Blech! Early morning departure from BKK

Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:33 PM
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Blech! Early morning departure from BKK

So now that Thai Air has pulled the rug out from under us and we now depart back to LAX on Sunday at 7:30 AM (as opposed to 7:30 PM) I need some advice.

My better half is suggesting we just ditch the hotel we have reserved for Friday night in BKK. The rationale being threefold: (1) we have to check in for our flight at least by 4:30 AM, (2) the less we sleep that night, the more we'll sleep on the flight back and (3) obviously the cost savings.

For those of you with more experience with the 'oh no they didn't' departure time, what are your suggestions?
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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Ooops. I meant the hotel we reserved for SATURDAY night.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Let me amend my original post yet again.

Another idea I had was that we could go out that night (and party it up, Bangkok-style) til about 2 AM, head to the airport and hang out in the Royal Silk Lounge until it's time to board.

Could we even check-in for our flight that early?
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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usually the checkins don't open up until about 2 hours before flight time...

i would keep the hotel....have a fantastic dinner and order the car for early.....for our 6 o'clock flights we do the following....

3AM wake up
quick showers--forget your hair billy!!
3:10 breakfast delivery---we eat some and take some with us for the airport, including cold hard boiled eggs...
3:20 bellman for suitcases
3:30 limo to airport

that is for the 6 AM flight....

we always have plenty of time for checkin---VAT refunds, which are even easier now at this airport, etc, etc...
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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I always stay in Bangkok that last night before my 6:40 am flight. The check-in counter for United opens up about 2 hours before the flight. Your hotel will offer to pack you a breakfast to take along.

I doubt that you could check in at 2 am for a 7:30 am flight. Although, if you are flying biz on Thai, they might check you in whenever as long as their check-in desks are open. Perhaps one of the locals knows if the Thai check in desks are open all night and if they would check you in that early.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 08:56 PM
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... well, the early morning Bangkok departure ... (such sweet parting sorrow) ...

... too bad you're not flying TG676 F to NRT, nor TG600 F to HKG (two of my all-time TG F business/pleasure travel favourites) ... Reason: access to TG's rather fine Royal First Lounge Spa, open ~ 05:15 and replete with sweet masseuses, and yes, 'tubs' big enough for two ... (young, petite women, always welcome - do monitor the priceless 'Fodorite Calendar' for breathless updates) ...

... funds willing, spend your final hours at the Oriental or Peninsula (deepest apologies for not revealing our favourite rooms/suites), slip out ~ 04:30, and do the TG Royal Silk Lounge routine ... (and savour those gorgeous Thai hostesses, gliding by, in their flowing, full-length, shimmering Thai gowns ... (including one, who has such a sweet 'page-boy' style) ...

macintosh (robert)


... our service makes it - smooth as silk ...





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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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Are you flying Biz or Eco? Why do you need to check out at 4:30? You're flight's at 7:30, you don't need to be at the airport until 6:00, so you could check out at 5:30. It takes less than 30 minutes to get to the airport, especially on the weekend.

The Royal Orchid Lounge opens at 5am.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 10:57 PM
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Flying in Biz.

I don't really want to get there at 4 AM (although didn't it used to be 3 hr. int'l. check-in or is that just in the US?)--just figured if the lounge and check-in were open all-night, it might be worth it to scrap the hotel that night, get a late night in the city and head to the airport for some lounging lounge time.

Thanks for the info, Bisbee. Either way, if the lounge opens at 5, then I'll probably check-in at 5. Sounds like we're keeping the hotel, given all this info.

And thanks Robert/Oksena for cracking me up yet again.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 11:31 PM
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If you're flying Thai, you can check-in in Bangkok whenever you feel like it. So, yes you could check-inn at 2:00 am - probably. I've never tried it, but I have checked in 4 hours before a flight. You can check-in for ay flight at any time. It's not like other airlines, which may only have one or two flights out of BKK. Thai has flights at all hours.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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I'm not saying my way works for everyone, but that's how I always do it (I fly in/out of BKK 20+ times/year). Some people like to get there early. I like to sleep as I'm usually out late the night before That's the main reason I'll be missing TG794.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 11:37 PM
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Michael,

You've got me curious so I've just called Thai reservation and here's what they told me:

All check-in counters at BKK will close at 1.00 AM and will reopen again at 4.30 AM. You can not check in at 12.59 AM for a 7.30 AM flight.

