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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 Mar 29, 2016, 7:51 pm
  #766  
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In the never-ending Bangkok taxi drama - they should make a Lakorn (Thai TV soap opera) about taxi drivers...

Swiss businessmen fleeced by Suvarnabhumi taxi - but Thailand restores some pride!

BANGKOK:-- The President of a Swiss company and his companion had a rude awakening to Thailand when they were charged 6,000 baht for an airport taxi ride downtown, reports Thaivisa News.

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/...es-some-pride/


Airport taxi driver fined 3,000 baht for overcharging Swiss passenger

The taxi driver who overcharged a Swiss executive for 6,000 baht on the ride from Suvarnabhumi airport to hotel on Sathorn road was today fined 3,000 baht and had his public transport driving licence revoked.

Pipatpol Jaikham, 57, driver of the yellow-green colour taxi bearing licence plate “มฉ936”, claimed he did not overcharge the Swiss passenger saying it was the consent of the passenger to pay 600 baht for the ride.

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/content/157355



Cabbie who bilked tourist loses licence

THE LAND Transport Department yesterday revoked the driving licence of the taxi driver who charged a Swiss traveller Bt6,000 for a ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport to a hotel on Sathon Road. The action was taken after a complaint went viral.

Director-general Sanit Promwong said Pipatpol Jaikam was ordered to report yesterday for questioning by the department and Tourist Police.

Those receiving bad treatment by taxi drivers can lodge a complaint by calling the 1584 hotline 24 hours a day, leaving a message at ins.dlt.go.th/cmpweb or sending |a email to dlt_1584complain@|hotmail.com.. They can also file a complaint at social media network such as Facebook through application and Line ID 1584 dlt. The story about the Swiss being cheated by the taxi driver was posted by Krit Karnchanabatr on his Facebook page.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/nati...-30282830.html

Last edited by transpac; Mar 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm
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Old Apr 2, 2016, 9:56 pm
  #767  
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After a few emails with the hotel (involving some other SNAFUs during the stay too) they've now managed to report the cab. Not that I can get my baht back, but at least I did something, instead of letting it go.
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Old Apr 3, 2016, 7:26 pm
  #768  
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Originally Posted by G-CIVC
After a few emails with the hotel (involving some other SNAFUs during the stay too) they've now managed to report the cab. Not that I can get my baht back, but at least I did something, instead of letting it go.
^
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Old Apr 6, 2016, 5:23 pm
  #769  
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I used GrabTaxi for a trip from the City to SBIA/BKK on 2 April. It was fine; think the booking fee was/is 20 baht, at least that's what the follow-up receipt stated.

I used the official taxi queue (level 1/door #3-domestic arrival) on 6 April 2016. No issues with taxi, driver, meter, etc. (It was a holiday.) No people in the queue, just one kiosk working, staffed by 2 guys, hands you a piece of paper with a parking spot, spots are clearly displayed.

You can see the airport taxi waiting lot - on the airport site but a few Km away - landing on 19L on the left side. Looked like ~ 250 cabs waiting yesterday at 15:30.

On level 4/Departures, the rotating gate seemed different, very tight and looks more challenging to "go the wrong way". I haven't stayed up to date on the usage of level 4 for getting a departing taxi.
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Old Apr 9, 2016, 9:14 am
  #770  
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Uber for songkran, 1 trip 350B

Get 150 baht off the usual 500 baht airport fare with code:
SONGKRAN2016
YOUR DISCOUNT

Can be used by new or existing users on uberX only
Valid until April 18, 2016 at 12AM
Valid for 1 trip to or from the airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Mueang Airport)
Cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions
Airport rates are here
Rates do not include tolls and are subject to dynamic pricing in times of high demand

PRO TIP FOR UBER TRAVELERS
Traveling with a friend? Sign a friend up on Uber for the ride home. Get him/her to use the promo code to take advantage of the discount one more time!
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Old Apr 9, 2016, 5:06 pm
  #771  
 
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Originally Posted by 2lovelife
Uber for songkran, 1 trip 350B
Sean, do you know if I stay at a hotel near the airport (Lat Krabang) and then go to Sheraton Grande would the regular Uber rate be less than the airport rate?
I have the choice of going back to BKK and using the promo (assuming it works) - but do the Uber drivers call to arrange pick up or text for same (esp for airport pickup) b/c I won't have local number and don't speak or read Thai?
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Old Apr 9, 2016, 6:36 pm
  #772  
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You can use the UBER fare estimator:

https://www.uber.com/fare-estimate/

Lat Krabang Railway Station, Lat Krabang
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Road Bangkok

Your Options:
uberMOTO฿106-138
uberX฿146-188
UberBLACK฿414-537
Sedan฿414-537
SUV/MPV฿414-537


That promo code may just be for an airport drop-off/pick-up?

