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More Hassles at Swampy, Don Mueang


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#1 Evil Penevil

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 05:32 AM

More hassles and queues at Swampy and Don Mueang.  You can read about it here: 
 
"Airports congested again as internet crashes,  Thais battle long lines again at immigration  
 
(Please credit and share this article with others using this link:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transport/1333795/airports-congested-again-as-internet-crashes. n© Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved.)"   
 
I landed at Swampy yesterday (Sept 29) at 11.03 am and was at the Premium Lane for immigration control at 11.15 am.  The ordinary  IC feeder queue filled the "snake" but didn't spill out into the hall and many booths were in operation. From what I saw, most of the Thais "displaced" by the failed automatic kiosks were simply shifted into the queue for foreigners.   
 
It was confused but not chaotic at the Premium Lane. Only two booths open, one with a huge line, the other with a much shorter  line.  I took the shorter line and had to show my Premium Lane card; apparently the other lane was handling some of the spillover from the failed kiosks.  There were about 15 people ahead of me, but the officer got through them quickly.  He was dressed in civilian clothes, no uniform, not even a badge or visible ID.  He seemed only to stamp the passports, I couldn't see that he even checked them on his computer. When I got to the counter, I was through in less than 15 seconds.  He didn't even collect my Premium Lane card.   
 
Thanks to Priorty tags, my two suitcases were already on the baggage carousel when I went to claim them.  At Customs, the officers were  X-raying the suitcases of most passengers (Thais and other Asians) but not farang. The Customs guy just waved me through with a flick of his hand. I got to the Bell Travel departure point on Level 1 at 11.39 am, in time for the 1200 noon bus. It arrived at the North Station at 1.30 p.m. and I was in my condo at 2.30 p.m. Unluckily, I was the last of the six stops the shuttle bus made, three at hotels north of Pattaya Klang; two around LK Metro; finally my building.   
 
It could have been a lot worse.  Thirty minutes from landing  to clearing Customs with luggage ranks as one of my faster times.  Fastest time ever was about 20 minutes, but that was a "best case" scenario: I had been on a Thai flight that landed at a gate almost next to Immigration Control; no queue at the Premium Lane and no luggage to collect. That time was also my record for getting back to Pattaya; I had booked car service and was in my condo about one hour, forty minutes after landing.   
 
Evil
:devil

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#2 Chang_paarp

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:17 AM

They are having trouble with TOT cannot get data. The new auto gates for Thais are failing.

 

More info here https://www.thaivisa...tes-at-airport/


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#3 Gus

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 08:51 AM

Apparently it was a Worldwide Amadeus IT problem which caused delays.


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#4 short

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 01:21 PM

 

More hassles and queues at Swampy and Don Mueang.  You can read about it here: 
 
"Airports congested again as internet crashes,  Thais battle long lines again at immigration  
 
(Please credit and share this article with others using this link:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transport/1333795/airports-congested-again-as-internet-crashes. n© Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved.)"   
 
I landed at Swampy yesterday (Sept 29) at 11.03 am and was at the Premium Lane for immigration control at 11.15 am.  The ordinary  IC feeder queue filled the "snake" but didn't spill out into the hall and many booths were in operation. From what I saw, most of the Thais "displaced" by the failed automatic kiosks were simply shifted into the queue for foreigners.   
 
It was confused but not chaotic at the Premium Lane. Only two booths open, one with a huge line, the other with a much shorter  line.  I took the shorter line and had to show my Premium Lane card; apparently the other lane was handling some of the spillover from the failed kiosks.  There were about 15 people ahead of me, but the officer got through them quickly.  He was dressed in civilian clothes, no uniform, not even a badge or visible ID.  He seemed only to stamp the passports, I couldn't see that he even checked them on his computer. When I got to the counter, I was through in less than 15 seconds.  He didn't even collect my Premium Lane card.   
 
