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Bangkok and Other Airports - Your Recent Experience - Busy, OK or Quiet. Please Add your Experiences.


john luke
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I recently flew out of Bangkok Airport into Manchester UK, via Dubai on Emirates Air.

Emirates on their website and on e mails were advising passengers to arrive at Bangkok Airport at least three hours before departure and saying it could take up to six hours in some cases from arrival to boarding your flight.  I arrived at BKK two hours thirty minutes before flight time.  Check in was quick - I did use fast track, however there was a significant queue for economy passengers.  All the check in clerk wanted was passport; no questions asked about anything and paper boarding pass issued.

There were a few in the Emirates Lounge but plenty of space for everyone to be socially distanced.

Boarding was an efficient process, considering the number of passengers on the A380.

The flight set on on time, but then had to do a go around at Dubai due to some debris being on the runway.  Eventually landed with only forty five minutes transfer time to board the next flight to Manchester, so decided not to visit the lounge in Dubai.  

About five to ten minutes queuing to board.

Flight left about 30 minutes late but made up time to arrive Manchester about 10 minutes late.  No issues at passport control; Mrs JL with me so we used the non UK passport lane and approached a desk with only one person queuing.  Immigration Officer took both passports and asked Mrs JL how long she was staying.  She gave him her departure date; passport stamped and on our way.

Ten minutes waiting for luggage at the belt.  

Not apparently affecting incoming passengers but there seems to be a significant problem at Manchester for outgoing passenger going through Security.  I do not know whether it is affecting Fast Track and they have over three months to resolve it.

 

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BKK last Wednesday on a domestic flight to CEI and check-in was mobbed.  Thai Vietjet were actively patrolling the queue and anyone whose flight was in danger of closing was being prioritised to another queue.

Our flight was almost full and others boarding around the same time all seemed busy too.

CEI arrival was a breeze - bags out quick and no further checks.

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Before every 'holiday time' many UK airports struggle, though especially now as they scaled right back during covid and it's not so easy to recruit now as loads of jobs everywhere, combined with lots off work with a positive covid test. But the strategic planning by Managers is bollocks, i mean i could foresee this happening, the huge surge of people now going on holiday, the issues that would cause. It's their job to see and recognise this, and put contingencies in place as need be to make it work.

Manchester has been on the news a lot this last few days - https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-security-video-chaos-23576604

We always give ourselves plenty of time, have no sympathy for stupid people who can't be bothered arriving until the last minute. Never mind you have the XR fuckwits starting to block roads etc again. 

Will leave home to be at Heathrow at least 4 hours before our flight leaves in May. Less stress the better in my world!

Edited by Krapow
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3 hours ago, john luke said:

I recently flew out of Bangkok Airport into Manchester UK, via Dubai on Emirates Air.

Emirates on their website and on e mails were advising passengers to arrive at Bangkok Airport at least three hours before departure and saying it could take up to six hours in some cases from arrival to boarding your flight.  I arrived at BKK two hours thirty minutes before flight time.  Check in was quick - I did use fast track, however there was a significant queue for economy passengers.  All the check in clerk wanted was passport; no questions asked about anything and paper boarding pass issued.

There were a few in the Emirates Lounge but plenty of space for everyone to be socially distanced.

Boarding was an efficient process, considering the number of passengers on the A380.

The flight set on on time, but then had to do a go around at Dubai due to some debris being on the runway.  Eventually landed with only forty five minutes transfer time to board the next flight to Manchester, so decided not to visit the lounge in Dubai.  

About five to ten minutes queuing to board.

Flight left about 30 minutes late but made up time to arrive Manchester about 10 minutes late.  No issues at passport control; Mrs JL with me so we used the non UK passport lane and approached a desk with only one person queuing.  Immigration Officer took both passports and asked Mrs JL how long she was staying.  She gave him her departure date; passport stamped and on our way.

Ten minutes waiting for luggage at the belt.  

Not apparently affecting incoming passengers but there seems to be a significant problem at Manchester for outgoing passenger going through Security.  I do not know whether it is affecting Fast Track and they have over three months to resolve it.

 

There was a report today about long delays within Manchester Airport due to covid related staff absences.

 

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22 minutes ago, Jambo said:

There was a report today about long delays within Manchester Airport due to covid related staff absences.

