In the city of Phuket there is only one airport, known as Phuket International Airport. It is usually crowded, receiving hundreds of tourists who arrive attracted by the tropical offerings of the island.
If you are traveling at night, it is very important to ensure transfers from the airport. The island is quite safe, however some areas can be dangerous at night. So, to make the most of the best things to do in Phuket, make sure you plan every detail of your trip.
1. Private transfer to/from Phuket airport, the fastest and most detour-free option
When traveling to an unfamiliar city, it is important to secure your transfer. Airports are often far from the city center, and HKT is no exception. It is located thirty minutes from the heart of the island, so it is essential to have the most accessible methods of transportation in mind.
These types of transfers usually offer a clean, private vehicle, which may be air-conditioned. It is a more comfortable option and whose main advantage is that you will not have to wait for other travelers, as it is without stops or detours.
It is worth it, since when you travel comfort should be a priority. In addition, family trips require comfortable transfers, since the little ones tend to get tired more easily. It is ideal if during your stay you can plan activities to do in Phuket with children.
How does it work?
You can choose a round trip, or just one way. When you arrive at the airport, you will probably be exhausted from your flight. You will be comforted to find an expert driver waiting for you.
This saves you the headache of searching for cab drivers in the area. In addition, it is safer since taking a random cab in an unfamiliar city is a risk.
- Arrival option: a person will be waiting for you at the arrival hall of Phuket International Airport, you will be able to recognize him/her because he/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Afterwards, he will guide you to the driver, who will wait for you at the terminal.
- Departure option: When it is time to return home, the driver will be waiting for you at the hotel lobby at the scheduled time. Remember to schedule a pick-up time with your driver to arrive at the airport in advance.
Additionally, each traveler is allowed one suitcase, it is necessary to notify about extra or oversized luggage.
Details of interest
- Travel time: approximately thirty minutes, depending on traffic.
- Price: from 20 € per group trip. If you decide to book the pick-up and return transfer, the final price is around 40 €.
- Advantages of using this method: child seats are available.
- How to book this transportation: it is advisable to book online in advance. Please note that you must provide information about your flight number, arrival time and hotel address.
- Recommended if... you are traveling as a family or group.
2. Shared transfer, a comfortable and economical option
A shared transfer between Phuket and the airport is the most economical and recommended option if you are traveling alone. However, it will take you more time, which can be exhausting.
Don't be discouraged! A group transfer can have many advantages, especially if it is your first time in Phuket. Usually, you will be able to tour the airport with a driver guide, who will provide you with basic information and contact details in case of emergency.
If you are planning to visit Phuket for 5 days, I recommend you to leave the planning of transfers between Phuket and the airport in the hands of professionals. This way, you will have a stress-free and hassle-free trip.
Additionally, hiring the transfer between the airport and Phuket in advance is the best way to travel comfortably. It allows you to save time and money while enjoying the best views of the city from an equipped transfer.
Regardless of whether it is a shared or private transfer, it will always be an option with more advantages than looking for a cab on your own. If you want to plan things to do in Phuket in December, I recommend getting a head start on this process. During the Christmas season, the airport usually receives more tourists.
How does it work?
You will meet a driver at the departure gate, who will take your luggage to a minibus, minicar or air-conditioned car. Please note that you will be sharing this experience with a maximum of six people. In addition, during the tour you may have to wait about three stops to pick up or drop off passengers.
There may be delays due to immigration or customs procedures, so it is important that you keep in touch with your driver. For this same reason, you may have to wait for other travelers, the maximum waiting time is one hour.
When you return home, a driver will pick you up and wait for you in the hotel lobby. It is ideal for family groups of up to fifteen people. Excess baggage has an extra cost.
In case you are traveling alone, you can share the transfer with other travelers and save a few euros.
- Duration of the trip: approximately two hours.
- Price: from 15 € per person.
- Advantages of using this method: you will have local support and 24-hour attention.
- How to book this transportation: you can book online by sending your flight details.
- Recommended if... you want to spend an unforgettable vacation in Phuket, without worrying about anything.
How to book a transfer?
To enjoy some of the best tours in Phuket, I recommend you to book your transfers in advance. This way, you will arrive at your hotel and have enough time to rest.
After making the payment, you will receive a confirmation email with all the details and steps to follow. The most important thing is to send the flight details.
In case you do not provide the required information, your reservation may be cancelled without refund. This information is essential for the driver to know your itinerary in real time.
How to book step by step
- First step: book online in advance.
- Step 2: receive a booking confirmation, along with pick-up information indicating where and how you will meet the driver.
- Step 3: send your flight details, so that the driver can pick you up at the stipulated times.
What do you need to know about shared transfers to Phuket downtown?
- Each passenger can carry one suitcase and one carry-on bag, so it is important to respect the luggage limit. If you plan to visit Phuket in 7 days, you can opt for magic suitcases that help you maximize space.
- The reason why flight details are requested is so that the driver can be aware of landing delays.
- Generally, shared transfers make a maximum of three stops.
- Some transfers do not reach certain areas of Phuket, you should check at the time of booking.
Advantages of a private transfer compared to a shared transfer
- If you are traveling in a group or family, it is more economical to book your private airport transfer. In a shared shuttle, you will have to pay the price per person. On the other hand, the private option offers a global price.
