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Immigration Promises Full Desks, But Outbound Tourists Still Told to Arrive 3 Hours Early

The days of no lines at outbound Suvarnabhumi immigration are over.
The days of no lines at outbound Suvarnabhumi immigration are over. (Photo: Bangkok Herald)

Travelers flying out of Thailand during July’s many holidays are warned to show up at the airport up to three hours early as immigration struggles to keep up with resurgent demand.

The cancellation of Thailand Pass on July 1 is prompting many expats who refused to deal with the QR-code nonsense to finally take off for home or holidays in other countries. Combine that with Muslims headed to Mecca and Thais taking advantage of holiday weekends and the departure areas of Bangkok’s international airports will be busier than they’ve been in years.

Region 2 Immigration Bureau chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Weeraphol Charoensiri assured the Thai media on Monday that both airports were told to ensure that all immigration officers are on duty throughout July to deal with the crush.

But “all” seldom means all and there are sure to be copious numbers of empty booths. So Weeraphol added the caveat that, despite his order, outbound tourists should still arrive three hours early for international flights.

The holiday season begins Friday as large numbers of Islamists leave for the Hajj in Saudi Arabia from July 1-3.

Back-to-back Buddhist holidays, plus a government-issued bonus day, created at July 13-17 holiday for Buddhist Lent. And yet another government freebie day will make a four-day weekend for HM the King’s birthday July 28-31.