Flights Within Thailand: A Guide to Airlines and Cheap Tickets

When flying within Thailand, you have a lot to consider. 

You’ll want the best option whether traveling alone, with a family, with sports equipment, or with a pet – and AirAsia isn’t always the cheapest option.

With so many domestic airlines to choose from, how do you know which one offers the best deals?

In this guide, we’ll show you just that. You’ll find out about all the domestic airlines in Thailand – as well as their pros, cons, and baggage policies – so you can get the best price possible no matter where you book your airline tickets. 

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Domestic Airlines in Thailand

Because there are many airlines that offer domestic flights in Thailand, the market is competitive. Each company has its own position and targets different types of customers.

That said, let’s look at some of the more popular domestic airlines.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways Logo

Thai Airways is a national airline of Thailand. It’s one of the most popular options for expats.

While Thai Airways may not have a lot of domestic routes in Thailand, it flies to all major cities. In addition, it’s very easy to make connecting flights from within Thailand to other countries using Thai Airways. 


Thai Airways offers limited routes within Thailand, mainly for major cities including:

  1. Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport)
  2. Chiang Mai
  3. Chiang Rai
  4. Hat Yai
  5. Krabi
  6. Khon Kaen
  7. Narathiwat 
  8. Phuket
  9. Ubon Ratchathani
  10. Udon Thani

However, Thai Airways does fly many times of the day to these cities. In addition, flight times tend to be convenient throughout the day. 


Thai Airways is often the most expensive option for domestic flights in Thailand. Its economy class normally costs at least 1.5 times more than other airlines, except for Bangkok Airways. 

However, if you book at least a month in advance, it could cost only 10 percent to 20 percent more than budget airlines.

But if you have a lot of checked baggage or connecting flights to other countries, or you want a comfortable experience, Thai Airways can be a good option. 

Ticket Types

Thai Airways tickets are mainly separated into five classes:

  • Saver: The cheapest ticket that comes with 7kg of carry-on baggage and 20kg checked baggage allowance. It’s non-refundable. Flights and dates can be changed for a fee. 
  • Standard: You get 25kg of checked baggage. The ticket is also refundable for an additional fee. 
  • Flexi: Similarly to the standard ticket but you get 30kg of checked baggage. 
  • Silk Standard: Business class coming with 40kg of checked baggage. You can change flight dates for an additional fee. 
  • Silk Standard Flexi: Similar to Silk Standard but you can change flight dates without paying extra fees. 

Baggage Allowance 

Thai Airways gives you 7kg of carry-on baggage. For checked baggage, it’s 20kg to 40kg, depending on your ticket type. 

Pet Policy

Thai Airways allows pet travel for all flights operated with A320 aircrafts, which is used on most domestic routes in Thailand. However, it’s still a good idea to recheck with Thai Airways to make sure your flight allows pet travel. 

Sports Equipment

You can carry sports equipment on Thai Airways flights as long as it’s under the weight allowance based on your ticket type. 

If it exceeds the limitation, you have to pay an excess baggage fee, around THB55 to THB125 per kilogram, depending on your route.

Regularly, Thai Airways offers flash-sales that have lower fares than budget airlines. However, these sales usually come on short notice and last only for a few days, with limited departure dates.

Should I Fly with Thai Airways?

Thai Airways is especially good for connecting flights from international airports in Thailand to other countries. Flight times are also convenient. 

Being the national airline of Thailand, Thai Airways offers a comfortable flying experience. It’s a good option if you need to fly with a lot of baggage. 

Thai Smile

Thai Smile is a subsidiary of Thai Airways, positioning itself in the middle between low-cost and full-service airlines. It’s cheaper than Thai Airways but includes in-flight meals and 20kg of checked baggage allowance. 

Thai Smile will run until the end of December 2023. After that, all Thai Smile routes will be operated by Thai Airways. 

