Most international flights arrive and depart daily from Ho Chi Minh City (still referred to as Saigon locally) and Hanoi. There is also an international airport on the central coast at Danang with about 2 international flights a week. There is now 2 direct flights to Hanoi, Vietnam from the UK - Gatwick Airport; the two quickest one stop options are usually Cathay Pacific from London via Hong Kong or Singapore Airlines from Manchester or London, via Singapore. There are also several direct flights from Europe to Bangkok and numerous onward connections from there to Vietnam (now less interesting due to the necessity to change airport in Bangkok). From Italy the cheapest and best airline is Turkish, that will stop at bangkok for 2 hours. All airlines will usually allow you a stopover in the city they transit should you wish to break the journey. Alternatively you can access Vietnam from Laos or Cambodia should you be combining these destinations. Flights are frequent but many people enjoy traveling from Cambodia into southern Vietnam via the Mekong River, or overland from Laos into northern Vietnam
One issue to be aware of if you travel on Vietnam Airlines - it will share your e-mail with a company called Optiontown who, if you are flying economy will send you an e-mail offering you the opportunity to buy an upgrade to Business Class - typically seeking $120+ for an upgrade from say Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City. If you buy the upgrade you will discover at the airport that the key amenities on short haul that Business Class includes, for example the use of a business lounge are excluded - the Vietnam Airlines desk has a page with the small print from the Optiontown website highlighted which they show annoyed travellers. In short it is a scam that Vietnam Airlines has lent its name and your e-mail to (Business Class even with the lounge is a waste of money on any short trip anyway).
The information in this chapter is particularly vulnerable to change. Check directly with the airline or a travel agent to make sure you understand how a fare (and ticket you may buy) works and be aware of the security requirements for international travel. Shop carefully. The details given in this chapter should be regarded as pointers and are not a substitute for your own careful, up-to-date research.
AIRLINES FLYING TO & FROM VIETNAM
Aeroflot (www.aeroflot.com; hub Moscow)
Air Asia ( www.airasia.com; hub Kuala Lumpur).
Air France (www.airfrance.fr; hub Paris).
Asians Airlines ( www.us.flyasiana.com; hub Seoul)
Cathay Pacific (www.cathaypacific.com; hub Hong Kong).
China Airlines (www.china-airlines.com; hub Taipei)
China Southern Airlines (www.cs-air.com; hub Guangzhou)
Japan Airlines (www.jal.co.jp; hub Tokyo)
Jetstar Asia (www.jetstarasia.com; hub Singapore).
Korean Air (www.koreanair.com; hub Seoul)
Lao Airlines (www.laoairlines.com; hub Vientiane)
Lufthansa ( www.lufthansa.com; hub Frankfurt)
Malaysia Airlines (www.malaysiaairlines.com; hub Kuala Lumpur)
Philippine Airlines (www.philippineair.com; hub Manila).
Qantas (www.qantas.com.au; hubs Sydney & Melbourne)
Singapore Airlines ( www.singaporeair.com; hub Singapore)
Thai Airways (www.thaiair.com; hub Bangkok)
Tiger Airways (www.tigerairways.com; hub Singapore);
United Airlines (www.unitedairlines.com; hub Seattle)
Shop around and it is possible to find a good deal to Vietnam. If there are no obvious bargains to Hanoi or HCMC, then consider buying a discounted ticket to Bangkok or Hong Kong and picking up a flight or travelling overland from Thailand on to Vietnam. Discounted flights are available into Vietnam, but Vietnam Airlines will not allow foreign carriers to sell cheap outbound tickets from Vietnam. A ticket from Bangkok to Hanoi or HCMC costs almost half the price of a Vietnam Airlines' flight, if it’s purchased in Bangkok. This also means that for anyone planning to purchase a long-haul flight in the region, Vietnam is not the place to do it with Bangkok just a short hop away. It's hard to get reservations for flights to/from Vietnam during holidays, especially Tet, which fails between late January and mid-February. If you will be in Vietnam during Tet, make reservations well in advance or you may find yourself marooned in a regional airport along the way. The chaos begins a week before Tet and can last for about two weeks after it. Be aware that Vietnam is not the only country to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as it falls at the same time as Chinese New Year, Many people hit the road at this time, resulting in overbooked airlines, trains and hotels all over Asia.
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- Best time to visit Vietnam
- Cost of daily items & tipping
- Tips and advice to help you stay safe during your trip
- Business travellers
- Vietnamese money and currency
- Medical & health information
- 20 biggest travel mistakes
- Customs and immigration
- Motorbike hire
- Travelling by bus or coach
- Public Train in Vietnam
- Domestic Flights Vietnam
- Cheap Flights to Vietnam
- Taste fried Vietnamese spring rolls-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Sapa Homestay-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Hanoi City Tour-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Drink like a local-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Halong Bay in the ricefields-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Climb Fansipan Mountain-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Cruise Halong Bay-Top things to do in Vietnam
- Vietnam Government
- Vietnam Religion & Lifestyle
- Origins of the Vietnamese Language
- Vietnam History
- Vietnam travel safety - How is safety to travel to Vietnam
- Best time to travel to Indochina
- Gay and Lesbian Travel Tips
- Three steps to avoid fraud when booking travel online for your Vietnam holiday
- Best time to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia
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