From DON MUEANG AIRPORT to The Atlanta

From  DON  MUEANG  AIRPORT to The Atlanta Hotel by  PUBLIC  TAXI – go to the Public Taxi queue at the forecourt on the ground floor of the airport building – ordinary and large seven-seater taxis available  – travel time forty-five minutes to one hour and fifteen minutes - total fare between Bahts 350 and 450, inclusive of two toll charges, for ordinary and large taxis  –  24- hours service.

DETAILS

Don Mueang Airport.  The name is pronounced Don Muang. *  The most convenient way to travel from Don Mueang Airport to The Atlanta Hotel is by public taxi.  After clearing customs, look for and follow the ‘Public Taxi’ signs down to the ground floor exit.  Immediately outside the terminal building are six taxi queues, one next to the other, and there are attendants at each queue.  Join any one of the queues.  The attendant will decide with you whether an ordinary taxi, which seats three adults plus luggage, will be sufficient, or whether you require a seven-seater ‘van’ taxi.  The tariff for either is exactly the same.  When your turn comes, the attendant will lead you to the taxi.  The taxi driver will hand the attendant a chit (a slip of perforated paper) which gives his name and telephone number, the licence number of his taxi, and the telephone numbers of the Don Mueang Airport Transport Management Office.  Tell the taxi driver you wish to be taken to The Atlanta Hotel in Soi 2 Sukhumvit Road.  If you have difficulty communicating with him, the attendant will help.  The attendant will then tear the chit in three: one will be kept by the attendant as a record that you have taken that particular taxi, one will be given to the driver, and one – the largest one which has the driver’s name and phone number, the licence number of the taxi, and the phone numbers of the Don Mueang Airport Transport Management Office - will be given to you.  Keep it safely with you.  If anything goes wrong or if you leave anything behind in the taxi, the details on the chit will enable you to contact the driver or the Suvarnabhumi Airport Transport Management Office.  When you are in the taxi, spend a moment to read the details on the chit.  Some details on it may have changed since the writing of this advice.

  

The total fare should be between Bahts 350 and Bahts 450.  The taxi must use the meter and must not try to get you to pay a (higher) chartered fare.  The payable fare, according to the meter, should be between Bahts 130 to Bahts 250, depending on traffic conditions.  On top of that, you will have to pay the driver the Bahts 50 airport surcharge (the charge levied on taxis by the airport for running the queue system) as indicated on the chit.  You will also have to pay the toll charges.  There are two toll gates; the first charges Bahts 50 and the second charges Bahts 70.  (The amount is small but if you are on a tight budget, look carefully at how much is being charged at the toll gate because the toll charges do increase from time to time and may therefore be higher than the amount indicated here.)  The taxi driver may use his discretion and go through only one of the two toll gates which will save you some money, but forget about telling the driver to go through or not to go through either or both of the toll gates.  He will pretend not to understand you and do what he deems most profitable for himself.

If you feel you have been overcharged by the meter or have difficulties you cannot resolve with the driver, unload all your luggage when you arrive at The Atlanta, tell the driver you will go in to change some money, then ask reception for help.  Typically, in budget hotels, the hotel staff will take the side of the taxi driver against the tourist.  This kind of partiality pervades the entire society.  At The Atlanta, however, the hotel staff will as best they can be neutral while protecting our guests in the interest of a fair outcome.

CAUTION  

(1) Ignore touts who accost you to try to persuade you to take a car they can arrange for you.  They may tell you it is a taxi or limousine or minibus.  Ignore them!  You will be ripped off and may be taken to a different hotel.  Deal only with the Public Taxi attendant at the queue or with attendants behind the AOT Limousine counter.  


(2) Do not take a stray taxi!  A stray taxi is one which happens to be passing by and catches your eye.  Ignore their offers and inducements.  You will be ripped off and / or taken to some other place.  Typically, once you have got into their taxi, they will switch on the turbo-meter which will tick over much more quickly.  In the end, you will find you are being charged two, three, four or more times the normal meter fare!  


(3) Spend a few minutes before you leave for Bangkok to surf the web to learn about the latest scams and shenanigans perpetrated by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, and for any recent changes in fares and tariffs.  There is nothing to be said for naivety and selective ignorance in these parts.

*   The name Don Mueang means eminence of the city and was originally spelt Don Muang as it is pronounced.  Being the area nearest Bangkok that was not prone to flooding, the eminence was the ideal location for the capital’s first airport.  In the mid-2000s, a clever Thai re-invented western orthography and phonetics, and proceeded under government commission to change the alphabetic spelling of all place names in Thailand.   The consequence is that no non-Thai speaker whose native language uses the alphabet is able to pronounce Thai place names as written on signs in Thailand in a way that any Thai can understand.   Further, with the introduction of satellite navigation for cars in Thailand requiring alphabetic input, everybody is lost who has not memorised the idiotic spelling of the destination they seek.