Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok is easily one of the coolest transport hubs in the world, it really looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie. In fact Bangkok’s international airport has such a unique design that in 2012 it became the most photographed place in the world on Instagram. Everyone wants a picture of Suvarnabhumi airport, with its long tubular corridors made from glass and steel.
Around 50 million passenger travel through Suvarnabhumi Airport every year, and as well as being the international arrival point for Thailand it is also a transfer airport for South East Asia. Bangkok international airport is located 16 miles outside town, but it is easy to get to Bangkok city centre, either via the airport link or via taxi – although be warned that traffic jams are likely during peak hours.
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Arrival and Departure - What to Expect
Transit passengers will need to proceed to the airline checkpoints located on the same floor of Bangkok Airport. If you have many hours to spare until your next flight and would like to catch up on sleep, proceed to the fourth floor (do not pass through Immigration) and check yourself into the Louis Tavern Dayrooms located in Concourse G. Here, you will be charged the rate of 2,200-2,400 baht every four hours (contact call centre at +66 2132 1888).
All departures at Bangkok Airport are handled at the airline check-in counters located on the fourth floor of the Departure Terminal. Domestic check-ins are from Rows B to C. Row A is dedicated to Thai Airways’ Royal First Class and Royal Silk passengers. For international departures, proceed to Rows D to W. Always be prepared to arrive at least two-and-a-half hours before international departures or 80 minutes before domestic departures.
From approaching airplanes, Bangkok International Airport appears as a giant double cross rising from a vast expanse of marshland. Your arrival at the main terminal building may be through a terminal gate or bus gate, depending on your airline and flight route. For bus gates, you will be brought to within a few hundred metres of Immigration (located on the second floor) whereas via the terminal gates, you may have to walk for quite a bit before getting to Immigration.
Transit passengers will need to proceed to the airline checkpoints located on the same floor. If you have many hours to spare until your next flight and would like to catch up on sleep, proceed to the fourth floor (do not pass through Immigration) and check yourself into the Louis Tavern Dayrooms located in Concourse G. Here, you will be charged the rate of 2,200-2,400 baht every four hours (contact call centre at +66 2132 1888).
All departures are handled at the airline check-in counters located on the fourth floor of the Departure Terminal. Domestic check-ins are from Rows B to C. Row A is dedicated to Thai Airways’ Royal First Class and Royal Silk passengers. For international departures, proceed to Rows D to W. Always be prepared to arrive at least two-and-a-half hours before international departures or 80 minutes before domestic departures.
Getting to Your Hotel from Bangkok Airport
Bangkok Car Rental
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Bangkok Airport Link
The Airport Rail Link is a smart alternative to the airport’s express buses or taxis. The two SA Express routes can get you to the airport (or downtown) in 15-18 minutes.
Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfer Services
Convenient, reliable and safe, Bangkok Transfer Services provide a comfortable ride to the airports as well as other major destinations in and out of Bangkok.
Fast Track Services
Get from the arrival gate, through immigration and customs to your limousine without standing in line – and in less than 20 minutes! You will be ready to leave the airport in no time.
Shuttle between Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang
Other Transport Options
The Airport Shuttle Service is available free of charge for passengers commuting inside Bangkok Airport. The Express Line runs between the main terminal building (Entry Gate 5 of both the Arrival and Departure Halls) to the Public Transport Terminal. There are four other local lines that make stops throughout the airport. Service is available 24 hours. For more information, call +66 2132 9532.
Metered Taxi (or Taxi Meter)
From the Arrival Hall on the second floor, you will need to take an elevator down to the first floor to find the designated taxi stands at Entry Gate 4. Simply queue up and tell your final destination to the booth officer, then a taxi driver will escort you to his vehicle. Please note that you need to pay the driver an extra 50 baht courtesy fee, on top of all toll way fees and the final taxi fare. Taken all these fees into account, it should cost you a total of 350-400 baht for a 40-minute ride to downtown Bangkok. Service is available 24 hours.
Airport Express Bus
The Airport Express Bus, at 150 baht flat rate, is probably the best deal if you are heading to one of the destinations along the four available routes: Silom Road, Sukhumvit Road, Khaosan Road and Hualampong Railway Station. The journey should take about 45 minutes. For detailed route information, contact the service counter located on the first floor, at Entry Gate 8. The service runs from 05:00 to 24:00 daily.
Most travellers consider this a rip-off. However, if you prefer a first-class car journey, this is the only way to go. From the arrival hall, locate the nearest service counter (all located on the same floor), and choose from the eight available vehicles. The rates vary according to the type of vehicle and the distance. For a 40-minute trip to downtown Silom, Rajathewi, Sukhumvit or Phayathai, the flat rates start from 950 baht in an Isuzu MU-7 to 1,200 baht in a Toyota Commuter or London-style cab to 2,200 baht in a BMW 7 Series. Service is available 24 hours.
If you don’t mind a little hassle and have time to spare, public buses are the cheapest way to get downtown. Outside the Arrival Hall, at Entry Gate 5, locate the Airport Shuttle Service stand and hop on the express shuttle to get to the Public Transport Centre located outside the main terminal building. Choose your bus from one of the 11 available routes. The rates are 24–35 baht, depending on the distance. Each bus makes from six to eight stops along the way, so the journey will take more than one hour. Please note that only some routes operate 24 hours.
