Low Cost Airline Review – Thai Lion Air

Thai LionAir seems to be one of the lesser known low cost airlines around, at least it seems like that when talking to other expats here. Thai LionAir has quite a large variety of destinations at their disposal though and is, it seems, opening more routes as we speak. After having (had to) used them a lot for flights towards the South of Thailand, here is my review of Thai LionAir.


Similar to AirAsia and unfortunately unlike my experience with Scoot, all the flights I took with Thai LionAir have been in rather small planes which were just uncomfortable af. Once the seat even rocked a bit back and forth during the whole flight and another time the aircon was dripping and the ‘fix’ provided by the crew, squashing as many tissues in there as possible, surprisingly, didn’t really turn out to be a viable long term solution. Call it bad timing or coincidence but all this led me to never enjoy any of the numerous Thai LionAir flights I had to take.


Here’s now something weird. The crew I encountered on the ground acted vastly different to the crew on the plane. Not only once, but on several occasions. Not really sure why, but it was always a pretty obvious difference. The staff on the ground mostly behaved very friendly and welcome, no matter the airport, while the crew on the plane, at least some of the crew members, acted in rather condescending manners (as describe in my previous Thai LionAir article). Therefore I, to this day, never am looking forward to flying with Thai LionAir.

Ticket / Check-In / Online Experience

Unless something has changed since I last used Thai LionAir, their mobile app was kind of a joke. If you clicked on ‘manage’ your booking fore example it would simply open the website which wasn’t mobile optimized. Therefore the online check-in is often times not working and check-in at the airport can be a pain in the ass due to long waiting times. As mentioned above though, at least the staff there tries to be nice. The lack of a working online environment is rather unfortunate though and leaves a negative taste to this review of Thai LionAir.

Do you agree with this review? Or do you have different experiences?

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at
Sascha is the publisher of and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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  • Machima Anantanasan

    When mention about low cost airline, I always think about Air Asia. This is the first time I heard about Thai Lion Air and the feedback convinces me to believe that I should continue using Air Asia, lol. I cannot agree or disagree with the review because I have never traveled with this airline but thank you for the information, I can be more careful when I look for low cost airline next time.

  • May Chiranakorn

    I was having used Thai LionAir several times due to the fact that it fits my schedule the best! Even though their service is not that good but I think that it’s acceptable with the price which is cheaper than any other airlines. But in my opinion, I always get a great trip with Thai LionAir!

  • Ananda Chuensomsong

    This sounds like a total night mare. I am not a fan of flying on airplanes since I’m a big guy so any economy class flights would always crack me but learning from your article, this might be the worst of all. Thank you for your recommendation(lol)

  • Fin Kasi

    I have actually used Thai Lion Air before when I flew to Chiangmai with my teammates for a basketball tournament. From what I recall, the check-in was quite normal, maybe because of our Thai citizenship (which usually makes it quicker?) and that we were travelling in a large group. I don’t really remember the attendant’s attitude but I think it was ok. The plane itself of course was super small but tolerable since we only had to be on it for an hour. Overall I think it’s good for the price that you pay, but what can you expect from budget airlines! :P

  • Eve Supmee

    I have never fly with Thai Lion Air tho, but what you experience was quite bad. I really enjoy if the seat is comfortable and stable, also with the cabin crew. If they nice and friendly it would be a good flight with happiness since they have to take care of customer for the whole flight. But unfriendly crew was not a good experience, I would rather not to experience that.

  • Benjapol Juntharee

    I heard of Lion Air before and saw its poster on the BTS but never use their service. The price was cheap. I was almost using this airline but after reading this I might change my mind. But, still, it might not be all of the staffs are bad.

  • Tanapa Pongpilasarn

    I have ever flew with Thai Lion Airline once when I visited Chiangmai last year. It was OK, not sooo good but not bad either. The price was great in that time, that’s why I booked the ticket from Thai Lion Air. I think their services are ok if camparing with the price. lol

  • Jenny Chen

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Recently, I have been looking at a lot of low cost airplanes because I want to travel with budget. At first, I was looking at Thai Lion Airline for flying to Chiangmai because the price is cheaper than other companies. However, after reading your article, I am probably going to change my mind now. I don’t like to fly on a small jet plane because I am afraid that I would fall down. Not only that, the plane seems to be not as safe as the other airlines. LOL.

  • Arinrada Boonarchathong

    I’ve fly with this airline before, I think the quality of this airline is reasonable to the price of the ticket. I flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the ticket cost less than 1,000 baht. I did not get any problem during the flight but I agreed with the uncomfortable seat. lol I think my flight was okay, not very good but it’s not that bad, actually.

  • Mew Sorasesakun

    This airline was launched for years that quite new for Thai people to choose in their options. As my experience flying with this airline was really nice because the cost of flight is good to catch up when compare to other low cost airline that exclude cost of luggage but this airline allowance is 15 kg free of charge.

  • Pudd Pud

    In my opinion, Thai Lion Air is cheap when you want to save your money for traveling and it will be cheaper if you book the ticket before your vacation for one or two months. However, low cost always come with low standard. My suggestion is try to sleep, do not care anything until you arrive your destination and forget it 55555.

  • That’s exactly what I try most of the time ;-)

  • I used Thai LionAir around 10-12 times I believe, I always survived ;-) So I do trust that they are safe enough to operate, I just didn’t feel very welcome by their staff.

  • Kimkreme Asawa

    I also have a chance to take a flight by Loinair for chiangrai trip and that was good like in the price and other additional that you don’t have to add that much if you didn’t take it more than 15kg… for the seat that you said it uncomfortable and I think that it may not design for foreigner that may havw the size of bone that bigger than asia part and I hope that they will make it better soon as we are country for travelling. Thanks for sharing the experiences:)

  • Catty Methayanunt

    Thanks for sharing a really useful information, I was about to book Thai Lion Air to Northern Thailand as it is a promotion time, but luckily I have change my mind to AirAsia instead. Then I saw lots of people posting on their Facebook complaining the same problems as yours about the seats and the services. However, as it is a low cost flight then you should know that it would come up with low standard quality, which I think it is reasonable with the price that you paid.

  • Moné Pusanisa

    I’ve been travel with Thai Lion Air several time due to the fact that it often be the first result on Traveloka when searching for the cheapest flight. I never notice how low quality it is that might be because I spent 99% of my time on the plane sleeping. Thx for sharing anyways today I’ll fly to Chiang Mai but this time with Nokair so now I can have the new experience with another airline.

  • Ginni Kiatfuengfoo

    I recently have once experience flying with Thai Lion Air to Chiang Mai. Since their ticket give me the best deal on both time and price. I also got the small plane and I do understand what do you mean by uncomfortable. I totally agree with you by the crew! I was quite impress from the staffs on the ground that they are very friendly and helpful, but the crews on the plane were different. It seems like no one of them can see me when I try many times to asking them for anything. Anyways, How much we can expect from low cost, right? If you have got a great deal and it took you just short period of time, so why not :-)