Phuket Airport Departures
Phuket Transport | Departing from Phuket International Airport
If your flight out of Phuket is later in the evening it's well worth asking at your hotel reception a few days before if you can pay a little extra for a late check-out. If they don't need the room straight away this will help you avoid a long day at the airport. In fact the perfect time to organise this is when you re-confirm your departure flight.
The key to Phuket Airport is planning
Allow between 40 minutes to 1 hour travel time to get to the airport from almost all of the locations in the southern half of the island (Surin, Kamala, Patong, Kata Karon..).
You should check –in 2 hours before an international flight and 1 hr before a domestic flight (unless your ticket states otherwise). The average check-out time of your hotel will probably be around 12:00 (this is so your room can be cleaned ready for the next guests who can check in from 2pm onwards).
Re-confirming Your Flight Home
Remember you'll need to confirm your return flight (normally at least 72hrs before departure). It's generally easier to ask your hotel reception to perform this simple task for you. However if you prefer to spend a few moments of your own time you'll find the Phuket Airport Information and Airline Telephone Numbers here.
On most airlines when you re-confirm your flight you can also request a seat reservation and any special meal requirements you have. The various airline offices at Phuket airport don't operate 24hrs a day (or weekends) so if you can, it's best to call between 9am -5pm Monday to Friday. In a pinch you can generally find someone to help or you can always call the main overseas numbers which do operate on a 24 hr schedule.
Getting to the Airport
If you didn't already book your return airport transport when you booked your hotel you can still book online here and we'll arrange everything for you using our discounted transfer rates. If you don't mind paying a little extra you can always get the hotel to organise your transfer. Just make sure you go direct to the airport as some cheaper transfers stop at several hotels to collect passengers. This is great if your the last ones collected but if your first, you could spend valuable time sat in a mini bus.
At Phuket Airport - Departures
Phuket Airport is a very busy, small and basic airport. When you get into the departure hall which is the upper level of the airport, find your check in desk by looking on the tv screens for your flight number. The check in desk numbers run left to right (left lowest, right highest).
Once you've checked in you are free to go through customs and immigration, international departure gate is to the right and domestic departure gate is to your left. Now BEFORE you go through passport control if you're hungry it's recommended that you eat now before you go through passport control. Once through passport control, there are limited options for food and these are restricted to light snacks, tea, coffee and maybe beer if you're lucky.
In the main check-in hall the food choices are much better; it's still quite basic in comparison to other international airports but you at least a handful of options offering Thai and international food and a refreshing drink. There's even a little internet cafe for that last minute e-mail. Just make sure you allow ample time to go through immigration as the lines can be long especially when you get closer to your departure time (or it might just seem that way). These lines can and often do move very slowly, looking at your watch impatiently and sighing loudly will not make your line move faster it's best just to stand patiently and smile.
If you've overstayed your visa you'll be taken to one side to sign some documents and pay a fine (500 THB per day overstayed). You will also receive an overstay stamp in your passport. (This is for accidental or minor overstays, if you have really overstayed for a long time the consequences can include jail time). You should always check your departure date is still within your visa dates, and contact Phuket immigration if you are unsure or have any questions (Tel. 076221905).
Once you've passed through immigration and the standard airport security check you enter the departure lounge where there are a handful of small duty free shops selling, but nothing of any particular interest besides the basics like cigarettes and alcohol. If you've a stop in transit and you have time, it's recommended to do any duty free shopping there. In fact if you have to change flights at somewhere line Singapore it's worth spending an hour or two if your flights times allow, even then you won't have time to visit all the shops.
Last Updated: 10 Feb 2012