- You can use Singapore Air Krisflyer miles on Silk Air
- Check your luggage in (if heavy) as you need to walk down stairs when you arrive
- In the open bus that takes you to the terminal, sit on the left so you can be first off and beat the long immigration queue
- Don’t wait till you reach Koh Samui to buy Thai Baht if you need them
Buying the ticket
Silk Air is a part of the Singapore Airlines group and I flew it to Koh Samui from Singapore. I used my Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles for the ticket. Like many airlines, Silk Air has quotas on how many redemption seats are available on each flight, so initially I was waitlisted, but it got confirmed 3 days before departure. The economy seat cost 21,250 miles and apprx U$120 for taxes. Some airlines (like Qatar) include taxes when they debit you for miles, but the Singapore Airlines group charges you separately.
To the airport and checkin
For the 10.25AM flight, I started looking for an uber at 8.10 and as it had a 1.4X surge, I decided to go with Comfort cab. I reached the airport at 8.45 and was checked in after a quick 5 minutes. I dithered over checking in my bag as it was a bit heavy, but eventually carried it onboard. I don’t know why, but had been pre-assigned a seat where the backrest would not recline. The lady at checkin was kind enough to get me a better seat on her own initiative as I had not known.
I was hungry so headed to the Krisflyer lounge. I was disappointed as the regular Indian food I like (vadas, pakoras) wasn’t there, so I had a roti prata. Then I went down & decided to try the iChangi app. It wasn’t as intuitive as I would have expected. I checked if it could tell me how far my gate was, but it doesn’t.
I window shopped (in Changi you can miss your flight doing that given the choices) and reached the gate when boarded had started. The process has changed and there was no separate priority queue, though (when I asked) was told priority boarding at any time is still standard.
On board Silk Air
I was hoping the plane was one of Silk Air’s new B737-800s, but it was one of their older A319s. I was in 6F and settled down, spreading out as the 2 seats next to me were empty. Enroute the service was good and I had a tasty meal (Indian vegetarian) of rice, dal & vegetables. They offered wines & beers, but I only drink water & orange juice on planes so stuck to it. The inflight entertainment was in overhead screens with shows like Mr Bean that one can watch without sound. I also found their inflight magazine Silkwinds a good read. It has interesting information on the the mainly tourist destinations they fly to, including (towards the end) one paragraph on each of these 49 places. As it was a short flight of 90 minutes, we were there soon, and on time.
The night before the internet said temperature 23-28 Celsius, but it was 30 when we landed. Koh Samui has a quaint airport that looks like a resort in keeping with what people come here for. There are no aerobridges and one needs to walk down stairs, so if you have heavy luggage, I suggest you check it in (a lesson for myself as I had not). Passengers are taken in open vans like those in the Night Safari in Singapore, and you should sit towards the left to beat the big rush for immigrations. Not having done so, I waited about 15 minutes extra. Strangely, people who need visa’s on arrival clear immigrations faster as they are taken to the front of the queue once done. The rest of us took 30 minutes. A person came around with a placard saying priority immigration for THB200 (U$6) each but I decided to remain in the queue.
I saw quite a few people going to duty free after this, so went to check it out. It only alcohol and you can’t use Amex. At customs, everyone was asked to put their cabin luggage through the x-Ray. After this, I changed some money but it took over 15 minutes, so in case its faster where you departing from, do it there.
Finally, I was in the hands of the person picking me up from the resort, so it was plan sailing from there.