Domestic-International Connection at Suvarnabhumi

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by gleff, Nov 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I've only ever connected TG-TG for domestic-international at BKK, onward boarding pass in hand, clearing passport control at the domestic airport.

    So for the first time I'll be doing PG-CX on separate tickets, USM-BKK-HKG. It shouldn't be a problem to through-check luggage and I believe as an onward international passenger I should be able to clear immigration at USM, though on a separate ticket PG will not be able to print my onward BKK-HKG boarding pass (and I don't think they can print CX boarding passes in any case). Not 100% sure I'll be able to check in online for my CX flights which were booked with BA miles, and from my resort it might be a pain to do so in any case. Should I have any problem being treated as an international departing passenger at USM?

    Assume there's a transfer desk where I'll clear security to move from the domestic to international pier, where I can pick up my CX boarding pass?

    Ultimately the question is whether I'll be able to avoid going out into the departures hall at BKK, checking in with CX, and clearing immigration at BKK. Not a huge deal if I had to do that, but looking for what to expect.

    Thanks for any insight!
     
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  2. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    Don't think this is helpful, but I've just done an International-International SQ-TG transfer at BKK last month and found that the transfer procedure/flow had changed.

    Previously, the transfer counters were located on level 2 (same level you will be when you're out of the jetway) and then you would go to level 3 to clear transfer security before proceeding to the lounge.

    Now you need to clear transfer security first before proceeding to the transfer counters which were relocated to level 3. Beware that if you don't have your onward BP, you'll need to show your e-ticket printout or any other proof that you have an onward flight on the same day or the guard won't let you in inside the security checkpoint area.

    The security was very strict (even stricter than at SIN): shoes off, belt off, liquids out, ipad/laptop out and each passenger needed to go through a full body scanner. When I went through security it was morning time so it wasn't too crowded, but I really wouldn't want to do it during rush hour.
     
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  3. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    This is actually trickier than you might imagine. The ability to check a bag through to your international segment and go through immigration at the domestic airport go hand in hand. You cannot do one without the other.

    Yes, you can, under normal conditions get your BP from the transfer desk in BKK, however it's entirely possible that PG's inability to check you in for the CX connection can cause problems here. If they can't confirm your itin they won't check your bag through.

    NB: I've done this scenario PG-TG and TG-PG on a number of occasions and it's not a problem. Throw in CX and I've no experience.

    This is entirely false.

    Background: On Oct 1 2010 BKK rearranged their setup whereby the international transfer desks moved up to the 3rd floor beyond the transfer security area and the domestic transfer desks remained in their position on the 2nd floor proximal to the int-dom immigration area.

    Security is at the foot of the escalator to do one thing only: Stop domestic connectees from going upstairs. Period.

    Since I find these clerks to be rather annoying, and a line can needlessly form from their actions, I always walk by and offer them nothing, saying only 'transfer desk'. I have never been stopped. The most recent time this occurred was 5 days ago. Approaching the escalator my fiancee took out her BP and passport and then put them back in her purse after I explained that these two words work better than Open Sesame.

    I first noticed the scanners (I believe they are backscatter) on Sept 28. At the east transfer security there are two, at the west only 1. At that time all three (4?) lanes on the east side were being used and I self selected. Later that night, about 2AM, only the scanner was in use on the east side. At 5AM, while walking to my flight I could see the west security also only had one lane open, but it was the regular WTMD.

    Since that time, each time I've noticed only 1 line open, it has never been the scanner lane. I've also never been forced through it. Have they changed the policy? Who knows. In the 5 or 6 times since that initial one the scanners have been closed all but one or two times.
     
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  4. cennas
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    Entirely false? Well I did go through it myself last October 15.

    The last time I was making international-international connection at BKK was before this change and when the transfer counters were still located on the 2nd floor. And maybe just my bad luck, but during the time I made the transfer (around 08.45 am), the only security line that was opened was the scanner line. I was at the junction of A-B-C-D concourses I didn't even pay attention that they have the regular non-scanner line. All I saw everyone before me needed to go through that scanner. Oh yeah, all of us even received a full pat down too after going through the scanner.

    I know I'm not a regular BKK user but I don't think what I said was entirely false.
     
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  5. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    What is false is the need to either show a BP or printed itin to access the transfer desk. There's an elevator 20m to the north which isn't guarded at all. The whole scenario is folly.

    I didn't intend on the remainder of your story being labeled as false. BKK tends to be one of the few, if not the only, airports that actually asks about liquids still in my bags - I never remove them. They also seem to be unsure of which lanes to open for the transfer security. So far I've been lucky enough not to be directed to the NoS.
     
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  6. gleff
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    Does BKK offer opt-out?
     
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  7. kwai
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    I've only seen them operate a few times and only once did I notice it as the only lane open. So there is the possibility of self selecting. I doubt there is any ability to opt out.
     
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  8. kwai
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    While checking in at CNX this morning there was a family traveling CNX-BKK PG and connecting to BKK-CMB CX. The agent asked for their itin info and proceeded to process them as international pax. While we didn't stick around until they were finished checking in, and I didn't have this thread in mind, they were given a CIQ sticker which my newly minted better half saw. This means they were treated as an int pax with checked bags and an onward BP.
     
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  9. gleff
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    A couple of days ago I had no problem at USM. I had emailed PG ahead of time with my onward CX flight details, so they had it in their system even though I didn't have a boarding pass. They tagged my bags as an international connecting passenger. Gave me the CIQ sticker, and sent me over to the international departure gate so I could clear immigration at USM. And this sorta blew me away -- they gave me another sticker so that I would be picked up by Bangkok Flight Services on the jetway and taken over to international connecting security. I thought at first that this was because I was in business class, but they gave the same sticker to four coach passengers as well.
     
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  10. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Wow, Gary, thanks for asking this question! I am planning on flying REP-BKK on PG, connecting to BKK-HKG-LAX on CX (booked through AA) and only have about 75 minutes. Hopefully it's not too difficult for an intl-intl transfer as I don't plan on entering Thailand on that transit.

    I'll make sure to email PG. After all, I am a "Priority" passenger just for signing up for FlyerBonus :p
     
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  11. gleff
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    As long as your inbound aircraft is on time you will be more than fine, international-to-international is easy at BKK.
     
  12. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Well, not so fast, I got thwarted by phantom availability on CX. BA and QF show a lot of availability that JAL and AA don't. Guess I'll have to stay a night in BKK and fly business ....
     

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