 

Yes one of the Manchester City Councilors seemed be be getting involved, blaming the Airport Management.

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Departed from BKK to Frankfurt via Doha with Qatar airways middle of March.

Airport was not really busy, some check-in sections deserted, like this one:

IMG20220313223052.jpg

Was flying Economy to Frankfurt and the check-in just had opened when arriving 4 hours before departure. Not many passengers in the queue at this time, had to wait maybe 5 minutes.

Scanning of carry-on and the immigration was quick. With plenty of time on hands, I wandered across the whole airport to find a nice place to have some food, but many shops and restaurants were closed and under renovation. Only Burger King had a queue and later I was told they ran out of beef patties (it was close to midnight).

Arrived at the gate a bit early which was still closed and had to walk a bit to other gates to find an empty seat. 

The flight had many empty seats, most of the 3-seaters had 2 passengers. Arriving at Doha in the early hours the airport was busier than BKK.

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The leg to Frankfurt was almost empty. 

The return flight was on business and in Frankfurt I could use the Air Canada lounge. Check-in was still closed when I arrived 3 hours and 10 minutes before departure. The staff had no clue about Thailands entry requirements and had to discuss with the supervisor for some time. Emirates was more clued up 3 month ago.

The business class was maybe 60% booked, no idea about economy.

The duty free shop in Doha was packed with Indians and Filipinos. Business class to BKK was sold out.

Getting out of the plance there was a check-point were 2 staff had a quick glance at the documents (Thai pass, hotel reservation and insurance; PCR Test was not required anymore) and stamped the arrival card.

One of the 2 immigration points in BKK was closed and the officer there sent us back in the wrong direction to where the immigration for the Phuket flight was located. A**hole!. When arriving at the luggae belt, my bags had arrived (thanks to VIP sticker and the idot of immigration officer who made me walk an additional km).

Then similar to 3 month ago the arrival hall was bustling like a bee stock with passengers sesrching or waiting for their pick-up and hotel representatives trying to arrange the cars. According to the list I was supposed to take a shared car to Sunshine Garden but I told them that I had booked a private car and insisted on it. 15 minutes later I got the car while others who arrived earlier were still waiting.

Edited by CampariO
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Changi airport was busy last weekend as things finally start to open up here .Wife and eldest son went back to Thailand. Seems the airlines/ airport  havent  reinstated all the checkin staff yet. Business class still had a queue. Was going to use  the stupid auto machine checkin, but then you have to still queue to drop the bags off after printing everything out. Pointless 

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Don Meaung quite busy but beautifully upgraded airport.

Had not been in about 15 years ...... all the old last minute Massa places are gone as is that revolting Bill Bentley pub. Now its a coffee type bar but serves beers at 8am so ......... impressive these days no doubt.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

 

Heathrow Departure:

Flew out of LHR T2 on one of the busiest travel days of the year in the morning (09/04) - from 10:00 onwards it was utter chaos.

On arrival at the Terminal , the check in queues were being divided up, plus people made to queue outside the Terminal until 3 hours prior to their flight, we were asked our flight time, I just said 0830 to NY and walked on, as it was a security guard with no authority whatsoever. The outside queue was moving quickly but the writing was already on the wall, as the Terminal got busier in pre entry / check in, people would be made to wait outside.

Once inside, check in counters for departing flights were rammed, so much so that people were marshalling travellers into one side of the Terminal to allow other travellers to pass through and get to their check in desks.

Luckily we were very early. Left home at 0400, got to LHR at 06:45(with a diversion as the main road into LHR, the M4 was closed for roadworks) dropped off the car at meet and greet, then joined the fast moving queue to get into the terminal.

We managed to get to the Singapore check in desk which had opened early, got rid of our luggage and headed through Security. sat at a restaurant having breakfast and watching the terminal fill up was a sight.

If departing from LHR T2, it makes sense to give yourself an extra couple of hours.

Changi airport Singapore Transit:

Not busy. No rules or special lanes for Transit PAX, masks mandatory. All shops open, money changers available but no ATMs that I could see.

Very well ordered, not too busy but it is a massive Airport so if you are making an onward connection, ensure you know which Terminal your connecting flight is from. Shuttle bus and train runs every few minutes, but for the newbie or unprepared, it can soon turn into a big headache.

