May 012012

My flight landed around 2.30 AM at Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok . I had a double entry transit visa issued by Thai Embassy in Delhi. But two days prior to departure, I included the visit of Hong Kong and Macau in the itinerary. Then, I required three times entry in Thailand. I thought if I will book a connecting flight from Bangkok Airport within 2-3 hours then I will remain in transit and catch that flight without passing through the Thai immigration. But….While de-boarding the flight, when I informed the Air Hostess that I do not require the Arrival Card, because I wanted to remain in transit for 7 hours to catch my next flight at 10.00 AM to Macau, she told me about my bad luck that Air Asia is a point to point carrier and it could not allow me to stay in transit. I had to pass through the immigration and check-in again for the connecting flight. It was a big trouble for me and I did not believe it once.
I went to the airport help desk and she also confirmed that point. She informed me that it is better to book the flights at Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways as they offer connections and you can remain in transit.

Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok during day time

Anyway, I went to the Visa-on-Arrival counter. I wanted to use Visa-on-Arrival this time, so that two times entry visa stamped on my passport remain untouched. But there was lot of confusion. Nobody was able to guide me. I went to the regular immigration counter. I asked the lady over there that I have two times entry visa in Thailand, but I want to enter three times in Thailand. I asked her if I could use Visa-on-Arrival that time. But she was either reluctant to hear my point or she did not understand whatever I said. She told me that it is only for double entry. I again said that yes, this is for double entry only, but can I enter this time using Visa-on-Arrival? She became angry and said two times only, and sent me back towards Visa-on-Arrival counter. Still, there was nobody to help me. I came again towards that lady when another immigration officer approached me and asked about my problem. I informed him regarding the situation. He said that you can enter only two times and left me puzzled. Why the hell they did not understand that I also knew that I can enter only two times. I wanted the information regarding the entry for which I was not having visa. I wanted to know if I could use On-Arrival visa that time, but they did not understand this. Finally, I decided to use my Visa stamped on the passport. That lady cleared me through immigration and this way I have used first entry permit of double entry visa.
This whole process took at least one hour and I had another 6 hours to catch the flight.

Note: Later, I had to catch a flight from Phnom Penh to Bangkok to get an On-Arrival Visa for the third entry to Thailand. I could have avoided that, If I knew the Visa rules clearly despite of travelling on a point-to-point carrier.

ATC Tower@ Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok

Inside Bangkok Airport

Inside Bangkok Airport

I roamed inside the airport terminal and enjoyed every level of this big airport. Right after passing through immigration I searched about the Internet facility at Suvarnbhumi Airport. But there was no free wi-fi available over there. Airport help desk informed me that we can get wi-fi user id and password after check-in from the help desk inside.

I wanted to take the rest, so reached to the departure level, but there was a huge crowd and no chair was vacant. I spent some time there sitting on the floor and then went to the arrival level, where many chairs were lying vacant. I slept on a lengthy steel chair for 2 hours and woke up around 6.30 AM.

I again went to the departure level and saw very long queues in front of Air Asia counters. I asked an Air Asia representative about the boarding pass for my flight. She told me that it can only be issued after 7.00 AM. So I remain seated there for next half an hour. Around 7.15 AM, I went to collect the boarding pass. After that I passed through the departure passport control without any hassle and reached inside the security held area.

In 15 days long journey, I passed two times through Bangkok Airport security, but it was only second time, when they went for an elaborate security check. First time I went through the security without taking my laptop out from the bag, but at second instance they even asked me to remove the shoes.

ATC Tower @ Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok

You can use luggage wrapping facility after paying the required amount

The security held area of Bangkok Airport was full of shops and restaurants. I went to the help desk for wi-fi password, but a notice said that wi-fi was unserviceable. So, I went ahead and reached a big lounge, where lot of free Internet kiosk was available by the Telecom of Thailand. The area was occupied by large sized-sofas and cushions. I surfed for 30-40 minutes and rested on a sofa there.

Inside Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok

Decoration inside the Airport

Lounge where you can rest @ Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok

Free Surfing Points

An Internet kiosk

At 9.30 AM, I boarded on the flight to Macau and this was the end of 7 hours stay at Suvarnbhumi Airport.

Lessons learned from 7 hours stay @ The Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok:

  • 1.
  • Know the visa rules including transit visa and re-entry permit regarding your destination prior to your departure.

  • 2.
  • If you have a connecting flight from Bangkok, book your ticket on Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways to remain in transit without passing through the Thai Immigration.

  • 3.
  • If you have a ticket on Air Asia and have a next connecting flight from Bangkok, then apply for a Thai Visa or use Visa-on-Arrival (If applicable), as this is a point-to-point carrier.

  • 4.
  • If you want to get a chair for rest, it is better to look the one at arrival level instead of departure level.

  • 5.
  • Do not expect free Internet there before check-in.

  • 6.
  • It is better to check-in online, so that you can take the print out of your boarding pass to avoid the long queues at the airline counter.

  • 7.
  • If you have the print-out of boarding pass, go straight to the departure passport control and pass through the security check. It gives you an opportunity to rest on sofas in the lounge instead of waiting on the steel bench outside the check-in counter. You can know your departure gate later on information panels. Do not expect an announcement regarding this.

  • 8.
  • An early check-in also gives you an opportunity to use the Internet kiosk of Telecom of Thailand.

