Hoping someone can help me out after spending a very frustrating 40 mins. on the phone with Vietnam Airlines.
I'm trying to book a return flight between HCM and Phu Quoc for Jan.3 - Jan.7. I understand that only Vietnam Airlines offers this flight. I can book it through a few 3rd-party websites (asia.com, expedia.com, etc.) but they're charging triple the price of what I've been hearing it should cost ($70.)
On the Vietnam Airlines site, which offers the more reasonable fare, it says to phone VA directly to book the flight. So I did this but I believe the representative I spoke to was trying to tell me that I can't book the flight until I get to Vietnam. I'm worried about leaving it so late during such a busy holiday season.
Does anyone have any advice for me? Should I just pay the expensive fare? $250usd for a flight that's advertised elsewhere as $72, just seems ridiculous.
Thanks in advance. :)
#1 chrisa77 has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16
Around US$70 is about right for that fare -- if purchased from within Vietnam. Unfortunately Vietnam Airline's website isn't working for online reservations yet, so you're stuck in a bit of a bind.
There are multiple flights a day between Saigon and Phu Quoc and at least one a day between Rach Gia and PQ, but these do fill up quickly and you could find yourself unable to get a flight.
I'd suggest contacting a Vietnamese travel agent based out of Saigon and see what they can organise for you. I wouldn't book via Expedia etc -- for US$250 you could almost hire a limo to take you to the port and a private speedboat to the island!
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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I booked our flights to Phu Quoc through Handspan for the week earlier as apparently the flights during the holiday season get booked up quickly - I booked mine a few months ago though (as well as a hotel on the Island).
Another online option is www.ivivu.com. I heard that others have had a good experience with them.
#3 carolyns has been a member since 2/11/2007. Posts: 8
Carolyns -- is Handspan a travel booking site? How much did you pay? Our hotel on the island was booked a while ago...I just really don't want to show up in Vietnam with no flight booked.
Somtam -- I will try contacting a vietnamese travel agent, but I think I'm going to come up against some language barriers again. I wish I could speak the language!
#4 chrisa77 has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16
Handspan is a travel agency that runs tours but will also book flights for you and then you pick up the tickets when you get to Vietnam. The tickets were $44 to Phu Quoc and $38 back (not sure why) and I suspect there was a small commission but can't remember what Vietnam Airways listed it as.
Annie is the person I went through. You could also try www.ivivu.com as I think you can do it on your own there but there is a shipping fee that for me made it more expensive than to do it through Handspan.
Have a great trip.
#5 carolyns has been a member since 2/11/2007. Posts: 8
I am in the middle of booking flights with ivivu and it is certainly much cheaper than the options you mentioned.
For delivery of tickets within Vietnam they charge $5 US (will have them delivered to hotel). There is also a booking fee for tickets but I am still trying to figure out what it is as we have booked several tickets for several family members...I think its $5 per ticket.
Fare quoted for HCM Phu Quoc return is $67. Paying triple is absolutely ridiculous! You just go onto their website and fill out the form and they will have an agent contact you to confirm schedules etc...
#6 soccertaxi has been a member since 26/10/2007. Posts: 9
Only IATA approved travel agents can actually print tickets in their offices.
Since IATA requires a certain level of business acumen and ethics not many agents qualify.
They get their tickets from either the airlines or through distributors - the cheapest way is buying direct from VietNam Airlines.
Internal flights can be booked on the web site - international ones when they figure if the system is reliable.
Airlines sell tickets at the airport (phone and reserve and pick up there) or through city sales offices - in HCMC the VN ticket office is opposite the Rex Hotel.
#7 CatBa2 has been a member since 6/11/2007. Posts: 53
I have to say that booking direct through Vietnam Airways was definitely not the cheapest option -- well, not if you're trying to book from outside Vietnam, anyway.
Carolyns, thanks for your suggestions! I ended up booking through ivivu and ended up paying just $183 usd for two people (return) and that included the $40 courier to Canada. I also contacted Hanspan and they very helpful, too, but I had already booked through ivivu.
Now I have my tickets in-hand, so I don't have to be stressed about trying to get a flight when I arrive Jan.2!
#8 chrisa77 has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16