In the last five years, I’ve flown from my home in Bangkok, Thailand to London, England numerous times. Finding cheap airfares from Bangkok to London though is not easy. As plane ticket fares have increased due to fuel levys, security fees and many other additions, getting an affordable plane ticket from Bangkok to London, or the other way around, means you have to do a little more searching. But, feel lucky. Follow the quick tips I’ve created from my many hours of research, and you too can end up with an affordable airfare without doing all the legwork.
Gatwick Airport versus Heathrow – Unfortunately, most of the budget airlines like Etihad and Qatar Air have moved operations from Gatwick to Heathrow so, if you want a cheap fare from Bangkok to London, your options are now limited.
Don’t worry though, just choose Heathrow for these types of airlines. Even if you have to pay the fare to take a coach (bus) from Heathrow to Gatwick (they run almost every hour, so it’s not too big of a hassle), you will still find your airfare will be cheaper than a comparable flight on a higher-priced airline into Gatwick.
Look at flights with Air India, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Emirates . They tend to offer airfares far cheaper than their competitors and their services are excellent.
Air Asia – One cheap, although admittedly not-hassle-free way to get from Bangkok to London, is to fly with A r Asia. Unfortunately, Air Asia does not run a direct flight from Thailand to the UK, so you have to fly from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Here, you would likely stay overnight, before embarking on your next flight the following day.
However, the good news is, from October 2011, Air Asia will fly direct from Kuala Lumpur to Gatwick in London, rather than the huge full-of-hassle flight they used to have to Stansted, over an hour and a half outside London. Flights on Air Asia are cheap and, according to many reviews, although a slightly cramped flight, they are excellent. Expect your flight to be $100-200 cheaper than many other airlines, even taking into consideration the extra money you spend on a flight to Kuala Lumpur and a night in a KL hotel.
Be aware, Air Asia’s website is garbage and rarely works correctly, so you may have to book over the phone or through an Air Asia office in Bangkok. Also be aware, Air Asia is not known for its flights being on time, so you may have some delays. Schedule possible delays into your travel plans.
China Airlines – China Airlines flies into both Heathrow and Gatwick from Bangkok, and is one of the cheapest airlines that do so. Reliable, efficient and with, I’ve always discovered, excellent service, they really are one of the gem budget airlines. Expect flights through China Airlines to be $100-$400 cheaper than comparable flights depending on dates and flight times.
Wonderfully, China Airlines has also recently added acceptable payments through PayPal, so making it even easier to book cheap flights through them.
Avoid Expedia, Orbitz and the Like – While some people still insist on booking airfares through Expedia, Orbitz and similar websites let me tell you, in almost a decade of booking flights all over the world, I have never once been able to get a flight on any of these sites cheaper than the airlines own website. In fact, airfares on Expedia, Orbitz ecetera are often $200 (and higher) more than the airlines’ own website.
I usually run one search on each site just to be sure. Discover the fares they offer are always higher and move on to better places. You should consider doing the same.