It is easier than ever to find cheap flights to Thailand, leaving more of your hard-earned cash for the holiday of a lifetime. Whether you choose to visit the hill tribes of the north, engage with elephants at one of the country's most reputable sanctuaries, or island-hop in the south, direct flights to Thailand will get you there before you know it.
Palaces and temples
The country's capital Bangkok boasts attractions of value, including the spectacular Grand Palace, formerly the home of the monarch, but still to this day considered the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. The temple of Wat Arun is another must see, which despite translating as 'Temple of Dawn', is stunning at sunset. Close to Bangkok you will find the floating markets, where you can purchase tropical fruits and vegetables, fresh coconut juice, and local food cooked on the river in floating kitchens.
You will no doubt wish to head away from the bustle of the capital, and explore the multitude of beautiful islands that Thailand has to offer. The Phi Phi Islands, Similan Islands and the Phang Nga province are all great destinations. The less-renowned Ko Tarutao is located in the Tarutao National Marine Park archipelago, and boasts sea turtles, whales, monitor lizards and crab-eating macaques. The snorkelling may not be as epic as elsewhere, but the beaches, waterfalls, hiking and wildlife make up for that.
Cheapest time to fly to Thailand
Thailand is unique in that it can be a budget or luxury holiday destination. Thankfully, mixing and matching budget and luxury activities is as easy. For an excellent deal, book flights to Thailand from the UK for May 2018, as ticket prices often go down as much as 20 percent in May compared to other times of the year. This shoulder month is considered off-peak tourist season, because the weather turns humid, but for intrepid travellers from our rainy island, the heat can be very welcome. Mondays may also be the best days to fly when travelling to Thailand.
Best time to book your flight to Thailand
Cheap flights to Thailand are best booked roughly 22 weeks ahead of time. While you are unlikely to find a better price before then, it is also important to keep in mind that flights to Thailand from Heathrow Airport will go up in price as your departure date nears. Internal flights in Thailand are best booked as early as possible to make the most of cheaper tariffs, so make sure to research and decide what Thai experiences are most important to you early on in your planning.
Airports and airlines
Thailand has four main airports: two in Bangkok, one in the 'second city', Chiang Mai and one that serves the most popular islands in the south. Several international airlines fly directly to these airports, which means there is ample opportunity to avoid a stopover in the capital if you wish to do so.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
Bangkok's newest airport opened in 2006 to replace the older Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). It is the primary airport for international arrivals and departures and serves as a hub for much of Southeast Asia. Although there is just one terminal, this airport has many concourses, so be sure to check a map to find your way around it. Return flights to Thailand from most UK cities land here.
Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
There are two terminals at Bangkok's other airport, which is located 15 miles north of the city. As this is the primary airport for budget airlines, it may be the best place at which to arrive for those booking budget airfares domestically. Luckily, transferring between international and domestic flights is simple and hassle-free.
Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
This airport is just north of Chiang Mai, making travel into the city relatively painless. Some flights to Thailand from the UK go directly to this city, allowing you to visit the elephants in no time at all. Domestic and international arrivals are split by terminal, but navigating this recently renovated airport is simple. Choose to start your holiday in Chiang Mai, or fly from here directly down to the islands.
Phuket International Airport (HKT)
Flying into Phuket International Airport is delightful, as the airport is located behind the stunning Mai Khao Beach. Limestone islands dot the azure sea, foreshadowing what is in store for you on your holiday. This airport is also an important hub for travel to and from the islands as well as for other destinations in Southeast Asia.
On arrival and getting around the airports
Thailand's international airports tend to be larger than the domestic ones. Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) and Phuket International Airport (HKT) all have two terminals each, while Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) has only one. To make airport transfers seamless, a free shuttle bus runs between Bangkok's two airports from around 5am until midnight every day. Wi-fi is also available, allowing travellers to keep in touch with home or work easily.
Which airlines fly to Thailand?
For cheap direct flights to Thailand, Netflights recommends British Airways, EVA Air and Thai Airways. Options for keeping costs even lower include Turkish Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways and Emirates flights to Thailand. With stopovers in Istanbul, Amsterdam or Dubai, a day in one of these cities can be a fun way to break up the travel time. While most airlines fly into Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), it is also possible to book flights to Phuket, Thailand and head straight to the beach.
How long does it take to get to Thailand?
Flying the 5,862 miles on a direct flight to Thailand often takes less than twelve hours from many UK airports. Flights from London, Manchester and Glasgow have similar flight times, so be sure to book to fly from the airport that is most convenient for you. Flights with layovers can take up to 24 hours, but also give you a chance to stretch your legs. With roughly 30 flights to Thailand from the UK per week, there are typically around four flights per day.
Getting to the cities from the airports
Thailand's public transit system is a great option to save money when travelling to your hotel. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is reachable by free shuttle, air-conditioned bus or taxi. For cyclists, there is a bicycle lane to the airport as well. Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) and Phuket International Airport (HKT) are easiest to reach by using the Thailand’s ubiquitous tuk-tuks.
Don’t forget before you fly
Travelling to Thailand is relatively straightforward for British citizens. Arriving by air or by land, British passport holders can enter the country for up to 30 days without a visa. This visa exemption can then be extended for another 30 days once in the country, meaning that you can take your time exploring this marvellous place. However, keep in mind that all visitors must provide proof of onward travel, or they may be refused entry.