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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.



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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Aug 22, 2014, 5:45 pm
  #286  
 
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Originally Posted by Starblazer
So, my experience today... went to the dispatcher, got the card. Taxi driver didn't use the meter and tried to charge me 1000bht for the ride. As soon as I asked for the meter he changed his tune and went to the proper price. Thankfully I asked the airbnb host the proper rate for the taxi.
If you knew he was supposed to use the meter, why did you allow him to drive out of the airport without turning the meter on?
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Old Aug 22, 2014, 11:21 pm
  #287  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
The proper price is the meter.
Except when it's not (i.e., rigged meters)
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Old Aug 23, 2014, 8:15 am
  #288  
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Originally Posted by aBroadAbroad
Except when it's not (i.e., rigged meters)
But if done modestly most people wouldn't even notice. It's the greed that (potentially) foils the plan.... as usual.
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Old Sep 25, 2014, 2:03 am
  #289  
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Airport taxi kiosks online soon

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...ks-online-soon


Taxi drivers are also agitating for a fare (flagfall and/or distance) increase; threatening various activities such as refusing to use the meter.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...increased-cost

I haven't experienced any issues to date. FWIW, I do use GrabTaxi quite a bit now, especially if in locations where there are no taxis (housing development), going to various places including the airport. There is a 20 THB fee for GrabTaxi.

Last edited by transpac; Sep 25, 2014 at 2:10 am
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Old Sep 25, 2014, 8:59 pm
  #290  
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I found this photo of the new taxi dispatch kiosks:

https://th-th.facebook.com/notes/suv...52282751011879


"Suvarnabhumi Airport introduced the KIOSK technology system in order to enhance taxi queuing efficiency. The self-service kiosks are located outside of terminal first floor, exit door 4 and 7; and it is hoped that this system will results in safer and shorter waiting times for passengers. Suvarnabhumi Airport plans for the 5 systems on each exit to be fully functional and ready to accommodate passengers by the end of September 2014."
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Old Sep 26, 2014, 12:19 am
  #291  
 
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Taxis in BKK are crazy cheap. The last 5 years everything else is going up, up, up, & I'm paying them just about the same. I say give the cabbies the fare bump, if their license is automatically suspended for not flipping, refusing a fare, or rigging. This probably doesn't need to be mandated, just enforced. If they make a little more $$, it might attract a better class of people too. It's not an easy job - after driving a week in BKK, I'm sure I'd be murderous, ready to twist my own head off, or both.
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Old Sep 26, 2014, 1:43 am
  #292  
 
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico
If you knew he was supposed to use the meter, why did you allow him to drive out of the airport without turning the meter on?
Before I left the states I asked the airbnb host what the taxi fare should be. When I was headed back to the states, I flagged someone down from the street and used a taxi with the meter and the fare matched up. (fare to the airport the second time + 50bht = what i paid the first time)

And why? I was on a 24 hour travel day and by that time I wanted to get to the condo and I trusted (my mistake) the airport sanctioned dispatcher. It won't happen a second time
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Old Sep 27, 2014, 11:49 am
  #293  
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Originally Posted by transpac
I found this photo of the new taxi dispatch kiosks:
Yikes! Just what the long-haul arrival wants to face at 7 a.m.
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 2:53 am
  #294  
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This article indicates that both taxi and subway fares increases may have been approved.

Still confusing but maybe as early as "next month"? Taxi flag-fall will remain 35 baht but the per Km and traffic jam surcharge rates may increase.

http://bangkok.coconuts.co//2014/09/...ubway-approved

High fares for taxis, subway approved

Under pressure from drivers complaining of rising costs, the Transport Ministry has given a green light to increasing taxi fares.

In a session that also saw approval for higher subway prices, the ministry approved the first raise for taxi drivers in 22 years, which is expected to increase fares between 8 to 11 percent to offset the higher costs of living and energy prices.
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 7:54 am
  #295  
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... the first raise for taxi drivers in 22 years, which is expected to increase fares between 8 to 11 percent to offset the higher costs of living and energy prices.
Doesn't this sound inaccurate?

There was a price increase within the last decade, if I recall correctly.

In fact, the last time I was in the taxi queue in MBK, they were still displaying the old one.
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 8:58 am
  #296  
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Not sure. Maybe ~ 2006 they changed the 35 baht flag-fall from “the first 3 Km”, to the first 1 Km, which was obviously an increase.

I can only guess that they mean this is the first increase in the subsequent per Km, and traffic jam surcharge, in the stated number of years?

Note that this quoted increase has perhaps not yet been approved, nor has a date been announced for it to be implemented. Another article I read said that it was still being evaluated against potential increases in fuel. Who knows for sure?

Most taxi journeys are made by Thais, so this will have an inflationary effect on them. It is always challenging to get a taxi in the week of salary day (last Friday of the month) as people have more disposable income at that point.
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 11:56 pm
  #297  
 
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Originally Posted by 2lovelife
Doesn't this sound inaccurate?

There was a price increase within the last decade, if I recall correctly.

In fact, the last time I was in the taxi queue in MBK, they were still displaying the old one.
The only change was that the flagfall rate of 35 used to be for the first 2kms. In 2006, this was changed to the first 1 km. The rates were not changed. (Idk where the Post got 3km from......)

There will be a small increase as the junta needs the support of the drivers (majority are red shirt/PT supporters and a huge support base) after already improving things for motorbike taxi providers. PT was elected in mid 2011 with a policy promise to increase taxis fares yet by the time parliament was dissolved in late Nov 2013 nothing had happened.

An increase will quell potential future dissent and deal with cost increases for the industry. Flagfall may go up to 50 baht or a small increase in the rate which will upset my 555 rule. DLT is evaluating options now.
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Old Oct 14, 2014, 6:37 pm
  #298  
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The automated Taxi dispatch kiosks were out of order when I arrived on 9 Oct., so back to using the dispatchers at the desks, on level 1.
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Old Oct 14, 2014, 7:05 pm
  #299  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
The automated Taxi dispatch kiosks were out of order when I arrived on 9 Oct., so back to using the dispatchers at the desks, on level 1.
Dispatchers on 11 October also. I didn't even see any kiosks...?
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Old Oct 14, 2014, 10:30 pm
  #300  
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12 October around midnight I saw the kiosks but they were inoperative, and the regular dispatchers were there.

Also, I seem to have happened on a new taxi scam. Drivers have tried to victimize me with this on 4 out of 4 of my most recent airport runs (two to and two from BKK), all within the past few weeks. The clock on the wait/idle timer runs constantly, even though the light flashes only when the taxi is actually stopped. So at the end of the trip, the wait/idle timer reads precisely the total amount of time since the flag dropped. It's not a ton of money; and I've dealt with it the way I usually do by paying what I think the fare should have been and walking away. None of the drivers has protested yet.
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