Bangkok May 2010Back to Forum
Anonymous14 May 2010
If there is anyone in Bangkok currently, please could you post a report on the current violence as I have heard the British Embassy on Wireless Road has temporarily closed and ‘explosions’ are going off around the city. Any info would be useful, esepcially around Sukhumvit and Asoke. Many thanks and please stay safe.14 May 2010
I have been in Sydney & now in Auckland, where reports are coming through (also on BBC World), that the embassies have closed.
There is major military & police activity on the streets, & the most violent to date.
The FCO advise against travel to BKK, & the Australian FO the same.
Airlines have also enabled cancellations re-routings, & posted these on their sites, Qantas, KLM, MH i have seen yesterday.
Have been planning a return from Australia in a few weeks, & whilst i am routing via Phuket from Australia, I will avoid Bangkok. I take Malaysian Airlines via KUL, & bearing in mind some airport disruptions fly into Amsterdam, with a smaller connector to LCY with KLM.
This will also get me as close as possible if our Volcanic friend causes problems! Schipol & The Dutch tend to run the airport better & reliably, & realistically unlike LHR.
So BKK should be Out for most BT’s & leisure equally. I think it very wise to follow the Government FO’s advice, from multiple countries.
Situations there are worse than in many years & not yet reached the peak.
Insurers will not cover if you travel against the current advice from Governments, so it is really an un-insurable risk to plan, & not good for personal safety.
I feel very sad for the Thai people who depend heavily on tourism.
Also sad for Thai Airways, but other airlines are advising Not to travel there with them. Who knows how much longer the airport will not be affected, as it can rep[resent in Thailand, a symbol of Government & commercialism, that the people tend to act out on.
Cannot see this situation changing in the coming weeks, maybe months…14 May 2010
thanks VK for the link.
MarcusUK – thanks for your information. Can you clarify your understanding re the travel insurance issues. My understanding is that the policies are still valid, the only exclusion is injury etc as a direct result of civil unrest? It means that standard insurance cover for illness, theft etc is still in force. Or is it your understanding that insurers have suspended all cover. This is the problem with travel insurance, it is not very clear.
Many thanks if you are able to help on the interpretation.14 May 2010
I called my insurers Amex from Sydney a few days ago, as I was planning my Airlines to the UK in a few weeks.
Their advice along with the insurance standard, goes along with the FCO for the UK or other consul advice.Clearly Australia & NZ as well as the UK advice against all but essential travel.
Airlines are advising against travel though i have not seen any withdraw flights, on their websites. The Airport we know is not impossible to affect fro previous disruptions.
Amex indicated (as for any medical condition), if it is previously known, & you venture in against your FO advice, then it is probable risk, so they will not insure it. They see it as a pre-existing state of danger. Likewise, injury or theft, as the city has fallen into unrest, & we all know about it.
They will assist those caught in it, or cancelling trips there, as a result of the escalation. Forward bookings when the advice remains the same, will not be insured & carries great risk. Basically they do not expect you to be there.
Bit like walking up towards the Volcano in Iceland, then making a claim for assistance as you have been burnt!
In all fairness to the Thai people, no one actively promotes or feels it appropriate to involve tourists or visitors. However, in the south, & in the current climate, all sides are upping the violence. An Australian there was shot last week, reported here.
I experienced the same in Sri Lanka some years ago, when the politics & local mafia, targeted the airport, & it was not deemed safe to stay in Colombo. Insurers & agents like Kuoni, would not accomodate people further than Mount Lavinia, far south to the city.
I hope the FCO link is useful it is the updated & some of the best advice always in the world for all countries, realistic for UK citizens. I use them for all countries for briefings on safety, security, & current issues. The Security personnel that sometimes travel with me to such countries, are directed by this advice.15 May 2010
I too am insured through Amex and the problem is that Travel Insurance is not regualted and the insurance is bascially allowed to do what they want went they wanr, i am not sure if you are aware, but the “travel policy” though Amex is not an insurance policy, it is a free gift – the major difference being that as we are not the policy holders, we get no rights to complain and the marketing brochures can contain cnfirmation of certain cover, which is simply not true. Hence the reason when you ask, they provide an opinion about the cover not chapter and verde. i have been trying to find an host and stright forward policy to cove me for in a comprehensive basis, Th eanswer about a missed flight due to illness, my first port of call was to go to the station manager and ask if i can be swithced. The sooner tha that the travel industry clamp down on travel polcies tne better it willl be.
There was a chap called Jeff Rush who advised that he could provide a comprehensive packagaem but at the end of the day he could not proove substance.15 May 2010
My Amex Policy is not a free gift, it is an Annual Policy i take out regardless of having the Virgin Atlantic Amex Black card, which offers some protection. I have numerous cards & FF scheme cobvers but as you say these are very shallow, & basic & i disregard them.
I understand the give away type, but Amex have one of the best paid for policy on the Marke,t & i pay £65 for an annual cover.
It is the Worldwide Select cover, max 45 days EACH trip, & for me as i travel East always to Australia & in-between, i chose to exclude USA / Canada. The levels of cover incl Business travel & items option for £3, & a reduction for carrying the EHIC.
Perhaps take a look at the Amex or a separate annual policy, but friend in the Diplomatic service of the UK advise me, that the base guide would be for the Insurers to go by the FCO advice at the time of booking, & prior to travel.
Many countries have not only advised against travel there, but withdrawn & closed the embassies!
Cover from here in Australia at the moment is of a strong clamp down & confrontation by the Government with an altimatim having been given to the protesters.
70 people have been killed too last eve, & 400 wounded.
Again, i feel great sadness for the average or poorer Thai people, caught up, or who’s livings have been blighted by the tourist avoidance now, & flights on Thai Airways are running pretty empty!19 May 2010