Flights to Laos - flight hacks for Laos destinations

Laos is open to international tourism

Laos is open to international travelers, quarantine-free. Border crossings with neighboring countries have been opened, and transit through Laotian airports is permitted. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to present Covid test results, while unvaccinated travelers are required to show the results upon arrival.

Most foreign visitors are required to obtain a visa in order to enter Laos. Many nationals are eligible for a VoA (Visa on Arrival) that allows a stay of up to 30 days in the country. It can be obtained directly at the airport upon arrival, or in advance – through an online application form.

Arriving in Laos

  • If you are flying to Laos from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportWattay International Airport VTE in the capital city of Vientaine and Luang Prabang International Airport LPQ located in Luang Prabang Province in northern part of the country.

    These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Laos. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • Once in Laos, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Lao Airlines and Lao Skyway. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation), and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Laos can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of AirAsia, Air Busan, Bangkok Airways, China Express Airlines, JejuAir, Jin Air, Scoot, Sichuan Airlines, SilkAir, ThaiSmile, and Tiger Airways. If you have a layover in Laos and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money. However, the “no-frills” carrier may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support. You may not even get to choose your seats, unless you pay extra.

Airports of Laos

Best airports to fly into Laos: Wattay International Airport (VTE), Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ), Pakse Airport (PKZ), Savannakhet Airport (ZVK), Luang Namtha Airport (LXG), Xieng Khouang Airport (XKH), and Phongsali Airport (PCQ)
Laos has two main international airports – Wattay International Airport VTE in the capital city of Vientaine and Luang Prabang International Airport LPQ located in Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos. There are two other international airports, Pakse Airport PKZ and Savannakhet Airport ZVK, but these are used far less frequently.
Things to know before flying to Laos
Airlines flying to LaosAirAsia, Air Busan, Bangkok Airways, China Eastern Airlines, China Express Airlines, China Southern Airlines, EVA Air, Finnair, JejuAir, Jin Air, Korean Air, Lao Airlines, Lao Skyway, Qatar Airways, Scoot, Sichuan Airlines, SilkAir, Singapore Airlines, Thai AirAsia, Thai Airways, ThaiSmile, Tiger Airways, Aerolíneas Vietnamitas
Airlines of LaosLao Airlines, Lao Skyway
Main airports in LaosWattay International Airport (VTE) — Vientiane
Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) — Luang Prabang
Pakse Airport (PKZ) — Pakse
Savannakhet Airport (ZVK) — Savannakhet
Luang Namtha Airport (LXG) — Luang Namtha
Xieng Khouang Airport (XKH) — Phonsavan
Phongsaly Boun Neua Airport (PCQ) — Phongsaly
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €900 – €1200 (from Europe)
✈ $900 – $1300 (from USA)
Flight hacks 40% — 80% off regular fare
Airline discountsDiscounted airline tickets to Laos (student/family/seniors/military)

Low-cost flights from Laos

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

Know your time zone

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure/arrival times on your plane ticket and boarding pass are based on the time zone of the departure/arrival airport – this also applies to the connecting (layover) airports.

Laos has only one time zone – it observes Indochina Time all year, which is UTC/GMT +7. There are no daylight-saving time clock changes.

Laos is 11 hours ahead of New York, and 4 hours behind Sydney. It shares the same time with Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The cheapest time to fly to Laos

The best time to find cheap flights to Laos tends to be during the low season – May to September. It’s the country’s wet season (expect high humidity) and also an off-peak tourism season with significantly fewer visitors. Everything, including air tickets, is cheaper, and airlines often offer promotions to attract more tourists and try to fill up the planes.

To save on flights, avoid the peak season – from November to February, and local holidays. Cheap flights to Laos are non-existent during popular holidays such as Lao New Year (13-16 April), Boun Khao Phansa (July), Boat Racing Festival (October), Boun Ok Phansa (October), That Luang Festival (November), and National Day (2 December). If you travel to Laos during these peak periods it’s wise to book the flights well in advance.

