Published first May, 2014
Re-opened Bangkok Airport could do better
Kan Air proposes to start daily scheduled flights from Koh Phangan Airport to Don Muang Airport in Bangkok. This airport was closed when Suvarnabhumi was opened but re-opened a few years ago to cope with the congestion at the new airport.
Don Muang Airport (also spelt ‘Don Mueng’) was replaced by Suvarnabhumi because it was too small to deal with the rising numbers of tourists arriving in Thailand. The new airport was bigger and also closer to the center of Bangkok.
Although the walk down to passport control seems long and the food prices expensive, Suvarnabhumi for all its faults is a good international airport. It has a large capacity, it processes people into Thailand quickly, and best of all, it has a rail link connecting it with downtown Bangkok.
In contrast the newly opened Don Muang airport that currently hosts several major airlines such as Nok Air, Solar Air and Air Asia does not have the advantages of Suvarnabhumi. It doesn’t have a convenient rail link (there is one but not close and often the trains are 90 minutes apart), and it has less amenities and facilities. There is none of the clever zonal air-con or the same large selection of shops and restaurants.
Additionally the main food court is before passport control (when leaving the airport). A basic noodle dish costs 185 Thai Baht; on the street outside the airport it costs 35 Baht.
Finally, the check-in desks at the new Don Muang airport are often besieged with technical problems causing long queues.
It is hoped that Airports of Thailand (AOT) respond to the complaints made about Don Muang Airport and up-date the facilities, and lobby for a modern public transport link to the airport.
Further reading: www.bangkokboutiquehotel.info/blog/don-muang-revisited/