After being in Bangkok and surrounding areas for approximately 1 week myself and my partner decided to go in search of sun, sea and sand. We opted to start by travelling to Phuket and work our way round the different islands. After going out for a meal and a couple of drinks one evening we got back to our hotel and searched for a flight within the next 48 hours. I was initially worried that availability might be difficult but i soon found out this wasn't a problem.
The best and cheapest airline to travel from Bangkok to Phuket appeared to be Bangkok Airways so i searched for flights directly on their website. The website itself is very user friendly and whilst it initially appeared in Thai (as you would expect when in Thailand!) it was easy to find the UK flag so that i could understand everything. Booking the flights was straight forward but due to a bad internet connection (and possible a couple of drinks) i managed to book two unwanted tickets. I waited until the next day to try to clear this up and must admit i was a bit scepticle when i couldn't find a customer service contact number. I was immediately directed to an online customer service form which i completed and sent off. Amazingly the cost of the unwanted tickets was refunded before i even landed back in the UK so i can't fault the customer service, helpfulness and efficiency of the airlines.
The flight itself was also a pleasant experience; it was smooth and we didn't experience any delays. The plane was clean and the air stewardesses were extremely polite, well dressed and very friendly. I would compare Bangkok Airways to EasyJet or Jet2 but the experience is far superior. It doesn't feel like a budget airline in the slightest and you feel like a valued customer. Unlike our European counterparts, Bangkok Airways serves each passenger with a drink and a small snack and doesn't charge for the toilets!!! There wasn't any entertainment available on the flight but i think we were on the plane for a total of 1.5 hours so it wasn't necessary.
We paid approximately £60 each for a one way flight. I was quite happy with this price considering we only bought the tickets 48 hours prior to flying and it was peak season. I think if we'd purchased them a few months prior we could have got them for closer to £30. The airline offered morning or evening flights so it was easy to schedule travelling with other commitments. However, it would have been helpful to have had a mid-afternoon flight as we arrived in Phuket when it was dark with no hotel and no real idea of where we were heading. However, as with everywhere in Thailand, the people were all very willing to help and we successfully found plenty of sun, sea and sand.
We flew with Bangkok Airways on our recent trip to Thailand. We usually get the 'discover Thailand' package with Thai Airways which gives you 3 domestic flights for just over £130 but the flights we needed were not available this time. I did my research and managed to get the 4 flights we needed with Bangkok Airways for a very reasonable £120 per person.
So, what did we think of Bangkok Airways? Fantastic! the flights were always smooth and on time and the service was excellent.
Even in economy Bangkok Airways have lounges at all airports which offer complimentary beverages and lights snacks, there is also internet access & free Wifi. This was a nice touch and much more comfortable than waiting around on the usual hard seats at the gate.
Now, for the in flight service.
It always amazes me how efficient they are in Thailand, you take off, get served lunch, watch and episode of 'Just for Laughs' or something similar on the TV and then you are coming in to land. All this in just an hour...I have NEVER had this level of service within Europe. The food was actually OK, not the best, not the worst but there doesn't seem to be much variation. We had the same thing on 3 of our 4 flights and it did get a bit boring after the second time. I have to say though, we had no other complaints.
We flew in economy which only allows you 20kg of hold luggage but had 30kg allowance for our flight home. Our final destination was Chiang Mai, where we planned to do some serious shopping so we thought that we might have a problem on the way back. I asked about this at check in and was told about the Flyer bonus scheme that is run by the airline. It costs nothing to join but gives you an extra 10kg allowance.
I have personally flown with Bangkok Airways about 7 times and every flight I have taken with them has been a pleasure. The routes that I have flown are U-tapao(Pattaya) to Koh Samui, U-tapao to Phuket, Phuket to Bangkok and Siem Reap to Bangkok(The flight from Siem Reap was run by its partner airline 'Siem Reap Airways'). Bangkok Airways owns the Airport on Koh Samui and also is the only commercial airline that flies out of U-Tapao airport in Pattaya's military base. Therefore they have the monopoly on these routes, but this doesnt matter as Bangkok Airways are a high quality airline that offer good deals and prices throughout all their routes.
At present they have international flights from Thailand to Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Myanmar and the Maldives. This gives them a good network of flights within South East asia and makes them a very good alternative to the more expensive airlines such as Thai airways, and a nicer alternative to the no frills airlines such as Air Asia and Nok Air. They also include 20kg of checked baggage into the price which is a good amount for a lower cost airline.
Bangkok Airways describes themselves as 'Asia's Boutique Airline' which I consider a very valid statement. I personally cannot recomment Bangkok Airways highly enough.
