With a progressive leap into the age of digitalization, Phuket International Airport is now facilitating its passengers to book Grab taxis directly from their smartphones, starting today. This innovative move is intended to enrich the commuting options available to travelers. The helm of the airport, Monchai Tanode, divulged that a selection of four ride-hailing app producers, including the likes of Grab, Asia Cab, Hello Phuket, and Air Asia, had put forth applications to ply their trade at the aviation hub. But at this embryonic stage, only Grab has been granted permission to extend its services to the passengers, leaving the remaining applications under a scrupulous review.
Monchai added, “In order to secure passengers’ safety — a topmost priority, the Phuket Provincial Transport Office will rigorously inspect each of these ride-hailing services for compliance with safety norms.” Every taxi serving under these apps is necessitated to have a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a supplementary lost-and-found mechanism to bolster the safety of passengers and the belongings they carry.
In addition to these safety measures, the airport has also streamlined the booking process for passengers availing taxis via the app. A specific space, strategically placed within a stone’s throw from the passenger terminal, will be demarcated exclusively for this activity.
Providing a backdrop to this new initiative, the director of Airports of Thailand (AoT), Kirati Kijmanawat, highlighted, “Phuket airport encountered grave issues with unlicensed taxis and unruly taxi mafias in the past.” This led the airport to enforce a policy demanding all taxis, operating from the airport, to officially register their licenses with the airport. This includes Grab taxi drivers, who, as reported by the Bangkok Post, are mandated to furnish personal details before they can deliver their services.
To uphold fair trade and transparency, the Grab taxis arriving via ride-hailing apps will not impose any extra charges. The drivers can only gain entry into the airport premises upon receiving a call from their designated passengers. Conversely, taxis dropping off outbound passengers will be discouraged from loitering around the airport’s parking areas to solicit new passengers.
Hosting an average of 40,000 visitors each day, the Phuket International Airport anticipates that these advancements will usher in smoother operations and uplift the overall passenger experience. Remain updated with The Thaiger’s freshest stories on its newly launched Facebook page HERE.