The new Bangkok Airport, Suvarnabhumi, is slated to open on September 28. In the travel section of today's The Nation (English language Bangkok daily newspaper) an article has this to say about horrible new way they are going to handle the taxi service:
"Once baggage has been collected and customs cleared, passengers can go to the third floor..from there they can catch a shuttle bus to the taxi stand some six kilometers away. This is a major change for Bangkok flyers. Taxi drivers are not allowed to wait outside. Those dropping off passengers must leave the terminal immediately."
The article doesn't mention the Airport Bus service and whether or not passengers will have to take a shuttle to get to that, also. I have a feeling that's going to be another potential hassle. Overall, this new airport sounds like a very attractive headache. Give me good old Don Muang again!
The new Suvarnabhumi Airport is huge!! It boasts the world's largest single passengers terminal, and the world's tallest flight control tower. And it is built ready for the A380 to land.
I was in one of the first (domestic) commercial flights flying to and from the new Suvarnabhumi Airport on 29 July 2006. Everything was quite smooth regarding the flight operations, except the food/drink outlets - there were a few on that day and could not meet the demand of passengers! There are many, and many more booths and shops that are under intensive preparartion to be ready for the official opening day. Hope that they add more food/drink shops (like in Hong Kong Airport), not just too many souvenir shops as in the old BKK airport at Don Muang. (We cannot eat souvenir when hungry!!)
It seemed that it was faster to travel from central BKK to the new airport than that to the old one - especially those who can access to the new road to Chon Buri (motorway). Once you can get into the motorway, it is just a short ride to the airport. We left Bangkapi area by taxi and it took us less than 1 hour to arrive at the airport. Amazing! But don't take my words as traffic congestion in BKK is very unpredictable and has no mercy to you.
On our way back, like those who are used to the old airport at arrival hall, I felt a bit uncomfortable to take a (free) airport shuttle bus to the so call "Public Transport Center". It's quite long way (as Buzzard mentioned). There, there are metered-taxi stand that uses the same system as at the old airport, and the Bangkok public bus terminals. (There are around 6 bus routes that serve BKK to the new airport.) The difference is this taxi stand is too far from the main arrival terminal. Those who (are not VIP - see below) come with a mountain of luggages, and want to take public taxi, will not be amused! Imagine, you clumsily upload and offload your big luggages on and off the shuttle bus. No mercy, guy! Ideally, the shuttle bus is for passengers only and I did not see any luggage compartment in the bus (like that on the long distance buses.)
I think the reason why they put the public taxi stand so far away from the arrival terminal is those contracted (or mafia if you want to call) limousine companies. These limousine service companies will have their own stand right in the arrival terminal. This means those passengers who have mountain of luggages above will have no choice but take the limousine. Everyone knows it is more expensive than paying to the metered taxi, even plus 50 baht commision. If ones notice at the old BKK airport's international arrival terminal, there are very few arrival passengers (ordinary maybe, NOT VIP) who use the limousine service (because of its pricey fixed fares), but they are happy to wait in the long, long line to get the public metered taxi!
What you can do? Maybe one way you can do is giving your complaint to the Airport Authority of Thailand Company about this issue. Check in the website : www.airportthai.com for more detailed info about the new Suvarnabhumi Airport and send your complaint from there.
The information by suwannphu,is really informative , that too from an airline pilot.
Just for your information the name of new airport Suvarnabhumi in sanskrit means Golden Land!! I like the name of the airport.
Good, informative post suwannaphu - thanks! I also heard that there will be less public restrooms/toilets in the new airport because they want more room for shops. I wonder if that's true?
As far as the commute out there and back, for me it's going to be much further and possibly take much longer. I live near Ekkamai Road in Bangok and I can take a taxi in the morning to the current airport in less than 30 minutes via the expressway. It's so easy. I really dread trying to get to this new airport. Concerning the shuttle service to the taxi stand; does anybody know how often this shuttle leaves the terminal? Will passengers have to wait 5 or 10 minutes to board the shuttle, or will it be closer to a 30 minute wait?
According to the airport officials, shuttle bus will leave every 5 minutes in normal hours, and every 3 min in heavy flight traffic hours.