Has anybody used Laos airlines?
I am thinking of booking a promotion (3 way flight) but just wanted to know how reliable they are and whether the flights are always scheduled.
The website seems a bit dodgy, there are two websites but I'm not sure which one to book with.
#1 benhopes has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 14
www.laoairlines.com is the official airline site; www.laos-airlines.com is run by ECCR, a French travel agency. There have been many reported problems with bookings from ECCR, myself included (pre-paid booking not honored when arrived in Laos), but I have not heard of any problems recently, perhaps they have cleaned up their act? For awhile, Lao Air was not doing any business with ECCR, apparently they were lax in paying up monies owed to the airline for bookings, buyer beware.
PS-there's a helpful article right here on TF regarding the Discovery Airpass, I think that may be the 3-leg promotion you referred to in your post? Legs can be run on any of the participating airlines: Bangkok Air, Lao Air, and Siem Reap Air: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/118
There have been functionality issues with the site when using any web browser other than Internet Explorer. Try again using IE and see if you have luck. I just tested with your route and it works fine with IE.
I have yet to fly Lao Air, although I have considered it to visit my cousin in Vientiane. I have, however, two concerns with the airline:
1. Safety. It's flying some pretty old aircraft and my confidence level that they are well maintained isn't high. Travelfish has a nice little write up on this. It's not horrible in this regard, but I am fussy about it.
2. Cost - it is not a cheap way to get around at all. I don't know why it's so much more expensive than Air Asia or Thai Airways, but it is.
So if I could find another transportation route, I would probably take it because I honestly don't like to fly. But I'll bet it's safer than taking a bus.
#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I have booked a flight from Vientiane to Saigon, which lands in Phnom Penh. Its with Vietnam Airlines, though I'm sure I've read somewhere that Vietnam Airlines and Laos Airlines use the same plane on this route (May be wrong). I got the flight by looking at www.kayak.com
Got the Vientiane to Saigon flight at an OKish price, but it was over double to only fly to PP. Why that is so, I'm not sure; but I assume Vietnam doesn't want its national airline dropping people off in a different country and spending their dollars there.
here's a link to the Travelfish article MADMAC mentioned, if you haven't read it yet. it is:
that article is a few years old now, so i can't say how up to date the information is. but i did do quite a bit of research before that article got posted, and it all pointed to lao airlines being at least as safe as other regional carriers and much safer than other types of local transportation.
i'd also heard that lao airlines wasn't using the scarier Y-12 aircraft anymore too, but i cannot tell from their website if that is true or not.
in any case, i've flown lao airlines three different times and had a pretty great experience each time. there are quite a few comments posted by other travelfishers at the end of the above article too. perhaps they'll help you decide if this is the right choice for you or not. regards.