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Transfer times in Suvarnabhumi

Posted by Sparts on 27/2/2014 at 09:59

We are due to land in Suvarnabhumi airport and will be coming off an international flight before catching a domestic flight with another airline - Bangkok Airways.
The international flight is due to land at 8am and the domestic flight is scheduled to depart at 9am. Bangkok airways close the gate 15mins before departure.
We will have hold luggae to transfer between the two flights.

Has anyone tried this before? Is it possible? Should I expect to be able to make the domestic flight? I've passed through this airport half a dozen times but can't quite rememebr how long it takes to navigate around it. I expect the main delay would be immigration and picking up our bags.

As always, thanks for your help.

#1 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169
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Posted by DM0ney on 27/2/2014 at 14:29

I have a similar question. I have a ticket booked from Chicago->Doha->Bangkok on Qatar Airways in May. I booked this through the Qatar website. Then, I later booked a second ticket From Bangkok->Chiang Mai on Bangkok Airways on my day of arrival (currently 2 hours after my long-haul flight is scheduled to arrive). I thought I would be fine because Bangkok airways has Qatar listed as an partner for through check in. I am trying to arrange this ahead of time so that I know 2 hours will be enough. I am a bit apprehensive about all this. Has anyone successfully done this with separate reservations? What do you think? Thanks!

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Posted by DLuek on 27/2/2014 at 21:15 TF writer

Sparts > You might make it, but you might not. Navigating the airport isn't a problem; there are no trams to other terminals involved, it's just a matter of going up some escalators. But you never know how long immigration will take. It wasn't too bad (maybe 20 minutes) the last couple times I came through, but others have reported longer waits. By the time you get off the plane, get through immigration, collect your bags and find the BA check-in counter (which is up on the 4th floor by the way), you'll be cutting it very close. Personally, it would be too close for me to try it.

DM0ney > Barring any unexpected delays at immigration, you should be okay with two hours even if you have to collect bags from QA and re-check them with BA. I've never tried arranging bag transfer between airlines so can't comment on that.

#3 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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Posted by captainbkk on 28/2/2014 at 01:28

Maybe-and yes, thousands of people have tried it before you-but highly unlikely they also read this forum.
As seems the rule for this type of dumb Questions (the airline you use would be nr 1 to ask) you do NOT give enough info-esp. what airline you fly into and what is the dest. on BKK-air.
Actually BKK-air has dozens of interline agreements with many airlines and your luggage MIGHT even be labelled on-but ONLY for some of its destinations-most SAMui. In case of late arrival, you will be transferred to a later flite without penalty-most of you newbees only know those LCC-air and have no idea about how real airlines work.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 28/2/2014 at 02:17 admin

@captainbkk -- ok this is your second warning - why you're incapable of giving the useful advice you obviously have without calling others idiots is totally beyond me. Perhaps you'll want to give this a once over.

Sparts - a very tight call, from memory you're heading to Samui and have a child right? Best case you're out of the plane within say ten minutes, leaving you thirty odd to grab bags etc.

If you make it I look forward to the video ;-)

BKK Air has a heap of flights daily to Samui, so I'd look to reschedule your second leg for a later flight down.

DMOney, two hours is a more workable gap.

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Posted by Sparts on 28/2/2014 at 03:55

Haha, I nearly choked on my cheerios as I read that CaptainBKK.
Needless to say, yet another pointless and broadly unecessary post from you. Lets leave it at that.

Stuart, I'm getting a very sweet deal on flights to BKK via a friend who works for an airline. I know for a fact that the flight will be no more than half full. I'd expect to be off the plane and have our luggage very quickly (should it not be going straight through). But I think the consensus is that its a bit risky - which is what I originally thought. I wanted to be convinced it was easily possible.

We were hoping to make a boat at the other end, all this means is that it'll take perhaps 3 or 4 hours longer to get to where we want to go. I guess those are the breaks. Needless to say, there will be no video.

Thanks for all the input, even you CaptainBKK! ;)

#6 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 28/2/2014 at 04:43

What if the 1st flight is late? Ive had flights land 30 mins to 1 hr late before.

Thats the risk.

#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by SBE on 28/2/2014 at 08:33

Actually captainbkk's advice is usually pretty spot on if you can decipher it. He made a useful suggestion... he said to see if the airline you're using for the international flight has an agreement with Bangkok airways so that the bags can be transferred automatically.

And do the online check in for Bangkok Air before you leave home too.

You might just make it but it's really tight.

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Posted by exacto on 28/2/2014 at 09:48

working through customs and immigration usually goes pretty well and typically takes less time than i think it will. but in my experience flights arriving on time is a much greater problem and something completely beyond your control. i thought about checking bags all the way through to samui as well, but wondered how you would clear customs that way and if you can clear at samui or not. if possible, i think i'd try to switch to a later flight to samui as others have suggested unless it would mess up the sweet deal you've already got on the flight to bangkok. good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Posted by SBE on 28/2/2014 at 17:19

On reflection, maybe my suggestion to do an online check was a bad one. You might not be able to change to a later Bangkok Air flight if you do that! But the check in counter may well be closed by the time you get to it.

I took a Penang-KL-Bali flight the other day (Air Asia) and they checked the bags all the way through to Bali. I don't think it'll be a problem to check bags all the way through to Samui.

Anyway, like the others I think only an hour between flights is cutting it too fine.

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Posted by exacto on 28/2/2014 at 18:20

it is a good suggestion and a great way to save time if you can clear customs in samui. it's even better if you could be a transit passenger and clear immigration in samui too. i know plenty of folks who check bags all the way through to chiang mai when they hub through bangkok, because chiang mai is an international airport and passengers can clear customs and immigration there.

with your example SBE, you cleared customs and immigration in bali, right? but in your case, you were on the same airline (Air Asia) the entire journey and the point of entry to indonesia was bali. it would have been an even better parallel if you had flown penang via jakarta to bali and cleared customs and immigration at den pasar, passing through jakarta as a transit passenger.

i'd like to hear how it goes for Sparts, and if he can check his bags all the way through (maybe your airline can even issue the Bangkok Air boarding pass?) and go through bangkok as a transit passenger. an hour should be plenty of time then, unless your flight is late - no jinx intended. good luck!

#11 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,651
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Posted by DLuek on 28/2/2014 at 21:45 TF writer

I think you have to clear immigration/customs to reach the domestic terminal in BKK, though I've never tried it. Please let us know Sparts if you give it a shot.

#12 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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