Cheap Thailand Flights – Cheap At What Cost

China Airlines

Regular visitors to Thailand will almost certainly opt out of using a combined flight and hotel travel package, otherwise known as a charter flight. Scheduled flights are the more favoured option for the seasoned traveller to Thailand but it’s also important as to which airline and strategy you should take when booking your flight. Beyond The Mango Juice questions whether cheap flights to Thailand are in the long term more expensive than using a preferred airline.

Chartered Flights

This type of holiday package is best suited to families and once a year visitors to the Land of Smiles and for those embarking on their first great adventure to the land of culture, first class beaches and great food.

4252009_74918-pmCharter flights are tailor made for simplicity and in Thailand’s case you get on the aeroplane at your destination airport and board for your return flight at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, hotels and transport in between are usually all laid on for you. I checked out the price available on a package deal for May, staying at the 4 star Amari Orchid Resort in Naklua, Pattaya.The price for a 14 night stay was £872 (45,000 baht), based on one person in a single room, airport transfers in this package were not included. Add on around £55 (3,000 baht) for taxi travel to and from the airport.

These package holidays are ideal for anyone wanting an introduction to Thailand although the Pattaya location would not be suitable for the faint hearted or culture minded traveller. A very reasonable price but one that can be beaten with a schedule flight and do it yourself travel arrangements.

Schedule Flights

This travel option is used by regular travelers to Thailand and allows you so much more flexibility in your travel arrangements. Taking flight at times that suit you and with a choice of direct, transit and stopover tickets available the schedule flight option is tailor made for those who can arrange their holiday at the very last minute. Cheap flights to Thailand are always advertised by a wide range of airlines and those who stay loyal to their regular flight carrier can find some amazing deals as well. A quick Google search on Cheap Thailand Flights for May returned the following prices on a London to Bangkok return ticket involving one stop and taxes inclusive. Listed below are the cheapest Thailand flights I found.

  • Suvarnabhumi International Airport£399   Emirates
  • £400   Gulf Air
  • £412   Jet Airways
  • £422   Qatar Airways
  • £430   Royal Jordanian

All these flights were readily available and adding on taxi transfers and 14 nights stay in a reasonable Pattaya hotel the highest price ticket plus travel and accommodation brings the total to about £760. A little bit cheaper than the package deal and  much more flexible, but it can long term still be beaten pricewise.

Flying with a regular airline carries many advantages even if the air ticket seems a bit more pricier than the cheaper deals. Most of the flight companies offer rewards. For many years I used the cheap flight option and have flown Aeroflot, Eva Air, Thai Air, British Airways and a few others all of which had low airfares on offer at the time.

Nowadays I have allied myself to Etihad Airways who fly a London – Abu Dhabi – Bangkok route in around 15 hours, just over 3 hours more than a direct flight. My flight next month cost me £520 which is considerably more than those listed above but I have good reason for paying that little bit extra.

I am a Etihad Silvercard Guest member and I recently used some of my accumulated air miles to book my Christmas flight to Thailand for free….well almost, I had to pay the flight taxes. The current price of an Etihad flight to Bangkok at peak season Christmas time is £822 and my flight was secured for £217. A big saving that makes paying that little extra each time totally worthwhile.

Frequent Flyer Club

Etihad AirwaysEtihad Guest is a loyalty program that gives you one air mile for every mile you fly. A London – Bangkok round trip returns 13,000 air miles to your guest account and after stacking up 25,000 miles your status is upgraded to Silvercard member. With the higher membership card comes a few extra perks.

  • Access to worldwide airport guest lounges
  • Extra 10 kg baggage allowance
  • Enjoy wait list priority on all busy routes
  • 50% extra Air Miles for every mile flown

Most flight companies offer loyalty membership and taking advantage of those on offer can reduce your long term travel fees by a considerable amount. When you check in next time for your Thailand flight ask at the desk if they have a loyalty reward club, in the long term it makes good financial sense.


Credits

Photograph China Airlines      by Alaskan Dude

Photograph Suvarnabhumi International Airport by Swami Stream


Martyn

I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

7 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn interesting. I have usually used bucket shops like Trailfinders for good flight prices-I favour Qatar Airways. However my last trip home in January I flew one way Qatar and returned by EVA.

    Qatar win hands down on quality and comfort.

    Since I have no real plans for regular UK trips I may stick with the bucket shops but I can definitely see the advantage of allying yourself with an airline such as Etihad.

    I also wondered about business/premium class on Air Asia KL to London Stanstead not sure if they have rewards though.

    Mike’s last blog post..Medical Tourism Thailand-Cosmetic Surgery

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Mike for somebody like yourself who only plans a trip home every year or two then the bucket shops are probably your best bet. Searching out the best deal with a reasonable flight company is the sensible option for once a year travelers.

  3. Martin In Bulgaria says:

    I don’t know about Far East travel,but you have pointed out some good options for travel to Thailand.

    Here I have found that chartered flights to Bulgaria are plainly cheaper even after the sneaky ‘add ons’ don’t make it that much cheaper at the end of the day. The other factor to consider is that you are treated like herded cattle on these deals. You pay for what you get at the end of the day.

    ps Why is your project wonderful bid static at $00.0?

    Martin In Bulgaria’s last blog post..A New Idea For Catching Bulgarian Rats

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Martin – I like Etihad not just for the air miles but also because the use of the guest lounges is great. Free food and drink at Heathrow, Abu Dhabi and Bangkok knock pounds off my flight and the lounges are a quality place to relax before a flight.

    My Project Wonderful banner does get bids but they don’t stay around long. Nobody ever clicks on the ad and I can’t ever see anyone doing so. I will try it throughout May and then have a think.

  5. Catherine says:

    I’m another one for Qatar Airways as it is excellent for service and comfort. I switched to Qatar from Thai when Thai’s regular seats were touching Qatar’s business class prices.

    But as I’m always on the lookout for new ways to fly, I’ll check out Etihad.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine – Etihad is a quality airline and with their loyalty scheme there are no blackout periods on free flights.The guest lounges at Heathrow and Bangkok are good but the Abu Dhabi one is top notch. You also have a decent chance of a free upgrade with Etihad providing you are a loyalty card holder.

  7. badger says:

    Tis all a bit dangerous out there at the moment, especially in bangkok. The red shirts have dug in and the government may go in with troops. The UK foreign office have put out an official warning advising people to avoid the place if possible.

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