Songkran travel plans screwed? Here’s what the airlines are currently offering.

Photo: Thai Smile
Photo: Thai Smile

With surprise restrictions spoiling an untold number of Songkran travels, airlines are rushing to update their policies for all those canceled trips.

All major budget carriers want flights changed in advance – which might be difficult for those who just found they can’t travel to or from the capital due to surprise third-wave coronavirus restrictions.

AirAsia: The airline will allow those flying now through Sunday to make emergency changes by contacting airline staff through its live chat or at an airport. Tickets for the rest of April can be rescheduled for same flights as many times as needed until the end of June – so long as the airline is notified 48 hours in advance. Any difference in fares must be paid. Changes can be made AirAsia’s online booking system.

Nok Air is offering credit to those traveling to and from COVID “red zones” such as Bangkok and the metropolitan area. Credit can be used for other Nok flights, but changes must be made 72 hours prior to departure and take place before July. Passengers must pay the cost of any fare differences.

Thai Vietjet is also offering credit, but only for passengers traveling Monday through April 30 who booked tickets today or sooner. They can also opt to reschedule their trip one time for free, instead. Those disrupted today or this weekend seem to be out of luck. 

Thai Smile ticket-holders traveling this month can request a date change or re-route to a new destination at least four hours prior to original departure free of charge, but must pay any fare difference. The same conditions apply if seeking credit, which must be used before the end of the year.

Bangkok Airways will allow those issued tickets before Thursday for travel this month to change their flight date for free or get credit. Unlike other airlines, it did not specify a time period for either option.

Thai Lion Air offers a one-time, free date change by July 15 for any trips. Those traveling now through April 20 can request credit by notifying the airline at least four hours prior to travel. Fare differences must be paid if traveling during holiday periods.  

None of the five airlines said how they would handle affected travelers who fail to notify them within the specified time periods.

For travelers using other forms of transportation, such as trains and buses, the Transport Ministry yesterday announced that all commuters request full refunds from operators at least 24 hours before departure time.


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