Quick company intro
One of the few Thai budget airlines based in Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Smile began operations in 2012 and is partly owned by Thai Airways. Thai Smile flies to destinations across Asia, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar.
Routes served by Thai Smile
For all Thai Smile services, those aged over two years old are required to pay for a full price ticket. If you're travelling with infants under two, you'll need to pay around 30% of the fare for them.
There is plenty of choice for those flying from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to other airports across Thailand. There are around five flights a day to Chiang Mai between 07.00-22.15, priced at around THB1,300. Phuket and Krabi are similarly well served with five and three departures daily, at around THB1,400.
If you'd prefer to explore Thailand and have your heart set on visiting one of the stunning islands in the south of the country then Thai Smile can help. The “Smile Transfer Service” can transport you to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan for around THB2,000, which includes the flight from Suvarnabhumi to Surat Thani airport, an air conditioned coach to Donsak and then a catamaran to whichever island you wish to book. There's one departure per day from Bangkok to each island, with the trip taking five hours to Koh Samui and almost six hours to Koh Phangan.
If you want to head across the border to neighbouring Malaysia there are flights every day to both Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Departures to KL cost around THB3,500, taking under 3 ½ hours, whilst tickets for the shorter journey to Penang are usually priced at around THB3,000. Both scheduled flights leave in the evening at 18.25 and 19.25 respectively.
Short international flights to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are also available. There are two departures each day to Siem Reap at 07.25 and 18.50, with four each week heading to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh (13.50). Both flights cost about THB2,800. There are also four flights per week to Luang Prabang (usually scheduled at 12.25) and one every day leaving for Yangon at 13.15. Tickets for both destinations are often priced around THB2,800.
Further afield, there are regular flights to India and Bangladesh which is uncommon for regional budget airlines. With five flights each week to Jaipur, it's now easier than ever to see the famous Taj Mahal which is nearby. Flights depart from Bangkok at 22.05, with the 4 ¾ hour journey costing about THB4,800. There are also three flights per week to Gaya, taking around 6 ½ hours and priced around THB8,500. Departures to Chittagong in Bangladesh usually cost THB4,000 with two or three scheduled during each week.
There are several destinations in China that are served by Thai Smile three times a week. Tickets to Zhengzhou and Changsha cost around THB4,100 and THB4,400 respectively with several departures week to choose from.
Firstly, Thai Smile include 20kg of checked baggage in the fare, saving you costly fees at the airport or having to pay for this separately, as is the case with many budget airlines. Before you arrive at the airport it is also possible to upgrade to the “Smile Plus” service where you'll receive an allowance of up to 30kg of luggage to check-in.
Thai Smile also offer complimentary meals and drinks for all passengers, regardless of ticket type. The most impressive thing is the range of meals on offer, there really is something to cater for every diet or requirement, including vegan, halal and gluten free meals. The flights all have on-board entertainment as well, the perfect way to accompany your meal!
Finally, but hugely important to those with an international connecting flight, is the fact that Thai Smile fly from Suvarnabhumi Airport rather than Don Mueang. This is really useful as it will save you a trip across notoriously hectic Bangkok to catch your next flight, saving you precious time, not to mention stress!
The fares may be a little more expensive than some of their competitors across the region but this is often worth paying for to fly from Suvarnabhumi Airport, especially if you're staying close by or have limited time to catch a connecting flight. After all, you don't want to miss it and have to pay a small fortune to purchase a new ticket.
There are reports that luggage is fairly slow to arrive, something that can add stress if you on a tight schedule. However, in fairness, this is probably more down to the ground staff at Suvarnabhumi Airport rather than Thai Smile staff so there is little that can be done about this, apart from factor in as much additional time as possible for delays.
Keep in mind
The loyalty scheme “Royal Orchid Plus” allows you to build up points on both Thai Smile and Thai Airways flights to use towards future discounts or even free flights. Similarly, the “Smile Pass” that you can select upon booking offers great deals on restaurants, shops, attractions and activities across Thailand. There is a great range of offers including discounts on car hire, complimentary drinks, free gifts and hotel room upgrades.
What travellers say
The best thing about Thai Smile is the fact that the airline is based in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, allowing easy connections to Europe, the US and Australia as well as many other destinations. The vast majority of budget airlines operating across Thailand are based at Don Mueang International Airport so you will have to transfer across the city, which will usually cost a fair amount and will no doubt take longer than planned.
Customers are routinely impressed by the quality of the complimentary meals, with an option for every dietary requirement you can think of. Like the offer of complimentary baggage allowances, tasty airline food is an alien concept to many frequent travellers!