Why is Thai still so expensive from BKK?

Old Feb 18, 18, 5:47 am
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Why is Thai still so expensive from BKK?

I think many are aware how uncompetitive Thai are.

Looking at the BKK-LHR route in J for example, Thai is quoting around 156k Baht. When you compare its hard and soft product that in many cases is inferior to other established airlines, the price is 50% or more expensive. Thai seem to have regular promotions outside Thailand but rarely any departing from Thailand itself.

Doesn't the management realise that fare-paying passengers in Thailand, not the freeloaders/people with influence, will look elsewhere?
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Old Feb 18, 18, 7:10 am
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Two answers: 1) Hiso Thais, 2) All airlines do this to their home market. Thai has also raised their J fares uncompetitively in other markets recently, but they often revise their fare mistakes eventually-it may just take some time.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by riced View Post
All airlines do this to their home market.
It is certainly common. Just check out CX fares ex-HKG or SQ fares ex-SIN.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 12:39 pm
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British Airways has always operated in this manner. It is far cheaper for a long-haul flight to "start" your journey in Dublin (Ireland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) or some other European city. Often you can save up to 25% - 50% of a business class fare from London. Works in economy as well but the savings are less. Lots of UK travels flight to Dublin/Amsterdam/Frankfurt, get off the plane and get straight back on the same plane for the return flight. BA crew are relatively used to seeing such behaviour. I fly Thai because my final destination is Kuala Lumpur. Fares in Thai First Class between South East Asia and Europe are some of the cheapest amongst Asian airlines (MH,SQ,CX, etc). I would agree that Thai business class fares can be higher than other airlines like Qatar which also require a change of planes when flying to South East Asia beyond Bangkok.

The commercial logic is that most people want to fly direct and are willing to pay a premium for this. The airline has to offer an incentive, i.e. a discount, for non-Thai passengers to fly Thai and put up with the connection at BKK which can be a real zoo at times in transit.

This has been going on forever. I remember when they announce BA's Concorde flight was going to finish, loads of folks booked an ex-Amsterdam journey connecting to the Concorde flight at Heathrow. This halved the cost of the fare of flying Concorde.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 8:17 pm
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Nothing new there - all airlines do this when offering direct flights for the home market
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Old Feb 18, 18, 9:16 pm
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Home market is the "captive market", since many travellers from the home country would pay more just to fly the national carrier. Considering that pretty much all legacy carriers in Asia/Europe/Africa/South America do this, why are you suprised?
As mentioned above, it is typical market practice!
If you want cheaper ex thailaind, switch to the competitors from nearby countries.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 10:41 pm
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There are some excellent J prices on TG ex-KUL, all you need to do is be prepared to take a flight down...

BKK-AKL J return is THB 116,000 or approx NZD 4800
KUL-BKK-AKL J return flying the same BKK-AKL sectors is MYR 8,124 or around NZDA 2800. Quite a saving.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 11:53 am
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I live near UTH and need to fly to BKK to get to Europe, best for me is BRU.
TG J costs 145K THB.
my next trip is with QR at 70K B and the following with TK at 58K B.
Thus no TG for me.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 11:55 am
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Most airlines charge a premium for non-stop flights to/from their home market
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Old Feb 21, 18, 3:06 pm
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Not wishing to hijack the thread but Thai have jacked their prices up from LHR to BKK also. Cheapest I can get is circa £3600, three months ago it was £3200. At the current price I might just pay the extra £100 and fly with EK - Indirect yes but a much better FC experience. Shame really as I was beginning to like Thai.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by KenJohn View Post
British Airways has always operated in this manner. It is far cheaper for a long-haul flight to "start" your journey in Dublin (Ireland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) or some other European city. Often you can save up to 25% - 50% of a business class fare from London. Works in economy as well but the savings are less. Lots of UK travels flight to Dublin/Amsterdam/Frankfurt, get off the plane and get straight back on the same plane for the return flight. BA crew are relatively used to seeing such behaviour. I fly Thai because my final destination is Kuala Lumpur. Fares in Thai First Class between South East Asia and Europe are some of the cheapest amongst Asian airlines (MH,SQ,CX, etc). I would agree that Thai business class fares can be higher than other airlines like Qatar which also require a change of planes when flying to South East Asia beyond Bangkok.

The commercial logic is that most people want to fly direct and are willing to pay a premium for this. The airline has to offer an incentive, i.e. a discount, for non-Thai passengers to fly Thai and put up with the connection at BKK which can be a real zoo at times in transit.

This has been going on forever. I remember when they announce BA's Concorde flight was going to finish, loads of folks booked an ex-Amsterdam journey connecting to the Concorde flight at Heathrow. This halved the cost of the fare of flying Concorde.
I think you're partly right, London airports also charge the airlines a lot more than say Dublin. BA has always been expensive for their premium cabins though.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by chelseastu View Post
I think you're partly right, London airports also charge the airlines a lot more than say Dublin. BA has always been expensive for their premium cabins though.
Does the UK still have Air Passenger Duty whereby passengers departing the UK in premium cabins pay a lot more than those in the Y cabin? I recall this was what made me change a trip BKK-LHR-BKK (1x F and 2x J) to BKK-LHR//FRA-BKK. We departed the UK on LCC EasyJet from Liverpool-Krakow-Dortmund and then made our way to FRA over a few days by train!
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi View Post
Does the UK still have Air Passenger Duty whereby passengers departing the UK in premium cabins pay a lot more than those in the Y cabin? ...
Yes, a lot more, especially for long haul flights. The UK Government's "luxury tax" on premium class departures.
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Old Feb 22, 18, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by albion1 View Post
I think many are aware how uncompetitive Thai are.

Looking at the BKK-LHR route in J for example, Thai is quoting around 156k Baht. When you compare its hard and soft product that in many cases is inferior to other established airlines, the price is 50% or more expensive. Thai seem to have regular promotions outside Thailand but rarely any departing from Thailand itself.

Doesn't the management realise that fare-paying passengers in Thailand, not the freeloaders/people with influence, will look elsewhere?
This is completely same to situation in Australia... "Our own" Qantas is so expensive that I can often get two business class tickets between Australia and Europe on LH/TG/SQ for the cost of one on QF/EK!!! Actually, last time in 2017, I got two (2!) MEL-SFO JFK FRA-BSL MUC-SIN MEL business class tickets for the same price as one (1!) MEL-DXB-LHR DXB-MEL ticket... Who do you think got my business?
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Old Feb 22, 18, 4:39 am
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For TG, if you are prepared to position to HCMC, KL, Manila, etc, then the fares become reasonable again, even in J ( borderline cheap). Not everyone has the time or inclination to do it and it would be a PITA for anyone tight on time. I don’t mind it ( in the same way I used to position to Cairo to pick up Qatar...and was on the last QR flight in before the ban).
For BKK to anywhere and VV, direct, then Thai fares are simply insane.
I wanted a CDG-BKK-CDG in J at Christmas . Austrian via Vienna/Lufthansa vis Frankfurt was about 70,000; Thai was 117,000. In my view, 47,000 is serious money ( maybe not to hiso folks). Of course I went with Austrian/Lufthansa.
In respect of Qantas, they have the advantage of SYD-MEL-BNE, ‘rivers of gold’, while the international business is still soft if no longer bleeding cash.

Last edited by paolo64; Feb 22, 18 at 4:40 am Reason: Typo
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