Vietnam domestic flights – All you need to know

If you are having a Vietnam itinerary 2 weeks or less, flying is the most convenient and time effective way to travel. Assuming that you start your trip in Hanoi, you can take a domestic flight to main touristy cities including Hue, Da Nang, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Saigon or Can Tho (Mekong Delta). Then, how to book flights in Vietnam is a common question that often crops up. Normally, you can book Vietnam domestic flights directly on airlines websites or book with a ticketing agent. The first choice may save some money, but in case you need to change names, date, duration or cancel, having the support of a ticketing agent will be super helpful.

 

Booking Vietnam domestic flights
Booking Vietnam domestic flights through Vietnam tour companies is recommended when you travel in a big group

Check-in

There are three ways to check-in your flights.

Airport check-in

I am an easygoing person who never minds the seat on the plane so I choose to do the check-in at the airport counter. For most airlines, they open the check-in counters for domestic flights 02 hours prior to your flight scheduled departure time and close them 40 minutes before. For most cities, you can transfer to the airport around two hours before your flight leaves (by private car, for bus option, an earlier departure is highly recommended). This way, you will not have to be rush for Vietnam domestic flight check-in time.

 

Airport check-in
You shoule be in the airport check-in area at least two hours before your departure

Online check-in/Web check-in

In case you prefer to select your seats in advance to ensure your comfort during the flight, online check-in is an option. Most airlines allow you to check-in online when your flights depart from three main airports Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat.

If you belong to below special cases, you need to check-in at the airport:

  • You travel with your infant.
  • Your group has more than 9 people.
  • Or you need special assistance.

Web check-in is available from 24 hours before your flight scheduled departure time. The sooner you do the web check-in, the better seats you are able to block for your trip. After doing the online check-in, passengers without checked baggage can go straight to the boarding gate. Else, remember to check your bags at the airport before the check-in closes.

Kiosk check-in

You are at the airport and it is super crowded, the line is too long and you are an anti-fan of queuing. Kiosk check-in is another choice and I highly recommend it for those who travel with carry-on baggage only. You just need to enter your reservation code and follow the steps, get your boarding pass printed and go straight to the boarding gate. Still, kiosk check-in has just been available at three main airports, Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat. If you fly with Vietnam Airlines, Cam Ranh (Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa) is also a place that has kiosk check-in.

 

Vietnam Airlines check-in kiosk
Vietnam Airlines check-in kiosk at Noi Bai airport

Baggage Allowance and Restriction

Vietnam Airlines is the only airlines that offer 20kg checked baggage for all fare types. For other budget airlines, including Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific and Bamboo Airways, the Eco tickets include only 7kg carry-on baggage; and you need to pay extra for checked baggage. If you smoke, just note that matches or lighters are not allowed on checked or cabin baggage. Beverages containing 70% or more alcohol are prohibited from Vietnam domestic flights liquids. For checked baggage, please remember not to pack these things: valuable items including cash and jewelry, your phone, laptop, and camera. This note is important as it is time consuming to unpack your bags and take these items when required by airlines staff. You may be stressful, especially when you are on a hurry.

 

Checked baggage
Remember not to put your laptop or camera in checked baggage

Airlines reviews

There are four airlines that provide domestic flights within Vietnam: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific, and the newest member Bamboo Airways.

Vietnam Airlines is the 4* airlines so the quality is the best. Even its fares seem higher than other competitors, it includes 20kg checked baggage for the lowest fares – promo. Vietnam Airlines also serves dry snack on short flights during mid-hours and main meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner complimentary.

Bamboo Airways ranked second, yet it is a new airline so some routes have not been operated yet.

 

Bamboo Airways
Vietnam welcomes a new airline – Bamboo Airways at the end of 2018

Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific are two budget airlines with good prices. Yet, your flights on budget airlines may be delayed or canceled for commercial reasons.

In case you have a short time to visit Vietnam, it worth to pay a little extra for Vietnam Airlines to make sure that your plan will not be changed sharply due to a flight delay. Saving some tens of dollars but wasting half a day at the airport is not a smart choice; only suggested in case time is not a priority and budget is a real concern.

Suggested Vietnam tours

 

With the above sharing, you can choose suitable airlines based on your time, your budget and your interests. Having your Vietnam domestic flights booked and ready for the great Vietnam tours filled with amazing experiences.

 

Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist

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