Phuket International Airport (Phuket Airport code HKT) is the only airport in Phuket, situated in the North of the Island; it is approximately 32 Kilometers (20 miles) from Phuket’s downtown City Centre which equals about a 45-minute drive by car with normal traffic conditions. It is said to be the second busiest airport in Thailand and, therefore, can be bustling with tourists.
Airport in Phuket Thailand
In 2016, the airport completed a 5.14 billion Thai Baht (1.2 billion British Pounds) expansion and renovation. It can now host over 16 million passengers annually while offering the services of many domestic and international airlines. Phuket’s airport is understandably crucial in hosting Phuket’s tourism trade and therefore takes great pride in making your visit go smoothly and enjoyable.
The Airport in Phuket, Thailand, is located in a position that provides spectacular views from the air. Positioned behind Mai Khao Beach, you fly directly over it when landing. When taking off, northbound flights go over Phang Nga Bay, offering a breathtaking view from a unique angle.
Phuket Airport Terminals
You will find three terminals for International, Domestic, and Charter flights at the airport in Phuket, Thailand. Over thirty airlines fly to Phuket annually, touching down on its single runway. It has become a hub for airlines such as Thai Air Asia, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Go Air, amongst many others.
To transfer between Domestic and International Terminals, you can either walk the twenty-minute journey or hop on the complimentary shuttle that frequently runs between the two.
On arrival, you will walk through Immigration. There are approximately fifteen counters, although known for long queues; you can speed the process up by ensuring you have your arrival and departure cards filled in before you land, which are available during your flight. You will proceed to the baggage carousels, of which there are five Custom Counters, and the arrival hall is beyond them.
Phuket Airport Facilities
Arriving at the airport is often considered the start of many holidays, and knowing what the airport can offer you allows you to make the most of your time there.
Shopping is often at the top of most visitors’ wishlists when they arrive at Phuket Airport International. Most are hoping they can visit Duty-Free, and you will not be disappointed as Phuket Airport offers all the Duty-Free shopping you would expect to find, along with famous Thai fruits and snacks. You will, of course, be able to purchase a range of souvenirs to remember your visit.
Grabbing a bite to eat is enjoyed by many, and there are a reasonable number of options throughout Phuket Airport. You will find places in both terminals’ Arrivals and Departure sections at a very affordable price, with food stores on practically every level.
There is free Wifi within the airport to which you can connect, but be mindful that you only get two hours free. Internet access has improved and is now reasonably fast and reliable, with power outlets around the airport.
You will also find amenities such as ATMs, public Banks, and money-changing machines should you need them.
5. Luggage Storage:
If you want to move around without your luggage, there is a luggage storage area in the International Terminal. Expect to be charged approximately 100 baht (about £2.30) per luggage. If you lose any baggage or personal belongings, go to the Information Counter on the 2nd floor in Departures in the Domestic Terminal and on the 3rd floor of the International Terminal.
6. Waiting Areas:
As at all airports, there is the chance you may need to recuperate before you continue or start your journey. While there is reportedly comfy seating in the waiting areas, you may wish to upgrade your environment, and regardless of what class or airline you are flying, lounge passes can be purchased.
While the lounges will vary, you can expect comfy seating, snacks, a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks, Thai massage, Wifi, TV, magazines, and newspapers. Dependent on the lounge you access, your time there may be limited, as may the alcoholic beverages; however, such luxury can only add to your experience at Phuket Airport, Thailand. The airport in Phuket offers many lounges, so take your time to find the one that suits your needs.
Transfers from Phuket Airport
It is always beneficial to plan how you will travel from the airport to your destination and as there is no Uber in Phuket and Grab taxis can not pick you up from the airport; it may be of use to consider one of the following:
1. Phuket Airport Bus:
This has been in operation for many years but is used by only a few as the only route it takes is from Phuket Airport to Phuket Town bus terminal, stopping at eight stations along the way. This journey takes approximately 1h30mins and costs around 100 baht. This route may be a consideration if you stay in the Old Town, but this service does not go to any beaches.
2. Phuket Smart Bus:
Phuket Smart Bus: This is a popular transport choice as it goes from Phuket airport outside both terminals and drives down all along the West Coast to Rawai Beach, stopping at almost every beach.
These buses run regularly with the first busses running in both directions starting at 6.00 am, leaving every hour until the last bus at 9.00 pm.
Paying your fare is very straightforward; you only need to purchase a Phuket Smart Card, which you can buy on the bus. Initially, this will cost you 300 baht which includes 200 baht to spend and 100 baht issuing fee. Using your card is straightforward; tap it, getting on at the start of your journey and again at your destination. The machine then calculates your fare. The Phuket Smart Bus is free for children under seven years old.
3. Phuket Airport Taxi:
Possibly a more comfortable mode of transport and is said to be the quickest, taking approximately twenty-nine minutes into Phuket town and costing 850 – 1100 baht, or if heading to a beach such as Patong, you may be looking at about 800 baht.
You will find metered taxi counters outside of Domestic and International terminals. Please remember that there is a 100 baht airport sub charge to add to the meter prices.
4. Phuket Airport Limousines:
The Airport Limousine counter is inside the terminals, usually near the baggage claims.
A limousine might be a better choice if there are more than two passengers and bulky luggage. A limousine will offer more space and a luxurious start to your visit.
5. Phuket Car Rental:
You have the choice to book cars through international brands or national brands. International brands allow you to book in advance and pick up once you arrive.
There are many car rental services at Phuket Airport with Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt, and Europcar representatives inside the Terminal building. They will willingly answer your questions and assist you.
Millions of people travel through Phuket International Airport, and staff will be happy to direct or answer your questions allowing you to continue your journey effortlessly.
Hopefully, the information above helps all travellers coming to Phuket, and if you are looking for Phuket dive tours or somewhere to undertake your PADI open water course then please contact us here at Thailand Divers.