When traveling abroad, any steps that make it easier to get to/from the airport can have a big impact in making the first — and last — impression of a trip. Previous trips to Asia — and sound advice from other frequent flyers — have given me some insight into some of the best and easiest ways to get to/from the airport.
A city air terminal connecting travelers from Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi International Airport (www.airportsuvarnabhumi.com) is tentatively scheduled to open on Aug. 23 following a delay. When opened, the city air terminal will provide travelers with accessible railway routes between the airport and the city.
*Update as of Sept. 17, 2010: The new Airport Link System officially opened in September, connecting Suvarnabhumi with the City Air Terminal in Bangkok’s Makkasan area. Travelers can now connect between the two airports using one of two available options — the Express Service and the City Line. Express Service entails a 15-minute nonstop transfer from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the City Air Terminal for a fare of approximately $5, while the City Line provides a 30-minute transfer with eight stops between the two airports for no more than $1.50. (www.bangkokairporttrain.com)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
When traveling to/from Kuala Lumpur, clients should look into using the KLIA Ekspres (www.kliaekspres.com), which travels directly between the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the downtown Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KL CAT). The high-speed train operates at 15-minute intervals during peak hours and every 20 minutes during off-peak hours and has a 99.8 percent on-time performance. The KL CAT is located at KL Sentral station and allows clients to check-in for their flights with Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines and Emirates, as well as enjoy free porter service. The journey between KL Sentral and the airport is only 28 minutes and a one-way adult fare is priced at $11.
In Seoul, my friend introduced me to the City Airport, Logis & Travel, (CALT) Korea (www.calt.co.kr), which is located in the Kangnam-gu area of Seoul. Instead of having to haul myself and my luggage to Incheon International Airport, which is often difficult to do from Seoul, I instead traveled to the CALT where I was able to check-in for my Korean Air flight, as well as check my luggage and board a direct limousine bus ride to the airport. The CALT also works the other way around, providing travelers who arrive in Incheon with easy access to/from the center of the city.
In Tokyo, there are a number of easy ways to get to the heart of the city from Narita International Airport. The first is to take an Airport Limousine bus (www.limousinebus.co.jp/en) that picks up/drops off travelers directly at their hotel. Clients can buy bus tickets directly at the airport, or agents can purchase vouchers beforehand that clients can exchange at the Narita airport counter. The cost of one one-way adult ticket is approximately $35. The Airport Limousine Buses also service hotels throughout Tokyo, taking guests to the airport, as well as the Tokyo City Air Terminal.
Alternative methods of getting directly to/from Narita include boarding the Narita Sky Access (http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/) line, which began operating on July 17. The brand-new train, called the Skyliner, travel from the airport to central Tokyo in only 36 minutes and the fare is $24.
Clients may also board the Narita Express (www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex), which encompasses a short 35-minute train ride to/from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station. If your clients have already purchased a Japan Rail Pass for their travels throughout Japan, they can use the pass to board the train. If not, arriving passengers should purchase their tickets at the airport after they have arrived in Tokyo. Individual ticket prices start at approximately $34 per person. Reservations are recommended.