[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG409) BKK-SIN – Business Class (9 Jan 16)

Boeing 777-300 used for this BKK-SIN route

On The Ground

Check-in

Thai Airways has a dedicated check-in area for their premium passengers. Passengers flying in First Class or Business Class checks in at row A. Unlike a proper check-in lounge that some airlines operates at their country of origin, the premium check-in area is essentially a whole row of check-in counters with chairs for premium passengers to sit while the ground staff process their check-in. First Class passengers have a separate check-in area in this row. Checking-in is swift as I already done on-line check-in through the Thai Airways mobile app. What I like about the check-in at Suvarnabhumi Airport is the Fast Track immigration, which is located at the end of the check-in row. At the time of my checking-in, there were no queues and we made it through the immigration in under 5 mins. After the immigration area, access to the lounge is just down the escalator located behind the immigration counter.
Dedicated check-in row for Thai Airways premium passengers, located at row A through door 1 in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Signage for row 1 at the entrance of the airport terminal
Signage for row 1 inside the airport terminal
Row A for Thai Airways Premium passengers
Row A check-in area
There are seats for premium passengers at row A
There are hardly any queue at Row A
Relatively empty row
Row A counters
This way leads to fast track immigration clearance, where there are hardly any queue. Premium passengers are treated to swift custom clearance

Lounge

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the home to Thai Airways and there are a few lounges that passengers can gain access to. Passengers can visit any of the lounges and choose the lounge that is closest to their departure gate. The lounge that is linked to the immigration area at the premium check-in counter is the largest lounge at concourse D. Royal Silk Lounge at Concourse D is spread across a total floor area of 1400 sq , decked in earthy tones, the lounge has ample rest space for their premium passengers. The food offering at the lounge is limited to finger food and the standard beverages. Despite the large size, due to the decor of the lounge, it felt rather cosy. We did not stay at this lounge long as we headed for the Royal Orchard Spa for our massages, which is located right across the lounge at Concourse D.
Direct access to Royal Silk Lounge after fast track immigration clearance
Food area in Royal Silk Lounge
Hot beverages
Cosy Royal Silk Lounge
Buffet area serving finger food in Royal Silk Lounge
This lounge is the biggest of 4 lounges spread across air side in Suvarnabhumi. There are ample arm chairs in this lounge for passengers
Towards the entrance of the lounge

Business Class passengers are treated to a 30 mins foot massage or a head and shoulder massage at the Royal Orchard Spa. The spa lounge is decorated with mainly a wooden theme that gives its visitors a sense of zen when entering. Upon entering, the friendly ground staff asks for our boarding pass and arranged masseuses promptly, whom will take us to the treatment area and began the massages session. I opted for the foot massage, which the skillful masseuse did her magic on my weary legs. The skills of the masseuse is comparable or even better than some of the massage palours one can find in Bangkok. The massage totally took away the tiredness on my legs and my legs felt refresh after the 30 massage session. As we did not have time to shop around, we headed back to the lounge we had entered from immigration (it is the nearest to our gate) and enjoyed some finger food.

 

Entrance to Royal Orchid Spa
Spa Treatment for First Class passengers, who are treated to a 1-hour spa
Decor in the Royal Orchid Spa
Passengers can rest here while waiting for their flight after the massages
Massage treatment area
A very skillful and professional masseuse working her magic on my tired legs
Finger food for passengers back at the lounge in Concourse D
Finger food in Royal Silk Lounge
Cosy rest area in Royal Silk Lounge

The waiting area was rather crowded, signalling a full flight on this BKK-SIN leg. At the gate, Thai Airways ground staffs checked our boarding pass and invited us to wait at the waiting area. As with most airlines practice, Thai Airways boarded their premium passengers as well as passengers who needed assistance.

The bird that will fly us from BKK to SIN
Heading towards the waiting area for our flight
TG409 departs from Gate D7, which is quite a distance from the entrance of the lounge at Concourse D
Looks like a full flight today. Passengers are already waiting at the waiting area for our flight back to SIN
Aerobridge to the aircraft
View of the aircraft from the aerobridge
The Cabin

Entering the Business Class cabin, we were welcomed by the familiar Thai Airways purple coloured cabin. Thai Airways uses the Boeing 777-300 aircraft for this leg of the flight. The aircraft is fitted with 34 seats in Business Class and 330 seats in Economy Class.

Pursuers standing by to welcome passengers onboard
Royal Silk Class
Contents in the seat pocket and noise cancelling headphones which were placed on the seats when we boarded
Aircraft safety card

As with most of the Thai Airways aircraft, the 2 lavatories are located in front of the Business Class cabins, just before the cockpit door. The lavatories are a tad small for Business Class cabin, but fitted with the necessary hardware such as the toilet bowl and the sink. I particularly like the tap which is operated by sensor. There are also amenities such as handkerchief, tissue, eau-de-toiletry, hand moisturiser and hand wash in the lavatory. However unlike some airlines, there is no presence of mouth wash onboard the Thai Airways Business Class lavatory.

