Transfers to and from Phuket International Airport
Phuket is actually a rather large island, and the main resort areas are some distance from the airport. It will take you 30 to 45 minutes to get to Patong, Karon or Kata beaches. You can book a transfer through most hotels, although many of them charge two to three times the cost of a regular taxi for airport pickups. Alternatively there are several transport options available at the airport:
Regular metered taxis are available from the stand outside the airport terminal. The cost of a taxi to the main Patong beach area is around 500 Baht (16.75 USD). Note that taxi drivers sometimes want to negotiate a fixed price, but by law they're supposed to use the meters.
Shared vans are a cheaper option, although they will take longer. The cost is generally around 150 Baht (5.03 USD) to most destinations. In the past, there has been a problem with some van operators making extra stops at tour companies, where you're expected to book a day trip or two before being taken to your hotel. Word is that this practice has mostly stopped, but I still opt for a taxi to avoid this possibility.
There's also an airport "limo" service that uses slightly nicer cars and also has vans available for larger groups. The cost is about the same as a taxi. Both vans and limos may be booked at the counter directly ahead of you as you exit the baggage claim area. There is no need to book in advance, but if you would like to ensure that a car is waiting for you, see airport transfer bookings.
Lastly, if you're heading to Phuket Town to catch a ferry to Phi-Phi, there's a bus option. The bus leaves hourly and costs 70 Baht (2.35 USD). Tickets may be purchased at the counter on the ground floor.