PHUKET CITY: Phuket Immigration Police Superintendent Chanatpol Yongbunjerd has confirmed that any travelers stranded in Thailand by the closure of Bangkok’s two airports will be exempted from paying overstay fines.
Immigration headquarters in Bangkok has instructed immigration officers nationwide to extend “special assistance” to stranded travelers, just as it did in the wake of the 2004 tsunami disaster, he said.
Such assistance includes not only waiving overstay fines, but helping tourists find accommodation, he added.
Foreigners with long overstays hoping to use the crisis to slip out of the country without paying a fine will be disappointed, however.
The overstay fee waiver will only be granted on a case-by-case basis to travelers able to prove that the airport closure was responsible for their delayed departure.
Travelers should be prepared to show documentary evidence, such as air tickets, to support their claims when leaving the country, he said.
Col Chanatpol said Phuket Airport Immigration and Customs expects an increase in the number of arrivals here as more planes scheduled to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport, especially direct flights from Malaysia and Singapore, touch down at Phuket Airport instead.
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