Airlines are still maintaining normal operations to and from Bangkok despite scenes of bloody street clashes between the anti-government “Red Shirts” and military forces.
This is due to the fact the Suvarnabhumi International Airport has experienced no take over by protest groups, which is what occurred in December 2008. The aviation hub was one of the first public facilities secured by the Thai authorities when protesters began their rallies on March 12.
Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair have waived rebooking/rerouting charges for passengers who need to postpone their travel plans to Thailand. In recent days, numerous governments have issued varying levels of travel advice concerning travel to the Kingdom, particularly its capital Bangkok. The Hongkong SAR Government has ordered travel agents not to send tour groups there until the situation has normalised.
SIA is waiving cancellation and charge fees for customers with tickets to and from Bangkok issued on or prior to April 7, 2010 for travel up to and including April 14. The same applies to KrisFlyer redemption tickets.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are also waiving rebooking/rerouting changes for all tickets issued world wide, irrespective of fare type, on or before April 7 for travel involving Bangkok until April 14. Such requests should be made on or before April 14, and before travel to Bangkok until April 14.
A no-show passenger is not eligible for the waiver. The revised date must be within two months from the original booking date and subject to flight availability. In which case, the ticket expiry date will be adjusted accordingly.
Passengers are reminded to keep abreast of developments through news reports and government advisories.
With the Songkran, the Thai New Year to take place on Tuesday, April 13, airport officials are predicting heightened activity at Suvarnabhumi with Thais and expats wanting to spend their holidays overseas and escape the political turmoil
They have observed that tourists are still flying to Thailand but increasingly bypass Bangkok and catch connecting flights to places like Phuket, Krabi and Samui.
Margie T Logarta