Bangkok Airways

Bangkok Airways logo

Bangkok Airways is a boutique airline in Thailand. In our opinion, it’s one of the best airlines for domestic flights within Thailand because of its great service-minded policies. Its flights are known for being on time as well. 

In addition, you get access to lounges in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket when flying with Bangkok Airways. You also get 7kg of carry-on baggage and 20kg of checked baggage, plus in-flight meals. 


Bangkok Airways mainly focuses on popular tourism areas such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Phuket.

Bangkok Airways’ most well-known route is to Koh Samui because the airline is the only one offering direct flights to the island. It offers flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui 20 times a day, every day. 


Being a boutique airline, Bangkok Airways is one of the most expensive domestic airlines in Thailand. Sometimes, it can cost twice as expensive as budget airlines. 

For example, you’ll pay around THB2,600 for a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, while a budget airline would cost you around THB1,400. 

However, Bangkok Airways is still a popular option for locals and expats because of the flight experience. 

Ticket Types 

Bangkok Airways’ domestic flight tickets are separated into four classes:

  • Web Promotion: Cheapest option and tickets can be changed for a fee. No refunds available.
  • Web Saver: Average prices and tickets can be changed without fees. No refunds available.
  • Web Freedom: Normally THB600 to THB1,200 higher than Web Saver. Refunds available for a fee.
  • Blue Ribbon: Business class but only available on specific routes. Prices around THB1,800 higher than Web Freedom but you get an additional 30kg of checked baggage and business lounge access. Free flight changes.

Baggage Allowance

Bangkok Airways gives you 7kg of carry-on baggage and 20kg of checked baggage. 

For extra weight, it costs around THB180 per kilogram. 

Bangkok Airways usually does not care about a little extra weight. Some people even mentioned that the airline tends to spoil customers.

Pet Policy

Bangkok Airways allows pet travel, mainly for routes to Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui. For other routes, you need to check with Bangkok Airways directly. 

Pets must also be at least 8 weeks old. Only small cats and dogs are allowed to travel. 

Sports Equipment

You can usually travel with sports equipment on Bangkok Airways. It counts it as checked baggage. 

Should I Fly with Bangkok Airways? 

If you have a budget for it, you should fly with Bangkok Airways. In our opinion, it’s the best domestic airline in Thailand. The overall service is exceptional, and seats are comfortable. 


AirAsia Logo

AirAsia is the most popular budget airline in Thailand. It normally has the lowest fares, holding promotions throughout the year. 

Being a budget airline, every additional option (except 7kg carry-on baggage) comes with a cost, including credit card surcharges, seat reservations, meals, checked baggage, and insurance.

However, seat space is smaller than that of Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways. 

Because of its low price, AirAsia is a great option if you want to fly with little baggage and can book at least a few weeks before your travel dates.


One of the best things about AirAsia is its available routes. It covers most provinces in Thailand that have airports, including Nan, Hat Yai, Buriram, and Chiang Rai. 

In addition to that, AirAsia also has bus and ferry transfers to popular tourist attractions such as Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and more.  


AirAsia is known for having the lowest airline prices, but that’s not always the case.

In fact, AirAsia’s airfare varies based on dates and flight times. It can be very low if you book a ticket many months in advance during promotional periods. For example, a ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be less than THB1,000. 

On the other hand, airfare can be higher than THB3,000 if you book during the holiday season, which might be more expensive than Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways. 

Note that AirAsia charges a small credit card processing fee of THB100 to THB200 per seat, per booking. 

Ticket Types

There are three types of AirAsia tickets:

  • Economy: Tickets come with only 7kg of carry-on baggage allowance.  
  • Value Pack: You get 20kg of baggage allowance, meals, and seat selection. 
  • Premium Flex: Everything you get with the value pack. You also get express check-in, boarding, and baggage delivery. You can also change your flight date and time twice. 

In our opinion, if you purchase a 20kg baggage allowance, it’s better to just get the Value Pack. 

If you’re in a hurry, it’s a good idea to get the Premium Flex. Express baggage delivery, boarding, and check-in can save a lot of time. 

