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Chiang Rai to Bali Flights & Purchasing Thai Lion Air Tickets

Chiang Rai to Bali Flights & Purchasing Thai Lion Air Tickets

Old Jun 3, 19, 12:49 pm
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Chiang Rai to Bali Flights & Purchasing Thai Lion Air Tickets

Good afternoon,

I'm finalizing the last few details of my honeymoon. For a number of reasons that are unimportant at this point, I need to get from Chiang Rai (CEI) to Bali (DPS) without an overnight layover. From some preliminary checking before I set my hotel plans, I knew that we would have to connect on an LCC, but it seems even more difficult than planned. Ideally, I want to travel the most comfortable / least stressful way possible, and I have flexibility in terms of cost (plus ample mileage in any program). I have a few questions I would greatly appreciate some insights on from folks more experienced with Thailand and these airlines.

1) After much deliberation, I settled on booking Thai Lion Air from CEI-BKK-DPS. The times were good and it looked like I would be able to buy seats in the first couple of rows to help make the experience a little more pleasant. We'll also have some large carry-on bags that I realize we would probably have to check, and given the horror stories I've read about 300 THB per kg charges at check-in, had planned to buy the appropriate amount of checked luggage in advance, upon ticketing. Unfortunately, it seems that Thai Lion Air will not accept a foreign credit card and even if I could get a travel agency to book the ticket, they won't be able to help me pay up to the better seats or buy the necessary kg's of baggage. I confirmed this with Thai Lion Air via phone, however they suggested I could buy the checked baggage kg's several days before, such as when I land at CEI on my inbound.

a) Is there any way at all for someone with a non-Thai (e.g., USA) credit card to buy a flight on Thai Lion Air's website directly? I see they take AliPay, WeChat, etc but I also have no ability to access those either.
C) Is it true that I could buy baggage at the internet/advance rate at the airport several days before my flight?
c) I assume there is no way to get a preferred/premium seat in advance, unless available in person several days before (same as baggage above) - is that correct?

2) I've considered taking a car from CEI to CNX to fly from there, but it seems the same challenges as far as airlines and ability to connect without an overnight exist. I've also even tried looking into chartering a small plane from CEI to BKK but haven't been able find any reliable quotes/estimates without contacting a broker (and I'd rather not start that conversation unless I have a rough sense of cost).

3) I've also considered booking a CEI-BKK flight on either Thai Smile or Bangkok Air, then booking a separate flight on Thai/Singapore via SIN (CEI-BKK on one ticket, then BKK-SIN-DPS on another ticket). It seems like I can build in about two hours between the tickets to do the domestic to international connection at BKK, but this seems a little risky in case of delays. Is two hours enough for this type of connection?

Does anyone have any better alternatives for getting from CEI to DPS than any of the above?

Thank you!

Last edited by troyb; Jun 3, 19 at 1:57 pm
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Old Jun 3, 19, 3:30 pm
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Am I missing something? There seem to be several CEI-XXX-DPS options which do not require overnight layovers, including a Thai Lion option (SL533 connecting to SL258 w/1:45 layover at DMK) and several AirAsia options arriving in DSP at 1:00 am the next morning. You do not mention a flight date but these were all available on the three random dates I checked. I have flown AirAsia many times and paid with a US CC without issue. I have flown Thai Lion and must have paid with a US CC, too. AirAsia also waived the luggage fee whenever I have shown up with too much luggage without my asking and I have paid for the extra ahead of time a few times, too.

These are short flights and neither airline is too bad in economy. The last time I flew DSP-DMK was on AirAsia in a middle seat towards the back. It wasn't bad at all.

Last edited by CJKatl; Jun 3, 19 at 3:41 pm
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Old Jun 3, 19, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Am I missing something? There seem to be several CEI-XXX-DPS options which do not require overnight layovers, including a Thai Lion option (SL533 connecting to SL258 w/1:45 layover at DMK) and several AirAsia options arriving in DSP at 1:00 am the next morning. You do not mention a flight date but these were all available on the three random dates I checked. I have flown AirAsia many times and paid with a US CC without issue. I have flown Thai Lion and must have paid with a US CC, too. AirAsia also waived the luggage fee whenever I have shown up with too much luggage without my asking and I have paid for the extra ahead of time a few times, too.

