Almost 100,000 foreign tourists are still unable to return home, but the number of passengers stranded by the closure of Suvarnabhumi airport may double or triple if the situation is prolonged.
U-tapao airport has been used as a gateway for sending foreign visitors home. As of yesterday afternoon, six flights had taken off. The flights will increase to 15 today and 48 tomorrow. Aircraft capacity is about 300 passengers per flight.
Asia Hotel, JW Marriott, Maenam Hotel and Centara Grand would serve as check-in venues. Airlines will announce hotels for their check-ins today. Imperial Queen's Park and Holiday Inn are on stand-by to accept passengers checking in for flights. Passengers would then be taken by bus to U-tapao. . . .
Airlines showing readiness to use U-tapao include Lufthansa, EVA Air, Scandinavian, and Canadian airlines.
About 2,000 buses would take passengers to U-tapao, a trip of about three hours. U-tapao will also be for incoming flights from abroad. Stranded Thai travellers should contact their local Thai embassy or Thai Airways agent.
They can also fly to Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, and from there to Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi.
Thai Travel Agents Association president Charoen Wangananont said . . . tour agents are facing problems as airlines from China refuse to give refunds. "They say it's not their mistake, but Thailand's problem. Now operators are negotiating to postpone flights instead of cancelling," he said.
If you know the names of any airlines that are not refunding passenger fares, please let me know.
Update: I actually meant for the above post to appear at Jot Around the World (my travel blog), but it ended up here by accident.