My personal experience of the flights themselves has been a pleasure also, after check-in you get to wait in a designated Bangkok Airways Lounge(at certain airports only) which includes some nice treats like complimentary snacks, drinks and newspapers. Then you are taken to the plane by a nice novelty 'bus'(basically a carrage). When boarding the plane you are greeted by the lovely and helpful staff. The seats on board are pretty standard sized and perfectly adequate; no TV screens on the seats in front, but not needed on these shorter flights. You always get a nice snack and drink included with the flight. All of the meals I have had on board have been very tasty and filling, often involving noodles or rice. You always get a nice hot towel during the flight aswell.
Personally I now fly with Air Asia when I need to save the pennies a bit, but if I can afford to pay the little extra I will always try to fly with Bangkok Air. Also with them having the monopoly on certain routes they are often the only option.
I flew with Bangkok airways from Bangkok to Koh samui via Chaing mai as there were no seats left on the direct flight. An excellent airline. Staff were very gracious and helpful both ground crew and cabin crew. All Bangkok airways passengers are welcomed into an exclusive lounge in each airport and served drinks and snacks magazines and free internet access.
Each leg of the flight we were served a snack type meal and a drink. On one leg it only lasted 50 minutes but we were still served a snack by cheerful friendly staff. Once landed a little trolley cart picks you up from the plane and takes you to the terminal. Its all very quaint and a very pleasant experiance.
The airport in Koh Samui is owned by Bangkok airways and they were improving it when we were there building new terminal buildings. Some of the planes are turbo prop which takes a little longer to reach the islands. They have numerous routes throughout Asia including Singapore Hong Kong China and Japan as well as internal flights in Thailand.
The airline is well run well organised the staff are friendly and very good value for money.
Bangkok Airways bill themselves as Asia's "boutique" airline, and its not hard to see why.
Their most famous route is that between Bangkok and Koh Samui and they even own the airport at Samui. The airline also flies to destinations all over Asia, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan and Hong Kong.
The planes are small and some are turbo props but with the growth in popularity of tourism on Samui more jets are being used.
The service onboard is outstanding and is far superior to anything I have experienced in the US or Europe. Everyone on board receives a meal and drink and children's meals are excellent, also including a sticker scene game incorporated into their meal boxes to help children pass the time on their flight.
While the airline is probably best known in the west for its routes to and from Samui, they also fly to Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pattaya, Phuket, Trat and Sukothai within Thailand, as well as their hub of Bangkok, and destinations in China, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Within Bangkok they are based at Suvarnabhumi Airport - this is a great advantage for the foreign traveller as a lot of the lower cost budget airlines use the old Don Mueang airport in the city which is quite some distance from Suvarnabhumi which is of course the main international airport in Bangkok.
It is easy to book flights with this airline using their website, which is available in English. Fares are high compared to some of the low-cost airlines in the region but the service is far higher. They do have a near monopoly on flights to Koh Samui which sadly doesn't mean really cheap fares but the high service you receive is in marked relief to that you get on Nok Air for example.
I have used this airline many times and will continue to do so on future visits to Thailand - they are expanding their routes and I would seek them out when visiting other parts of Asia for the high levels of service I have come to expect from them.
Bangkok airways is the main airline operating the domestic routes around Thailand, and some international routes, these include routes to/from; Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is their main airport, with many flights starting and ending there.
The airline operates the Cambodia routes semi-operated by Siem Reap Airways International.
I have flown with Bangkok airways twice, once in January 2006 and once in February 2008. Both experiences were pleasant, in 2006 I flew from Koh Samui airport (brilliant semi-outdoor airport) to Bangkok, the flight was on time, fast check in and check out - no preblems at all.
The second time I flew with them was earlier this year, again, check in and out was clockwork, although after rushing to get ready for an early flight after a night out drinking, I had put many items that you can't carry on flights nowadays into my hand luggage, which meant I had to have a trip to boots once we'd landed! But this does mean that good security measures are in place and they passed the test that I'd set them!
Overall a great airline from my experiences, with very professional staff.
You can book online, or at travel agents around asia, and probably the rest of the world.
I flew by Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui, Thailand some time ago. We were told that they had just launched this new large aircraft but when we boarded found that we were to be travelling on their old planes which for some reason had yet to be upgraded to the larger plane. The plane was the smallest commercial plane I've ever seen. Not very confidence inspiring! Slightly less comfortable than promised but that was not a problem.
The plane seemed to land in the middle of nowhere, literally. It was already dusk and there was not a single building in sight! Add to that we had a VERY bumpy landing, enough to make me start praying - hard! I thought we were making an emergency landing, for sure. We waited what seemed like ages then saw a police car (!) pull up and after another wait saw them take away one of the passengers in handcuffs!
