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Know Before You Go: Booking Flights in Myanmar

Now that you’ve got your visa taken care of (and if you haven’t, read about how to here), you’ll need to set up your flights. Unfortunately, setting up flights in Myanmar isn’t quite as straightforward as I’d hoped.

 

Planning

With the e-visa, there are three airports you can fly into as your point of entry to Myanmar: 

1. Yangon International Airport
2. Mandalay International Airport
3. Nay Pyi Taw International Airport

If you’re headed to, say, Bagan for temples or Ngapali for the beaches, you’ll need to connect through one of those airports to get to your destination. 

 

Getting to Myanmar is easy enough – many international carriers (Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates) fly to Yangon from their hubs, as do smaller airlines (Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, and Jetstar), but in order to get to the smaller airports, you’ll have to book a flight on a domestic airline. There is no shortage of available carriers, but don’t expect to be able to book on Expedia or Orbitz. You’ll have to (attempt to) book directly with the airline or with a travel agent. 

You’ll find that the most international flights fly into Yangon (RGN) of the three airports. From there, you can pick from several domestic airlines. Some airlines I looked at include:

 

Booking Directly

I settled on flying Air KBZ since their schedule best aligned with mine. I priced out the tickets on the website and they came out to about $240 round trip, including tax. It sounded a little steep for a flight this about an hour long. I was about to pay for it when I noticed payment was processed by a third party called 2C2P. For some reason, paying through an (unfamiliar to me) external website pushed me to consider shopping around to see how much it would cost with a travel agent.

 

Booking with a Travel Agent

I had two experiences booking with a travel agent. The first was based in Singapore. They offered tickets at the same price as the Air KBZ website, so I went ahead and booked 2 roundtrip tickets from Yangon (RGN) to Bagan (NYU). Though helpful, waiting a few weeks, the agency was unable to issue our e-tickets, so I cancelled the tickets.

I decided to try a Myanmar-based agency called Asia Pearl Travels. I sent my preferred itinerary to them by email and they responded within 24 hours asking for our passport information, which would allow them to hold our tickets. The tickets were about $30 cheaper than purchasing directly from the airline – even with the 6% charge to cover Paypal and administrative fees. Once the tickets were held, they send over a Paypal link, through which I paid for the tickets. One day later, they confirmed our tickets and sent our e-tickets.

 

The Takeaway

In the end, booking through the agency worked best for me, in terms of pricing and convenience. And in case you’re wondering – our ticket were issued to us at the airport with no issue.

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