Thanks to Priorty tags, my two suitcases were already on the baggage carousel when I went to claim them.  At Customs, the officers were  X-raying the suitcases of most passengers (Thais and other Asians) but not farang. The Customs guy just waved me through with a flick of his hand. I got to the Bell Travel departure point on Level 1 at 11.39 am, in time for the 1200 noon bus. It arrived at the North Station at 1.30 p.m. and I was in my condo at 2.30 p.m. Unluckily, I was the last of the six stops the shuttle bus made, three at hotels north of Pattaya Klang; two around LK Metro; finally my building.   
 
It could have been a lot worse.  Thirty minutes from landing  to clearing Customs with luggage ranks as one of my faster times.  Fastest time ever was about 20 minutes, but that was a "best case" scenario: I had been on a Thai flight that landed at a gate almost next to Immigration Control; no queue at the Premium Lane and no luggage to collect. That time was also my record for getting back to Pattaya; I had booked car service and was in my condo about one hour, forty minutes after landing.   
 
Evil
:devil

 

 

 

Two questions.   Which airline did you fly that lets you arrive at noon?

 

And the second question is why did you as a seasoned traveler check baggage?

 

I'm going to guess the answer to both questions is "Eva Air"


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#5 Evil Penevil

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

 

 

Two questions.   Which airline did you fly that lets you arrive at noon?

 

And the second question is why did you as a seasoned traveler check baggage?

 

I'm going to guess the answer to both questions is "Eva Air"

 

The airline was Cathay Pacific.  I took the non-stop from JFK to Hong Kong, then connected to Bangkok.  The HKG-BKK leg (with Cathay) was supposed to land at 10.45 am, but because takeoff had been delayed in Hong Kong, it landed a few minutes past 11.00 am.

 

I have  checked luggage on most flights into LOS because I bring back stuff I donate to orphanages and other charities.  Many things are cheaper in  the U.S. compared to LOS.

 

Evil

:devil


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#6 short

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 09:43 PM

I've yet had Cathay HK to BKK depart on time.   I had enough last time and complained about it and discovered afterwards that 12k in points had been added to my account.


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#7 Evil Penevil

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:35 PM

Huge queues at Swampy Immigration at 12.45 a.m. on Dec. 5.  Very chaotic, people were flooding the area outside the "snake" and were massed all the way out of the Immo area into the terminal walkway.  I'm really glad I had a Premium Lane pass; otherwise, I'm sure it would have taken several hours to clear. 

 

It was bad enough with Premium access.  One area was so jammed I didn't even try to get to the Premium Lane, I went straight to the second area.  Only four people in the Premium Lane, but the Immo officer took five minutes with each, which meant a 20-minute wait.  I wondered if they had tightened routines for everyone, but he cleared me in under a minute.

 

The plane landed at 12.30 a.m. and I wasn't in my pre-booked ride until 1.30 a.m.  It usually goes a lot faster. I don't know if it was in any way related to Dec. 5th being a Thai holiday; maybe a shortage of staff.  Or it could just be "rush hour syndrome,"  a number of flights unexpectedly arriving around the same time. I'd guesstimate that 90% of the people in the arrival queue were Asian, many following flags.

 

Evil

:devil


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#8 midlifecrisis

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:52 PM

That's rough, especially after a long flight. I have always been lucky. It's never taken me longer than 30 minutes from exiting the plane to getting to my driver. Hopefully my luck will hold.


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#9 cbrib

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

The last time i came through immigration at Swampy it took me three minutes to clear, never seen it that empty. I have heard horror stories like Evil's before, i guess sometimes it is just the luck of the draw


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#10 midlifecrisis

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:31 PM

Once I was in a line with a large family group of Muslims ahead of me. The women and kids got through quickly. The men were given such extra scrutiny that it was not lost on the women of the group. You could tell they were annoyed. Still, compared to my many experiences at SFO where I have had my baggage searched and have been questioned by the Man, after passport control at Swampy, I get my bags and walk right outside. I don't think that there is much one can do if the system goes down though. Just grin and bear it.


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#11 Bazle

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:47 PM

The last time i came through immigration at Swampy it took me three minutes to clear, never seen it that empty. I have heard horror stories like Evil's before, i guess sometimes it is just the luck of the draw

 

Yes, I agree.

