Don Mueang Airport blames long immigration queues on lack of staff
The manager of Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport has blamed ever growing queues at immigration on a lack of staff. Responding to massive online criticism of the queues at the city’s second airport, Suthirawat Suwannawat said immigration could only handle a maximum of 1,000 arriving passengers an hour.
The manager said the fact passengers had to queue for more than four hours last Friday evening was down to the fact delayed flights had arrived at the same time as scheduled ones. He explained that immigration officers then had to process passengers from 25 flights.
For its part, the Immigration Bureau said unmanned booths at Don Mueang were because a recruitment campaign to hire more officers had failed. Airports of Thailand says it will expand international arrivals at Don Mueang Airport so it can handle 1,800 passengers an hour, but more officers will still be needed to man the desks.
12GO ASIA notes that departing from Don Mueang Airport is also taking a little longer at present. For this reason, passengers with reservations for flights departing from the airport should allow themselves a little extra time to clear immigration.
Today is a national holiday in Thailand. The 23 October marks the death of one of the nation’s favourite monarchs, King Chulalongkorn, in 1910. Due to the upcoming funeral rites for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, today’s ceremonies will probably be very subdued.
City authorities in Bangkok are offering free travel on trains and buses for the Royal Cremation rites on Thursday. According to the official King Rama 9 website, services on the BRT bus, MRT underground and BTS Skytrain will offer free travel for all passengers.
A traditional ceremony held at Phuket’s Jui Tui Shrine yesterday evening ushered in the 2017 edition of the island’s vegetarian festival. The island’s governor, Norraphat Plodthong, oversaw a lantern-hoisting ceremony known as Seng Ko Teng Thiao at exactly 17:09.