Bangkok Airport (BKK) Guide
About Bangkok Airport
Officially named Suvarnabhumi Airport, which means ‘Golden Land’, this busy, modern international airport is most commonly referred to outside of Thailand as Bangkok Airport, for its location.
One of two airports based in Bangkok, along with Don Muaeng International Airport, Suvarnabhumi lies around 30 kilometres east of the city centre. The sleek architectural design of the passenger terminal is an Instagrammer’s delight, with its striking glass and steel tubular corridors. Suvarnabhumi, also known as New Bangkok Airport to distinguish it from Don Muaeng International Airport, is the busiest airport in Southeast Asia. Click here for cheap flights to Bangkok.
What facilities are at Bangkok Airport?
Bangkok Airport offers travellers a range of facilities and services, including free Wi-Fi for the first two hours, internet kiosks, a fast-track Concierge service, money exchange kiosks and more.
Make your way up to the Departures Hall on the fourth floor of the Passenger Terminal Complex to check in at Bangkok Airport. Some airlines will have self-service check-in kiosks and for others you’ll need to attend the full-service check-in counters. If you’re departing from Bangkok Airport, you’ll need to arrive at the airport check-in at least three hours before your international flight. Check-in closes one hour before departure.
If you need to store your luggage at the airport for a few days, or don’t wish to carry your baggage around the airport with you, Bangkok Airport offers storage services at the Left Baggage Service counter on the second floor of the Passenger Terminal Complex in the Arrival Hall, at Baggage Claim on the second floor, and behind check-in counter Q on the fourth floor in the Departure Hall. Baggage storage is charged by the bag at a daily rate. For unclaimed or lost property, contact the Baggage Tracking Service counter at Lost Property on the fourth floor in the Departure Hall between Gates 5 and 6.
Is there a currency exchange?
Currency exchange services are available from more than 30 counters throughout the passenger terminal to convert your money into Thai Baht. Money exchange services, ATMs and banks are located before and after security on the Basement B floor, second floor, third floor and fourth floors of the Passenger Terminal Complex. You can also pre-purchase Thai Baht or load a Cash Passport travel money card with multiple currencies at Travel Money Oz before you fly.
Transport and terminal transfers
What’s the best way to get to and from Bangkok Airport?
There are plenty of transportation options to travel between the airport and central Bangkok, including five road routes, trains, buses and private transfer services.
The Fastest: Airport Rail Link
The non-stop Airport Railway Link is the quickest way to get from Bangkok Airport to downtown Bangkok, taking 15 minutes to arrive at Makkasan Station via the Makkasan Express Line or 17 minutes to get to Phaya Thai on the Phaya Thai Express Line. Another option is the 30-minute journey along the Suvarnabhumi Airport City Line, which stops at six stations to Phaya Thai Station. For an easy transfer to the Skytrain, Phaya Thai is your best option. Trains run between 06:00 and 24:00 daily from Basement B floor of the passenger terminal and depart every half hour for the express lines and every 15 to 20 minutes for the city line.
The Cheapest: BMTA Bus
Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) operates five city bus routes from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city centre, departing from the Public Transport Centre, a few kilometres away from the passenger terminal. Air-conditioned public buses and vans travel to Happy Land (05:00 – 24:00), Samuthprakarn (05:00 – 22:00), Samae Dam Garage, plus two services to Rangsit. Travel time is around one to two hours, depending on traffic.
The Bor Khor Sor inter-city bus also departs from the Public Transport Centre to several destinations within Thailand. The free transfer bus between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muaeng Airport leaves from the second floor of the passenger terminal at Gate 5 and operates every half hour or on the hour between 05:00 and 24:00 daily. To get to the Public Transport Centre, take the free shuttle bus from the second floor of the passenger terminal at Gate 5.
Limousines, Taxis and Car Hire
Metered taxis are another affordable way to travel from the airport to downtown Bangkok and your accommodation, and the 24-hour taxi stand can be found at Gates 4 and 7 on the first floor of the terminal, or take the free shuttle bus to the Public Transport Centre where more taxis are available. Airport taxi limousines, which charge by the distance, can be reserved from the Airport Limousine Service Counter on the second floor of the terminal at the Baggage Claim and Arrival Hall exits.
If you wish to brave the Bangkok traffic, car hire is available from the second floor of the passenger terminal near Gate 8 from rental companies including Avis, Budget and Hertz.
Short Stay Parking: Bangkok Airport has four short term carpark lots located near the Passenger Terminal Complex. The third floor of the terminal provides direct access to the fifth floors of the indoor car parks 2 and 3 from Gates 3 and 8. Car parks 1 and 4 are located outside the terminal. Parking rates for car parks 1, 2, 3 and 4 start from an hourly rate up to six hours and then a flat rate from seven to 24 hours.
Long Stay Parking: If you are leaving your vehicle at the airport while you travel, Bangkok Airport has one Long Term Car Park, which is located outside the Public Transport Centre. Long Term parking starts from hourly fee that goes up to a daily rate. To get to the airport terminal from the Long Term Car Park, take the free shuttle bus.
Valet Parking: While the airport does not offer valet parking services, guests staying at the onsite Hotel Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, located next to the Passenger Terminal Complex, can access valet parking at the hotel.
How do I transfer between terminals?
