[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG408) SIN-BKK/ (TG656) BKK-ICN – Business Class (31 Dec 15)

TG408 SIN-BKK

On The Ground

Singapore

Dnata Premium Check-in

Thai Airways uses the Dnata Premium check-in lounge in Changi International Airport for its premium passengers. The lounge is located behind Check-in Row 3 and 4 in Terminal 1 of the airport, where the Thai Airways Economy class is located. The lounge is decked out in earth tones with arm chairs for passengers waiting to be checked-in should there be a crowd. There are also beverages available for waiting passengers. Data Premium check-in lounge is also utilised by several other airlines checking in their premium passengers such as Qantas. As I was walking into the lounge, a friendly ground staff welcomed me and escorted me to the check-in counter for Thai Airways. It is apparent that only 1 counter is being used for the Airlines. The check-in lounge is empty at the time, I was prompted welcomed by the check-in staff and check-in was speedy. There is a corridor that leads into the immigration area at the lounge. Soon I found myself clearing the customs and in the airside of the airport.
Entrance to Dnata Premium Check-in Lounge
Passengers get sit-in check-in
Waiting area with beverages and reading materials available should there be a need to wait
Direct access to immigration control
Direct access to immigration control
This door way leads to the immigration

Lounge

Thai Airways has a dedicated lounge located in Terminal 1, on level 3 of the transit area. A friendly ground staff welcomed passengers utilising the lounge. The lounge is rather small, but good enough for passengers waiting for their flight. A large portion of the property is being dedicated to passengers for their resting. There are some finger food (mainly Thai cuisine) available between the entrance of the lounge and the passenger waiting area. Beverages are also made available behind the food counters. Magazines and newspapers are also available nearby the food section. There is another section where can access internet from. There are no shower facilities nor toilet at this lounge. The nearest toilet is outside the loge. There are also powerpoints at each seat for passengers to charge their electronic gadgets. Despite the size, the Thai Airways lounge is rather comfortable to rest in while waiting for the flight. From the looks of it, the lounge seem to be rather under utilised as there wasn’t many users of the lounge. The food offering is rather limited.
Entrance to the Thai Airways Lounge
Passenger Rest area. The lounge is decked in the Thai Airways purple theme
Passenger rest area
Passenger rest area
Reading materials for passengers to pass time
Cold Beverages
Beverage counter
Finger food available
Finger food
Fried rice and Tom Yum Soup are also available
Internet access area

Changi Airport Transit Area

Changi Airport Transit Area is like a shopping malls, with loads of duty free shopping from cosmetics to luxury brands such as Hermes, Burberry to name a few. There are no lack of shops to keep transiting passengers occupy while waiting for their flights. There are other facilities that are made available such as roof top gardens, rest areas and even a theatre. For this trip, I spend most of my time in the lounge, hence leaving little time for me to shop around.
Shopping in Changi Airport Terminal 1
Thai Airways used gate D32 for their SIN-BKK leg. At the time of my checking-in, most of the passengers were already waiting for boarding. I like the Changi Airport waiting area as it allows passengers to look into the tarmac at the bird that they will be boarding momentarily. This flight seem full as passengers almost fill the waiting area. As with most airlines practices, Thai Airways boarded their Premium passengers and passengers whom require assistance first before the rest of the passengers were boarded.
Gate D32
Looks like a full flight to BKK
TG408 getting ready for its flight to BKK

Bangkok

Lounge

There are several lounges spreading across Suvarnabhumi Airport for Thai Airways. There are separate lounges for passengers flying their business class and first class passengers. There are 4 lounges spreading across the airport for Thai Airways Royal Silk passengers. 3 of the 4 lounges offer shower facilities. The largest of the lounge is located at Concourse D. The lounges offers similar finger food as the one in Changi Airport, mainly sandwiches and dim sums. Beverages are also being offered in the lounges. All the lounges offer the same food. Passengers awaiting for their flights can visit any of the 4 lounges or even hop around the lounges. No announcements will be made for any flight leaving, hence passengers are urged to watch their boarding time closely. The lounge is rather cosy, decked out in the familiar Thai Airways purple as seen in the lounge in Singapore Airport. A huge proportion of the lounge area is set aside for passengers to rest. I had the chance to use the shower facilities in the lounge while waiting for my next flight. The shower room is as good as those found in a hotel room. The shower room is large with a toilet bowl and a wet area. Thai Airways uses Thann shower amenities in their shower room. A towel is provided by the friendly lounge staff as they prepare the shower for passengers.

