Suvarnabhumi Airport

From Halal Explorer

WV banner Bangkok Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport (สุวรรณภูมิ, IATA Code: BKK) is Bangkok's main airport and the busiest airport of Thailand. 39 kilometers (19 mi) to the east of Bangkok, space-age Suvarnabhumi Airport started operations in September 2006 and is used by almost all airlines. However, several budget airlines (Air Asia, Nok Air, Scoot and Thai Lion Air) use only Don Mueang Airport.

Suvarnabhumi Airport Halal Travel Guide

Suvarnabhumi Airport has a single huge terminal building serving domestic and international flights. It is already operating over the designed passenger capacity which can result in even 1 hour in immigration lines, slow baggage delivery and being bused to or from a remote stand.

Suvarnabhumi was intended to be the only commercial airport for Bangkok but the booming traffic, Don Mueang airport was reopened. Since then several budget airlines have moved their operations there, including Air Asia.

Muslim Friendly Flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Most international flights arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport, including those of foreign budget airlines. It is a hub for Thai-Airways and its subsidiary Thai Smile, as well as Bangkok Airways for its domestic and international operations.

Departures are handled on 4th floor. 3rd floor has shops and services for passengers. 2nd floor is for arrivals. 1st floor has a rest area, bus ticketing counters, an affordable food court and the taxi rank outside but roofed over. Basement floor has the Airport Rail Link station, a convenience store and currency exchange kiosks that provide as good rates as the ones downtown.

Domestic check-in counters are at doors 1-3 which are immediately on the left when you drive up to the terminal building in a taxi. The rest are for international departures. Pay attention to the airline signs outside or the monitors to locate the correct check-in row. Flights open for check-in 3 hours before departure.

If you want to use the Tourist VAT Refund you must have your goods inspected and the refund forms stamped in the customs office before you drop off your bags at the check-in counter.

You will be asked to remove your shoes and belt for X-ray at the departing security checkpoint so be prepared. If you carry a notebook, you need to put it on the tray too.

When you are leaving Thailand you must fill in your departure card before going to the immigration desks. You got it back when you were stamped into Thailand. If you have lost the departure card, you just pick up and fill a new form in the immigration area. Regulatons might have changed.

If your international connecting flights are on the same ticket you can remain in the transit area without going through immigration. If you are connecting to a domestic flight on the same ticket, you can use the quick transit immigration and proceed to the departure gate after going through a security check (liquids rules!). If your domestic flight is on a separate ticket, you must go through immigration, collect your baggage, walk through customs and climb to 4th floor for a new check-in. In this case you should plan at least 4 hours between flights; if you have only 2 hours you are likely to miss your flight, because on bad days immigration takes up to 2 hours and domestic check-in closes 30 minutes before departure.

Ground transportation

A Thai Airways flight with its engines removed Suvarnabhumi airport

Thanks to the Airport Rail Link, Hualamphong train station can provide access to Suvarnabhumi Airport via exceedingly slow and frequently late 3rd class ordinary trains. Any train to or from Hualamphong on Thailand's Eastern Line (which runs to Pattaya or Aranyaprathet) will stop at Lat Krabang (1 hour, 6 Baht), which abuts Suvarnabhumi Airport. Lat Krabang conventional train station is directly below Lat Krabang airport link station, from where the journey to the airport can be completed for a further 15 Baht. If in a group, consider a taxi from Lat Krabang (about 50-70 Baht to the airport).

There are plenty of ways to get into the city from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Many people opt for the Airport Rail Link as it's by far the quickest way to get into the city, although taxis are also reasonably priced. If you have booked with eHalal Group, our driver will wait for you on the right side.

By Rail to/from Suvarnabhumi Airport

On the basement level of the passenger terminal and the Airport Rail Link offers a speedy train service to downtown. It's also a way of avoiding Bangkok's horrendous rush hour traffic, particularly when it's raining. Trains depart 06:00-midnight every day. The City Line is a commuter rail line that stops at all stations. Trains leave every 10-13 minutes, and after Makkasan station they continue to Ratchaprarop and Phaya Thai stations. The ride to Phaya Thai takes 26 minutes from the airport and costs 45 Baht.

If you're heading downtown and the Airport Rail Link has a good connection to the BTS Skytrain at Phaya Thai, though you will have to buy a new ticket. If Khao San Road is your final destination, you can hail taxis from the primary street (around 110 Baht), or hop aboard bus 15 (20 Baht); this bus leaves from across Central World, BTS Siam, and BTS National Stadium and goes along Ratchadamnoen Klang Road and Chakrabongse Road serving both sides of Khao San Road.

You can connect with MRT metro trains at Makkasan station by walking through a roofed footbridge to Phetchaburi station. The metro provides the quickest rail connection to Asoke intersection on Sukhumvit Road, to Silom and to eastern Yaowarat (Chinatown).

