Thailand Tourism Updates

Updates on domestic travel in Thailand in August 2021

In response to the Government’s tightened COVID-19 control measures in place until 31 August 2021.

Bangkok, Updated on 24 August, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide the latest additional information regarding some changes to air and road travel, following the extension of COVID-19 control measures for domestic travel to Phuket through to the end of August.

Air Travel

Thai Airways International

Thai Airways International (THAI) has announced that it will operate twice weekly one-way flights from Bangkok to Phuket (in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announcements) as follows:

  • Flight TG922 every Thursday from 2 September-28 October, 2021.
  • Flight TG916 every Friday from 3 September-29 October, 2021.

Bangkok Airways

Starting from 25 August, 2021, Bangkok Airways will resume its direct flights between Samui and Phuket in support of the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus programmes that were launched on 1 July and 15 July, 2021, respectively signalling the beginning of Thailand’s reopening to tourism.

The resumed services will be operated by ATR 72-600 aircraft starting with 3 flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Flight PG253 will depart Samui at 11.25 Hrs. and arrive at Phuket at 12.25 Hrs, with the return service Flight PG254 departing Phuket at 13.00 Hrs. and arriving at Samui at 14.00 Hrs. More information is available at https://www.bangkokair.com/flight/flightSchedule.

Passengers travelling between Samui and Phuket are required to present a medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected (done by an RT-PCR technique and issued no more than 72 hours before travelling) and proof of vaccination. In addition, the safety and health guidelines issued by the Phuket Provincial Office and Surat Thani Provincial Office must be strictly followed. More information on these can be viewed at https://www.gophuget.com and https://healthpass.smartsamui.com.

Please note the temporary suspension of in-flight meal services and temporary closure of the airline’s passenger lounges is extended until further notice.

Flights between Samui and Singapore, and flights operated under the Samui Plus programme, still operate as normal.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Airways has rescheduled its other domestic flights resumption plan to 1 September, 2021, in accordance with the COVID-19 control measures in place until 31 August, 2021. Affected passengers can rebook a new travel date without a rebooking fee, or postpone without a new departure date (Open Ticket), or postpone with a new departure date, or get a full refund by means of a Travel Voucher.

For more information, contact Bangkok Airways on the call centre Tel. 1771 or +66 (0) 270-6699 (08.00-20.00 Hrs.), Email [email protected] or PG Live Chat at https://bit.ly/PGLiveChatEN.

Nok Air

From 18-31 August, 2021, Nok Air will be offering round-trip flights between U-Tapao Airport in Rayong and Chiang Mai, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Phuket.

For travel to Phuket, passengers must comply with the domestic travel screening and assistance measures in place between 18-31 August, 2021. See: Phuket extends COVID-19 domestic travel screening, control measures until 31 August 2021.

For passengers with travel to/from Phuket International Airport who did not pass the screening test between 17-31 August, 2021, the following assistance is available:

  • Credit can be used before 31 March, 2022.
  • If the ticket price of the new flight is higher than the original flight, passengers must pay the difference in price.
  • The new travel date must be before 31 March, 2022.

The change in travel date should be made at www.nokair.com, via the Nok Air Sales Counter or Tel. 1318.

Thai AirAsia (Updated!)

Thai AirAsia’s recent announcement regarding the temporary suspension of all operations in August remains unchanged.

However, the airline is offering passengers unlimited free flight changes for those wanting to alter their travel plans.

Passengers scheduled to travel up to 30 September, 2021, are offered: free flight moves for an unlimited number of times; no change fee costs with seats for rebooking subject to availability; the fare difference to be waived, and new travel date without incurring a fee is available up to 30 November, 2021.

Passengers scheduled to travel between 1 October, 2021 – 26 March, 2022, are also offered unlimited flight changes, including free flight changes for an unlimited number of times; no change fee costs with seats for rebooking subject to seat availability; fare difference may incur a charge, and new travel date for unlimited flight changes without incurring a fee is available up to 26 March, 2022.

Passengers must process their preferred alternate travel plans no less than 48 hours prior to their original scheduled flight date.

Thai Lion Air

Thai Lion Air is offering the following options to provide added flexibility for passengers with travel dates between 4-31 August, 2021:

  • One time change of the travel date without any charge/fee. Not applicable for the high travel period between 24-26 September, 2021; 12-14 October, 2021; 21-26 October, 2021; 3-7 December, 2021; 9-13 December, 2021, and 25-31 December, 2021. Passengers will be charged for the difference in the fare.
  • Automatic extension of the ticket credit (credit shell) in the system until 31 December, 2021.

Transfer of travel to other routes is not permitted.

Passengers with travel dates up until 30 September, 2021, are offered the following assistance:

  • One time change of the travel date without any charge/fee. Not applicable for the high travel period between 24-26 September, 2021; 12-14 October 2021; 21-26 October 2021; 3-7 December 2021; 9-13 December 2021, and 25-31 December 2021. Passengers will be charged for the difference in the fare.
  • Passengers can manage a Credit shell transaction and/or Manage Booking for their next travel date by themselves through Thai Lion Air’s website www.lionairthai.com.

