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Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

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Colorado
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Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

I would like to ask you for a bit of help.

We will arrive to BKK at midnight and continue to Krabi in the morning. We have decided to stay those few hours inside the airport.

What I am not clear on is how to clear the passport control and yet to stay in the transit area.

I just got an email fro United, which made me think we can not stay in the transit area.

"Going through the passport control means you have already been in the country and you will have to claim you baggage at the baggage claim area and go through Customs and come outside, cannot go back to the transit area unless you have to check in with Thai Airways again for the flight to Krabi on the fourth floor. (Arrival Hall is on the second floor.) "

would you, please, shed any light into my darkness

Sydney
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1. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

I haven't personally slept at Suvarnabhumi overnight but here is a link that may allay some of your concerns...or not!

www.sleepinginairports.net/asia/bangkok.htm

Antipodes
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2. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

Unless your baggage is checked through to Krabi, you will have to pass through passport control, collect your baggage, then pass through customs and arrive out on the 2nd floor.

You won't be going back to the "air-side" until you've checked-in (including your bags) for the domestic leg (on the 4th floor), and that won't happen until a couple of hours before your early flight departs.

So it sounds like you'll be baby sitting your bags and twiddling your thumbs.

Berlin/Bangkok
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3. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

Boleslav, there are plenty of inexpensive hotels just outside the airport perimeter, where you can get some sleep, even if just for a few hours, and a shower. Many even offer free transport. Why start your vacation with hours of suffering after a long flight?

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293916-c136691/Bangk…

Nuremberg, Germany
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4. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

With Thai Airways you should be able to check your bags through to Krabi. After arrival in Bangkok you can thus remain in the transit area. E.g. go one floor up where you find lots of restaurants and shops.

In the morning go back down, get your boarding pass (if you don’t have one yet) at the Thai transit counter and follow the signs “Transfer to Phuket, Samui, Krabi….” There is a separate passport control at the junction of Concourse C, B and A after which you are already air-side for domestic departures.

Bangkok
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5. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

Hi,

Fourb is correct..

The 'series' of events is: Arrivals passport control, baggage reclaim, Customs control..

(This makes the assumption that you AND your CHECKED bags are ONLY tagged to Bangkok..)

In this case, since your bags are only tagged to Bangkok, you MUST retrieve them. They cannot be automatically transferred by airline staff for you if they are tagged to BKK. Thai customs requires all BKK tagged bags to be cleared in BKK..

In order to retrieve your BKK tagged bags, you must clear arrival passport control first.. Once you've cleared passport control, THEN you can get your checked bags back in the baggage reclaim hall..

At this point, you cannot 'go back'.. You must go forward and clear Customs control and exit the customs/baggage reclaim hall..

Once you've done that, now you are on the public access area or land-side..

At this point you're free to check-in with Thai and drop off your bags and go back thru domestic security screening (note that there is no passport control for entirely domestic flights)..

BUT.. Thai does not have open counters for domestic check-in at that hour, which in your case will be just past midnight, as Thai's last evening domestic flight would have already departed for the night. You'll have to either leave them with the left luggage service (for B100 fee per piece), get a hotel or remain on airport property and retain your bags yourself.

Since United and Thai are both full members of the Star Alliance airline program, United DOES have the ABILITY to "thru-check" you and your bags into most bags onto flights operated by Thai... BUT....do know that IF you are traveling on TWO separate tickets (i.e. One United ticket going SDF-BKK-SDF and another separate Thai ticket going BKK-KBV-BKK then you are not automatically entitled to thru-check services...

United can do so-- that is to say they have the ability to do so--- but one a two ticket booking, this will be solely at United discretion and is not a right when on a two ticket booking..

If by chance you are on ONE ticket all the way from SDF-KBV, then your bags should be tagged to Krabi for you by the UA personnel when you first check-in at Standiford.

There IS actually quite a lot going on at BKK in the late evening / early morning hours.. You can go to the 1F and get a bite to eat at the airports food court (Magic Point Food Court) which is good and cheap.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 09 November 2011, 14:25
Colorado
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6. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

We will travel on 2 tickets, United to BKK and Thai air to Krabi and plan to have the luggage checked all the way to Krabi, therefore we should not worry about the customs in BKK. If this scenario works out can we clear the immigration in BKK and still stay air side?

Newcastle, Australia
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7. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

Hi Boleslav

As people have recommended, I would make sure that bags are listed to BKK go thru customs and get them, then get an aiport hotel - they will pick ypou up for free and can be as cheap as $15USD.

I think BKK airport is not a good one to sleep in nor really (lots of metal chairs not goof t lay on) and not that much great things to entertain yourself in for that long - for the small cost you would feel better laying down in a bed and having a shower after such a long flight.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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8. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

Hi,

Boleslav,

"We will travel on 2 tickets, United to BKK and Thai air to Krabi and plan to have the luggage checked all the way to Krabi, therefore we should not worry about the customs in BKK. If this scenario works out can we clear the immigration in BKK and still stay air side?"

Yes.. that is correct.. but again, I must stress/remind you that when on a TWO ticket booking you are not *entitled* to thru-check status and connection protection..

United DOES have the ABILITY to tag your bags thru on Thai to Krabi, so it CAN be done, and some agents and stations are more lenient/flexible in this matter than others.. but in the end, it will be solely to United's discretion-- or the agent that handles your check-in at SDF-- as to whether or not they will do/permit this.. You cannot demand they do so as it's not a right under this ticketing scenario.

I remind you of this just in case the United agent in SDF will not do so-- in that the agent would in fact be correct and acting in compliance with standard industry practice and the terms of your United ticket.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 10 November 2011, 04:47
Colorado
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9. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

GOPBI thank you for the heads up on this

Colorado
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10. Re: Clearing immigration at BKK airport- question

United airlines was able to check our luggage all the way to Krabi, so we did not need to worry about it. Went through the immigration at BKK, no problems