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BANGKOK 20 May 2019 05:53
jackdd

Udon Thani Airport transport / corruption

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Until a while ago at the airport in Udon Thani there was a Songthaew route (15) serving the airport with an official stop in front of the Terminal, so you could easily go to / from the airport with it (at least at daytime, after it's dark the Songthaews here in Udon Thani finish work).

Now since a few months the Songthaews don't drive inside the airport anymore, but instead do a u-turn outside of the airport, and the sign in front of the terminal has vanished (Maybe a 5 minutes walk, with luggage if it's hot, not so nice).

So now the only choice is taking a taxi (they call it "limousine") in the city (costs 200thb for a location in the city center. To go the same distance to a location in the city center with a metered taxi like in BKK would be less than 100thb), a minivan (80 thb per person, wait until it's full), or walk outside of the airport to take a Songthaew there.

When i saw a Songthaew serving this route yesterday i asked him about this. He seemed to be quite upset about this topic, and talked quite long, i didn't understand all of it.

He said something like that the mayor (or somebody in a position like that) of Udon Thani gave the order to the Songthaews that they can't drive inside the airport anymore because they take passengers from the taxis. If a passenger wants to be dropped off inside the airport that's possible, but the Songthaew should charge 50thb for it. But it is forbidden for the Songthaew to pick up any passenger in the airport.

Most probably the reason is that either that the taxis pay money to the person who gave this order, or that a relative of this person is running the taxi company.

 

Of course corruption is normal in Thailand, but it would be better if it wasn't ;)

Maybe that's worth a news, and maybe this can change it back

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The 'Mayor' or someone like that may well be protecting the airport 'limo' and minibus services but I seriously doubt that banning the songtaew from entering is going make much of an impact on the growing number of arriving passengers bypassing the taxi touts desk and using Grab Taxi app on their smartphone. If I wanted to 'limo', it was always 200 baht despite my destination being less than 300 m outside the ring-road... and they always expect a tip!

 

I have used Grab Taxi a few times now, longest wait 15 minutes and home in air-conditioned comfort in 20 minutes. The charge is between 80 and 100 baht and the drivers always seem as happy as I am with the 20 baht gratuity that I offer on top.

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Well I never! Been coming to Udon for 11 yrs and never saw or knew the #15 songthaew went inside the airport. Usually arrive evening so would never have used it but probably would have when going to the airport as I hate haggling with tuktuk and taxi drivers. The 80thb minibus on arriving alone is good as it is now allowed to go through the airforce base. The 1st time it did this I was amazed how close to the city centre the airport actually is! Typical Thailand forcing all other transport to use the longer and convoluted outside route. If arriving with the missus then 200thb for a taxi is good value I think. Re. tipping: I never understood why, all over the world one is automatically expected to tip taxi drivers when driving is such an easy job and consequently often attracts the most lazy wily people unwilling to do much else. They also seem to be some of the most thoughtless and selfish drivers on the road. OK, before I get lambasted for this by retired or semi-retired taxi driver expats, I know that there are many exceptions to my generalisation, and if a driver is friendly and helpful with luggage, and not trying to rip me off with the route or the fare then I will usually tip them. Surely tipping is for good service, but if it is poor or even mediocre, why should it be expected or automatic?

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1 hour ago, starky said:

5 minute walk? In the heat? God forbid surely you could find some suitable natives to haul your baggage and perhaps fan you as you walk? I really do not comprehend what has happened in the colonies these days quite disgraceful actually. It's just not cricket. 

This was indeed quite funny ;)

But i'm still against corruption and it also affects the thais and not only farangs :P

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On 1/8/2018 at 8:51 AM, NanLaew said:

The 'Mayor' or someone like that may well be protecting the airport 'limo' and minibus services but I seriously doubt that banning the songtaew from entering is going make much of an impact on the growing number of arriving passengers bypassing the taxi touts desk and using Grab Taxi app on their smartphone. If I wanted to 'limo', it was always 200 baht despite my destination being less than 300 m outside the ring-road... and they always expect a tip!

 

I have used Grab Taxi a few times now, longest wait 15 minutes and home in air-conditioned comfort in 20 minutes. The charge is between 80 and 100 baht and the drivers always seem as happy as I am with the 20 baht gratuity that I offer on top.

 

 

Where do you meet the GRAB drivers? At the parking lot? Which is easy to observe by the Mafia as it is right in front of the terminal building....

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On 12/14/2018 at 3:41 PM, edwardandtubs said:

Price of a Grab from city centre to the airport has increased from 80 baht earlier this year to 160 baht. What a ripoff!

:cheesy:

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Save the cheap fares for the common people. Those going to airports like me, other falang and thais can afford higher fares.

 

Socialism rocks!

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On 12/14/2018 at 3:41 PM, edwardandtubs said:

Price of a Grab from city centre to the airport has increased from 80 baht earlier this year to 160 baht. What a ripoff!

Tell them to put the meter ON Then....

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Make travel a pleasure, if I had to decide between a 200bht taxi or the hassle of a songtaw, the taxi wins every time. 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/30/2018 at 2:51 PM, siam2007 said:

Where do you meet the GRAB drivers? At the parking lot? Which is easy to observe by the Mafia as it is right in front of the terminal building....

Missed this (by almost a year) but the Grab taxi picks you up right outside the main terminal in the pick-up/drop-off lanes. AFAIK, there's been no 'Mafia' action against this.

 

On 12/14/2018 at 8:41 AM, edwardandtubs said:

Price of a Grab from city centre to the airport has increased from 80 baht earlier this year to 160 baht. What a ripoff!

The Grab fare from the airport to my mansion has also doubled... but it is STILL cheaper than the 'official' limo services.

Edited by NanLaew
typo

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On 12/15/2018 at 3:53 AM, CGW said:

If your so opposed to corruption your never going to be very happy in Thailand! the whole system is based on corruption - top to bottom! 🤔

Indeed.

The best points of acclimation might suggest to get along, one goes along. 

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