Apart from the landing and drama, the service was excellent. The airline staff both on the ground and in the air are most helpful and attentive.
have used this airline several times over the last few years,for lesiure and cannot fault the service. they truly deserve to call themselves thailand"s boutique airline.check in always fast and efficient,even at peak times.we often arrive earlier than perhaps we should at bkk domestic, and have asked at check in if we may catch an earlier flight. they"re usually every hour.it"s never been a problem to accept us on it.bangkok airways offer a courtesy corner at all domestic airports we"ve used. (koh samui been the prettiest airport i"ve ever travelled through. very open aired and relaxing.you get to chill out in a kind of deckchair,quite novel.security is not lacking either for such an open enviroment)various snacks,fruit, hot beverages and tropical juices are available,and even fresh popcorn.great reading material, free internet access, and phone calls too within thailand. we always reconfirm our homeward flights at this time as a matter of course.the lounges never seem to be crowded.good clean washroom facilities staffed usually by very nice thai ladies who for a few baht can offer freshen up items.. in the air new equipment used, friendly smiles and attentiveness from fa"s all part of the nature of the people of this wonderful kingdom.quite tasty hot meals served for such short flight of only around an hour to various coastal resort airports.never had a pitiful excuse for a sandwich anyway.hot beverages, juice & beer served all included in ticket.sure there are odd delays now and then,we think they sometimes bump two flights together at quiet times. it"s never been more than an hour maximum, even flying back from phuket in early january 2005,we were amazed it was only that.at that terrible time bangkok airlines never faltered with any aspect of their service.we would reccomend them to anyone travelling within thailand.knock the socks off most u.k. domestic carriers.they are also at present widening their international routes.
Anyone visiting Thailand must see Bangkok.
Anyone visiting Thailand also wants to escape to the hills or beach.
My criteria, like most peoples, needed both the above elements. Thailand has developed drastically, and backpackers move around the country on modern air-con buses, opting for ferries to visit islands. It is certainly 'do-able' to get round the country by these means.
I had limited time, and wanted to experience Bangkok and Koh Samui. I knew that the lengthy flight from London would sap me of energy, and cost me a day out of my ten in Thailand.
I booked my long-haul flight with Thai airways online, I booked a hotel in Bangkok online, and a bungalow on a beach in Koh Samui online. The missing link was the flight from Bangkok to Samui.
Guess what... I booked it online!
Bangkok Airways website is brilliant. Aswell as the facility to book, it is a showcase of their achievement. They proudly display their expanding network, boast of their young fleet, the airports that they control and the experience and training of their crew and engineers, trained by the well-respected Swissair team.
I knew that I was dealing with a competent outfit. Worth mentioning at this point, they boast
their holding of an award for excellence in the 'Asia regional airlines' category.
Online booking is straightforward, and they have adopted the ever-increasing policy of issuing e-tickets. It means that you can't forget your ticket. Just prove who you are (passport) and your on board!
After a few days in Bangkok, I travelled to the airport for my flight.
Now, In Europe, low cost airlines are operating from minor secondary airports miles from town. Bangkok Airways use the same international airport that I arrived in Thailand at. A new 'Super-airport' is being built in Bangkok, I am not sure what airlines are going to re-route into that.
Good security prevails here, with bags being sealed. Check in was effortless and I moved swiftly through to the gate.
The aircraft are stunning, lots of flowery/leafy/tropical livery, and it sets a fun tone (lets face it, business travellers don't use these routes, everyone is heading for the beach!)
The friendly staff perform all the usual functions, you get an OK sandwich/snack and a drink.
The inflight magazine is quite refreshing too...
How often are they full of ads for glitzy Fifth Avenue style gems, offshore accounting or frequent-flyer lounges? I saw ads which many tourists may appreciate.
Arriving in Samui is unforgetable. Bangkok Airways operate the airport themselves, and it is like no other. A narrow airstrip also functions as taxiway carved into the hills.
Tractors pull carts of passengers and luggage from the aircraft to the area you would normally call the terminal. Most of this airport is outdoors, with areas covered in thatch style coverings. Walls don't exist, but vegetation does. It is a lovely arrival to a stunning part of Thailand.
If this alarms you, be assured that for my return leg, there was stringent security on arrival, and the airport is patrolled with keen-eyed Thai guards.
Bangkok Airways has an extensive network in the region. They fly from Bangkok to six regional airports in Thailand.
They fly also to Pnon Penh, the Cambodian capital, and Siem Reap, close to the world heritage site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
They serve Singapore and airports in Laos too.
In Burma (Myanmar) they serve Rangoon (Yangon)
Vietnamese routes include Ho Chi Minh
Also, several destinations in China including Nanjing, Shenzen and Xian.
This is a brilliant opportunity for travellers to get to their destination cheaply. Tickets from London to Vietnam and Cambodia are prohibitively expensive, yet Bangkok can exist as a gateway here. I paid £370 to fly LHR to BKK.
If I wanted to visit Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam, I would consider using Bangkok as a launch-pad to travel on.
Bangkok Airways is a success story, an example of Thais doing their best for their guests