Here are some tips for getting cheap flights to Thailand. Understand because of work obligations, family obligations and a myriad of other reasons some or all of them may not be applicable to you.
Flying Into Bangkok Is Usually Cheaper
If you are flying into Thailand from the United States, you have two primary options for arrival airports Bangkok (BKK) or Phuket (HKT). Unless you are staying in the Phuket area or another nearby destination, it is usually cheaper to fly into Bangkok. Airfare to Phuket is typically at least a couple hundred dollars more than flying into Bangkok on the same dates.
When you compare airfares between the two, make sure you factor in the cost of transportation to your ultimate destination. For example, if you are staying in Phuket you need to account for the additional costs of getting to Phuket from Bangkok to make a fair comparison.
Using the Bangkok to Phuket example, you would have the additional cost of ground transportation from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok to Don Mueang Airport if not departing to Phuket from Suvarnabhumi. Most domestic flights to and from Bangkok depart and arrive from Don Mueang while International flights from the United States usually depart and arrive from Suvarnabhumi. Then you have to add the cost of a domestic flight from Bangkok to Phuket to get the total cost of flying into (BKK) vs. (HKT). Domestic flights in Thailand are relatively inexpensive usually $75 or less per person. The exception being flights to Koh Samui.
Consider Being Flexible With Your Travel Dates
A lot of the travel apps and travel booking sites will allow you to see an entire month or more of flights in a rate calendar. For example, if you know you want to take your trip in June instead of picking specific dates in June to search for your departure and return, look at the rate calendars these sites provide for the entire month to choose the least expensive days to depart and return. Better yet, look at the rates in May and August too. The more flexible your travel dates are the more you can save.
Do Not Travel During Major U.S. Holidays
Don’t book flights around major U.S. holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Major holidays don’t just clog up domestic flights. They also clog up international flights as people are traveling to and from international destinations to spend time with their families in the States. There are also quite a few people that think spending time on a beach in Thailand makes for the perfect Christmas holiday.
Avoid Booking Air Travel With Weekend Departures And Arrivals
Recreational travelers most often choose to depart and return on the weekends because of their work schedules. If you choose to do so, you will encounter higher airfares and are more likely to encounter fully booked or overbooked planes. If you have the flexibility, does it make that much difference if you depart and return on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday? A week in paradise is still a week in paradise no matter which days you chose to depart and return.
Book Your Flight In Advance
Don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight. A ticket that was $500 three months out can easily turn into a $1500 ticket a two weeks out.
Use Departing Airports That Have Cheap Flights To Thailand.
I regularly see airfares to Bangkok under $500 round trip departing from major international airports. I tend to scan Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, as I prefer to depart from the West Coast. For people that prefer to depart from the East Coast, I would suggest looking at departures from New York City, Washington DC and Atlanta in that order. For those of you that wish to depart from the middle of the country try Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Denver in that order. Keep in mind you get the absolute best prices departing from the East or West Coast. I see round trip airfares under $400 out of the East and West coast from time to time.
For those of you, like me, not living within a reasonable driving distance to one of the international airports I mentioned, a lot of the time the cheapest solution is to book an international flight out of one of those airports anyway. Then you book a domestic flight on a discount airline to that airport. When you try and book it all as one flight from a smaller airport, it is usually more expensive than it should be because of airline partnerships. These partnerships or codeshare agreements force you to fly a specific domestic airline to get to the international airport. I often find that booking a direct flight to a departing city on the west coast is my cheapest solution by $200 to $400.
My Process For Getting A Cheap Flight To Thailand
I regularly check fares from Chicago (ORD) to Bangkok (BKK) for cheap flights to Thailand because Chicago is the closest international airport to me. It is 6 hours away by car assuming traffic is ok. I do not like to drive there because of the tolls and the unpredictability of traffic which often throws off the drive time by an hour or more. To avoid adding a long unpleasant drive to a long international flight, long term parking costs and numerous tolls, I fly out of Louisville, Ky (SDF). If I book departing from Louisville to Bangkok, the online booking sites will have me fly from Louisville into Chicago for a layover and then I depart from Chicago for the international flight.
When I book this flight together typically ANA comes up as one of the least expensive options. However, I am forced to fly American Eagle to Chicago under ANA’s codeshare arrangement which typically adds $300-$400 to the flight vs flying directly out of Chicago on ANA.
How To Ninja The Booking Sites To Get Cheap Flights To Thailand
This is when my wheels start turning. I run Louisville to Chicago through Skyscanner checking for flights that will get me to Chicago before the ANA flight I want to be on departs. Usually, that will result in some savings but not enough. The interesting thing is I can fly from Lousiville to Los Angeles (LAX) for the same price I can fly to Chicago. Fares from LAX to Bangkok tend to be at least $200 less than fares from Chicago to Bangkok.
It is at this point I start checking the West Coast fares to Bangkok. For me, flying out of Los Angeles (LAX) works best because numerous airlines offer direct flights from Louisville (SDF) to Los Angeles (LAX). Once I have my flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok picked out, I just look for direct flights from Louisville to Los Angeles that will give me enough cushion to catch my departing flight to Bangkok.
Most of the time booking two separate flights one from Louisville to Los Angeles and then Los Angeles to Bangkok is my cheapest option for flying to Thailand. I wanted to go through this example to show you how to think outside of the box to get the best fares. Simply typing in your closest airport code for flights to Bangkok into booking sites isn’t going to do it. Especially, for those of you that don’t live near one of the international airports I mentioned.
Don’t Forget To Use Your Points For Cheap Flights To Thailand
Nowadays, there are two basic kinds of travel points. Those that you get from being a frequent flyer on an airline and those that you get for signing up for a travel credit card. Some of the more generous travel credit cards give you as much as $750 in free travel for simply getting the card and putting $3,000 worth of charges on it. If you use these cards to spend on everyday expenses, additional points can add up quickly. Needless to say, if you have $750 of free travel, it will likely cover most or even all of your airfare to Thailand. If you have a significant other or simply a travel companion both of you can sign-up for a card and get up to $1500 in free travel for minimal effort.