Low-cost airlines in Thailand

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I don't fly very often, but when I do, I choose my airline based on which one offers the cheapest ticket. One of the great things about living in Thailand is that it's inexpensive, quick and easy to fly from one end of the country to the other.

The airline I fly with most is Thai Air Asia. The tickets are usually very cheap, although the further in advance you book, the less you pay. The Thai Air Asia website usually tries to add on a few extra charges without you noticing, such as insurance or queue jumping. Thai Air Asia recently introduced a baggage fee for checked-in bags. At the moment, it's 30 baht a bag. My only gripe with Thai Air Asia is that, in my experience, its flight are almost always delayed or cancelled. If you input a valid phone number when you buy your ticket, Thai Air Asia will SMS you if your flight is delayed. You can buy cup noodles and tiny sandwiches on flights, but you don't get much leg room.

People are still worried about flying with One Two Go, but I think if you take that line of thought then you should not fly any budget airline. One Two Go is good because ticket prices are all-inclusive. The price you see on the website includes all tax and handling charges (minus a 100-baht airport tax), so you don't have to bother with trying to order a ticket and guessing what the final price will be. All tickets for One Two Go used to be 1,800 baht (I think), but now tickets are priced 999 baht, 1,499 baht, 1,699 baht or 1,950 baht, depending on how far in advance you book and how many privileges you want. For some reason, you can only order the cheapest tickets once; every time after that a 500-baht fee is added.

I haven't flown Nok Air many times. Nok Air has three types of ticket, the cheapest of which usually works out about the same as Thai Air Asia. The more you pay, the more privileges you get, such as a newspaper, a larger seat, a drink and some free snacks. You pay about 1,500 baht extra and you don't really get a whole lot to justify that price difference.

Bangkok Airways recently introduced a business class. Domestic destinations served are Chiang Mai, Krabi, Samui, Phuket, Sukhotai and Trat. In terms of cheap flights in Thailand, I don't recommend Bangkok Airways because the tickets are quite expensive. I don't know if you'd call Bangkok Airways a low-cost airline. The service is superior to the cheaper airlines, so you get what you pay for.

Thai Airways is pretty much the best airline in Thailand; it's also the most expensive. You get a decent amount of leg room and flying with Thai Airways is very comfortable. You feel less like your being herded on and off the plane like cattle than with other airlines, but when you're paying about three times the price, you expect to. The food is reasonable but nothing out of the ordinary.

As far as I'm aware, that's all the airlines that fly within Thailand. Which is your favorite?

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4 thoughts on “Low-cost airlines in Thailand

  1. I like Air Asia and Nok, that are very reliable.
    The problem with OneTwo go is that they had several issues with the airline regulations, involving security procedures and pilot overtime hours. This, added to the recent crash, makes me now feel uncomfortable with this company that I used many times in the past (you forgot to mention that OneTwo go is the only one that allows you 20kg luggages on domestic flights, versus 15 for the other ones).

  2. I flew One-Two-Go, AirAsia and Thai Airways. That was also the best, but I flew business class, not a fair comparison.

    My girlfriend always flies Nok Air……

  3. I fly a lot…I hate Air Asia but I still fly them because of their routes and schedule, cheap fairs, and ease of booking on-line. I am always surprised when they are on-time. I think their customer service and how they manage their baggage policies suck. They have the prettiest flight attendants!

    I like Nok but they have many issues that force me to fly AA: difficult to book on-line with a non-Thai credit card, limited routing and schedule, and they only fly domestic into Don Mueng in Bangkok. Their flight attendants are almost as pretty as AA.

    Bangkok Airways: Good for some routes if you don't mind the price. I flew BA from Guilin, China (Yangshuo) to BKK once…that was a great flight that saved a lot of travel hassle, but it was pricey.

    Tiger Air is pretty good if you need to go to Singapore. Viet Nam Airlines is excellent (and cheap) in Viet Nam.

    I like flying on Thai Airlines, but chep is the name of the games these days.

    One, two, three…I'd rather walk!

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