Thailand Domestic Flights Guide

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Domestic Flights Guide
Andy Mitchell from Glasgow, UK / CC BY-SA

COMPLETE GUIDE TO BOOKING YOUR NEXT DOMESTIC FLIGHT IN THAILAND

Planning to visit Thailand? Or are you a spontaneous traveler vacationing in Thailand and looking for last-minute domestic flight options to explore the beautiful country? Whichever is your case, we have compiled all the details to make your search easier, so that you have a smooth experience. Thailand is a big country with beautiful landscapes everywhere.

The bustle and speed of life at Bangkok can be stimulating but if you’re in the mood for a relaxing vacation, you will want to get out of the city and travel further to more serene places. When your vacation days are numbered, yet you want to cover more cities, taking a flight can save you a lot of time. With over 7 airlines providing domestic flight services all over the country, you have plenty of options.

In this article, we will look at the various domestic flights providers in Thailand and their destinations and provide all the tips you need for booking a domestic flight in Thailand.

Bangkok Airways

Often considered as the “Boutique Airline of Asia”, Bangkok Airways is a small airline that offers luxury flight experience. It offers lounge service at many airports. And you can have a relaxing experience while waiting for your flight with free food and drinks in these lounges. The little luxuries and details will provide an impeccable experience and you will feel like a VIP. It will cost you a little extra, but rest assured the journey will be relaxing and worth the money you will be paying.

Snapshot of Bangkok Airways

  • Carry-on allowance: 5 kilograms
  • Luggage allowance: 20 kilograms or 30 kilograms (FlyerBonus option)
  • Excess luggage fee (per kilogram): 80 THB
  • Meal included: yes
  • Seat reservation included: yes
  • Credit card fee: no
  • Departs from: Suvarnabhumi Airport

List of Destination Bangkok Airways covers

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Hat Yai
  • Ko Samui
  • Krabi
  • Lampang
  • Mae Hong Son
  • Pattaya
  • Phuket
  • Surat Thani
  • Sukhothai
  • Trat
     

Thai Airways

The flagship carrier of Thailand, Thai Airways is the only full-service airline offering domestic flights in Thailand. It may be known as an economy carrier, but its overall service and additional offerings set it apart from economy class airlines.

The airlines service quality is one of the best, as even if you are flying in economy class, the staff are helpful, friendly, and go above and beyond to give you a remarkable inflight experience. The airline provides free baggage allowance, food, drinks, and entertainment for all classes.

It also has a pretty good legroom which makes your travels comfortable. If you are traveling with family, or more accustomed to first-class, this is the airlines you should choose. The prices are usually a bit higher. But our tip is to book in advance, this way you will pay 20% less.

Snapshot of Thai Airways

  • Carry-on Luggage: 7 kilograms
  • Luggage allowance: 30 kilograms
  • Excess luggage fee (per kilogram): 55–125 THB
  • Meal included: yes
  • Seat reservation included: yes
  • Credit card fee: no
  • Departs from: Suvarnabhumi Airport

List of Destination Thai Airways covers

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Hat Yai
  • Khon Kaen
  • Krabi
  • Phuket
  • Surat Thani
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani

Thai Smile

A subsidiary of Thai Airways, Thai Smile has been offering domestic flights in Thailand since 2012. In terms of price, it falls in the mid-range and offers a comfortable service. While being a lower-priced airline than Thai Airways, it still offers some good benefits.

You will get 20 KG checked baggage allowance, free food, and snacks when you fly with this carrier. You can also choose your preferred seat up to 90 days ahead of time if that is important to you.

It also has a great reputation for maintaining flight schedules and avoiding delays. It has good coverage with flights in all major tourist destinations. Overall, while it is not a luxury airline, you can expect to get a comfortable in-flight experience for traveling a short distance.

