Illegal Airport Taxi Drivers face 5 Years in Prison

If you have ever arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand then you will surely know about the problem with the taxis and illegal tour guides. As you walk out of customs people would always come up to you asking if you wanted a taxi or go on tour somewhere. Things have got better over the last year or two but there isn’t much the authorities can do as the fines are so small. In the past one year, 5,454 illegal taxi drivers and 9142 guides at Suvarnambhumi were arrested & fined 500-1,000 baht. There are no statistics available, but I am sure many of them are repeat offenders. I am also sure that the fines are just a small part of their operating costs. But, according to a press release we received from AOT the other day, things could actually get better there now for the passengers.

The law has been amended to allow for stiffer penalties. Now illegal taxi drivers and tour guides can be arrested for trespassing at the airport. If illegal taxi drivers or guides are caught for the second time at the airport, under Section 364 of the Penal Code, they can be imprisoned for a period of time not exceeding one year and/or a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht. However, under Section 365, if they are arrested at night, or they attack a passenger, they could be imprisoned for a period not exceeding five years and/or a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht. Signs have been put up around the airport about this so let’s hope things will start to get better. I know a lot of people still complain about the official taxi rank, but I have never had a problem with them. They always turn on the meter without asking unlike at Don Mueang Airport.

10 responses to “Illegal Airport Taxi Drivers face 5 Years in Prison

  1. yah i agree with you.

  2. i think we should not judge people with their dressing.we should judge people with their behavior.

  3. Well, the experienced traveller usually knows how to get around town and it sure helps when one speaks the language.

    Can’t wait until the new railroad connection will finally take care of everyone’s needs, that should make things a lot easier for many!!

  4. Also, because the illegal taxis drivers and tour guides are dressed so “officially,” – suit jacket, tie and even name badge – many of the tourists think they are legit.

  5. You are so right, It is very annoying to arrive and have a lot of “taxi” services pushed on You immediately. Nowadays I make my taxi-reservations in advance from home online. There I can agree the price and have someone to meet me at the airport. It´s easy and comfortable after a 10 hour flight to have (a small thing like that) already organized.
    Thanks again for Your articles, keep them coming!

  6. First impressions are important and to leave a world class airport in a car that would not pass a road worthy in most western countries is unacceptable.
    Legal taxis should be restricted to vehicles under 2 years old.

  7. i prefer the hotel van complete with mini-bar.

  8. So was this done to help the traveler or does this simply open up more room for the cigarette police and the Duty Free opportunists to expand their crooked business. It would be a shame for the criminal taxis drivers to intercept their victims before the officials have a good shot at a “legal” robbery.
    Why not let the airport sell “Get out of the Airport Safely” insurance. All 3 groups could split the proceeds thereby insuring all travelers are properly robbed and the tourist is officially welcomed to The Land of Smiles.

  9. Everytime we ( family of 4)arrive in Thailand, we already arranged a minibus to Pattaya.
    Travelling Thailand since 1990, we do know the illegal activities, but if you didnt book in advance, you do have a risk in paying too much or being promised too much.
    We pay to Pattaya via the hotel Bht 2000 including highway ( a must)
    If you boor with these cowboys at the airport they charge up to Bht 3500 if you are lucky with highway…
    Great country to be in, that’s for sure, I know for fact that even in Amsterdam Airport there are cowboys too, be aware everywhere…

  10. Hi,

    I think this action will work for legal taxi driver. So i agree with the authors article. Thanks for sharing.