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"Suvarnabhumi is hell" screams Thailand's most famous English teacher


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"Suvarnabhumi is hell" screams Thailand's most famous English teacher

 

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Picture: TNA MCOT

 

Celebrity English teacher and journalist Andrew Biggs has created a storm by saying that the immigration queues that greeted him on a return trip to Thailand at Bangkok's main airport were "hell".

 

In its defence, a spokesperson for immigration sought to explain why there were such long midweek queues at Suvarnabhumi saying officers have EIGHT things to do in 50 seconds. 

 

Andrew - a well known figure in Thailand for several decades - was writing in Thai on Twitter when he said it was hell for tourists.

 

"Look at today's queue," he tweeted. "I've never seen one like it before.'' 

 

 

But the Australian's forthright post produced a backlash from Thai people commenting on Twitter, with the fallout reported by TNAMcot

 

Krisada Suyasien said: "That's OTT - Thailand has given you a good living now you call us hell".

 

NITI said: "I've seen the same abroad. This (criticism) is too much. It's not always like this”.

 

Perhaps stung by the criticism he posted the next day (Thursday): "OK it's not hell. But it's the front door to the country we love. I was frustrated by what I saw yesterday because I am concerned about the image of Thailand."

 

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Picture: TNA MCOT

 

He had pointed out in his previous tweet that seven booths were unmanned. 

 

Pol Col Cherngron Rimphadee said that Mr Biggs had arrived at a very busy time on Wednesday between 12 and 2 pm with 4,500 people on 44 flights needing to be processed. 

 

All available staff were deployed and it's not an easy job, said the Pol Col.

 

"Immigration officers have to do 8 things in 50 seconds," he said. These are passport check, visa check, face recognition, blacklist check, scan, interview, take a picture and stamp. 

 

He said all this takes time if the country is going to keep out the bad guys. 

 

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Picture: TNA MCOT

 

Not all Twitters had a go at Andrew, however, with many backing up his stance. 

 

User "I hate bean sprouts" said: "The officials need to improve their systems at the airport". 

 

 

Last month, a photo of more long queues that greeted passengers arriving at Suvarnabhumi went viral.

 

Twitter user Spin9 wrote:: "Welcome to Thailand - and welcome to queues at immigration. Passengers needed to get all ten fingers scanned". 

 

The post was eventually retweeted more than 10,000 times. 

 

On 11 July, a Thaivisa user shared an image of tourists queuing to be processed by immigration after arriving at Suvarnabhumi.

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-07-19
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5 minutes ago, webfact said:

He had pointed out in his previous tweet that seven booths were unmanned. 

 

Pol Col Cherngron Rimphadee said that Mr Biggs had arrived at a very busy time on Wednesday between 12 and 2 pm with 4,500 people on 44 flights needing to be processed. 

 

So 44 flights arriving surprised the immigration folk?

 

Did they all arrive without warning?

 

It is called management to look at the expected workload and plan accordingly. Just one of the things that impacts on the chances of a tourist returning or recommending to others whether it is worth the effort to go to Thailand, even before the exchange rate is considered.

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1 minute ago, GeorgeCross said:
4 minutes ago, neeray said:

This is just not good for the image of Thailand !!!

need to shoot that messenger NOW.

 

😉

That's where it's heading.. 😏

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10 minutes ago, webfact said:

Pol Col Cherngron Rimphadee said that Mr Biggs had arrived at a very busy time on Wednesday between 12 and 2 pm with 4,500 people on 44 flights needing to be processed. 

Yes, but it's not as if those flights suddenly turned up as a surprise is it? They know what flights are coming in and when, and ought to be capable of providing sufficient immigration staff to deal with these rushes. I spent many years flying all over the place and while I have seen some bad queues in lots of places, Thailand has REALLY bad ones way more regularly than anywhere else I have ever seen.

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I arrived last Saturday evening and it was exactly the same. Queues stretching back to the concourse for foreign passports with quite a few booths unmanned. So not just a busy weekday problem. 

 

This was poor management given they would know well in advance the approximate numbers of flights and passengers to expect. There is zero incentive to change it because it doesnt impact the Thais or Chinese who have their own special queues

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1 minute ago, darksidedog said:

Yes, but it's not as if those flights suddenly turned up as a surprise is it? They know what flights are coming in and when, and ought to be capable of providing sufficient immigration staff to deal with these rushes. I spent many years flying all over the place and while I have seen some bad queues in lots of places, Thailand has REALLY bad ones way more regularly than anywhere else I have ever seen.

