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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 Oct 15, 2014, 1:03 am
  #301  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
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.
I've had this happen sporadically and sometimes the meter rings up the entire time and sometimes it doesn't.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 8:50 pm
  #302  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
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.
It's not a scam. Some meters are set to display wait time, some are set to display total elapsed time. I take a taxi every morning. Half the meters I see show total elapsed, the others show wait. Fares are virtually identical every day. If the 15 minute elapsed time was calculatiing as wait time the fares would be significantly different. They aren't.
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Old Oct 16, 2014, 2:06 pm
  #303  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
It's not a scam. Some meters are set to display wait time, some are set to display total elapsed time. I take a taxi every morning. Half the meters I see show total elapsed, the others show wait. Fares are virtually identical every day. If the 15 minute elapsed time was calculating as wait time the fares would be significantly different. They aren't.
Doesn't sound right to me. Then why does the light flash only when the taxi's stopped? And it doesn't add that much to the fare. Wait time is 75 baht per hour. So in my most recent roughly 30 minute ride to the airport, it was only an extra 35 or 40 baht. Not enough to make a real difference, but it adds up for the driver over many rides.
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Old Oct 16, 2014, 3:39 pm
  #304  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
Doesn't sound right to me. Then why does the light flash only when the taxi's stopped? And it doesn't add that much to the fare. Wait time is 75 baht per hour. So in my most recent roughly 30 minute ride to the airport, it was only an extra 35 or 40 baht. Not enough to make a real difference, but it adds up for the driver over many rides.
my guess is it still needs to record waiting time, in addition to total elapsed time. so flashing light when stopped makes sense?
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Old Oct 16, 2014, 6:10 pm
  #305  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
Doesn't sound right to me. Then why does the light flash only when the taxi's stopped? And it doesn't add that much to the fare. Wait time is 75 baht per hour. So in my most recent roughly 30 minute ride to the airport, it was only an extra 35 or 40 baht. Not enough to make a real difference, but it adds up for the driver over many rides.
I take a taxi every morning. Same route each time. Fare depends on traffic on Sarasin and Phahon Yothin. Varies from 107 to 115 baht on the meter. Today the meter read 17 minutes which is the elapsed time. 109 baht. So it clearly isn't calculating.

Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF
my guess is it still needs to record waiting time, in addition to total elapsed time. so flashing light when stopped makes sense?
That's my guess, too. But it is only a guess. What I can say is that the taxis I have taken that show elapsed time, I'm not getting charged for it.
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Old Oct 18, 2014, 5:43 am
  #306  
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF
my guess is it still needs to record waiting time, in addition to total elapsed time. so flashing light when stopped makes sense?
Originally Posted by Tchiowa
That's my guess, too. But it is only a guess. What I can say is that the taxis I have taken that show elapsed time, I'm not getting charged for it.
If the rates are set and controlled by the government, shouldn't the meters all work the same way? My taxi last night worked the way they all used to, -- waiting timer ran only when we weren't moving. BKK to Aloft on Suk soi 11 showed only 9 minutes' waiting time when I got here.

And an honest driver, too. When I got into the taxi, he offered me a choice of fixed price 500 baht or meter. Also offered me a choice of expressway or surface roads, and told me that the x-way would be a 75 baht toll.
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Old Oct 18, 2014, 6:25 pm
  #307  
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Another pronouncement....

Taxi fare to go up 8-13% in December

Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong said taxi fares will be increased by 8-13%, starting December.

The rise will come in two phases. From December to May, the hikes will be limited to 8%. After the period ends, service quality will be evaluated, he said.

If the results are satisfactory, the ministry will allow for increases to a maximum of 13%, he said.

But the minister said the starting fare of the first kilometre, however, will be capped at the same rate of 35 baht as it has been for more than 20 years.

A 50 satang increase from previous 1.50 baht to two baht will apply to each subsequent kilometre and when the car stops.

The distance to be calculated will also be reduced to every 10 kilometres from 12 kilometres , thus resulting in lower fares for shorter distances.

At present, taxi fares are 35 baht for 0-1km, five baht each for the first to 12th kilometres, 5.50 baht each for the 12th to 20th kilometres, six baht each for the 20th to 40th kilometres, 6.50 baht for the 40th to 60th kilometres, 7.50 baht each for the 60th to 80th kilometres, and 8.50 baht each for the 80th kilometre or higher.

