I am going to Singapore and Thailand!
Yeeeeeeees! Very soon! Yeeees!
Ok, I don’t want to be showing off! I am telling this because I want to share with you my recent big discovery – it actually IS possible to fly from Slovenia for reasonable prices! A few weeks I ago I complained about how expensive the flights from Ljubljana airport can be. Nothing much changed since then (ha-ha) but I realized an interesting fact – while the majority of flights from Ljubljana to Europe are still pretty expensive, the connections to destinations outside of Europe, mainly middle East, Asia and even the USA, don’t cost so much. Cool, right?
How is that possible? I’ll explain.
If you are somewhat interested in travel from Slovenia, please read further. If you you’re not, please scroll down the home page to find some more interesting topics for you 🙂
So, first I will tell how I am getting to Singapore and Thailand: I purchased my exciting holiday with Etihad Airways/Air Serbia (Etihad is a partial owner of Air Serbia). I will be flying with an Air Serbia airplane from Ljubljana to Belgrade and I will change in Belgrade flight Etihad Airways flight to Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, after a 2-hour stopover, I am taking a flight to Singapore.
On the way back, I will be flying from Bangkok, Thailand, again with short stops in Abu Dhabi and Belgrade. (How do I travel between Singapore and Bangkok is a long story, maybe next time).
This is a multicity ticket, I made the booking only 6 weeks ahead (which is not the best) and paid EUR 581 for the round trip. Not an total bargain but not bad either.
During my flight hunting and I reviewed all possible options so I prepared a little overview, maybe someone will find it helpful. Please note that to make it simpler, I am only comparing prices for a round trip from Ljubljana to Bangkok, Thailand.
PROS: Turkish airlines operate two daily flights from Ljubljana and with a stopover in Istanbul, they will bring you almost everywhere. I think they are also they cheapest option to get to Asia. Besides, Turkish airlines are probably the best European airline at the moment.
CONS: The cheapest flights sometimes include a really long stopover in Istanbul, e.g. 12+ hours which is not that great. For getting a more convenient connection, you have to pay EUR 150+ extra. This was exactly the reason why I didn’t choose to travel with them.
EXAMPLE: In January you can find return flights for Ljubljana -Istanbul – Bangkok – Ljubljana for EUR 488. Not bad but the flight back includes an overnight waiting time at Istanbul airport which is not that great.
Air Serbia (Etihad airways)
Air Serbia is a partner of Etihad airways and with stopover in Belgrade and Abu Dhabi you can get to a number of great destinations in Middle East, Africa and Asia for a good price. And, they were also my choice.
PROS: Good connection options, short stopovers (one to three hours) and acceptable prices.Besides, Etihad airways belong to one of the best airlines in world whereas Air Serbia, with current investment from Etihad, is not a bad airline either.
CONS: For me none but some people may not like the necessity to do 2 stopovers on this route.
EXAMPLE: Return flight from Ljubljana to Bangkok in January (which is high season in Thailand) can be purchased for EUR533.
All in all, this option is so far a winner for me, let’s see what kind of experience that will be! 🙂
Now, moving on to more “exotic” option! Thanks to the regular connection of the Russian official airlines Aeroflot you can make a stopover in Moscow and fly to a number of destinations worldwide.
PROS: Only one stopover in Moscow, short overall flight duration, very convenient. Also, I personally find the stopover in Moscow kind of exciting.
EXAMPLE: Return flight to Bangkok in January costs over EUR590 which makes it more expensive than the other two.
Fly from Venice, Milan, Vienna, Bratislava…
The fact is that flights from the nearby airports are almost always cheaper than the ones from Ljubljana. For sure. For example, from Venice you can fly with Qatar Airways with a change in Doha for great prices, therefore for people based in somewhere in Primorska region, it might be a great option.
The Oman Air flying from Milan Malpensa airport will take you to a lot of Asian destinations for totally unbeatable prices, sometimes lower than EUR350! But, you need to count with a longer stopover in Muscat. Btw, if you are looking for more luxurious travel, you may consider flying with Emirates from Milan.
From Bratislava, Slovakia, which is actually about the same distance from Ljubljana as Milan, you can take the Fly Dubai‘s flight and get to Maldives, Sri Lanka and (from 2017) also to Bangkok with prices starting at EUR 370!
And lastly, Vienna…The Vienna airport offers multiple connections with or without stopovers by airlines as Austrian, Emirates, Eva Air or Royal Jordanian in all price ranges, from total bargains under EUR400 to more expensive options.
To be informed about these cheap options, I recommend to follow sites like posvetu.si or check the Skyscanner.com to see what’s available.
But why is not always the best option to fly from one of these airports:
- Because you need to get there first. Whether you prefer to drive, use the Go Opti shuttle service or take a ride through prevozi.org, it will still cost something. E.g. a drive to Venice airport and back may cost you up to EUR 60, getting to Milan and back may cost you around EUR 100. Adding this cost to the plane ticket makes not so cheap in total.
- Because sitting 2-5 hours in the car before jumping a long-haul flight is everything but not enjoyable.
- Because you need to be super-flexible with time. The cheapest flights from these airports are usually sold only on certain dates and you need to book quickly. Which is not an option for everyone.
Because of the above reasons, I finally decided for the flight from Ljubljana. I hope that Air Serbia and Etihad will not disappoint and it will be a nice holiday.
I hope this article was informative and will help you with making decision about your next trip. In case you already have some exciting experience on how to get cheap flight tickets, let me know in the comments! 🙂
Title picture – source: https://stocklogos.com/