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and others).

When it comes to Twitter there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@LaoAirlines”). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Duty-free rules

Laos is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items. Alcoholic drinks cannot exceed 1 liter (spirits) and 2 liters (wine) per person, and you can carry only 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco. In addition to personal items, you may also carry items such as gifts up to a value of $50.

Anything above those limits must be declared – at the airport, head to Red Lane to declare your goods.

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Flights to Laos from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Laos. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Laos, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop.
  • Laos is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Laos with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Laos from the US and Canada are: Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and Vietnam Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

Laos from US & Canada.Ticket prices in February 2024.

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Use Loca app instead of Uber or Grab

There is no Uber nor Grab in Laos – these super popular ride-sharing apps never get launched here.

However, getting around Laotian big cities is quite convenient thanks to the Loca app, which works similarly to Uber and Grab. Loca is the main ride-hailing app in Laos, letting you hail a private car or a taxi and automatically pay the fare when your ride ends (or you can choose to pay in cash). Only registered drivers with a special license can offer rides on the app in accordance with the law.

You can download the Loca app for Android or iOS before arriving in Laos.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

It is always a good idea to bring some cash with you to Laos. Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Laotian airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and exchange some money for the Lao kip at home, or use an ATM at the airport and in some major towns.

Next tips

Flights to Laos from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Laos — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Laos include Finnair, Scoot, and ThaiSmile.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Laos from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.
  • These major European airports are excellent departure points for trips to Laos: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in the Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.

Laos from Europe.Flight schedule and ticket prices.

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Check different departure airports

Consider neighboring cities when choosing the departure airport – especially look for larger cities with airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines.

For example, if you live in West Europe, check prices for flights departing from Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, or Vienna. In 9 out of 10 cases, the cheapest flight to Laos will depart from one of these hubs, and it may be €500 less or more than your first choice. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to this hub, but low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for €50 – €100.

Use a similar tactic if you depart from the US or another region. It’s one of the best ways to save hundreds on trips.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

Last-minute flights to Laos. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to Laos almost always never works out.

Based on years of research, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. To make the most money, they will sell their cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of these travelers who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Occasionally, airlines can offer last-minute deals to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to Laos is 2-8 months before the takeoff.

Airlines of Laos

Laos has only two main commercial airlines: Lao Airlines (the national flag carrier) and Lao Skyway, both based at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane. Together, they handle most of the domestic air traffic in Laos, while Lao Airlines serves nearby countries such as Cambodia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Flights to Laos from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand offer robust flight networks to key APAC locations, Laos included. While domestic carriers like Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand provide solid options, several major international airlines also serve these routes. These include ANA, Cathay Pacific, EmiratesGaruda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways — expanding your choices for travel between Australasia and Asia.

    There are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Laos. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
  • Airlines have different pricing strategies for different routes. A flight to Laos could be significantly cheaper from Sydney than from Melbourne, depending on airline partnerships, demand, and even time of year. Compare fares from different international airports in Australia: Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, Darwin DRW, Hobart HBA, Alice Springs ASP, and in New Zealand: Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, Dunedin DUD, and Hamilton HLZ.
  • If you’re looking to save, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a primary Asian hub, then catch a connecting flight to Laos with a regional budget airline such as AirAsia, Air Busan, Bangkok Airways, China Express Airlines, JejuAir, Jin Air, Scoot, Sichuan Airlines, SilkAir, ThaiSmile, and Tiger Airways.

    For the initial leg of your trip, full-service airlines such as Qantas or Virgin Atlantic offer premium comfort and exceptional service, albeit at a premium price. However, many Asian airlines, including budget carriers, operate out of Australia and frequently feature sales and promotions. For instance, AirAsia runs deals to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore; Cebu Pacific to Manila; Scoot to Singapore; VietJet Air to Ho Chi Minh City; Jetstar to Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo; Bamboo Airways to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing; Batik Air to Jakarta and Singapore.

Australia & New Zealand to Laos.Flight ticket prices today.

