RGN-SNW. Quick boarding with allocated seating for 45 minute flight in ATR72 to Ngapali Beach. Good safety briefing before time take off and light snack and drink en route. Pleasant FA's smooth flight and great landing over the surf and through the palm trees to this small exRAF WW11 strip on the Bay of Bengal. Luggage is delivered by handcart to the entrance gates-expect to pay 500kyat per piece.
Flew 2 internal flights in Burma with this local airline. Surprisingly new plane pretty much on time and with very pleasant crews. Also served a good snack gave out towels although flights were only about 45 minutes. Was a bit reticent about using them but very pleasantly surprised.
Flew on four separate legs within Myanmar and found them to be surprisingly good. You don't normally expect catering on flights of under an hour but there was something on all segments. Arrived in good time at Heho Airport for a flight to Yangon and they automatically put me on to an earlier departure. There is a certain amount of third world amateurism about the boarding process but it all seemed to work.
Took two domestic flights on Air Bagan one from Yangon to Bagan and another Mandalay to Yangon. Both flights were with ATR-72 aircraft. The interior of this aircraft was very cramped with hardly any leg space. The aircraft definitely showed its old age. The flight from Mandalay to Yangon was free seated and flight was completely full. The in-flight service was nice and they served savoury croissants and cakes with drinks. Regarding reservations the booking system is fairly tricky. Also the airline requires the passenger to confirm the flights at least 24 hours before departures. Yet the 4 phone lines are constantly busy. For both flights our hotels repeatedly tried calling to no avail. Air Bagan offers value for money because there is hardly any competitive alternative today.
Recently flew throughout Myanmar on the following routes: Yangon-Mandalay-Heho-Mandalay-Nyaung U (Bagan)-Heho-Thandwe-Yangon on their Fokker 100 and ATR72 aircraft. Check-in interesting as there are no computers and everything is weighed manually. Ground crew cordial but not overly friendly. Flight crews were friendly and always helpful. Catering is good for the short flights with croissants and drinks being offered on even the shortest of flights (unthinkable in Europe). Aircraft's were always spotless and comfortable.
Ground service is terrible compared to in the air. Manual check-in process with no computers. This airline seems to be the only one to have a lounge in the domestic terminal in Yangon. Air-conditioned and friendly associates offering a cheese croissant. No bathroom inside so that was a drag. People in Lotus class got a private van to the plane which was nice compared to cramming onto a bus. Onboard the flight was pretty good. The front of the plane is much quieter compared to the back. Their inflight magazine was pretty decent and the english grammatically correct. Even on short flights they gave you food. On my YGN-MDY flight which was about 50 minutes they served a full breakfast. Seats were pretty comfortable on par with United A320 first class seats. I don't really see the need for inflight entertainment on such short flights.
Yangon-Bagan. ATR-72. Decent plane old and tired but as you'd expect from an airline in Burma. There was 1 cabin crew member and the co-pilot. Very pleasant service and a nice cheese croissant for the flight. Completely empty so you could stretch out over two seats which is important for me being 6ft 3.
Chiang Mai to Yangon return and pleasantly surprised by the standard - fairly new aircraft and meal service for 50 minute flight. Flight attendants were somewhat offhand. Reasonable leg room in economy.
Four internal flights in the last three weeks. Three on time one an hour late and this because a party of VIPs decided to turn up an hour after the scheduled take-off time. All flights satisfactory. Planes in OK condition. Even on short flights we were served refreshments. Nothing computerised and the whole process completed manually. When joining flights outside Yangon (the starting point for most flights) there is 'free' seating. This is because the systems are unable to work out which seats are vacated at each stop.
Yangon to Lashio in November 2009 ATR 42 plane. Allocated seating and good snack served with excellent customer service. Would fly with them again any time!
