Phuket Airport Information
Phuket Airport Information
Phuket International Airport, the second busiest airport in Thailand, is located about 32 kilometers north of Phuket City and 36 kilometers north Patong Beach. It’s Phuket’s only airport, handling both domestic and international flights as well as cargo.
In 2008 Phuket’s airport handled 6 million passengers. The airport handles direct scheduled flights from Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong and Australia; long haul international flights are usually charter flights, although from time-to-time long haul schedule flights are given a try to various destinations.
Most long haul international tourists fly to Phuket via Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, although this may not be immediately apparent from your ticket.
Arriving at Phuket Airport
Immigration procedures are usually fairly fast – although they can get backed up if a couple of wide-bodies arrive at the same time. If there is a delay, stay cool, calm and be patient; this is Asia and officials tend to move slowly. Customs is usually a breeze with very few, if any, incoming passengers being subjected to a check. However, absolutely DON’T think about bringing in illegal substances. Penalties are severe…
Transferring to your hotel
Your best bet for getting to your hotel is to pre-book an airport transfer when reserving your accommodation. This may already be included by your tour operator – check it out. If you’ve arranged this, you’ll find someone waiting just outside the arrivals hall with your name on a placard; take your time and look carefully – it can be crowded and a bit chaotic!
If you haven’t booked a transfer, you have three options: airport limousine, minibus and airport meter taxi. The meter taxis charge an ‘airport surcharge’ + what’s on the meter; you may have to walk out into the car park to find the meter taxi rank. Limousines are more expensive, but less hassle; if you choose this option, go straight to the limousine booking desk inside the arrivals hall.
Finally, minibuses – a join-in option with others – are cheaper but less reliable. The driver may stop off at various hotel booking ‘agents’ along the route and try to get you to change your hotel booking! Unless you’re on a really tight budget, we recommend you avoid the minibuses and start your holiday in style.
Whichever option you choose, don’t be tempted by the touts outside the arrivals hall shouting ‘taxi’ from all directions. Their vehicles are usually unlicensed and uninsured.
Depending on where you’re staying, your transfer can take up to one hour +.
Hiring a car
As hiring your own car is the very best way to see Phuket, you may want to avoid the airport transfer hassles and drive yourself. All the main international and island car hire companies are represented in the arrivals hall. If you’ve pre-booked, just look for your company’s logo on one of the desks. If you do decide to drive yourself, check out your route beforehand and make sure you’ve got the hotel phone number handy.
Locally available maps are OK, but as yet there is no truly detailed map of Phuket available, while asking locals for directions can be more than a little frustrating; ask three people and you’ll probably get three different directions! If you get lost, find out where you are and call the hotel.
You need an international driving licence to drive in Thailand.
For more information on hiring a car look at Phuket Car Hire Companies
Departing from Phuket Airport
Phuket Airport is fairly small and unsophisticated. When you get into the departure hall, look for the check-in desk(s) with your flight details on a sign above it/them. Once you’ve checked in you are free to go through customs and immigration, but if you plan on eating before your flight hold on... Once through passport control, you’ll find only light snacks, tea, coffee and maybe beer. In the departure hall, there’s a pub with a limited menu on the same level and an Thai and international restaurant on the floor above. Neither is recommended for a great meal, but if you’ve got time to kill and an appetite or a thirst, they’ll do.
Make sure you allow plenty of time to go through immigration. The lines can be long and slow-moving.
There’s also very limited shopping at Phuket Airport so – if you’re transiting en-route back home – you’re advised to do your duty free shopping at your transit stop. Basic duty free goods (cigarettes, alcohol etc) are available.
|Airport information:||+66 (0)7 632 7230-7. Give the name of your airline or ask for the extension number, or…|
|Airline phone extensions:||The individual airline extensions are available on the airport website.|
|Airport Code:||Phuket airport IATA code is HKT.|
|Location:||32 kilometres from Phuket City and 36 kilometres from Patong Beach.|
|Capacity:||The airport has a capacity of handling 24 flight operations per hour.|
|Hours of operation:||24 hours|
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