Baggage Allowance

When flying with AirAsia, you only get 7kg of carry-on baggage. 

Note that AirAsia is quite strict with overweight baggage, so you may have to pay extra even if the weight of your baggage is only 0.1kg over. 

For checked-on baggage, it costs THB560 per 15kg if you purchase it during your booking process or THB742 if you purchase it afterward. 

Pet Policy

AisAsia doesn’t allow pet travel. 

Sports Equipment 

You need to pay extra if you want to check-in sports equipment. The price starts at THB728 for a 15kg piece of equipment. 

Should I Fly with AirAsia?

AirAsia is the most popular budget airline in Thailand. The ticket prices can be cheap if you book months in advance. The overall service is good. Its flights are also usually on time. 

On the other hand, if you book a ticket a few days before your flight, you might want to check other airlines because AirAsia will be quite expensive. 

Also, because of its popularity, when flying with AirAsia, it will take longer for check-ins. So, unless you do online check-in, you should plan to arrive ahead of time. 


Nok Air

Nok Air Logo

Nok Air is another budget airline in Thailand. It works similarly to AirAsia, offering budget airfare with a 7kg of carry-on baggage allowance. For meals and checked baggage, you need to pay extra. 

The main difference between Nok Air and AirAsia is that you can pick a seat online without having to pay for it. 

However, they do charge a credit card processing fee during booking. 

One of the best things about Nok Air is that its price can be very affordable. It also allows pet travel as checked baggage. They also have routes to many parts of Thailand.

Nok Air’s seats are wider than a normal low-cost airline, at a 31 inch pitch and 17.2 inch width, on average.

However, Nok Air has a reputation for being delayed. Many people have regularly reported delays ranging from thirty minutes to more than five hours. Sometimes, Nok Air may cancel flights a few days before departure. 


Nok Air currently has the highest number of domestic routes, covering more than twenty destinations all over the country, with bus and ferry transfer services to nearby vacation destinations such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. 


Nok Air has similar ticket prices to AirAsia, making it an affordable option if you want to fly within Thailand without checking any baggage. 

Nok Air’s ticket prices are likely to change, depending on flight times and dates. Similar to AirAsia, it costs significantly less when you book a few weeks in advance, especially from Tuesday to Thursday.

Similar to other budget airlines, Nok Air runs several promotions throughout the year, reducing the net ticket price to sometimes lower than THB1,000 for a one-way ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

Note that Nok Air charges a processing fee of THB225 per person, per flight. 

Ticket Types

Nok Air tickets are mainly separated into three classes:

  • Nok Lite: Tickets come with 7kg of carry-on baggage.
  • Nok X-tra: Tickets come with 15kg of checked baggage allowance and seat reservations. 
  • Nok Max: You get 25kg of checked baggage allowance, meals, and the ability to change flights without having to pay additional fees. If you fly from Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, you also get access to the Nok Air lounge. 

If you need to check baggage, it’s more affordable to go with the Nok X-tra option. 

For Nok Max, it’s usually not worthwhile unless you need 25kg of checked baggage and want a meal. 

Baggage Allowance

Nok Air baggage allowance mainly depends on your type of ticket as mentioned in a previous section. A standard ticket, Nok Lite, only allows 7kg of carry-on baggage. 

For checked baggage, it starts at THB450 for 15kg of baggage. 

Nok Air is quite strict with both carry-on and checked baggage. 

Pet Travel

Nok Air is the only budget airline in Thailand that allows pet travel. 

Nok Air has a pet carriage service that accepts dogs, cats, and rabbits that are older than two months. 

Please note that pets travel in cargo, and the service is only available on Boeing 737 operated flights. 

Sports Equipment

Sports equipment, musical instruments, and oversized baggage are considered special baggage. You need to pay an additional THB500 per piece for the first 20kg and another THB500 for the next 5kg. 

Sports equipment should be packed appropriately and weigh less than 30kg.