    Note: In my second departure, after check-in, I got the wi-fi user id and password from the help desk and that free use of Internet was valid for half an hour after the first login and that 30 minutes period denotes the surfing time only. You can use that 30 minutes in the extended period by multiple log-in and log-out, but total surfing time should not exceed 30 minutes.

    A View of Bangkok while taking-off from Bangkok Airport

    A view of Bangkok while taking-off

      17 Responses to “7 Hours @ Suvarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok”

    1. If you fly Thai Airways from Kolkata to Bangkok and then to Saigon on the same day, you can directly proceed to Transit Area and no need to clear immigration. But if you fly different airlines from BKK to SGN, you need to go to Immigration area clear the same and apply VoA and check in again at your airlines.

    2. Hi I was told that if the gap between you landing in Bangkok and catching another flight to a destination outside Thailand is more than 6 hours you need transit visa, if its less then be it any airlines you don’t require transit visa , be it any airlines. Is it true?

      We are planning to land in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi via Jet or Indigo or Spicejet and catch a flight to Siem Reap (Cambodia) via Angkor airlines or Thai Smile airlines from Suvarnabhumi itself within 6 hours of our landing.

      Kindly shed some light

      • Hi, Low cost airlines are normally point-to-point carrier except some tickets, when they provide connections in transit. So, the point-to-point means you fly from place A to B, clear immigration, exit the terminal and then check-in again to catch your next flight from place B to C as a separate flight irrespective of the previous flight. So, at Bangkok, whatever is your transit duration, if you are planning to fly by a low-cost carrier, you need a visa to exit out or visa-on-arrival facility. Exceptions of these type of arrangements are also there, e.g., FLYTHRU tickets of AirAsia.

        • I Just checked up with VFS Thailand visa helpline, if the stay at Bangkok airport is not more then 12 hours and you aren’t exiting the airport then you don’t need transit visa according to them

          • There shouldn’t be any problem with Jet Airways, but I can’t say more about low-cost Indigo or SpiceJet. My connection was only after 7 hours, and I had to use one entry from my double entry visa to catch the next flight to Macau (Both flight was on Air Asia, a low cost carrier). It doesn’t only depend on the number of hours, but also on the airlines. Better to check with your airlines. And, there is no need to worry also. If visa will be required, you can get a visa on arrival. But, please let us know the current status of visa requirements after your visit. Have a nice trip. 🙂

            • Did you and at Suvarnabhumi and took flight out of BKK from Don Muang Airport? or did u land and take off from same airport, if its the earlier one then definitely you will have to take the visa but in later case I don’t think it should be needed. Con from India only Air Asia flies to or takes off from Don Muang, infact Air asia only operates from Don Muang in BKK

              • Hi Vibhu. I am flying in from Bangalore to Bangkok Don Mueang Airport and have the second flight from the same airport in next 5 hours but I will have to collect the luggage again and checkin again. Do I need a transit visa in this case and how many immigration should I be going through.

                • @ Shubham Saxena.. I will have to do the same on Suvarnabhumi Airport, I checked with VFS Thailand visa ppl, they say if ur indian passport holder and you are not going out of airport and the gap between your arrival and departure is less than 12 hours you dont require transit visa. Cant say that for sure for Don Muang airport, just google VFS THAILAND contact no. and call them up.

    3. Hello,

      Me and my wife are traveling to Thailand and Cambodia at the end of this year and planning to get visa on arrival (tourist visa) in Bangkok Airport. We both have Indian passports. I’m flying in from USA and my wife will be flying in from India and we’ll meet at Bangkok Airport.

      We arrive in Bangkok Airport at 12 PM and have a connecting flight to Cambodia at 6:45 PM. So we’ll be at Bangkok Airport for 7 hours approximately. Do we need a transit visa or on arrival visa at this point?

      From Cambodia, we fly back to Bangkok Airport after 3 days. At his point we are planning to get on arrival visa when we get to Bangkok airport.

      So my question is do we need to get on arrival visa twice in Bangkok? One when we arrive in Bangkok initially for our onward journey to Cambodia. Second when we arrive in Bangkok from Cambodia?

      Do we need any kind of visa when we are in transit to Cambodia from Thailand? I’m asking because on arrival visa is single entry.

      Note that I am flying Eva Air while my wife is flying Jet Airways and our connecting flight to Cambodia is Bangkok Airways.


      • Hi, I have no idea of connections between EVA/Bangkok Air or Jet Airways/Bangkok Air. It depends on your tickets, whether both the legs are booked at separate PNR or under the codeshare agreement and whether you are supposed to leave the transit area for the next flight or not. If it’s a codeshare, then you don’t need any visa. In case, if you need a visa, you can easily get visa-on-arrival at Bangkok airport both the times. Technically, if you are required to cross the immigration to catch the next flight, you should have a transit visa, but in this case, visa-on-arrival will also serve that purpose.

    4. Hi,
      Thanks for sharing your experience to Bangkok. Well, you have snapped very beautiful pictures. I linked these very much. I also thinking to travel to Thailand. I also love the nature of that location. I hear about the Bangkok Airport Transit, which is very suitable facility to travel here and there in the city. Even though thanks for your thoughts and information mentioned here.

    5. hey why don’t go into the city using train

    6. Hey,

      Thanks for blogging your experience @Suvarnabhumi, actually I am going to Macau via Bangkok by Thai Airways and have 11 hours layover at the airport… Please suggest what can I do over there for time pass.

      Please reply.


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