Location of the lounges in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Entrance to the lounge
Entrance to the lounge
Finger food in the lounge
Beverage counter
More food
The lounge is decorated in the Thai Airways purple
Me in the lounge
Rest area of the lounge
Grabbed myself a coke while in the lounge 
Shower room
Wet and dry area of the shower room
Thann Bath amenities
Food and beverage area of the lounge
Food selection
I like to decor of the lounge, gives one a cosy feel

Passengers flying with Royal Silk Class are treated to 30 mins of either foot massage or shoulder and neck massage. The massage service can be found at the Royal Orchid Spa. As one walks into the spa, friendly ground staff welcomed passengers and enquire which treatment will one be taking. After which, masseuses are already standing by escorting passengers to the massage area. The ambience in the Royal Orchid Spa screams of zen and tranquility. The entire area feels more like a proper spa then an airport lounge. I opted for the foot massage and the professional masseuse is very skillful in her trade. The massage took away the aches and pains I had on my legs.

 

Entrance to the Royal Orchid Spa
Entrance to the Royal Orchid Spa
Christmas decorations in the Royal Orchid Spa
Masseuses leading the way to the treatment area
Very professional massage service

As Suvarnabhumi is a large airport and the facilities as well as the gates are spread out, one is advised to cater more time for transit or even to get to their gates. As arrival and departure are located on different levels of the airside, one is advised to cater time to get to the departure hall (passengers will be subjected to x-raying their belongings and removal of boots before access is granted to the departure level, where the lounges are located).

Bus taking us to our flight

The Cabin

TG408

TG operates Boeing 777-300 for their SIN-BKK leg. The aircraft is decked with the signature Thai Airways purple in the cabin. The 34 shell seats Business Class cabin has a 2-3-2 configuration, with the first row in an odd configuration of 2-2-2 seating. Each window seat has a generous 2 window panels. In the Economy Class cabin, this flight has 330 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Walking down the aerobridge
Friendly pursuer greeting passengers 
Business Class Cabin
Each window seat has 2 window panels
Business Class Cabin

Both lavatories for Business Class is located at the front of the aircraft, just behind the door to the cockpit. The lavatories are a tad cramp for a Business Class cabin. Compared with other airlines, the amenities in TG lavatories are slightly limited, with only hand wash, moisturiser and perfume. There are tissue and handkerchiefs available in the lavatories as well. No toothbrush or mouthwash is available, perhaps due to the short flight time for this sector. One thing I like about the TG lavatories is the sensor tap.

Sensor tap and sink area of the lavatory
Toilet bowl
Other amenities found in the lavatory

TG656

TG operates A330-300 for this BKK-ICN leg. As with the previous flight, the aircraft is decked with the Thai Airways purple in the cabin. There are a total of 36 seats Business Class cabin with 2-2-2 configuration. In the Economy Class cabin, this flight has 263 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.

TG 2-2-2 configuration in Business Class Cabin
Amenities such as amenity kit, slippers and headphones are already placed on the seat
Slippers are also provided on this leg, other than in-flight socks found in the amenity kit
Thann amenity kit for all J-Class passengers
Dinner and wine menu is being distributed when passengers got settled into their seat

Both lavatories for Business Class is also located at the front of the aircraft, just behind the door to the cockpit. The lavatories onboard feels more premium than the previous leg with the wood trimmings.  Compared with other airlines, the amenities in TG lavatories are slightly limited, with only hand wash, moisturiser and perfume same as the previous leg. There are tissue and handkerchiefs available in the lavatories as well. No toothbrush or mouthwash is available, however these are already distributed in the amenity kit. The taps onboard this aircraft is also sensor operated.

Toilet bowl
Sensor tap and sink area
Perfume and moisturiser
The wood trimming makes the lavatory feels more premium

The Seat

TG408

TG uses shell seats in this flight, with a pitch of 70″ and 20″ wide. The seats are capable of reclining to 170 degrees, which provided an almost flat bed for passengers whom would like to snooze during the flight. Leg room is superb in this cabin. The seats feature a massage function, which essentially is adding some form of vibration to the seat, hardly any massage at all. The seat controls are located on the left side of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the right armrest, together with a power socket. There are no USB plugs on the seats. An additional reading light is located on the top of the seat, other than the ones on the ceiling of the cabin. There are a couple of cup holders and some slots for reading materials behind the seat in front of us.

