[Airline Review] – Thai Airways B777-300 (TG401) – Economy Class, BKK-SIN (26 May 18)

IMG_3230

Thai Airways B777-300

On the Ground

Royal Silk Lounge

During my 4 hour transit in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, I gained access to the Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge using my Airlines miles. There are several lounges in the airport, the lounge I went to is the nearest to the gate that my flight will be departing from in Concourse E. This lounge is one of the smaller Thai Airways lounges in Suvarnabhumi Airport. I was given a wifi password by the ground staff at the entrance of the lounge. This lounge is one of the few Thai Airways lounges in the airport that is equipped with showering facilities. There is quite a spread of finger food as well as rice dishes served in the lounge, together with beers, wines and drinks. The food provided in the lounge is laid out in buffet style and are mostly Thai snacks and some sandwiches, which are rather tasty and filling. Spending time in the lounge is a great way of killing the 4 hour layover time. The connecting flight departs from Gate E1A, which does not have an aerobridge linked to the aircraft. Passengers are ferried to the aircraft which is parked on the tarmac by the airside bus.

IMG_9268

My flight from Bangkok to Singapore departs from Gate E1A

IMG_9270

Thai Airways airside bus taking us to the aircraft parked on the tarmac

The Aircraft

The Cabin

Thai Airways B777-300 Economy Class cabin is decked out in the signature vibrant yellow, blue and purple colours that are familiar across most of the airliner’s fleet. The Economy Class cabin gives a cheerful vibe to passengers flying in it. There did not any mood lighting in the Economy Class cabin of this aircraft after all the Thai Airways B777-300 has an average age of about 9 years. Nonetheless, the lighting gives the aircraft a clean and spacious feel to it. Thai Airways B777 Economy Class cabins have 330 seats spread out in 3 sections.

IMG_9271

A vibrant Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways B777-300

There is a concentration of 6 lavatories at the rear of the Thai Airways B777-300 aircraft. The lavatory in the Economy Class onboard Thai Airways B777 is rather small. The use of white lighting gives the lavatory a clean feel and the clever use of mirrors makes the lavatory feels bigger than it is. The amenities in the lavatory is very basic with cologne, hand soap on top of the tissues and paper cups. However, compared to other airlines such as KLM, the amenities are decent onboard Thai Airways. I always like the sensor activated tap in the lavatories onboard Thai Airways, which is both convenient and hygienic for passengers.

The Seat

The seats in the Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways B777 has a 32″ pitch and 18″ width. A bulk of the seats are arranged in 3-3-3 configuration, with the exception of several seats at the end of the second and third section of the Economy Class cabin that is arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. I was seated in one of these 2 by 2 seats on the aircraft. These seats are perfect for couples or groups of 2 travelling together. As the Thai Airways B777 is an older aircraft, the seats on this flight are older in design. For instance, the footrest is just a bar that hangs on the hinges below the seat in front of mine. Even the IFE controller shows signs of ageing. Nonetheless, legroom in the Economy Class cabin is fantastic. Unlike some of the other newer aircraft in the Thai Airways fleet, the tray tables in the Economy Class cabin onboard this B777-300 does not come with a bi-fold feature. It is a big single piece that folds away on the back of the seat in front of mine. There is a small cup holder latch on the back of the tray table, which is a nice touch for passengers who only has a cup and does not want to fold out the tray table. The main seat pocket, where the in-flight reading materials are found, is rather deep (but does not seem to be clean). I like the addition of a small seat pocket in front of the main seat pocket that creates additional (and convenient) space for passengers to store small items such as their mobile phone and passports. On the left of the armrest is where one will find the recline button, which allows passengers to recline to a maximum of 122°. The headphone jack and the IFE remote controller is stored on the right armrest.

IMG_9273

Seats in Thai Airways B777-300 Economy Class Cabin

IMG_9285

Tray table folded down

IMG_9293

Pillow and blanket

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways offer personalised Audio Video On Demand on every of their Economy Class seats on the B777-200. Seats are equipped with 9″ touchscreen TV, which is a tad smaller than some of the other aircraft in the Thai Airways fleet. There are numerous options for passengers in the Economy Class cabin ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to Thai Movies (which I totally enjoyed and it comes with English subtitles as well), there seem to be something for everyone, including kids channels. There are games available in the IFE, which I find a little boring. TV screens can be tilted to cater for a various sitting position. The remote control is located on the armrest, which is a tad old school by today’s standards. However, it serves the function that it is meant for. Headphones are placed on the seats at the time of my boarding, these headphones are not noise cancelling unlike those in the Business Class cabins. I like the overhead headphones, which is way better than earbuds styled headphones, provided by other airlines, which can be quite uncomfortable. The touchscreen function tends to be slightly laggy, probably due to the age of the aircraft. I used the remote control all the time during the 2-hour flight from Bangkok to Singapore.

IMG_9286

Touchscreen TV on each seat in Economy Class cabin

IMG_9295

IFE controller is found on the right armrest on each seat

IMG_9289

Economy Class cabin headphone set

The Food

Meals are served promptly and efficiently during the flight. I like Thai Airways catering as the food is rather flavourful and tasty. For this flight, I opted for the Ginger pork with rice, which comes with an egg on top of the pork. Meals are served with the standard tuna salad as the appetiser and a sponge cake as dessert. The sponge cake is very fluffy and tasty, which is a great end to a meal. Passengers are also served with a bun and a bottle of mineral water with every meal. Drinks are also served shortly after the meal runs and flight attendants went around the cabin to serve coffee/tea after the drinks service.

IMG_9306

Pork with rice and egg meal

Service

Service onboard this Thai Airways is great. Friendly attendants are seen smiling and emitting the signature Thai hospitality from boarding to disembarking. Meal service is conducted in an efficient manner by the attendants who are always wearing their smiles. Requests by passengers are also promptly attended to. Flight attendants are seen constantly patrolling the cabin to ensure passengers are comfortable and finished meal trays and trash are being cleared. The warm and friendly crew made me feel welcome onboard throughout the flight.

IMG_9304

Flight attendants preparing to distribute meal

IMG_9305

Flight attendant during meal service

Afterthought

Despite being a rather old aircraft, Thai Airways B777-300 is still very comfortable for the 2-hour flight from Bangkok to Singapore. Legroom on the Economy Class seats are excellent and the IFE, despite its age, served its function of keeping passengers entertained throughout the flight. The service onboard is impeccable, which warm and friendly flight attendants displaying the warmth of Thai hospitality, which makes the flight enjoyable.

