My wife and I are planning on booking a domestic flight on Thai Air (Bangkok–>Phuket) but we’re having a tough time figuring out how early we should arrive at the airport. The Thai Air website is little help, offering only this:
We are transferring straight from the train station (Hua Lumpong) to the airport and need to make sure we give ourselves enough time for the transfer and check-in, but we’re not sure what to make of these instructions. So if our flight’s at 10 and we arrive at 9:35 we can’t check in? Do all check-ins occur at the same place, so we have to stand in line with later flights? How busy is Bangkok Airport and this airline in particular?
We’ve e-mailed the airline, but we have to purchase our ticket tonight to insure we get the lower rate so we’re not certain we’ll get a response in time. So, can any Thai Dopers (or Dopers who’ve travelled in Thailand often enough) provide some advice or assistance? Thanks.
From memory, (I’ve flown Thai many times internationally but not so many times domestically) there are distinct check-in areas designated for particular flights or perhaps a range of flights.
I don’t remember having to be any more than an hour early for the domestic flight from Bangkok to Phuket because I am rarely much more than that early for an international flight.
The general rules posted on websites by any airline should always be taken with a grain of salt and this applies even more so to things in Thailand. I would not worry too much about the check-in counter being closed at any time until the flight has finished boarding and the plane is taxiing towards the runway.
I was held up flying Bangkok - Ho Chi Minh with Thai because of an old idjut in front of me (long story), and was shot across the tarmac at high speed on my own in a bus. They held the plane for me. Despite the trouble I had, Bangkok Airport has always seemed surprisingly efficient to me, and the airline is quite a good one. I don’t think you’ll need to worry too much.
Great! Music to my ears. Thanks so much for the perspectives; Mrs. AG & I are very excited about our vacation and are glad that thing promise to be fairly problem-free logistically speaking.
Yeah, but the real problem is not the time frames, the real problem is the taxi from the train station to the airport. How can I say this nicely…they do things differently in Aisa.
If you hear the saying " Mai pen rai" look out! As cute as “It’s all good” may sound in Thai, it can also be translated as " Yeah, yeah, you’ll get there when you get there."
Go ahead and contract your ride with one of the larger touts located in the DMZ type area between the airport proper and the outside world. If you don’t ally yourself there you’ll enter a fray you won’t believe. In other words , if there’s a time crunch, don’t try to save ten bucks and end up missing your flight. The airport is quite a ways from the train station.
Tip the driver in advance, and be nice. compliment his car (in Thai) and all that crap. Remember, they do things differently in Thailand.
One more thing, learn as much Thai as you can, they really appreciate it when you show interest.
Got that turned around, better to see the storefront touts in the train station.