Let’s travel together!
In this episode we will finally start our 7 days travel to Bangkok Thailand! I will tell you everything about the following topics:
- How i booked my tickets and what to look out for.
- Different types of Check-In procedures
- How long you have to plan for the security checks at the airport
- What is important to be prepared and how to be better than most first time travelers!
Reading this How to travel: Bankgok series should take all your fears of planning your own trip to Thailand, either alone or with your friends! So don’t let me waste more time and let’s begin our travel 🙂
Where and how do i book my tickets?
As i already told you in Episode 0 there are many websites available that try to offer you the best flight deals, but it is kinda hard to check all of them and compare the prices by yourself. But we’re lucky to live in 2019, so let an somewhat intelligent algorithm do that for you! I choosed Skyscanner because it’s one of the most popular and from what i experienced by far one of the best comparison tools. Just visit the website and type in your favorite departure and arrival destination, the time you want to travel and how many people. That’s it, nothing more nothing less. If you’re finished just click on search flights.
The website will do the rest for you, analyze, compare and present you the best flight prices using a vast of different websites offering those deals. On the next image you can see an example on how this will look like. You can choose different filters and search for the best overall deals (Best), the shortest flight times (Fastest) or the lowest prices (Cheapest). Nowadays, with the rising awareness of the climate change, they’ll even show you the flights with the least CO2 output, which is in general a good thing but probably also just a way to make you feel better and mostly for marketing since airplanes in general have a pretty high CO2 output. You have to decide for yourself what’s important for you!
The price of 531€ doesn’t look that bad, so let’s select the first best deal in our example. You’ll quickly see that the website really just shows you the cheapeast out of the selection of different ticket providers. The next deals are getting already more expensive. You’ll also see that the cheapeast deals also have some of the worst ratings. Like in other areas, there seem to be some kind of correlation, you get what you pay for. I personally didn’t check all the different providers and looked first of all for the ones with the best and especially the most ratings. If you click on Select, the website will forward you to the ticket provider with the pre-selected travel information we provided to Skyscanner.
On the website of the ticket provider you’ll then see an overview of the selected travel information with the according price. Depending on the airline, luggage expenses are already included or not. Always check the directives for hand luggage also, since the dimensions and sizes can vary between the different airlines. If you want to choose your seat – you have to pay for it, if you want to secure your tickets with a cancellation insurance – you have to pay for it.
In the end you’ll see that the price will not be the same as you first saw and selected it on Skyscanner. Beware that some websites also include their premium membership directly in the shown price. Opodo is a good example for that. In the last steps they’ll show you that their wonderful price is only with their membership and that you need to buy it for one year to get the deal. That sounds bad at first and i was kind of upset also, but it was actually cheaper to buy their premium membership than buying the tickets without it, so you pretty much got more discount then without it. If you buy tickets again in the following year, it’ll surely pay off. But beware that you have to cancel the membership if you don’t need it anymore, thats probably the worst part of it.
But that’s just how i decided it for that particular travel. The next time, i’ll maybe select another provider, depending on where i find the best deal. In general do not select the first one that claims to offer you the cheapest price. Take your time, compare and then select the overall best deal for you! 😉
And don’t forget to search for additional discounts! Nowadays there are pretty much always some codes to be found!
Check-In and Security Checks
If you never traveled by plane, or if has been a long time since the last one, you may be a little bit nervous when you arrive at the airport – like i was when i started my travel to Bangkok. But, i can tell you
Do not be afraid!
Nowadays everything is really comfortable, even the orientation in the airport is pretty good, you basically just have to read the signs. Every airport might be a bit different, but the procedures stays the same:
- Arrival at airport
- Check-In (or already Online Check-In)
- Security Checks
How do I Check-In to my flight?
There are two different ways, the Online-Check-In or the good old Terminal Check-In at the airport. Depending on which airline you used for your tickets, there might be an Online Check-In available or not. Here the times when you are actually able to check in can differ a lot, from weeks before (e.g. with Ryanair) or only 24h before the departure (e.g. Thai Airways).