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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 01:45 AM
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If you are flying Thai business class on a Sunday morning, then (i) there will be no traffic to get to the airport and (ii) you will have your own Immigration counter at the Thai business class area so there will be no line for Immigration (which can sometimes be an issue). I was in Bangkok 3 weeks ago and departed on a Sunday morning on Thai Airways business class. It took me 20 minute to get to the airport, 5 minutes to check in and 2 minutes to get through Immigration. Therefore, with a 7:30 am departure, IMO you do not need to leave for the airport until about 6 am, if you are the worrier type you could leave at 5:30 am. I would get a hotel room the night before.

I am in Thailand now and have a Thai business flight out next Thursday morning at 8 am, and even with a weekday flight, I am not going to leave for the airport before 6 am, as the private Immigration makes all the difference.

Even with economy, you donít have to be there 3 hours before your flight. Donít know where you got that idea.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 01:59 AM
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I agree with the above posters that say if you are in Biz, there's no time problem. Do get a hotel room for the last night. If for no other reason, you'll want a shower before the long trip home. And if you are a bit tired when you awaken, it will be that much easier to sleep on the plane.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 02:17 AM
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Book a hotel and get up early. We've done this each time and it works. If you stay out all night, it will be like adding extra time to the flight. Plus, you're only going to LA, not the East Coast with 28 hours of flying.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 02:35 AM
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C'mon Andy be a sport and lend Will your Gulfstream.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 05:28 AM
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I'm always flying before 7 am on the BKK to NRT (UA) flight. I set the alarm for 4:00 and try to be out the door by about 4:45. I am a premier exec flier with UA so I get to check in at the first-class (star alliance gold) counter. That saves me time. If one is in the econ line, it can be long and slow sometimes. Keep your hotel room. I agree with everyone on that idea.
Carol

(Andy, why not let all us fodorites borrow the Gulfstream... we can have a GTG on board.. lol)
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 06:44 AM
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Cicerone, I got that idea from the fact that in the US, you are told you must check-in at least 3 hours prior to an international departure.

Now I'm aware you don't HAVE to, but that's the recommended time. That's where that came from.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 07:02 AM
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I always keep my apartment or hotel room the night before the early flight. I need my sleep. And I've never been a morning person, so going back to this old flight schedule is going to be a killer for me. I'm going to arrive home totally exhausted.
Also, my apartment building would always let me keep the apartment until I decided to leave for the 7:30PM flight and they wouldn't charge me extra although they were supposed to.
So, that gave me a whole day to run around BK in and then go back to the apartment and grab the bags and head to the airport. That's what I did last December when I met robbietravels and her husband early in the morning, at the Four Seasons, on my departure day and took them around to some places in BKK and was still able to get back to the apartment, nap, eat, and then go to the airport. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Yes keep your hotel room but change the hotel to the Novotel at the airport- this is a very nice hotel and they have a shuttle to take you to the airport a couple of minutes away as the hotel is at the airport. We did this on our arrival and departure days for our last trip to BKK and it worked out great.
This way you can sleep in a bit later and not have worry about any traffic getting to the airport.
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 03:48 PM
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Will, I know you are over on flyertalk also, they had a big thread about this same thing awhile back. I think the FT'ers are a younger group and a lot of them said to stay up and party till its flight time!

We are heading back to bkk next year, and if my ex doesn't let my 9 year old son come with us, we r going to stay up with no hotel. My wife and I have to work 24 hours on when we are on call, so staying up isn't a problem! But, the wife is much better st this than me, since she gets to deliver babies all night and I get old dudes with enlarged prostates!
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