Phuket International Airport Guide

Phuket International Airport

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Phuket International Airport

Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone +66 76 351 122

Phuket International Airport is part of the second-busiest airport complex in Thailand, surpassed only by Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Every year, some 16 million people fly through this airport’s three terminals on the way to the island’s beaches and other attractions.

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll explain what to expect when you arrive; how to get from the airport to your Phuket hotel or resort; and what facilities can be found onsite to ease your travel experience in or out of Thailand’s most popular island destination.

Phuket International Airport Code, Location, and Flight Information

Know Before You Go

Three terminals make up Phuket International Airport. The curvy four-level Terminal 1 is for international travelers; the archaic, low-slung Terminal 2 for domestic ones; and Terminal X is slated for charter flights.

The airport’s upgrade history is one of fits and starts—today, arriving visitors might expect long lines just to get past immigration, and even longer waits for their luggage; but significantly smoother experiences at their spacious, comfortable departure area.

An international travel tax of 700 Thai baht, or around US$22, is charged for international departures, though this is usually factored into the ticket price.

The airport is located at Mai Khao, to the far north of Phuket, whereas the main tourist stretches of Patong, Kata, and Karon are some 23 to 27 miles south. Visitors during peak season should expect to take an hour or more to get to or from their Phuket resort, especially if they’re traveling in peak season.

Public Transportation and Taxis

The following transportation options can be had as you exit the arrivals hall. You get what you pay for; buses are cheap but slow, while airport limousines are expensive but great if you’re in a hurry.

  • Airport Limousines: As you exit baggage claim, you’ll see counters for airport limousines lined up, their touts inviting you to sign up. These are pre-paid cars with chauffeurs, who will take you directly to your destination from the airport. Rates vary depending on the distance and limo class you pick (you can choose from sedans to large family-size vans seating 10); expect to pay anywhere between 600 to 5,700 baht.
  • Metered taxis: The metered taxis servicing Phuket Airport can be found outside the terminal building, at a counter with a sign saying “taxi meter”. The fares may hit 900 baht to get to Phuket Town, and upward of 1,200 baht for Karon or Kata beaches.
  • Bus: The blue and white Phuket Smart Bus travels a single line covering 13 stops from Phuket Airport to Rawai in the far south of the island. Trips from the airport leave in hourly intervals from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Trips from the airport cost 170 baht. The orange Airport Bus service is cheaper but only goes as far as Phuket Town, far from the beaches and beach resorts. There are eight stops between the airport and Phuket Town’s bus terminal. Trips from the airport cost 100 baht, and operate from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Minivans: Shared minivans operate like buses, taking in nine passengers and leaving only when all seats have been taken. Fares depend on the distance you’ll travel—ranging from 120 baht for Phuket Town to 200 baht for Kata and Karon disembarkations.
  • Car rentals: If you have an international driver's permit, you can find a car rental service at the arrivals area, and rent a car for a self-drive experience through the island.

Where to Eat and Drink

You’ll find an adequate selection of food and drink outlets in either the domestic or international departure terminal. Choose from the following:

  • Bill Bentley Pub: A classic English pub with draft beer and the works. International Departures, Terminal 1, 4th floor.
  • Airport Kopitiam: Inspired by Malaysia’s kopitiams, this restaurant serves chicken rice, kaya toast, bak kut teh, and noodles. International Departures, Terminal 1, 4th floor.
  • Yellow Orchid Restaurant: A sit-down restaurant with authentic Thai dishes and a great view over the runway and the Andaman Sea. Terminal 2, 3rd floor.
  • Coral Food Hall: A food court for a meal on the run before your domestic flight. Terminal 2, 3rd floor.
Phuket International Airport duty-free shop
MosayMay/Getty Images

Where to Shop

The duty-free conglomerate KingPower holds a monopoly over shopping options in Phuket International Airport; their brands cover the gamut from perfumes to locally-manufactured traditional goods. Most of the International Terminal’s shops can be found on the third floor.

  • Kingpower Tax Free: The usual tax-free shopping experience can be had here; perfumes, chocolate, and a limited selection of electronics are available. Terminal 1, 1st and 3rd floors.
  • OTOP: Products from Thailand’s “One Tambon, One Product” initiative can be found here, including traditional manufactured goods, foods, and handicrafts. Terminal 1, 3rd floor.
  • Scents of Thailand: Packages and sells traditional Thai fragrances and incense. Terminal 1, 3rd floor.
  • Tastes of Thailand: Sells packaged Thai traditional foods, including alcoholic drinks. Terminal 1, 1st and 3rd floors

Airport Lounges

Several airside lounges in Phuket International Airport are open to any visitors who can afford to pay the entrance fees required.

  • Coral Executive Lounge: Relax with your favorite newspaper and snack on the food and drinks available at your disposal. Services include a spa, children’s play area, showers, and TV. There is a 1,400 baht entrance fee and the lounge is open from 6 a.m. to midnight. Terminal 1, 4th floor; Terminal 2, 2nd floor.
  • Coral Premium Lounge: Relaxing private area with VIP services available upon request. The entrance fee is 1,800 baht and is open 24 hours. Terminal 1, 3rd Floor.
  • Coral First Class Lounge: Superior services with wine and a la carte menu. Fast-track immigration and other VIP services available for both arrival and departure. The lounge is open from 6 a.m. to midnight and costs 2,700 baht to enter. Terminal 1, 4th Floor.

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

All visitors to Phuket International Airport can use their devices to connect to the building’s free Wi-Fi service. Look for @AirportTrueFreeWiFi on your device’s Wi-Fi, and follow the steps to connect to the service. Wi-Fi is complimentary for two hours.

Charging stations for your devices can be found all over, with the most prominent ones standing by the departure gates airside.

Phuket International Airport Tips and Facts

  • The western end of the airport runway is immediately adjacent to Mai Khao Beach; visitors often come to this beach to see giant jets swoop in for a touchdown, almost close enough to touch!
  • The two main terminals are set close together; you can walk from one to the other in 20 minutes. If you have too much luggage or if the heat doesn’t agree with you, wait for one of the free shuttle buses that commute between the two terminals.
  • ATMs are available all around the airport, both landside and airside, and at the international and domestic terminals. International fees may apply for foreign travelers using their home card at the local ATM.
  • You can easily exchange your money at the airport’s Currency Exchange counters: four at the international arrival hall, and one at the departure hall.
  • Luggage storage services are available at the arrivals floors of both Terminals 1 and 2. Expect to pay up to 100 baht per day.
  • Passengers should arrive at least two hours before their international flights, and one hour before their domestic flights. Consider the traffic and the difficulty of securing a ride when estimating your time of departure from your hotel.
  • Visitors who prefer to stay close to the airport can book a few budget accommodations nearby, including Le Fay Airport Residence, a 16-room establishment with free Wi-Fi and four-minute access by car from Mai Khao Beach; and Hubb Hostel Phuket Airport, a 20-bed capsule hostel less than five minutes by car from the airport.  
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Phuket International Airport Guide