Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks

PM turns screws over airport queues

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed authorities to come up with a contingency plan to tackle inordinately long waiting times at Don Mueang International Airport, after a backlash on social media from miffed passengers.

immigrationtourismtransporttechnology
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 9 August 2017, 08:26AM


This scene broadcast around the world last Friday morning (Aug 4) came from the Don Mueang International Airport’s arrival hall, where it took more than four hours to get a passport stamped. Photo: Han Lian/Instagram

This scene broadcast around the world last Friday morning (Aug 4) came from the Don Mueang International Airport’s arrival hall, where it took more than four hours to get a passport stamped. Photo: Han Lian/Instagram

Gen Prayut said such long waiting times happen only once in a while, yet he wants those responsible, in particular immigration police, the Transport Ministry and Airports of Thailand (AoT), to have a plan ready in times of unexpected traffic.

According to the prime minister, passengers arriving at the airport normally spend up “three to five minutes” to clear immigration.

The premier’s remarks follow a wave of caustic comments directed at the airport’s management by exasperated passengers who were left to endure waiting times of up to five hours before getting their passports stamped between last Friday (Aug 4) night and early Saturday morning (Aug 5) at Don Mueang airport.

Past reports by the AoT showed passengers had filed complaints from time to time about huge queues at the Don Mueang immigration counters, particularly during the busiest times of the day, from 5am-7am and 3pm-7pm.

Gen Prayut said the chaos was due to an unusually large number of delayed flights.

“I’ve told authorities to next time be prepared for a situation like this, which only happens once in a while. Normally it takes three to five minutes for passengers to clear immigration,” he said.

According to Wing Commander Suthirawat Suwanawat, general manager of the airport, the long waiting times were caused by an influx of passengers from four unscheduled flights on top of the 21 anticipated ones.

The airport was scheduled to deal with 21 scheduled flights between 11pm and 3am but an additional nine flights – which had been delayed – landed just before 11pm.

Gen Prayut ordered immigration authorities, the airport, and the Transport Ministry to join hands in addressing problems experienced by passengers at the airport.

“There have always been transport problems, be it to do with immigration or taxi services, which are part of travelling. We have to deal with them the best we can. We’re doing better but we’re still not at our best,” he said.

He said authorities concerned have also been asked to look into the requirement that all foreign visitors and Thai citizens fill out an immigration form when arriving and leaving the country.

According to Gen Prayut, completing immigration forms can sometimes cause delays because some passengers do not know how to fill them out properly.

He told authorities to see whether something can be done about this problem and if it’s possible for Thai nationals to bypass this procedure to ease the queues.

Following the chaos, AoT president Nitinai Sirisamatthakarn said the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is expected to approve a plan to install eight more immigration counters later this month, which will almost double the passenger-handling capacity from 1,000 people per hour to 1,800, he said.

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Jor12 | 09 August 2017 - 11:41:54

He's probably right...when you get to the counter. 

Discover Thainess | 09 August 2017 - 09:12:43

I think maybe the PM should check the stats over 3-5 minutes average.....

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Chinese men use fake taxi ploy to kidnap, rob Chinese woman in Phuket

"damage to the image of... taxi drivers" 555, that's a good one. If it were a real Tha...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Last week I had my monthly haircut for 150 thb. In next chair was a chinese tourist getting same hai...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Thai are good in marketing themselves, but many times bad in not delivering what they state/preach. ...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Despite all the discussion of what Thailand has done to make themselves look better to the Chinese.....(Read More)


Phuket light-rail budget B34.8bn for Phase 1 only, expected to jump 10%

Ben, they never bring in foreign experts to help with any major projects because it would make it mu...(Read More)


‘I only shot him to stop the attack’, says Patong tuk-tuk driver

Oh, so this Chartchai was just being a good citizen trying to protect tourists from this bad guy??? ...(Read More)


‘I only shot him to stop the attack’, says Patong tuk-tuk driver

‘the fight started because Panya has been cautioned over trying to trick and steal tourists’ be...(Read More)


Surf danger warning issued for Phuket

No need for having "ISLA'.There is already that expert pendejo.Just keep publishing his adv...(Read More)


Patong tuk-tuk drivers attack, kill motorbike taxi tout

What on earth is going on?! The guy's just sitting there smiling at the camera? Perfectly happy ...(Read More)


Patong tuk-tuk drivers attack, kill motorbike taxi tout

Ah yes - only recently the head of the taxi clubs was complaining about new taxes driving away touri...(Read More)