My boyfriend and I will be in Thailand in December '09 / January '10. We were thinking of flying from Phuket to Chiang Mai in order to avoid the long-haul bus/train travel on this route. Would you recommend we purchase flights over the internet prior to our trip or are there cheap deals which we could purchase once in Thailand - taking flight availability into account.
#1 Travel1221 has been a member since 26/6/2009. Posts: 15
Look into low cost flights with AirAsia or NokAir -- both fly the route daily and have very reasonable fares.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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For peak season it can be advantageous to book ahead. Sure there should still be seats left later on but you might pay significantly more for those remaining seats. If you're sure of your dates, check out an online booking now with airasia.com. Their really low fares will already be a bit higher in Dec/Jan but will only get higher the longer you wait and seats fill up. If you do wait until "last minute" an agent might get you on a Nok or One-Two-Go budget flight so good luck.
I just did the opposite itinerary actually. I flew from Chiang Mai to Puhket. By the way, I think the only airline that flies Phuket/Chiang Mai is Thai Air. I bought all my tickets days before and while prices for other flights were much more reasonable, CNX to PHU was pretty expensive- roughly 7,000 THB.
I can tell you this though- there are more flights available than they put online. I researched flights from Chiang Mai to Puhket but they all had layovers in Bangkok. I could not find a direct flight online.
Once at the airport I came across a major problem. I had been storing luggage at the airport but the luggage counter didn't open until 8 and my flight was at 7. The woman at the Thai Airways counter changed my ticket and put me on a flight that didn't take off till later in the day. The best part was that it was a direct flight that had not been published on the internet! They only had royal silk seating available (first class) but the total cost of the ticket was less than the one I had originally bought so I didn't have to pay anything extra!
So lesson learned- sometimes at the airline counter you can get direct flights that are not offered online.
#4 sfinn has been a member since 2/10/2009. Posts: 4
There is one daily direct flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket at 12:35pm on Thai Airways, BUT there is no direct flight from Phuket to Chiang Mai. Other flights need a stop in Bangkok, and if you're looking at budget carriers which are point-to-point they won't show you the connections - have to book each segment seperately (or just let an agent put it together).