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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 1, 2016, 11:24 am
  #856  
 
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Originally Posted by Powers106
For the mavericks, just to say it is still easy to go to departures level and grab a taxi there - most times the waiting drivers hold the turnstile for you and help with your bags - but sometimes those same guys suggest fixed prices so you just have to stick to your guns and insist on meter even if that means taking a different taxi, and there is always one that will do meter.
I'm one. I do it even when I can expense everything because I'm in a taxi lickety split and I don't need a receipt for the expense report (unlike the AOT Limo) because the outlay is lower than my company's threshold for receipts required.

I've never had an issue.
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Old Oct 1, 2016, 12:46 pm
  #857  
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Originally Posted by Powers106
For the mavericks, just to say it is still easy to go to departures level and grab a taxi there - most times the waiting drivers hold the turnstile for you and help with your bags - but sometimes those same guys suggest fixed prices so you just have to stick to your guns and insist on meter even if that means taking a different taxi, and there is always one that will do meter.
I know, I know - friends do it, but i just feel a bit uneasy going against the system, especially now they are trying to smarten it up.
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Old Oct 1, 2016, 2:28 pm
  #858  
 
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Originally Posted by CJKatl
For comparison: A taxi to the JW in Aug was about 400 baht, including tolls and tip. That comes out to about $11.50 USD, versus $66.50 USD for the AOT service. The taxi was a very clean, maintained Corolla, albeit a little old. Personally, I'm willing to wait in line for thirty minutes to save $50, but YMMV.
I totally get your point, and most often I go to departures level for a taxi (especially if flying in from my home in Phuket). But sometimes, after a long-haul trip right into rush hour or heavy rain where you just know it's gonna be a long stressful slog of a taxi ride...well, it can be quite seamless and worth the extra money == grab a coffee or some beers before boarding, watch a movie on the iPad and suddenly you are there no matter how long it takes! LOL
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Old Oct 1, 2016, 2:36 pm
  #859  
 
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Originally Posted by tide
I'm one. I do it even when I can expense everything because I'm in a taxi lickety split and I don't need a receipt for the expense report (unlike the AOT Limo) because the outlay is lower than my company's threshold for receipts required.

I've never had an issue.
And I think it's improved a lot actually since they installed the turnstiles, not so many people trying to do it and plenty of taxis waiting around or just flipping passengers.

As a side note, I always flip on my Google maps, even knowing the route, then can always tell the dude...but when you get around Suk Soi 2, railroad tracks, funny underpass through Ploenchit center mall, well...it can get interesting or long (when headed to JW Marriott).
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Old Oct 1, 2016, 4:28 pm
  #860  
 
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Originally Posted by Powers106
I totally get your point, and most often I go to departures level for a taxi (especially if flying in from my home in Phuket). But sometimes, after a long-haul trip right into rush hour or heavy rain where you just know it's gonna be a long stressful slog of a taxi ride...well, it can be quite seamless and worth the extra money == grab a coffee or some beers before boarding, watch a movie on the iPad and suddenly you are there no matter how long it takes! LOL
When I'm traveling for work, I might do that, but out of my own pocket, fifty bucks is fifty bucks!

Originally Posted by Powers106
And I think it's improved a lot actually since they installed the turnstiles, not so many people trying to do it and plenty of taxis waiting around or just flipping passengers.

As a side note, I always flip on my Google maps, even knowing the route, then can always tell the dude...but when you get around Suk Soi 2, railroad tracks, funny underpass through Ploenchit center mall, well...it can get interesting or long (when headed to JW Marriott).
When I was dropped off at BKK last month, there were people standing at the turnstiles, but I didn't realize why. Next time I'll know that's an option.

The driver who took me to the JW did the funny squiggle through the parking lot across the street, so I assumed he knew where he was going, but after going through the parking lot he turned onto the Soi and drove past the hotel! By the time I could tell him he had to drive all the way back around.

