Airports of Thailand – a Complete Guide for Passengers

bangkok-airport-departure-level-concourse
Departure concourse at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer

Airlines and Aviation

Airports of Thailand is an airline passenger’s definitive guide to air travel in the Land of Smiles. You will find information on airlines and routes, airport services, and ground transportation. Plus: flight reviews, business class lounge reviews, airport hotel reviews, and air travel tips.

Overview – Airports of Thailand

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the busiest airport in Thailand. Serving Greater Bangkok, it is the eighth busiest airport in Asia. In addition, it is the 17th busiest airport in the world.

BKK, as frequent fliers call it, is a major international hub. In fact, dozens of foreign air carriers serve the airport. And they link Thailand to cities around the world.

Altogether, Thailand has 11 international airports. Next to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang International Airport handles the most air traffic. And Phuket International Airport comes in third place.   

In addition to these three airports, Thailand has roughly 50 other air fields.

About half of them offer scheduled airline service. And the other half are military airports. Otherwise, they are used solely for general aviation. In fact, a few of them have little more than a single airstrip.

International Airports of Thailand

Airports of Thailand (AOT) operates most of Thailand’s international airports.

However, the Departments of Airports operates a few of the country’s international airports.

In addition, one of Thailand’s international airports is privately owned. Unusually, it is operated by an airline. Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Navy operates one of Thailand’s international airports.

A guide to Thailand’s international airports follows. Because they have the most international flights, Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, and Phuket come first. The other airports are listed in alphabetical order.

Click on links for passenger guides to specific airports!

Survarnabhumi Airport

bangkok-airport-departure-concourse-moving-sidewalk
Moving sidewalk at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok speeds passengers to their gate. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Survarnabhumi Airport (BKK) serves Greater Bangkok. It is Thailand’s largest and busiest airport. Most international air carriers serve this airport. It is operated by Airports of Thailand.

Don Mueang International Airport

don-mueang-airport-domestic-departure-entrance
Passenger terminal at Don Mueang International Airport. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) serves Bangkok and Nonthaburi, the second largest city in Thailand. It is the country’s second busiest airport. Mostly, it is used for domestic flights. International budget airlines also operate out of the airport. It is operated by Airports of Thailand.

Phuket International Airport

passengers-boarding-airasia-airplane
Passengers boarding an AirAsia Airbus A320-200 at Phuket International Airport. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Phuket International Airport (HKT) is Thailand’s third busiest airport. Most importantly, it has the largest number of international flights outside of Bangkok. Serving the Southern Thai island of Phuket, it is operated by Airports of Thailand.

Chiang Mai International Airport

chiang-mai-international-airport
Entrance to the terminal of Chiang Mai International Airport. Photo Credit: Califlier.

Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) serves Chiang Mai, the largest city in Northern Thailand. It is operated by Airports of Thailand.

Chiang Rai International Airport

chiang-rai-international-airport
Modern jetways at Chiang Rai International Airport. Photo Credit: Jutiphanm Mongkolsuthree.

Also known as Man Fah Luang, Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) serves Chiang Rai in Chiang Rai province. Chiang Rai is a quiet town in Northern Thailand. Most importantly, it was the site of the cave where 12 boys were trapped in July of 2018. The airport is operated by Airports of Thailand.

Hat Yai International Airport

airasia hat yai

An Airbus A340 on the tarmac at Hat Yai International Airport in Southern Thailand. Photo Credit: Nujaru.

Hat Yai International Airport (HDY) serves Hat Yai in Songkla province. It is Thailand’s southernmost large city. It is near the Malaysian border. Airports of Thailand operates the airport.

Krabi International Airport

krabi-international-airport-terminal
Approach to the terminal at Krabi International Airport. Photo Credit: Paolobon140.

Krabi International Airport (KVB) serves the coastal town of Krabi in Krabi province. It is located on the west coast of Southern Thailand. The Department of Airports operates the airport.