Should I Fly with Nok Air?

Since Nok Air has the most domestic routes available in Thailand, it’s sometimes your only option. 

If you fly to a small city, you should also prepare for delayed flights and flight cancellations. It might not be a problem for popular flights to big cities or tourist provinces. 

Thai Lion Air

Thai Lion Air Logo

Thai Lion Air is another budget airline that offers 7kg of carry-on baggage. 

One of the great things about Thai Lion Air is that all of its ticket types come with 10kg of checked baggage. 

Sports equipment is accepted as checked baggage, making Thai Lion Air a good option for those who need to check in extra luggage. 


Domestic routes for Thai Lion Air mainly flies from Bangkok to 12 other provinces such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, and Khon Kaen to name a few. 

Flight schedules for smaller provinces are quite limited. 


Thai Lion Air is occasionally the cheapest budget airline in Thailand. This is because in addition to 10kg of checked baggage, it also does not charge any processing fees. 


So at first it may appear to be slightly more expensive than other airlines. But when calculating all the costs, Thai Lion Air is cheaper. 

Note that you need to pay an additional THB60 per seat selection. If you want a comfortable seat with more space, you have to pay an extra THB250. 

Similar to other budget airlines, prices are subject to change based on flight times and dates. The closer the departure, the more expensive the ticket will be. Sometimes, airfare for Thai Lion Air can be more expensive than Bangkok Airways.

If you want to fly with Thai Lion Air, book a ticket a few weeks in advance. It’s cheaper this way.

Ticket Types

Thai Lion Air tickets are mainly separated into two classes:

  • Promo: Promotional tickets can be 20 percent to over 100 percent cheaper than Economy.
  • Economy: Standard tickets.

The main difference between Promo and Economy is that Promo tickets allow you to request a refund for airport fees. 

For Economy, you’re required to pay a fee of 90 percent of the airfare if canceled less than three days before your departure date.

Since it’s normally not worthwhile to refund the ticket, you should go for the Promo ticket if it’s available. 

Baggage Allowance

Thai Lion Air gives you 7kg of carry-on baggage and 10kg of checked baggage. 

If you want more weight for your checked baggage, it’s going to cost you THB200 for the first additional 5kg. Then, it’s going to be around THB70 per 5kg. 

Pet Policy

Thai Lion Air doesn’t accept pet travel. 

Sports Equipment

Sports equipment, including bicycles, can be checked in without extra costs, as long as it does not weigh more than the baggage allowance.

Should I Fly with Thai Lion Air? 

If you’re traveling with a checked baggage that’s lighter than 10kg, Thai Lion Air can be the most affordable option in Thailand. While there may be slight delays on some flights, its overall service is good. 

VietJet Air

Vietjet Air Logo

VietJet Air is a budget airline from Vietnam and the newest budget airline to offer domestic flights in Thailand. 

Because it’s fairly new to Thailand, it still has limited flights to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, and Phuket. 

VietJet Air is the only budget airline that flies to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Because of this, it’s a good choice if you want to take connecting international flights from Bangkok to other countries.

Flights are usually on time, and services are comparable to other airlines.


VietJet Air still has limited routes. Right now, it only flies to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Phuket, Krabi, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani, and Udon Thani. 

These destinations are either popular for tourism or major provinces. 


VietJet Air pricing structure works similarly to that of AirAsia. 

Tickets only come with 7kg of carry-on baggage. If you need extra, including seat reservations, checked baggage, in-flight meals, or priority check-ins, you have to pay for it. 

You also need to pay a processing fee of THB154 per person, per flight. It calls this an admin fee. 

Being the newest addition to budget airlines in Thailand, VietJet Air sometimes has really good promotions. You only have to pay for airport taxes, making VietJet Air prices occasionally the lowest.