- The driver will wait only for you or your group, offering a direct transfer to your hotel. It's a trip without waiting or delays.
- You will not have to share luggage space with other travelers, so you can carry your bags comfortably. The driver will tell you the capacity limit of the luggage compartment.
- With no time restrictions, shared transfers and public transport generally work until midnight. Private transfers, on the other hand, offer a customizable experience.
- Additionally, by booking a transfer you will avoid the metro queues and the hustle and bustle of finding a cab on your own.
What happens if my flight is delayed?
If your transfer is private, the driver will have your flight itinerary on hand to track your location. This way, he will know the exact time you arrive at the airport and will be able to wait for you. In the case of shared transfers, there are other travelers, so the driver will wait for up to an hour. Generally, in case you miss your transfer, there is a twenty-four hour customer service system that can offer you other options.
In case other travelers are delayed, you should wait the suggested time. The driver will probably provide you with relevant information or show you places to do errands, change money or eat. You may also receive an itinerary with some of the best things to do in Phuket.
Are the prices final?
Usually the prices offered by certified travel agencies offer a closed amount at the time of booking. That is to say, you will not have hidden additional charges and the price will not change due to kilometers or traffic. In any case, when you purchase the service, you will be informed if you have to pay a tipping fee or extra luggage charge.
Other options to move between the city and the airport of Phuket
The Phuket bus is a great option, especially if you are on a limited budget or prefer to venture out to see the city. Every hour there is a bus that connects the airport with the city center and vice versa.
This means of transportation makes different stops at hotels and central points, the duration of the route is approximately one hour. In addition, the night buses operate until ten o'clock at night. The approximate price of the trip per person is 3 €.
In case you have forgotten to book your transfer, you can opt for a cab. However, you should keep in mind that this is the most expensive option. Each trip can cost from 25 €, usually this fare does not include tolls.
I do not recommend you to leave the airport and take a cab at random, it is preferable to opt for authorized lines. Some of the cab lines that connect Phuket with the airport are:
- Phuket Taxi Meter 24 Hours: it is a service that works around the clock, so it is ideal if you arrive on the island in the early morning.
- Phuket Taxi Meter: they offer personalized attention by WhatsApp around the clock, their cabs have a maximum capacity for three people and the minimum fare is approximately 15 €, but it may vary depending on the destination.
- Grab Taxi: is a company that transfers you by cab, coach or private car. They also do the market for you and offer a delivery system.
Rent a car
If you plan to visit Phuket for 7 days, I recommend renting a car on the island. For longer stays, it is a more cost-effective option. You will be able to travel comfortably with your family or friends, while exploring at your own pace.
- Pure Car Rent: is a company that has been operating in Phuket since 1974, so it is reliable. You can rent cars and motorcycles, the rental cost starts from 40 €.
- Drive Car Rental works from very early in the morning until midnight, they offer promotions on family cars.
Town Car or Tuk-Tuk
A Tuk-Tuk is a means of urban transportation, which offers public and private transfers. Some of the best tours in Phuket take you around the island in this vehicle. But that's not all, the more adventurous tourists choose to take the transfers between the airport and the center in this particular car.
The Tuk-Tuk of Phuket are very different from those of Bangkok. They are not motorcycles, but very comfortable cars, with capacity for up to five people and their luggage. The price starts at 25 € per person, but there are transfers that charge the same rate per group.
Useful tips for your arrival at Phuket airport
- Keep track of time: if you make a connection at the airport, or have your return trip, I do not recommend arriving on time. You run the risk of missing your flight, as it is the third busiest airport in Thailand, with a very high demand.
- Locate the terminal: at Phuket airport, you will hardly get lost. Terminal 1 receives international flights, while Terminal 2 is for domestic flights. There is also Terminal 3 for charter flights - don't worry, they are all in close proximity.
- Plan your trip: if you plan to visit Phuket in 3 days, organize an itinerary and make sure to take into account the arrival and departure times of your flights.
- Avoid high season: if you are not a fan of crowded airports, I recommend you avoid traveling between December and April. Instead, you can take advantage of things to do in Phuket in January, as it is a month with less tourist influx.
- Subscribe to the newsletter the airport and its airlines, they usually have newsletters where they publish offers and information about delays.
- Be prepared for rush hours: if your landing coincides with the busiest hours, be prepared for queues at check-in areas and security checkpoints.
- Respect traditions: from the moment you set foot in the airport, you will have to adapt to Thai culture for a warm welcome. Thais do not like you to sit with your feet pointing at people or monuments, as it is considered rude. They also consider whistling at night to be a bad omen.
Services available at Phuket International Airport
- WiFi: while waiting for your transfer or connection, you will have free WiFi. This way, you will be able to call the driver or the owner of the accommodation.
- VIP lounges: travelers with first class tickets can access a more comfortable lounge while waiting for their transfer or connection.
- Round the clock service: the airport receives passengers at different times, if your trip arrives in Phuket at night, I recommend you to hire a private transfer.
- Parking: you can take advantage of free parking for fifteen minutes.
- Escort service: children between eight and eleven years old traveling alone can receive special assistance, if notified in advance.
- Wheelchair lifts: the airport is equipped with restrooms, telephones and wheelchair lifts.