Samui International Airport

samui-airport-welcome-sign
Welcome sign at Samui Airport. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Samui International Airport (USM) serves the Southern Thai island of Koh Samui. It is Thailand’s only privately owned international airport. Bangkok Airways owns and operates the airport.

Surat Thani International Airport

surat-thani-international-airport
Terminal of Surat Thani International Airport. Photo Credit: Jetalone.

Surat Thani International Airport (URT) serves Surat Thani, the largest province in Southern Thailand. The Department of Airports operates the airport.

Udon Thani International Airport

udon-thani-international-airport-main-terminal
Entrance to Main terminal at Udon Thani International Airport. Photo Credit: User-Mattes.

Udon Thani International Airport (UTH) serves Udon Thani, a major city in the Isan region of Northern Thailand. Airports of Thailand operates the airport.

U-Tapao International Airport

image-of-aviation-qatar-airways-inaugural-fligh-u-tapao-airport-_๑๘๐๑๒๙-3
Qatar Airways Dreamliner approaches the terminal at U-Tapao – Rayong – Pattaya International Airport on its maiden trip to the airport.

U-Tapao International Airport (UTP) serves the coastal resort towns of Pattaya and Rayong in Chonburi province. Because it is relatively close to Bangkok, it is being developed as a third airport for the city. The Royal Thai Navy operates the airport.

Thailand Flight Reviews

emirates-airline-business-class-in-flight-bar
Here I am posing with flight attendants and another passenger in the bar of my Emirates business class flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Check out my personal experiences flying to, from, or within Thailand.

First, I start with why I’m flying. Then I give the basic facts about the airplane and the flight stats.

Next, I move on to the pre-flight experience, the seat, the food, and the beverages.

Finally, I discuss what I loved and what I hated. And I give a verdict: thumb’s up, thumbs down, or hit and miss.

Thailand Business Class Lounge Reviews

image-of-emirates-airline-hong-kong-airport-business-class-lounge-passenger-relaxing-with-champagne
I am feeling very relaxed at the Emirates lounge at HKIA. I feel as though my trip to Thailand has already begun – and I haven’t even boarded the plane yet! Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Is it worth getting to the airport early to hang out in the business class lounge? Usually, I think it is. But it really depends on a number for factors.

For example, how is the space? And what about the food and the beverage service? For example, are the alcoholic beverages complimentary? Do you get served? Or can you serve yourself?

Then I look at the facilities. For instance, are there work stations with computers? If there are showers, are they complimentary? In addition, did I have to wait in line?

Finally, I give my verdict: thumbs up, thumbs down, or hit and miss.

Thailand Travel Tips

Some travel tips follow. While a few of these tips are specific to Thailand, most of them would apply to air travel in general.

Bangkok Airport Hotel Reviews

If I’ve got a late night arrival or an early morning departure, I often book a hotel room near the airport.

Not only is it more convenient. Also, it usually saves me both time and money.

First, I look at getting to or from the airport. For example, is there a complimentary shuttle? And how often do they run?

Then I look at the hotel itself. How is the room? And how are the facilities? Is breakfast included?

More importantly, is there a mini-mart nearby? There is invariably something I’ve forgotten. And I hate being gouged by hotel mini-bars.

Finally, I consider the value. Because I’m only going to spend a few hours there, I’m usually most interested in the price.

Thailand Airline News

Global Airline News

Check out this frequently updated News in Brief feature. The focus is on special promotions, new routes, and service enhancements.

Airports of Thailand is the first in a series of national airport guides for airline passengers. This post contains affiliates links. If you make a purchase using one of them, I will received a small commission – at no extra cost to you.

Advertisements

2 Replies to “Airports of Thailand – a Complete Guide for Passengers”

  1. This is a really informative article. I am planning a trip to Thailand with family in June of this year and we are flying into Thailand from different countries since its a reunion. Will surely refer to this article.

    1. So glad you found this post useful, Meera! Hope you noticed that thtere are links to specific airports in the post! Cheers!

Leave a Reply