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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.


This is a member-maintained wiki. FlyerTalkers are invited to update, add missing information and make corrections as needed. Thanks for helping out!
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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Oct 21, 2014, 5:44 am
  #316  
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico
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.
We're in total agreement with the parked louts. However earlier this year the Aloft staff joked with me that even they had difficulties getting meter taxis for guests.

I've actually never attempted it and prefer to take the hotel tuk tuk to Sukhumvit where I can flag a moving cab.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 6:48 pm
  #317  
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If you find it challenging to get a taxi from your hotel, heading to the airport, or anywhere for that matter, give GrabTaxi (or GrabCar) a try.

I use GrabTaxi often, now I must be up to 60 or so trips, and find the service a breath of fresh air. The drivers are universally younger, tech-savvy, have newer vehicles, always use the meter and drive safely - they do get extra reimbursements for good reviews. There is a 20 baht service fee for using Grab Taxi. The application is incredibly easy to use.

I am often in areas where there are no passing taxis - either a housing development or a condo on a remote, dead-end sub-soi, so GrabTaxi has proven to be invaluable for me, and many, many, many others based on positive comments on Thai social media.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 8:58 pm
  #318  
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Originally Posted by transpac
If you find it challenging to get a taxi from your hotel, heading to the airport, or anywhere for that matter, give GrabTaxi (or GrabCar) a try.

I use GrabTaxi often, now I must be up to 60 or so trips, and find the service a breath of fresh air. The drivers are universally younger, tech-savvy, have newer vehicles, always use the meter and drive safely - they do get extra reimbursements for good reviews. There is a 20 baht service fee for using Grab Taxi. The application is incredibly easy to use.

I am often in areas where there are no passing taxis - either a housing development or a condo on a remote, dead-end sub-soi, so GrabTaxi has proven to be invaluable for me, and many, many, many others based on positive comments on Thai social media.
How well does it work in bad weather? I ask because that's the only time I have a problem finding a taxi. A couple of weeks ago I waited an hour before a taxi came by. Reason was there is a bus stop half a mile up the road and the taxis were all being flagged down there.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 9:54 pm
  #319  
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Originally Posted by Sam Drucker
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.
No clue.

The "authorities" variously talk about vehicle age, safety, safe operation, licensing, refusing fares, ad nauseum.

FWIW, I may choose to pay a flat-fare (bad weather, no other options, being pursued by a pack of soi dogs) although I generally am not put in this position. And, I don't want to force a driver to go somewhere if he doesn't want to go. These taxis have limited range (CNG/NGV), and refueling options. The last thing I want is to run out of fuel, or queue in a filling station for 45 minutes.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 10:24 pm
  #320  
 
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So is grabtaxi available in English? and if it is and u use it does the driver speak (or just read or maybe translation is done by the app) English?
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 11:02 pm
  #321  
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Originally Posted by estnet
So is grabtaxi available in English? and if it is and u use it does the driver speak (or just read or maybe translation is done by the app) English?
In English. Finds your location by your phone. You search for your destination just like checking in on Facebook. App is free. Might as well download it "just in case". I have it. Never actually used it but I probably should some times.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 11:04 pm
  #322  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
If you find it challenging to get a taxi from your hotel, heading to the airport, or anywhere for that matter, give GrabTaxi (or GrabCar) a try.

I use GrabTaxi often, now I must be up to 60 or so trips, and find the service a breath of fresh air. The drivers are universally younger, tech-savvy, have newer vehicles, always use the meter and drive safely - they do get extra reimbursements for good reviews. There is a 20 baht service fee for using Grab Taxi. The application is incredibly easy to use.

I am often in areas where there are no passing taxis - either a housing development or a condo on a remote, dead-end sub-soi, so GrabTaxi has proven to be invaluable for me, and many, many, many others based on positive comments on Thai social media.
Downloaded the app, will give it a try next time in Bangkok. (Service fee is now 25 baht, according to website.)

