Thai Airways finally begins flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui, allowing international travellers to book straight through to Samui with a stopover in Bangkok.
The monopoly of Bangkok Airways on flights to Koh Samui has finally been broken with Thai Airways now flying daily from Bangkok to Koh Samui. Tourists wishing to go straight to Koh Samui from their home country can do so with Thai Airways, providing they allow fo for a plane transfer in Bangkok. Still, it means no fooling around collecting and checking in your baggage again.
Unfortunately the new competition hasn’t done anything for prices – if you take a look on Skyscanner you can see that Thai Airways flights are currently more expensive than Bangkok Airways flights – between $240 and $275! Hopefully this situation will soon change, but it looks like the two airlines have agreed to keep flight prices artificially high.
Samui is continuing to develop ever more opulent hotels to cope with influx of tourists – you can book a wide range of Koh Samui hotels online to suit all budgets, and it’s wise to book ahead as the island gets super busy. Because of the monopoly Bangkok Airways has on Koh Samui Airport, there have been various proposals to build a second airport on the island which advocates say would be more convenient for tourists. However, there are concerns that Samui’s infrastructure would not be able to cope with the much higher number of tourists a second airport would bring.
For now, the only budget option for flying to Koh Samui is taking an AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani. These flights are cheap, but it takes a lot longer to get to the island, as from Surat you need to get a ferry that can take several hours, as well as the transfer to the port.
UPDATE: As of October 2012, Air Asia are now offering a Koh Samui Island Transfer service, where you buy a combined flight and ferry ticket. You fly into Surat Thani and then are transferred to the ferry which takes you to Samui, thus making it much more convenient and hassle free. See Bangkok to Samui for full details.