Ticket Types

VietJet Air has four types of ticket available: 

  • Eco: Standard ticket that comes with 7kg of carry-on baggage. 
  • Deluxe: You get 20kg of checked baggage, seat selection, priority check-in, and you can change your travel times.
  • Skyboss: Tickets come with 10kg of carry-on baggage, 30kg of checked baggage, seat selection, priority check-in, and a private car between the departure and arrival gates if an air bridge isn’t available. 
  • Business: Business class with a bed and private space. This option is mainly only available on international flights 

In our opinion, the Deluxe class isn’t worth it unless you have priority check-in or want to change your travel time later. 

It’s normally more affordable to buy an Eco ticket and get an additional 20kg of checked baggage separately if you need it. 

Baggage Allowance

Like other budget airlines, you get 7kg of carry-on baggage. The price starts at THB380 for 15kg of checked baggage. 

Pet Policy

VietJet Air doesn’t allow pet travel. 

Sports Equipment

For sports equipment larger than 119cm x 119cm x 81cm, you have to pay an oversized baggage fee, which starts at THB850 for 20kg. 

Should I Fly with VietJet Air?

If you’re on a budget and want to fly from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, VietJet Air is an interesting option. It’s affordable, and the overall service is good. Flight delays aren’t that common either.

The only complaint people have is about seating space. But it’s not much of a problem for domestic flights, since the longest leg shouldn’t take more than 90 minutes. 


This section will give you an idea on how much it costs to fly within Thailand to and from popular destinations.

Note that airfare depends on various factors. Prices will usually be highest during peak season and lowest in the low season.

Flights during weekdays will be cheaper than on weekends as well. It’s good to know that a full-service airline normally costs two-times as much as a budget airline.

An easy way to compare and find the cheapest flight is to use cheapOair. The great part about it is that they show promotional prices without having to check each airline’s website individually. 

Here’s a list of average prices for a one-way ticket between Thailand airports throughout the year.

FromToLow CostFull Service
BangkokChiang MaiTHB1,200 THB3000
BangkokChiang RaiTHB1,000THB2,000
BangkokKoh Samui*THB1,800THB6,000

*Only Bangkok Airway offers direct flights to Koh Samui.

Bangkok to Phuket

Bangkok is around 844 kilometers away from Phuket and takes around 90 minutes by air. 

Being Thailand’s top tourism province, flights from Bangkok to Phuket and back are available throughout the day from all airlines.

Ticket prices to Phuket are most expensive from December to March, which is the high season. During these months, it usually costs more than THB1,500 for a one-way ticket, even when flying with a budget airline.

When flying during a long holiday, such as Christmas and New Year’s, ticket prices can double.

On the other hand, June to October is the monsoon season. Airline tickets will be cheapest during this time. It’s possible to get a one-way promotional ticket for less than THB900 during this time. 

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a beautiful mountainous province in the north of Thailand. It’s around 690 kilometers away from Bangkok and takes an hour to fly there.

Flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and back are available throughout the day with all major domestic airlines.

Thai Lion Air aircraft
There are flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai available throughout the day.

The most popular month for Chiang Mai is from December to January. It’s the cold season in Thailand, which is great for climbing mountains. Tickets normally start at THB1,800 during this time.

The worst time to go to Chiang Mai is the burning season from mid February to the first week of April. 

However, Chiang Mai is at its tourism peak once again in the middle of April, during Songkran. Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations for this Thai holiday.

Bangkok to Koh Samui

Only Bangkok Airways offer a direct one-hour flight to Koh Samui. Other airlines fly you to Surat Thani, and then connect you with a shuttle bus and ferry, taking around eight hours in total.  

Koh Samui is the most expensive destination. A one-way direct flight normally starts at over THB6,000 even during the monsoon season. Airfare can rise to over THB10,000 during the long holiday in December.

A cheaper alternative is to take a budget airline. It’s possible to buy a ticket to Koh Samui, including flight, shuttle bus, and ferry, for less than THB1,500 for a promotional ticket. 

Bangkok to Krabi 

Krabi is another popular beach destination around 789 kilometers away from Bangkok. It takes one hour and 15 minutes to fly there.

