Flight delays to and from Lukla for Everest base camp trek Nepal
One of the shortest and most popular routes from Kathmandu to Everest base camp is to take a direct flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Then tourist hike to Everest base camp via Namche bazaar. Flight delays are common to and from Lukla airport before and after Everest base camp trek. This article helps you, what to do if the flight delays to and from Lukla for Everest base camp trek Nepal.
Lukla airport and flight delays
The Lukla airport situated at an altitude of 2860 meters. It is surrounded by a stone wall on one end and a cliff face on the other. It is rated one of the most dangerous airports in the world. The runway at the airport is very short, downhill slope and planes have to land by line of sight.
Due to low visibility and adverse weather conditions, flights delays to and from Lukla is quite common. Flying between 6 AM – 10 AM is ideal when the weather is at its best. We advise to book early morning flight as possible.
Alternatives ways of travel to Everest base camp
There are alternatives to flying from Lukla to Kathmandu and returning back. Some tourists find flying to and from Lukla airport daunting. In order to overcome that challenge and also avoid the common flight delays to and from Lukla, some of the popular alternatives route are as follows:
Helicopter flight to Lukla / EBC
It is possible to go to Lukla by helicopter also. It is quite expensive then flight fare but 99% sure. Beside that Helicopter rides can be taken from Kathmandu to the Everest base camp and back to Kathmandu again. However, the more popular and affordable option is to take a ride from Namche to Everest base camp and back.
Drive to Salleri / flight to Phaplu
The tourists can reach Bhandar or Salleri from Kathmandu by road and they can start their trekking to Mt Everest base camp from there. This route will need extra 4-6 days before the trek merges with the main Everest base camp trail at Lukla. The same route can also be taken back to Kathmandu from the base camp.
Jiri to Everest base camp
Tourists can take the route to Jiri from Kathmandu by road and start trekking from Jiri to Everest base camp. The route will take an extra 6-8 days for reach the highest peak base camp. The route until one gets to Lukla is less crowded and offer spectacular views and insights into the Sherpa culture and life. The same route can be taken from the base camp back to Kathmandu.
Lukla to KTM by Helicopter cost (if flight delay after trek)
There are many brokers in Lukla airport to sell the space on helicopter. All hotel owners of Lukla are also happy to take an advantage of bad weather by selling helicopter space in expensive cost. In fact 6 seater helicopter cost is US$ 2700; it means 450 each on sharing basic but It is hard to find the helicopter flight in this price.
It increase according to the number of travelers stock in Lukla Nepal. If you are travelling with reputed company and guide you will get best price and better arrangements.
Lukla to Thulodhunga, Takssindhu or Salleri then drive back to Kathmandu
There are few other options to back Kathmandu from Lukla if you have extra days. When flight delays after Mount Everest base camp trek Nepal you can walk 2 more days to reach Thulodhunga or Taksindhu to catch the jeep for Kathmandu. Trekkers can get jeep in these location during the dry season October to May only.
To reach the Salleri/Phaplu one have to have 3 more days where you get the regular jeep flight to Kathmandu year round. It takes 11 to 12 hrs to reach Kathmandu by bus or jeep from Salleri and 30 minute flight from Phaplu to Kathmandu.
There are many ways to reach Mt Everest base camp depending upon one’s preferences which helps to avoid the flight delays to and from Lukla airport. You can plan and take the alternative routes based on interests and convenience. If you planning via Lukla.
It is advisable to add some extra days to the regular schedule for Everest base camp travel and back. If the flight delays to and from Lukla for Everest base camp trek Nepal extra days are useful to catch-up travel schedule. It helps you to enjoy the journey and a lifetime experience of traveling to the Everest base camp south Nepal.