These are short flights and neither airline is too bad in economy. The last time I flew DSP-DMK was on AirAsia in a middle seat towards the back. It wasn't bad at all.
He says Thai Lion is not accepting his foreign credit card.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
He says Thai Lion is not accepting his foreign credit card.
I have flown Thai Lion and only have an American CC, but maybe there has been a rule change? Putting that to the side, I have flown AirAsia many times, have chosen front seats, extra luggage and meals and never had an issue paying for it all with a foreign card. While CEI-DMK-DSP FD3210 connecting in DMK to FD398 gets to DSP slightly after one the next morning, there is no overnight layover. Ten hours from start to finish, $113.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Am I missing something? There seem to be several CEI-XXX-DPS options which do not require overnight layovers, including a Thai Lion option (SL533 connecting to SL258 w/1:45 layover at DMK) and several AirAsia options arriving in DSP at 1:00 am the next morning. You do not mention a flight date but these were all available on the three random dates I checked. I have flown AirAsia many times and paid with a US CC without issue. I have flown Thai Lion and must have paid with a US CC, too. AirAsia also waived the luggage fee whenever I have shown up with too much luggage without my asking and I have paid for the extra ahead of time a few times, too.

These are short flights and neither airline is too bad in economy. The last time I flew DSP-DMK was on AirAsia in a middle seat towards the back. It wasn't bad at all.
Nope, you're not missing anytime, but as @CrazyInteg noted, it seems that Thai Lion Air does not want foreigners buying tickets on its planes. As for the seat situation - for a short flight, this wouldn't be an issue, however, BKK-DPS looks like its blocked at over 4 hours, which is longer than I'm willing to turn myself into a pretzel for (seperate from that, my fiance has some back issues that will make the situation worse).

Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
He says Thai Lion is not accepting his foreign credit card.
Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
I have flown Thai Lion and only have an American CC, but maybe there has been a rule change? Putting that to the side, I have flown AirAsia many times, have chosen front seats, extra luggage and meals and never had an issue paying for it all with a foreign card. While CEI-DMK-DSP FD3210 connecting in DMK to FD398 gets to DSP slightly after one the next morning, there is no overnight layover. Ten hours from start to finish, $113.
Not sure when the credit card restriction started, but I tried to book on their website multiple times and eventually was told this directly by Thai Lion Air. As for AirAsia, I did see that (at least over the past few weeks while checking, for some reason it doesn't show up in my searches now). Ultimately, given the situation, it may be a better option, especially since I wasn't too keen on Thai Lion Air's safety record. The AirAsia arrival time and duration are trash, but at least we would have some certainty around the luggage situation and decent seats.

I guess I was just hoping there was some simple option that I've missed - a good product with decent connection time, a different combination of airlines, etc. Seems that's not the case.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 6:24 pm
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I understand you do not want an overnight layover, but I always recommend that to most who have these whirlwind plans.

Fly CEI-BKK on PG 234, stay in a hotel near the airport (resort-y, budget-y), fly out to DPS the next morning on TG.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by troyb View Post
Not sure when the credit card restriction started, but I tried to book on their website multiple times and eventually was told this directly by Thai Lion Air.
They told you that because they don't know why your credit card didn't work but didn't want to admit it.

Try another card.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 8:17 pm
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Try searching the flights on skyscanner.com. There are usually other otas that sell LCC tickets.

In my trips on Lion Air in Indonesia, I found later flights much more likely to be delayed.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 7:57 am
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I ended up using expedia.co.th to book tickets on Thai Lion Air for what I believe was the same price as buying direct. Perhaps that helps someone in the future. Unfortunately, due to the ridiculous inability / unwillingness of Thai Lion Air to accept a foreign credit card, I can't assign any seats or pre-pay baggage.

