Hotels and airlines are bracing for the possibility of flooding in central Bangkok, which seems imminent. For now, it has not been affected by the floods that have swept through several areas of northern Thailand.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) assured travellers in a statement saying that there is no need to change travel plans.
“As you are aware from TV and media reports, some parts of Thailand are experiencing much heavier than usual seasonal flooding," said PATA chief executive Bill Calderwood. "However, central Bangkok and the majority of its suburban areas are functioning normally. All of Thailand’s airports are operating normally, including Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. There has been no disruption to BTS skytrain, the MRT underground and public transport systems. All hotels in the city and major tourism attractions are also operating normally.”
Cathay Pacific Airways stated on its website that flights to and from Bangkok currently “remain normal.” It is monitoring developments in the Thai capital and will update its website accordingly.
Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have not released a statement or updated their websites on the issue. The Suvarnabhumi Airport website indicates that most flights in and out of the city are following their regular schedule.
Roger Wu, Hong Kong's "Thailand expert" and travel columnist, took a flight from Suvarnabhumi to Hong Kong last night and said things remained normal, although floodwalls had been built around the facility to prepare for the worst."There is a lot of uncertainty, and you never know what might happen tomorrow. The biggest concern among travellers is if the airport is flooded they will not have flights to return home," he says. Wu plans to fly back to Bangkok, where he currently resides, on Saturday after wrapping up business in Hong Kong.
Hotels in Bangkok stressed that there have been no disruptions in their operations, although contingency plans are on standby in case the situation worsens, including stocking up on food and water, sandbags and gasoline for back up generators if electricity is cut out. According to a spokesperson from the JW Marriott, Bangkok, the hotel currently has 85 per cent occupancy.
Rivers and streams are overflowing with the heavier than usual rainwater and the Chao Phraya River, which flows into the sea passing through Bangkok, is at risk of overflowing as well. The public relations department of the Thai government warned on its website that seven districts of Bangkok are at risk of flooding and that water levels "could be higher than the floodwalls of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration". Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra is calling for greater safety efforts, including additional sandbags to fortify Bangkok's flood defenses.