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Social media users frustrated about expensive flights to Phuket

Flickr/Andy Mitchell

Air passengers have taken to social media to complain about the high cost of a domestic flight to Phuket.

One netizen claims to have been quoted 14,000 baht from Bangkok to Phuket a couple of days before departure (and that was from the “low-cost” carriers.) Others say they’ve paid 5,000 baht one-way, even booking weeks ahead of travel.

A quick check by Phuket-GO this morning failed to find anything as expensive as these posts suggested.

Suksit Suvunditkul from the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association, says airfares to Phuket have been rising consistently since the end of the pandemic. He says the increase is in line with demand, which rose significantly this high season.

Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority says the regulated ceiling price for a one-way flight from Bangkok to Phuket is capped at 6,561 for low-cost airlines and 9,074 baht for the others.

Meanwhile, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association says that to date, no airlines have been found to be selling tickets above the ceiling price. Thanet Tantipiriyakit points out that the ceiling price does not include taxes or other charges and, once these are included, they may push the fare above the maximum. However, in this instance, the airline has not broken any rules.

He believes the high airfares are being driven by the current high season and the fact that many are booking just one or two weeks prior to travel. He says airfares booked 3 – 4 weeks ahead of travel are still affordable and they will continue to decrease as the high season comes to an end.

While Phuket has increased the number of domestic flights serving the island and now welcomes 130 flights a day, this is still not sufficient to meet demand, according to Thanet. He adds that many domestic travellers from Phuket are choosing to drive to Krabi or Surat Thani and fly from there to Bangkok as fares are substantially cheaper.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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