Snapshot of Thai Smile

  • Carry-on allowance: 7 kilograms
  • Luggage allowance: 20 kilograms
  • Excess luggage fee (per kilogram): 55–125 THB
  • Meal included: yes
  • Seat reservation included: yes
  • Credit card fee: no
  • Departs from: Suvarnabhumi Airport

List of Destination Thai Airways covers

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Hat Yai
  • Phuket
  • Krabi
  • Khon Kaen
  • Narathiwat
  • Surat Thani
  • Udon Thani
  • Ubon Ratchathani

AirAsia

One of the best budget airlines in Thailand, AirAsia is a good option when you do not have a lot of luggage with you. The base price of flights is cheap with this airline. And like budget airlines, you can add on more services as per your requirement.

Providing quality service at a reasonable price, AirAsia has self-check-in counters for quicker and smoother check-in. The airline staffs are helpful and it usually follows schedule with few exceptions when circumstances are out of hand.

Snapshot of AirAsia

  • Carry-on allowance: 7 kilograms
  • Luggage allowance: 15 kilograms is 300 THB
  • Excess luggage fee (per kilogram): 400 THB
  • Meal included: no
  • Seat reservation included: no
  • Credit card fee: 96.5 TBH
  • Departs from: Don Mueang International Airport

List of Destinations AirAsia covers

  • Bangkok
  • Buriram
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Chumphon
  • Hat Yai
  • Hua Hin
  • Khon Kaen
  • Krabi
  • Loei
  • Narathiwat
  • Nan
  • Phuket
  • Pattaya
  • Phitsanulok
  • Ranong
  • Roi Et
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Surat Thani
  • Trang
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Udon Thani
  • Ubon Ratchathani

Nok Air

A low-cost budget airline in Thailand, Nok Air offers the most number of destinations for traveling within Thailand. In Thai, the word “Nok” means bird. It symbolizes air travel, friendliness, and freedom.

To strengthen this association, the airline is decorated in a bird theme. It even has a beak painted at the front of the aircraft. The staff is dressed in bright yellow uniforms. All of this makes Nok Air a wonderful choice if you’re traveling with kids, who will find the entire experience enjoyable.

While the base price of a Nok Air ticket is higher, the average price is usually lower, with the additional fees you pay for added services. Not only does it have the highest number of destinations all across Thailand, but it also has more flight options. You can choose to fly in the morning, afternoon, or night to major destinations from Bangkok.

Snapshot of Nok Air

  • Carry-on allowance: 7 kilograms
  • Luggage allowance: 15 kilograms
  • Excess luggage fee (per kilogram): 300 THB
  • Meal included: snack box
  • Seat reservation included: yes
  • Credit card fee: 90.95 TBH
  • Departs from: Don Mueang International Airport

List of Destinations Nok Air covers

  • Bangkok
  • Buri Ram
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Chumphon
  • Hat Yai
  • Mae Hong Son
  • Phrae
  • Mae Sot
  • Lampang
  • Khon Kaen
  • Loei
  • Phitsanulok
  • Krabi
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Nakhon Phanom
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Roi Et
  • Phuket
  • Ranong
  • Surat Thani
  • Trang
  • Ubon Ratchathani

Thai Lion Air

With a slogan of “Freedom to fly”, Thai Lion Air is another low-cost airline offering domestic inflight services in Thailand. The price of flying with this airline is comparable to those of AirAsia, but you get a bit extra. And perhaps one awesome feature of this airline is the flexibility you will enjoy in terms of checked-in baggage. There is the option of offering passengers the flexibility to choose exactly how many KGs of luggage they want to carry and pay for. It starts at 1KG at 30 THB per KG.

Snapshot of Thai Lion Air

  • Carry-on allowance: 7 kilograms
  • Luggage allowance: 10 kilograms
  • Excess luggage fee (per kilogram): 400 THB
  • Meal included: no
  • Seat reservation included: yes
  • Credit card fee: no
  • Departs from: Don Mueang International Airport

List of Destinations Thai Lion Air covers

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Hat Yai
  • Khon Kaen
  • Krabi
  • Phuket
  • Pattaya
  • Phitsanulok
  • Surat Thani
  • Trang
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Udon Thani
  • Ubon Ratchathani

Thai VietJet Air

One of the newest budget airlines offering domestic flight option is Thai VietJet Air. It opened in 2014, and due to being a new airline, it offers a limited number of destinations. It runs some very good promos from time to time, with the promos you often get the cheapest tickets. One of the perks of using this airline is the fact that it operates from Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is also the main international airport. So, if you’re flying in and out of Suvarnabhumi airport and you want to travel on the same day, this is a budget airline that you can choose.

