Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Thailand
Reload this Page >

Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Jan 3, 2015, 2:56 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: IluvSQ
READ THIS FIRST:
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Taxi at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)


BKK Terminal Map

Source: AOT

MAP KEY

Arrival Gates - Level Two
Immigration
Baggage Claim Carousels
Customs and Exits to Landside Terminal Area
Elevators/Escalators to Ground Floor Level One
Numbered Exits to Outside (taxi queues are near exits 4 & 7)

WHAT TO DO

Taxis accept cash only. There are ATMs and currency exchangers inside the terminal.
  • Take an elevator or escalator down to the ground level.
  • Follow the signs to one of the two taxi queues outside of the terminal on Level One.
  • The taxi queue attendant will ask your destination and write it on a taxi slip. UPDATE: There are no longer attendants to write your destination at BKK. You get a slip from a touchscreen kiosk which directs you to a parking stall number where you meet your car/driver.
  • The larger part of the taxi slip is yours to keep, the smaller part goes to your driver. Be sure to keep your taxi slip as it contains information you will need if a problem arises. Do not give your portion of the taxi slip to the driver, even if he asks for it. UPDATE: There is no portion of the new slip from the kiosk to give the driver.

BASE COST
  • Airport Fee - THB 50 per taxi levied from the airport (never to the airport)
  • THB 35 - flag drop through 1km
  • +THB 5.50/km for kilometers 1+ through 10
  • +THB 6.50/km for kilometers 10+ through 20
  • +THB 7.50/km for kilometers 20-40
  • +THB 2 per minute waiting or standing in traffic (less than 6kph)

TOLLS
  • THB 75 to city center (two toll booths)
  • THB 60 to DMK

SAMPLE FARES FROM BKK TO...
Amounts are approximate and will vary with traffic, specific drop point, etc.
  • City Center - THB 170-200
  • Grand Palace - THB 215
  • Don Mueang Airport (DMK) - THB 290
  • Hua Hin - THB ___ (typically a negotiated flat fee)
  • Pattaya - THB ___ (typically a negotiated flat fee)

FARE CALCULATOR TOOLS
Reasonably accurate fare estimates are available from a number of websites and apps. These services provide estimated base fares only. Calculations do not include traffic, tolls, airport fees, etc. Reliability varies - use at your own risk.
FAQs

Q: Should I use the hotel's airport transfer service instead of a taxi?A: It depends on your comfort zone, budget, time of day, number of people/bags, etc. In general, the cost will probably be about two to three times the typical taxi fare, or more. If you are relatively new to Asia, it might be a bit overwhelming, and you might find it reassuring to see someone holding a sign with your name as you walk out of baggage claim.
Q: Is it best to take the expressway or surface streets?A: Depending on your destination and time of day, surface streets might be quicker and/or shorter. However, expressway tolls will usually add less than THB 200 to the trip (see above), so you may wish to defer to your driver.

Q: What types of scams should I watch for?A: The most common thing you'll encounter is taxi drivers who do not want to use the meter. They will often ask for a flat fee that is usually much higher than the meter would register. If a driver refuses to use the meter, it's best to exit the taxi and get another. Do not get angry or argue with the driver. If a driver demands more money on arrival at your hotel, wait until your bags have been offloaded from the vehicle, then seek out a porter or other hotel employee to assist you. Again, do not get angry or argue with the driver. A driver may say there is a THB 50 fee to go to the airport. There is no fee to go TO the airport. If the fee is mentioned at the outset, get out and flag down a new taxi. If it is mentioned upon arrival at the airport, remove all your belongings from the taxi and calmly state that there is no such fee while handing over the metered amount. If the driver is insistent, offering to call over a police officer to assist will usually put an end to the discussion.

Q: What is the most common meter scam?
A: Very often, when you enter the taxi, the meter is obscured with a rag or towel, so you do not see that it has been running prior to your entrance,
and is now well over 100 Baht. Always ensure that you observe the driver starting the meter.
Q: If the driver does scam me, how much money are we talking about?A: Usually no more than THB 200-300, which is about USD 7-10
Q: I think I still have other questions...A: Just hit the reply button and get feedback from other helpful FlyerTalkers who take Bangkok taxis regularly!

Q: This all sounds like hassle. Is there some way I can use a small amount of money to make that go away?A: The AOT limo stands before and immediately after customs are trustworthy, although their initial quote will be for their most expensive vehicle. Ask for the Isuzu SUV. You'll be looking at 1,050THB / $33.50 to the center of town, inclusive of all fees and fares, and a small increment on that for a sedan. Credit cards are accepted. You will get a printed receipt before you get in the taxi. The vehicle will be well-driven, clean, and will have seatbelts.



Special thanks to FlyerTalker c_9 for building this wikipost.