Security screening is done at the departure gate, passes and bags checked, all electronics including watches and belts / shoes need to be removed and placed in a tray. Typical Singaporean efficiency here, fast moving queues and efficient staff. No checks of Vacc status needed, just passport and Boarding pass.

If making any connections, then a 2 hour window is arguably best, slightly more if connection is from another Terminal and allow for delays etc.

NAIA Arrival:

OHP checked at the end of the Airbridge visually, then checked again in a booth prior to immigration and scanned, then checked again at the immigration counter.

Non Filipino passport holders have 4 assigned desks, not busy and quite efficient. Filipino pp holders queue gets long and delays expected. Don't worry too much about filling in loads of details on the immigration and customs dec cards, such as detailed addresses. just put "Diamond Hotel Roxhas Blvd" on it and you'll be fine.

NAIA Departure

Don't.

Upon arrival at the Airport, queues form outside for baggage screening, take approx 20 minutes of standing outside in 36 degree heat as you move along, then you have to unload bags from the trolley and put them on the screener, then leave the trolley,go through, get another trolley and load them up again. Busy all the time, regardless of time of day due to the sheer number of travellers.

Useful tip: hire a porter and for 50 php per case paid at the booth, plus 100 php tip (100 for 1 or 2 bags, 200 for a shedload of work - we had 8 bags) and he'll take you to the front of the queue, put your bags through and take you to your check in area. £10 or less for someone to do all that is well worth it IMO. So, if you have 2 cases, that's 100 peso hire plus 100 peso tip to jump the queue and someone else to lug your crap around for you. 200 peso is around £3.20.

All airlines have nominated ground staff at the entry area of check in, they'll guide you and pre check docs. very helpful. NAIA is always busy though. Check in is done semi chaotically, don't expect to maintain your position in the line, people get moved, shunted, pushed and sent to other desks on a whim. Staff here are pissy about weight, and will send you to excess baggage with impunity. That in itself is a massive pain in the arse, but if you get hammered, don't queue again, just get your XS baggage slip and return to the original check in counter, if it's busy, just wait behind the person being served. No one says anything.

I'd advise 4 hours prior to flight to arrive and get squared away, at least 4 hours, 5 to be on the safe side.

LHR T2 Arrival

As always, a total pile of wank. We arrived Sunday AM, walked the long way to immigration, only to be queuing outside the area in the main corridor. Moves fairly quickly though, but it takes approx  +/- 1 hr plus to reach the E-gates (which don't work). I asked the snotty bitch if we could go to the regular immigration counter, she said we have to try the E gates first, (which is bollocks because when the manned counters get quiet they allow pax to divert to them) so when we got to the E gate area, I just pushed past and went through to the normal immigration counter.

Great service at the manned counter, very affable and decent bloke on there. By the time we got to the baggage collection, everything was on the floor, so had our bags within minutes. Baggage collection area was heaving though. Never seen it so busy.

Tip:

Use the regular manned desk if E gates are busy, just say your E passport doesn't work and insist.

Once we were through, the queue for immigration was relatively small, approx 1/4 of the size when we arrived.

Traffic out of T2 moderate, managed to maintain constant 73 mph all the way around the M25 and up the M11 ,but it was Sunday morning.

 

Edited by Butch
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On 4/3/2022 at 10:00 AM, Krapow said:

Before every 'holiday time' many UK airports struggle, though especially now as they scaled right back during covid and it's not so easy to recruit now as loads of jobs everywhere, combined with lots off work with a positive covid test. But the strategic planning by Managers is bollocks, i mean i could foresee this happening, the huge surge of people now going on holiday, the issues that would cause. It's their job to see and recognise this, and put contingencies in place as need be to make it work.

Manchester has been on the news a lot this last few days - https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-security-video-chaos-23576604

We always give ourselves plenty of time, have no sympathy for stupid people who can't be bothered arriving until the last minute. Never mind you have the XR fuckwits starting to block roads etc again. 

Will leave home to be at Heathrow at least 4 hours before our flight leaves in May. Less stress the better in my world!

I know you're off soon mate, T2 departures wasn't that busy when we arrived, the metal poles for the outside queue had gone when we passed by, but it was a Sunday. I think the busy weekends in April, especially after 2 years of restrictions meant every man and his dog were flying somewhere.

