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Lukla flights

Vancouver, Canada
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28 posts
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Lukla flights

Hi everyone, Thanks to all who participate in these forums, incredibly useful. How did people do this before the internet!!!

I have found a few posts on Lukla flights but not the information I was looking for. So here comes more questions on flights to Lukla!

We are flying in to Kathmandu on May 9 and plan on departing for Lukla on May 11, after a couple of days of final purchases and preparations. As far as booking flights from Kathmandu to Lukla:

1) Should we book these in advance, prior to arrival in Nepal? Our accommodation in KTM has offered to help book. Or do we wait until we arrive and book at a local office? Normally I wouldn't wait until so close to departure but wasn't sure about booking through our hotel, paying mark ups on the flights, etc.

2) How much weight can we take on board? I have read 15kg, is that in total per person? or for your primary piece of luggage? I don't want to take any more than necessary but my camera is heavy and will not be travelling in my bag, so trying to get an idea here. We are trekking independently unless we make a last minute decision otherwise.

3) I still can't get an accurate idea of whether to book "return" flights to Lukla and back, using an approximate return date, or to book an "open" ticket for return. Our itinerary is based on approx 18 days, so it's hard to know exactly when we will be back in Lukla. Is there any penalty for making adjustments?

Thanks very much to anyone who can provide advice here. So Bloody excited!!

Sheffield, United...
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1. Re: Lukla flights

Hi

1) Booking the flight on arrival is easy (any travel or trekking agent) and a couple of days should be enough notice at this time of year. There is a possibility of not getting a flight (low-ish season = fewer trekkers = fewer flights) so there is an advantage to booking ahead. The standard cost is $140 per flight so, with this in mind negotiate with the hotel.

2) My understanding is 15kg + 5 kg hand luggage limt (but I haven't flown this route recently). Maybe check the airlines' websites; as I understand it, Tara and Sita have regular flights and Nepal Air flies a couple of times per week. Having said that, websites are often out of date so double-check with whoever you book with.

3) There are different views on this and it's a judgement call:

I suggest estimating the return date and booking the flight. If it needs changing, phone from Namche (or before) if a change is needed. I've read conflicting info about a charge, others will have better information. The advantage over an open return is if flights are cancelled due to adverse weather - more than possible in May; those with a dated ticket closer to the front of the line than those with open tickets. At least that's my understanding of the system...

Good luck.

scoodly

Coral Springs...
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76 posts
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2. Re: Lukla flights

Hi Tristan, if you don't mind me asking, what camera and lenses are you taking? I'm also in a dilemma trying to figure out whether its worth taking my DSLR, 70-200 and a prime lens or just take a fuji XE1.

Cumbria
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3. Re: Lukla flights

Scoodly has already given you some excellent info and the only thing I can add is that as your trek is ending very close to the beginning of monsoon season that you should allow some buffer days to take into account possible delays with your flights die to bad weather closing Lukla

Good Luck

Rob

Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Lukla flights

1 - to be absolutely safe - i say book in advance. may is busy season due to expeditions. work with a good travel agency and they will handle it for you. they may ask for advance. which is fine. blatant and big scams are rare in Nepal for the most part.

2 - flew to lukla with a buddy of mine last oct to do EBC. i had my usual trekking gear and whole set of photography equipments and lenses, and enough (snack) food to feed a small village - and it was no issue at all. between two of us I think we had at least 25 KG each total if not more. we flew Tara Air btw. they fly mostly trekkers like you - so unless you are planning to carry some unusually heavy items not to worry.

3 - by all means book a return flight for a specific date. leave a day or two of buffer. if you arrive at Lukla early and if they have empty seats you can always fly early w/o any penalty or additional costs. key is to stay in of the big lodges near airport. they have lot of pull on deciding who flies if there's a flight scarcity due to bad weather. stay at their lodges, befriend the bartender or owner, buy a cocktail or two – which is what I did to fly few days earlier last Oct.

Edited: 2:13 am, April 11, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
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28 posts
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5. Re: Lukla flights

Thank you everyone for the replies. Great advice, I will look into a couple of things further and take action. The advice on the return trips sounds solid. I have a couple more questions on itinerary fine tuning and purchases in KTM, but I will search more of the forums before asking. Jeromego I feel it would be a travesty of justice if I did not bring my SLR, having hauled it everywhere else I have been around the world. I know I would kick myself the instant we arrived. Unfortunately the 70-200 is staying home, its the heaviest lens and gets used the least overall, and I have 2 more months of travelling after this as well.

Bangkok, Thailand
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6. Re: Lukla flights

wait a munute - you have 70-200 - you are doing a trip of a lifetime and it is staying home??? c'mon. you didn't these buy these just to take sunday after picinic pics did you? i would trade packing anyother thing less. i hauled All of my heavy full frame car zeiss lenses last october doing EBC. they weighed a ton - but i was able to take some decent pictures.

Vancouver, Canada
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28 posts
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7. Re: Lukla flights

Haha, have mercy! you are not making this any easier for me!! I am carrying all my clothing and equipment, and my camera gear, no porter. Plus I am travelling for a further two months through SE Asia after this trek, everywhere I go I am carrying everything. I have to keep it dry, secure, and in one piece. I want to bring some other pieces of equipment, but it is just not possible to bring everything, so something has to give. I hate making this decision, but it has to be made...

adelaide
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1,670 posts
27 reviews
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8. Re: Lukla flights

get a porter

if you can afford all that camera stuff you can afford a porter

they don't care how many photo stops you make

you probably have too many clothes

you can leave anything not needed on trek at hotel in Kathmandu

Vancouver, Canada
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28 posts
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9. Re: Lukla flights

Thanks for the useful responses everyone, very much appreciated!

Slovenia
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19 posts
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10. Re: Lukla flights

Is it possible to fly back from Lukla just to KTH, or is it possible to fly to any other places???

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