Bangkok Airport Link: Fastest and cheapest way to Suvarnabhumi

In previous trips to Bangkok, I would either take the taxi or the Airport Express Bus to wherever I’m staying. Both option has its pros and cons: taxis are more comfortable and convenient, but it can be quite expensive if you’re shouldering the cost on your own. The bus, on the other hand, is a cheap alternative if you’re traveling solo, but you’d also have to deal with the terrible Bangkok traffic. About a month before we flew to Bangkok for the Thailand Open, I stumbled upon this article on CNNGo: Bangkok Airport Rail Link vs. city taxi. I was elated at the news of this new airport transport option that promises to be cheap, fast and relatively comfortable.

Bangkok Airport Link Express Train
Anonymous model wants to remain anonymous

Suvarnabhumi International Airport is huge, but despite its size, it’s virtually impossible to get lost because there are plenty of signs to point you to the right direction. As soon as we exit the arrival hall, we only had to look a couple of times to see signs to the Airport Link station. Located at the airport’s basement, this station serves both the Express and City lines of the SARL. There’s a ticket booth right in the middle of the huge station, the right side for tickets on the City line, the left for the Express.

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The Suvarnabhumi Airport Express serves only two stations: the airport and Makkasan, which connects you to Bangkok’s MRT system. The train is similar to that of Hong Kong’s and Kuala Lumpur’s airport express trains: comfortable plush seats with racks for your luggage. The ride takes only 15 minutes and costs THB 100 (THB 150 starting January 1, 2011).

Bangkok Airport Link Express Train
Inside the Suvarnabhumi Airport Link Express Train

The Suvarnabhumi Airport City Line terminates at Phaya Thai, stopping at 6 stations, including Makkasan. The train for this line is similar to the BTS, and as stated in the article above, can get crowded during peak hours. The ride from Phaya Thai to Suvarnabhumi takes 30 minutes and costs THB 15 (THB 45 starting January 1, 2011).

Cla and I rode the Express line when we arrived on Friday night. We were staying at Old Charm Guesthouse, which happens to be just one station away from Phaya Thai, so taking the train would be our best airport transfer option. The ride to Makkasan was smooth and fast. The train’s waiting time was longer than the entire ride. We alighted at Makkasan, and were impressed at how the train station looked like an extension of the Suvarnabhumi airport. On the ground level, check-in counters are waiting for future airlines to set up shop. The City Line station is at the 3rd floor of the station. Since the Express line terminates at Makkasan, we had to transfer to go all the way to Phaya Thai (at no additional cost). The ride from Makkasan to Phayathai on the City Line only took about 5 minutes, even with the stop at Rajprarop Station.

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I took the City Line all the way back to the airport on my last day. From the Old Charm, I rode the BTS from Ratchatewi to Phaya Thai, going out through Exit 5 of the Phaya Thai station to connect to the Airport Link station. I queue up to buy a ticket, and was surprised that a trip to Suvarnabhumi would only cost me THB 15. Definitely the cheapest I’ve ever paid for airport transfer. Though the distance between Phaya Thai, Rajprarop and Makkasan were covered in 2 minutes or less, the stations gets farther apart past Makkasan. The ride took only 30 minutes, as promised.

Makassan Airport Link Cityline Station
Waiting for the City Line train at the Makkasan station

As written in the CNNGo article, the airport link be cheap and fast, but it can pose some inconvenient problems for some travelers. This option is not really recommended for those traveling with plenty of luggage if you’re taking the City Line. There are no lifts in the City Line’s stations, only escalators. There’s also that added inconvenience if you’re connecting via the BTS or MRT, since they usually don’t have lifts either.

Still, the Bangkok Airport Link is a very much welcome addition to Thailand’s extensive rail line. For solo travelers like me, this is currently the best option for traveling to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 19 Comments
  1. lani says:

    hi! I heard it is not safe to go to Bangkok nowadays…Hope you will enjoy! I enjoy reading your blog! more power!

  2. carlo says:

    great article! i was looking for a pinoy traveler’s review of the new airport link since you know pinoys have different habits (daming luggage) i like the new design of your site too. very clean. good job, punjab!

  3. That’s really very convenient. Thanks for featuring this, Nina!

  4. love this! we’ve already done the taxi thing and the bus thing too — this will be a great new adventure :)

  5. RV Escatron says:

    with the opening of the aiport-city link,
    I lurrrrrve Bangkok, Thailand even more!

    Hands down winner! Third in the rank actually. For me that is.
    After SG and HK airports!

  6. Lois says:

    Great article Nina! My friend and I also took the airport link from Phaya Thai from our last trip. It was convenient and for 15THB it was really cheap. Last time I spent 120THB from Khao San to take the airport express so this is a big difference. Hope it stays that way..

  7. pusang-kalye says:

    I hope we can have an efficient airport link like that. When we landed in Manila from Puerto Princesa last week, I saw this couple who I assume are from the middle east, the woman was really agitated. I overheard the person in charge of the desk in the yellow taxis in terminal 3 telling her that it takes 30 minutes to get to terminal 1. maybe he is trying to charge her larger amount. I think it’s time we do something about that……

  8. nina says:

    lani: I’ve been to Bangkok twice since the riots ended. It’s safe to travel there :)

    carlo: Definitely not for those with balikbayan boxes! Okay na siya for backpackers. Super cheap and may time pa for last minute shopping!

    Chris: So kelan ka sasama samin sa Bangkok? ;)

    Magnetic-rose: Thailand Open 2011 yes?

    RV: True! Nakakapagod nga lang minsan maglakad sa loob kasi masyadong malawak lol

    Lois: Yung 120 THB nakikipag siksikan ka pa sa van tapos mga katabi mo medyo nangangamoy no? XD

    pusang kalye: Hay mismo! Nakakahiya at nakakainis yung limited (and expensive) airport transport options natin sa Manila!

  9. Proud Pinay says:

    Thumbs up! Your blog is really wonderfull… hope to read more nice ones like this…

  10. Mark says:

    A well written entry making it easy to follow your directions . You seem to know Bangkok well .

  11. freeze says:

    i just came from bangkok and i missed this post! this could have been helpful. the 700bath SUV taxi was convenient though.

    • nina says:

      Exag naman yang 700 baht! Saan ka nangaling? I agree that the taxi is much more convenient, specially if you have plenty of luggage, but at 700 baht… only if I’m splitting the cost with someone!

  12. […] jeeps are nowhere to be found. I suppose I was spoiled by last month’s experience with the Bangkok Airport Link, but is reliable airport shuttle service too much to ask […]

  13. johnny says:

    im continuing my lifestyle design and moving to thailand (again!) in 2 weeks, i’ll bear this in mind! Thanks =)

  14. Rudy says:

    Hi Nina,

    Good Day!

    I will be traveling soon for the 1st time na no check in baggage tickets ko. Strict ba talaga sa hand carry yung mga airlines now?You think kakayanin 7kls for a month? thank you

  15. ja says:

    Hi Nina,

    Do you know an alternative to the Old Charm since it has shut down already, will be going to Bkk this month, badly need suggestion, will be travelling with 8 friends….thanks in advance

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