Not all low-cost airline fares are cheap. To enjoy low price tickets, get them early – at least 3 weeks in advance. Near your travel date, Lion Air prices will be similar to those offered by the full-service airlines. Use the Flight Scanner to find the dates with the lowest fares.
Book with a travel agent if your card is not accepted
Lion Air may not accept all credit or debit cards, especially those issued in non-Asian countries. Try to book your flight with one of our partners instead. Start with a flight search, then choose the partner offering the best deal for your ticket. Being independent OTA (Online Travel Agent) they focus on having the widest range of payment methods available – including most credit/debit cards, PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, cryptocurrency, and more.
Be prepared for epic delays
Lion Air and Wings Air are famous for their lengthy delays at the airports. It is likely that the choice of the lowest possible airport fees (so they can offer cheap tickets) makes them a lower priority than other airlines. You can be sure that when bad weather causes a tarmac queue, Lion Air and Wings Air passengers will be the last to be invited to board. Anything from 2 to 8 hours of delay is not unusual for this airline.
Where we are heading? What is the recovery in tourism like? Which Asian countries are open for tourism? We are keeping you informed about the post-pandemic era of travel – with a special focus on air travel in Asia and the Pacific.
Learn about the current guidelines and regulations introduced by Lion Air in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health precautions, changes to the flight schedule, coronavirus tests requirements, vaccinations, and more:
Having the above tip in mind, check also the airport terminals if you have a connecting flight with a different airline. Make sure you have enough time to transfer between the terminals so you don’t miss your next flight.
Pre-book your luggage allowance
Pre-book the exact luggage allowance that you’ll be needing. It is always cheaper. Plan your baggage in advance and don’t just look at the maximum weight – make sure you are within the specified size (length/width/height) and the number of bags allowed by Lion Air. It will be enormously expensive if you go over and have to purchase additional kg during check-in at the airport. Huge fees are awaiting you if the airline staff catches you with oversized luggage at the boarding gates!
Overhead baggage bins on the plane tend to fill out quickly. Try to board early so that you can secure room for your hand luggage, and avoid “stowage wars”.
Research your destinaton’s requirements
For international flights, to avoid problems at the destination, make sure you have the applicable visa, a return/onward journey ticket, and COVID-19 tests. Visit IATA’s website to learn which travel documents are required at your destination country, and Unlocking Asia Pacific Travel webpage for up-to-date information on the local pandemic situation.
Adjust your travel dates
Prices skyrocket during holidays – watch out for local holidays and adjust your travel dates to avoid expensive tickets. Even at Lion Air, cheap flights are non-existent during popular “red days” like Chinese New Year or Idul Fitri. Prices can go as high as 5 times the price of the ticket for non-peak dates.
Watch for a good sale
To get a great bargain be sure to watch the sales on the Lion Air website over the course of several weeks. Subscribe to the newsletter and follow Lion Air accounts on social media. Or just use Promo Radar that collects promotions from all airlines in one place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Lion Air?
Lion Air is owned by Indonesian-Chinese tycoons Rusdi and Kusnan Kirana.
Lion Air’s parent company, Lion Group, dominates the Indonesian market with over 50% market share.
The CEO of Lion Group, Rusdi Kirana, started the company with his brother Kusnan in 1999 with $1.2 million capital. Before the Lion Air, Mr. Rusdi started out his career as a typewriter salesman and then a baking-ingredients salesman. At the moment, the brothers are estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.4 billion.
Is Lion Air and Thai Lion Air the same?
No. Although Thai Lion Air is a part of the same Lion Air Group as Lion Air (together with other associate airlines: Wings Air, Batik Air, Lion Bizjet and Malindo Air), both airlines operate separately, with a different fleet, website, booking system, staff, etc.
Does Lion Air fly to Australia?
No, Lion Air does not fly to Australia. But Batik Air and Malindo Air - the airlines owned by the Lion Air Group, do fly to Australia (from Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia).
How can I cancel my Lion Air ticket?
To cancel your Lion Air ticket just visit Manage Booking > Refund Request section on Lion Air website and fill out the refund request form. You will need your Booking Reference (PNR) code and passenger names, and you can choose between Bank Account and Credit Card for your refund to be sent to.
The refund fees vary but expect 25% fee if you cancel your ticket more than 72 hours prior to departure date, up to 90% fees if it's last-minute cancellation (less than 4 hours before take-off).
