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10 Jan, 2014

Thai Travel Industry Advisories on Airport Commutes for “Bangkok Shutdown Day” and beyond


Bangkok – The Association of Thai Travel Agents is coordinating with the Airports of Thailand to provide alternative transportation facilities for visitors who will need to commute to and from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports and various points in the city during the anti-government “Bangkok shutdown” period on Monday 13 January 2014, and possibly beyond.

The seven key city roads and intersections to be barricaded include: 1) Lat Phrao’s five-way intersection; 2) Victory Monument; 3) Pathumwan; 4) Lumpini Park; 5) Ratchaprasong; 6) Asoke Road; and 7) Chaeng Watthana Road.

All other roads will be open as normal, along with the businesses, shops, offices, malls and other public places.

Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil’s advice would be for visitors to get to the nearest Skytrain or MRT Underground mass-transit stations and then take the Rail Link train, shuttle buses or taxis from there, in either direction. The two mass-transit systems and the Airport Rail Link are set to become the most important means of commuting to and from the airport to various parts of the city. All are mobilising to increase their frequencies and assistance personnel at the ticketing counters. The Airport Rail Link has reminded passengers travelling outbound only on Thai Airways International that they can check-in at the Makkasan terminal on the third floor between 07:00 to 21:00 pm, between three to 12 hours in advance of travel. They can collect their THAI boarding pass and baggage tag at the THAI check-in counter.

There should be no problems with traffic elsewhere in the city as the schools have all been shut, no vehicles are likely to come into the city from the upcountry provinces and all government offices are likely to be closed. However, all travellers are being advised to allocate an extra two hours to their commuting time, just to be on the safe side.

According to an ATTA announcement, a 24-hour tourist assistance center is being set up at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Terminal Building, 2nd Floor, Gate 7, starting on 10 January 2014 at 1000 hrs. ATTA Members can contact this center at Hotline number 1722 or contact Mr. Sihasak Prachoom, ATTA officer, Mobile No. 082-7901974 at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Other preparatory and contingency measures being taken include the following:

1. About 2,500-3,000 registered taxis will be available to for passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal Building (1st Floor, Gate 4 and Gate 7). If the taxis cannot take the passengers to any of the areas closed to traffic, they will take them to the nearest available point, or to the best available BTS, MRT, Train stations, or river ferry ports.

2. Airport Shuttle Bus services will be provided between Suvarnabhumi Airport to various destinations with 24-hour service, free of charge. Outbound passengers can also use the same buses to travel to Suvarnabhumi Airport from the same points.

A. Primary Pick-up Points

(+) Between Long-term Parking Lot and Passenger Terminal (1st Floor, Gate 3), (a distance of 4 kms, travel time 10 minutes). For passengers who park their cars at the Long-term parking to reach the Airport Link station in the basement of Suvarnambumi Airport Terminal.

(+) Airport Link (Lat Krabang station) (a distance of 7.1 kms, travel time: 10 minutes) and (Lat Krabang State Railway Station) For passengers from Suvarnabhumi airport Terminal Building (1st Floor, Gate 3) to Airport Link system or the State Railway to further travel to their destinations.

(+) On-Nut BTS station (a distance of 32.2 kms, travel time 30 minutes) For passengers from Suvarnabhumi airport Terminal Building (1st Floor, Gate 3) to the BTS Skytrain for further travel to their destinations.

B. Secondary pick-Up Points (to be operational only if necessary)

(+) Hua Ta Khae Railway Station (a distance of 12 km, travel time 23 minutes)

(+) MRT Rama 9 Station (a distance of 23 km, 40 minutes)

(+) Central Bangna Department Store (a distance of 27.2 km, travel time 30 minutes)

(+) Fashion Island Department Store (a distance of 28.3 km, 40 minutes)

(+) Central Rama 2 Department Store (a distance of 64.2 km, 60 minutes)

3. Deployment of 120 public vans on 8 routes. Public van operators have been contracted to provide service for passengers from  Suvarnabhumi Airport to 8 destinations (Min Buri, Bangkapi, Victory Monument, Pak Nam, On-Nut, Lam Luk Ka, Don Muang and Rangsit every 20 minutes between 5:00 to 22:00 hrs.

4. Shuttle Bus Service between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang airport from 05.00 – 24.00 hrs

5. Providing Long-term parking: In parking zones B, C, D, E and F, with 715 vehicles per zone for a total of 3,575 vehicles.

6. Airport Rail Link to increase the frequency of services by as much as possible

Announcement from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports

A “Tourist Friend’s Center” has been set up to provide tourist assistance at the Stadium of Sport Authority of Thailand (Hua Mak). Joint operations centers have also been set up at Don Mueang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airports.

• Hotline 1155, 1672

• 5 Tourist assistance centres at: Siam (BTS), PhayaThai (BTS), Ekkamai (BTS); Wong Wian Yai (BTS) and Hua Lam Pong (MRT).

• Three tourist shuttle services; 1 Bus, 2 Vans per one point and 1 boat in Chao Phraya River at: Eastin Grand Hotel (Sathorn), Hotel Windsor Suites Bangkok (Sukhumvit 18); The Twin Towers Hotel.

Contact details:

Khun Surawach Akkaravoramas, Vice President of ATTA, (Head of the Team)

ATTA (Suvarnabhumi Airport), Khun Sihasak Prachoom, call 082-790-1974

ATTA (Head office),  Khun Tanit Sawangpak, call 081-801-1257

THAI Airways International Travel Advisory for Passengers Travelling on Flights on 13 January 2014

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) confirms the Company is operating as normal during the political protest and advises passengers travelling to Suvarnabhumi Airport on 13 January 2014 avoid certain roads in Bangkok.

Mr. Chokchai Panyayong, THAI Senior Executive Vice President of Commercial and Acting President, said that during the period of political protest in Bangkok, starting on 13 January 2014, Thai Airways International (THAI) will operate as normal with no flight cancellations, no unplanned flight delays, and no reduction of staff in operational areas.

Passengers can visit THAI through Facebook (www.facebook.com/ThaiAirways), Twitter (www.twitter.com/ThaiAirways), and THAI website (www.thaiairways.com), or call THAI Call Center Call Center at 02-356-1111 for information.  To avoid arriving late for flights, due to some street closures, THAI advises passengers to leave for Suvarnabhumi Airport at least four hours prior to their scheduled flight departure time.

Passengers can check flight status at www.thaiairways.com, and choose Flight Info.  Or, through the smart phone application THAI Flight Check at http://bit.ly/THAIflightcheck .

On 13th January, the ticketing services at THAI head office and at the Government Complex (on Chaengwattana Road) will close due to the street protest in the area; however, other THAI ticketing locations in the city such as Larn Luang, Silom, and at Suvarnabhumi Airport are open as normal for business.