When I was flying out from Phuket few months ago after checking out a property that a friend had bought, I saw that the completion of the new international terminal was almost ready.
Wednesday last week, when I was flying out from Phuket on one of those cheap Malaysia Airlines premium fares, I got to try the new international terminal for the first time and what a difference it was.
The old terminal handled both international and domestic flights (and must had been in use for decades). The in and outbound immigration was horrible due to not enough space and counters. Once you cleared the outbound immigration, you were dumped to this horrible hall that has few shops spread around and the air condition didn’t always work too well. It was HOT!
The old terminal still handles the domestic flights. Not sure if they are planning to do some upgrades to bring it up to any standard.
The new terminal is fantastic, however.
You can ask your driver to drop you off to the closest door where the check in aisles for your airline are. Just pay attention to these.
There are plenty of trolleys outside.
There are plenty of check in aisles.
You first have to x-ray your bags, however, before entering the check in area. Every row has one of these and you can choose whatever row has the shortest line. There were some with 50+ people but I walked to the other end where there were no one.
Once you check in, you then clear immigration and your hand luggage is then xrayed, liquids and computer items out.
There are now plenty of shops to do some tax free shopping.
Gates are clearly marked with plenty of space to sit down.
The shops are spread out.
There are restaurants on the second floor.
And more shops….
You can clearly see the planes from inside.
This is view is from the jetway while I was walking down to the plane.
When taking off, there were signs when the new airport had been opened. The date is September 16, 2016.
The old terminal was really a dump. The new Bali airport was opened within the past 12 months and now the Phuket one is in order as well.
Perhaps they could next fix the Don Muang airport in Bangkok (the only airport back in the day) that is now used by the discount airlines for both domestic and international flights.
BTW you can still get a regular metered tax when arriving to the new airport. They have a small desk when you get outside of the arrivals in the middle of the terminal. This is not marked well.