The New Bangkok Airport (BKK) – Suvarnabhumi

One thought kept running through my mind as I paced the halls of the largest airport I have ever seen: “What a waste!”

Can anyone say “Asian Economic Bubble Architecture?”
From the slapdash finishing touches to the (very) poorly conceived traffic corridors, Suvarnabhumi Airport is the ultimate expression of arrogance topped with big budget incompetence. Don’t get me wrong – the airport might be seen as beautiful in certain contexts (for instance, to a blind, thirsty traveller having walked in from the wasteland surrounding it*), and it boasts a huge space inside, but unfortunately, it is completely wasted due to the ridiculous floor layout. There are more chokepoints for foot traffic than there were at the old airport (Don Muang), and the day I went, it wasn’t even crowded.

Concrete, glass, and steel construction worthy of KIX-level contempt.
Invariably, people end up comparing the new airport to the old one, and pretty much everyone I talked to agreed that not much has improved with the switch to Suvarnabhumi – the one point in its favor is quicker access (by car, since the train doesn’t yet connect). The decisive factor for me, however, is efficiency of operation, and here, the new airport failed miserably – our connecting domestic flight was delayed for over two hours.
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* This is a joke – nobody in Thailand who can afford to fly actually walks anywhere
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UPDATE: I forgot an especially irritating point. The baggage carousels at the new airport were seemingly designed with the sole purpose of destroying your check-in luggage. Seriously. We saw several suitcases and boxes break/break open falling off the conveyor belt onto the turnstile (which itself has obviously been repaired/modified since the airport opened, to no avail).

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