The Bangkok Suvarnhabhumi (BKK) Airport Rail Link has been up and running for four months or so, to generally positive reviews, but this week it's opened check-in counters for Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways passengers. Other airlines have not joined the scheme.
We're big fans of the rail link: the City Air Terminal at Makkasan is a little out of the way, and it's not yet connected to the rest of the public transport system, but the speedy 15-minute trip is a much better bet than guessing how long a taxi to BKK will take.
Check-in is available between 3 and 12 hours in advance of your domestic or international flight, and you'll need to have bought an Airport Rail Link ticket and must present a confirmed ticket. Note that tickets on the City Line (the cheaper stopping train on the same tracks) aren't eligible for city check-in.
The check-in counters are open from 7am to 9pm, and the train (which takes 15 minutes) runs from 6am to midnight.
With the opening of the new check-in counters, the Airport Rail Link fare has risen from 100 baht to 150 baht, which is about AU$5. The City Line (which stops six times from Phaya Thai to the airport) is 45 baht, about AU$3.
Australian Business Traveller top tip
If you have an afternoon or evening flight and need to check out of a hotel, take your luggage straight to Makkasan in the morning, check in, and then go about your business for the day, heading back to the station once you're ready to head out to Suvarnabhumi.
This trick works equally well if you've got a long layover in BKK, can't check your luggage through, and want to explore the city for a few hours. Just head into the city, re-check your luggage when you get there, and then head out into the city. Just remember that you need to be travelling outbound on Thai for this to work.