Thailand, India and Vietnam are among the five most popular New Year destinations among Russians. But the most economical ones postpone trips to Southeast Asia for the less popular post-holiday period, and instead of ready-made tours they buy tickets themselves, including for numerous flights of local low-cost airlines. Life around figured out how they differ from ordinary companies, how their proposals are really beneficial and what tricks to expect.
What low-cost airlines are in Asia
OneTwoTrip Leisure Director
The largest Asian low-cost airline is Malaysian AirAsia, which for several years has been recognized as the best low-cost airline in the world (according to the consulting company SkyTrax, which studies the quality of services of airlines and airports). The carriers of some Asian countries operate under its brand: AirAsia India, Thai AirAsia and others.
Other popular low-cost airlines in Asia: FireFly (also operating in Malaysia), Cebu Pacific Air in the Philippines, Citi Link and Lion Air in Indonesia, Jetstar Pacific Airlines and VietJet Air in Vietnam, Nok Air in Thailand, Air India Express, GoAir and IndiGo in India , China United Airlines, Jiangxi Air and Spring Airlines in China, Tigerair in Singapore.
Each of these airlines flies to neighboring Asian countries, and some of them to Australia and the Middle East. For example, AirAsia has only 120 destinations.
How much are tickets and baggage
Most low cost airlines in Asia offer similar fares. The ticket will usually be non-refundable. As in Europe, return tickets are on average twice as expensive as those that cannot be exchanged or returned, or you will have to pay a fine, which may be more than the cost of the ticket.
In addition, airlines often offer to pay for choosing a seat and excess baggage (on the site it will cost less than at the airport), and buy food on board already.
If you want to save money, when buying a ticket on the website, clear all the checkmarks in the sections of life insurance, baggage, exchange and return conditions and other additional options that the airline may include in the price. And do not be surprised when in the final you will be charged a fee for paying with a card.
Airlines in Asia also have loyalty programs, bonus cards for earning miles and special tickets: pay for a ticket only once and fly to popular destinations for a certain time, for example 60 days.
Is it possible to fly to Asia with a low-cost airline from Europe?
Many airlines are mastering international destinations, and they do it well. For example, the German low-cost airline Eurowings flies from the airports of Cologne, Bonn and Dusseldorf to Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket). The Smart tariff of the middle price category includes checked baggage up to 23 kilograms, hand luggage, seat selection and meals. To Bangkok, tickets at this fare cost $ 369 round-trip.
Norwegian air carrier Norwegian regularly flies to Asia - to Singapore and Bangkok. The departure airports closest to Russia are in Riga (Latvia) and Klaipeda (Lithuania). A non-refundable one-way ticket on the route Riga - Bangkok on February 18 costs 190 euros, this price includes ten kilograms of hand luggage.
Finally, you can get to Asia by low-cost airlines not only from Western Europe. For example, the low-cost airline Flydubai flies from several Russian cities - Moscow, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Makhachkala, Mineralnye Vody and Voronezh - to Bangkok with a transfer in Dubai. A round-trip ticket at the Promo fare for March 2018 costs 34,775 rubles. The price includes 20 kilograms of luggage and seven kilograms of hand luggage.
How much will you save?
Life around found several examples of direct round-trip flights on February 1-7, 2018 and compared the prices of low-cost airlines with the offers of ordinary Asian airlines. Often low-cost airlines attract customers with low prices, and then it turns out that they will have to pay not only for food on board, but also for baggage. Therefore, for clarity, we included in the price hand luggage and luggage.
Bangkok - Samui
low-cost airline AirAsia
98 dollars(plane + ferry)
airline Bangkok Airways
Hanoi - Singapore
low cost airline VietJet Air
airline Vietnam Airlines
traveler from Moscow
Several times I flew low-cost airlines in Asia. Most often, AirAsia, some Jetstar Pacific Airlines and VietJet Air (both Vietnam). The cheapest flight was in Vietnam: from Ho Chi Minh City to the “Vietnamese Venice” - the city of Hue. One way tickets for two adults cost 2,500 rubles. The price included luggage of 15 kilograms and two pieces of hand luggage of seven kilograms. The flight lasted about an hour, and there were only 14 passengers in the cabin, including us.
Asian low-cost airlines like prices and flights over short distances. Well seriously, give up a thousand kilometers for $ 20! Do not lean back and feed? So the flight rarely lasts a little more than two hours. If you imagine that you are driving the same two hours (or standing in a traffic jam), then it would never occur to you to count on food and a folding chair. We always pay extra for checked baggage and take two backpacks with equipment weighing 15 kilograms in total to the cabin. For the first time, I was worried that they would not let us in or make us pay extra (the experience of flying “Victory” affected), but nobody ever paid attention to our tiny little ones.
Life around editor
Last year, I flew AirAsia flights from Bangkok to Samui and back. Tickets cost about 150 euros cheaper than Thai Airways, but there was a nuance. The plane did not reach Samui, but stopped at the Surat Thani airport on the continent, then everyone was taken by minibus to the port, and from there to the island for another two hours by ferry. As a result, the trip took a whole day.
The low-cost airline had an unusual requirement - not to bring any things with batteries in baggage. Therefore, in Bangkok, my husband was ordered to return to the reception desk before boarding the speakerphone. 20 minutes running around the airport, and it turns out that in our suitcase we found an electric mosquito racket. We gave it to some Thai and miraculously managed to fly.
At the same time, AirAsia does not monitor compliance with the hand baggage allowance too much and does not make a problem because of a couple of kilograms. You can not say about the Indian IndiGo: there I had to shake all the bags near the reception, put on all the winter clothes, and all in order to squeeze into the seven-kilogram norm of hand luggage.