Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin made a surprise visit to Suvarnahabhumi airport on Monday, and instructed officials to speed up immigration procedures and baggage claim for travellers.
The prime minister was accompanied by the Immigration Division 2 commander, Pol Maj Gen Choengron Rimpadi, who was seen answering his questions during the visit.
Mr Srettha posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, saying that passengers should to take no more than 30 minutes to go through immigration, and should also have to wait less time to collect their luggage.
Other issues that needed to improve and should probably be included tn the KPI (key performance index) for all officials included the IT system and its backup. It had crashed several times, he said.
His visit came ahead of planned upgrades to airports and the aviation sector across the country, to be kicked off in March. They include construction of a new runway at Suvarnabhumi.
Mr Srettha disclosed the plans during a forum organised by TNN Channel 16 last month.
"I don't want to see only the progress set down in reports. I want to see it with my own eyes," he wrote on Monday. (continues below)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin listens to answers from Pol Maj Gen Choengron Rimpadi, commander of Immigration Division 2, at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday. (Photo: Government House)
As the prime minister issued instructions to speed things up at the airport, including baggage collection, a passenger on Monday reflected on the reality of his arriving at Thailand's main aviation gateway on Sunday night.
Independent academic Kasemsant Weerakun was speaking on the Good Morning Asean programme on Mcot radio.
He said he and other passengers returning from Taipei on Thai Airways International flight TG635 on Sunday night had to wait 90 minutes to claim their luggage.
"What disappointed me and other passengers was there was no announcement by the airport informing passengers of the cause of the delay and when they could expect to get their bags," he said. "All we could do was sit and wait."
Their flight left Taipei at 8.20pm and arrived at Suvarnabhumi at 11.15pm on Sunday.
Suvarnabhumi and other major airports expect a rise in travellers from China during the Lunar New Year celebration beginning late this week.