Business Class seats 
Ample leg room
Seat controls
Headphone jacks
Powerpoint in the seat
Reading lights and divider
In flight reading materials
Aircraft Safety card
Dinner and wine menu was distributed when we got settled down onto our seats
Storage on the back of the seats in front of us
Fully reclined seat configuration

TG656

TG uses shell seats in this flight, with a pitch of 70″ and 20″ wide. The seats are capable of reclining to 170 degrees. This is important for flying on an overnight flight, which provided me with a good rest. As with the SIN-BKK leg of the flight, leg room is superb in this cabin and I can stretch my leg all the way. These seats also has a massage function. The seat controls are located on the left side of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the right armrest together with 2 USB jacks. There is also a power socket under the arm rest of the seat. An additional reading light is located on the top of the seat, other than the ones on the ceiling of the cabin. There are a couple of cup holders and some slots for reading materials behind the seat in front of us.

 

Seat at lounging mode
Seat fully reclined for sleep mode
There are a couple of USB jacks located beside the Headphone jack
Powerpoint socket under the armrest
Seat function control
Aircraft information card
Contents of seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

TG408

The AVOD onboard features a 15″ touch screen TV with no lack of movies for passengers to watch onboard and the movie selection is quite large. There are also latest Hollywood blockbusters available. The controller for the AVOD is located under the armrest on the left of the seat. Noise cancelling handphones are already distributed on the seats when I boarded the aircraft.
Large 15″ TV
AVOD control is located under the armrest
AVOD controller

TG656

As with the previous leg, the AVOD onboard features a 15″ touch screen TV and a huge selection of entertainment options from movies to TV shows to games to music. The controller for the AVOD is located under the armrest on the left of the seat. Noise cancelling headphones are already distributed on the seats when I board the aircraft.

 

15″ AVOD TV screen
A newer model of IFE controller
Back side of the IFE controller

Meal Service

TG408

As with many premium class, pursuers came around serving welcome drinks upon passengers got settled into their seats. A warm towel is also being distributed upon settling into my seat. This is also when the pursuers distribute menus and came around later to take orders for the meal.

Welcome drink. The purple drink is TG’s signature “Violet Breeze”, a must try non alcoholic beverage
Menu
Wine list

Moments after the seat belt sign is off, the pursuers sprung into action, with one going around distributing pre-meal nuts and drinks. The rest of the crew prepares the meal. I opted for the prawn meal, which is flavourful and not too spicy. As this is a short flight, there are no separate servings for appetisers and main course. With all meal all served at once, this feels more economy (except that it is presented in nicer china) than premium class.

Nuts and drinks are served as soon as the seat belt sign is off
I opted for the tasty prawn
My friend opted for the chicken

TG656

Same as the previous leg,  pursuers came around serving welcome drinks upon passengers got settled into their seats. A warm towel is also being distributed upon settling into my seat. This is also when the pursuers distribute menus and came around later to take orders for the meal.

Moments after the seat belt sign is off, the pursuers sprung into action, serving meals for passengers. This time round, due to a longer flight time, there are time for the crew to split the meal service into appetiser, main course and dessert. I opted for the braised chicken, which is a delight. After the trays are being cleared, the crew came around checking with passengers if they want coffee or tea. During the flight, when I was sleeping, I woke up to find a bottle of water being placed by the crew in the cup holder in front of the seat.

Meal Options
Beverage options
First course – appetisers
Main course
Dessert
Tea after meal

Service

Service onboard both legs are impeccable. Crews exhibit the warm of the Thais with smiles seen throughout both flights. They are attentive and thoughtful. Service is prompt and meals are cleared in a timely manner. The crew are seen patrolling the cabins throughout both legs to ensure that all passengers are well taken care of. Even for a short 2hour SIN-BKK leg, the crews are seen smiling and acceding to the requests of all passengers. TG offers a book the meal service for all premium class passengers, however the options are rather limited. I did not utilise this option as I prefer the “surprise” factor when it comes to meal onboard.

Overall

TG is becoming one of my favourite airlines. With warm service seen onboard both legs of my journey from SIN to ICN. Crews are seen walking up and down the cabin and serving drinks throughout the flight. I like the fact that a bottle of water is being place for passengers while they were sleeping so that one can be kept hydrated. This is a very nice touch, whereby most other airlines do not provide. TG provides oversized pillows and quilt (not those fleeced blankets) in their Business Class, which is great for sleeting. In terms of hardware, the cabin seem aged and seats are not 180 degrees recline, however it still provides a great sleep for my BKK-ICN leg of the flight. The entertainment system onboard allowed me to keep entertained, making the flight time seem short.

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