For me, traveling with Thai Airways there was an Online Check-In available, but only 24h before the actual flight. This may sound a bit short but it was actually fine. For Thai Airways you can just visit their homepage or use their mobile app (which i recommend and used myself) for the Online Check-In procedure. Just enter your Last Name and your Booking Reference that you get when you bought your tickets. When your booking is found, you have to provide multiple information about yourself including parts of your passport and thats basically it.
In my case, i did the Online-Check-In using the mobile app, but i wasn’t able to print out the boarding passes. The app told me that it is not possible to provide them for me, which may be just for security reasons, because this was my first flight with the airline and i assume that they want to see your phyisical passport at least once, but i’m actually not sure. That is why i still had to do a Check-In at the Frankfurt airport terminal to get my boarding pass printed out by their employees. If you have more luggage than your hand luggage you still have to use the Check-In at the terminal to hand it off there.
Consider at least around 3h before your actual boarding for the procedures until you’re ready for boarding.
For me it took almost over one hour in the line of the Check-In because the flight was fully booked. You may save this hour with an actually working Online Check-In (if you only have hand luggage like me) which was the case for my return flight. I got the tickets easily on my app, stored them in my iPhone wallet and could just show them the QR-Code, which worked really good. 🙂
How does the Security Checks work?
When you successfully checked in to your flight, it’s finally time to move to the correct gate for boarding. You can get the information on the huge scoreboards at the aiport or printed on your boarding pass. Then you just need to follow the signs at the airport. Sooner or later, you’ll have to get through several security checks:
- Luggage Control
- Passport Control
Since you hand off all your luggage at the Check-In and only remain with the allowed hand luggage, the seccurity at the airport has to control if you have anything with you that is possibly dangerous. The luggage control can take very long if people are not prepared, the following are at least some tips for you, but also make sure that you read the directives of the airport for your flight since they may differ a bit or ask the employees at the airport.
In general the following applies for the luggage control:
- Store your wallet, keys, smartphone and everything that you have on you or in your clothes in your jacket or in the provided boxes at the luggage control.
- Make sure to take off metallic belts or anything similar, which actually happend to me, the alarm at the x-ray triggered and an officier had to check my lower body, which was a bit embarrasing, haha.
- All liquids over the maximum of 100ml are forbidden in the EU (and probably everywhere else too).
- Put them in an separate an transparent plastic bag.
- Remove all electric objects from your hand luggage and put them in the provided boxes, this includes laptops, tablets, e-readers and so on.
- It should be clear, but dangerous objects like knifes, explosives or whatever are not allowed.
- Do not joke around, because the staff needs to make sure that everything is safe, this will only cost you more time and causes unnecessary trouble.
When you put everything in the provided boxes, the staff will tell you to go through the X-Ray (sometimes you also have to remove your shoes). If everything was fine, you can collect your stuff after the security check. With finishing this checkpoint, you already went through the worst parts, congratulations! 🙂
The following passport check only consumes time in the waiting line, you just have to show your boarding pass together with your passport. Be sure to take the correct line, they are different for foreigners or citizens.
Finishing this last check you can use the remaining time for some tax-free shopping (which is actually not that cool because everything is still super expensive), get something to eat or just relax until boarding starts! Here you basically have to move to the correct departure gate, here they will tell you through the speakers when and which seat lines are ready for boarding. Then you just show them your boarding pass when you’re in line and finally enter the plane! You made it!
You want to see my full travel as a video?
Then I have the perfect solution for you! I recorded the whole trip using Instagram stories, just head over to my Instagram profile and check out the Bangkok Travel highlight containing my complete 7 days trip from beginning to the end! I would be glad if you follow me! 😊
Upcoming in Episode 3
- 11-hours flight experience with Thai-Airways.
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Airport arrival.
- Immigration procedure.
- Way to the hotel using the public transportation system.
- Best roaming plans for your smartphone.
You can look forward to it, and you can checkout my Instagram page for more Bangkok photos in the meantime!
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