I was concerned about the XR/ JSO wankers so we left mega early, but couldn't imagine the crusties getting up before 0800 and causing issues, but I had a spare bottle of stale piss on standby , just in case.

Also seemed to be fewer staff milling around as well. Roadworks around LHR have now gone, so if going by car you'll be fine. not sure if you're THAI or EVA, but iirc THAI wanted a hard copy of everything when I took my mate back in January.

 

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Just one point from my last exit via Bangkok.  They seem particularly keen on checking the size of power bank battery chargers.  It might save you a couple of minutes if you put take them out of your carry on luggage and leave them visible in the tray.

 

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I wonder if anyone has recent experience of flying on Jet2.

I recently checked in online for a flight I have from Edinburgh on the 14th of this month having previously ignored their invitation to pay a surcharge to "guarantee" me being to bring an item of cabin luggage on with me when boarding. I have never seen that before for any flight of mine.

I had assumed that this was just another way of the airline generating income and did not give it much thought however I read a "notice" showing when I was checking in online stating that they were taking no more bookings for such cabin luggage.

It has always been my practice to bring with me a laptop sized carry bag although these days I simply use it for a selection of small but relatively expensive items I would not wish to leave in my suitcase. It would fit under the seat in front of me although I usually manage to hide it behind my legs so I have access to it during the flight.

This bag, as an item of cabin luggage, has never been a problem to me in the past but if they said to me "Sorry that will have to go into the hold" would be a pain at the very least.

Likely or not?

 

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2 hours ago, Butch said:

I know you're off soon mate, T2 departures wasn't that busy when we arrived, the metal poles for the outside queue had gone when we passed by, but it was a Sunday. I think the busy weekends in April, especially after 2 years of restrictions meant every man and his dog were flying somewhere.

I was concerned about the XR/ JSO wankers so we left mega early, but couldn't imagine the crusties getting up before 0800 and causing issues, but I had a spare bottle of stale piss on standby , just in case.

Also seemed to be fewer staff milling around as well. Roadworks around LHR have now gone, so if going by car you'll be fine. not sure if you're THAI or EVA, but iirc THAI wanted a hard copy of everything when I took my mate back in January.

 

12.30pm flight, so will get to T2 by 8.30am, gives us 4 hours, and hopefully with Covid numbers dropping quite a bit now not as much off sick, and T2 generally being more perpared, hopefully not be as bad as your experience. 

I was talking too a guy yesterday who was on the same flight, he said it was fine now. 

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3 minutes ago, Jambo said:

I wonder if anyone has recent experience of flying on Jet2.

I recently checked in online for a flight I have from Edinburgh on the 14th of this month having previously ignored their invitation to pay a surcharge to "guarantee" me being to bring an item of cabin luggage on with me when boarding. I have never seen that before for any flight of mine.

I had assumed that this was just another way of the airline generating income and did not give it much thought however I read a "notice" showing when I was checking in online stating that they were taking no more bookings for such cabin luggage.

It has always been my practice to bring with me a laptop sized carry bag although these days I simply use it for a selection of small but relatively expensive items I would not wish to leave in my suitcase. It would fit under the seat in front of me although I usually manage to hide it behind my legs so I have access to it during the flight.

This bag, as an item of cabin luggage, has never been a problem to me in the past but if they said to me "Sorry that will have to go into the hold" would be a pain at the very least.

Likely or not?

 

Flew with Jet2 in Feb, hand luggae was fine, they're my favourite low cost airline.

This is on their website -

Hand Luggage Allowances

You may carry on board one piece of hand luggage free of charge, as long as it weighs no more than 10kg and is no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including any wheels and handles. If your hand luggage weighs more or is larger than this, it will need to be checked into the aircraft hold, and you may have to pay an additional charge.

You can also bring a small, personal item on board (such as a handbag, laptop bag or airport purchase), as long as it is placed underneath the seat in front of you. Please note that you cannot drink any alcohol purchased at the airport (or beforehand) during the flight.

There are restrictions for the carriage of liquids through airport security in hand luggage. All liquids, aerosols, and gels must be presented for screening in containers of 100ml or less, and within a clear, resealable plastic bag of no more than 1 litre in capacity. Anything exceeding these requirements will need to be placed into your hold baggage and checked in.

