Flying Domestic in Thailand after Phuket Sandbox

I have received some questions about flying domestically in Thailand after the Phuket Sandbox program. As of September 1st, air traffic has begun with more frequent flights from Phuket.

I found a travel option with the Thai Smile Airline via Bangkok to Chiang Mai. When you check out the hotel, you get a certificate that you have “done” your 14 nights in the sandbox and that all three PCR tests were negative. At the check-in counter at Phuket Airport, the staff looked at this document.

Phuket Airport
What a quiet airport

Otherwise, travel was as usual except that there were remarkably few people at the airports. It made social distancing easy, and there was no waiting time anywhere.

Thai Airways lounge Phuket Airport
Lounge access in Phuket for Thai Gold members
Coffee machine at Phuket Airport
Coffee machine Phuket lounge

The two Thai Smile flights were relatively fully booked with vacant middle seats. Wearing a mask at all times was obligatory.

Domestic departure board Phuket Airport
Domestic departure

No meals were served during the flight, but you could bring a small paper bag with a snack with you when you disembarked from the aeroplane. Since I am a Royal Orchid Gold member, I could also access the lounge at Phuket Airport and Suvarnabhumi.

They provided full meals if you wanted. At Phuket Airport, some restaurants and coffee shops were open, at Suvarnabhumi, mainly Lawson and some snack shops.

Thai Smile Airline at Suvarnabhumi airport
Thai Smile at Suvarnabhumi
Domestic departure hall at Suvarnabhumi airport
Lawson had good business

At Chiang Mai Airport, you needed to scan a QR code and answer a form you travelled from and some other questions. A minor hassle but only a little. It didn’t take that much extra time.

Some staff also quickly looked at my hotel certificate.

If you intend to travel domestically after the Phuket stay, you must make sure what rules apply in the province you are travelling to—flying domestically in Thailand after the Phuket Sandbox was smooth, though.

The rules vary from province to province. The indications are that Thailand moves in the direction of opening up more and more. But as we all know, during this pandemic, it is impossible to predict.

If you are planning a trip to Phuket, look at the process of applying for COE here. And follow the TAT news update for travelling in Thailand here.

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