Good luck to Thais and Their Visitors

I’m up early Thanksgiving morning, looking into flight options for a friend of mine in Nepal who is supposed to fly back to the States via Bangkok.  She’s on two separate tickets, a paid flight out of Nepal to connect to her award ticket departing Bangkok.  Of course Bangkok is closed. 

United doesn’t permit changes to Star Alliance awards post-departure, except to change to all-United aircraft, hopefully we’ll get them to permit her to drop her flight out of Bangkok and she can then buy a new ticket out of Nepal to connect to her award elsewhere, that seems the simplest solution at the moment.

Meanwhile, there’s much chatter about a coup this evening in Thailand.  There’s pressure on the military to solve the current crisis.  The PAD protesters who have seized the two commercial airports in Bangkok are insisting on deposing the Prime Minister.  The military has publicly sought for the Prime Minister to call for new elections, and the Prime Minister has refused.  Additionally, a hunkered down government could try to sack the military leadership in order to forestall a coup — which could just cause the military to act against the government more quickly.

Whatever happens, it doesn’t appear as though things will go quite as smoothly as when the military took power in 2006.  Of course, they turned it back over to civilian authorities and you have the current strange situation where a recently-departed military government is calling for democratic elections.  Their last coup was done with the support of the King, who retains broad support from the people.  The King was thus clearly no fan of the Shinawatra government.  And the current government is seen as a puppet of that former Prime Minister.  But it retains the support of the people — the PAD protesters don’t want to see an election because they will lose it, given the broad support among the rural poor that the government has.

Meanwhile, one might even expect that PAD would lose support among its base of support in Bangkok amongst middle class and elites, given that their tactics which have succeeded in making their concerns focal are simultaneously inconveniencing their very own base through shutting down activity in Bangkok.

Good luck to all in and attempting to travel through Thailand!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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