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Booking group flights to Laos

Flights are cheaper when purchased in bulk rather than as individual tickets. Booking group flights to Laos can be a cost-effective option for a school trip, family reunion, or corporate group traveling to a conference.

To qualify for the special group rate, the group must usually have at least 10 passengers. Discounts depend on the airline, group size, and travel dates, and typically range from 5% to 20% off the regular airfare.

Airlines and flight search websites typically limit automatic group bookings to 10 passengers. This limit reflects the complexity of managing larger groups, which require personalized service and more time to coordinate. To get the price quote for your group, you’ll need to contact the airline or a travel agent directly.

Most airlines have a group booking form or phone number (see examples at Emirates and Qantas). Fill out the form, and the airline will come back to you with the proposed group rate. If your group is large and a scheduled flight cannot accommodate everyone, the airline may offer you a charter flight.

Additionally, there are various perks that your group may be eligible for:

  • free seats (complimentary tickets for every 10 or 20 passengers that book together)
  • free checked baggage allowance
  • dedicated group check-in counter at the airport
  • cabin crew who speak your group’s language
  • flexible booking terms (that allow changes without fees)

Booking group flights to Laos is similar to booking individual flights. The main difference is that you’ll need to provide personal information for all passengers, and the airline may request additional details, such as meal preferences or accommodations for disabled travelers. A deposit – typically 10-50% of the total cost – may be required to secure the booking. However, some airlines offer deferred payment options where you can secure a reservation with a booking fee and pay the balance later.

If you’re open to different airlines or want more personalized service, a travel agent may be a better choice. Travel agents may have access to discounted group rates to Laos and can help with logistics and scheduling.

“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to Laos, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.
Next tips

Flights to Laos from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Laos look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Laos will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Laos and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.
  • Most major Asian airports have convenient and frequent flights to Laos — including Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

Laos from major Asian airports.Flight prices in February 2024.

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Lost luggage prevention: Essential tips

Every year, airlines handle millions of bags and a small percentage never make it to their final destinations. Avoid lost luggage nightmares on your trip to Laos by removing old tags from previous flights on your suitcases – they can confuse baggage handlers and conveyor belt scanners. It’s also a good idea to label your luggage with your name, address, and phone number (both inside and outside the case) and attach a GPS-tracker device like Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag.

For peace of mind, consider purchasing travel insurance to cover the full value of your luggage, as airline liability usually doesn’t reflect the actual value of the baggage content.

“Book Flights Now, Pay Later” — is it worth it?

Booking a flight and paying for it later has recently become a popular trend in the travel industry, with many airlines offering delayed payment plans. They will allow you to make flight reservation to Laos now and then pay the bill in installments. But should you take advantage?

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) plans are essentially short-term personal loans. By partnering with financial companies such as Affirm, Afterpay, PayPal Credit, Fly Now Pay Later, and Uplift, airlines can offer their loan services on the checkout page. When you book the flight with the BNPL option, the company pays the airline, and you repay the loan in installments over a set period (usually up to 24 months), with a set interest rate.

BNPL providers have varying terms and fees. Some may offer interest-free loans but have fees for late payments and require forced autoplay on your bank account, while others may have high annual percentage rates (up to 30-40% APR). There may also be transaction fees, down payment requirements, and many companies even run a credit check on the traveler.

Fly now pay later - delayed payments for flight reservations
Fly Now Pay Later works with numerous popular travel brands to provide delayed payment options

Among the airlines that offer a “fly now, pay later” option are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic.

Is BNPL financing worth it? If paid off on time, interest-free delayed payment on your flight ticket to Laos can be a great way to free up your cash flow. However, there may be safer alternatives available – such as taking advantage of an introductory 0% interest offer on a credit card or using flight price “freezing” services like Hopper.

Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many APAC countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket (from Laos to another country), you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight out of Laos and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such “temporary tickets” tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Confirmed flight ticket reservation
Proof of onward travel: confirmed flight ticket reservation (source: OnwardTicket)