Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

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Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by buksida » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:09 pm

Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha said Tuesday the hours-long queues at Bangkok’s international airports must come to an end.

Outrage bloomed last week after photos spread of long queues at Don Mueang Airport in which people reportedly waited up to four hours to clear immigration. The photos have prompted pledges from officials to solve the queue problem – a recurring complaint of foreign travelers.

“I have ordered national security officials to stress to the immigration, the airport authority and the Ministry of Transport that they quickly solve the problem,” the junta chief said after his weekly Cabinet meeting. “Problems are challenges that we must solve.”

Top immigration officials were in a meeting Wednesday morning and could not be immediately reached for comment.

On Saturday, Thammasat law lecturer Piyabutr Saengkanokkul wrote online that his wife, a French national, was stuck along with hundreds of other passengers for hours at immigration at Don Mueang, an airport that was brought back into service in mid 2007 to ease crowding at the newer Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Piyabutr, who also belongs to a group of progressive law professors called Nitirat, said his wife saw people fainting in the lines, and was rudely scolded by officials when she asked them to let passengers use empty “priority lanes.” She ended up waiting in line for four hours and twenty minutes, the lecturer said.

“Many foreign tourists insist this was their worst experience. Some came to Thailand for the first time. And this is what they had to go through,” Piyabutr wrote.

Immigration police commanders told the media in following days the problem was caused by a lack of staff and a number of flights that arrived at the same time.

Prayuth said Tuesday officials should also look for novel measures to reduce waiting times. For example, he suggested, Thais could do away with the “Tor Mor Six” arrival cards.

Hellish queues at Bangkok’s airports are common. In February, 13 people reportedly missed their flight because of long lines at Suvarnabhumi Airport, during which only six out of 18 counters were open for service.

Source: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/tran ... -must-end/
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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by handdrummer » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:53 pm

"look for novel measures." how about more opening more counters? never mind, why would you want to make it simple and easy when complicated and difficult is traditional?

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by DSB » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:20 pm

I was stuck in the queue for 2 hours on Fri 28th July. I only saw 6 desks open in the particular section I was in. When I eventually cleared immigration, I noticed that there was a long queue for the priority pass! The reason given was that it was the King's birthday.
I noticed on facebook that the queues were just as long today!

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by oakdale160 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:48 pm

yes, today is the day after the kings birthday and tomorrow is the ------------

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by Khundon1975 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:50 am

I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with the idea of "exit through the gift shop"

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by HHTel » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:51 am

And the UK are scrapping landing cards later this year.
'A huge export for the UK is our tourism industry, so I want people to come through our ports and have a really positive experience.'
All non-EU passengers will still be checked against watch lists, but it is hoped that scrapping cards will help to cut queues at airports.
Makes sense but is unlikely to happen here where carbon paper and typewriter ribbons are still marketable products.

Source: The Daily Mail

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by Nereus » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:48 am

Airport crisis: TM.6 cards scrapped for Thais

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general ... -for-thais

Thai nationals will no longer have to fill out departure or arrival cards before passing through immigration counters at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports from Oct 1, part of a raft of new measures to tackle overcrowding at Bangkok's air gateways.

The measure was rolled out after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed immigration authorities, the airports and the Transport Ministry earlier in the week to team up in addressing the long queues passengers often face, which can involve waiting hours.

The move follows a wave of caustic comments directed at Airports of Thailand (AoT) by exasperated passengers left to endure waits of up to five hours before having their passports stamped at Don Mueang from Friday night to early Saturday morning.

One Thammasat University professor lambasted the airport on behalf of his wife while a foreign woman vented her anger on Twitter calling it "the pit of hell".
A few days later, the airport announced it would install eight new immigration counters this month for departing passengers.

Immigration Bureau chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn visited Don Mueang Wednesday to find ways of tackling the problem.
Speaking after talks with various agencies at the airport, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said Thai passengers would soon be exempt from filling in the time-consuming white cards with blue text, known as the "TM.6".

But foreign travellers are still required to complete the cards, which the Tourism and Sports Ministry and other agencies use to track data on international arrivals. The government said the form will be redesigned.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said Wednesday there was talk of scrapping the form entirely but the Tourism Ministry lobbied for its retention for non-Thais.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said the same information can be gleaned from the ID cards, vehicle registration permits or passports of Thai nationals, making the immigration slips unnecessary.

Work will also be carried out to enable the use of automated passport control machines for foreign visitors, starting later this month with Singaporean nationals, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said.

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by J.J.B. » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:37 am

When I came through Swampy yesterday it was the longest queue I had ever encountered and backed-up all the way down the ramp to where the duty free shop is. I braced myself for a long wait but was surprised to be through in only 35 minutes. I'm sure there are many ways it can be sped-up though.
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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by HHTel » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:25 pm

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said Wednesday there was talk of scrapping the form entirely but the Tourism Ministry lobbied for its retention for non-Thais.
Someone been reading the UK press?

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:20 pm

in some countries, Malaysia for one, the locals have a card that they enter into a machine and they are thru in seconds. Passports are so old-fashioned. What if when you got a visa from a consulate abroad it was a card that you could enter into a machine.

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Re: RE: Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by hhinner » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:55 pm

oakdale160 wrote:in some countries, Malaysia for one, the locals have a card that they enter into a machine and they are thru in seconds. Passports are so old-fashioned. What if when you got a visa from a consulate abroad it was a card that you could enter into a machine.
IIRC when the currently in use Thai ID cards were introduced there was some idea of them being able to be used like passports within ASEAN. However, due to shenanigans of one short or another they managed to produce cards with not very secure data encryption and protection and the passport idea was dropped somewhere along the line. Anyhow, are Thai travellers so many that they affect the queues? Especially as they have their own Gates.

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by hhinner » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:59 pm

^^ "gates" with a small g. My Android tablet has a Microsoft infection?

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by oakdale160 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:27 am

hhiner--if the Thais could go thru a gate as on the BTS, then the gate area devoted to Thai entrants could be opened up for Non thais to use.

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by hhinner » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:59 am

^^ I don't think the problem is having separate channels for nationals and foreigners, which is quite normal at international airports. In my opinion it is the sheer bloody-minded attitude of some senior officials who can't, or won't, use initiative to use spare capacity at special channels (Thai, diplomat, air crew, etc.) when unusual, even unsafe, overcrowding occurs. Social media doesn't let them get away with their antedeluvian attitudes and practices

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Re: Govt: hellish airport immigration queues must end

Post by hhinner » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:00 am

Ctd/... anymore.

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