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways A380-800 (TG623) – Business Class, KIX-BKK (26 May 18)

IMG_9135

Thai Airways A380-800 in Kansai Airport

On the Ground

Check-in Counters

Thai Airways uses the check-in counters at Row D in Kansai International Airport. The check-in rows are located in the middle of the terminal building. There are 4 queues at the Thai Airways counter. Despite having 4 counters serving Economy Class passengers, the queue seems not to be moving much. There is another queue dedicated to passengers who have completed internet check-in, served by 3 counters, which is quite short. There is 1 queue for Business Class passengers, where the waiting time is rather short as well, thanks to the 3 counters serving passenger travelling in this class. 2 counters are dedicated to passengers travelling in First Class, where the queue is the shortest. First and Business Class passengers are given an invitation to the Thai Airways Lounge and a fast lane pass to clear immigration. However, I do find this pass a tad useless as it only gave access to a separate entrance to the airside. Unlike premium class passengers travelling out of Bangkok Airport, where there is a dedicated immigration counter for premium passengers. Passing through this entrance, premium class passengers are still required to join the queue together with other travellers leaving KIX at the immigration counters.

IMG_9105

Check-in counters for Business Class passengers

IMG_9109

Passengers flying on First and Business Class can use the fast lane to get to the immigration area

Thai Airways departs from the satellite terminal in KIX, which is a short internal train ride from the main terminal. The airlines departed from Gate 11, which is a stone’s throw distance from the Thai Airways Lounge in the satellite terminal. There is a dedicated boarding queue for passengers travelling in Business Class cabin (together with First Class passengers). Business Class passengers were given priority to board before boarding commences for Economy Class passengers.

IMG_9141

First and Business Class entered through another bridge that leads to the upper deck of the A380

Royal Orchid Lounge

Thai Airways has their dedicated lounge in KIX. The Royal Orchid lounge is situated in the satellite building, which is very near to the boarding gate that was used by the airlines. Royal Orchid Lounge in KIX occupies a rather small real estate. There is a section of the lounge for passengers to sit, with a sitting area arranged very close to each other. There is hardly any walking space between 2 separate set of seats. Part of the lounge is dedicated for passengers travelling in First Class Cabin. The food offering in the lounge is very limited. Snacks such as Onigiri, cup noodles, sandwiches and some Japanese snacks are served in the lounge. Coffee and tea, as well as beverages such as soft drinks, wine and beers, are also available in the lounge. It is a shame that the lounge does not face the departure gate where Thai Airways aircraft depart in KIX.

IMG_9124

Business Class passengers are invited to the dedicate Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge in KIX

The Aircraft

The Cabin

The entire Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 is located on the upper deck of the aircraft, spread out in 2 sections with 60 seats in total. The front section is the bigger section, carrying up to 48 passengers while the rear section sits 12 passengers. Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 is decked in the familiar light purple colour scheme that is used across the entire Thai Airways fleet. The purple exudes a calm and relaxing feel for passengers travelling in this cabin. Lights are tuned to the brightest during boarding. Mood lighting is used during different phases of the 6-hour flight for passengers to adapt to the time of the day. Lightings are turned off after first meal service for passengers to catch up on their rests.

IMG_9147

Thai Airways A380 Business Class cabin during boarding

IMG_9150

Thai Airways Business Class cabin onboard the A380 is decked with a purple colour scheme

The lavatories in the Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 is of a good size and feels bigger than the Economy Class lavatories. The Business Class lavatory is decked with wooden furnishing from the cabinets to the flooring, giving it a classy and premium feel. The lavatory has more amenities compared to the Economy Class lavatory. On top of the hand soap, cologne and tissue found in Economy Class, hand lotion and handkerchiefs are found in the Business Class lavatory. Thai Airways decorate their Business Class cabins with orchid flowers to give it a more premium feel.

The Seat

Seats in Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 are arranged in 1-2-1 configuration, giving direct aisle access to all Business Class passengers. As the seats in the Business Class cabin are arranged in a staggered manner and some seats enjoy greater privacy than others. Business Class seats have 71″ pitch and 20″ width that provides ample legroom for its passengers. The Business Class seats onboard the A380 seem bigger than those onboard their newer A350. The seats are capable of converting into a 180° flatbed for passengers who wish to catch up on their sleep. The Business Class seat onboard Thai Airways A380 is very comfortable to sleep on in the bed mode. The seats have 3 main positions that passengers can choose from, the upright position for take-off and landings, the lounge mode which is perfect for watching movies on the IFE, and the flatbed mode for sleeping. Other than these 3 main positions, passengers can move the seats back and forth for greater comfort according to the space they require. All seats have a massage function that provided more comfort during the flight. An ottoman is placed in front of the seat, under the IFE screen where passengers can rest their feet on for more comfort. The inclusion of additional storage space for shoes underneath the ottoman is a nice touch to the Business Class product. Large pillows and quilted blankets, as well as amenities kit for Business Class passengers, are already placed on the seats

IMG_9149

Business Class cabin seats onboard Thai Airways A380 in take-off/landing position

There is a small table on the right side of the Business Class seat onboard Thai Airways A380. Reading materials such as in-flight magazines and menu as well as the aircraft safety card are neatly stored in the seat pocket located above the side table on the right side of the seat (on some seats, the small table and the seat pocket are located to the left side of the seat). Just beside the seat pocket, closer to the seat is where a small reading light is placed for passengers to use. The reading light can be adjusted for different levels of brightness. Opposite the seat pocket, on the bulkhead next to the IFE screen is where the coat hanger and tray table are located. The tray table is quite big and swings up to the bulkhead when stored and can be moved forward for passengers to exit the seat when deployed.

There is some practical storage space in the Business Class seat onboard Thai Airways A380 aircraft. A small bin by the side of the seat just beneath the left armrest, allows passengers to store things like their iPad or a book other than passports and mobile phones. This bin is larger than those found on the newer Thai Airways A350 Business Class seats. The headphone jack is located by the armrest on the right of the seat alongside a power socket located slightly below the headphone jack. Seat control and the IFE controller can be found mounted to the seat bulkhead above the armrest on the right side of the seat. There is an additional storage bin for passengers sitting by the window onboard Thai Airways Business Class cabin.

IMG_E9226

Business Class passengers by the window would have an extra bin for storage

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways has a superb in-flight entertainment system that keeps their passengers occupied throughout the fight. Passengers can choose from movies from Hollywood and Thailand as well as sitcoms and radio stations. There is even a menu for young passengers containing movies and TV shows that are targeted to children. One can also be entertained by the games in the IFE system, though I find the games a tad boring. Seats in the Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 are equipped with a large 15″ touchscreen monitor. The monitor is quite sensitive and the touchscreen function did not lag at all. Alternatively, Business Class passengers can toggle through the IFE menu using the remote control stowed above the armrest in the seat. There are 2 USB outlets located below the IFE TV screen. However, I find watching the TV when the seat is in the flatbed mode to be impossible due to the lighting on the LCD screen. There are also no tilting functions on the IFE screen. I do find the lounging position on the seat is most ideal for catching up movies on the TV screen. All Business Class passengers were issued with noise cancelling headphones, which are very comfortable when wearing and is very effective in blocking out the noise.

