The new fast-track departure security and immigration area at Bangkok Airport is now operational
Over the past few months, Bangkok Airport (BKK) has been busy installing a new expressway for international departures and the facility is now ready for use as of last week February 1st.
The new facility is located at the very beginning of the terminal, right at the Thai Airways check-in counters. This area used to be a TG-exclusive fast lane, but now it’s accessible to everyone.
Suvarnabhumi Airport has long played with its counter space, but the impact of the pandemic and the shrinking Thai Airways has likely influenced their planning as well.
There are now two slots for the fast lane, a small remnant in the middle of the terminal and this larger one on the far left.
The locations are shown on this graphic provided by Airports of Thailand (AOT):
Checked out this facility today as it opened last week Feb 1st and it was very quiet this morning even though I was at the airport after main bank had left departure and for BKK, the busiest times for international departures are morning hours between 6am-11am and evening 8pm-midnight.
Here is another AOT image of passport control lanes:
Three lanes isn’t really that much, especially since far too many people are eligible to use the Fast Track in Bangkok.
It’s absolutely ridiculous and has nothing to do with a “Premium Lane” anymore. The only ones who are NOT eligible to use the fast lane (slow lane) are able-bodied adults traveling in economy class unless they are accompanying one of their passengers such as disabled/seniors/children.
Oh yes, certain types of visas are also eligible for the fast track process. And Air Crew constantly choking checkpoints. Why not make a separate safety lane available to the crew rather than funneling them with the passengers and making it all stop for them?
I was really hoping the AOT officials would eventually figure out that the system allowed everyone to go through the fast lane, but who was I kidding? That would make way too much sense.
What would also have been nice is a second VAT refund processing counter close to the new Fast Track. The only one is way back behind the last check in line if you check in with THAI in row A you expect a nice little marathon just to get your receipts stamped.
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport opened its new fast-track facility this week, but from the first glance, nothing has improved. The policy of allowing every shepherd and their dog to go through the fast lane that some time ago was called Premium Lane is still the same and makes the whole process tedious at best and a complete joke at worst.
There is plenty of space at the BKK terminal and it would have been easy to separate things a bit. At least a separate channel for wheelchairs and aircrew, but no, they keep mixing everyone up, even if it’s inconvenient.