This is the most convenient way to enter Vietnam. Formalities at Vietnam's international airports are generally smoother than at land borders, as volume of traffic is greater.
Network of Airports in Vietnam
For both International and Domestic flights: Noi Bai (35km northwest of Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat (in Ho Chi Minh City), Danang (in Danang city).
For Domestic flights only (North to South): Muong Thanh (in Dien Bien), Son La (in Son La), Cat Bi (in Hai Phong), Vinh (in Nghe An), Phu Bai (in Hue), Pleiku (in Pleiku), Buon Ma Thuot (in Buon Ma Thuot), Cam Ranh (in Nha Trang), Dalat (in Dalat), Can Tho (in Can Tho) and Phu Quoc (in Phu Quoc island).
For international flights
Cities having direct flights to Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airport includes: Bangkok, Beijing, Franfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Osaka, Paris, Phnom Penh, Pusan, Seoul, Siem Reap, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Vientiane.
If entering through Danang airport, you can only fly from Bangkok.
If there's no direct flight to Vietnam, the best way is taking a flight to Bangkok or Hong Kong and gets a connecting flight on arrival. You can either stay there several days for leisure (recommended for shopping) before flight to Vietnam. As they are two greatest hubs of Southeast Asia (many flights daily), you can depart at flexible time and have significant savings on ticket prices.
Below are some major airliners flying to and from Vietnam which you can search for information and reservation:
Domestic flights are operated by Pacific Airlines (airline code: BL - www.pacificairlines.com.vn) and Vietnam Airlines (mostly), the state-owned flag carrier with modern fleet of Airbuses and Boeings. They offer a lot of daily flights and give many options for air travel throughout the country. But due to the low infrastructure, flights are always overbooked and cannot be reserved overseas. Cancellation and late flight are common.
As they're our only choices in Vietnam, you'd better have a travel agent to book and secure domestic flights and keep informed on its status. Check the domestic flights here Vietnam Airlines Timetable 2006
Depended on airliners' policy, when you are in Vietnam, you should reconfirm the tickets 48 hours or 24 hours prior departure time to avoid any delay or cancellation or unsecured seat (automatically cancelled by system). Please check with ticket seller whether your tickets are required to do or not. Reconfirmation can be done at any their booking offices in Vietnam. Normally, your travel agent in Vietnam will do it as it takes a bit time.
Hanoi: 1 Quang Trung Str., Hanoi, tel: (84-4) 832-0320
Saigon: 116-118 Nguyen Hue Blvd., tel: (84-8) 829-2118
Jestar Pacific Airlines
Hanoi: 152 Le Duan Str., tel: (84-4) 518-1503
Saigon: 77 Le Thanh Ton Str., District 1, tel: (84-8) 823-1285