Thai Smile Airways

Thai Smile Airways will operate a special charter flight service from Phuket to Bangkok on 26 August, 2021. Flight WE 8784 will depart Phuket at 14.30 Hrs. and arrive in Bangkok at 16.00 hrs. The price is 4,300 Baht per person all inclusive. For more information, contact the Smile Charter Flight Service at Email [email protected]

Meanwhile, the airline has temporarily suspended domestic flight operations until 31 August, 2021, and will resume domestic flights on 1 September, 2021.

For passengers with tickets for travel between 20-31 August, 2021, the following options are available:

·       Change of the flight date or route: The flight change must be requested 4 hours prior to the original departure time, without any fee incurred.

·       Refund request: A full refund in the form of a credit EMD can be requested in which passengers may retain the value of their fare in a credit account for future travel. The EMD is valid until 31 December, 2022. The request must be submitted 24 hours prior to the original departure via https://member.thaismileair.com/customerservice/Refund  (Select “COVID-19”). 

More information is available by contacting the Smile Service Centre at the airports, Smile Call Centre: 1181 or 02-118-8888, Email: [email protected], Live chat service on www.thaismileair.com.

Passengers who reserved tickets through a travel agency should contact the agency directly.

Thai VietJet Air (Updated!)

Thai VietJet Air is commencing Bangkok-Taipei flights on 20 October, 2021, (with sealed domestic Phuket Sandbox flight connections available).

Bangkok-Singapore and Phuket-Singapore services will commence on 21 October, 2021.

From 25-31 August, 2021, promotional fares are available for booking at 4,129 Baht Bangkok-Singapore and Phuket-Singapore, and 8,179 Baht Bangkok-Taipei.

More information on schedules and bookings is available at www.vietjetair.com.

Bus Travel

Interprovincial Bus

The Transport Company has announced the temporary suspension of all Northern, Northeastern, Eastern, and Southern bus routes, effective from 3 August, 2021, until further notice.

Passengers who have purchased tickets in advance for travel during this period can request a ticket refund or postpone their trip until the end of 2021, at ticket offices in bus terminals across the country. State welfare card ticket holders are not eligible for a refund, but can postpone their trip.

More information is available at the Call Centre 1490.

Sandbox Express Bus

This bus service from Phuket to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is only for international travellers under the Phuket Sandbox programme and their family members. Launched in early August, the service was to cease operating on 16 August, 2021, but has now been extended until at least 30 August, 2021.

The Sandbox Express Bus will continue to operate every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. It leaves Central Festival Phuket at 05.00 Hrs. and PTT Thalang at 05.30 Hrs. and arrives at Suvarnabhumi Airport on the same evening at around 21.00 Hrs.

The fare is 1,800 Baht per person. Travellers must make bookings through the SHA Plus Manager at their hotel. Reservations must be made before 12:00 Hrs. One day prior to travelling.

When booking the Phuket Sandbox Express, passengers will need to provide the following information:

  • Email address / telephone number.
  • Destination (either Suvarnabhumi Airport or destination province).
  • Flight number (if applicable).
  • Flight date (if applicable).
  • A negative test by an RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen test no more than 72 hours prior to departure (if not a Sandbox guest) OR a valid ‘Release Form’ if a Sandbox guest.
  • A scanned copy of the passport, Immigration stamp, and Immigration number.

For more information, contact Khun May on 093-5800889 / Khun Panya on 086-4927882.

Minivan Travel

Phuket Sandbox tourists can now also take a minivan to Bangkok. These depart every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, with the fare costing 2,300 Baht per person in a van shared among 6 passengers. For those who want to hire an entire van for themselves, this is 13,500 Baht and travel can be on a day chosen by the passenger.

Train Travel

The State Railway of Thailand is continuing with selected Northern, Northeastern, Southern, and Eastern routes. Information is available on the hotline 1690.

Boat Travel

Boonsiri High Speed Catamaran

From 1 August, 2021, Boonsiri High Speed Catamaran is operating a daily service between Ko Kut and Laem Sok Pier. Departure from Ko Kut is at 10.00 Hrs. and return departure at 14.20 Hrs. 

The company will also operate a special charter private catamaran between Laem Sok and Ko Kut, with the price starting at 40,000 Baht. This is suitable for groups and large families, and for care of the elderly and pregnant women. The hirer can choose the travel times. More information is available at (+66) 061 689 9222.

Raja Ferry Port (Updated!)

The company continues to operate the following routes as normal:
Don Sak-Samui, Samui-Don Sak – from 05.00 Hrs.-18.00 Hrs. everyday.
Samui-Pha-ngan – last departure at 19.00 hrs.

For the Don Sak-Pha-ngan, Pha-ngan-Don Sak routes, passengers can transit at Samui.

More information is available at FB:rajaferryport or via Line :@rajaferryport

Saen Saep boat service (Updated!)

Between 10.00-15.00 Hrs. the Saen Saep boat service will run only one boat trip per hour from Wat Si Bun Rueang Pier. The service will stop completely every Saturday and Sunday. These changes are in place until further notice.

TAT would like to remind all travellers to continue with the D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: – Distancing, – Mask wearing, – Handwashing, – Temperature check, – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.

For regular updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand, visit the TAT Newsroom via www.tatnews.org; Facebook (tatnews.org); and Twitter (Tatnews_Org).

For additional information and assistance relating to Thailand’s tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police 1155.

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The TAT International Public Relations Division works with traditional and online media channels to promote Thailand as a tourism destination for travellers worldwide.

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