All hand luggage is carried in the cabin at our discretion, and we reserve the right to check it into the aircraft hold for operational or capacity reasons. If this is the case, you must ensure that you remove all valuable items (including travel documents, money, medication, keys, spare lithium batteries, as well as any electronic items containing lithium batteries) and carry these with you in the cabin.

Subject to availability, you can pre-book Guaranteed Cabin Luggage for an extra charge, and if you have purchased this service, you will not be asked to put your hand baggage in the hold (unless it exceeds the weight and size requirements detailed above or operational requirements apply).

The Facts
  • Hand luggage must be no more than 10kg and no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm.
  • You can also bring a small, personal item on board.
  • All liquids, aerosols and gels must be 100ml or less.

 

 

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I flew Jet2 to Malta last year.

The Jet2 Holidays (flight and hotel) normally include hand luggage plus one check in bag; however if a passenger just books flight only, then said passenger is only allowed hand luggage and must pay a surcharge for check in bag.  The knock on effect of this is that many passengers try to travel with only hand luggage (mainly small cabin size suit cases with wheels) and the overhead luggage racks become over full.  They then have to transfer some of these cases into the hold.

At check in/ luggage drip passengers are often invited to have their hand luggage case checked in for free, to free up some of the overhead luggage spaces.

Surcharge to guarantee passengers can retain hand luggage and not have it checked in are certainly a post August 2021 addition.

 

KLM use a small Embraer plane for a number of UK to AMS flights;  I have often seen them requiring passengers to allow hand luggage cases go into the hold due to lack of space in the overhead lockers.  Fortunately KLM do keep the overhead lockers for the front 3 rows or so for exclusive use of business class passengers.  

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BKK International Departures looking a bit more open and busier than my last time in July last year.  Still a long way to go.  Heading to the UK so no vaccine checks or Covid tests required.

bkk departures 030522_1.jpg

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Miracle Lounge Heineken and sausage rolls or Sakura (JAL) Lounge with Asahi and yakatori chicken - you choose!

bkk miracle lounge.jpg

bkk sakura lounge 01.jpg

 

Sakura Lounge toilets taking Covid seriously.

bkk sakura lounge 02.jpg

bkk sakura lounge 03.jpg

 

And don't bother with the bum gun there.  Not enough power to remove the weakest of your cling-ons.

bkk sakura lounge 04.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
1 minute ago, john luke said:

@Britboy @Bazle and anyone else who has recently flown.  Could you add a few lines about your airport experiences.

I flew with Lufthansa from LHR to BKK via Munich on 14/15 June. Absolutely no problems with LHR or BKK, but Munich gave rise to a bit of a problem.

Totally insufficient signage, and they wanted my Thai Pass en route to the gate, despite the fact they told me that I had been checked right through to BKK.

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Flew last month to BKK from CPH on THAI. 1 hour + check in time because of Thai pass checking, security at CPH took just short of 2 hours to clear!!!!! then you have to clear another immigration check point in the middle of airside to leave the EU!!! That was another 30 min wait as the officers were all been over-zealous today and been twats with their questioning!! Took off 45 mins late but landed on time. No one in any queue at immigration in BKK so Thai pass and finger prints done, collect baggage and into arrivals in 25 mins.

Flying back direct to LHR. No one at check in so was a breeze. Security check no queues. Waited for maybe 3 mins at immigration to get stamped out. Airside completely quiet at 11am. Arrived into LHR on time. But once again at T2 when I arrived, out of the about 25 self service passport machines, only 5 were working and the other 20 "broken down"!!! Luckily I was off the flight as some of the first passengers off and not too many other flights had landed at he same time!

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3 hours ago, Derek Dangleberries said:

Are they doing fingerprints for everybody??

My 6 year old didn't have to, but everyone else seemed to have to. She just had the pic/camera of her face. 

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40 minutes ago, forcebwithu said:

They started doing fingerprint scans for everyone a year or two before Covid.

 

35 minutes ago, Krapow said:

My 6 year old didn't have to, but everyone else seemed to have to. She just had the pic/camera of her face. 

In which case I feel very sorry for the people in the queue behind me then...Is it done at the immigration Desk..??

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