Suvarnabhumi on Lunar traffic alert

Suvarnabhumi on Lunar traffic alert

Plans in place to help New Year travellers

Airport and airline workers are trying to create order out of the chaos of 200,000 passengers per day at Suvarnabhumi. (File photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Airport and airline workers are trying to create order out of the chaos of 200,000 passengers per day at Suvarnabhumi. (File photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Suvarnabhumi Airport is expected to be bursting at the seams with an estimated 2.6 million travellers expected to pass through the airport during the Chinese New Year holiday.

It's predicted the country's main airport will serve 200,000 passengers per day during the festival, which began Wednesday and runs until Feb 11.

The estimate represents a 3.3% increase in passenger traffic at the airport on the same period last year, said airport director Suthirawat Suwannawat.

It has prompted the airport to prepare for heavy traffic and deal with packed flights, congested roads around the airport and long queues at check-in counters.

"We suggest departing passengers opt for the Cuss," Mr Suthirawat said, referring to the automatic check-in machines installed at the airport. They are known as Common Use Self-Service machines.

So far, the service is available to passengers of 20 airlines, including China Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways International.

With Cuss, passengers do not spend a lot of time in a queue to get a boarding pass.

Immigration officers will man all immigration counters during travel rush hours in the morning and evenings, according to Mr Suthirawat.

He said Chinese tourists are likely to make up a large number of passengers. Airport facilities are ready to be fully utilised, which will help them check in for flights and clear immigration in the fastest possible time.

Mr Suthirawat added that Chinese speaking airport staff will be at information desks and also at taxi kiosks.

Airlines are laying on more flights to cope with increased passenger traffic. Bangkok Airways, China Eastern Airline and China Southern Airline have arranged most of the extra special and chartered flights.

In total, there will be 14,705 flights into and out of Suvarnabhumi during the Chinese New Year period or 8% more than the same period last year, according to Mr Suthirawat.

Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least three hours ahead of departure time for international flights and at least two hours prior to domestic flights.

The airport will also make sure there will be enough taxis to serve passengers.

Taxis not registered to pick up passengers at the airport will also be brought in to cope with the increased passenger volume.

Mr Suthirawat also advised passengers to take public transport, such as the Airport Rail Link, airport limousines and express buses, to avoid heavy traffic congestion.

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