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Laos forum

Can one purchase Vietnam Air tickets from Vientiane to LP on the ground?

Posted by glomer on 13/3/2010 at 08:07

My husband and I have read the article on Lao Air's safety record, as well as a number relevant of posts, and have decided that we would prefer to use another carrier in traveling from Vientiane to Luang Prabang (this will be our first overseas trip as parents...please don't judge the paranoia!). Is it possible to purchase Vietnam Air tix between the above destinations in Vientiane, or should we do so from home as part of an extended itinerary? Thanks....

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Posted by somtam2000 on 13/3/2010 at 09:12 admin

You can only fly that route with Lao Airlines as far as I know -- you can by the ticket locally. They're a safe airline -- the intention of the story we have on that very topic was supposed to point that out ... I might have to go back and take another look at the piece.

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Posted by Rufus on 14/3/2010 at 08:46

"My husband and I have read the article on Lao Air's safety record, as well as a number relevant of posts, and have decided that we would prefer to use another carrier"

Fair enough, however I am extremely curious as to what you read, where you read it and how dated it was. Perhaps you could post this information for us? Lao Airlines is one of the better regional airlines about. I would much rather fly with it than some odf the local US airlines or Ryanair for that matter.

Not being rude here, but did you look at how current the information was that you read?

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Posted by glomer on 14/3/2010 at 10:54

Thanks, Rufus, for your reply. You're right; I did not check the dates of the posts reporting dodgy experiences on Lao Air, though, looking back at the comments posted in response to the feature article, two were as recent as last year. I know we're not being super logical here (again, we're more skittish than we were before our son was born), and we may be able to overcome our trepidation, but, at first glance, we thought we'd rather not (three crashes with fatalities in a decade is enough to spook me). I am happy to hear you feel it is a safe carrier. Thanks again.

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Posted by Rufus on 14/3/2010 at 13:36

I have flown with them over 30 times with not a hint of a problem. Did you also know that their aircraft servicing has been outsourced?

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Posted by exacto on 15/3/2010 at 01:43

As a bit of background, the Is Lao Airlines Safe to Fly? story first started back in 2006 when several posters made inaccurate and unfair comments about Lao Airlines safety record. The story (https://www.travelfish.org/feature/50) was based on research I did in 2006, and has been updated by Travelfish editors since to show more current prices on routes and the transition from the last of the older Y-12 planes to newer, modern aircraft.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Lao Airlines' safety is still considered to be an issue. As far as I know Lao Airlines hasn't had a fatal incident in nearly a decade now, and during that time the airline has made significant efforts to upgrade both its aircraft and its maintenance process (as Rufus already mentioned above).

Certainly these types of things are personal decisions, so if glomer isn't comfortably flying Lao Airlines, then that's okay. But even so, anyone concerned about this would learn alot from the overwhelmingly positive comments about Lao Airlines on the Airline Quality (Skytrax) website at http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/lao.htm.

Safety is relative, and I'd repeat today what I wrote 4 years ago that Lao Airlines safety record compares favourably with other regional airlines, and also compares well with the safety risks associated with other means of travel in Laos, such as riverboat or overland trips.

Just ask Rufus how safe he thinks the bus ride is from Vientiane to Luang Prabang!

Finally, it is worth repeating that ultimately, the decision on whether or not to fly Lao is yours. Could a crash happen with you on board? Absolutely. Will it? Probably not. At least now you'll be able to base your decision on facts rather than hearsay. Regards.

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Posted by Rufus on 15/3/2010 at 07:35

"Just ask Rufus how safe he thinks the bus ride is from Vientiane to Luang Prabang!"

Lol. Not just the bus ride Exacto. Even driving myself, that route can be scary when you see a big pickup come around the corner on the wrong side of the road heading directly for you.

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Posted by MADMAC on 15/3/2010 at 09:23

Rufus
I would be curious who they outsourced it to.

Lao airlines is incredibly expensive. I still wonder why.

But an aisde note, Savanakhet international has become, relatively speaking, a busy little airport. We now have three flights landing there daily. Their final approach goes right over my house - which is comforting, reminds me I'm not totally cut off from civilization.

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Posted by Rufus on 15/3/2010 at 11:57

I believe it has been outsourced to a French company operation out of Vietnam.

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Posted by glomer on 18/3/2010 at 12:56

Just wanted to say thanks for the discussion, and particularly to Exacto--it was very interesting hearing from the article's author four years on.

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 18/3/2010 at 13:53

Read customer comments about Lao Airlines on http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/lao.htm

I too would not hesitate to fly with them. ATR-72s no worries http://www.laoairlines.com/fleet-information.html

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