 

Sensor tap sink in the lavatory
Mirror in the lavatory
Toilet paper
Handkerchief
Small paper cup
Hand moisturiser and eau-de-toiletry in Business Class cabin

The Seat

Thai Airways uses the shell designed seats on its 777-300, arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats in Business Class has a pitch of 70″ and measures 20″ wide. They are capable of reclining to almost flat, angled at 163 degrees. The legroom on its Business Class seats are superb, with sufficient space for the passenger seating away from the aisle to gain access to the aisle. Amenities such as pillows and blankets as well as the noise cancelling headphones are already made available on the seats when I boarded the aircraft. All Business Class seats comes with a massaging function for the lower back, deployable via the seat control panel on the armrest of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the armrest between 2 seats and a power socket is located across the headphone jack. In addition to the overhead reading light, there is also another reading light located on the top left corner (depending on which seat one takes) of the seat.
Business Class seats
Seat control on the armrest of the seat
Headphone jacks under the arm rest of the seat
Power socket with international plugs
Overhead compartment and bulkhead reading lights
Another reading light on the top of the seat
Business Class passengers gets 3 windows
Ample legroom in Business Class
Coat hanger on the backside of the seat in front of us
Seat pocket and cup holder
Extra compartment for storage of small items between the seats
Business Class seats in lounging mode
Business Class mode fully reclined

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways has fantastic AVOD system onboard, with wide variety of choices from movies to radio stations to music to games. The aircraft is fitted with 15″ LCD TV on the back of the seat in front of us. The AVOD is well organised in menus for ease in selection of entertainment. I particularly like the new movie menu, which immediately channeled me to the movies that I wanted to watch, especially useful for this short 2-hour flight from BKK to SIN. The controller for the AVOD is hidden under the cover of the armrest of the seat. The AVOD controller is an older model with easy to use and functional buttons. However it is not as responsive as I would like it to be. The AVOD felt lag, perhaps due to the age of the controller system.

15″ LCD TV in Business Class
AVOD control stowed under the armrest of each seat
The AVOD controller is in a rather bad shape

Meal Service

As with most Business Class services, the pursuers approached us with welcome drinks and wet towels as soon as we were settled into our seats. We enquired about the “Violet Bliss” and was gladly given by the pursuers. We were told this drink is the Thai Airways signature drink and limited quality were brought onboard on every flight. The pursuers came around with menus to be returned a little later to take our orders for meal. At the same time, pursuers came around distributing quilts for passengers in Business Class. As soon as the seat belt signs were switched off, the pursuers sprung into action doing their rounds serving warm almond nuts and doing another drink round. We opted for the “Violet Bliss” once again. About 45 mins into the flight, dinner was served. As this is a short flight, all courses of the meal was served at one go. I opted for the sea bass meal, which was delicious. The perfectly seasoned sea bass was thick and tasted fresh. The starter, salmon with duck, was served together with the meal course. I did not like the salmon as it tasted a tad salty for my liking. Neither did I like the Mango Passion Fruit dessert as it tasted a tad too sour for my liking. After serving all the passengers meal, the pursuers came around serving coffee and tea. I opted for a cup of cappuccino, which the pursuers gladly served to me.
Meal and Drinks Menus were distributed once we settled into our seats
The drinks selection was rather limited compared with other airlines
Food menu
“Violet Bliss”, a must try onboard Thai Airways
Warm nuts and another round of “Violet Breeze” with Pierre carbonated water was served as soon as the seat belt sign was turned off
Starters, Main Course and Dessert was served all at one go due to the short flight time. I opted for the sea bass.

Service

The good service from Thai Airways was felt at the moment of checking-in at the airport. The friendly and warmth ground staff struck conversation voluntarily and checked how was my stay in Bangkok. She patiently and efficiently processed my check-in and tagged my luggage professionally.

I can’t say enough how I loved the service rendered by the professional staff at the Royal Orchid Spa. The staff was very professional and skillful and the massage rendered was as good if not better than those one can find in some of the massage palours in downtown Bangkok.

The service I received onboard TG409 was impeccable. The pursuers felt warmth and sincere and did not make me feel they are going through motion. The pursuers took note of my preference for “Violet Bliss” and even suggested how the drink can be best consumed. She suggested adding Pierre water to bring out the taste of the drink better. And she was right. A fresh glass of “Violet Bliss” always appear on my table whenever the pursuers saw my glass empty, without me having to ask. The pursuers truly portray the friendliness and warmth of the Thais that many came to know. They went around serving passengers with a smile and their attention to details is superb. Despite being busy for this short 2-hour flight, the pursuers did not show signs of frustration and rush. They went around doing their best to satisfy all passengers in the Business Class Cabin.

Friendly pursuers going around service warm nuts and drinks after the seat belt sign was turned off
Pursuers going around serving meals to hungry passengers
Pursuers going around serving drinks after meal was served
Attentive pursuer in action in the Business Class cabin

Overall

My experience with Thai Airways is more positive. Despite the ageing hardware on the 777-300 aircraft, as seen in the degrading AVOD controller, however the service I received more than make up for it. Despite being ageing, the seats are still comfortable, but the cabin can be a little stuffy as the air conditioning does not seem to be functioning well. Thai Airways has wonderful service, which made me felt welcome from check-in to onboard services. The ground staff as well as the pursuers onboard felt warm and sincere. They even took note of small details that makes flying with Thai Airways a pleasant experience.

 

Shot from my seat
View of the evening sky
Somewhere up in the sky between BKK and SIN

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