Question: if you book someone to pick you up at BKK, does the car go to where all of the other taxis queue? If so, how does one know which is the GrabTaxi car? Sign?

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 11:20 pm
  #323  
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Catching a Taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion [SEE WIKI FIRST]

Sorry, yes the fee for GrabTaxi is 25 baht, I was thinking about the radio dispatch fee.

I would not suggest trying to use GrabTaxi for a pick-up at the airport.
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Old Oct 30, 2014, 1:35 am
  #324  
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The latest news from Air Chief Marshall Prajin is that taxi fares will go up 13% sometime soon, maybe December-ish.

Who knows what might ultimately happen, or when, but this appears to be the plan as of today.

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/min...axi-fare-rise/


ACM Prajin is also floating other ideas...

Prajin floats curbing taxi numbers on road

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...umbers-on-road


In other news, Don Muang toll fee to rise 5-15 baht beginning December 22

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/don...g-december-22/
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Old Nov 4, 2014, 6:13 pm
  #325  
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Originally Posted by transpac
The latest news from Air Chief Marshall Prajin is that taxi fares will go up 13% sometime soon, maybe December-ish.

Who knows what might ultimately happen, or when, but this appears to be the plan as of today.

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/min...axi-fare-rise/


ACM Prajin is also floating other ideas...

Prajin floats curbing taxi numbers on road

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...umbers-on-road


In other news, Don Muang toll fee to rise 5-15 baht beginning December 22

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/don...g-december-22/
I'm a little concerned about the discussion of reducing the number of taxis on the road. While there are plenty of taxis now, if you reduce the number seems like it will encourage more drivers to start refusing to use the meter. Seller's Market.
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 12:28 am
  #326  
 
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I'm staying at the Marriott Sukh and have an early, 7am flight out of BKK. The car company (Oriental escape) is insisting upon a 330am pick up. Its exactly 28km and there is usually very little traffic at 4am. I am insisting 430am will be MORE than enough time and they are refusing to pick me up. I guess I'll take Uber.
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 12:48 am
  #327  
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You could also try GrabCar or GrabTaxi.
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 1:13 am
  #328  
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Originally Posted by lucycan
I'm staying at the Marriott Sukh and have an early, 7am flight out of BKK. The car company (Oriental escape) is insisting upon a 330am pick up. Its exactly 28km and there is usually very little traffic at 4am. I am insisting 430am will be MORE than enough time and they are refusing to pick me up. I guess I'll take Uber.
No need to leave your hotel before 5AM. The trip takes 45 minutes max.
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 3:16 am
  #329  
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Originally Posted by holtju2
No need to leave your hotel before 5AM. The trip takes 45 minutes max.
Majority of car services require 3 hours prior to flight time for pickup. The reason for this is because they are worried about responsibility if missing flight for pax.

Personally I think 5 AM is cutting it very tight if not flying business or first on an international flight. Even at 4AM I have waited 30 minutes in line for passport control if not in the priority line- and in this case the OP really risks to miss their flight if international.

For a 7A flight I would leave the hotel at 4A if flying economy and max 445A if flying business/first due to the differences in passport control and security queues.
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 4:42 am
  #330  
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG
Majority of car services require 3 hours prior to flight time for pickup. The reason for this is because they are worried about responsibility if missing flight for pax.

Personally I think 5 AM is cutting it very tight if not flying business or first on an international flight. Even at 4AM I have waited 30 minutes in line for passport control if not in the priority line- and in this case the OP really risks to miss their flight if international.

For a 7A flight I would leave the hotel at 4A if flying economy and max 445A if flying business/first due to the differences in passport control and security queues.
^^ Absolutely right. Lines at check-in, lines at immigration, if it's international and you are headed to the US there may be additional security at the gate, etc. I'd rather sit at the gate or in the lounge for an hour than cut is so close I'm worried about making the flight. Travel can be stressful in the best of times. No sense inviting more stress.
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