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Phuket tells airlines not to be too greedy

PHUKET: The Provincial Public-Private Joint Economic Development Committee in Phuket has warned airlines not to sell overpriced tickets to tourists who wish to travel to the resort island, especially during long holidays.

By Bangkok Post

Sunday 26 February 2023, 09:29AM

Passengers at Phuket International Airport. Photo: TAC Phuket

Passengers at Phuket International Airport. Photo: TAC Phuket

The committee said on Saturday (Feb 25) it will try to intervene in response to tourist complaints about rising fares, despite finding evidence the fares are now below the standard benchmarks, reports Bangkok Post.

According to Phuket Vice Governor, Amnuay Pinsuwan, who acted as the joint committee’s chairman, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s (CAAT) airfare control measures divide the flight routes into two types due to the benchmark fares. Phuket is classified as having a rate limitation for full-service charging and low-cost carrier charging.

According to the CAAT’s notice, full-service flight operators can passengers no more than B13 per kilometre for seats with a baggage allowance of 20 kilogrammes or less, and that sum must also include onboard foods and drinks.

Meanwhile, carriers that do not provide these services are considered lowcost, and the authority requires them to charge no more than B9.40 per kilometre.

This means that for flights to Phuket, the airline should charge passengers no more than B9,074 per flight for a full-service flight [presumably from Bangkok] or no more than B6,561 per flight for a low-cost carrier, said Mr Amnuay.

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He said overpriced airfares during the New Year’s Festival and Valentine’s Day, while offputting to travellers, actually arose from high demand that is often encountered during the tourist high season.

This means that the cost of flying to the island will rise again during the long holiday for Maka Bucha Day and Songkran when the ticket prices are expected to reach B4,000 to B5,000 per seat, he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Amnuay estimated the average ticket price for this time of year will cost tourists at least B2,800–3,000 based on the price of a flight departing on March 11 and 12.

However, to prevent illicit ticket pricing, CAAT required every carrier to publish the fare rates report every month and every trimester and sent them a notice on airfare pricing.

Mr Amnuay added that those in authority deemed responsible for price gouging on popular routes would face a penalty of at least six months in jail and be fined up to B20,000, according to the aviation law.

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JohnC | 27 February 2023 - 09:04:47

Pretty much everything on Phuket is overpriced so why not airline tickets prices too. Get ripped off just getting here so then you are ready for the real price gouging that happens on arrival. Your airport taxi 'service' will be the next step to emptying your holiday budget. After that it all depends on where you stay and what you do.

CaptainJack69 | 27 February 2023 - 04:11:54

This from the people who just confirmed a blanket charge for all 'foreign' arrivals?

Kurt | 27 February 2023 - 00:08:31

This Phuket Provincial public-private joint economic committee should put her energy in cleaning up Phuket transport cartels, PLTO and Phuket airport authorities taxi monopoly. With that clean-up the committee will have her hands full. Start your work on Phuket instead of spilling energy for nothng on matters you know not to have influence about.  

Fascinated | 26 February 2023 - 13:28:37

Don't be 'too greedy- so a little bit is OK is it'?  Don't forget this affects domestic aswell as foreign tourists

Kurt | 26 February 2023 - 12:49:10

What is that Phuket committee talking as the evidence is that fares are below standard benchmarks?  What power has such local committee over national and international airlines ticket fares? Nothing. Airlines manage themselve. It is a international free market business mechanism, not that of a local office organisation.


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