Travellers from Bangkok flying particular airlines can now check-in at the city air terminal facility from where the new high-speed Airport Rail Link connects passengers to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Currently, only the two national carriers – Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways – have set up check-in counters at Makkasan City Air Terminal (MCAT) station and began operations yesterday. Passengers on both domestic and international routes can check in baggage and receive boarding passes between three to 12 hours before boarding time by presenting a confirmed ticket with the carriers and an Express line train ticket. The counters are open from 0700 to 2100 and the rail link, which takes 15 minutes from Makkasan to Suvarnabhumi, operates between 0600 and 0000 everyday.
When the Airport Rail Link commenced services in August 2010 after several construction delays, ticket fares for the rail link were deliberately kept low at 100 baht
(US$3) per trip for the Express line train. This has now been raised to 150 baht (US$5).
An alternative to the Express line is the City line train, which takes thirty minutes from Phaya Thai station, via Makkasan, to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Initially, tickets for the trains on the city line were available at a flat rate of 15 baht (US$0.5). This has been increased to somewhere between 15 to 45 baht (US$1.5), depending on distance travelled. Unfortunately, passengers travelling on the City line cannot use the city check in facilities.
Officials from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) claim that eventually Makkasan will be better connected with the rest of the city centre. A footbridge will be built between Makkasan and Petchaburi Station, which will connect the air terminal to the wider underground subway system. Furthermore, there will be a gradual increase of buses and taxis available at Makkasan station.
For more information and schedules, visit www.bangkokairporttrain.com