Hi, everyone. My friend and I will be traveling in Vietnam for 20 days and are wondering whether we should buy local airfare tickets NOW (3 months in advance) or whether we can get them as cheaply while in Vietnam? This will allow us to keep our route more flexible.
Can we purchase a flight from Vietnam (most likely Da Nang airport) to Luang Prabang economically, even if it 10 days before the flight? Is it perhaps even more economical to do it that way with a local travel agent when are actually in Hanoi?
#1 krestniy has been a member since 26/7/2011. Posts: 11
At this time of year it should be ok to buy the flights when you are here,as long as there isn't a public holiday.It's normally what I do,and as long as you are slightly flexible,I've never had a problem getting a flight.I don't think Vietnam airlines tickets are any cheaper if bought in advance,but the economy seats will go first,and you might have to pay for a more expensive class if booking later.Also as far as I know,there are no flights from Da Nang to Luang Prabang,only from Hanoi
Thank you very much, guys.
#3 krestniy has been a member since 26/7/2011. Posts: 11
I would be interested to know what you ended up doing: buying your tickets in Vietnam or ahead of time? I am in a similar situation: For Nov/Dec 2012 I have flights to/from Vietnam and so far found flights online from Hanoi -Luang Prabang for $185, Luang Prabang-Siem Reap for $195 and Siem Reap-HCMC for $155. Does any know/think that I could get cheaper tickets if I wait until I'm in Hanoi to buy these tickets (e.g., at the airport, with a travel agent, etc.)?
#4 ajklink has been a member since 2/8/2012. Posts: 3
Just a hint here for people flying to Luang Prabang LPQ - Lao Airlines is cheaper than Vietnam Airlines on the route to/from Hanoi. I paid $145. on Lao Airlines - Vietnam Airlines is $185.
It will not be cheaper in person, and certainly not last minute - use the link to Lao Airlines above
#5 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,112
I did find a cheaper HAN-LPQ flight on Lao Airlines ($151) - thanks! The other routes listed above were on Lao Airlines (LPQ-REP) and Cambodia Angkor Air (REP-SGN).
daawgon, you are the first to suggest that purchasing flights "in person" is not cheaper in Vietnam (vs. online). Is this because these are international routes rather than domestic? Many posts mention getting fares < $100 USD when purchased in Vietnam. Any experience with this?
#6 ajklink has been a member since 2/8/2012. Posts: 3
The rise of online booking, and particularly budget airlines means that booking in advance online is usually cheaper than booking in person for those airlines. One travel agent here in Hanoi told me she could get cheaper flights on the international airlines, but certainly not on the budget airlines, and another told me that it was nearly always cheaper to book online, but that booking through an agent made it easier if you wanted to change or cancel. Flights from Vietnam to Laos are always going to be in the range people have mentioned above - certainly not under $100.
Thanks, travellings-arah. Great advice. I didn't realize the airlines I mentioned (i.e., Lao Airlines and Cambodia Angkor Air) were "budget airlines" since they are code-shared flights with Vietnam Airlines. You could purchase the same flights listed above in my post through Vietnam Airlines (at a higher price, of course). Are there budget airlines that serve these routes that could be cheaper that I missed?
#8 ajklink has been a member since 2/8/2012. Posts: 3
Sorry not to be clear - Lao Airlines and Cambodia Angkor Air aren't budget airlines. But they can still be booked online. As far as I know, only Lao and Vietnam Airlines fly Hanoi to LP - no budget airlines.