I'm working on an itinerary for my family (2 adults, 3 boys - 11,13,16) and I've got as far as LP (coming from Hanoi) and was hoping to fly to SR on 2/4, but having desperate difficulty finding flights. Happy to go via Vientiane (or even Phnom Penh, Chiang Mai if needs be), but nothing appears available, if I use laoairlines.com. Other sites like edreams.com make it look like there are flights available (can they be trusted?)?! Because of the kids, wanted to keep an itinerary that was as flexible as possible ie. planned on booking flights the day we arrived in Luang Prabang (Mar 30). Is that possible or just a dumb idea? How quickly do these flights fill up at this quieter time of the year?
You can see Lao Airlines international 2012 schedule here (pdf) there is only one direct flight a day, the others are via Pakse (PKZ) There are also two flights daily from Vientiane to Siem Reap and both of these are via Pakse as well (which seems kind of odd). While I've never used edreams there have been a number of complaints about them from others on the forum before, so perhaps better to persist with the airline.
As for booking in advance, yes I would book that in advance, before you get to Luang Prabang, especially as you're after 5 tickets.
The above schedule is for 2012 -- perhaps drop them a line and ask about a 2013 schedule.
Another option would be to fly to Pakse instead, then overland it, taking in Don Dhet (rivers/tubing/hanging out) in Laos and Kratie (dolphins) in Cambodia (both would appeal to kids) though obviously depends on how much time you have as it is a full day on the bus from Kratie to Siem Reap.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,738
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There are seats available on the 3rd of April according to laoairlines.com, although dates around this seem to be fully booked! It costs $195 p/p for an adult, and $154 for children up to 11.
I took this flight in early July last year, and it went without a problem. It took about 3 hours on a small propellor plane, watch out for some amazing views of the hilly Lao countryside after take-off!