Flying a new airline for the first time is always fun, even in economy class. With the choice of flying Air Asia or Lao Airlines for the short flight from Bangkok to Vientiane, I did not hesitate to choose Lao Airlines.
It was a dark and stormy night. My horrific Malaysia Airlines flight was on mind, but so to Lao Airlines Flight 301. That’s what you get for googling about safety…
But worrying does no good. So I banished worry from my mind and instead decided to enjoy the experience. It worked!
Lao Airlines is a regional airline serving destinations in:
- South Korea
Its flagship Vientiane to Seoul route is operated by an Airbus A320-200 with 16 business class seats and 126 economy class seats. My flight from Bangkok was operated by a single-cabin ATR 72-500 with 70 seats onboard.
I appeared at the counter about 90 minutes before departure and found the check-in area deserted. With a storm passing through I figured we might be delayed but was told the flight would operate on time. Interestingly, I was given a round blue Laos Airlines sticker and told to wear it. The agent said it would make me more easily identifiable if I got lost on my way to the gate…
After a feast in the Oman Air Lounge, it was time to board the flight.
The aircraft was parked on a remote stand so everyone filed into a bus and was driven to the plane. There only turned out to be about 25 people onboard.
Laos Airlines 446
Bangkok (BKK) – Vientiane (VTE)
May 22, 2017
Depart: 8:30 PM
Arrive: 10:05 PM
Duration: 1hr, 35min
Aircraft: ATR 72-500
Seat: 10C (Single-Cabin)
Two FAs greeted passengers as they boarded through the rear stairs. With overhead bin space limited, my rollerbaord was stored in a mesh-enclosed luggage area in the rear of the passenger cabin.
The cabin was very clean and I found my seat in row 10. Legroom was tight.
I leafed through the in-flight magazine and had a chuckle at the “Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Your Lao Airlines Flight Attendants” article.
After takeoff, service began. I knew there would be some sort of snack but saved no room for it. The was wise, considering what was served.
The meal reminded me of why everyone used to complain about coach food before airlines took it away.
FAs managed a couple beverage services during the 90-minute flight as well.
I was not kidding about the storm: we hit some fairly hurry chop climbing out of Bangkok, though thankfully everything smoothed out after 15 minutes and the remainder of the flight was smooth.
There is only so much you can say about a 90-minute economy class flight, but since it was a new airline I wanted to provide more details. I found the experience to be pleasant overall and for the $125 price I paid for a walk-up ticket, a good value as well.