First flight ticket since 2.5 years! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

First flight ticket since 2.5 years!

I have booked a flight ticket after 2.5 years. My last trip was to Muscat in Feb-March 2020 after which a pandemic induced massive disruptions to the travel industry. Many cheap flights I had booked for late 2020, including 512 INR ticket to Kuala Lumpur, 5k ticket from Vizag to Melbourne all went for a toss and I am yet to get any refund from AirAsia for those.

Many of my friends have since started flying domestically and few have also flown abroad. I tried exploring a few potential places I can visit. Only Maldives looks easy under 15k but I have already visited Male and Gan Island.

Nepal, Thailand and Malaysia are also doable within a 20k-25k INR return ticket [details] but I have already visited them and there are additional requirements on covid insurance etc to comply.


I wanted to visit Mauritius and Seychelles (haven’t been to the African continent yet) but return tickets are 50k onwards at present, 2x what I had seen pre-pandemic. Europe also has long visa queue as well. So I decided to wait a bit for these destinations.


At such a time I noticed VietJet Air announcing resumption of flights to Vietnam from India. VietJet is flying from Delhi & Mumbai to Hanoi, Saigon (HCMC) and Phu Quoc, an island in Vietnam. I have already visited Saigon and Hanoi in Vietnam while Pho Quoc island is new to me. So after lots of deliberation, I booked a Mumbai-Phu Quoc return ticket on VietJet for September 2022. Read this post on my Airlineblog for all the details on this cheap ticket.


Round trip to Mumbai-Vietnam cost me about 179 USD + 10 USD in fee and ICICI bank’s higher conversion rate and international transaction charges & GST on transaction charges, costing me a total of 15291.37 INR. This is their cheapest fare type with only 7 kg cabin baggage. Check in bag, meals extra. 

  • The fare is similar irrespective of destination in Vietnam- even if you are flying a bit longer into Hanoi or HCMC, the fare is almost the same.
  • The service is scheduled to start on Sep 9th 2022. Hope everything goes on fine.
  • Need to plan Udupi to Mumbai travel- which is an extra expense- 11k if I take flight, 3k if I take 3rd AC train (all return fares)
  • After factoring various expense- stay, food, travel, local site seeing, I have estimated a per person spending of 40 to 50k all inclusive. Need to see how the trip goes.

Onboard food was 3 USD earlier but suddenly increased to 6 USD. I don’t see a point paying 500 INR for a meal so have not opted for it as of now. 20kg bag costs 19 USD, seat selection 3.7 to 11 USD depending on which seat you select. My plan is to complete the trip in minimum budget.


Reasons for planning this trip were as below

  • Vietnam doesn’t need vaccination certificate or quarantine or RT PCR at this moment
  • One of the few places I could book for under 15k return. Even Mangalore-Delhi return ticket costs more.
  • I have not been to Phu Quoc island in Vietnam. Let me check out.
  • It looked like I can manage 5 day trip with just 2-3 days of leave
  • Badly need to board a plane.. It has been 2+ years...

Risks

There are still some risks with this plan

  • The plane is largely empty as of now with very few seats sold. There is 3 month time but I hope airline doesn’t cancel their plans.
  • Vietjet is resuming Mumbai-PQC flight only from 9th September, 1 week prior to my travel date. If that launch is delayed, my trip also will be spoilt
  • Not sure what will be the covid situation 3-4 months from now. If new rules kick in, new variants etc that may spoil the plan or make the whole trip unviable. Monkeypox has already entered 19 countries!
  • Hopefully the weather won’t spoil the sport. It is the rainy season for both Mumbai and Vietnam in September. Hopefully not so much that the whole day I'll have to spend indoors.
  • While the flight is 15k, after providing for visa, travel to Mumbai, stay, sightseeing etc I am seeing a total expense of 40-50k.
  • I’ve booked a short 3 day trip. VietJet flies only 3 times a week between Mumbai and Vietnam. If the onward flight is canceled and I am put on the next flight, my whole plan will be going for a toss. Hopefully all goes well.
  • My first time with Vietjet- need to see how the experience goes.

VietJetAir is the airline that is featured on my book, World Travel in budget... Hopefully they don't disappoint me.

One friend is joining me so I have some company. As of now I just have to keep waiting and start planning final preparations - visa, hotel booking, Mumbai travel etc by August.


3 comments:

  1. Make that 2 friends joining. Another friend of mine also booked it but he is staying over for 3 more days. One other friend also interested. So we could be 4 :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Shrinidhi, Could you confirm if you got evisa or went without visa? Also provide an update on the trip. My friends and I have booked the same trip in November

    ReplyDelete

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