Airport Phuket Data
Airport Code is HKT. The location is at longitude 98° 18′ 45″ and latitude 08° 06′ 38″ and 82 feet above sea level, Phuket International Airport is 32 km from downtown Phuket and a few km south of the north end of Phuket Island. The airport can handle 24 flight operations per hour and is open 24 hours. The Runway is 3,000 m long and 45 m wide.
Cheap flights to Phuket are a mixture of scheduled flights and charter flights. Sometimes private aircraft plus helicopters come in, there is even a water airplane or amphibian aircraft operating for short distance flight such as to Phi Phi Island. The airport is reachable via a good 4 lane highway with only moderate traffic. The highway runs almost continuously from the southern end of Phuket at Rawai Beach to the northern end, leaving Phuket Island via the Sarasin Bridge. Usually, you won’t have any traffic problems, but be aware that between 4 pm (school ends) and 7 pm (people drive home from work) sometimes traffic disaster strikes.
Phuket Airport transfer and Phuket Airport Bus
If you are on a Phuket package tour you tour operator will carry you to and from, it is also possible to get airport pick-up service from the Phuket hotel or apartment, you will probably stay. If you are not on a Phuket package tour and you have only one light bag you could use a motorbike taxi or a tuk-take when you are for departure, if the driver wants to go. A Phuket airport taxi you might find if you are lucky, there are several limousine services. A airport bus is available, have a look for they guy who runs around with the big sign where it’s written Phuket Airport Bus at the north end of the arrival zone outside (but try to avoid, it’s a real pain, they always wait until they are full, which will take quite some time and they never go straight to Phuket city, they just drive around in hope to get some passengers until the bus is real totally overloaded, the last time I took this bus they were circling 5 times within the departure and arrival area, after they went to Nai Yang Beach direction, when I asked them why they don’t drive to Phuket Town they started to smile as usually and took a left turn at the next junction to head for the Phuket International Airport to down town highway.
After you arrive, maybe via cheap flights to Phuket with Air Asia or Tiger Airways take a minibus, it takes some time until they are full but at least there is no funny business around. There are only a handful of taxis on the island, it’s limited to make sure the tuk-tuk operators don’t have competition, you will never find a taxi in Phuket, only outside the arrival hall are about 3-4 taxis waiting, with this taxi’s it’s about ฿400, – for a ride between the airport and Phuket Town. The minibus service counter at the arrival hall offers shared transportation to almost every location on the island, among them to Patong and if there are some passengers even to Khao Lak. If a longer ride is needed, e.g. from Phuket to Phang Nga, Takua Pa etc. it needs to take the bus from the terminal at Phuket Town.
Low-cost air travel started to make inroads into the Thailand bus travel market, although an airline ticket to various destinations in Thailand is still about 3 to 4 times more expensive as a bus ticket, the absolute value doesn’t indicate such a big difference anymore. For instance, the airline ticket from Phuket to Bangkok is always around ฿2200, -, one way, the bus ticket is either ฿640, – in the 32 seated bus or ฿940, – in the 24 seated bus. On the other hand, air travel is around 3 hours from entering the airport until leaving the airport and bus travel is 12 hours.
After your Phuket flight arrives the best is probably to take a minibus to almost any destination on Phuket Island, it’s between ฿100,- for a ride to Phuket Town and upwards depending where to go, such as Patong Beach, Rawai Beach, Phuket City, Chalong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Nai Harn Beach, Bangtao Beach, Laguna Phuket, Cape Panwa or other Phuket beach areas etc. If you use this minibus service it usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes to wait. The counter for the minibus service is just before you leave the arrival hall, don’t worry, you can’t miss, there are always some employees screaming taxi. There are no dedicated airport hotels, but in the vicinity are plenty of Phuket hotels and Phuket Beach resorts. If someone wants to stay in the airport region the best is to take one of the hotels near at Nai Yang Beach, that’s the second closest beach next to the airport. The closest hotel – beach resort is pictured below. There are counters at the arrival hall of Phuket hotel and Phuket Beach Resort information, if you book a Phuket hotel or Phuket Beach Resort at the Airport be aware that they take commission by asking you for a relatively high price and they get the commission every day you stay in a particular Phuket hotel and Phuket Beach Resort. A way to work around is to book for one night only, check out from the Phuket Hotel or Phuket Beach Resort the next day, negotiate a new and lower price and check in again. Several of the Phuket luxury hotels and resorts have their own lounge at the airport, check when you book, they will take care of you. Airport Hotels got a new member, it’s the Dewa Phuket Resort, only a few minutes drive distance from Phuket International Airport.