This is a member-maintained wiki. FlyerTalkers are invited to update, add missing information and make corrections as needed. Thanks for helping out!
Print Wikipost

Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Mar 11, 2014, 8:34 am
  #151  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: body: A stone's throw from SFO, mind: SE Asia
Programs: Some of this 'n some of that
Posts: 17,263
Originally Posted by seanthepilot

If I was to write it in phonetics, I might write Soo-wanna-poom
That would be my representation as well. Anyone trying to go simply via a transliteration will get there but with a few laughs coming from the driver's seat.
dsquared37 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 12:19 pm
  #152  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA LT PLT; QR GLD; Bonvoy LT TIT
Posts: 12,733
Originally Posted by seanthepilot
If I was to write it in phonetics, I might write Soo-wanna-poom.
Originally Posted by dsquared37
That would be my representation as well.
Make that three for Sean's transliteration. Important, if there's a problem with the meter, etc., don't get into it with the driver until you're at your destination, and both you and your belongings are out of the taxi. Attempted ripoffs by taxi drivers here are times when the police are nearly always your friends.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 3:48 pm
  #153  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist, *A Silver
Posts: 4,896
Thank you for the tip. I do remember hearing that scams/ripoffs are somewhat rampant in Bangkok. Luckily I won't have luggage, just my personal carry-on. I will be storing the rest at the airport since I'm only there for one day.

What would I do though if there was a problem with the taxi driver? Are there police standing around departure all the time? And how would I know if there is a problem with the meter? I would be able to tell if the meter is starting high when I first get on the taxi (in which case I wouldn't get on).
TOMFORD is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 4:35 pm
  #154  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: in the vicinity of SFO
Programs: AA 2MM (LT-PLT, PPro for this year)
Posts: 19,781
Originally Posted by agp423
What would I do though if there was a problem with the taxi driver? Are there police standing around departure all the time? And how would I know if there is a problem with the meter? I would be able to tell if the meter is starting high when I first get on the taxi (in which case I wouldn't get on).
Two common scams are (A) driver not being willing to turn on the meter -- often after verbally agreeing "meter OK" --and (B) driver running the meter but still demanding more money.

I've hit both. In the first case, I won't close the door or fully step into the cab until the meter is on. In the worst case I hit, the driver started going anyway.

In the second, having gotten cameraphone pictures of him, his license, and the meter followed by a threat to call the tourist police convinced him to drop me off immediately while still in the city center (no charge, just plenty of cursing.) I'd imagine the suggestion of just going and paying the meter with airport security staff around would work too, although I wouldn't want to risk it.

The minimum fare/flag drop is 35B and I've never hit an obviously doctored meter; I'd imagine that one would be harder to contest.

There are also some destinations in the city where it's very hard to get a cab to agree to a meter; Khao San is particularly bad for that. While I imagine they're legally required to use the meter, if they refuse outright (as opposed to saying it's OK and then refusing it) just wave them on and get the next cab.
nkedel is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 6:06 pm
  #155  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok or San Francisco
Programs: United 1k, Marriott Lifetime PE, Former DL Gold, Former SQ Solitaire, HH Gold
Posts: 11,886
Originally Posted by agp423
Thank you for the tip. I do remember hearing that scams/ripoffs are somewhat rampant in Bangkok. Luckily I won't have luggage, just my personal carry-on. I will be storing the rest at the airport since I'm only there for one day.

What would I do though if there was a problem with the taxi driver? Are there police standing around departure all the time? And how would I know if there is a problem with the meter? I would be able to tell if the meter is starting high when I first get on the taxi (in which case I wouldn't get on).
Scams happen. "Rampant"? No.

Flag drop is 35 baht. You get a taxi from the taxi queue. Don't try to get one somewhere else or "rampant" becomes more accurate. There is a 50 baht surcharge from the airport. Some people try to get a taxi at arrivals to avoid that 50 baht. Don't do it.

Go to the taxi stand, get in line, there are people there making sure the taxis start off properly.
Tchiowa is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 6:08 pm
  #156  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok or San Francisco
Programs: United 1k, Marriott Lifetime PE, Former DL Gold, Former SQ Solitaire, HH Gold
Posts: 11,886
Originally Posted by nkedel
There are also some destinations in the city where it's very hard to get a cab to agree to a meter; Khao San is particularly bad for that. While I imagine they're legally required to use the meter, if they refuse outright (as opposed to saying it's OK and then refusing it) just wave them on and get the next cab.
They are legally required to use the meter. But there is no one around to enforce it. You're right, if they don't turn on the meter, point at the meter and say "Meter" (they know what that means). If they don't agree, get out.
Tchiowa is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 6:20 pm
  #157  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Snooky
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by Tchiowa
Scams happen. "Rampant"? No.

Flag drop is 35 baht. You get a taxi from the taxi queue. Don't try to get one somewhere else or "rampant" becomes more accurate. There is a 50 baht surcharge from the airport. Some people try to get a taxi at arrivals to avoid that 50 baht. Don't do it.

