I personally would never waste my money using a travel agent to book my holiday to Thailand and I say this for a few reasons…… The first reason is because you can do everything yourself quite easily and another is because I don’t like the idea of potentially being stuck in a hotel that I hate for the duration of my holiday. I don’t see the point in paying a travel agents a premium to do something that you can do yourself.
By doing it yourself you have the freedom of moving around Thailand as you please and not be restricted and stuck in the same place or island for the duration of your holiday. They way I see it is that Thailand is so far away and is so vast with so much to see, that you should try to squeeze in as much as possible but I guess it’s down to the individual and what you want out of your trip. I personally like to see different places and move about.
You can book your return flight to Bangkok in a matter of minutes and the same applies for booking your internal flight for getting to the island or up north. It really is easy, you just need to know where and how to do it and this page will point you in the right direction.
I have only ever taken direct flights to Thailand from London, however there are many indirect flights that have 1 stop, occasionally 2. These types of flights can be up to about £200 cheaper than taking a direct flight and can in some case double your journey time but there are also some indirect flights that have very short stopovers so its worth looking into and considering taken an indirect flight. I guess if you are going for longer than a few weeks and have plenty of time then a cheaper stopover could be a good option which could easily save you a few hundred pounds which would go a long way in Thailand, but if you’re only going for a shorter amount of time then I would always choose to fly direct.
Flying direct usually takes 11 hours and 20 minutes but if you take the indirect option then you can expect the flight to take anything from 16 to 36 hours. This is because you actually have to get off of the plane once in lands in the first destination and wait until your next flight is ready for boarding and departure.
Looking For & Booking Your Flights
The best and easiest way to find your flight is to use Skyscanner This is a site that finds every available flight going to the destination that you are looking for. You have the option for scanning for direct flight’s only or to include indirect flights. Once you find the flight that suits you, it will give you all the flight details including the airline. You will then have the option of choosing to book the flight with one of the many 3rd parties agents, they all have access to the same flight and prices will vary but if you book by phone you can play one-off of the other to get a better price.
TIP: When opting to fly direct, before you call the agent or proceeding to book online, go onto the airlines website and look for the same flight, I have sometimes found that you can get the same flight cheaper by booking direct with the airline yourself. Eva Air are usually the cheapest to fly with.
At the time of writing this, there were only four airlines that fly direct from London Heathrow Airport:
Out of the four Eva Air and Thai Airways are the cheapest, I have flown with both but I personally prefer Eva, this is only because my first experience in flying with Thai Airways wasn’t a good one. I didn’t like the food and I think I was on an older plane that didn’t even have TV’s in the headrests so because of that I only flew with them the once. I have heard that since then (2009) that they have purchased a fleet of new aircraft’s but I’ve never been willing to take the risk.
Anyways, I have always been happy and impressed with Eva, they are a well organized airline and you receive everything that you’d expect on a long haul flight, such as, free food and booze, soft drinks, snacks, TV in your head rest, blankets and pillows.
TIP: I guess it is worth noting that I have used agents a few times and have never experienced any problems with them, however it is worth knowing that should you want to change your flights, for example if you wanted to extend your trip or come home early then you cant do this if you have booked through an agent. You can only change your flights if you have booked directly with the airline. (at least this is the case with Eva Air, they charge £80 to amend flights).
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is the main hub for getting around Thailand as most internal airlines operate from here. Again I would use Skyscanner just as a quick way to find all available airlines that fly to your destination but would always, always book domestic flights direct with the airlines as it is very simple and cheaper. Again, what the point in paying an agent to do something that you can do yourself, unless it is way cheaper.
The following airlines operate domestically around Thailand:
- Bangkok Airways
- Thai Smile who are Thai Airways sister airline
- Air Asia Fly’s from Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) Bangkok’s smaller airport which is about 45 minutes away from BKK
These are the only airlines that you’ll need to get around Thailand by air. As i have suggested, just book direct with the airlines, I usually book using my iPhone. Domestic flights are rarely full unless it’s a not so popular destination but most destinations have quite a few flights leaving per day so you don’t need to book your flights way in advance but obviously don’t risk it by leaving it too late. It’s always best to check in advance to see how many flights leave per day and then make a judgment on how soon you need to book.