With just the single Passenger Terminal Complex, travellers in transit can easily move between floors using the escalators and elevators. Want to zip around the massive terminal faster? Passengers can reserve an electric buggy car for a maximum of three people. To access other areas of the airport such as the carparks and Public Transport Centre, there is a free airport shuttle bus that operates 24 hours a day from the first, second (Arrivals) and fourth (Departures) floors of the terminal. The shuttle bus has three routes, including an express line, and runs every five to 10 minutes during peak times and between 10 to 30 minutes at all other times.
What restaurants and bars are at Bangkok Airport?
You’ll find more than 50 dining venues within Bangkok Airport, ranging from the fast-turnaround dependables such as Burger King and The Pizza Company, to Asian restaurants such as Kinramen and Mango Tree. Style of food is deftly arranged to suit the gates of the departing airlines, so you have eastern concourses of the airport leaning towards more Asian-style eateries (near gates occupied by Japan Airlines and Thai Airways, for example), with western concourses offering more European-style cuisine. There are also plenty of wine bars and lounges, cafes, delis, juice bars and ice cream parlours to take your fancy.
Shopping at Bangkok Airport?
From Duty Free classics such as perfumes and liquor, to a whole world of luxury in Concourse D on Level 4, Bangkok Airport has something to keep shoppers of all tastes happy. You can find brands such as Bally, Burberry and Hugo Boss, as well as Thai stores such as Sai Jai Thai, which is a social enterprise selling traditional Thai crafts, with all profits going to support Thai people with disabilities. Mae Fah Luang is a similar store, selling arts and handicrafts made by the hill tribe people of Thailand.
What lounges are at Bangkok Airport?
With several locations across the third floor of the Passenger Terminal Complex at Concourse A, C, F and G, the 24-hour facilities include TV, VIP rooms, internet access, showers, spa, saunas and a restaurant serving snacks, refreshments and light meals. You can also choose to bed down in a standard or suite room for a four-hourly or six-hourly rate while in transit, which includes free breakfast and Wi-Fi access.
Transfer Passenger Lounges
On either side of the third floor of the terminal at Concourse B and D are the Transfer Passenger Lounges – free areas with adjustable chairs and TVs for travellers to relax while waiting for their flight.
Several airlines have lounges for their customers and club members to use at Bangkok Airport. Walk-ins may also be granted access for a fee – check with your airline about lounge entry requirements if you wish to access the amenities and relax in comfort before your flight. Here are some of the international airlines with lounges at Bangkok Airport.
Thai Airways operates seven Royal Orchid lounges at Bangkok Airport for its First and Business Class passengers. The Royal First Lounge at Concourse D on the third floor of the airport terminal is open from 05:00 to 01:00 for Royal First Class and Star Alliance First Class passengers as well as Royal Orchid Plus Platinum cardholders, and offers VIP rooms, a la carte dining, showers and slumber rooms.
The five Royal Silk Lounges, at Concourse C, D and E on the third floor (and Concourse A on the second floor for Royal Silk Class domestic passengers, open 05:00 to 23:30), are designated for Royal First Class and Star Alliance First Class clients and Royal Orchid Plus Platinum cardholders. Royal Silk Lounge perks include buffet bars, Wi-Fi, showers and a kid's area. Opening hours are 05:00 to 02:00.
The Royal Orchid Lounge at Concourse E is open to First Class and Business Class passengers and Royal Orchid Plus Gold and Star Alliance Gold cardholders travelling on any Star Alliance flights departing the same day. Amenities include private rooms, a buffet bar, showers, Wi-Fi and slumber rooms. Open from 05:00 to 02:00 daily.
With two locations at Concourse D and Concourse G on the third floor of the terminal, Cathay Pacific has lounges for First Class and Business Class customers flying with the airline, Dragonair or with oneworld carriers. The Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge grants access to Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and oneworld First Class passengers; Marco Polo Diamond members and Emerald oneworld members. The Business Class Lounge welcomes First and Business Class passengers travelling with Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and oneworld carriers; Marco Polo Diamond, Gold and Silver cardholders; Cargo Clan Elite members; and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire Frequent Flyers.
The Business Class Lounge is open daily from 05:30 to 18:30 (closed from 12:00 to 13:00), and the opening hours for the First Class Lounge are 05:30 to 19:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays, 05:30 to 22:00 on Thursdays and Sundays and 05:30 to 00:30 on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Facilities include office amenities, buffet and snacks, hot and cold beverages and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Located in Concourse D near Gate D8, the Turkish Airlines lounge at Bangkok Airport gives Star Alliance passengers a fresh new alternative to some of the more established Thai Airways lounges. This lounge is open 24 hours a day, and is accessible to passengers departing Bangkok Airport on an international flight, including Australia-bound passengers flying Thai Airways.
What hotels are near Bangkok Airport?
Miracle Transit Hotel
This perfectly-placed hotel is only accessible to passengers booked on international flights, and offers deluxe rooms and suites in blocks of 6 to 12 hours. For longer stays, you’ll need to try a different hotel (see below!) but if you have a restricted amount of time and you want to put your feet up in privacy and comfort, this hotel is an ideal choice. The Miracle Transit Hotel also gives you access to a beauty salon, sauna, spa, massages, free Wi-Fi and duty free shops.
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport
You can’t get much closer to Bangkok Airport than this. The Novotel Suvarnabhumi is a 5-minute stroll from the airport terminal via the air-conditioned underground walkway, or a short ride via the 24-hour complimentary shuttle. This 4-star hotel offers a lengthy list of facilities, including eight restaurants and bars, VOUS Spa, a swimming pool, fitness centre, business centre and more.