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Old 03-13-2012, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default Swampy Immigration

Well, at least they admit its a problem....

BANGKOK/SUVARNABHUMI: -- The overloaded Immigration Bureau is seeking police outside its organisation to help with passport checks at Suvarnabhumi airport.

It is also asking passengers to arrive well ahead of their boarding times to ensure they will not miss their flights.

Pol Maj Gen Natthorn Phrosunthorn, chief of Immigration Division 2 which supervises five international airports in the country, said some passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport have missed flights because there are not enough immigration officers to check passports before flights depart.

The number of passengers passing through the airport every day has risen while the number of immigration officers has dropped as some have been promoted or sought transfers to other organisations to avoid the heavy work load.

"On Feb 11, the problem was particularly serious because as many as 387 non-commissioned immigration officers took leave for a commissioned officer examination.

"That caused very long queues at the airport," Pol Maj Gen Natthorn said.

About 150 officers from elsewhere in the Immigration Bureau were deployed to the airport, but they weren't able to help much as they were inexperienced.

Pol Maj Gen Natthorn said another problem was that Airports of Thailand Plc was modifying areas in the passenger terminal to improve security, which had halved the number of immigration booths.

He plans to deploy 70 female riot police officers to assist on the desks tomorrow and later recruit more immigration officers to help meet demand.

He hopes the congestion will be relieved further next month when an automatic passport check system is installed. "We are very tired...many immigration officers want to leave the organisation because they cannot rest and are in very risky situations. If they rush and let through fake passports or wanted criminals they can be jailed," he said. The Immigration Bureau has 1,312 positions for officers at Suvarnabhumi airport but there are only 1,045 officers. Newly recruited officers are still being trained.

Pol Maj Gen Natthorn asked passengers to arrive at the airport earlier so long queues will not cause them to miss flights.

Suvarnabhumi airport director Somchai Sawasdipol said fast-track immigration booths for first-class and business-class passengers would be removed so staff there could help handle regular passengers during peak hours.

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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I think 2 of my last 3 flights into the kingdom the queue has been that long at immigration my bags have been taken off the carousel to make way for another flight !! It's defiantly worse than it used to be
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fork Handles View Post
He hopes the congestion will be relieved further next month when an automatic passport check system is installed.
I think I read that new automatic system would only recognise Thai passports, which, considering how many Thais you tend to see queueing isn't really going to do too much.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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Got to admit the getting out has been a nightmare the last 2 times I have been through. What has changed?

There appears to have been the usual amount of manned booths same as there has always been. My flight leaves at 02:30 and there aren`t that many extra flights around that time suddenly departing.

The official doesn`t seem to check owt more than he did before. A quick look at my arrival stamp to check I haven`t overstayed and a quick swipe to see I haven`t done one on my hotel room bill and I`m out of there.

It`s the pissed up Russians and confussed Sri Lankans that cause the chaos. Neither group know what to queue is.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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So is this VIP pass the answer?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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So is this VIP pass the answer?
My last couple of flights included a priority pass, certainly made the whole thing a lot easier, I had a queue of 1 person in front of me I think on entering the country and an empty queue when leaving.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:09 PM   #7
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My last couple of flights included a priority pass, certainly made the whole thing a lot easier, I had a queue of 1 person in front of me I think on entering the country and an empty queue when leaving.
is that for business class flights only or can you pay extra for a pass with an economy flight ???
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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is that for business class flights only or can you pay extra for a pass with an economy flight ???

Hi

You can book fast track separately from your flight ticket, might be an idea to check whether the service is affected by this :

"Suvarnabhumi airport director Somchai Sawasdipol said fast-track immigration booths for first-class and business-class passengers would be removed so staff there could help handle regular passengers during peak hours."

1200 baht.


http://www.thaifasttrack.com/index.p..._10_Fast-Track
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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There is another option which a mate of mine used but it was through a hotel and I don't know if you could get it from anywhere else. He booked the 'express airport pick-up' through the President Solitaire and they met him at the door of the plane and took him through the diplomatic channel and straight out.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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OH, this should help.....

Govt decision prompted by mounting chaos and congestion at Suvarnabhumi

BANGKOK: -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered that all low-cost airlines move to Don Mueang Airport to improve air and runway traffic at Suvarnabhumi, but the plan is unlikely to ease the current turmoil frustrating countless travellers.

The shift of low-cost carriers to Don Mueang was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa yesterday in response to a growing outcry from departing Suvarnabhumi passengers, many of whom have missed flights or suffered close calls.

People familiar with the problem doubt whether the long-planned move of low-cost services to Don Mueang will ease the current crisis at Suvarnabhumi, where renovation work has cut the capacity of immigration checkpoints by two-thirds.

Officials contacted by The Nation yesterday could not say for certain when the renovation work would be completed.

Chumpol admitted that the current problem of passenger congestion stemmed from the fact that only one of Suvarnabhumi's three immigration gates was operating.

International passengers are now being advised to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight leaves, rather than the standard two hours.

Chumpol said news of the passenger bottleneck only reached him on Wednesday. He said he could not get involved with the problem but gave assurances that the transfer of low-cost airlines to Don Mueang Airport would help reduce the congestion.

He is now working with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourist Police, and Airports of Thailand (AOT) to help increase personnel by 30 to 40.

Meanwhile, Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said yesterday that in the short term, the ministry would increase officers at the Suvarnabhumi's immigration areas to help relieve congestion in the short term. AOT, as the airport operator, has been assigned the task. In addition, the ministry is coordinating with police to help out.

In the long term, he said the airport would deploy technologies such as an e-passport system that consumes less time, especially with Thai passengers. This would also resolve the problem of congestion at the airport during rush hours. Currently, Suvarnabhumi has annual traffic of 48 million passengers, in excess of its capacity of 45 million.

An Immigration Police source said increasing checkpoint staff was not the answer. "All checkpoints are being manned to full capacity. The problem is not shortage of personnel," the source said.

A source at the Transport Ministry said the government planned to move all domestic and international flights serviced by low-cost airlines to Don Mueang Airport in a bid to resolve congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport in the long run.

"It's believed that the government must encourage low-cost airlines with incentives to move their services to Don Mueang Airport," said the source, adding that AirAsia alone had 82-90 flights daily.

Apart from AirAsia, major low-cost airlines using Suvarnabhumi Airport are Bangkok Airways and Orient Thai.

Somchai Sawasdipol, acting director of Suvarnabhumi Airport, said he had coordinated with immigration officials to solve the problem of long queues and would pay overtime to officials of Bt100,000 per day as incentive.

Of total immigration counters, 124 are for inbound passengers and 80 are for the outbound.

Maiyarat Pheerayakoses, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said she had no problem with the government move to shift all low-cost flights to Don Mueang Airport. However, the government should do it very carefully, especially in cases of passengers with connecting flights.

As a long-term solution, she said she did not mind having two airports in Bangkok. It is common in other nations to have separate domestic and international airports. However, transport connection between the two must be developed well to make it convenient for passengers.

The new phase of construction development at Suvarnabhumi should proceed quickly so as to be ready to serve the growing number of passengers after the implementation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, she said.

Speaking of the current congestion, she said the problem was due to mismanagement by the Immigration Bureau at the airport. She urged the agency to tackle the problem quickly by increasing the number of officers working at the airport.


Now if they were to re-route a few to U-Tapao we might make some progress
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