IMG_9192

Each Business Class seat has a 15″ touchscreen TV

IMG_9169

Noise cancelling headphones

The Food

Business Class passengers on Thai Airways were well fed throughout the fight. As soon as I boarded the aircraft, after settling into my seat, flight attendants come around serving pre-departure drinks. I always go for “Violet Bliss” (butterfly-pea drink) as the pre-departure drink which is very refreshing and is slightly sweet. As this drink was not on the tray that the flight attendants hold when they come to me, I had to request for this drink which the flight attendants served with a smile. As soon as the seatbelt signs were turned off, flight attendants sprung into action to distribute nuts and another round of drinks, while taking order for the first meal.

For the first meal, I ordered the Japanese cuisine. As this is a medium haul flight, meals were served course by course in the Business Class cabin. The first meal started with a serving of crab salad and smoked duck as the appetiser presented in Thai Airways china. The crab tasted fresh flavourful and the duck was not too tough. There is even a scallop that is served together with the appetiser. Flight attendants come around with a bread basket for passengers to choose from after the appetiser was served. The main course was served after the flight attendants cleared the appetiser. The Japanese Cuisine was served in a silver with purple lining Thai Airways bento container. The bento set contains an assortment of Japanese cold dishes such as cold soba with crab, tamago egg roll with fried salmon, steamed prawn and unagi sushi to name a few. These cold dishes are very fresh and tasty. The meal is served with Japanese rice, miso soup and beef cheek sukiyaki. The beef cheek tasted very tender but I find some parts of the beef to fattening for my liking. But the broth it comes with is very tasty. My friend opted for the pork loin, which presentation wise does not seem appetising but the taste is great and well seasoned. After we are done with the main meal, the flight attendants cleared the table to make way for fruit and cheese as a prelude to the dessert. For dessert, I opted for the Thai milk tea ice-cream which is very refreshing. Tucking into the milk tea ice-cream, I feel as though I am drinking the Thai Ice tea on the streets of Bangkok. Shortly after the flight attendants served the ice-cream, another attendant placed a piece of chocolate on the table. What a nice touch!

IMG_E9210

Crab salad and smoked duck together with a choice of bread as served as the appetiser

IMG_E9212

I opted for the Japanese Cuisine which comes with Japanese appetiser and beef cheek sukiyaki presented in a Thai Airways Bento container

IMG_E9216

My friend opted for the pork loin as the main course

The second meal was served 2 hours before landing. For the afternoon tea set, I opted for scone and latte. The scone tasted fluffy and sweet due to the thin layer of sugar glazed onto the scone. However, the scone only comes with jam and does not come with cream. It would be perfect if it comes with cream.

IMG_9242

I opted for the scone for afternoon tea meal

Service

The service I received onboard this Thai Airways flight on Business Class from KIX to BKK is impeccable. The excellent service started at the check-in counter, where the ground staff representing Thai Airways was very patient with my questions and helped us settled our luggage during check-in. The staff also gave very detailed directions on where the fast lane is and where the lounge is located when our boarding pass is handed over to us. The service in the lounge is very good as well. As soon as we walked into the lounge, we were made to feel welcome with smiles and cheerful greetings. The staff manning the lounge area ensured that the food is replenished on time and tables are cleared promptly. There is this instance that I wanted to get hot water for the instant noodles and informed one of the staff at the lounge that the hot water had run out, the staff immediately apologise (though I think she does not have to do that) and promptly swap out another flask with hot water. She even volunteered to prepare the noodles for me and had it delivered to my table.

The service onboard is immaculate and is the best service I have received so far flying Thai Airways. The excellent service started when friendly flight attendants received passengers at the door with the Thai Wai and showing us to our seats. While at our seat, the flight attendant introduced some features of the seat and also where we get find copies of the menu. Despite the drink that I wanted was not on the tray, the flight attendant hastened to get my drink and served with a smile. This is my first time seeing flight attendants going around the cabin introducing themselves to the area of passengers they are serving. During meal service, flight attendants gracefully laid the table and presented the meal of our choice. They seem to be very observant and promptly cleared the plates after we are done with our meal without us having to ask them to do so. The service onboard is very prompt with meals and drinks served in an efficient manner and with grace and smiles throughout. The flight attendant also asked if we are full and wanted more food. Flight attendants are seen patrolling the cabin frequently throughout the flight. They are also seen wearing their smiles all the time throughout the duration of the flight. I was pleasantly surprised when the flight attendant went around distributing free wifi access cards, which is a very nice touch in Business Class cabin.

IMG_9249

Flight attendants went around introducing themselves and greeting passengers with the Thai Wai

IMG_9208

Flight attendants during meal service

IMG_9191

Flight attendants patrolling the cabin

IMG_E9220

Thai Airways gave each Business Class passengers complimentary wifi access card

Afterthought

Thai Airways A380 Business Class product is excellent. The Business Class cabin exudes a sense of calm and classiness with the purple hues used in the decor of the cabin. The seats are comfortable and the legroom is excellent. I felt the space in Business Class seat onboard A380 is bigger than that in their newer A350 aircraft, as I did not have to struggle to get in and out of my seat with the tray table deployed. The design of the Business Class seats in A380 is very well thought out, there are storage spaces in the seat for small items and the depth is just right. The IFE system kept me entertained throughout the flight, though my only complaint is that the screen is not viewable when the seat is in flatbed mode. The food served onboard is very flavourful and tasty. Meals are served course by course, making me feel as though I am dining in a restaurant. The best impression of flying Thai Airways Business Class is the service. The flight attendants took pride in their work and ensured all passengers are well taken care of during the flight time. They are seen wearing their smiles all the time and are very prompt to respond to passengers’ requests. Flying with this excellent set of crew onboard Thai Airways, I felt welcomed and the warmth that the Thais are renowned for. Overall, this experience flying with Thai Airways onboard their A380 Business Class cabin is a very pleasant experience.

IMG_9233

Thai Airways A380 flying through the clouds

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways A380-800 (TG622) – Economy Class, BKK-KIX (17 May 18)

IMG_8584

Thai Airways A380 in BKK

At The Airport

The previous flight arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport on time and was parked on the tarmac. Instead of entering the airport terminal from the aerobridge, we were brought to the terminal by the airport bus. It seems that Thai Airways only catered 1 bus to transfer a full load of passengers to the terminal, as such instead of having 1½ hour transit time, I only had 20 mins to rush to the next departing gate. Suvarnabhumi Airport is quite big which means I had to run to the boarding gate. By the time I reached the gate, it is about to close.

IMG_8583

Thai Airways A380-800 departs from Gate E4

The Aircraft

The Cabin

The seats in Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 is decked with the familiar vibrant colourful seats with hues of purple, orange and yellow. This colour scheme makes the cabin look cheerful and certainly brightens the mood of holidaymakers. There are a total of 435 seats in the Economy Class Cabin. The main bulk of the Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 occupies the lower deck of the aircraft, with 361 seats split into 3 sections spreading across the entire lower deck. There are 74 seats at the rear of the upper deck, just behind the Business Class seats. The Economy Class seats are reserved for higher paying travellers in this class, passengers travelling on promotional prices are not able to select these upper deck seats until the internet check-in opens up (which is 24 hours prior to departure). As the seats on the upper deck are full at the time I checked-in online, I was only able to get the seats on the lower deck.