Snapshot of Thai VietJet Air

  • Carry-on allowance: 7 kilograms
  • Excess luggage fee (per kg): 400 THB
  • Meal included: no
  • Credit card fee: no
  • Departs from: Suvarnabhumi Airport

List of Destinations Thai VietJet Air covers

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Krabi
  • Chiang Rai
  • Phuket

Check-In

Once you have your trip planned and tickets booked, let’s look at the check-in process so that you have a smooth experience at the airport. The good news is all airlines in Thailand follow similar processes for checking in. The check-in counter usually opens 2 hours and closes 30 minutes before departure.

Even though it’s a domestic flight, keep this in mind. Traffic jams in Thailand can also be unpredictable. To avoid missing your flight, it is recommended to go at least 1.30 hours for domestic flights, and 3 hours for international flights. To be on the safe side, and if you have luggage to check-in, you can go 2 hours before departure.

Another great time-saving tip is online checking. It usually opens 24 hours before the flight and closes 1 hour before departure. To check-in online, you can visit the airlines website or download the app, fill up your details, and choose your seat. After completion, you will receive a barcode boarding pass, with which you can board your flights.

Cost

To make your trip planning easier, please find below the average cost of a one-way ticket from Bangkok to some popular tourist destinations. Please keep in mind, airfare keeps on changing, and depends on various factors such as time of traveling, season, when you are booking the ticket, etc.

It is generally recommended to book well in advance (about 1.5 to 2 months). This will give you the best prices. The following table will give you a general idea of flight costs and can vary.

FromToLow CostMid-RangeFull Service
BangkokChiang Mai1200 THB2000 THB3000 THB
BangkokChiang Rai1000 THB1700 THB2000 THB
BangkokPhuket1100 THB1800 THB2300 THB
BangkokKrabi900 THB1600 THB2000 THB
BangkokSamui*1800 THB6000 THB

Things to remember while flying with infants and children

If you have a child or infant, it is good to know that all airlines have similar policies. An infant has to be fourteen days to two years of age on the flying date. And it will cost around 300-600 THB per infant if they are traveling on an adult’s lap. For children aged two to eleven years, ticket prices will be the same as for adults. The exception to this policy is offered by Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways, where children’s fare is 75% of the adult fare.

How to get the best deals

One crucial component while booking tickets is finding the best rates. Thankfully, things are made way easier with the internet. There are many websites that can help you to search and compare flight prices so that you get the maximum value of your money.

Skyscanner, Google flights, Expedia, Traveloka, and Jetradar are some of the best price comparison sites where you can find almost all available airlines in Thailand. There are some other sites such as Cheapticket, Kayak. However, they don’t usually include local airlines such as Nok Air, Thai Lion Air, etc.

Always cross-check the ticket price with the prices listed on the official website of the airlines. Sometimes a cheaper ticket is available on the official website. If you’re unsure of the destination and are on a budget, you can use Google flights. It has a map search feature which suggests different destination based on time-frame and interest.

If you’re unsure about when you’ll travel, Jetradar can be a great tool. You can subscribe to their price alert, and they will show you a notification when they find the cheapest rate for your selected route.

Some final tips

We hope you have all the information and resources to book your next domestic flight in Thailand. Here are some bonus tips for your next journey!

  • Always have plenty of time in hand for going to the airport in Bangkok. Be it Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang, domestic or international, some factors such as traffic can be unpredictable. Also, airports in Bangkok are usually crowded with a lot of people, and queues can be very long.
  • Keep an item of comfort to make your journey pleasant. A travel neck-pillow or a blanket can help you get some rest, and make an otherwise budget airline journey comfortable. Also, even though Thailand is hot and humid, the temperature inside the aircraft can be very cold, a light blanket can offer you comfort in this case. If you’re a book lover, you can take a book for some in-flight entertainment.
  • If you’re hungry while at Suvarnabhumi airport, be sure to check out the food court located on the first floor. It serves excellent food with plenty of options.