MDL-SND-RGN on ATR . Flights were always in time the planes are modern staff is very pleasant and we felt very safe on board. Check in without problems free seating and even for bigger people sufficient legroom . Would fly again with Air Bagan
RGN-SNW-RGN. Modern ATR 42 aircraft good safety briefing very quick turnaround with seat allocation on way out (70% full) and free seating on return. Aircraft departure on time and luggage off quickly each time. Snack soft drink and tea/coffee on short 45 minute flight. Great views from 16000ft over Irrawaddy plain and Arakan hills and exciting approach over the sea and surf to short landing strip between the palm trees. Good experience.
RGN-HEH and NYU-MDL-HEH-RGN. All flights on time clean planes even the older Fokker 100 a nice in flight snack and very friendly flight attendants. Since I was traveling in the off season most of the passengers were actually local with a few package tourists on the return leg. Boarding passes handwritten you must also show your passport for domestic flights in Myanmar.
Yangon to Heho via Nyaung U in February with Air Bagan very pleasant. Inflight experience good with clean cabins and nice and attentive crew. They served even on this short flight a little breakfast with cold-cuts and cold omelette which was ok. As the previous comment states the problem is rather the infrastructure on the ground. Everything is still very old fashioned with hand written tickets and passenger lists and baggage handled by hand or on trolleys pushed by man as well and power shortage even in public airport areas. Booked through local travel agent who kept us informed of flight changes so saved us the hassle to deal with airline ticket sales directly. As we were on a holiday it was a bizarre but entertaining experience and it felt like what airtravel must have been like 50 years ago.
Yangon-Thandwe(Ngapali)-Yangon. The flights were operated by ATR-42. Seating is not comfortable unless you take an emergency-exit row but on 40-50 minute flight you don't need comfortable seats. Inflight service great. Wet paper towels given to each passenger on the entrance to the plane. The food service was rather interesting - they gave us a chicken sandwich (really tasty) then they brought around some coffee and tea and about 10 minutes later-Cola and Sprite on a tray. Crew were very friendly and polite. Yangon Airport in its domestic part is really not modern with some not- functioning facilities and broken toilets. Thandwe airport is an experience itself! Overall Air Bagan offers excellent reliable service and I will fly it again when visiting a wonderful country Myanmar!
Air Bagan may be Myanmar’s fastest growing airline even having international ambitions but we had the experience they are not really that well organized internally. We booked a number of domestic flights with them and tickets were written out with OK status on February the 12th when we picked them up in their downtown Yangon office. A week later when we checked in at Nyaung U for a NYE-HEH flight Air Bagan staff told us flight AKY-RGN we booked was cancelled and we had to contact Air Bagan in Taunggyi once we arrived in HEH to arrange alternative travel. After arrival in HEH we contacted Air Bagan in Taunggyi who told us no flights were cancelled. We asked them to verify this again and later that night Air Bagan called us we didn’t have to worry and the AKY-RGN flight would certainly fly. A few days later we flew HEH-SNW and as we had a reservation to fly SNW-AKY the next day we once more checked with Air Bagan at SNW airport on the AKY-RGN flight. We now were told AKY-RGN was cancelled as AKY airport would be closed ‘for maintenance’ for several days! The SNW-AKY we booked would still operate but as return flights for the next days would not operate we of course decided to cancel SNW-AKY. Air Bagan didn’t seem to understand why we didn’t want to fly SNW-AKY. Having no return flight from AKY didn’t seem to be an issue for them and they suggested us to buy a full fare SNW-RGN flight. They agreed to refund us the cancelled flights (after paying a cancellation fee) but refund could only be made in the Air Bagan office where we paid the tickets! This would mean we had to go back to downtown Yangon what we hadn’t planned into our travel schedule anymore. After several discussions with Air Bagan staff in SNW and with the help of our hotel manager in Ngapali the next day when we showed up at SNW airport for the SNW-RGN flight local Air Bagan staff appeared to be very helpful and tickets were paid back at SNW airport and fare for the SNW-RGN was ‘Town Office’ and not ‘Published’ full fare. We were very pleased local Air Bagan staff in SNW understood the issue and willing as well to refund us but next time I book a flight with them I’ll think twice.