IMG_8588

A very vibrant colour scheme in the Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways A380

IMG_8612

The rear Economy Class section on board Thai Airways A380

IMG_8611

Thai Airways A380 Economy Class cabin

There are numerous lavatories spread across the entire lower deck. The lavatories are rather small compared to some other airlines such as Singapore Airlines. However, they sufficiently serve the purpose they are meant for. The lavatories are decked out in white colour, with the signature Thai Airways light purple coloured on the cabinets below the sink. The clever use of white lights makes the lavatory looked clean and bright and does not give one a claustrophobic feel. As with most Thai Airways aircraft, the tap is sensor activated which makes it both convenient and hygienic for passengers. The amenities in the lavatory is limited to hand soap and cologne on top of the tissues and paper cups. Passengers flying on red-eye flights (as with this flight I flew on) have to bring their own toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up. Unlike some other airlines, Thai Airways do not distribute amenities pack for overnight flights.

The Seat

The seats in the Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways A380 is very comfortable. Each seat has a 32″ pitch and 18″ width. The legroom on these seats are very good, I had ample legroom in the Economy Class seat that enabled me to snooze throughout the flight. The Economy Class seats onboard Thai Airways A380 are arranged in a 4-3-4 configuration on the lower deck, and 2-4-2 on the upper deck. I like the design of the tray tables on the newer Thai Airways aircraft, which features a bi-fold design that is capable of folding away half of the tray table when passengers do not need to use the full table. This allows passengers sitting in the inner seats to gain access to the aisle without the need to put away the table. There is a leg rest on each seat in the Economy Class, however, I do find these leg rests to be a tad too uncomfortable when resting my foot on them. The headphone jack and the seat recline button on these seats are found on the left armrest. Seats can be reclined sufficiently that provided me with a comfortable rest on this red-eye flight. Each Economy Class seat onboard Thai Airways A380 comes with a USB outlet that serves as a charging port located on the bottom left side of the TV screen, and a hook on the bottom right side of the screen. The seat pockets, where in-flight magazines are provided in each seat as well as the aircraft safety card, are rather deep (and capable of storing my camera). I like the idea of including a small seat pocket in front of the main seat pocket which I used to put my mobile phone in.

IMG_8589

Thai Airways A380 Economy Class seat

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways has a very good in-flight entertainment system. All Economy Class seats onboard the A380 comes with a 10.6″ touchscreen TV which can be tilted to suit the sitting position and the degree of reclined on these seats. The touchscreen function is very responsive and does not seem to lag when I used it. The In-flight entertainment system can also be controlled via the remote controller located at the bottom of the TV screen. At the time of boarding, headphones are already placed on each seat, though these headphones are not noise cancelling. The in-flight entertainment system is loaded with movies ranging from the latest Hollywood Blockbuster to Thai movies and short TV series that kept me entertained when I was not sleeping on the flight. The entertainment system is arranged in an intuitive manner that makes scrolling through and looking for a movie to watch easy. There are games that are loaded in the in-flight entertainment system, though I find these games to be a tad boring.

IMG_8597

In-Flight Entertainment Unit in the Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A380

IMG_8599

The IFE Controller is found below the AVOD screen

IMG_8604

Headphone used in Economy Class Cabin onboard Thai Airways A380

The Food

2 meals are served on this flight from Bangkok to Kansai. As soon as the seat belt signs are turned off, flight attendants disappear into the galley. Moments later, they were seen going around the cabin distributing a bag with the print “Any Time Treats”. This bag contains a ham and cheese sandwich and a bottle of water. I thought to distribute this bag of treats a very nice gesture on the part of Thai Airways. By doing so, passengers have ensured an undisturbed sleep on this red-eye flight and at the same time, allowing passengers to have something to eat when they wake up or whenever they choose to consume the sandwich. On top of the bag of sandwich, flight attendants were also seen going around the cabin serving drinks to passengers. Flight attendants were also seen patrolling the cabin in the night serving passengers who are not asleep drinks.

IMG_8613

A snack pack was distributed to all passengers in Economy Class cabin

About 2 hours before landing, the Economy Class cabin lights were turned on for breakfast service. For breakfast, I opted for the pork with rice that comes with fruit salad, yoghurt and a cup of orange juice. Croissants are also distributed with the breakfast. The flight attendant gladly gave me 2 croissants upon my request. Shortly after the meal service, flight attendants went around the cabin distributing drinks and coffee and tea followed the drinks service. The pork I opted for is very tasty, and flavourful especially the gravy it is soaked in.

IMG_8614

Breakfast in Economy Class onboard Thai Airways A380

Service

Service is excellent onboard Thai Airways A380 Economy Class cabin. The service started as soon as I stepped onboard the aircraft to be welcomed by the flight attendants with the traditional Thai hand gesture. Flight attendants were placed throughout the cabin during boarding guiding passengers to their seats. The flight attendants sprung into action as soon as the seatbelt signs were turned off to prepare for meals. The flight attendants were efficient in preparing the meal and in their meal service and which ensured that passengers get their food without having to wait too long. Service is always presented with a smile, that made flying with Thai Airways enjoyable. Flight attendants were seen patrolling the cabin constantly to answer to requests from passengers and to clear away trash. Meal trays were collected efficiently after passengers had their meals and flight attendants would return to passengers to check if they would like any drinks. Throughout the flight time, I was made to feel well-taken care off by the flight attendants.

Afterthought

This is my first time flying A380, the aircraft is very comfortable in the Economy Class. Legroom was fantastic and I did not feel cramp in my seat. The seat is comfortable and I had a good rest on this red-eye flight. The IFE onboard is very well organised, making scrolling through to select movies very easy. The IFE is well stocked with movies and games that kept me entertained when I was not sleeping. Service is very good onboard with flight attendants displaying the warm hospitality that the Thais are renowned for. Meals are very delicious and flavourful and the pork does not taste dry. I like the idea of giving out “Any Time Treats”, which ensured that passengers do not feel hungry despite in the middle of the night. I had an enjoyable time flying on Thai Airways A380 in the Economy Class cabin from Bangkok to Kansai.

IMG_8615

Flying over the Sea of Japan

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways A350-900 (TG410) – Economy Class, SIN-BKK (17 May 18)

IMG_8542

Thai Airways A350-900 that flew us from SIN to BKK

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.

DSC07705.JPG

Thai Airways Check-in Counters are located in Singapore Airport Terminal 1

DSC07706

There is a counter dedicated for passengers who have done their check-in via internet

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.

The Aircraft

The Cabin

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.

IMG_8547

Thai Airways A350 Economy Class cabin

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.

The Seat

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.

IMG_8549
Thai Airways A350 Economy Class Cabin seats
IMG_8573

Blankets are distributed once all passengers are seated prior to taking off

In-Flight Entertainment

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.