For what its worth, I made an attempt to book the AirAsia flights, but they wouldn't ticket together on the same reservation and having two separate reservations just seemed even more silly than not having seats or baggage on Thai Lion Air.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 11:06 am
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This thread is a great example of low-cost carrier (LCC) fun and games.

Just remember if you have any issues with your Lion Air flight, you need to go through Expedia. You should be able to go to any Thai Lion office in Thailand to pre-pay baggage and seats. (I'd probably do it in Bangkok or wherever you initially enter the country)
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Old Jun 5, 19, 6:49 pm
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"For what its worth, I made an attempt to book the AirAsia flights, but they wouldn't ticket together on the same reservation and having two separate reservations just seemed even more silly than not having seats or baggage on Thai Lion Air."

I ran into this same problem with Thai Air Asia, couldn't book CEI-DMK-DPS on FlyThrough (one ticket). I assume they don't offer this service ex-CEI, even though it is an international airport and they have a flight to SIN. Suspect it's due to local airport Immigration restrictions but that's just a guess. Piecing together two tickets, CEI-DMK and DMK-DPS, on FD, seems risky and complex.

I can't even get past the flight selection page on Thai Lion Air, and I'm in Thailand. Classic Thai websites.

This page isn’t working search.lionairthai.com took too long to respond.
HTTP ERROR 504


But the SL549/SL258 combo gives you a 3:35 layover at DMK which should be safe-ish.

Note that Lion Air does offer LionConnect at DMK, but I think that's only for inbound fights like DPS-DMK-CEI, and not for departing flights like CEI-DMK-DPS. So suspect you'll have to claim, re-check bags, clear departing Imm. at DMK. Maybe not, but do prepare such a thing in case.

Last edited by transpac; Jun 5, 19 at 7:08 pm
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Old Jun 5, 19, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Note that Lion Air does offer LionConnect at DMK, but I think that's only for inbound fights like DPS-DMK-CEI, and not for departing flights like CEI-DMK-DPS. So suspect you'll have to claim, re-check bags, clear departing Imm. at DMK. Mayboe not, but do prepare such a thing in case.
UGH - not having to worry about my luggage at DMK was really the only positive aspect of this whole situation. If I have to pick the bags up and deal with that nonsense, I will be really disappointed.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 7:05 pm
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"UGH - not having to worry about my luggage at DMK was really the only positive aspect of this whole situation. If I have to pick the bags up and deal with that nonsense, I will be really disappointed."


It may be fine. You may be able to check bags through to DPS, clear departing Imm at CEI and flow the CIQ process at DMK.

I'm just not sure if this is available ex-CEI.

https://www.lionairthai.com/en/Extra...s/Lion-Connect

Just give yourself enough time in case, and hope to be pleasantly surprised (not by the bus station which is DMK of course).
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Old Jun 11, 19, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by troyb View Post
Ultimately, given the situation, it may be a better option, especially since I wasn't too keen on Thai Lion Air's safety record.
What exactly is the safety record issue for Thai Lion? They have the newest fleet of any Thai airline and apart from the odd hard landing which occurs at all Thai airlines - usually by young FOs - I can't recollect anything serious.

In my view they provide more payment options than all of the other airlines combined but the non Thai CC is an issue.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by troyb View Post
I ended up using expedia.co.th to book tickets on Thai Lion Air for what I believe was the same price as buying direct. Perhaps that helps someone in the future. Unfortunately, due to the ridiculous inability / unwillingness of Thai Lion Air to accept a foreign credit card, I can't assign any seats or pre-pay baggage.
Just wondering how it all worked out.

I've just purchased a Thai Lion Air ticket on expedia.co.th, from DMK to CMB, as the timing was the most convenient and the price was right.

It would be nice to select seats and pay for luggage in advance, but I don't seem to be able to do this online (I live in Australia). Just wondering if there's anything more I can do before arriving in Thailand (at BKK).

Pity I hadn't see this thread or this article https://medium.com/@plur9/how-we-got...r-4f0b82bd0d0d before making the booking.
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