Being stuck in a queue at Don Mueang airport’s immigration is one of life’s certainties – particularly if you land in those pesky peak traffic hours.
And that’s even before you’ve reached the taxi queues.
— Jerome Taylor (@JeromeTaylor) December 17, 2015
Space constraints are the main factors exacerbating the overcrowding, says the airport’s general manager, Phet Chan-charoen, together with confusion over which counters to queue behind.
Don Mueang will be requesting Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) to approve their plan to increase the space available at immigration, reports the Bangkok Post.
Walls will be torn down with the potential of extra counters installed in their place, per the proposed plan.
Some way has already been cleared thanks to the relocation of a number of stores to the newly refurbished Terminal 2, so a plan to efficiently utilise the space will surely be welcomed by staff and passengers alike.
Don Mueang’s ‘danger hours’ for immigration queues is invariably in the morning and afternoon rush hours: between 5am and 7am and 3pm to 7pm. Up to 20 flights can arrive in an hour during these peak times which inevitably leads to long queues and overcrowding.
Plans to vary the flight schedules was rejected by airlines, according to Pol Col Nathee Mahuemaung, Don Mueang’s immigration chief.
As well as the volume of people attempting to pass through, immigration also has to contend with passengers not reading the signposts and queuing at the wrong counter. While there are separate counters for Thai nationals, foreigners, diplomats, staff, children and pregnant women, there are inevitably mix-ups and confusion between the 30 counters. The problem is, of course, exacerbated by any additional overcrowding.
The expansion of the area as proposed would certainly ease the overcrowding, says Pol Col Nathee.
What else could be done to improve queuing at Don Mueang immigration?