While I was in Thailand for holidays and to visit my girlfriend, we both decided to head north and to visit Nan for a short weekend as it is an upcoming tourist destination for Thai people itself. We decided to book Thai AirAsia Flight FD 3552 from Bangkok Don Meaung to Nan Nakhon Airport as the time of departure was simply not too early and not too late. While booked like 1.5 weeks prior to the actual flight, I found the prices very steep for a low-cost airline.
Start of the Journey
While Bangkok Suvarnabhumi is connected by train, Bangkok Don Meaung is a little harder to reach, so for me a taxi is pretty mandatory to reach the airport. Not a big deal for a westerner as the taxi prices are usually much lower than what you are used to in Europe obviously.
I did already check-in prior to departure via web and only had to print out my baggage tag to drop off. This is easily done in the domestic terminal to insert your passport details or your airline booking reference no. in one of their electronic counters. Once you have received that tag, you will have to enter a line to drop off your luggage in one of the self-drop off counters.
Just to remind you, but you can only drop off your luggage at a manned station, even though it is promoted as a self-drop off counter with AirAsia…
After ten minutes or so, my baggage was finally gone and off to it's destination. I decided to head up to the food court where you are able to eat breakfast at a very fair price with plenty of choice.
Food was finished and I went ahead to security which goes at a decent pace to clear. It's not really a hassle for domestic flights to be honest and you will end up in a long hallway bringing you to your designated gate.
Even though Bangkok Don Meaung does not really offer you much variety in airlines but Nok Air, AirAsia and Thai Lionair.
A Thai Lionair Boeing 737-900ER bound for Chiang Mai, while an Airbus A320 (HS-ABT) of Thai AirAsia in King Power Livery was taxiing to it's gate after it's arrival from Nan.
Thai AirAsia A320 (HS-ABQ) who was prepping for it's flight to Nakhon Si Thammarat
And here is my aircraft coming in from Chiang Rai. Thai AirAsia Airbus A320 in Yak Cute livery who was going to bring me to Nan Nakhon, Thailand. HS-ABC is a 10.9 year old bird who've only operated for Thai AirAsia in it's career.
I did continue with my spotting for a bit and found a Thai Lionair Airbus A330-300 at the end of the pier and a Nok Air Dash 8-400 passing by for departure.
I did return to my plane and was seated for like five minutes when boarding was initiated. Not really any structure, but people were politely waiting in a long line
The flight attendants were greeting us kindly and I did move up to my seat 8A. The legroom is ok for LCC, but the amount of magazines in your seat pocket is kind of reducing it a lot.
My view for today's flight.
I do not see it often on airliners, but I thought the stowage for luggage was nicely decorated.
While boarding was on-time, we were pushed back slightly late. Off to our runway for our departure.
As we crossed the landing runway, we were lining up for our runway with one departure ahead of us. It gave me a nice opportunity to catch another Dash 8-400 series of Nok Air landing on the parallel runway.
Soon after we were rolling for a northerly departure bound for Nan Nakhon. Not really much to see as it was very cloudy in Bangkok and it did not really improve during the flight until reaching Nan.
So I decided to read the magazine of Thai AirAsia during the 1 hour flight to North Thailand and did not use any of their BoB options.
About 40 minutes in the flight, the cabin crew announced that we were starting our descent into Nan. A little odd is that none of the pilots themselves did report anything to us via speaker and left it all to their flight attendants.
About 50 minutes into the flight, we were established on a very long straight final for the active runway and we could enjoy the scenery around.
The landing was very hard and the pilots did brake very hard upon landing. I rarely had such an uncomfortable landing in an A320. A backtrack was required to exit the runway to our apron.
Once reached to our parking stand, the 2 stairs were quickly moved to our doors to start disembarkation with umbrellas available to grab to protect you from the sun as it was very hard. I did not use this option, but a lot of Thais did.
The terminal is brand new and very clean from inside, but does have a nice look to it with a welcoming sign.
One last look at our plane that took us from Bangkok to here.
As Nan is a very small domestic airport, this airport had only one belt and luggage did not take more than a few minutes to appear on belt. While waiting for your luggage, it does give you a nice overview of the apron, but not much action here except the plane that brought you here.
Thai Air Asia
Bangkok - DMK
Nan - NNT
While I have pleasant times flying with AirAsia as they are definitely one of the better low cost carriers out there, their check-in at Bangkok Don Meaung is tedious. Checkin by web is easy, but you are required to print out your own baggage tag to proceed thereafter to a manned counter, which is being called a 'self drop-off counter'.... While there are more than twenty people in line, 4 out of 5 counters are closed and onle one ground member is there to help us all to drop off...
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