Passengers left stranded at Don Mueang after chaos at immigration
Thousands of tourists were left queuing for more than four hours at Don Mueang airport well into the early hours of Saturday August 5th.
The reason was due to unstaffed immigration desks and several flights landing at the same time, officials said.
Immigration said that airport officials did not provide them with an updated arrival schedule and consequently desks were left unmanned and unable to cope with the influx of passengers.
Immigration chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Nathathorn said that a number of flights which had been delayed due to bad weather then arrived at the same time.
Photos of the mayhem were shared on Twitter and Facebook.
Sanook News reported about Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, a lecturer at Thammasat University was waiting for his wife who was arriving from Singapore.
Mr Piyabutr shared a photo of the crowded arrivals hall and said that it took more than four hours to clear immigration and that one passenger fainted after being forced to wait in line for so long.
Thai site Daily News claimed that 25 flights arrived which contributed to the long queues and that almost 5,000 passengers were affected in the delays which began around midnight and lasted until just before 5am on Saturday morning.
Passengers at Don Mueang experiencing delays both at baggage check in and immigration are nothing new.
In response to complaints of slow check-in facilities, last month airport chiefs announced that x-ray machines would be relocated and the number of machines increased from four to ten.
Also last month, a passenger branded Thai immigration at Don Mueang “a disgrace” after it took him one hour and 45 minutes to get through passport control and said the airport was a safety risk.
The passenger identified as ‘Greg T’ wrote to The Nation to complain about his experience. He claimed the situation was so bad, people were forced to urinate on the public concourse.
“I saw three different puddles of urine on the floor where people had no choice but to go, as you would never catch your flight if you left the impenetrable crowd.
“The floors had become sticky with urine being walked throughout. People were surging and ducking under ropes to queue-jump as they panicked about their flights boarding.
“The problem here is not merely one of “service” but also of the security and safety risks of so many people being jammed into that airport area”, he added.
Source: Thai Visa