Travel on a Bus to/from Suvarnabhumi Airport

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A private express bus S1 runs from the airport terminal building to Khao San Road since June 2017. The fare is 85 Baht and departures are every 30 minutes 06:00-20:00 at Gate 7 on 1st floor. The bus uses the Sirat Expressway and has stops only at Yommarat Junction, Lan Luang Road, Phan Fa (near Saen Saep Express boat pier), Democracy Monument, Wat Bowonniwet, Khao San Road (near Chana Songkhram police station), and north end of Sanam Luang near the World War I monument. Going to the airport passengers are picked up at the stop near the Chana Songkhram police station. You can expect the trip to take at least an hour.

To take a public bus or shuttle van, you must first take the free shuttle bus from outside the second floor, gate 5 to the Public Transportation Center a few kilometers away. Use the Express shuttle if you do not want a scenic tour of the airport area. From there, The BMTA public bus lines are:

These services take about 1–2 hours depending on traffic; frequency is usually every 20 minutes during daytime. At nighttime, it ranges from 20 min-1 hours depending on the route. To give an example and the fare between Suvarnabhumi Airport and On Nut on 552 is 32 Baht, and the journey takes about 40 minutes in mid-afternoon traffic. There are also privately-owned BMTA shuttle vanes to many parts of Greater Bangkok, such as Don Mueang Airport, Bang Kapi, Rangsit and Samut Prakan. They charge a flat rate of 50 Baht and go directly to the destination, so they are faster than public buses that stop frequently along the way. To get to Khao San Road, all these services are inconvenient.

Long-distance first class bus services connect Suvarnabhumi Airport directly with Chachoengsao, Nong Khai, Pattaya, Rayong, and Trat.

There are free transfer buses between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport departing 05:00-24:00. Departures are every hour until 10:00, every 20-40 minutes until 22:00 and again every hour thereafter. You are supposed to have an e-ticket receipt or boarding pass for a flight departing from the destination airport. However, this being Thailand enforcement is sporadic and you may get a ride without one. At Suvarnabhumi Airport, get on the bus at gate 3. At Don Mueang Airport, get on the bus at the ground floor arrival terminal. The transfer bus goes directly via the expressway, and does not stop during the ride. Typical travel duration is about an hour so the bus is not much slower than a taxi.

Best way to travel to Suvarnabhumi Airport by a Taxi

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Ordinary metered taxis are available on the first floor (one floor below arrivals). They use a multitude of color schemes but all of them have a TAXI-METER sign on the roof. Follow the "public taxi" signs that lead to a roofed area outside the airport building. The taxi rank is automated with two vending machines, one for standard taxis and another one for big taxis. Standard taxis can carry two adults with hand baggage and one piece of checked baggage each; big taxis can take more. Queue up and press the appropriate button. You will get a slip with the taxi details and the number of the parking bay of the assigned taxi. Walk to the indicated bay with your baggage. This slip is a receipt and cost 50 Baht extra so add the 50 Baht to the taxi fare. From experience tell the driver Tanduan ok so he takes the highway and you pay the Highway fees.

The ride into city takes about 45–60 minutes depending on traffic and destination. Note that the meter will switch from a distance rate to a time rate when traffic is very slow or stops altogether. Sitting in a traffic jam can get expensive so do not panic if the driver does not take the most direct route; usually he is trying to avoid congestion.

The meter is to be stopped when you arrive. You pay the shown metered fare and a 50 Baht airport surcharge on top of the meter (not per passenger). The surcharge applies only to rides from airports. The approximate metered fare to Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort west of Chao Phraya River is around 350 to 400 Baht, to Khao San Road 240 to 300 Baht, to Silom 330 to 450 Baht, to Sukhumvit Soi 4 280 to 380 Baht. The usual total cost is 250-500 Baht but being stuck in traffic will inflate the fare.

Tipping is not required but do understand that the drivers often hail from Isaan and they have to feed a family too. Be kind to the driver and round up the fairs as you see fit.

Limousine Taxis (which charge by distance, e.g., around 800-1200 Baht to Bangkok/Sukhumvit|Sukhumvit) can be reserved at the limousine hire counter on the second floor (just outside arrivals).

How to get around in Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport is huge. By some measures it is the world's largest airport, so allow time for getting around. You will find yourself walking long distances while inside the airport. There are travelators to move people faster in the corridors. The floors are connected with lifts, escalators and some travelators.

There are two immigration sections; if one looks very busy you may use the other one. Processing time can be lengthy, at least 30 minutes but on bad days it can reach over an hour.

Wait

Suvarnabhumi offers all facilities you would expect from a major international airport. There are a transit hotel, ATMs, money exchange, restaurants, tax-free shops, an observation lounge and even a "redemption booth", very reassuring for karmically challenged passengers. There is not much to see at the observation deck on the seventh floor, since the steel structure of the roof blocks most of the view.

