At the Airport
Thai Airways departs from Terminal 1 in Singapore Changi Airport. Their check-in counters are located on Row 5, located in the middle of the terminal. As with most airlines, Thai Airways offer internet check-in, which I highly recommend travellers to complete before heading to the airport. Not only will one be able to select the seats that one wants, it also cut short the time that one will stand in the queue. There is hardly a queue at the internet check-in counters, which I only spent 3 mins waiting for my turn. The “regular” check-in counter has a significantly longer queue. The ground staff handling our check-in is very friendly and efficient. Within mere minutes, our luggage is sitting on the conveyor belt heading for the aircraft. The staff also reminded us of the boarding timing and the gate number when she hands our boarding pass to us.
Thai Airways departs at gate C24, which is towards the end of the pier. As Singapore-Bangkok flight is always full, do go to the gate early for a secondary security check. By the time we arrived at the gate, most of the passengers have completed their secondary security checks and are waiting in the waiting area. Other than boarding by rows and class, Thai Airways also gave priority boarding for passengers travelling with elderly and children.
Thai Airways flew this Singapore-Bangkok leg with their newest additions of the A350-900 fleet. The 289 seats Economy Class cabin is segregated into 2 sections, with the forward section accommodating 159 passengers and the rear section having 150 seats. The colour scheme of the seats in the Economy Class cabin on Thai Airways A350 has departed from the usual bright tones and is decked out in various earthy tones of brown with the familiar purple. Thai Airways A350 is equipped with mood lighting which the pilot will toggle depending on the time of the flight.
The Economy Class lavatory is rather sizable and looks clean thanks to the white colour furnishings and lighting. The wooden finishing on the cabinets adds a classy touch to the lavatory. The lavatory is well stocked with tissue and paper cups, however other than hand soap and perfume, there are no other amenities available. I like the sensor activated tap in the lavatory, which is both convenient and hygienic.
Seats in Economy Class cabin on Thai Airways A350 are arranged in 3-3-3 configuration in 2 sections. Each seat has a 32″ pitch and measures 18″ wide. They are comfortable and the legroom is rather generous. At the time of boarding, pillows and headsets are already placed on each seat, however, the blankets are distributed prior to, taking off. As with most Economy Class seats, the tray tables are stowed at the back of the seat in front. These tray tables are bi-folded, which makes getting in and out pretty easy. The seat recline button is found on the right armrest. Each seat comes with a leg rest, which can be cumbersome for passengers who wanted to stow their hand carry underneath the seat in front of them. I tried using the leg rest but found they make sitting on the Economy Class seats to be uncomfortable. The seat pocket onboard Thai Airways A350 has only a single tier, which is rather small. With the seat pocket contents, there is hardly any excess room to put anything else other than passport and mobile phone. There is no lack of reading materials found in the seat pocket, other than the usual duty-free catalogue, there is also another catalogue – the OTOP Prestige shopping catalogue found in the seat pocket. The Thai Airways signature travel magazine – Sawasdee is also found in the seat pocket.
Each Economy Class seat on board the Thai Airways A350 comes with a personal AVOD, which passengers can start watching movies or playing games the moment they board the aircraft. The system remains available throughout the flight till the passengers disembark. The 11″ touch-screen AVOD has a wide selection of movies, including the latest Hollywood blockbuster and Thai Movies, arranged in initiative menus that makes searching very easy. Other than movies, Thai Airways IFE comes packed with games, travel documentaries and popular American sitcoms. I also found the menu in the IFE. I find the touchscreen function to be rather responsive after all the A350-900 is still very new to the Thai Airways Fleet. Headsets are not noise-cancelling but do the job of delivering good sound quality to passengers. The IFE controller is stored under the AVOD screen. This new generation minimalist controller is easy to use and very responsive.
Catering onboard Thai Airways is very good. For this flight, we were offered fish with rice and chicken with fried rice. I had the fish meal, which is very flavourful and tasty. The portion of the main meal is just nice, which filled my stomach. I like the idea of including a small bottle of water with each meal when distributed, which keeps each passenger hydrated. Each Economy Class meal comes with the standard corn salad and a cake together with a bun on top of the main course. Drinks such as cola, beer and wines are also served by another set of the pursuers after the meal carts went around serving the meals. Pursuers are seen patrolling the cabin with coffee and tea shortly after the drinks service.
I found the service in the Economy Class onboard Thai Airways A350 to be very good, which is much better than the service I received onboard the same type of aircraft in Business Class one year ago (read about it here). The moment I stepped onto the aircraft, I can feel the renowned Thai hospitality. All the attendants are always seen wearing their smile and tirelessly serving the full load Economy Class cabin. The meal service is very efficient and pursuers sprung into action the moment the seat belt signs are turned off, ensuring that all passengers are well-fed during the short 2-hour to Bangkok. Pursuers are also seen patrolling the cabin to clear trays and trash as well as to offer drinks throughout the flight.
Thai Airways A350-900 Economy Class cabin has a good product. The seats are comfortable and the legroom feels generous for Economy Class. However, the single tier seat pocket and the somewhat “useless” leg rest are the minus points for this product. The toilet is bright and clean and is of a decent size for Economy Class cabins, the use of wood furnishing makes it looks classy and feels like those ones would find in Business Class cabin. The IFE is well stocked with entertainment options that made flying on this 2-hour flight zoomed pass fairly quickly. The service onboard this flight is very good. From boarding to meal service to disembarking, the flight attendants displayed the signature Thai hospitality despite being a full flight. Meal service was executed efficiently with the warmness of the Thai smile.