Compared to public buses, these vans make fewer stops and offer a little more comfortable ride. You will need to take the express airport shuttle service to the Public Transport Centre. Choose from the nine available routes. Rates range from 25-70 baht. Please note that most routes do not operate 24 hours. Car Rental You will find Avis, Hertz, Budget, National and Master car rental counters at the International Arrival Hall (between Entry Gates 7 and 8). Service is available 24 hours.
Money exchange counters and ATMs are located along the three walls of the Departure Hall (fourth floor) and everywhere throughout the Arrival Hall (second floor), all open 24 hours and provide acceptable rates. You will also find a few on the third floor, at both ends of the hallway. Banks can be found the western end of the Departure Hall (open 24 hours) and the third floor.
If you need to leave your bags in a secure place, the deposit counter operated by Chubb is your safest bet. Rates start from 100 baht for 24 hours, then 50 baht per every extra hour. You can find Chubb deposit counters at the International Departure Hall (behind Row P) and the Domestic Arrival Hall (Entry Gate 4). Service is available 24 hours.
Parking at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Short- and long-term parking is available at Bangkok International Airport. Car Parks 2 and 3, for short-term use, are indoors and located opposite the main terminal building. The fifth floor of both Car Parks connects directly to the third floor of the airport terminal (Entry Gates 3 and 8, respectively). Parking fees are relatively expensive, at 50 baht for two hours and go up to 250 baht for seven hours or more. Adjacent to Car Parks 2 and 3, the outdoor Car Parks 1 and 4 provide additional parking spaces when needed.
The long-term car park is outdoors and located opposite the Public Transport Centre, which is a way off from the main terminal building. If you park here, you will need to take the internal airport shuttle (free of charge) to get to the airport terminal. Parking fees start from 20 baht per hour and go up to 140 baht per day.
For international departures, you are no longer required to pay the airport tax at one of the vending machines located in front of Passport Control. The 700 baht tax is already included in the price of your air ticket.
Communications, IT & Postal Services at Bangkok Airport
Internet kiosks, web phones and local and international pay phones are available throughout the airport. International and local phone cards are for sale at Family Mart. Local mobile phone operators – DTAC, AIS, TRUE – have pre-paid SIM cards for sale and phone rentals are available at their service counters located at the International Arrival Hall (Entry Gates 5-7).
The CAT Telecom shop at the International Departure Hall (behind Row U) provides Internet and general business services. The Internet rate is 100 baht/20 min, 200 baht/40 min, and 300/1 hr. Photocopying, faxing and printing is 10 baht per page. Local and international calling cards are also for sale, at 100, 300, 500, and 1,000 baht each. Service is available 24 hours.
Departing passengers who have passed through Passport Control and who are inside the Passenger Hold Room can connect to the Internet via one of the 126 Internet kiosks with a CAT logo on it. This service is free, but only for 15 minutes per connection.
WLAN Internet Hotspots
Free wireless Internet access is available once you are inside the Passenger Terminal, but only for 15 minutes per connection. You can obtain a username and password from any Information Desk located inside the International Departure and Arrival Halls. Outside the Passenger Terminal, you need to buy a WLAN card (one card = 250 baht = one hour of browsing time) from a Kingpower kiosk or service counter displaying the WLAN logo.
Located at the International Departure Hall, next to the CAT Telecom shop, the Post Office operates a small kiosk for EMS, packages, stamps and general postal services. The Western Union booth is also here. (Post Office: open 24 hours; Western Union: open 08:30 – 16:30, Monday-Friday.)
Eating & Drinking at Bangkok Airport
When it comes to grabbing a bite, you will not be disappointed with the choices available on the third floor. Here, you will find everything from a healthy burger, a Thai bistro and sushi bar to gourmet coffee, dim sum and Italian pizzas. If you are not prepared to pay these prices, swing by The Miracle Food Village, located near Entry Gate 5, for relatively cheaper fare.
Shopping at Bangkok Airport
If shopping is your favourite pastime, you will love it here at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. There is everything from designer brands to luxury labels to local handicrafts. With more than 270 retail shops dotting the International Departure and Arrival Halls as well as Transit Hall (on third floor), you will find limitless possibilities when it comes to last-minute browsing or simply window shopping.
A shopping tip: if you plan to buy local handicrafts at the airport, be prepared to pay at least twice the price you would normally pay downtown or upcountry. For imported goods, such as liquor, brand-name luxury products, cosmetics or perfume, go right ahead – you’ve already got the best deal in town here.
Other Services and Facilities
- Hair Salon
- Spa and Massage
- Information Desks
- Medical Care (provided by Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital and Bumrungrad International)
- Pharmacies and Mini-marts
- Tour Service
- Muslim Prayer Rooms
- Monks’ Reception Room
- Luggage Wrapping Service
- Book and Magazine Kiosks
- Souvenir Shops
- Meeting Points
- Smoking Areas
- Transit Hotels
- VAT Refund for Tourists
- Lost and Found