How Early to Arrive at Phuket Airport (Domestic & International Flights)

Phuket Airport is one of the busiest airports in Thailand. The airport has two terminals and serves 50 different airlines.

Given this, I recommend arriving at Phuket Airport at least 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight.

To accommodate its 16 million passengers, Phuket Airport is divided into two terminals:

  • Domestic Terminal (for flights within Thailand)
  • International Terminal

You can walk 20 minutes between Phuket Airport’s Domestic and International Terminals. Alternatively, there is a free shuttle bus that runs regularly.

When to Arrive at Phuket Airport?

You should arrive at Phuket Airport at least two hours before a domestic flight or three hours before an international flight. This should give you enough time to:

  • Arrive at the airport
  • Check-in for your flight
  • Drop off any luggage
  • Go through security
  • Go through customs (where applicable)
  • Arrive at your gate

Why Do You Need Longer for International Flights?

For an international flight from Phuket Airport, you should arrive 3 hours before departure. This extra time is required for several reasons, including:

  • Check visas & entry requirements
  • Immigration control
  • Customs

Long-haul international flights are often on larger planes. As a result, there’s often a longer boarding period that starts earlier. This gives staff enough time to get all passengers on board before the scheduled departure.

Other Factors to Consider When Flying From Phuket International Airport

There are several other factors you’ll want to consider when flying from Phuket Airport:

  1. How you’re getting to the airport: Delays with public transport in Thailand are common. I’d earmark an additional 30 minutes if you’re travelling by bus.
  2. The time of year you’re travelling: Holidays such as Songkran or Loi Krathong see higher passenger numbers.
  3. Checking in for your flight: Allow extra time if you need to check in in person at the airport rather than online.
  4. Dropping off bags: Allow extra time at the airport if you have checked luggage. Most bag drop locations close one hour before the flight’s departure (exact times vary).


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