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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 Jun 24, 2016, 6:32 am
  #826  
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Originally Posted by travelinterpreters
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.
^
Nice work.
dsquared37 is offline  
Old Jun 25, 2016, 6:50 pm
  #827  
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As soon as we pulled out I asked in rudimentary Thai to use the meter.

The general recommendation here over time seems to be to sort out all details of your trip BEFORE loading bags, getting in the taxi and moving. As you walk up to the taxi state your desire to use the meter, your destination and any special routing requests, and ask if that is OK. If you get anything other than a resounding "YES", turn back and get another ticket, or inquire about another taxi which will use the meter, with any personnel lounging about.

It sounds like, based on the size of your party, you were re-directed to a larger vehicle, whose driver had a flat-rate on his mind, even though that is not currently allowed.

Once you are in a moving vehicle your leverage diminishes, and your chances of a physical confrontation increase. And you may be a Km or two from the taxi stand, once you get out.
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Old Jun 25, 2016, 8:00 pm
  #828  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
As soon as we pulled out I asked in rudimentary Thai to use the meter.

The general recommendation here over time seems to be to sort out all details of your trip BEFORE loading bags, getting in the taxi and moving. As you walk up to the taxi state your desire to use the meter, your destination and any special routing requests, and ask if that is OK. If you get anything other than a resounding "YES", turn back and get another ticket, or inquire about another taxi which will use the meter, with any personnel lounging about.

It sounds like, based on the size of your party, you were re-directed to a larger vehicle, whose driver had a flat-rate on his mind, even though that is not currently allowed.

Once you are in a moving vehicle your leverage diminishes, and your chances of a physical confrontation increase. And you may be a Km or two from the taxi stand, once you get out.

Looking back, that's what I should of done.
We were originally scheduled for US - KIX - BKK....but had multiple MX along the way and ended up going US - LHR -BKK arriving much later than I was planning on. My brain was still running a bit slow
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Old Jun 26, 2016, 1:23 am
  #829  
kkl
 
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Spoke to a UBER drive. He said to type where u want to meet up etc in the special instruction / comment box in the uber app. Thus they will know where to look for u.

I mentioned to him it was hard to get uber to pick me up from shopping malls as they had multiple exits/pick up points and advised me to type in which pick up point ill be exiting from.
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Old Jul 4, 2016, 4:03 am
  #830  
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Just want to confirm I can use UberX for family of 4 (2A 2C) and 2-3 carry on bags and still get the 375-ish rate (from BKK to hotel)

My concern is will the driver balk?

First time with a group at BKK and first time usibg uber

Thanks!
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Old Jul 4, 2016, 7:00 am
  #831  
 
 
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I'd use uber black for 4 people. uberx could be a pretty small vehicle.

Would your group + luggage fit in a regular taxi? The trunks are pretty small.

-David
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Old Jul 4, 2016, 8:43 am
  #832  
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem
I'd use uber black for 4 people. uberx could be a pretty small vehicle.

Would your group + luggage fit in a regular taxi? The trunks are pretty small.

-David
Thanks...to be safe I will do this. A Camry would be fine, a Prius C or some such not so much.
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Old Jul 4, 2016, 8:19 pm
  #833  
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Uastarflyer, where are you going from the airport?
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Old Jul 6, 2016, 3:36 am
  #834  
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The AoT car service has a full-size SUV, Isuzu MU-7, for 1,050 all in, for most destinations in town. It can accommodate 4 people plus luggage.

I arrived last night ~ 9:30 PM, and the taxi queue was huge, maybe ~ 100 people; I looked down from level 2 as I was getting in to the AoT SUV.

Traffic was OK for me - initially Google Maps/Directions said 1:55 (for a 40 min. trip), but it only took ~ 45 min., but still pockets of traffic jams owing to huge rains yesterday from 15:00 - 21:00 (neighbors told me this morning); with 3 - 5 hour traffic stoppages.

UBER X shows as 360 THB, all other UBERs, 1,060. The AoT service is easy, simple, fast.

Last edited by transpac; Jul 6, 2016 at 4:15 am
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Old Jul 7, 2016, 5:54 am
  #835  
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Hearing from friends/neighbors that the taxi situation at DMK - that is for those flying in to DMK and wanting a taxi into town - is quite bad - massive, unorganized chaos. Even jumping a cab on the departures level seems a mess.

Officials try to stop Don Mueang taxi drivers from overcharging passengers

The Department of Land Transport has launched a crackdown on taxis at Don Mueang International Airport to make sure they don’t take advantage of passengers.

The problem is partially caused by the fact there are insufficient taxis during rush hour and that many flights land at the airport at the same time, forcing passengers to go to the main Vibhavadi Rangsit Highway or flock to the second floor to hail taxis instead of waiting at the taxi queue, said the department's deputy director-general Cherdchu Nanthapong.

He said that some of these taxis are not registered with the airport, so they reportedly overcharge or simply reject passengers.

http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2016/07/0...ing-passengers

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/off...ce-don-meuang/
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Old Jul 9, 2016, 4:38 am
  #836  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
The general recommendation here over time seems to be to sort out all details of your trip BEFORE loading bags, getting in the taxi and moving. As you walk up to the taxi state your desire to use the meter, your destination and any special routing requests, and ask if that is OK. If you get anything other than a resounding "YES", turn back and get another ticket, or inquire about another taxi which will use the meter, with any personnel lounging about.
Within the past couple of years even this has become difficult. My recent experiences: the taxi man will agree to everything just to get you in the vehicle, and then change his tune. One even came straight out and said "you give me big tip" when announcing his fixed price.

I have switched to the Airport Link to BTS method to/from town. Pluses and minuses to be sure; but the deciding factor is not being treated like chump farang.


SL
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Old Jul 9, 2016, 8:20 pm
  #837  
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My recent experiences: the taxi man will agree to everything just to get you in the vehicle, and then change his tune. One even came straight out and said "you give me big tip" when announcing his fixed price.

I assume that you've reported these incidents? That's really the only way we'll see any changes.

In my limited experience I have found drivers who agree to use the meter before getting in to the taxi will stick to that agreement.
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Old Jul 10, 2016, 3:22 am
  #838  
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Originally Posted by transpac


In my limited experience I have found drivers who agree to use the meter before getting in to the taxi will stick to that agreement.
Yes, but on occasion some prodding is required even after said agreement.
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Old Jul 10, 2016, 10:27 am
  #839  
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Originally Posted by SunLover
Within the past couple of years even this has become difficult. My recent experiences: the taxi man will agree to everything just to get you in the vehicle, and then change his tune. One even came straight out and said "you give me big tip" when announcing his fixed price.

I have switched to the Airport Link to BTS method to/from town. Pluses and minuses to be sure; but the deciding factor is not being treated like chump farang.


SL
I know it's been said before, but take an AOT car. A little bit extra money but when you subtract out that they pay the tollway charges it's only $10-15USD or so extra. You get a nice car, professional driver, always on the highway so get there faster, no hassles, no waiting in a line or trying to duck security at the departure level.
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Old Sep 28, 2016, 5:32 pm
  #840  
 
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Tolls

What are the current prices for the tolls from BKK?

In case there is a big taxi queue how much would AOT be to Asok in a regular vehicle?

Thanks!
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