How to Spend an 11 Hour Bangkok Layover?

Eleven hours is a long time to spend in any airport. But that’s exactly what our member MH_fan plans to do in Bangkok. Their inbound flight from Europe arrives in the morning, with the onward Qantas flight to Sydney departing late in the afternoon. This leaves our member with 11 hours to spare.

I have almost 11 hours to kill at BKK in a couple of weeks and I don’t really fancy leaving the airport. I know that QF directs their own passengers to the Miracle First Class lounges but, as a OWE, I also have access to the JL and CX lounges… What do people recommend?

Our member had been planning to visit some of Bangkok’s airport lounges. Qantas no longer operates its own lounge in Bangkok. But as a Oneworld Emerald frequent flyer, MH_fan has access to the Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines lounges. Our members suggest visiting the Japan Airlines lounge first, as this closes mid-morning. But the Cathay Pacific lounge is arguably the best Oneworld lounge in Bangkok.

I travel through BKK almost weekly, the CX lounge is the best OW by far but does get quite busy at times.

Under normal circumstances, they would also gain entry to the Emirates Lounge. But to use the Emirates Lounge ahead of QF24 to Sydney, you must be booked on a Qantas-issued ticket.

If you can’t show them your ticket they will ring Qantas and get the ticket number. If it’s not an 081 ticket number then you will be denied entry.

Although the Cathay Pacific lounge isn’t bad, our members suggest that 11 hours is simply too long to hang around at the airport. As an alternative, there is a Novotel located right at Suvarnabhumi Airport which offers day rooms. There are also numerous hotels just a short drive from the airport.

Aside from the Novotel there are numerous other airport hotels, in about the USD30-40 range. They meet you at the exit from baggage reclaim, drive you to the hotel, and then drive you back two hours before flight departure (or earlier if you want). The hotels are 2-3 star, but provide all the basics.

Bangkok’s Airport Rail Link also offers a reasonably fast and convenient train service into the city. There would be plenty of time to visit the Grand Palace, take a boat ride down the Chao Phraya River or simply enjoy some delicious Thai street food.

Go into town for a few hours. The train is quick and cheap. No lounges are worth spending 10+ hours in voluntarily.

Read more: The Ultimate Bangkok Stopover Guide

The Thai Airways First Class Lounge, featuring a well-appointed spa, is regarded as the best lounge at Bangkok Airport. However, as our member is not flying with a Star Alliance airline they will not gain access.

Share your experience HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]