Ubon Ratchathani Ever Changing Air Travel

Ubon Ratchathani International Airport

Ubon Ratchathani International Airport

Ubon Ratchathani is the place where I first arrived here. If you travel by air it is the only option.

Since my initial experience flying to Ubon there have been many changes.  Some changes in the name of competition and others for economic reasons.

You could fly from Ubon to Danang, Viet Nam eight years ago but that service has since been cancelled. Thai Airways International increased daily service between Ubon and Bangkok from 2 to 3 times a day. Oh yes and air fares increased as well.

Air Asia flew onto the scene bringing competition and discount fares with their no-frill service. “Now, everyone can afford to fly” is their motto. If you are ok with boarding and finding your own seat and paying for any food or refreshment then it’s the service for you.

The happy travellers to and from Ubon had a choice. You could choose different times, different carriers and different levels of service.  Things were looking good with the local air travel.

Finally, the new Bangkok International Airport opened. It was billed as the gateway to Asia. Suvarnabhum Airport was state of the art and ready to serve the masses. It is a nice airport but when travelling from Ubon to Bangkok  the flight is just over an hour. The journey from Suvarnabhumi to the city could take 2 hours or more.

After that we experienced the split airport era. International flights arrived and departed from the new airport but domestic Thai flights originated and terminated at Don Muang. Oh that is Thai Airways and Nok Air, a subsidiary of Thai Airways, while Air Asia’s hub remained at Suvanaphum.

Nok Air, another value airline made a short lived appearance in Ubon. I used their service on several occassions and found it satisfactory.  They only lasted a few months and then had to cancel several routes, including service to Ubon. Their departure was for economic reasons, I guess you cannot Fly Smiles only.

The changes to Ubon Ratchathani air travel continue.  All Thai international and domestic flights are due to be reconsolidated at Suvarnabhumi Airport beginning the end of March 2009. That is good news for international travellers who must connect to domestic flights but bad news for in country air passengers.

What is the current state of air travel to Ubon Ratchathani? We are serviced by two airlines, Thai Airways and Air Asia. Thai Airways offers 3 daily flights, morning, afternoon and evening with stable fares. Air Asia has been reduced to a single flight a day. Their fares vary according to supply and demand. If you check their rates on the Internet you will often find promotions for future dates. People who want to travel to Ubon in October might be able to get a steep discount if act now.

The story of air travel to Ubon Ratchathani is constantly changing but has always been available.  Here is a place to go if you want to check out the latest Ubon-BKK flight schedules.  Happy travels.

Comments

  1. michael hare says:

    Hi Darwin,

    In 1996 there is used to be a direct flight Ubon-Chiang Mai on Orient Air. Wonderful flight. Stopped at Udorn for 40 minutes. Sadly it didn’t last. So 1996 was the last time I went to Chiang Mai.

    I’ve been in Thailand since 1974. Last time I was in Pattaya was 1979, last time I was in Ko Samui was 1976 and I have never been to Phuket. From I read and hear, all thee 3 places are full of low-life and hence I have no desire to visit them. I guess I am an Isarn lad.

    Thank you for your post.

    Michael Hare

  2. Darwin, great tip regarding checking Air Asia’s online fares…just now booked a roundtrip itinerary for two, BKK-UBP-BKK, for Oct-Nov. Technically, our UBP-BKK return is “free”/0 bht. Of course, once you add up all of Air Asia’s fees & taxes & “special service requests” for seat selection and excess baggage weight, you’ve tripled the price of the actual fare. Still, if you don’t mind squeezing into those narrow seats, Air Asia is half the price of Thai Airways’ lowest standard “Saver Plus” fares.
    Ken C., San Diego, CA

  3. Michael,

    Thanks for the comment. I too am a country boy, which is why I too feel at home in Isaaan. I am also a traveller. Love new experiences and adventures.

    There might be low-life elements in places but I have found there are also gems. On Saumi, Lamai beach is very peaceful and relaxing. Not too crowded and some nice restaurants in walking distance,

    In Phuket, I don’t care much for Patong beach but Karon just south of Patong is great. In Chiang Mai I enjoy the mountains and other sights. Pattaya is not a place to go for the beach, it is good shopping, dining and nightlife.

    Thanks again for being a loyal reader and giving feedback.

    Ken,

    Glad the post was helpful to you. It’s always great to be able to take advantage of low prices. I think even with the fees for seat selection, excess baggage and such the fare is lower than the alternative.

    As far as the seats, I keep in mind it’s only an hour and I always have a good book handy. The only time it’s been a problem is when the passenger next to me insists on reading a newspaper.

    The great thing is those fares are not much more than the overnight or express train and the VIP bus service.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Darwin

  4. Hi Darwin,
    The info of air travel to Ubon is very helpful to me who is going back home for summer (I’m a native Ubon but happen to be aboard for over two decades) . I am very impressed with your web site. It’s such a good resource for tourists to explore Ubon.

    Thank you,

  5. Bell,

    I am thrilled you enjoy the website. I think you will find Ubon has grown and changed quite a bit. Welcome back.

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  2. […] Ubon Ratchathani Ever Changing Air Travel Posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009 in ubon transportation – Comments: (6) [/caption]Ubon Ratchathani is the place where I first arrived here. If you travel by air it is the only option.Since my initial experience flying to Ubon there have been many changes.  Some changes in the name of competition and others for economic reasons.You could fly from Ubon to Danang, Viet Nam eight years ago but that service has since been cancelled. Thai Airways International increased daily service between Ubon and Bangkok from 2 to 3 times a day. Oh yes and air fares increased as well.Air Asia flew onto the scene bringing competition and discount fares with their no-frill service. […]

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