I keep seeing posts from travelers talking about how cheap in country flights are in SEA, yet every route I have researched has been expensive (meaning hundreds of dollars compared to the $35-50 I have read about).
Can someone explain to me why this might be? Or point me in the right direction? I have checked local airlines too.
Thanks in advance.
#1 mandanickel has been a member since 19/7/2013. Posts: 6
Which airlines have you checked? For example, in Thailand, have you looked at Air Asia or Nok Air? It will also depend on the route. Where did you want to fly? Knowing that will help point you in the right direction. Cheers.
The budget airlines (Air Asia, Tiger, etc) often do special deals. You just got to keep your eye out for them. When in travel mode, I keep a regular eye on their website as they don't seem to email them out very often. Sometimes, Air Asia will do giveaways or $1 flights - you just have to pay the taxes, etc (which usually adds up to $20 on international flights).
Yes, you must not be looking in the right places. Budget airlines generally don't show up on booking sites like Expedia, Travelocity, etc. You have to go straight to their own websites:
www.airasia.com (for pretty much the whole region)
www.nokair.com (Thailand only, usually a little more than AA but better service)
www.bangkokairways (generally a bit pricey but sometimes have nice promotions; also fly to some interesting places outside Thailand)
www.tigerairways.com (based in Singapore and fly to a lot of places)
www.jetstar.com (Australia's budget airline flies to a bunch of SE Asia destinations, including good coverage of Vietnam)
There are others. Philippines has a few of its own, for example, and there are a bunch of cheap Indonesian airlines with horrible safety records. But those are the big ones for mainland SE Asia.
I looked at the Pacific air website as recommended by a previous poster, but will definitely look into the info you provided. Thanks so much!
#5 mandanickel has been a member since 19/7/2013. Posts: 6
This is the post that prompted the question, Exacto: https://www.travelfish.org/board/post/cambodia/3838_from-phnom-penh-to-nha-trang
I realize that prices have gone up since '07 when that post was made, but the poster said a ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh should cost less than $35 one way. I checked the airline he suggested and was quoted almost $200!
Busy Lizzy...thanks for the tip! That's great!
#6 mandanickel has been a member since 19/7/2013. Posts: 6
There are some legs that span a border and aren't covered by budget airlines, and unfortunately I think HCMC > Phnom Penh is one of them. You might be better off taking a bus to PP - sorry!
I believe you are right - but HCMC Phnom Penh is easy and comfortable by bus. I took Mekong Express PP to HCMC for about $12 last year and it worked exactly as promised. Comfortable, A/C, snacks, luggage tagged etc. You get out at the border, claim your luggage and take it through customs when called by the man in charge. Took about half an hour for everybody on our bus then back on for HCMC. From memory it was about 6 hours door to door.
I, on the other hand am looking at Lao, flying into Bangkok from the Middle East, and finding limited options for Lao flights. Apart from Lao Airlines (best part of $200 one way) does anyone know of anyone else. I have checked Air Asia and Laos doesn't come up as a destination, though others have said they used them for this route. I am happy to use buses (as above and I did all over Cambodia) but I don't want to do more than 6 ish hours in a stretch (absolute max 10), plus I don't want to be walking around with bags between buses or across borders.