IMG_8557

IFE system and controller

IMG_8576

11″ AVOD touchscreen on board Thai Airways A350 Economy Class Cabin

IMG_8565

Headsets are already made available in the seat when I boarded the aircraft

The Food

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.

IMG_8581

I had the fish with rice option

IMG_8582

My friend had the chicken with fried rice

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.

Afterthought

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.

[Airline Review] – SilkAir (MI702) / (MI705) – Economy Class, SIN-CNX, (9 Nov 17) / CNX-SIN (12 Nov 17)

SilkAir B737-800 flying between Singapore and Chiang Mai

SilkAir B737-800 getting ready to send us to Chiang Mai

SilkAir Livery

On The Ground

Check-in

Singapore

SilkAir leaves from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. Check-in counters are located in rows 4 and 5 in the terminal. I always have the habit to check-in online via the Singapore Airlines App, which means shorter queues. However, since SilkAir does not have a counter dedicated to internet check-ins at Changi Airport, we had to join the regular queue. The queue was short at the time we were there, hence we were promptly being served within moments after joining the queue. Check-in was swift and the ground staff took our luggage before handing us our boarding passes and reminded us of the boarding gate and the boarding timing.

SilkAir uses rows 4 and 5 check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

Only Economy Class and Business Class counters. There are no counters available for internet check-in in Singapore Changi Airport

SilkAir Economy Class check-in counters in row 5

SilkAir leaves at boarding gate E6. As it is operating at full load, the boarding gate is full of passengers waiting to board the aircraft. As we arrived at the boarding gate close to the boarding timing, most of the passengers were already waiting inside the gate, the queue for security screening at the gate is rather short. Despite operating on full loading (the aircraft is booked out), SilkAir was able to cope with the queue by boarding passengers according to rows.

MI702 departs from gate E6 today

Boarding gate waiting area in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

Chiang Mai

SilkAir check-in counters are located from counters 9 to 12, located in the centre of the international departure check-in hall. 2 counters are dedicated to Economy Class passengers and 1 for Business Class passengers. Unlike Singapore Changi Airport, 1 counter in Chiang Mai Airport is dedicated to passengers who do internet check-in. There are no queues in all 3 types of counters when I checked in at Chiang Mai International Airport. We were promptly served by a ground staff in the Economy Class queue. The agent took in our luggage and processed our check-in swiftly. She reminded us of the boarding gate and the time to appear at there before handing our boarding pass to us. One point to note while flying out of Chiang Mai Airport, there are 2 security checks: one at the entrance to the terminal building, where all passengers are to put their luggage through an X-ray machine; another security check is located at the entrance to the airside area, before the immigration. Do note that due to the influx of tourists from China, the queue here can be rather long. It is advised to arrive at the second security check area early in order not to miss one’s flight.

Chiang Mai International Airport

SilkAir check-in counters are located facing doors 9 and 10 in Chiang Mai International Airport

The 4 SilkAir check-in counters in Chiang Mai International Airport are relatively empty at the time of our check-in

SilkAir dedicated 2 counters for Economy Class, 1 counter for internet check-in and 1 counter for Business Class  passengers

Chiang Mai International Airport International departure hall

Once pass the immigration, the airside is a huge hall with shops located at the parameters of the terminal building. Other than the standard duty free shops selling liquors, tobacco and cosmetics, there are also several shops selling souvenirs for travelers who need to get some prior to their flight.

Shops in Chiang Mai International Airport international departure airside

Passengers wait area in Chiang Mai International Airport

Seats are found in front of the gates in airside

SilkAir departs from Gate 5 in Chiang Mai International Airport

Passengers queuing to board the aircraft from Gate 5

In-Flight

Cabin

SilkAir uses the single-aisle B737-800 for the SIN-CNX route. There are 12 seats in Business Class Section and 150 seats in Economy Class Section. The Economy Class section is decked out with bright light orange seats, coupled with the bright mood lighting was used during boarding and the white bulkheads, the aircraft look spacious and clean. The use of these colours also exudes a sense of youthfulness and cheerfulness in the Economy Class Cabin. Economy Class cabin is arranged in 3-3 configuration. Blankets and pillows are not found in the seats of the Economy Class cabin, however, the flight attendants will gladly offer one set when requested.

SilkAir B737-800 Economy class cabin

The use of orange in the seats makes the aircraft looks refreshing and cheerful

Seats in Economy Class are arranged in 3-3 configuration

Blankets and pillows are not placed in the seats when boarding, but they are available when requested

The call buttons and lights are controlled from the ceiling in the aircraft

Business Class seats in SilkAir B737-800

There are only 2 lavatories, located at the rear of the aircraft in the Economy Class section. The lavatories are rather small, due to the limited real estate in the B737-800. Despite the small size, the lavatory has all the standard equipment that one would find in a typical full-service airline. In terms of amenities, SilkAir only has a bottle of hand soap in the lavatory. One can find some airsick bags in the drawers next to the toilet bowl.

Large mirrors in the lavatory

Sink area

Hand soap is the only amenity available in the lavatory

Airsick bags are stowed inside the cabinet in the lavatory

Clean toilet

The Seat

Each Economy Class seats have a pitch of 30″ and a width of 17″ and have 5″ of recline, which is sufficient for passengers to catch some rest during the flight. The headrest in each seat can be adjusted 4 ways to suit passengers of all height and provide them with comfort while flying. I find the legroom to be good in the Economy Class and not too cramp. The seats feel comfortable throughout the short 3 hour SIN-CNX flight. There are a couple of seat pockets in each seat. Like Economy Class onboard other airliners, one of the seat pocket is located on the back of the seat in front. Here is where one can find some reading materials such as SilkAir’s in-flight magazine, in-flight duty free catalogue and the aircraft safety card. Airsick bag is also found tucked together with the reading materials. Another seat pocket is located on the top of the seat in front. molded in hard plastic. Unlike the bottom seat pocket where one can pull out to put stuff in, passengers is unable to do so for the top seat pocket. At first glance, it seem that each SilkAir Economy Class seat have rather generous storage spaces with the seat pockets. However I find the top seat pocket impractical, as its depth make retrieving small items stowed here difficult. At the back of each seat is where one would find the tray table, which can be pulled towards passengers during meal time. The seat recline button is located on the left arm rest of each seat. There are power socket and USB sockets are found below each seat for passengers to charge their mobile devices.

Economy Class seats onboard SilkAir B737-800 are decked out in orange colour

Legroom is good in the Economy Class

Each seats has 2 seat pockets

The top seat pocket is deep and not ideal to stow small items

Lower seat pocket
SilkAir B737-800 safety card
Seat pocket contents
Decent size tray table
Seat recline button is located on the armrest of each seat

In-Flight Entertainment

SilkAir does not have TV screens on each seat, however, that does not mean In-Flight Entertainment is not present. There are drop-down screens mounted on the ceiling of the aircraft playing short clips at a scheduled timing throughout the flight. The safety video is also shown from the drop-down screens while the aircraft is taxiing for take-off. SilkAir does not provide headphones onboard, passengers would have to bring their own headphones, which can be plugged into the headphone jacks found on the armrest of the seat. There is a small panel that displayed some channels and has a volume control, which seems to suggest that music is also streamed onboard when headphones are plugged in.

