As long speculated, it's now official. AirAsia will be moving ALL their operations from their current base at Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Don Muang (DMK) on 01OCT12.
This includes ALL AirAsia services such as those operated by other 'arms' of AirAsia like the Malaysian AirAsia Berhad (AK) or others.
Several other point-to-point only, Thai-based carriers will also be moving at the same time. The DMK airport operator will be upgrading and installing the necessary facilities (Immigration, Customs, Security, etc) necessary to accommodate the new passenger flows to/from DMK.
The two airports are on somewhat different 'sides" of the city with Suvarnabhumi being on the eastern edge of the city, and Don Muang being on the northern edge of the city.
The distance between the two airports is *about* 40kms depending on route taken and drive times in the :60 range-- again heavily influenced by traffic conditions.
AirAsia has now given guidance to those who hold tickets and are impacted. They say this for your remedy options:
"AirAsia has scheduled October 1st this year as the date when all of its services will be based at Don Mueang Airport. The airline’s flights will retain their FD code and original schedules. Passengers who are affected by the switch to Don Mueang Airport, may alter their flights by either choosing another travel date on the same route either 7 days before or after their original travel date, at no additional cost. Passengers also have an option to convert the paid flight into credit shell available to be used within the next 90 days. The change options are only available to affected passengers who purchased their tickets before 26 June 2012 whose travel dates are from 1 October 2012 onwards. For further information and developments visit www.airasia.com or contact the AirAsia Call Center at 02-515-999."
The impetuous for the move was largely government originated as the passenger loads at BKK were/are reaching current limits and the expansion of BKK will not be online for some time.
So the decision was made to (better) utilize Don Muang for those carriers who operate traditional point-to-point services.
Remember that Thai AirAsia does NOT sell or recognize ANY form of a "connection" even if the two flights are both AirAsia operated or on other carriers.
While AirAsia does have a fly-thru service, which acts as a connection service, at present, it is not sold or offered on or to any Thailand destination or on any Thai AiriAsia flight.
This move will have a DRAMATIC impact on those will be combining (note: as AirAsia does not recognize connections, they are not called such) two tickets on DIFFERENT airlines, for SAME-DAY onward travel.
These passengers will now need to allow for MUCH MORE time as an airport change will now be required.
Also note that at present there is no Airport Rail Link (ARL) style train service from DMK into the city. There is the traditional State Railway of Thailand option, but the service is limited in frequency.
There IS preliminary discussions about improving and implementing more DMK to City ground transfer options (my own personal guess is that we'll see the very popular Express Bus service re-started from DMK into the city center) AS WELL AS inter-airport transfer options such as dedicated non-stop bus service..
but at present, nothing has been formalized.
Do remember that ANY airport-to-airport transfer (be that BKK to DMK or v.v) will REQUIRE you to pass and clear BOTH Passport/Immigration control as well as Customs control AND to move your own baggage between airports using whatever transport options are provided or possible.
October is still a solid three months out, so I'm sure we'll get more and better clarity to the inter-airport transfer situation as well as DMK to city options, but at present the base decision--- for AirAsia as well as several other point-to-point carriers to move-- is now formal.