Airline tickets to Krabi are quite cheap compared to other beach destinations. It’s possible to grab a ticket for less than THB900. Even during the peak season in December and March, airfare is less than THB2,000. 

Price Comparison Sites

When booking a flight in Thailand, using a price comparison site is the most convenient way of finding the best deals. 

We personally recommend cheapOair since it’s easy to use and the deals you get are good. 

Google Flights is also another helpful website. It can quickly give you an idea how much it costs on each route. But the actual fare from the flight booking site can be more expensive than what’s shown on Google Flights. 

If you live in Thailand and are familiar with Traveloka, you can use this site as well.

However, there are three main disadvantages of using a price comparison site: 

  • You will be mainly limited to promotional tickets. This means you may not choose a seat in advance and can’t refund your ticket or change the date of your flight. 
  • If there’s a problem with your flight, it can be a hassle to contact the website you bought the ticket from. And their support might not be as good as contacting the airline directly. 
  • You may not be able to collect or redeem any loyalty points you have with the airline. 

So, using a price comparison site is good if you want to quickly find the cheapest possible price without worrying about the airline’s royalty system or getting the best possible seat. 

Deals and Promotions

Airlines in Thailand run promotions many times a year, especially during the travel season. 

Lately, when one airline launches a promotion, other airlines will follow with similar promotions. 

So, if you have any favorite airline in mind, it’s best to check for any promotions on its official website during that time. 

A promotional ticket can land you a big discount. Sometimes, a one-way ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can cost you less than THB800, which is even cheaper than taking a bus or a train. 

If you find a promotional ticket, you need to buy it quickly because they go quickly. 

However, don’t expect to fly at a reasonable time when traveling on promotional tickets. Sometimes, the flight may land very early in the morning or late at night. Flights are also mainly available only during weekdays. 

When buying a promotional ticket, it’s better to buy it directly from the official airline website. You will get a better deal there than buying from a price comparison site. 

Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Muang Airport?

There are two airports in Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport. 

Depending on the airline, you will need to go to one of these airports when flying from or to Bangkok.

Don Mueng Airport
If you are flying with a budget airline (except Vietjet Air) from Bangkok, you will need to go to Don Muang Airport

Here are the airlines that fly to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport:

  • Thai Airways
  • Bangkok Airways
  • VietJet Air

Here are the airlines that fly to and from Don Muang Airport:

  • AirAsia
  • Thai Lion Air
  • Nok Air

Suvarnabhumi Airport is better than Don Muang Airport when making a connecting flight to other countries. It’s also more convenient to get there since there’s an airport rail link from Bangkok’s city center. 

On the other hand, Don Muang Airport is smaller and less crowded than Suvarnabhumi Airport. So, the check-in process, boarding control, and so on happens more quickly. It’s also easier to find food at Don Muang Airport because there’s a food court next to the check-in area. 

Related article: Bangkok Airport Transfers: Costs, Services, Locations, and More!

What’s the Best Thai Airline?

One popular question that we get asked regularly is: “What’s the best airline in Thailand”? The answer is that there is no absolute best airline in Thailand.

The airline industry in Thailand is very competitive. All airlines have been working hard to develop themselves in the market. It can be simply said that all airlines are good.

Therefore, picking the right airline depends on your needs. If you want to fly comfortably with meals and in-flight entertainment, it’s better to go with a full-service airline.

If you only want to get from point A to point B, a budget airline is a good choice. 

What’s the Cheapest Airline?

“What is the cheapest airline?” is another popular question we get asked. Again, there is not a single cheapest airline in Thailand.

Each airline regularly releases promotions. During the promotional period, full-service airlines like Bangkok Airways can be cheaper than AirAsia.

In general, AirAsia, Vietjet, and Thai Lion Air (for those who need 10kg of carry-on baggage) are regularly the three cheapest airlines in Thailand for domestic flights. 

