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Help on transferring at BKK from International to Regional

Help on transferring at BKK from International to Regional

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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:36 am
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Question Help on transferring at BKK from International to Regional

What is involved in transferring at BKK on our LAX - ZRH - BKK - PEN flight?

We will be traveling from Los Angeles to Bangkok via Zurich in business class on SWISS International.

Then from Bangkok, we're taking a short regional flight to Penang, Malaysia, on Thai Smile in economy. This is a separately purchased ticket that is unrelated to SWISS.

What is involved in the transfer? We have six hours between arrival at and departure from BKK
  • I assume we will need to collect our luggage from SWISS when we arrive at BKK and then check in again on Thai Smile.
  • Can all this be done airside? Do we have to go through immigration even though we're just transiting at BKK?
  • Any advice or tips on getting this done efficiently?
Thanks much.

Last edited by alocsin; Apr 6, 19 at 6:28 pm
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Old Apr 6, 19, 5:56 pm
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It depends on if Swiss would through check your luggage to PEN. If so no problems and you can transfer from airside to airside. Otherwise you would have to collect your baggage and check in again at Thai Smile. The good thing is that it is a single terminal and you would only have to change floors to get to the check in counters.
6 hours should be more than enough if your incoming flight is not delayed much. Since you are flying business class Swiss should give you fast track cards so you can use the fast track immigration counters.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:00 pm
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Will SWISS still give us fast track through immigration even though I'm taking the next flight on another airline?

Last edited by alocsin; Apr 6, 19 at 6:29 pm
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by alocsin View Post
What is involved in transferring at BKK on our LAX - ZRH - BKK - PEN flight?

We will be traveling from Los Angeles to Bangkok via Zurich in business class on SWISS International.

Then from Bangkok, we're taking a short regional flight to Penang, Malaysia, on Thai Smile.

What is involved in the transfer? We have six hours between arrival at and departure from BKK
  • I assume we will need to collect our luggage from SWISS when we arrive at BKK and then check in again on Thai Smile.
  • Can all this be done airside? Do we have to go through immigration even though we're just transiting at BKK?
  • Any advice or tips on getting this done efficiently?
Thanks much.
Does your BKK to PEN have a TG flight number or a WE flight number?
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:27 pm
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It's WE
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:47 pm
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Is this one single ticket? Or is the WE flight on a separate ticket?

On a single ticket, you may be able to check your bags through from LAX to PEN, and make the intl-intl-airside connection (security/itin/bp check) without entering Thailand. You may have to get your BKK-PEN BP at the connection counter if not previously issued.

I am pretty sure I've seen the Thai Smile logos at the intl airside connection counter. But that may only apply to those with an in-bound TG or WE flight?

And even on separate tickets, you may be able to do the same. Ask at check-in in LAX mentioning the separate ticket.

Failing that, you'd have to clear arriving immigration, fetch bags, clear Customs (all on level 2), head up to level 4 check in with WE, clear departing Immigration. Six hours will be more than sufficient.

I think Thai Smile uses Row D, Counters 4 - 7? You may not be able to check in until ~ 3 hours prior to departure, but not sure if they really adhere to that guidance?

There are some food/coffee options landside on level 3, and a local prepaid foodcourt down on level 1, door ~ # 9 or 10.

Last edited by transpac; Apr 6, 19 at 7:35 pm
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:52 pm
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Separate tickets.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by alocsin View Post
It's WE
Swiss Air does not have interline baggage with Thai Smile, but you could always try at check in? Otherwise you will have to go thru immigrations, then collect your bags, go thru customs and exit baggage claim. Go up two floors to check in areas. I think Thai Smile is at D counters. Check your bags and the go back thru immigrations.


https://www.swiss.com/za/en/prepare/...-partners.html





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Old Apr 7, 19, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by alocsin View Post
Will SWISS still give us fast track through immigration even though I'm taking the next flight on another airline?
Yes, to them you are a just a regular BKK arrival and qualify for a Fast Track pass.
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Old May 10, 19, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
Yes, to them you are a just a regular BKK arrival and qualify for a Fast Track pass.
Do Swiss hand out vouchers for fast track to business passengers or do you just show your boarding card? Thanks
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Old May 11, 19, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by Des Compton View Post


Do Swiss hand out vouchers for fast track to business passengers or do you just show your boarding card? Thanks
Welcome to FlyerTalk, Des Compton!

Swiss should provide vouchers, assuming they have them available. Relevant thread shows vouchers provided for LX departures. No info in the wiki for arrivals.

What airlines give pass for BKK Fast Track ?

The only boarding card that official works is TG.
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Old May 11, 19, 7:21 pm
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Sometimes check in agents do through check your bags even though they are separate tickets and not on the same alliance. I have checked my luggage though on TG to BKK from MNL and then on to QR though TG is on Star and QR is on One World and on separate tickets. It all depends on the agent and how strict they are.
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Old May 13, 19, 8:43 am
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TG agents are very good at checking bags to final destination - regardless if the separate ticket is same alliance or not. As long as there is a interline agreement most TG agents will do it. However, I believe this is not standard practice with order carriers. The question is here if the check-in staff at LAX will check bags to PEN when the LX ticket is to BKK only - I don't know the answer and I'm not even sure LX has its own staff there or if handled by third party ground staff.
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Old May 13, 19, 11:16 am
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Two data points to add based on personal experience:
  • The last time I jumped alliances with different tickets with checked bags I actually had four tickets starting in Denang on Vietnam Airways switching to a regional carrier in Hanoi to another carrier in KUL until returning to SkyTeam in BKK, flying home from a trip with several stops. It was much cheaper to purchase r/t tickets then unwind the outbound flights on the return. The Denang agents would not ticket the bags through the whole way because they were not sure they would to it correctly, so I had to get my bags in Hanoi and recheck them even though both were Vietnam flights. The Hanoi agents did book them on to KUL-BKK-ICN-DTW. At several subsequent stops I was called to the gate or an agent found me after boarding to tell my the bags were checked incorrectly and had to be rebadged. Someone asked if that was frustrating to which I answered it was actually good because it let me know the bags were there! The bags were at the carousel in DTW so it worked, I did not have to enter any of the countries and I had quite the baggage claim ticket collection when it was over. Because each itinerary is printed and they are all in a binder it was easy to hand the information to the agents at each stop for them to do whatever updates were needed.
  • A pilot friend later told me the issue is that different alliances use different programs which makes it difficult for one baggage system to understand information from another baggage system. While I do not know the accuracy of that information, it seemed to make sense based on agents in each airport wanting to update the tags.
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Old May 20, 19, 1:56 am
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We had a SIN-BKK-HEL flight, on TR and AY. No interline agreement and 4 hours between the two flights.

The inbound TR was on time, it took about 45 mins to get through immigration (no Fast Track with TR) and to collect the bags. Then headed upstairs where the AY checkin just opened, so we dropped our bags there and headed back airside. All said and done well within 2 hrs of TR wheels on tarmac.
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