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/tax...8-13-december/
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Old Oct 18, 2014, 8:53 pm
  #308  
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Originally Posted by transpac

The distance to be calculated will also be reduced to every 10 kilometres from 12 kilometres , thus resulting in lower fares for shorter distances.
It's already problematic to get a taxi for short distances... this will exacerbate that problem!!
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Old Oct 19, 2014, 1:46 am
  #309  
 
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Originally Posted by dsquared37
It's already problematic to get a taxi for short distances... this will exacerbate that problem!!
You're right, I didn't think of that. I guess I'll be hiking it. Motodops are no longer an option for me. A few years ago, my 2nd day of vacation, my dipshit driver got us T-boned by an SUV up by Samitivej. Unlike my driver, I was fortunate to just get my leg away from the bumper. His looked like a nasty compound fracture. I lucked out with a broken thumb, a dozen stitches, 1/2 my body road rashed , and a torn quad tendon. Stuck to the sheets every night. Tipped housekeeping big that trip.
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Old Oct 19, 2014, 4:09 am
  #310  
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Originally Posted by whackyjacky
A few years ago, my 2nd day of vacation, my dipshit driver got us T-boned by an SUV up by Samitivej.
Sorry to hear about the injury. OTOH, you were well located for medical treatment!!
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Old Oct 19, 2014, 8:35 am
  #311  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
Sorry to hear about the injury. OTOH, you were well located for medical treatment!!
Thanks Dr. You and I both know I got off easy though. It seems like it was the good old days & I was able to get a taxi short haul, even with all the blood. Had to force the guy to take a couple hundred baht too. A lesson learned. I liked Samitivej and stopped going to Bumrumgrad after.
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Old Oct 19, 2014, 12:10 pm
  #312  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
Another pronouncement....

Taxi fare to go up 8-13% in December

Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong said taxi fares will be increased by 8-13%, starting December.

The rise will come in two phases. From December to May, the hikes will be limited to 8%. After the period ends, service quality will be evaluated, he said.

If the results are satisfactory, the ministry will allow for increases to a maximum of 13%, he said.

But the minister said the starting fare of the first kilometre, however, will be capped at the same rate of 35 baht as it has been for more than 20 years.

A 50 satang increase from previous 1.50 baht to two baht will apply to each subsequent kilometre and when the car stops.

The distance to be calculated will also be reduced to every 10 kilometres from 12 kilometres , thus resulting in lower fares for shorter distances.

At present, taxi fares are 35 baht for 0-1km, five baht each for the first to 12th kilometres, 5.50 baht each for the 12th to 20th kilometres, six baht each for the 20th to 40th kilometres, 6.50 baht for the 40th to 60th kilometres, 7.50 baht each for the 60th to 80th kilometres, and 8.50 baht each for the 80th kilometre or higher.

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/tax...8-13-december/
One wonders how the intermediate service quality evaluation will be based? Seems to me the biggest existing problems are:

1) Drivers insisting on going off-meter.
2) Refusing a fare because the distance is either too short or too far in another section of town.
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Old Oct 20, 2014, 10:43 pm
  #313  
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And what a pleasant experience I just had. Got into a taxi at 0530 at Aloft. Both doorman and I specified meter. As we drove up Soi 11, the driver tried to turn the meter on, but it went completely dead. Dark. Once we got to Suk, he turned left and stopped by another taxi. He apparently explained the situation to the other driver, and loaded me and my bags into the second taxi. I started to hand the new driver money for the expressway tolls; but he said that it wouldn't be necessary at that hour.

Sure enough, got to BKK quickly, and with only 195 showing on the meter. Gave him a very good tip.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 12:13 am
  #314  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
And what a pleasant experience I just had. Got into a taxi at 0530 at Aloft. Both doorman and I specified meter. As we drove up Soi 11, the driver tried to turn the meter on, but it went completely dead. Dark. Once we got to Suk, he turned left and stopped by another taxi. He apparently explained the situation to the other driver, and loaded me and my bags into the second taxi. I started to hand the new driver money for the expressway tolls; but he said that it wouldn't be necessary at that hour.

Sure enough, got to BKK quickly, and with only 195 showing on the meter. Gave him a very good tip.
This is a good story. But getting a taxi on Soi 11 that uses a meter? Time for a lottery ticket I says!
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 12:39 am
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Originally Posted by dsquared37
This is a good story. But getting a taxi on Soi 11 that uses a meter? Time for a lottery ticket I says!
Probably true if you try to grab a taxi "cold"....never had any problems with drivers using the meter when the hotel calls for a taxi on my behalf.
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