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Bangkok Airport(Suvarnabhumi) Closed by Protesters


Nov 26th, 2008, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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I'm at a loss for what to do.

We leave a week from Friday. I have less and less hope that this all will be resolved by then.

What do folks suggest? Luckily we do have trip insurance (first time ever I may have to use it)...but the idea of canceling a trip we've worked so hard for and waited so long for is too much to bear.

I'm not doing anything today, but I worry that if we need to change things around a day or two before we leave, half of our hotels are prepaid and re-arranging/re-booking those will not only be difficult, but surely will almost be impossible for a few weeks later (during Christmas/New Years.) We cannot push this trip off to, say, February as our only block of time off together is in December.

I am heartbroken--trying not to get too pessimistic, but also trying to be somewhat realistic.

The confusing part to me is that it seems Thai Air is still flying in and out of LAX. I have no idea how that's even possible. Are they landing at Don Muang? Chiang Mai?
filmwill is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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Being an optomist:
Are there any BKK get togethers between Jan 3-10 and Jan 25-30th?
Those are the date dh and I plan on being there!
SueHuml is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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deep breathing filmwill...

Cancel nothing, stay sanguine - things will change by then. I had to cancel a whole lotta stuff when Burma blew up last year - I think, if the worse comes, you'll get a very, very sympathetic ear. I got the lot back, easy as pie. But it won't come to that.

dogster is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Dogster's right, filmwill. Take a deep breath. Do nothing right now.
Kathie is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Mars, Filmwill, can't you change your tickets to fly into another city and continue your travels, sidestepping bangkok?

Hanoi? Phnom Penh?

Surely that mess at the airport won't last.

offwego is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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CNN's just showing first footage of riots in Chiang Mai. One dead. Shooting.
dogster is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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Thank you for the frequent updates everyone!

I was starting to feel good about the suggestions from Kathie and offwego - until I scrolled down to the most recent post from dogster.

Is the violence spreading to other parts of the country?

I booked all of our hotels through sawadee and wotif - do you think there's any chance of getting a refund if things don't improve dramatically in the next two days?
marsfelder is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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All airlines are offering ticket/destination changes without charges (unless you choose to change to a destination that is more expensive than BKK to fly to) so look into taking advantage of that you could end up somewhere you had not planned to go & have an amazing time. I know from personal experience how disapointing it is to cancel a trip at the last minute that you have had your heart set on. But......lets remeber whats happening on the ground there & how scary that is for those caught up in it. Be careful & safe everyone & lets hope this really is over & does not get worse so those of you with trips planned can indeed go. Would I cancel now? It would depend when my trip actually is. I would wait as long as possible but I would be looking at alternatives. I have in fact been in BKK for the last 2 coups by coincidence & there was no impact on my plans. We just stayed away from certain places.
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Nov 26th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Warden Message: Suvarnabhumi International Airport has ceased all flight operations

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

At this time, Suvarnabhumi International Airport has ceased all flight operations due to the Peopleís Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protest at the airport. We advise Americans to stay away from the airport given the potential for violence and civil disobedience. It is unclear at this time when normal flight operations will resume. Please contact the airlines for the latest departure/arrival information.

We wish to remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.

For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Departmentís Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

American citizens traveling or residing in Thailand are encouraged to register with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049 and by e-mail at [email protected]. The after hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.

Girlspytravel is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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I was supposed to arrive in Bangkok yesterday. Cancelled the trip about two months ago because I had used so much vacation time volunteering during the political campaign among other reasons. For once my timing was good. But I certainly hope this gets resolved quickly.
glorialf is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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I still plan on arriving on the 11th, whatever it takes.

I'm sure there will be a way to get into BKK by then.
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Nov 26th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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The PAD mobs are mostly somewhat stupid guys, but their leaders and even that lunatic little Hitler Sondhi are not. And so I think, the closure of Suvarnabhumi wont last long. Especially regarding the fact that Somchai arrived in the country now.
What I dont understand is that the police as well as the army is practically doing nothing. Even in the States or in Europe actions like those would not have happened without massive involvations of both forces.
I hope ardently that everybody who planned it can/does go and arrive safely.
And that the GTG on December 19 will take place.
wolfmisc is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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The GTG is on the 21st. Read thru the thread and you will see the date changed.

I am still planning/hoping to fly into BKK in three weeks.

Carol (in Germany... watching CNN about the chaos in Mumbai)
simpsonc510 is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Supporters of the PAD aren't stupid people, though I don't about those who actually storm the airport. But the PAD is popular in Bangkok with the elites, while the current government's support is in the poorer, rural areas.

The military is "neutral", and the police certainly don't want to do anything because they don't know who the next government will be. It's a lot harder to prosecute someone for "doing nothing" than to prosecute someone for killing/injuring civilians. They're just doing the smart thing in protecting themselves.
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Nov 26th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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We changed our travel destination from Thailand to Turkey last year when we heard about the political unrest and can't believe this is happening again. We were relieved to hear that these occurrences are not uncommon and hardly threatening, but this time it appears to be of a more violent nature. While I was certain things would be resolved by now, they seem to be escalating. Thankfully for us, we have about 60 days, but it would be a shame to have to cancel last minute. We are flying on frequent flyer miles into Korea and then Thailand, leaving from Siem Reap, so I will count on all of your advise if we have to change our itinerary and fly into another country! We are not going to let this ruin our vacation plans. I'm going to be optimistic and hope for the best though. - June
dgunbug is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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I am supposed to leave on the 8th of dec to Bangkok for our honeymoon. Do not want to plan a trip a week before we have to leave and before the wedding ! that is madness. I hope this gets resolved soon. Any suggestions?

we are flying into tokyo so it looks like our alternative plan would be japan and china. not my ideal honeymoon but better than nothing
MIAhoneymooner is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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We leave on January 24th and I hadn't purchase trip insurance yet.

I just called AIG and was told that they don't cover "War, Acts of War whether declared or not, riots, civil commotion or insurrection."

Are there other travel insurance companies that DO cover these things?
jaspertl is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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MIA, if things do not calm down in Thailand, see if your airline will re-route you for free (many are right now). You could opt for Bali, for instance, or Vietnam, or Malaysia as examples. Explore your options, but I wouldn't do anything else just yet.
Kathie is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Jasperti - Virtualy all insurance companies will exclude these risks but some will pay out on an ex gratia basis. However none will insure against an event that has already happened.
crellston is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Most insurance companies do exclude these types of risks unless, as mentioned above you are able to pay A LOT for the extra coverage.
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