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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.


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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Jun 10, 2014, 1:05 am
  #241  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 429
Originally Posted by lavedder
Does any one know much should I expect to pay a taxi from the airport to the Royal Orchid Sheraton?
At a guess the taxi fare is about 250 Baht, plus 50 airport surcharge plus I think it's now 75 in tolls on the expressway (increased from 70 last year)

Don't sweat much over the fear of overcharging. Just convert the excess cost into your own currency for a reality check.

Google maps will tell you the distance. Check that the meter shows something like the correct number of km.
11277m is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2014, 2:31 am
  #242  
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Originally Posted by 11277m
Just convert the excess cost into your own currency for a reality check.
What relevance does that have? Costs are home are related to costs at home and have no bearing on costs somewhere else.

If pad thai costs you $10 in NYC does that make it legit for a mom n pop resto in Ayuthaya to charge you $9? (When the menu in Thai says 50 baht?)


Originally Posted by 11277m
Google maps will tell you the distance. Check that the meter shows something like the correct number of km.
This is a good idea. Often the fares become outrageous because the cost per km increasing for increasing distance.

And I do agree with your 250 +/- assessment
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 4:01 am
  #243  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by 11277m
BKK to the Millennium Hilton is about 40km and should cost just under 300 Baht, allowing for 10-15 minutes of waiting.

In reality waiting does not add much to the fare, at about 1.25 per minute, unless it has changed recently.

If the meter shows much over 40km, or the fare is much over 300Baht, just wait until all your bags are out at the hotel hand the driver 300 and say "your meter is wrong, the right price is about 300 Baht." They may protest a little, but my experience is that they soon accept the money on offer.

Be calm, polite, patient, but firm. No need for any rise in blood pressure.

Same story on the way back to the airport. If there is any problem, just suggest that you will call the police to resolve the situation.
If it were that price on the way to the hotel I would have, but on the way to the airport I was in not the best of moods due to other things, and it was either pay the paltry 5 or so I'd been overcharged and not let it bother me, or risk ripping the drivers head off in a fit of unrelated anger if he disagreed to lower the price. I didn't fancy extending my stay with time in a 5* Thai prison


Originally Posted by dsquared37
I hope the car had some awesome a/c because that was one hot meter.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 9:48 am
  #244  
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Originally Posted by lavedder
Does any one know much should I expect to pay a taxi from the airport to the Royal Orchid Sheraton?
About 203THB. If you get caught in the traffic between the Silom freeway exit and the hotel, you may want to add another 30THB to that.

Don't forget to add the tollway of 75THB and the 50THB airport fee.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 9:03 pm
  #245  
 
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Thanks all.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 2:41 am
  #246  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37
What relevance does that have? Costs are home are related to costs at home and have no bearing on costs somewhere else.

If pad thai costs you $10 in NYC does that make it legit for a mom n pop resto in Ayuthaya to charge you $9? (When the menu in Thai says 50 baht?)
You make a valid point, but so does the previous poster. I can remember in Pattaya a few years ago a lot of farang getting absolutely apoplectic about paying 10 baht on a baht bus while Thais were paying 5 baht. If I dropped a 5baht coin on the ground and it rolled 10 feet away I wouldn't bother walking over to pick it up. Then to get into a screaming fight with a baht bus driver over the same amount simply didn't make sense.

Matter of perspective, IMO.
Tchiowa is offline  
Old Jun 18, 2014, 3:51 am
  #247  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 284
Supposedly a new computerised system is going to finally rid the airport of the taxi mafia and drivers cherry picking fares. Unlikely but let's wait and see if it is introduced.

Such a system would have the potential to make it much easier to also lodge a complaint against a driver post trip.

Taxi mafia clean out at Suvarnabhumi airport BKK Post, 18 Jun 2014
Taxi queues at Suvarnabhumi airport will be computerised within a month to end the influence of the "mafia" controlling cab operations there, chief of the 11th Military Circle Maj Gen Nirundorn Samutsakorn said on Wednesday.

Cabs will also be able to pick up passengers at the departure level on the fourth floor, but not park there. The reforms are part of the effort by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to better organise public transport.