Safety video played during taxiing on the drop-down screens
Passengers can also tune into the onboard radio
Headphone jack on each seat

SilkAir also offers SilkAir Studio onboard this flight, which is a genius way of providing AVOD onboard without the airlines needing to invest in Personal TV screens on each seat. Passengers can download the SilkAir Studio app to their mobile phones, tablets or laptops to enjoy movies, TV shows and music onboard. Passengers can connect to the in-flight wifi and start watching the latest movies from their mobile devices as soon as they are settled in their seat. There are a lot of options, neatly organised in the app menu for passengers to choose a show of their liking. For passengers who did not download the app prior to boarding, one can also access the SilkAir Studio from their web browser on their mobile devices. The only downside is there isn’t any latch for passengers to hook their mobile devices in the seat. Understand that SilkAir is adding latches for passengers to place their mobile phones or tablets on in their latest B737 Max 8 aircrafts.

SilkAir Studio menu on my mobile phone
Streaming SilkAir Studio on my mobile phone
Watching latest blockbuster on my mobile phone on SilkAir Studio

Meal Service

SIN-CNX

Meals onboard are served about 30 mins into the flight time. As this leg of the flight is flown in the morning, breakfast was served. Passengers are given 2 options of either Chicken sausage with an omelette or Fish Nasi Lemak, complementary with soft drinks, juices, coffee or tea. When the service cart came to my row, only Chicken sausage was available. The meal comes standard with the main meal, bun and fruits. I find the Chicken sausage tasty, but the portion is a tad small. About 1 hour prior to landing, the flight attendants distributed packs of nuts and did another drink run to keep passengers hydrated.

Refreshing wet towels were distributed as soon as the seat belt signs are turned off
Flight attendants distributing breakfast
Only Chicken sausage and omelette option is available by the time the meal cart comes to my row

CNX-SIN

As with the previous leg, meals were served about 30 mins into the flight time. Passengers were given the options of a Chicken meal or a Fish Nasi Lemak meal. I was a tad disappointed to learn that I was only presented with 1 option by the time the attendant came to my row. This time around, the only food option available was the Fish Nasi Lemak. Unlike the breakfast service, the meal only came with a main meal and fruits as dessert. I find the Fish Nasi Lemak to be tasty and the chilli sauce that comes with it was delicious. Too bad the portion is a tad small. About 1 hour prior to landing, the flight attendants came around doing their drinks run and distributed a packet of nuts to all passengers.

Flight attendants distributing dinner onboard
Only Fish Nasi Lemak is available by the time the meal cart comes to my row

Service

Service onboard was great, similar to what one would find on their sister airlines – Singapore Airlines. The flight attendants made passengers feel welcome the moment I stepped onboard. At the door, we were greeted with smiles and greetings. Flight attendants were cheerful throughout the flight, despite having to serve 150 passengers during the short flight time. The flight attendants kept their cheerfulness throughout the flight and were very attentive to passenger calls. I requested a birthday cake for my friend in-flight and the flight attendants presented the cake with the widest smile after meal run and wished my friend a happy birthday. During the CNX-SIN flight, I complained to the flight attendant about only having 1 choice of food for the second time. Instead of ignoring my complaints, the flight attendant apologised (though it is not a fault of theirs) and offered to bring food upfront, which I declined. The service recovery is almost immediate. When I requested a can of coke for my friend and myself, the flight attendant quickly returned with a can each and asked if we need more seeing that our drinks are empty. This goes to show that the flight attendants do their job with a certain level of attentiveness. I find the service rendered onboard SilkAir is no different and could be better than Singapore Airlines.

Flight attendants welcoming passengers during boarding
Flight attendants were seen going around distributing arrival cards and newspaper
Flight attendant confirming special meals with passengers who ordered them
Flight attendants brought a birthday cake for my friend after the meal trays are cleared

Afterthought

Flying onboard SilkAir is a joy. The seats are comfortable with decent legroom. The cabin looks cheerful and energetic. SilkAir Studio kept passengers entertained and made flight time feel shorter than it actually is. The service rendered onboard is great. Despite having to work in a small space with so many passengers, the flight attendants did their job with a smile. My experience onboard SilkAir lived up to their brand promise, it is indeed a joy to fly with SilkAir.

Flying over sunset

 

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines (SQ972) / (SQ979) – Economy Class, SIN-BKK, (21 Jul 17) / BKK-SIN (23 Jul 17)

Singapore Airlines deployed the B777-200 for SIN-BKK

Singapore Airlines A330-300 is used from BKK-SIN

On The Ground

SIN-BKK

Check-in

Singapore Airlines uses Terminal 2 in Singapore Changi Airport for flights departing to Bangkok. Check-in counters for SQ are located in rows 3 and 4, with row 4 catering for passengers who opt for self check-in and baggage drop offs. We used the counters in row 3 to check-in due to our bulky luggage. There was no queue at the check-in counter probably due to SQ encouraging their passengers to use the self check-in counters, as there are ground staff deployed at the check-in rows to direct passengers to the self check-in machines. We were greeted by a friendly ground staff who processed our check-in with haste and reminded us the boarding gate and the time to be at the gate. Singapore Changi Airport is a shopping haven with lots of activities for passengers to spend their timing waiting for their flight. Other than numerous luxury brand boutiques, duty free cosmetics and liquors, there are activities such as gardens, movie theatres, snooze areas for passengers to kill their time.

Singapore Airlines SIN-BKK departs from Terminal 2 in Singapore Changi Airport

Passengers traveling on Singapore Airlines checks in from Row 3 in the terminal building

Empty queue at the check-in counters

Artwork in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 

Singapore Airlines departs from Gate E4 in Singapore Changi Airport

Walking down the aerobridge towards my Singapore Airlines  flight

BKK-SIN

Check-in

Check-in rows for Singapore Airlines are located in Row K in the centre of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. 3 queues are set up for passengers flying with Singapore Airlines in the airport, one each catering for Business Class passengers, Economy Class passengers and passengers who has completed online check-in. As we were early for our flight, all three queues were relatively short. I have the habit of completing online check-in whenever I fly as the queue is usually much shorter then the other queues. There were no one waiting in line at the time we were at the airport. We were served promptly by the ground staff, who processed our check-in and took our luggage swiftly. The friendly ground staff briefed us on the gate for our flight as well as the time of boarding. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is always bustling with life, there are huge crowds in the airport. We spent a considerable amount of time clearing immigration. There are no lack of shopping in this airport, particularly souvenirs, however the souvenirs are much pricier than that found in downtown Bangkok.