 

Some day I'm going to win the booby prize. I'm due to arrive on Thursday, and I'm just hoping it's not then.


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#12 forcebwithu

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 04:25 AM

 

Huge queues at Swampy Immigration at 12.45 a.m. on Dec. 5.  Very chaotic, people were flooding the area outside the "snake" and were massed all the way out of the Immo area into the terminal walkway.  I'm really glad I had a Premium Lane pass; otherwise, I'm sure it would have taken several hours to clear. 

 

It was bad enough with Premium access.  One area was so jammed I didn't even try to get to the Premium Lane, I went straight to the second area.  Only four people in the Premium Lane, but the Immo officer took five minutes with each, which meant a 20-minute wait.  I wondered if they had tightened routines for everyone, but he cleared me in under a minute.

 

The plane landed at 12.30 a.m. and I wasn't in my pre-booked ride until 1.30 a.m.  It usually goes a lot faster. I don't know if it was in any way related to Dec. 5th being a Thai holiday; maybe a shortage of staff.  Or it could just be "rush hour syndrome,"  a number of flights unexpectedly arriving around the same time. I'd guesstimate that 90% of the people in the arrival queue were Asian, many following flags.

 

Evil

:devil

 

 

I thought there was only one arrivals Premium Lane, the one identified on the back of the Fast Track Pass. Where is the second one located?

 

main-qimg-3dbe9c6184ccd9cbee64fee1556a424f-c.jpg


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#13 Evil Penevil

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:07 AM


The last time i came through immigration at Swampy it took me three minutes to clear, never seen it that empty. I have heard horror stories like Evil's before, i guess sometimes it is just the luck of the draw
 
 

Yes, I agree.
 
Some day I'm going to win the booby prize. I'm due to arrive on Thursday, and I'm just hoping it's not then.
 
I also agree it's a matter of luck.  I forgot the exact figures, but Immigration Control at Swampy can only handle a certain number of arriving passengers in an hour.  If less than the maximum arrive within an hour, the queue will move quickly and maybe there won't even be a queue.  But if more than the maximum suddenly descent on the control booths due to the arrival of delayed flights on top of the normal load, the queue can get lengthy.
 
Evil
:devil

 

 

I thought there was only one arrivals Premium Lane, the one identified on the back of the Fast Track Pass. Where is the second one located?

 

 

There's only one Premium Lane designated as such, but there is a priority lane in the East Immigration area where they honored my pass.  I don't know if that is the regular routine, or only a fallback for when there is a serious bottleneck,  

 

Evil

:devil


Edited by Evil Penevil, 06 December 2017 - 05:08 AM.

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#14 forcebwithu

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:03 AM

There's only one Premium Lane designated as such, but there is a priority lane in the East Immigration area where they honored my pass.  I don't know if that is the regular routine, or only a fallback for when there is a serious bottleneck,  

 

Evil

:devil

 

Good to know. Thanks.


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#15 awesum4

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:04 PM

In July it took us over three hours to clear immigration. That was at midnight after travelling for 19 hours. Three planes of Chinese arrived at the same times as ours. Thais cleared quite quickly then they used those gates for everyone else. But only half the booths had staff manning them.
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#16 Butch

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:06 PM

In July it took us over three hours to clear immigration. That was at midnight after travelling for 19 hours. Three planes of Chinese arrived at the same times as ours. Thais cleared quite quickly then they used those gates for everyone else. But only half the booths had staff manning them.

 

In July it took me less than 3 minutes in the middle of the afternoon, but I had the benefits of a fastrack, so there is an argument for paying the 800 baht or so for it.


Edited by Butch, 10 December 2017 - 10:07 PM.

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#17 Bazle

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 04:47 AM

I arrived at Swampy last Thursday (7 Dec) at 15:45. Having read the OP, I was a bit concerned about what awaited me.

 

After a very long walk to the main arrivals area (the one with the ramp), I found it was very full and there was a lady holding a sign telling us to go to the next area, which a sign said was (I think) 150 metres away.

 

When I got there, it was easy peasy. Through in less than 5 minutes.  :smile:


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