Maj Gen Nirundorn said the army felt that the first priority in taxi management should be at the airport, for the sake of the countrys image and to prevent problems such as passengers left stranded on the road, over-charging of fares, and drivers acting improperly. Airport taxis and drivers would be required to register n a computer system at the airport, then the cab queues would be managed by a card system. All drivers would have to accept that the passengers they get, and the destination, would depend on the luck of the draw.

Taxi queue management at the airport had become a long-term problem. Most drivers wanted passengers going a long distance, for instance to Pattaya or Hua Hin when the fare would be 2,000-3,000 baht a trip. But these drivers also had to pay someone to select passengers for them, he said. Under the new computerised system, drivers accepting short-distance passengers would be allowed more frequent access to to the queue. It is expected that the mafia system will disappear, as there will be no need for someone to screen passengers for the taxis.
Full article; http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...ed-by-the-npco
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 10:03 pm
  #248  
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Two weeks ago we grabbed a taxi at BKK heading ot Aloft Soi 11. The driver hemmed at hawed at the no highway request (the request and his complaining were all in Thai) but it was after 9PM and that's the way I roll.

We arrived, sans traffic despite his continual rot dit statements, with a fare of 189. I gave him 270 a/i.

Last week, almost identical situation but heading to Four Points, the driver moaned about traffic because of rain etc. There was no traffic (nor street lights) but the meter read 230 at hte destination. He didn't even exit the car and when bags were out I gave him 250 and walked into the hotel. I could hear him say, twice, '50 baht for airport' but apparently he decided not to press his luck.

One other commonality between these two taxis were that they both draped a towel over the meter so all that was visible was the total fare.
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Old Jun 21, 2014, 3:33 am
  #249  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37
The driver hemmed at hawed at the no highway request (the request and his complaining were all in Thai)....
Did he know that you understood what he was saying as opposed to just knowing enough Thai to make the request?
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Old Jun 21, 2014, 4:37 am
  #250  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
Did he know that you understood what he was saying as opposed to just knowing enough Thai to make the request?
Yes... he just didn't want to take surface roads. My best guess is taking the highway would allow him to continue on to the Ploen Chit exit and rack up the additional mileage.
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Old Jun 21, 2014, 8:41 pm
  #251  
 
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The 2nd driver was an *sshole, but clever enough to rig his meter a reasonable % that most wouldn't notice. The lowest fare (non-tollway) I've gotten to the Asoke area was 170 a few months back.
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Old Jun 26, 2014, 9:22 pm
  #252  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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It gonna be better for Thailand - better taxi service!!!

Just came across this.... do you think it gonna be better?

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), currently overseeing Thailand’s administration, has launched a raft of measures aimed at improving the experience of travellers and tourists visiting the kingdom, as well as showing its commitment in welcoming visitors.

The NCPO announced last week that the taxi queues at Suvarnabhumi Airport are to be computerised in an effort to cut down on illicit control of cab operations. Under the new computerised system, the passenger queues will be managed by a card system and drivers will have to accept the fairs that they are assigned whatever the distance.

The fee for passengers taking a taxi from the queue to any destinations in Bangkok and the vicinity will remain at 50 Baht on top of the metre fares, which will always start at 35 Baht.
[snip]

[See more in Tourism Authority press release here:]
http://www.tatnews.org/phukets-hotel...obust-q1-2014/

Last edited by aBroadAbroad; Jul 7, 2014 at 8:23 am Reason: Changed to excerpt, added quote box; do not copy/paste whole articles
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Old Jun 26, 2014, 11:46 pm
  #253  
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Please follow the thread as it moves to the Thailand forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Jun 27, 2014, 12:16 am
  #254  
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Not to rain on anyone's parade, but having seen similar announcements before, I file this under "I'll believe it when I see it".
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Old Jun 29, 2014, 9:17 pm
  #255  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but having seen similar announcements before, I file this under "I'll believe it when I see it".
We've already seen substantive results of the military government's initiatives. I have no reason to believe that they will stop in the immediate future.
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