Flying with your furry friend on a domestic flight with Bangkok Airways is now an effortless process. Due to COVID-19, this service was temporarily suspended, but it has since resumed. As an experienced pet owner, I have flown with my cat a few times between Samui and Bangkok, and I can attest to the ease of the process.
To reserve a spot for your pet, you must first book your flight online. Please note that only ATR flights are pet-friendly, so ensure that you choose this option. Once you have your booking reference, contact Bangkok Airways to register your pet for the flight. You will receive an email confirmation once the registration is complete. For more information on the terms and conditions of the service, please visit Bangkok Airways' website at https://www.bangkokair.com/traveling-with-pet.
CHECK-IN AT THE AIRPORT
To ensure a hassle-free travel experience with your furry friend, it's highly recommended to arrive at the airport at least 1.5 hours before the scheduled flight. Based on my past experiences, it's best to avoid taking the last ATR flight due to the possibility of delays. Twice, I had to encounter such circumstances, and since then, I've opted for daytime flights when possible. At the check-in counter, you will need to weigh your pet in their carrier, followed by payment for their ticket at a separate counter. As an example, my cat and his carrier weighed roughly 9kg, and his ticket cost 1,620 THB (180 THB per Kg).
I was informed by the airline staff that I had to hand over my cat to them at boarding time. Therefore, I spent my time with my pet in the check-in counter area until it was time for him to be handed over.
I reserved the seat closest to my cat at row No. 18, which is also inclinable. Note that the last row, No. 19, cannot be inclined. However, if there is another pet on board, the airline staff may place your cat in the front of the cabin. I find this practice to be considerate as it prevents any potential disruptions caused by multiple pets in close proximity. Additionally, during the flight, you can request the staff to check on your pet, although I personally chose not to as my cat remained calm throughout the journey. Upon arriving at Bangkok, your pet will be available for pickup at the Oversize baggage area, where it will be handled with care. If you arrive early enough, you can wait in front of the lift on the left-hand side of the luggage claim area.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, pet owners can retrieve their furry companions from the Oversize baggage area. However, in Samui, the process may be slightly different as the cage containing the pet may be placed on the conveyor belt upon arrival, although this may vary depending on the size of the pet. Please consult with Bangkok Airways for more information on the pet transportation process.
Taxis at BKK airport
At the BKK airport, some taxi drivers may refuse to take pets even if they are in a cage, which can be inconvenient. To avoid such troubles, it's highly recommended to use the "GRAB" application for transportation. However, it's important to mention in a remark or message to the driver that you have a pet with you. This is much more efficient than going through the taxi queue, and if a driver declines your ride, you'll have to queue again for a new ticket.
That concludes my experience flying from Koh Samui to Bangkok with my furry companion. I hope this article is helpful for travelers who plan to fly with their pets to or from Koh Samui.