TEST YOURSELF: Changes coming to airports

The automatic departure passport control lanes at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo by Apichit Jinakul
The automatic departure passport control lanes at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo by Apichit Jinakul

Problems remain at Bangkok's airports, but passenger charges are increasing.

Test Yourself can improve your reading skills. Whether it’s for tests like university entrance exams or IELTS and TOEFL, or even just for fun, these stories help you to read, understand and improve your English.

Read the following story by Narumon Kasemsuk from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

You can download audio and a PDF of this story below.

Traffic congestion outside the departure halls of Suvarnabhumi airport and long queues for arrivals have become expected, as problems have yet to be properly fixed.


In response to tourist complaints, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin made an unannounced visit to Suvarnabhumi airport earlier this month, after which he told authorities to shorten procedures at the airport to 30 minutes or less for each passenger.

The post-pandemic tourism recovery has prompted international and local carriers to add more flights, aiming to reach full capacity as soon as possible to compensate for losses during Covid shutdowns.

However, staff shortages among airlines and airports globally have caused problems.

Adoption of technology that might help the labour shortage has been slow, as some systems have proven unstable, while users often have a low level of technology proficiency in Thailand.


Despite the problems, fees are set to rise. Airports of Thailand (AoT) announced last year it will increase passenger service charges at six international airports from April 1, 2024, which would be allocated via the new operating system called Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (Cupps).

The additional tax of 30 baht is embedded in ticket prices, meaning the new total service charge for passengers is 730 baht.

For people using Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, they might be familiar with checking in using self-check-in kiosks and self-service bag drops, which are part of Cupps.

The system is expected to reduce long queues at check-in counters, though some congestion during peak hours is inevitable.

In addition to AoT's six airports -- Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Hat Yai -- other airports under the Department of Airports will also implement a new charge, for example with Krabi airport adding a fee of 16 baht.

Though self-service bag-drop has not started at Don Mueang airport yet, the airport is not as congested as Suvarnabhumi.


Staff still serve the self-check-in kiosks and self-service bag drops at Suvarnabhumi airport to help passengers as the process is relatively new for some of them unfamiliar with the technology.

Nok Air said tech adoption in Thailand is slow compared with airports in Europe and the US, as passengers take time to get used to technology in airports.

It estimates the settling in period could be 2-3 years.

Section 1: Choose the correct answer.
1. How long does Srettha want traveller procedures to take at the airport?  …………….
2. What is the current total service charge for AoT airport passengers?  …………….
3. The Cupps system will reduce queues at all times. True or false? …………….
4. Which Suvarnabhumi service is not available at Don Mueang?  …………….
5. Who does Nok Air blame for slow tech adoption?   …………..
6. Who thinks the settling in period could be 2-3 years?  …………….

Section 2: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.
“Rather than thinking …7… systems will cause job losses, we believe these technologies will …8… passenger services and increase the …9… of some operations, such as using AI for predicting pricing …10… more precisely.”

7. __A. electric                 __B. electronic            __C. electrode
8. __A. enter                   __B. enhancement            __C. enhance
9. __A. efficient                    __B. efficiency                   __C. effort
10. __A. trend                 __B. trends                  __C. trendy

Section 3: Find words that match the following definitions.
11. companies that transport people  ……………
12. having the skill to do something   ……………
13. sure to happen   ……………
14. full of people   …………

1. 30 minutes or less 2. 700 baht 3. false 4. self-service bag-drop 5. passengers  6. Nok Air 7. B 8. C 9. B 10. B 11. carriers 12. proficiency 13. inevitable 14. congested

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