Go to the taxi stand, get in line, there are people there making sure the taxis start off properly.
Gotta agree. Bangkok isn't Geneva, but it isn't Manila either. I have yet to run into a rigged meter and never been asked for more money in 100s of rides. Lots of guys want a flat rate, but I don't get in. Every cab I've taken from the official queue at BKK has been straight with me. Meter + 50B + toll (or not).
whackyjacky is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 7:30 pm
  #158  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist, *A Silver
Posts: 4,896
Originally Posted by Tchiowa
Scams happen. "Rampant"? No.

Flag drop is 35 baht. You get a taxi from the taxi queue. Don't try to get one somewhere else or "rampant" becomes more accurate. There is a 50 baht surcharge from the airport. Some people try to get a taxi at arrivals to avoid that 50 baht. Don't do it.

Go to the taxi stand, get in line, there are people there making sure the taxis start off properly.
That airport taxi que sounds very similar to what I experienced in Ningbo.

I would be taking the train to the city though because my arrival time is during morning rush hour. I will be returning at night via taxi, traffic-permitting. My flight gets in around 7a and leaves around 11p.
TOMFORD is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 8:08 pm
  #159  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: body: A stone's throw from SFO, mind: SE Asia
Programs: Some of this 'n some of that
Posts: 17,263
Originally Posted by agp423
That airport taxi que sounds very similar to what I experienced in Ningbo.

I would be taking the train to the city though because my arrival time is during morning rush hour. I will be returning at night via taxi, traffic-permitting. My flight gets in around 7a and leaves around 11p.
Taking a taxi to the airport is rather stress free and you can avoid scams by doing 1 simple thing: hail a moving taxi.
dsquared37 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 8:21 pm
  #160  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR and back on Van Isle ....... for now
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 14,423
Originally Posted by dsquared37
hail a moving taxi.
Indeed, the oft quoted truth ^

Originally Posted by dsquared37
However 'airport Thai Air' is probably effective as well.
I just normally say airport, which is when THEY pronounce Sue wanna boom, or something like that.
EmailKid is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 9:32 pm
  #161  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: body: A stone's throw from SFO, mind: SE Asia
Programs: Some of this 'n some of that
Posts: 17,263
Originally Posted by EmailKid
Indeed, the oft quoted truth ^



I just normally say airport, which is when THEY pronounce Sue wanna boom, or something like that.
With 2 airports, each carrying sizable traffic, there needs to be a way to differentiate which you need to get to. The last thing you want is the driver to guess and be wrong.
dsquared37 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2014, 10:14 pm
  #162  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR and back on Van Isle ....... for now
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 14,423
Originally Posted by dsquared37
With 2 airports, each carrying sizable traffic, there needs to be a way to differentiate which you need to get to. The last thing you want is the driver to guess and be wrong.
I'm a UA flyer, so it's the new airport.

When I say airport, they, in my case, ALWAYS, ask:

"Sue wanna boom", or something like that

And I say, Yes.

If it were an LCC, guess I could say, "no, Don Muang".
EmailKid is offline  
Old Mar 14, 2014, 3:17 am
  #163  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA LT PLT; QR GLD; Bonvoy LT TIT
Posts: 12,733
Originally Posted by agp423
What would I do though if there was a problem with the taxi driver? Are there police standing around departure all the time? And how would I know if there is a problem with the meter? I would be able to tell if the meter is starting high when I first get on the taxi (in which case I wouldn't get on).
Here's what I did when it happened to me. Post. Just use common sense. It was OK for me to take a hard line at the airport because there are tons of people about, including airport security, traffic people keeping cars moving, etc. Police may or may not be standing around the driveway where departing pax are let off at any particular moment. Doesn't matter. The driver knows that if they're not there, they aren't far, either. S/he can't risk being caught ripping off tourists. The penalties are severe.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Mar 17, 2014, 5:54 am
  #164  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist, *A Silver
Posts: 4,896
I won't be staying at a hotel. I have a 17 hour day time layover in BKK, so my best bet is to get a moving taxi. What time should I leave the city if I plan to get back in the airport and in the TG lounge by 10p?
TOMFORD is offline  
Old Mar 17, 2014, 7:31 am
  #165  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok or San Francisco
Programs: United 1k, Marriott Lifetime PE, Former DL Gold, Former SQ Solitaire, HH Gold
Posts: 11,886
Originally Posted by agp423
I won't be staying at a hotel. I have a 17 hour day time layover in BKK, so my best bet is to get a moving taxi. What time should I leave the city if I plan to get back in the airport and in the TG lounge by 10p?
Depends if you're flying Coach or Business or First. The Coach check in lines and the non-VIP Immigration lines can be long. If you're in a Premium cabin figure 30 minutes to the airport and 30 minutes for check-in and Immigration. Another 30 minute "just in case" so I'd leave the city at 8:30. If you're in Coach, I'd leave an hour earlier.
Tchiowa is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.