AOT turns to Grab to fill shortage of airport taxis in Thailand

Airports of Thailand (AOT) is negotiating with Grab about using their services to fill taxi shortages at two airports in the kingdom. Airports have always been a strict no-go zone for Grab taxis, but waiting times for passengers are getting out of hand.

Now that High Season is in full swing, there are simply not enough airport taxis to facilitate the uptick in arrivals at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport, two international airports servicing the capital.

According to the President of AOT Nitinai Sirisatthakarn, only 500 of the 2,500 taxis registered at Don Mueang Airport are actually in service. At Suvarnabhumi Airport, only half of the 5,000 registered taxis are back in service, creating long waiting times for passengers.

Nitinai said…

“There is a shortage of taxis right now. It’s clear to see at Don Mueang Airport. Some days, we have needed 700 taxis but only 500 are in service. With bad traffic in the city, taxis can’t make it back to the airport quickly. We cannot meet the demand.”

Nitinai said that AOT will propose using Grab taxis to fill the shortage. Taxi drivers currently registered at the airports would be involved in the discussions to find a solution to the problem together, added the president.

AOT is also considering using more advanced technology to combat congestion at immigration at the two airports. Despite immigration officers spending only 45 seconds checking the paperwork of each foreigner arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport, passengers are still waiting for hours to gain entry into the kingdom upon arrival.

Technology could be leveraged to screen patients earlier on their journey so that immigration officials can be better prepared, said Nitinai. If immigration knows exactly how many passengers are coming and when, more airport personnel can be deployed and more booths can be staffed during busy periods.

If you’re flying into Suvarnabhumi Airport, the fastest and cheapest way to get into the city is by Airport Rail Link. It costs between 15 to 45 baht depending on which station you’re going to, whereas an airport taxi might cost around 500 baht and take much longer.

Last week, around 800 Grab delivery drivers gathered in Bangkok to protest new policies implemented by the company. Grab said they will respond to the delivery driver’s demands within two weeks.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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