Airport stories are the frequent business travelers’ baseball cards. We trade tales, compare battle wounds, and try to trump one another with the best and worst experiences. There are airports that transcend region and size, and every business traveler around the table has a particular business trip shaped by the time spent there. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is one of those airports.
As the main international gateway to Thailand, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi is one of the largest airports in Southeast Asia -- and always full. The airport exceeded its capacity of 45 million passengers per a year starting in 2015, at which point the Airports of Thailand approved a $8 billion plan to expand the hub. Expected to finish by 2024, the new airport will be able to handle 125 million international and domestic flyers.
One of our business travelers recently had an extended layover where he explored the international airport’s four stories of lounges, charging stations, spas, 24-hour diners, and more. Here’s his guide for road warriors who find themselves with a few hours -- or more -- to spend there.
1. Find Your Lounge: There’s no better place for a little en-route R&R than an airport lounge and, luckily, BKK has nearly 20 lounges to choose from. While most require a business class ticket or airline status for entry, some lesser-known options are still accessible for road warriors with fewer miles under their belt.
BKK has six business and first-class lounges within its international terminal, which offer a moderately private, quiet space to recharge -- literally and/or emotionally -- as well as showers and snacks. These particular lounges run by Louis’ Tavern CIP Lounge are accessible to some airline passengers.
If cocktails call your name, head to the King Power Airport Lounge for a seat and spritzer. Access is offered to loyalty card holders of the airport’s large duty-free retailer King Power, but flyers eager for entry can join instantly for a fee.
All passengers on Bangkok Airways are welcome in their domestic or international departure lounges. Stocked with snacks, Wi-Fi and comfy seats, these lounges reside in the Concourse A area on the east side of the airport.
2. Charge up: BKK offers free Wi-Fi for up to two hours per day, and is equipped with lots of charging stations making on-the-go sales calls and routine email checks doable within the time limit.
3. Eat well: It’s well-known that Thailand has some of the best local flavors to savor worldwide. For business travelers interested in feasting between flights, BKK is a culinary goldmine. There are more than 50 dining venues mapped out to match the preferences of travelers and their destinations. Within eastern concourses and gates for Japan Airlines and Thai Airways, there is a variety of Asian cuisine. For business travelers craving Western options, western concourses feature burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and European-inspired eats. And for those facing an overnight layover, don’t worry — all of the 50+ dining options are 24 hours.
4. Sleep deep: For those business travelers looking for a deeper sleep outside of a lounge, BOXTEL offers small rooms to rent on an hourly basis. The sleeper is unique as it is utilitarian. Another option is Louis’ Tavern Transit Hotel where day rooms are available for cheaper rates than an average hotel stay for a budget-friendly bout of shut eye.
5. Shop: Nothing says “duty-free” like some extra time on your hands. While waiting for the next flight to take off, business travelers can find deals at one of the largest duty free stores open or head to more boutique shops like Royal Project & OTOP, Chitralada, Sai Jai Thai, Mae Fah Luang, and Sai Yai Rak, for Thai handicrafts, artwork, and souvenir items.
6. Relax: At Chang Massage and Spa, business travelers can pamper themselves with a full-body Thai massage, pedicures, facials, or an aromatherapy-infused respite from their chaotic travels.
With TripActions, business travelers are never left waiting at the airport for long. Our team of 24/7 365 global travel agents are ready to assist you no matter how far work takes you. Get in touch to schedule a demo of TripActions today to learn more.