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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

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Old Mar 25, 18, 4:43 pm   -   Wikipost
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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: 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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Old Jun 1, 16, 6:00 am
  #811  
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Originally Posted by TravelDream View Post
I should have used Uber!

I caught a taxi from Silom to the airport last week and it cost 400 on the meter + 70 tolls :/

I don't know if this was a scam as it took close to two hours to get to the airport, as the traffic was horrendous (we left the hotel a few minutes before 5pm).
I agree with transpac - that's the correct fare given the 2-hour total time. Wait time is $$$.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 6:41 am
  #812  
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
It doesn't sound like a scam, and if it was, you got scammed for ~ 20 baht at most. 400 baht on the meter sounds reasonable, given the per minute "traffic" surcharge when traveling less than 6 kph.
There's almost always a wait/idle time charge for taxis, too. There certainly is in Boston and NYC.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 8:15 pm
  #813  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
There's almost always a wait/idle time charge for taxis, too. There certainly is in Boston and NYC.
I didn't mean to imply or suggest that this traffic surcharge was unique to Bangkok. I simply was trying to analyze and justify the the total fare mentioned (400 baht in that case).

AFAIK, UBER quotes a flat fare of 375 baht (inclusive of tolls) for Uber x, and 1,075 baht for Uber Black, Sedan, SUV/MPV from most central city locations to Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), and 370/1070 to DMK. The flat fares only are 300/1,000.
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Old Jun 3, 16, 11:27 pm
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I guess they lowered the flat rate pricing for UberX. When I did it from BKK to the SGS it was 500 including tolls. Now it says it's 300. Uber Black is 1000.

But if you use the pricing tool on their Bangkok page, it prices at 325 and 1025.

From the airport it's not bad I suppose, you can message the driver and tell them which door you are at. But I've given up on trying to get an Uber driver to understand where the SGS is after several bad experiences watching the little car go the wrong way on Sukhumvit or turn the wrong way on Asoke.

-David
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Old Jun 4, 16, 12:17 am
  #815  
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Yes they have lowered the flat rate from 500 to 300
But being jet lagged I paid the toll in cash (lucky only 25 baht because the driver took the turn off right before the additional toll) and was charged it again by uber.

even tho I filed a complaint on their form haven't heard anything
For pick up you specify the door when you order the car but it doesn't say if inner or outer road. I guessed right because inner road looked like vans and AOT cars.

Later I made the mistake, I think, of having staff type the hotel address in Thai and the driver tried to call me (with my US number! I think assuming I spoke Thai) I declined call and bell boy called him back and gave him directions in Thai _ lucky for me because the entrance and roundabout to the hotel entrance is almost impossible to see and only marked in English! (Hotel centara watergate). Of course the driver wouldon't follow my direction at the end so we took a little delay to circle the Robinsons garage to get to the Westin the fare was 62.54 had no idea they would bill in less than 1 baht!
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Old Jun 4, 16, 9:36 am
  #816  
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
I guess they lowered the flat rate pricing for UberX. When I did it from BKK to the SGS it was 500 including tolls. Now it says it's 300. Uber Black is 1000.

But if you use the pricing tool on their Bangkok page, it prices at 325 and 1025.

From the airport it's not bad I suppose, you can message the driver and tell them which door you are at. But I've given up on trying to get an Uber driver to understand where the SGS is after several bad experiences watching the little car go the wrong way on Sukhumvit or turn the wrong way on Asoke.

-David
I have had, shall we say, interesting experiences getting picked up at the Hyatt as well.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 7:43 pm
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I am trying to reserve a commuter van with AOT on their website. It only shows 4 hotel options and won't let search for anything else. I tried both safari and chrome and have the same problem. Any tips on how to get the website to find my destination hotel?
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Old Jun 13, 16, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinterpreters View Post
I am trying to reserve a commuter van with AOT on their website.
Email them: [email protected] - normally reply within an hour or two inside business hours.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:10 pm
  #819  
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I guess I would just use the nearest option, then sort it out on arrival? They have a desk in the baggage claim area, and another right outside the Customs exit.