Is LionAir safe to fly?
Lion Air has a questionable safety record. It is also known for running up long delays (25% of flights are late or very late) and other operational problems.
How many Lion Air planes have crashed?
Lion Air crashed twice with fatalities.
The largest fatal accident took place on October 29, 2018, when a Lion Air plane carrying 189 people crashed into the Java Sea, just after taking off from the capital Jakarta. Lion Air Flight 610 was heading to the city of Pangkal Pinang off the island of Sumatra. There were no survivors. The accident was the first that involved the new Boeing 737 MAX.
The second-largest accident involved McDonnell Douglas MD-82, on 30 November 2004. Flight 583 from Jakarta to Surabaya with a stopover at Surakarta killed 25 people (of 153 onboard) when the airplane overran the runway of Adi Sumarmo Airport in Surakarta and crashed onto a cemetery on landing.
Other, non-fatal accidents include:
○ In 2002 Boeing 737-200 crashed after taking off from Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (Pekanbaru, Sumatra). The plane was written off but no passengers were killed.
○ 2 separate incidents in 2006: an MD-82 and a Boeing 737-400 were written off but everyone on board survived.
○ In 2010 a Boeing 737-800 overshot the runway at Supadio Airport near Pontianak in West Borneo. Several passengers were injured.
○ In 2013, Boeing 737-800 crashed into water short of the runway while on final approach to land in Bali. The aircraft's fuselage broke into two, and out of 108 people on board, 46 were injured.
○ In 2014, two passengers were seriously injured after an aircraft’s tail struck the runway at the international airport in Surabaya.
○ In 2016, a Boeing 737-900ER suffered a nosewheel runway excursion incident after landing at Surabaya Juanda International Airport in Surabaya in Java. There were no injuries.
○ In April 2018, the main nose gear of a Boeing 737-800 collapsed after a landing in heavy rain.
Does Lion Air use Boeing 737 MAX?
Lion Air has 201 Boeing 737 MAX. The aircraft is not operational at the moment, as the 737 MAX was grounded worldwide by aviation authorities after an Ethiopian Airlines MAX crash in March 2019, and Lion Air MAX crash in October 2018.
Does Lion Air serve food?
Lion Air serves food onboard, but the menu is limited. There are no complimentary meals or drinks and pre-booking is not possible.
Does Lion Air include free baggage?
There is no free checked baggage allowance in Economy class.
Regarding cabin baggage, passengers are permitted to bring a single piece of carry-on luggage weighing up to 7 kg, measuring up to 40 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm. Everyday personal items (purses, laptops, umbrellas, etc) are also allowed free of charge.
Prepaid baggage can be booked online on the Lion Air website or at the travel agent. Visit the airline’s website for pricing.
Does Lion Air allow pets on flights?
As a general rule both Lion Air and Thai Lion Air do not allow pets onboard.
In certain situations, guide dogs may be allowed. You should always contact the airline in advance for further instructions if you plan to travel with your guide dog though.
How can I track my Lion Air flight?
While flight tracking information is not available on the Lion Air website, its flights can be tracked using third-party websites: FlightAware or FlightStats.
How early should I arrive at the airport?
Lion Air recommends arriving at the airport at least 2 hours before departure for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights. This allows for the less rushed and stressful travel experience. The real optimal arrival time depends on the airport, your baggage (checked baggage to drop off, or hand luggage only), your knowledge about airport procedures and time of the year. For busy holiday periods, special events or even weekends, you should add more time, just in case.
Privately run Lion Air is the largest airline in Indonesia, and just the second largest in SE Asia – after AirAsia. Thai Lion Air is an associate company of Lion Air Group (together with Lion Air and Wings Air), operating in Thailand.
Lion Air may be not known for its punctuality (many passengers report huge delays) but if you remember that it’s a truly low-cost airline, some things may be forgiven. The same goes for complaints about narrow seats, no free meals, or no baggage allowance included in the flight ticket. On a positive note, there is a decent selection of drinks and meals sold on board, you can buy online the exact amount of baggage allowance you need, and the staff is friendly, polite, and helpful.
The bottom line: Lion Air, Thai Lion Air, and Wings Air are good airlines for a budget flyer if there is no need or expectation for luxury travel.