The dramatic increases, with Bangkok-Phuket up by 50 percent and Bangkok-Samui up by 70 percent, could not have come at a worse time and have left just about everyone outside Thai Airways scratching their heads in puzzlement.
Phuket Senator and Chairwoman of the powerful Standing Committee of Tourism of the Senate, Tunyaratt Achariyachai, has called a crisis summit for April 21 in Bangkok to ask Thai Airways to reconsider, and to tell them to reduce the fares unless they have an adequate explanation for the sudden, untimely increases.
''Thai Airways should be selling tickets at a cheaper than normal price right now,'' she said. ''With the economy difficult and tourism in crisis, it does not make sense to lift prices now,'' she said. ''If anything, they should be offering discounts or 'buy one, get one free,' the way that other airlines do.''
Senator Tunyaratt said she visited Krabi yesterday and was shocked to find that tourism agents reported their income had been slashed in half.
''It is very quiet,'' she said. ''Krabi is hurting, which is why Thai Airways needs to aim for prices that allow Thais to travel.
''They [Thai Airways] are two-faced and do not have the heart to help solve Thailand's problem. They are just selfish. If you open a business, you need to have ethics as well.''
Every organisation and business that can help Thailand in the current crisis should be doing so, she said.
Senator Tunyaratt said the Bangkok protest and its violence and fatalities could not have come at a worse time for low-season travel bookings.
''People are at the decision-making stage in whether they come to Phuket or go to other rival destinations,'' she said. ''Some are bound to change their minds and go elsewhere.''
The message needed to be that Phuket was a different destination to Bangkok, safe and secure and not in danger of protests or violence. But she said, Thai Airways' decision to lift prices would not help at all.
At the crisis meeting on Tuesday will be representatives of the Senate committee, Thai Airways, and the Transport Department. A promotional road show of Phuket officials is due to fly out from Phuket to Korea the following day.