http://www.aot-limousine.com/web/contact_us.html

Contact Us
AOT LIMOUSINE CALL CENTER
TEL: 662 134 2323/4/5
MOBLIE: 6686 342 1445/6
FAX: 662 134 2328
E-MAIL: [email protected]

AOT LIMOUSINE CUSTOMER RELATION
TEL: 662 134 2773
MOBILE:6686 342 1447/8
FAX: 662 134 2216
E-MAIL: [email protected]
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Old Jun 20, 16, 1:58 am
  #820  
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I'm a bit geeky about technology, and prepared to do just a bit of extra work to use Uber and watch those little cars moving towards me on my smartphone.

But airports generally defeat me. I've chased around CGK looking for my car, and been abandoned at other airports. Just wondered how simple it is to synchronise a pick-up place at BKK, without resorting to voice chats with driver.....
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Old Jun 20, 16, 2:38 am
  #821  
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Just wondered how simple it is to synchronise a pick-up place at BKK, without resorting to voice chats with driver.....

I think there are a fair amount of first-hand experiences contained within this thread, I sort of remember a few.

We've had some visitors recently using UBER from Suvarnabhumi/BKK into town. They received a message from the driver to meet at Level 2/Arrivals, Door #N.

The doors are numbered clearly from 10 on the left, down to 1 on the right, if inside facing out. I think UBER drivers try for doors farther down on the left, so doors #7-10.

No experiences from DMK into town at all to report.

I assume you need some sort of mobile data access to both book a car, and communicate via the messaging system? Having a mobile phone number, and this has been hotly debated here, esp. a local number might make it easier to communicate with a driver?

UBER X is 300 flat plus tolls, other UBER are 1,000 flat plus the toll fee, which may vary based on exact destination/routing, maybe expect 50-75 THB?

From the airport I encourage visitors to use AoT cars, or a taxi, just for ease of use. Going to the airport UBER, GrabTaxi/Car are all fine.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 11:27 am
  #822  
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Just wondered how simple it is to synchronise a pick-up place at BKK, without resorting to voice chats with driver.....


From the airport I encourage visitors to use AoT cars, or a taxi, just for ease of use. Going to the airport UBER, GrabTaxi/Car are all fine.


Thanks - I'll reconcile myself to sticking to taxis from the airport !
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Old Jun 20, 16, 7:03 pm
  #823  
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I'm a bit geeky about technology, and prepared to do just a bit of extra work to use Uber and watch those little cars moving towards me on my smartphone.

But airports generally defeat me. I've chased around CGK looking for my car, and been abandoned at other airports. Just wondered how simple it is to synchronise a pick-up place at BKK, without resorting to voice chats with driver.....
The last few times I've attempted Uber at BKK the pick up location defaulted to Floor 2, Door 1. So no chasing necessary.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 1:42 am
  #824  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
The last few times I've attempted Uber at BKK the pick up location defaulted to Floor 2, Door 1. So no chasing necessary.
OK, mind switch again. I'm arriving from KL, so (relatively) unstressed, not jet-lagged, tired or hungover. And in no particular rush. So, time to give Uber a whirl: 300 baht sounds good, though i guess that's ++, so 375 (with no money going to AOT ).
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Old Jun 24, 16, 5:39 am
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We originally planned on using an OAT limo van for the 4 of us. But since our luggage never made the ORD - LHR leg of our trip, we didn't need that large of a vehicle and could just take a normal taxi to our hotel. We got a number from the kiosk and as we approached our cabs number slot we noticed some other person was already in the cab. They pulled out of the space and the guy parked next to him waved us over. It was what we refer to as a mini van in the US. As soon as we pulled out I asked in rudimentary Thai to use the meter. I knew there was going to be a problem as soon as he reached behind the front seat and pulled out a laminated paper with prices to different places, and listed airport - hotel at 900. He said something about only little cars use meter, this car 900 Baht. I told him no and to stop the car. He immediately said ok and turned on the meter.
Thanks to everyone here for giving advice on how things are supposed to work.
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