying BKK to UTH on DEC 7 and just bought my ticket online, no issues.

    #10 Posted: 2/12/2010 - 10:38

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