Booking flight tickets in Vietnam

Since the infrastructure in Vietnam isn’t quite developed, flights offer arguably the most convenient method of transportation, especially if you are traveling over a far distance. Flight tickets can be booked through a travel agent, at an airline office or through the airlines’ websites. In this post, I’ll walk you through the different techniques airlines use to charge you more and how much these webistes leave to be desired

Vietjet

Starting with Vietjet, you can see how the fare jumps from 99,000 VND to 504,900 VND. It’s fairly deceiving, but it’s not an uncommon practice. You just need to be aware that what you see isn’t going to be the final price you pay

After filling in passenger details, you see the fare jump again from 504,000 VND to 755,000 VND. The seat selection is automatically chosen for you

As are the luggage and insurance options. You’ll need to remember to turn these off unless you really want them

Vietjet charges you 55,000 VND to process credit card payments, a bit higher than what is charged by others. Nonetheless, they repeatedly declined my Chase credit card, even though it was accepted by Bamboo. It is intriguing because the number of Vietnamese who live in the US and return to travel within Vietnam is significant. Declining a legit American credit card while your competitor accepts it is really mind-blowing. It at least cost them my business with me

Bamboo Airways

Bamboo Airways is a new airline. I have heard both good and bad things about it. Several of my friends praised it for its services while a close friend of mine got delayed for 7 hours on one of her flights. To be fair, she was compensated, but I still want to have it out here for the sake of disclosures

The fare jump in the screenshot below is nothing special or extraordinary. It seems a common practice in this industry

But at least Bamboo keeps the interface fairly clean and doesn’t automatically force extra options on guests

It processed my ticket very quickly and accepted my Chase American credit card without any hussles. 50,000 VND for processing the payment compared to 55,000 VND by Vietjet

Jetstar

Let’s talk about what I think is the worst of the bunch. Jetstar. Common extras and fees on top of the fare, nothing special to complain about here

Like Vietjet, it automatically chooses a luggage option for guests that would force them to pay.

Even after you said no, they still persist. Here, you have to consciously choose the right on the left.

They automatically choose a seat option for guests

After the processing fees, they still want to charge you 15,000 VND for having an itinerary sent to your phone!!!

Vietnam Airlines

Different from other airlines, Vietnamairlines presents the sum of fare and fees.

They do not try to trick you into buying a luggage option. They also have an option for communication via Zalo, which is a popular social media channel in Vietnam. However, they could have removed the news on the right hand side to make it more minimalist and less cluttered

They have several payment options and each comes with some strings attached

  • If you buy a ticket at a Vietnamairlines office, the fees are 100,000 VND per ticket per passenger
  • For collecting the ticket at home, tickets have to be paid for at least 48 hours before the departure time
  • Payment through wire transfers or ATM must be made at least 4 hours before the departure time
  • It seems they only accept cards from domestic banks and payments need to be at least 12 hours prior to departure times

I am pretty annoyed by all the tricks and practices that Vietnamese airlines employ on their website. They can also design the websites to be more user-friendly. Bookings through their own websties are the most profitable as there is no commission to a third party involved.

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