Singapore Airlines check-in counters are located in Row K in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Check-in rows for Economy Class passengers and passengers who have completed internet check-in traveling on Singapore Airlines in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Singapore Airlines internet check-in counters in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Economy Class Check-in counters

Singapore Airlines departs from Gate D7 in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Waiting area in Gate D7 in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Cabin

SIN-BKK

Singapore Airlines uses B777-200 for this leg of the flight. The Economy Class cabin look aged as I entered the aircraft, which signals the airlines would either replace the aircraft or refurbish it. Despite the aged look, the cabin is still bright, thanks to the white lighting used in this aircraft. The seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration, draped in hues of blue and purple. Comparing to the newer aircrafts, the seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200 looks more comfortable with thicker cushioning. A stark difference from my previous experience with Singapore Airlines (some 7 months back), no pillows or blankets were placed on the seats. It seem that Singapore Airlines is cutting back budget. Pillows and blankets are available upon request.

Singapore Airlines B777-200 Economy Class cabin is decked  out with blue and purple seats

Seat onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200 Economy Class cabin

Economy Class cabin ambience onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Front gallery and peeking into Business Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

The lavatory is of a decent size, almost the same as its newer counterparts. The use of mirrors in the lavatory made it look bigger than it actually is. Despite the aged look, the lavatory is very well maintained. Singapore Airlines places additional amenities such as toothbrush, comb in their lavatory which is getting rare for Economy Class onboard other airlines. On top of these amenities, the standard amenities such as mouth wash, hand moisturiser and hand soap are also available.

Mirrors in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Mirrors in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Coat hangar found on the door to the lavatory

Sink in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Toilet inside the lavatory

Amenities found in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Additional amenities provided by Singapore Airlines. Not all airlines provide these amenities these days

Amenities in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines

BKK-SIN

For this sector of the flight, Singapore Airline uses the A330-300. There are 2 different colour tones in the forward and aft Economy Class cabin. The forward Economy Class cabin has a lighter and more “skyish” colour scheme. Decked out in light blue and light brown, the forward cabin feels livelier in the choice of colour. The aft Economy Class cabin is decked in hues of brown, giving it a more earthy feel. Coupled with the use of mood lighting in the cabin, the Economy Class section feels very comfortable. Seats are arranged in 2-4-2 configuration in Singapore Airlines A330-300.  As with the previous flight, no pillows and blankets are placed on the seat. However they are available only upon request from the flight attendants.

Singapore Airlines A330-300 livery

Flight attendants welcoming passengers during boarding

Peeking into Business Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Forward Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 is decked with blue and brown seats

The aft Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 is decked with different shades of brown

Similar with the previous sector, the lavatory is of a decent size and was very well lighted. Unlike the lavatory in the B777-200 which uses mainly white lighting, the A330-300 lavatory uses yellowish lighting, which makes it feel comfortable. There are Hollywood style lighting in the mirrors of the lavatory onboard this aircraft. Again the clever use mirrors makes the lavatory feel bigger than it is. The standard amenities such as hand soap, mouth wash and hand moisturiser are found in the lavatory. On top of these, additional amenities such as toothbrush and combs are also found in the lavatory.

Sink in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Toilet in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

I like this pedal onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 lavatory for activating the trash bin lid

Hollywood style lighting on the mirrors in the lavatory

Amenities in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Amenities in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Coat hangar on the door in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Mirrors in the lavatory onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

The Seats

SIN-BKK

Despite its aged look, the seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200 are comfortable and well maintained. Thanks to the thicker cushioning for the seats, it feels as though the seats hugs around my body. Seats in Economy Class cabin are 32″ in pitch and 17.5″ wide. The legroom is good on the Economy Class cabin. Tray tables are the standard single piece, which is different from the bi-fold design in their A330-300. The placement of a small cup holder on the back of the tray table is a good design which allows passengers to stow their drinks when the tray table is folded up. Seat recline button is found on one of the armrests, while the IFE controller is stored on the other armrest on each seat. Unlike its more modern counterparts, there are no USB or power sockets onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200 aircrafts.

Economy Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Legroom is decent in the Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Cup holder on the back of the tray table

Seat recline buttons in the Economy Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

2-tier seat pocket onboard onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Tray table in the Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Singapore Airlines B777-200 flight safety card

Seat pocket contents onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Cabin lighting onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Cabin ambience in Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

BKK-SIN

The seats onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 are very comfortable despite appearing to be thinner in the cushioning compared to their B777-200 counterpart. It has a pitch of 32″ and width of 19″. Legroom seem slightly better than the B777-200 in the Economy Class section. The multiple pocket seat pockets is a welcomed addition in the Economy Class section as it allowed me to store various small items that I carried onboard. A coat hanger can be found in every seat as well as the audio input and USB connector, which allows passengers to charge their mobile devices inflight. Tray tables are bi-fold, allowing passengers to use the tray table and still allow passenger sitting in the window seat to gain access to the aisle without having to put away the tray table. A small mirror on the back of the tray table is a nice touch to the design of Singapore Airlines Economy Class onboard the A330-300. On the top left corner, next to the IFE screen is a small pocket that allows passengers to store small item, a cup holder is also found in this area, which means passengers can put away the tray table and not have to hold their drinks on their hands. The seat recline button ad headphone jack is found on the armrest of each Economy Class seat.

Singapore Airlines Economy Class seats onboard A330-300

Legroom is excellent in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Cup holder found on the left of the IFE screen along with a coat hangar

I like the design of the seat pocket with a lot of small compartments to store small items  in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Singapore Airlines A330-300 flight safety card

Seat pocket reading materials onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Bi-fold tray table with mirror in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Tray table fully extended in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

IFE in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Seat recline button in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Headphone jack is found on the armrest in Economy Class seat onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

In-Flight Entertainment

SIN-BKK

Singapore Airlines B777-200 has a smaller 6.5″ screen for their IFE compared to their A330-300 aircrafts. IFE onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200 features video on-demand, which allows passengers to watch the shows available as and when they like. The IFE does not have touch screen function and lagged a fair bit when used with the controller stowed on the armrest. Despite the aging equipment, the IFE still packs a wide selection of movies, TV shows, games that kept me entertained throughout the flight. The IFE on my seat malfunctioned halfway through the flight, showing the age of the equipment. My screen resetted itself halfway through the flight and I was faced with a blank screen. I highlighted this issue to the flight attendant and she resetted the system for my seat. However after the reset, the IFE lost its on-demand function and I was only able to watch movies through the schedule timing. The IFE controller is aging as well, it did not respond well to the button pressing and lagged a fair bit. One would have to have patience when operating the IFE onboard this aircraft.

