This review is of the saddest flight, the Bangkok Airways flight from Koh Samui to Bangkok in the Airbus A 319.

It is sad because it means you are leaving the gloriousness that is a Thai island and going back to your un-island like life.

a building with a sign and a tree

Koh Samui airport sign

I did a review of the flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui in the ATR 72-600 turboprop plane and this is our return flight. Bangkok Airways seems to alternate between the ATR 72-600 and the A 319 on this leg. While I was waiting for my flight I kept my eye on the runway and saw the earlier ATR 72-600 flight to Bangkok take off around 45 minutes before our flight.

Arriving and baggage check-in:

The whole check-in experience at Koh Samui airport is interesting. It starts normally at the counter with checking a bag and getting your boarding pass. Then when you want to go through you have to wait. There is a sign that says something like “Wait 5 minutes and if you see your bag on the screen then go to security”. There is a video monitor that has a shot of some bags in a room. Every now and then another bag gets put there. I guess it means they saw something in your bag that they need to check. So we stood around with the other travelers for a while, my wife continuously asking “Is it time ?”. I had to do the clock watching as within about 2 minutes she was asking “Can we go through yet ?”. I waited about 6 minutes and then said “We should be good by now” and we walked on.

Waiting at the gate:

The next part of Koh Samui airport is not like any big city airport. There are pathways that lead through palm trees between gift shops and coffee shops and other shops. It is all in the outdoors and the vegetation looks like you are still at the beach. It was actually quite fun and enhances the “Oh I wish I was staying on the island longer” feeling. Eventually you reach the departure hall for your gate. I believe there are only 2 gates and we were at Gate 1.

a building with a gate and a sign

Entrance to gate 1

a large room with a glass roof and tables and chairs

Gate 1 waiting area

Of course, even though we may be flying on a domestic flight, when traveling on a foreign passport we always arrive at the airport a bit earlier just in case. The check-in was rather quick and even with the “6 minute baggage wait” we had about an hour to wait for takeoff. So I went and found a store, bought coffee and shrimp flavored chips and we nibbled and people watched, making up stories about each group of passengers and why they were on the island. I saw our plane land, saw the other ATR 72-600 take off and then it was our turn.


This time boarding was by groups because you enter the plane as normal as opposed to the first 10 rows loading first for the ATR 72-600 where you enter from the rear. We rode out to the plane on the cool open air carts which take you right past the plane and drop you on the tarmac. Nice picture taking opportunity again !

Bangkok Airways plane on tarmac with luggage cart

Bangkok Airways A 319 “Hiroshima”

a large airplane with a colorful design on it

Cool shot of A 319 engine

We were in group 3 and sat in row 18.

a group of people sitting in an airplane

Inside A 319 with 3×3 seating

The takeoff was smooth and we had one last view of the beaches as we flew over.

an airplane wing over a body of water

Coastline directly after take-off

Once again I paid close attention to the safety card. Being an Airbus this plane has rafts that inflate once the door has opened which is quite comforting.

a close up of a book

Safety card with land and water evacuation

a poster of a passenger seat

A 319 safety card

Surprise meal again:

After we leveled off they started the meal service. Once again it was a nice surprise to have it on a 75 minute flight. I guess that will be the norm for most Bangkok Airways flights.

The meal was a pasta dish which was delicious, lovely texture of the pasta and nice vegetables in the sauce. We also received those delicious spicy banana chips, water and then your choice of soft drinks or tea or coffee.

a bowl of pasta with a fork

Nice pasta meal.

After the meal the flight was nearly over and then we crossed the coast of the mainland. One extra bonus was that we flew past Bangkok airport to land from the north so I had a great view of the whole airport.

an aerial view of a city

View of Bangkok Airport

I was very impressed when I first passed through Bangkok airport on the way to Koh Samui and I was looking forward to being there again.

Another opportunity for photographs on the tarmac as we were picked up by bus and driven to the specific gates that Bangkok uses. One last picture of our plane used on the Bangkok Airways flight from Koh Samui to Bangkok. The color is slightly off as I took it through the tinted window of the bus but it is a great reminder of the flight.

people boarding an airplane


It will not really matter if you get the ATR 72-600 turboprop plane and enjoy a propellor powered flight or if you get the Airbus A 319 for your flight to Koh Samui. Either way Bangkok Airways provides a very pleasant way to get from the mainland out to the islands and southern parts of Thailand. I am glad I had the opportunity to experience it.