The air conditioning is fierce so be prepared if you plan to sleep rough inside the airport. The basement floor becomes pretty quiet once the trains stop running after midnight.

Any departing international passenger can buy access to a few lounges in the departure area after immigration from two providers. The cost is about 1000 Baht for 4 hours but you must book in advance on the Web.

Lounges

Thai-Airways operates several lounges that are accessible to Star Alliance first and business class passengers, as well as those with Star Alliance Gold status. These lounges, while huge, are generally not very highly rated, and eligible travellers may want to consider using the EVA-Air Lounge or the Singapore-Airlines Silver Kris Lounge instead.

Halal Food & Restaurants in Suvarnabhumi Airport

For Muslim travelers, in particular, finding Halal-certified eateries can sometimes be a challenge. However, at Suvarnabhumi Airport, there are a number of Halal restaurant options that ensure travelers can enjoy delicious meals without compromising their dietary requirements.

Express Kebab:

Location: Level 4 and The Miracle Food Village food court on Level 3.

Cuisine: Specializing in the authentic flavors of Kebab, Express Kebab offers juicy and flavorful dishes that can be a comforting meal after a long flight.

Canadian Pizza:

Location: Level 4.

Cuisine: Serving a fusion of Canadian and Italian flavors, Canadian Pizzas brings to the table a unique pizza experience with Halal-certified ingredients.

Halah:

Location: Near Gate B on Level 3, Concourse B.

Cuisine: An exclusive spot for Thai Halal food, Halah offers a delightful array of Thai dishes that adhere strictly to Halal guidelines, allowing Muslim travelers to savor the authentic Thai taste.

The Miracle Food Village:

Location: Level 3.

Overview: A diverse food court with a multitude of vendors. While not all of them serve Halal food, those who do have prominent “HALAL” signs on their name boards, ensuring ease of identification for patrons. The variety here ensures that travelers can pick from a range of cuisines, all under one roof.

Sareefah: Location: Inside the Magic Food Point food court on Level 1 near Gate 8.

Cuisine: Bringing the richness of Arabian flavors, Sareefah is a haven for those craving Middle Eastern dishes. The restaurant's presence in the Magic Food Point food court ensures travelers get a diverse menu to choose from, all while adhering to Halal standards.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport tug-of-war art

There are a few shops in the check-in area, including a convenience store and a post office; however and the real shopping experience awaits travellers on the other side of immigration in the departure area, where the number of shops and duty free outlets leaves you wondering whether you are in an airport or a mall.

The shops in the departure area have high prices compared to downtown. The Duty Free shops are poor value; many products including alcohol are cheaper downtown.

The rates of the currency exchange kiosks are worst in the baggage reclaim hall, better after customs hall on the 2nd floor and the best on the basement floor where Super Rich and Value Plus offer rates as good as in downtown exchange kiosks.

Arriving passengers can buy local SIM cards at the three mobile operator kiosks on the 2nd floor after exiting the customs hall. SIM packages including several gigabytes of data cost only a few hundred Baht and you get also access to the operator Wi-Fi hotspots. Competition keeps prices and offerings very similar so if you are staying just some weeks you can as well pick the kiosk with the shortest queue. The advantage of buying at the airport is that staff will speak decent English and will set up your phone for you. You must show your passport to buy a SIM card so that the government can track you.

When you arrive you should buy something in the convenience store at the basement level so that you get small change for transportation because ATMs and currency exchange kiosks dispense 1,000 Baht notes.

Telecommunications in Suvarnabhumi Airport

The airport offers a free Wi-Fi network using SSID “@ AirportTrueFreeWiFi”. You must register using your browser to use it. The registration procedure obnoxiously demands your name, e-mail, nationality and passport number. However, it does not verify any of the information so feel free to make it up.

Cope

The airport has left-luggage counters on 2nd and 4th floor that charge 100 Baht/piece/day and do not accept valuables; they X-ray the bags to ensure compliance and security.

The 3rd floor has a Muslim prayer room.

Muslim Friendly hotels in Suvarnabhumi Airport

Check here for a full list.

There are plenty of hotels near Suvarnabhumi Airport. The transit hotel offers to transit passengers day room facilities marketed as Louis Tavern Dayrooms.

If you want an overnight stay within 20 minutes of the airport, get a hotel along Lat Krabang Road. The Tourist Authority of Thailand and other hotel and tourist agencies have counters on the arrivals floor of the main terminal. You can make reservations at plenty of hotels here. Check for special promotions and also whether the hotel offers an airport pick-up and drop-off service — especially useful for late night arrivals and early morning departures.

As Suvarnabhumi Airport is technically in Samut Prakan there are also some accommodation options close to the airport in that area.


eHalal operates a Flight Meta Engine with affordable rates.