Tourists Stuck as Demonstrators Block Bangkok Airport

 

By Rikke Bjerge Johansen, Annelene Højvang Larsen

Thai demonstrators have stormed the main terminal in Thailand’s biggest airport, Suvarnabhumi. So far all flight departures have been cancelled.
ScandAsia’s reporter Gregers Moller is at the spot reporting from the scene.
“People are just sitting around on the cold tiles of the airport floor feeling helpless and despondent. They are kept hostage by the politics of a country they are just visitors of. Some people are beginning to panic and take all their valuables out of their luggage to protect them,” Gregers Moller says.
He also describes how the tourists get more and more frustrated.
“People are asking ‘where is the airline staff who are supposed to inform us about what is going on. We don’t get any information’,” Gregers tells.

Gunnar Dahle from Norway is one of the many tourists trapped at the airport:
“I was scared. I stood outside passport control, but now I finally got in. But I have no idea what is going to happen now.”

THR The Danish Crown Prince Couple is currently on an official visit to Thailand along with the whole Danish business delegation and HE The Minister of Foreign Affairs. So far it is unknown if their visit will be affected.
 
The roads to the airport have been blocked, and tourists have been forced to leave their taxis and walk the last three kilometres to the airport on foot, carrying their entire luggage. Here some flight companies let them into the transit lounge while others like Thai Airways see no point in letting people in, when they can get no further.

Protesters from People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) broke through police lines and stormed into
the busy terminal in an attempt to stop
Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from returning to the country.

According to Gregers Moller the police and the demonstrators are walking around among each other at the airport. The atmosphere is tense but still the demonstrators are allowed to use the airport toilets in small groups. 

Flights in the air and bound for Bangkok have been redirected to other destinations in Thailand, such as Chiang Mai and Phuket.

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