Take the Skytrain to Suvarnabhumi Airport
Prepared by Harold Stephens
Travel Correspondent for Thai Airways International
It can’t be any easier. You can check in with all your luggage in downtown Bangkok and by taking the Skytrain to Suvarnabhumi International Airport you are there in fifteen minutes. And no checking in at the airport. You have already done that. It’s hard to believe.
The Skytrain is one of Bangkok’s phenomena. I have to admit, because of the Skytrain I am living in Bangkok. For many years I dwelled in the City of Angeles, until the traffic became unbearable. It would take me a couple of hours by bus to get to my office, and being a reporter, if I had to do interviews, I could only schedule one a day. I gave up, like many other Westerners. I packed up all my books and belongings and shipped them to my home in California. I was only there a few months when I made a return visit to Bangkok and, lo and behold, the Skytrain had begun service. What took hours before to travel I could do in minutes now. I moved back to Bangkok, books and all.
So what does this new service entail?
The Airport Link to Suvarnabhumi Airport provides two transit options — the Express Line and the City Line. Services on both the Express Line and the City Line are operated on the same tracks at the speed of up to 160km per hour. Both lines pass through an interchange at Makkasan to access the Bangkok MRT subway network at Phetchaburi Station.
What this means is the link now provides check-in and luggage transfer services at the BCAT Makkasan Station. These services are available exclusively for the Suvarnabhumi Airport Express Line trips. The check-in service at BCAT is available for passengers on all flights. The luggage loading services, however, are only available for Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways flights.
The baggage check-in system was developed by State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and Airports of Thailand (AoT) for Makkasan Station.
The direct Express Line provides a 15-minute non-stop journey between the City Air Terminal Makkasan station and Suvarnabhumi Airport. The trip is priced at 150 Baht per trip.
The Commuter Train makes eight stops throughout the city, taking 27 minutes to travel the 28 kilometres (17 miles) to the airport. The City Line commuter service links with both the Subway and Skytrain systems in Bangkok.
Passengers will be able to check in at BCAT 3-12 hours prior to their scheduled flight within the same calendar day.
At Makkasan City Air Terminal passengers will receive their THAI boarding pass and baggage tag at the THAI check-in counter. Passengers flying Thai Airways International may check-in at THAI counter numbers 16-20, located on Level 3 of Makkasan City Air Terminal, from 0700 to 2100 hours daily. The THAI MCAT check-in service is available only for passengers with confirmed tickets on a THAI domestic or international flight, and who have purchased the Express Line ticket on the airport rail link.
One important point to remember is that the trip to the airport is a pleasant one in which passengers travel in luxury. I made the trip and I wasn’t even leaving the country. I just wanted to see how it was, and I wasn’t disappointed.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. Dear Mr. Stephens. Did you know that “Merlion” is actually a word combination of a mermaid and a lion? So, if it's a mermaid, it must be female. Wait...it could be a combination of a lion and a mer-man, right? So it could be a male! And its head has long hair like a male lion, so it MUST be a male!
The Merlion has become an almost visual cliché to Singapore as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. This symbol has become well-known and has come to be identified with no other country in the world but Singapore.
If you would look at it closely, the Merlion, aside from its obvious lion-head-with-fish-like-body features – it is actually riding a wave! A surfer's icon? Whoa! This is as important as the other parts of the symbol as it represents the ancient city of Temasek (the Javanese name of the island before it was named “Singapura”). Singapore adapted the Merlion as its symbol exclusively for the Singapore Tourism Board in 1972. An anonymous reader.
A, Thank you anonymous reader. You have forced me to do my homework, so here it goes. The original statue of the Merlion is 8.6 metres tall and weighs more than 70 tons! It was sculpted by a Singaporean craftsman named Lim Nang Seng as commissioned by Singapore's former prime minister and founder of today’s Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. It cost over Singapore $165,000 to build in 1971. The statue was installed at the mouth of the Singapore River to welcome all visitors to this remarkable city. It has to be one of the most photographed sites in Singapore. And thank you for writing. I do like questions like this. —HS
Q, Dear Director. I thought your readers might be interested but this coming July is a very unique months. This year, July has five (5) Fridays, five (5) Saturdays and five (5) Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. Sincerely, Donna Kerble, NZ
A. Dear Ms Kerble, Thank yon ad I will pass it on to our readers, for whatever it is worth. —HS
E-mail: ROH Weekly Travel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note: The article is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.