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Thailand 2014: Bangkok Airways Koh Samui to Bangkok (USM to BKK)

Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge The Pier Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Millennium Hilton Bangkok
Cooking with Poo
Overnight Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Le Meridien Chiang Mai
Patara Elephant Farm
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai to Ko Samui
Conrad Koh Samui
Bangkok Airways Koh Samui to Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Check-in and Lounge Bangkok
EVA Air Evergreen Lounge Bangkok
Louis’ Tavern First Class CIP Lounge Bangkok
Singapore SilverKris Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways Lounge Hong Kong
Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Suites Seoul to New York
United Airlines Business Class PS Service New York to San Francisco

Koh Samui has one of the coolest airports that I’ve been to. It feels like a resort, with almost everything being outdoors. Of course, the flip side of this is that it can be extremely hot and humid if your flight is departing in the middle of the day, but hopefully you’re somewhat adjusted to the temperatures by the time you’re leaving Koh Samui.

Koh Samui airport
Koh Samui airport

One tip if you’re flying Bangkok Airways is to make sure that you check-in online prior to your flight. It doesn’t matter if you can’t print out your boarding passes or you need to check in bags, but if you check-in online prior to arrival at the airport, you can skip the normally lengthy economy class line and use the much shorter (i.e. non-existent) online checkin line.

Security is a breeze, and you can actually go through customs at Koh Samui even if you’re just on a domestic flight depending on your itinerary (make sure to keep the sticker they give you!). The gates are all open air and because Bangkok Airways is a “boutique” airline, there’s free snacks, drinks, and wifi for all passengers. This gives the whole thing a much more civilized feel, where even economy passengers get decent amenities. Again, one potential downside to the open-air concept is that there are mosquitos, so don’t think that you can abandon your bug spray even though you’re at an airport.

Bangkok Airways waiting area
Bangkok Airways waiting area
Seating in the waiting area
Seating in the waiting area
Food options
Food options, including some attempts at authentic Thai snacks
More food options
More food options

To get to the plane, you take a tram, which adds to the whole resort feel. I enjoy the trams because they allow for better close-ups of the planes.

Walking up to the plane
Walking up to the plane

On board, the flight was unremarkable, which is how I like my economy class travel. Of course, since this is a foreign airline, they serve a meal on a 50-minute flight, and they even cater special meals. Given how short the flight was, they served cold meals, and neither my VGML or my friend’s normal meal was appetizing. Both of us picked at the fruit and left the rest uneaten.

All economy seating
All economy seating
Normal meal
Normal meal

Bangkok Airways dominates flights to/from USM, but at least their product is decent and they try to provide amenities to all passengers, so you don’t feel completely gouged by their monopolistic prices. I’d happily fly them again, and in many cases, flying is much more practical than any other form of transport in Thailand.


  1. I cash booked USM-BKK (coach) a few months ago to leave 3hr connection window for a separate award booking BKK-HKG (biz in Thai Air) for September travel. not only has the price dropped over $50 per ticket, but they changed the flight time on me for the BKK-HKG (biz in Thai Air) so that my connection time is now a whopping 5hrs in BKK. Do you know offhand whether Bangkok Air does price adjustments or allow fee-free changes to change my 9am flight to 11am departure?

    1. I think it mostly depends on what kind of ticket you booked, but from a brief search online, it does appear that most people have had success changing flight times. It looks like you can try changing the ticket online through their website, or you can email them reservation@bangkokair.com. Hope this helps!

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