 

Well said. Heathrow is a nightmare, but not like this.

 

Surely they could improve things? For example, if they have to do EIGHT things, why not delegate it? Employ more people, two officers, let's say who work themselves up the queue and do the passport and visa check and interview. If anything not right, send them to another queue for further enquiry. That will leave the officers with about a ten second job and relieve the stress for the officers too.

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Typical Thai over reaction to justified comments, he was not calling Thais or Thailand hell, just the ludicrously long immigration queue. Obviously this has been a problem since the scanning of fingers was introduced, needs looking at again.

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Frankly i'm surprised at this Andrew guy who by all account should have known better, what response was he expecting from Thai people other than 'if you don't like it go back home' and 'you are biting the hands that fed you all those years you ungrateful farang'... now Once and for all, Thai people in general do not give a stuff how a foreigner/farang feel or being treated in this country and it's futile to complain or try to make a point of it...

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Maybe if everything wasn’t a jobs program they could streamline the process.  Go the Kiosk route like the rest of the developed world to reduce officer workload and automate the stuff.  If you still want to keep the antiquated data on the TM6 then go for it, but it adds zero value to the process.

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But the Australian's forthright post produced a backlash from Thai people commenting on Twitter, with the fallout reported by TNAMcot

 

Krisada Suyasien said: "That's OTT - Thailand has given you a good living now you call us hell".

 

 

Hmmm. At which point did Andrew Briggs call Thai people hell? He said the queues were hell for tourists, you idiot.

 

The obvious solution is manage it better and it can be done, with some common sense and planning and listening to others.

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28 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Yes, but it's not as if those flights suddenly turned up as a surprise is it? They know what flights are coming in and when, and ought to be capable of providing sufficient immigration staff to deal with these rushes. I spent many years flying all over the place and while I have seen some bad queues in lots of places, Thailand has REALLY bad ones way more regularly than anywhere else I have ever seen.

 

 Agree, and he's a comparison, Shanghai airport in China has many many more incoming flights compared to swampy, but it's all fully organized and 20 minutes to get stamped in would be a long wait. It's organized. 

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35 minutes ago, webfact said:

Krisada Suyasien said: "That's OTT - Thailand has given you a good living now you call us hell".

Nope. He said the queues were like hell. Any criticism here is towards the management of Suvarnaphumbi Airport. So many people (even on TV) seem to conflate a criticism of a particular thing as a criticism or everything. 

 

47 minutes ago, webfact said:

NITI said: "I've seen the same abroad. This (criticism) is too much. It's not always like this”.

Ah, the old 'whataboutism'. One step forward and two steps back. That's the key to progress. 

 

50 minutes ago, webfact said:

He said all this takes time if the country is going to keep out the bad guys.

The irony being that the guy who came out with this whole "Good guys in and bad guys out" was a massive bad guy. 

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Ordinarily I would not be that concerned about long queues at the airport and in fairness to Thailand, this happens at many other airports too. But when you add this to all the other issues facing visitors to Thailand, it DOES put me off visiting somewhat.

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Must admit it was horrible when I came back a couple of months ago but in defence its not the worst that prize would go to Istanbul with Oman and Cairo transit hell🤔   

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They wonder why tourism in Thailand is down.  Who wants to come here and wait in long lines.  You also have to wait behind some dumb ass people who can't file out the Arrival/Departure card and they hold everyone up because of them.  Of course most of them was Chinese.  

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9 minutes ago, dcsw53 said:

IATA moved the goalposts. Fingerprints now required = more time required = need for more desks. Build them.

No point having more desks if they can't man them!

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1 minute ago, PatOngo said:

No point having more desks if they can't man them!

Maybe they could man them if they didn't need to put all the extra personnel to dealing with the TM 30 shakedown.

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

"Immigration officers have to do 8 things in 50 seconds," he said. These are passport check, visa check, face recognition, blacklist check, scan, interview, take a picture and stamp. 

 

I'd call that B.S.  I don't think I've ever cleared incoming Immigration in 50 seconds of the time from handing over my passport, and that was BEFORE they started their fingerprinting scheme, which clearly is making things longer.

 

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