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GOOD NEWS: These arrive daily from almost every country in the world that has an International Airport.
BAD NEWS: Too many of them are butt-numbing long, involve multiple stops, with lengthy layovers… and SOMETIMES… you have to suck up to miserable, power-hungry, and cranky Immigration personnel.
Thailand flights take you to The Land of Smiles… the Exotic Orient... the closest to paradise that I know…
- so I face up to the plane ride,
- long airport layovers,
- tasteless food...
- and aching muscles and joint pains…
repeating to myself… it's worth it!
Insights, Opinions and Tips about Thailand Flights
it seems to me that these trips have become worse over the years.
I’m sure that has NOTHING to do with me
I’ve learned to split up my trip from Canada to Thailand INTO AT LEAST 3 parts… spending several days at an intermediate stopover to recuperate and see another small part of the world.
Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul are where I like to spend time doing a little sightseeing, trying some exotic food, and watching the people move about.
I usually take a day tour of the city, then visit interesting points on other days.
Plus, I nap a lot!
Here’s how I’ve broken up my trips
My first 3 trips involved intermediate stops in the US.
- Calgary – Seattle – Seoul, ROK – DMK Airport, Bangkok
- Calgary – Seattle – Seoul, ROK – Phuket
- Calgary - San Francisco – Tokyo, Japan – BKK Airport Bangkok
However, because of some uncomfortable times with US Customs and Immigration in a few US airports, I now choose flights that don't involve US stopovers.
SIMILARLY, some family and friends have had unjustified delays in the PRC, resulting in having to overnight and board a flight a day late... thus I now reject China [PRC] as an intermediate destination.
- Calgary – Vancouver – Taipei, ROC – Chiang Mai
- Calgary – Vancouver – Shanghai, PRC – Chiang Mai
- Calgary – Tokyo, Japan - BKK Airport, Bangkok
Nonetheless, when I return to Canada,
I’m in a hurry to get home to see my family,
so I try for as direct a set of flights as possible coming back.
International Date Line
WARNING: Travelling West to Thailand from North America means you cross the International Date Line and “lose” a day enroute.
Coming home I find I travel for upwards of 30 hours, and get home the same day I left!
The right hand column has a list of airlines that I prefer to use, when I can.
Near the bottom of this page is a list of airlines I prefer to use when I can.
FLIGHTS TO THAILAND
There are 6 International Airports in Thailand… but only 4 of them are going to be of much use to you on your trip.
- Suvarnabhumi [BKK] has over 313 International arrivals per day.
- Don Mueang [DMK] has over 129 International arrivals per day.
- Phuket [HKT] has over 55 International arrivals per day.
- Chiang Mai [CNX] has over 19 International arrivals per day.
- Hat Yai [HDY] International airport and
- Chiang Rai [CEI]
have fewer than 3 International flights per day, each.
I have prepared a list of DIRECT FLIGHTS
to the 6 International Airports in Thailand,
based on Continent, Country, and Departure City.
Use the International Arrivals Contact Form, below,
to request a link to download that list.
There are NO direct flights from North America.
Fill out this form to get access...
How to choose your Thailand Flight
For your first trip, landing at BKK
would be my recommendation.
Suvarnabhumi is a beautiful airport…
a great introduction to an amazing country.
Suvarnabhumi Airport [BKK]
(pronounced: Soo-wan-a-boom… go figure)
Here’s my approach to my Thailand flights.
STEPS TO CHOOSE A MULTI-DESTINATION FLIGHT
Decide which Asian city you want to take your mid-flight
break. Verify that there’s a direct flight to Thailand from there… not always
possible, I know, but the best option possible is a direct flight to BKK or DMK
or Phuket or Chiang Mai.
That’s easy to do if you have my no-cost listing of direct
Find the major airports in your home country [Vancouver
for me] that service those destinations... choose the best for your situation...
Choose departure and return dates for your home city and
Thailand, and then the dates you want to stay in the intermediate city and make
notes about all that.
Go to an internet flight center and choose the multiple
destination option, and fill in the information.
Filter the results by
I always fly Steerage, usually called Economy,
because I’m poor!
- Number and location of Layovers
I hope for direct flights
from Vancouver to my first destination, but that’s not always possible… layovers
at intermediate airports are killers… BUT…
NEVER CHOOSE A FLIGHT WITH FEWER
THAN 2 HOURS TO CHANGE PLANES… something at Immigration or Customs will screw
you up, and you’ll miss your connecting flight
I prefer one of those airlines rated in the top 20 for the previous year. However, there are many local Asian airlines that are acceptable alternatives.
Nok/Scoot is one I’ve used and been content with the service, comfort, and reliability.
- Flight times overall
Any flights over 18 hours will produce serious jet-lag, and ruin your first few days of your trip.
You usually have many flight options at this point, and you
can further pick and choose amongst the Thailand flights.
I've put together a Thailand Flights Planning sheet, that will help you keep your notes about places, timing etc.
It's part of the International Arrivals document.
p.s. Air travel for most of us is a pain in the ass… knees… back… ankles…
BUT ONCE YOU ARRIVE... it's quickly forgotten and the delight begins!