Partly owned by Thai Airways, Nok Air was founded in 2004. Based in Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, the airline flew its first international flight in 2007. Nok Air mostly focuses on operating domestic Thai flights, serving the most domestic routes of any carrier in Thailand (23!).
There are 30 planes in Nok Air’s fleet, with a maximum capacity of 189 passengers. Nok Air is also the parent company of NokScoot, along with Singapore-based Scoot. This airline mainly serves destinations in China.
Nok Air has an incredibly useful “Low Fare” section on its website, allowing you to find the very cheapest fares on offer at that time. These are often promotional rates so can alter with little notice. The below prices are based on flights from Don Mueang International Airport using this search function.
Nok Air specialises in domestic routes across Thailand, flying to every major airport across the country. If you're planning on heading to Chiang Mai from Bangkok then there are seven services each day between 07.00-20.15 making the one-hour journey. Flights are sometimes priced as low as THB450.
Visitors wanting to travel to the famous beaches in the south of the country can fly to either Krabi (once per day at 10.05) or Phuket. There are eight scheduled flights per day to Phuket between 05.00-20.00, lasting under two hours. Prices to both destinations from Bangkok are around THB450.
It's possible to fly with Nok Air to some of the Thailand’s neighbouring countries, like Myanmar and Vietnam. There are two flights to Ho Chi Minh City every day, leaving at 07.00 and 18.00 and take just 1 ½ hours. Also, there are eight departures each week to Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, with a flight time of around two hours. Tickets to either destination can cost as low as THB340. Myanmar’s Yangon is particularly well served too. There are three flights each day heading there (06.45, 10.00 and 19.00) sometimes costing just THB230 for the 1 ¾ hour journey.
As part of their domestic offering, Nok Air also provides highly useful “Fly’n’Ride” and “Fly’n’Ferry” services. These combination packages allow you to purchase a flight as well as any coaches or ferries you might require to get to your destination.
The “Fly’n’Ferry” ticket will include all transfers to the Thai island of your choosing from Bangkok and only requires one booking. The deal is available to Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe, Koh Ngai, Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao. There are six departures per day from Bangkok to Koh Samui, between 06.00 and 14.05, usually priced from around THB1,400 for the approximately five hour trip. There are the same number of departures heading to Koh Phangan, priced at THB1,600 and seven each day to Koh Tao (THB1,800). There is also one departure per day to both Koh Lanta (07.30) and Koh Phi Phi (10.05), both taking around five hours and costing THB1,600.
Nok Air’s “Fly’n’Ride” ticket works in a similar way. From Bangkok you can reach a wide range of destinations within Thailand and even Vientiane, by using a combination of flights and air-conditioned coaches. For example, if you want to head direct to the beach near Krabi, it's possible to book this whole trip at once so a coach will be waiting for you at Krabi Airport. Similarly, if you're planning on visiting Khao Sok National Park, you can fly from Don Mueang International Airport to Surat Thani and then finish the journey by coach. Both destinations are priced at around THB1,000.
There are three “Fly’n’Drive” departures to Vientiane in Laos each day (at 06.00,10.00 and 12.20) where you will first fly to Udon Thani before crossing the border by coach and completing the trip to Vientiane. This should take less than five hours and often costs around THB1,200.
Most importantly, you get 15kg of checked baggage included in your ticket. This isn't the case with many of their competitors and can often substantially increase the overall cost of a ticket, so knowing that it is included in the fare is very helpful and excellent value for money. Bear in mind that this doesn't apply if you purchase a promotional fare from Nok Air, although these are often such a good deal that it can be worth paying extra for bags anyway.
Another nice touch is that once on-board you will receive complimentary snack and drink, something that travellers used to European budget airlines will be very pleasantly surprised by. The food and drink available for sale on these flights is pretty competitively priced as well.
Nok Air also offer Asia’s first free on-board wifi! This is particularly helpful if you need to book accommodation for when you arrive or if you want to find out what transport options are available. Or you can just use it to keep yourself occupied throughout the flight.
Although Nok Air does offer a premium service, it is often not worth paying extra for this as the service is usually the same as experienced by those with an economy ticket. There is no real priority boarding or baggage service as you’ll board with everyone else and be waiting the same amount of time for your bags to arrive at the other end.
Nok Air has been named as a finalist in the “Low-cost Airline” category in the latest On-time Performance Service Award by FlightStats, a leader in global flight information services, so you know you will receive high quality service for your money.
For those travelling with young children, there is a THB300 fee for infants (under two), whilst children aged over two years old will have to pay for a full-priced ticket.
Customers are delighted with the excellent value for money offered by Nok Air, with many frequent flyers only choosing this airline whenever possible. The staff often do the extra mile to improve your trip whenever possible, such as helping to speed you through the terminal if you have to make a connection.