http://uberbkk.com/uber-bangkok-promo-code
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Old Apr 9, 2016, 11:13 pm
  #773  
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Originally Posted by estnet
Sean, do you know if I stay at a hotel near the airport (Lat Krabang) and then go to Sheraton Grande would the regular Uber rate be less than the airport rate?
I have the choice of going back to BKK and using the promo (assuming it works) - but do the Uber drivers call to arrange pick up or text for same (esp for airport pickup) b/c I won't have local number and don't speak or read Thai?
Forget about Uber in Thailand. Use regular taxi. Much more easy in your situation and cheaper too. When you get in the taxi ask "Meter?" and if driver confirms you will be fine. If not, get out and take another taxi - there are plenty. You need cash though; no credit card.
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Old Apr 9, 2016, 11:30 pm
  #774  
 
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Originally Posted by SK AAR
Forget about Uber in Thailand. Use regular taxi. Much more easy in your situation and cheaper too. When you get in the taxi ask "Meter?" and if driver confirms you will be fine. If not, get out and take another taxi - there are plenty. You need cash though; no credit card.
Probably not a good idea to give general advice when you don't know the person
Been to Thailand multiple times and have been threatened by taxi's with fiddled meter, gone through 10 taxis who refused to use the meter (b/c they didn't want to go cross town), etc. Sometimes it's worth it to pay a little more and avoid those hassles!
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Old Apr 10, 2016, 3:19 am
  #775  
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GrabTaxi might be a viable alternative?

I've used it ~ 75 times, and have many friends, colleagues, neighbors who've used it many more times than that. Never had a single issue with meters or anything else; sure it costs 20-25 baht extra, but the cars tend to be new, in pristine condition, while the drivers tend to be younger, better, more tech savvy. In fact, it might be safer than UBER?
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Old Apr 10, 2016, 4:13 am
  #776  
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Originally Posted by transpac
GrabTaxi might be a viable alternative?

I've used it ~ 75 times, and have many friends, colleagues, neighbors who've used it many more times than that. Never had a single issue with meters or anything else; sure it costs 20-25 baht extra, but the cars tend to be new, in pristine condition, while the drivers tend to be younger, better, more tech savvy. In fact, it might be safer than UBER?
I agree.

There are business which only allow Grab taxis to pick up at their establishment as their patrons have had so much bad experience with the run of the mill taxi drivers.
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Old Apr 10, 2016, 10:04 am
  #777  
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Originally Posted by SK AAR
Forget about Uber in Thailand. Use regular taxi. Much more easy in your situation and cheaper too. When you get in the taxi ask "Meter?" and if driver confirms you will be fine. If not, get out and take another taxi - there are plenty. You need cash though; no credit card.
Originally Posted by estnet
Probably not a good idea to give general advice when you don't know the person
Been to Thailand multiple times and have been threatened by taxi's with fiddled meter, gone through 10 taxis who refused to use the meter (b/c they didn't want to go cross town), etc. Sometimes it's worth it to pay a little more and avoid those hassles!
Except that his general advice is quite good. In 20 years and thousands of taxi rides I've never seen a hot meter. Doesn't mean there aren't any, but it's rare enough not to be a serious concern. As far as taxis refusing to use the meter, may 1 out of 20 won't. And I get out and get another taxi.

If you're an Uber person nothing wrong with that. Go for it. But metered taxis are an excellent option for around town travel.

From the airport I use an airport limo. Nicer than Uber cars and you don't have to wait.

Originally Posted by transpac
GrabTaxi might be a viable alternative?

I've used it ~ 75 times, and have many friends, colleagues, neighbors who've used it many more times than that. Never had a single issue with meters or anything else; sure it costs 20-25 baht extra, but the cars tend to be new, in pristine condition, while the drivers tend to be younger, better, more tech savvy. In fact, it might be safer than UBER?
The only time I've used Grab is when it's raining. Leaving the office I can usually nail a taxi in 5 minutes. But if it's raining the 2 or 3 person queue turns into a 40 person queue. Grab gets you a taxi much faster than waiting for a random cab. Also at Bumrungrad all taxis are Grab.
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Old Apr 10, 2016, 1:27 pm
  #778  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
On level 4/Departures, the rotating gate seemed different, very tight and looks more challenging to "go the wrong way". I haven't stayed up to date on the usage of level 4 for getting a departing taxi.
No problems Jan 2016 going through the rotating gate. As you know, sometimes you have to 2-step it through a couple of turns i.e. every turn of gate the right-way opens up a small gap for egress.

If all else fails, you can climb over gates easily. That is, if you're not rocking a miniskirt that day.
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Old Apr 10, 2016, 3:31 pm
  #779  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
Except that his general advice is quite good. In 20 years and thousands of taxi rides I've never seen a hot meter. Doesn't mean there aren't any, but it's rare enough not to be a serious concern. As far as taxis refusing to use the meter, may 1 out of 20 won't. And I get out and get another taxi.
I've had a good handful of hot meters and have experienced being declined multiple times in succession for either the meter and/or destination more times than I care to count.

There are certain destinations at certain times of the day that i don't bother with taxis anymore and go straight to Uber.

I'll side with estnet on this.
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Old Apr 10, 2016, 8:10 pm
  #780  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa
In 20 years and thousands of taxi rides I've never seen a hot meter. Doesn't mean there aren't any, but it's rare enough not to be a serious concern.
I'll disagree with you there. I've been coming to Thailand regularly (I now live here and commute to BOS) and have had problematic meters at least a half dozen times. If only the taxi stars could align for me as they do for you!!
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