Special Conditions

Flying with Infants and Children

All airlines have a similar policy on flying with infants and children. An infant should be around 14 days to 2 years old on the date of departure. It costs from THB300 to THB600 per infant if they sit in an adult’s lap. Thai Airways can be the cheapest option because it costs only 10 percent of the adult fare.

Also, an infant ticket comes with a 10kg checked baggage allowance for all airlines that offer free checked baggage.

For children aged two to eleven years old, ticket prices and conditions are the same as for adults. Only Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways have a policy to charge only 75 percent of the adult fare.

Flying with Lots of Baggage

Since extra-baggage costs between airlines aren’t that different, most of the time VietJet offers the best ticket prices when flying with 15kg of checked baggage.

If you have more than 30kg, it’s better to fly with either Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways. Their average ticket prices aren’t much different than budget airlines when including the add-on baggage allowance. Also, to keep customers happy, these airlines tend to let you carry a few more kilograms than their regulations allow.

In addition, the penalty for excessive weight is a lot lower compared to other airlines.

Flying with Sports Equipment

If you need to carry sports equipment with you, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Thai Lion Air are where you should look. They count it as checked baggage without extra costs, as long as it’s under the weight allowance. 

The normal excessive fee applies if the weight is more than the allowance.

Flying with Pets

Flying with pets in Thailand is quite limited. As of now, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Nok Air are your only options.

Nok Air offers a pet carriage service through their cargo, including dogs, cats, and rabbits, starting at THB1,500. 

However, some routes are operated by third-party services. It’s necessary to send your pet to cargo two hours before departure time.

How Long Do I Need to be at the Airport for a Domestic Flight in Thailand

Airlines in Thailand have very similar procedures for checking in. The check-in counter is open two hours and closed 45 minutes before departure.

For a domestic flight, you should arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before departure. 

Normally, checking in one hour before departure is more than enough when flying within Thailand. 

Once you pass the security counter, most of the time you can walk to the boarding gate within five to ten minutes.

Suvarnabhumi Airport entrance
If you are flying from Suvarnabhumi Airport, you should arrive here at least 1.5 hours before your domestic flight.

The exception is when flying from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. Don Muang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok are big and crowded. If you need to go to a check-in counter, get there two hours in advance.

Although Chiang Mai and Phuket airports aren’t big, they are always crowded with tourists. Online check-ins are highly recommended if you don’t want to wait in long queues.

How Can I Do an Online Check-in?

To save you time at the airport, an online check-in is recommended. 

To check in online, you can go to the airline’s website or app, fill in your booking information, and select your seat. 

Once done, you will get a mobile barcode boarding pass. Save it as a pdf. You can use it to skip the check-in counter.

If you have checked baggage, there’s a baggage counter in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. You can drop your checked-in baggage there.

Online check-ins are normally available 48 hours to one hour before departure. 

Should I Refund a Ticket for Domestic Flights?

Unless your ticket allows a change of your flight date without additional fees, it’s normally not worthwhile to ask for a refund or make changes to your flight. 

With all of the fees that airlines charge, it’s often cheaper to just buy a new ticket. 

Should I Buy Travel Insurance when Booking a Domestic Flight? 

When booking a domestic flight, most airlines have an option to buy travel insurance for a small fee. 

In our opinion, it’s not worth it because the coverage is mainly for flight delays and accidents during flights. 

If you want to buy travel insurance, it’s better to get one from a travel insurance company instead. In our opinion, travel insurance from Luma is quite good in this regard. 

But if you want to stay in Thailand long-term, it’s better to get health insurance instead.

Now, on to You

Thailand’s competitive domestic airline space offers a lot of great options at equally competitive prices, which makes it easy to decide which airline to go with. 

But this ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. You can conveniently compare and book domestic flights from different airlines in Thailand through cheapOair.

If you would like to share your experiences with any of the airlines mentioned above, leave a comment below.

Thai Airways is the only full service airline for domestic flight in Thailand, providing free checked baggage allowance (up to 30kg for economy class), food, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for all classes.

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Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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