And I also used to turn on Google maps, but now I use maps.me for GPS, which does not require connection through your cell provider, so it doesn't eat up data. Maps.me works perfectly in Bangkok.
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Old Oct 1, 2016, 9:15 pm
  #861  
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Other than morning rush hour, 07:00-10:00, for BKK to the JW Marriott, the tollway into town, then on to Bang Na/Sukhumvit, following the signs to South Ploenchit, with a U-Turn on the access road (Duang Phitak), then through Ploen Chit Center, onto Sukhumvit Soi 2, and into the JW is best. But don't go this way in the morning as you will get stuck on that access road for a long time. Otherwise exit at Sukhumvit, go up Soi 1, through Bumrungrad, down Soi 3 then left at Sukhumvit.

Maps might give you a general idea on where you are but they rarely show the divided/one-way roads and short-cuts through garages.

Occasionally the authorities block efforts to use taxis on level 4 at the airport, and you can't get through the turnstile with a luggage cart, but many locals and air-crew do use this method.
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Old Oct 1, 2016, 11:55 pm
  #862  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
Other than morning rush hour, 07:00-10:00, for BKK to the JW Marriott, the tollway into town, then on to Bang Na/Sukhumvit, following the signs to South Ploenchit, with a U-Turn on the access road (Duang Phitak), then through Ploen Chit Center, onto Sukhumvit Soi 2, and into the JW is best. But don't go this way in the morning as you will get stuck on that access road for a long time. Otherwise exit at Sukhumvit, go up Soi 1, through Bumrungrad, down Soi 3 then left at Sukhumvit.

Maps might give you a general idea on where you are but they rarely show the divided/one-way roads and short-cuts through garages.

Occasionally the authorities block efforts to use taxis on level 4 at the airport, and you can't get through the turnstile with a luggage cart, but many locals and air-crew do use this method.
Well I get to do it all tomorrow...snag a taxi at the departures level and then go stay a night at the JW ... such a great executive lounge happy hour too (4 hours long!). Will post if anything has changed!
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Old Oct 2, 2016, 4:02 am
  #863  
 
 
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Taxi is the cheapest option by far if you don't mind taking a taxi, but AOT option is not $66.50 unless you are getting one of the more expensive cars. Isuzu SUV is 1050, Camry is 1200.

At the AOT counter they are going to show you a rate sheet with the fancy German cars on it. Turn it over and and you save about 50% by selecting a Toyota Camry, which is a very nice, clean, new, comfortable car.

But sure, there are many people who prefer the 300 - 400 THB taxi fare to the higher priced AOT option. There's nothing wrong with that at all. I've done it both ways, using the departure level and the official taxi ranks also.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Oct 2, 2016 at 4:16 am
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Old Oct 2, 2016, 4:11 am
  #864  
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Well I get to do it all tomorrow

Good thing you didn't arrive today; you would have had to charter a boat. By far the nastiest storm I've ever seen here.
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Old Oct 2, 2016, 6:16 am
  #865  
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Originally Posted by Powers106
Well I get to do it all tomorrow...snag a taxi at the departures level and then go stay a night at the JW ... such a great executive lounge happy hour too (4 hours long!). Will post if anything has changed!
The Ren also has a stretch of 4 happy hours (and, for me, is much better positioned).
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Old Oct 2, 2016, 9:50 am
  #866  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37
The Ren also has a stretch of 4 happy hours (and, for me, is much better positioned).
I always stay at The Renaissance - easy location, lovely large rooms, helpful staff, excellent Lounge, and bath-tubs!

M
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Old Oct 2, 2016, 1:04 pm
  #867  
 
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Good tips on the Renaissance, it is a bit cheaper too, and I can spend that money on a Beamer!! lol maybe I will give it a shot next time!
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Old Oct 2, 2016, 9:00 pm
  #868  
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Four tourists traveling between BKK and DMK via taxi...



http://www.dailynews.co.th/crime/527689
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Old Oct 3, 2016, 5:47 am
  #869  
 
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Scan of the AOT prices at Suvarnabhumi 2016-10-03

I didn't take a scan of the picture side as the selling pressure became too intense LOL, but here is possibly a handy reference! Cheers, Powers
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Old Oct 3, 2016, 7:28 am
  #870  
 
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Originally Posted by transpac
Four tourists traveling between BKK and DMK via taxi...

http://www.dailynews.co.th/crime/527689
Glad to see nobody was hurt, but this does beg the question....

Why were they paying for a taxi when the free express bus between the two airports is reliable and comfortable????
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