The Bangkok Airport Rail Link (ARL) is a rapid transit railway system that links Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phaya Thai (BTS) station via MRT Station, providing a direct connection to downtown Bangkok. The service runs daily from 6:00 am to 24:00 am, with fares ranging from THB 15 to THB 45 per person based on the travel distance.
In this article, we will guide you through the various station routes the Airport Rail Link operates, the ticket costs, how to use the train, and how is it compared to other Suvarnabhumi transportation options.
The Bangkok Airport Rail Link runs through 8 stations as follows: Suvarnabhumi – Lat Krabang – Ban Thap Chang – Hua Mak – Ramkhamhaeng – Makkasan (interchange with MRT Blue Line (Phetchaburi)) – Ratchaprarop – Phaya Thai (interchange with BTS Sukhumvit Line).
The train covers the total length of 28.6 km (17.8 mi) and runs from the BKK Airport (denoted by A1 in the image above) all the way to Phaya Thai station (denoted by A8). The ARL departs every 10 minutes during the peak hour and weekdays and every 12 minutes off peak and weekends.
The average cost of the Airport Rail Link is between THB 15 – THB 45, depending on the travel distance. Below is the list of the costs for travelling from the Suvarnabhumi to each train stations:
- Lat Krabang Station – THB 15
- Ban Thap Chang Station – THB 20
- Hua Mak Station – THB 25
- Ramkhamhaeng Station – THB 30
- Makkasan Station- THB 35
- Ratchaprarop Station – THB 40
- Phaya Thai Station – THB 45
The Bangkok Airport train offers two ticket options: single-trip tokens and pre-paid Smart Passes. Tourists can purchase tokens at the station or opt for the convenience of buying a Smart Pass online in advance. All stations are equipped with automatic touch-screen ticket machines that accept Thai Baht coins and banknotes. It’s important to note that these machines do not accept credit cards or any form of mobile wallet payment.
How To Transport
To transport to Bangkok city center using the Airport Rail Link, here are the steps:
- Get to the train – After clearing the immigration at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, go to the basement terminal of the passenger and follow the signs to the “Airport Rail Link” or “ARL” within terminal.
- Purchase the ticket – Once you found the train, next is to purchase the ticket where you have 2 options – Single Trip Token where the ticket can be bought at the counter machine and Smart Pass where the ticket can be bought in advance online.
- Proceed to the platform – After you bought the ticket, go to the train platform and wait for the train to arrive. Here, you can check route map and signs to determine which station in Bangkok you need to go to, as there are multiple stops along the way.
- Board the train – Once the train arrive, get on the train and sit back, relax and enjoy your trip to the city center. The Airport Rail Link is a modern, clean and air-conditioned express metro. So you will definitely feel comfortable during the transportation.
Airport Rail Link vs Public Bus
The Airport Rail Link and the public bus are the 2 most commonly used transportation options for people to get from the Suvarnabhumi to the downtown area of Bangkok.
Here the overview comparisons between these 2 options:
- Price – The ARL ticket fare is between THB 15 to THB 45, depending on the distance travel whereas the public bus costs THB 35. So if you’re travelling to nearby area, the Airport Rail Link is the cheaper option whereas for the more inner area of the Bangkok city, the bus can be cheaper.
- Travel duration – The Airport Rail Link takes about 30 minutes to reach the city center whereas the bus takes between 45-60 minutes, depending on the traffic. Therefore, the Airport train is faster.
- Comfort level – Both the Airport Rail Link and public bus are not suitable for travelers with many luggage due to limited space. But between the two, the public bus offers slightly more space and privacy compared to the train.
Airport Rail Link vs Private Airport Transfer
If you’re considering opting for a private airport transportation like The Exclusive Transfer but still not sure, here are the overview comparisons between these 2 options:
- Price – The ARL is considerably cheaper than private transfer because the starting cost for the private car is at THB 1000 for most of the companies.
- Travel duration – The Airport Rail Link and private airport transfer takes roughly the same time to reach the destination, which is about 30-40 minutes.
- Comfort level – Opting for private transportation provides an unparalleled level of comfort and complete privacy when compared to taking the train.