aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:17 am

Hi all

this weekend I am doing a crazy flying trip up to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, including (hopefully) flights on the PMT Air AN-24 and the Lao Airlines MA-60.

The schedules are (unavoidably) a little tight in places and i wanted tips and thoughts about the worst of them: in Luang Prabang, Laos.

I arrive from Siem Reap (via Pakse) on the MA-60 of Lao Airlines and continue to Vientiane. Whilst the onward flight is the same aircraft (therefore no risk of missing the actual plane due to prior delays), the time on the ground is 30mins and strictly speaking I am transfering from an international to a domestic flight.

I have already got my visa to avoid delays with visa on arrival, but does anyone have any ideas? Do I talk with the crew on the plane and tell them not to leave without me? Do I need to consider bribes? Will I get my through boarding pass in Siem Reap or will I also have to get a last minute boarding pass in Luang Prabang. I'm sure the airport is tiny - issues are delays at immigration and customs (no checked luggage though) and if I need to get a boarding pass.

It is critical as it's the last flight of the day and if I miss it, I miss my whole connection back to Australia!!!!
 
MEA-707
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RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:32 am

I think because it are flights on the same airline and aircraft you will manage, just let the check in staff, flight crew and staff in Luang Prabang know. Been there as well, it's a small but efficient airport. Laos Airlines can be a bit burocratic but basically they are helpful and laid back.
Maybe of more concern is that Laos Airlines sometimes cancels flights due to weather or operational reasons. The late afternoons can be stormy in this time of year around Laos and last year my Bangkok Airways flight hurried out of Luang Prabang 40 minutes earlier (as soon as check in closed the last pax was rushed on board) to escape the storms, while the afternoon Laos Airlines flights were cancelled.
Also have fun with PMT Air An-24. Had a fine flight with them in december from Pnomh Penh to Siem Reap. There is an ATR-72 in Mönchengladbach earmarked for them so I guess you have to hurry to get on it.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:04 am

thanks MEA. Yeah the storm issue is something to look out for. But I guess if the flight is cancelled, it will run first thing the next day, which means I can still make my connection in Vientiane.
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5147
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:01 pm

Quoting Aussie_ (Thread starter):
I arrive from Siem Reap (via Pakse) on the MA-60 of Lao Airlines and continue to Vientiane. Whilst the onward flight is the same aircraft (therefore no risk of missing the actual plane due to prior delays), the time on the ground is 30mins and strictly speaking I am transferring from an international to a domestic flight.

Did you book two separate tickets? They flight is also being sold as REP-VTE and you won't have to leave the aircraft in that case! I did this sector a few years ago. Or are you talking about connecting at VTE within 30min?

The only connection I'm getting for REP-VTE-LPQ on a weekend would be:
2 QV 522 37 REP VTE 0915 1145 1 CONNECT VTE AT7
QV 105 37 VTE LPQ 1300 1340 0 30MAY07 29JUL07 AT7 4:25

Quoting Aussie_ (Thread starter):
Do I talk with the crew on the plane and tell them not to leave without me? Do I need to consider bribes?

I doubt that would help.

Quoting Aussie_ (Thread starter):
I'm sure the airport is tiny - issues are delays at immigration and customs (no checked luggage though) and if I need to get a boarding pass.

You need to change the terminal in VTE. In fact you just leave the Intl terminal and turn left for something like 100-200m where you find the domestic terminal. If immigration works smooth you should be able doing that transfer.
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:03 pm

My flight is on a Monday - QV 523 REP-LPQ (via PKZ) connecting to QV 110 LPQ-VTE

Thanks for the advice!
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5147
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:13 pm

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 4):
My flight is on a Monday - QV 523 REP-LPQ (via PKZ) connecting to QV 110 LPQ-VTE

I see, you are changing in LPQ. There 30min should def. be enough but keep in mind, the minimum connecting time from I to D would be 1 hour!

Are all QV flights to REP operated by MA-60 nowdays? In Amadeus, ALL QV flights indicate AT7 (no single flight loaded with the MA-60 which is weird).

By the way, if its your first time in Laos, I recommend you to stay in LPQ. It's a really nice place but it got a bit crowded during the last few years.
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Pe@rson
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RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:41 am

Quoting Aussie_ (Thread starter):
Lao Airlines MA-60.

I flew this airline and aircraft late last year. It was great. Flying over Laos (e.g. VTE-LPQ) was amazingly beautiful.

Both VTE and LPQ are decent, efficient airports. VTE does indeed have a wee viewing rooftop, from which you can clearly see the runway and partially see some stands. Pretty good.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:11 am

My travel agent said there was no minimum connecting time listed at LPQ and the system accepted the through booking...

As for aircraft type, in amadeus and all the other online schedules, they show ALL QV flights as operated by the AT7. The Lao Airlines website clearly says MA60. Given they have 2 of each in their fleet, I have my fingers crossed that the airline's website has it right!

I think the key for me will be trying to get my 2nd boarding pass at check-in at Siem Reap!

Thanks for all the replies. I'll keep an eye out for the viewing deck at VTE, as I have plenty of time there the next morning and there could be some interesting tidbits around!
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5147
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Flying In Laos - Luang Prabang (tight Connex Qn)

Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:53 pm

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 7):
My travel agent said there was no minimum connecting time listed at LPQ and the system accepted the through booking...

Then your travel agent was wrong. If I'm trying to get an availability for a REP-LPQ LPQ-VTE connection it doesn't give me the connection in Amadeus.

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 7):
As for aircraft type, in amadeus and all the other online schedules, they show ALL QV flights as operated by the AT7.

A very weird thing. In PARS it used to display YN2 and YN7 flights, not sure about the MA-60 now. I have experienced equipment changes earlier on flights to/from XKH and LPQ but normally their International flights on their website are quite reliable.

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 7):
I think the key for me will be trying to get my 2nd boarding pass at check-in at Siem Reap!

I doubt that would be possible but it is worth a try.

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 7):
Thanks for all the replies. I'll keep an eye out for the viewing deck at VTE, as I have plenty of time there the next morning and there could be some interesting tidbits around!

Be careful taking pictures, especially outside the terminal.

Good luck on your trip and enjoy!
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