How to arrive and depart from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport – what transportation is chosen by tourists and locals in Thailand
Amid Thailand’s resurgent tourist market, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has seen a shortage of cab drivers. Most of them left during the pandemic due to a lack of passenger flow, and those who stayed are demanding that the airport authorities raise fares to attract the departing and new drivers and solve the problem.
Before the covid-19 pandemic, Suvarnabhumi Airport had more than 9,000 cabs serving arriving passengers, Sadit Jaitiang, president of the Thai Taxi Association, told the Bangkok Post. Currently, less than half of that number is being served because many drivers are having financial problems.
According to Sadit, many cab drivers have had their cars confiscated due to their inability to pay their rent. Others have returned to their home provinces and started new careers. The man said he was not optimistic that the number of cabs available at the airport could return to the same level as before the pandemic.
“I doubt that Suvarnabhumi Airport will be able to offer us some of the benefits we are asking for. We have asked them to raise the initial fare from 35 to 40 baht.”
“We also demand a fare of 8 baht/km for the first 10 kilometers instead of the current rate of 5.50 baht/km. We have also raised the issue of raising the service charge of 50 baht, which we believe should be increased to 80 baht,” Sadit said.
“These are minor adjustments based on the rising cost of living. Most people are affected by inflation, including us. The fare has remained the same for years, while the cost of fuel is rising and the cost of living is getting higher,” said the president of the Thai Taxi Association.
The problem of a cab shortage at the airport came to light in early October during the long vacation season. Many travelers posted photos on social media of long lines for cabs at the airport.
Some passengers prefer to ride Airport Rail Link or hire a Grab car. Others are reluctant to take a cab to the airport because they believe the service charge of 50 baht and another charge of 20-100 baht for large luggage is too high.
Somsak, 26, told the paper that he often flies domestically as well as abroad. In his opinion, the 50 baht service charge imposed on Suvarnabhumi Airport cabs is unnecessary and makes the overall service charge too expensive.
Passenger Somchai said he stopped using cabs at the airport and switched to the Grab app. Another passenger, Vijada, 49, said she also prefers to use the cab app. According to her, this service is more convenient and the charges are fair. Besides, you don’t have to waste time waiting for a cab at the airport.
Security officer Savitri, 45, said cab stands are working, but few Thais use cabs at the airport because the fare is expensive. The woman said she stopped taking cabs to the airport after Airport Rail Link began operating. The train fare is much cheaper than taking a cab, she added.
The Suvarnabhumi Airport Authority is aware of the cab shortage problem. They intend to ask cab drivers to register as official airport transport. An airport source said about 100,000 foreign passengers use cabs at the airport daily, which is still below the pre-pandemic level when the airport’s cabs handled 180,000 foreign passengers a day.
“We are now recruiting more cabs to the airport and plan to bring back the drivers who worked with us before the pandemic,” a spokesman for the airport administration said, adding that the problem will be solved soon.
And what transport do you choose when you need to go to and from the airport?
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