Free WiFi at Bangkok Airport
Posted by paulyrob on January 14, 2010
Suvarnabhumi – or Bangkok Airport as it’s now to us non Thai speakers – is a pretty busy place. Things have changed there a bit since my last exit from Thailand 12 months ago in January 2009. Then you queued to get your passport stamped by the happy, smiling official and passed immediately into the world of extremely expensive duty free shops and hideously overpriced restaurants. You could buy as much water and as many razor blades as you wanted and they wouldn’t be taken off you until you reached the security checkpoint just by the boarding lounge. Ok, the razor blades I could do without but not being able to take a bottle of water or any other liquid over 100ml onboard a 12 hour flight seriously sucked. Have you ever tried getting a drink of water in cattle class hours into a flight? Never a flight attendant in sight – probably all having a party in the cockpit.
Anyway, this year – all change. Go through passport control and security is your next stop – literally only 10 meters away. And just like European security checks, the Thai checks are completely inconsistent too. Some folk have to take off shoes, belts, bling, throw away fluids while others are just waved through without any checks.
But once through into the world of extremely expensive duty free shops and hideously overpriced restaurants you can at least buy as much liquid as you like to consume during your flight, safe inthe knowledge you won’t be disturbing the air crews in-flight party by asking for water.
Another sign of progress is the promise of free wifi too. It’s there alright but it’s not exactly publicised. So, if you really, really need to update your Facebook page or send that urgent email or even buy a fantastic Jag Bag Silk Sleeping Bag Liner from my shop at www.terrevistatrails.com, then bangkok airport will GIVE you 15 minutes FREE connectivity. But you do have to jump through a couple of hoops though – this is Thailand after all.
First you have to find an Airport Information Desk. There are a few about so this part is easy. Next you have to ask for wifi access and you will be given a book to fill in your name and flight details. Once you’ve done that you will be given a small, sealed envelope marked ‘SVB Wireless Service’. Open that carefully because you don’t want tear your instructions. You might like to fire up our netbook at this point and find the wireless network SVB. There will be a lot of networks to choose from, some secure and some apparently open. Don’t wast your time checking the open ones – you’ll only be disappointed when you don’t get access.
One you’ve attached to SVB, open your browser and go to any website. You’ll automatically be redirected to the SVB site and you can then enter the tricky Username (see pic) and not so tricky Password. Click on OK or Enter – I can’t remember which – and wait for your connection to happen. And then wait a bit more. And then a bit longer. And then…………. well, you get the picture.
I tried for 20 mins to get my free 15 minutes of internet fix and nothing happened. The airport was pretty busy that night so the network could have been overloaded but I was sat in a public area and I didn’t see anyone else with a laptop. So who knows – there might be free wifi at Bangkok airport, there might not.
Or it might be like the Skytrain extension – the rails and pylons stretch all the way from the airport to the city now but there are no trains running yet. Too many technical problems to overcome before the service finally starts. Who knows. This is Thailand.