6.5″ IFE screen in Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

There are no lack of entertainment options onboard Singapore Airlines

IFE controller is stored on the armrest in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Aging IFE controller in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

Back side of the IFE controller

Headphone jacks on the armrest in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines B777-200

My IFE reseted by itself halfway through the flight

BKK-SIN

The IFE onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 has a large 10.5″ screen compared to the B777-200 aircraft. As with all aircrafts on Singapore Airlines, passengers are treated to video on-demand allowing them the flexibility to watch the shows they wanted onboard. The controller for each seat is stored below the IFE screen. As with most of Singapore Airlines aircrafts, there are no touch screen function for the IFE, however the system is rather responsive with the controller. Singapore Airlines has a good library of entertainment options, ranging from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to TV shows, that is sure to keep its passengers entertained throughout the flight.

10.5″ IFE screen in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

IFE menu in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Audio and video inputs as well as USB port in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

IFE controller in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 is stored below the IFE screen

IFE controller and headphones onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Back side of the IFE controller in Economy Class onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300

Meal Service

SIN-BKK

As the SIN-BKK leg lasts around 2 hours, flight attendants sprung into action preparing the meals soon after the  seat belt sign is turned off. On this leg of the flight, passengers are given the meal options of Chicken Sausage with Egg or Fish with Rice and Omelette for breakfast. Passengers are also treated with the standard drink options such as soft drinks, beer and various juices. I opted for the Sausage option, which is tasty and well seasoned. The fried eggs are done perfectly and the mash potatoes are moist. Despite portion looking small, it is enough to fill my stomach. Each meal comes with fresh fruits and chocolate mouse cake, which are tasty as well. My friend opted for the Fish and Rice, which is well flavoured and tasty. The omelette is full of flavours as well.

Flight attendants doing their meal runs shortly after the seat belt sign is turned off

I took the Chicken Sausage and Egg option

My friend had the Fish with rice and omelette

BKK-SIN

For this leg of the flight, passengers are given the option of Chicken with Rice or Beef with potato option. I took the Chicken with Rice option which comes with apple and prawns as appetiser and coconut cake as dessert. The chicken is well marinated and is very tasty. The prawn is well poached but the apple is a little to sour for my liking. Standard drinks such as soft drinks, juices and beer are available for passengers.

Flight attendants doing meal run service

I took the Chicken and Rice option for this leg of the flight

Service

Service onboard Singapore Airlines is impeccable on both legs. For the SIN-BKK leg, the excellent service started at the time of boarding. Flight attendants are seen helping passengers with the carry-on luggage and helping passengers settling into the seat before taking off. Service is always done with a smile. As my sister is traveling with my young nephew, flight attendants are seen checking on them constantly to ensure they are comfortable and well taken care off.

Flight attendant distribution hot towel before taking off

Flight attendants attending to the needs of passengers during meal service runs

The service on the BKK-SIN leg is nothing short of excellent as well. The team of flight attendants were friendly and did not feel imposed upon when requesting for items such as additional bread or drinks or even blankets. During the fight, Eunice Tan made us feel comfortable and ensured that all our requests are being attended to. Usually flight attendants would forget about requests for drinks during meal service. This is not the case for Eunice. Despite the drink I wanted was not in her cart, Eunice offered alternatives and promised to get back to me after servicing the section she was responsible for. Eunice was seen rushing back to the galley after doing her job and emerge with the drinks I wanted. Eunice was also attentive when she noticed that my drink was finished, she took the initiative and asked if I need more drinks. This is the first time I encountered such attentive service onboard Singapore Airlines. Eunice was attentive to my sister as well. During meal time, she was seen suggesting to my sister to be served meal first, so that my brother-in-law can “entertain” my nephew. Eunice took note of the meal option for my brother-in-law and returned later to check if my  sister has finished her meal. After clearing the meal tray from my sister, Eunice promptly returned with my brother-in-law’s meal.

The other crew onboard that truly stands for what the Singapore Girl means is Ploypom. When I requested for a blanket from Ploypom, she responded to my call for attendant promptly and took the initiative of bringing 2 blankets, with the other 1 for my friend as well. Such thoughtful gesture surprised me, Ploypom did not only do what was requested, she went above and beyond that.

Flight attendant distributing hot towels before taking off

Afterthought

I had a comfortable flight with Singapore Airlines for this Bangkok trip. Despite its B777-200 being aged and a small hiccup on the IFE, the aging aircraft is comfortable to fly in. The A330-300 that Singapore Airlines deployed is comfortable and the IFE system kept me entertained throughout the flight. The service is impeccable onboard both legs of the flight. Flight attendants are seen serving the passengers well and ensured that our needs are being taken care of. Nothing seem to be too troublesome for these industrious flight crew who strived hard to keep the standard of service that Singapore Airlines is well known for consistent. Despite traveling with infant, Singapore Airlines does not offer priority boarding for passengers with young children, boarding is done sequentially by rows organised in groups. Singapore Airlines no longer provide pillows and blankets on their seats during boarding, these amenities have to be requested should passengers need them.

Singapore Airlines ready to depart Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Flying above the clouds

Sun setting in the sky

[Airline Review] – Qantas (QF6) / (QF81) – Economy Class, SIN-SYD (17 May 17) /SYD-SIN (23 May 17)

Qantas uses A330-200 to ply between Singapore and Sydney. We got 2 different variations of the aircraft on both legs of the flight

On The Ground

Check-in

SIN-SYD

The check-in counter for Qantas is located at Row 5 in Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi Airport. For passengers who arrived earlier than the check-in timing, they can proceed to the early check-in counters just behind row 5. Despite being 6 hours early, we were able to check-in at the Qantas counters without the need to use the early check-in facilities in the airport. There was no queue at the time of our check-in, perhaps due to the early timing we have arrived at the airport. Checking-in was a breeze with the agent handling our check-in fast and swift. After handling taking our luggages, the agent handed our boarding pass and reminded us of the departure gate and the time we need to be there. Clearing Singapore Customs is a breeze as well. As citizens of Singapore and citizens of selected countries, we can use the electronic lanes. The airside of Singapore Changi Airport is always lively regardless the time of the day. There are no lack of duty free shoppings from luxury brands to perfumes and cosmetics to electronics. We boarded first before Business Class passengers as we have a baby flying together with us.

 

Qantas check-in counters are located in row 5 in Singapore Airport Terminal 1
There are no queues as we arrived at the check-in counters very early
Singapore Airport is a shopping haven at the airside
Our boarding gate was changed last minute to C25, which is located at the far end of the terminal
Aerobridge towards QF6
Qantas A330-200

SYD-SIN

Qantas has a dedicated counter in Terminal 1 of Sydney Airport. The counters are located in Row C of the Terminal. Qantas has separate counters for Economy, Business and First Class passengers. The queue in Economy Class is rather long, before we reach the queue, a ground staff was around to direct human traffic. Upon seeing that we have a stroller in tow, she diverted us to the Business Class check-in queue, which was a lot shorter. We were next in line to be served. The agent at the Business Class check-in counter is not exactly the friendliest person around. There were no smiles, no greetings, as though we owed her a living. Despite that, she was rather efficient. We were given our boarding passes after she has checked-in our luggage. Clearing the custom was fast as well due to the electronic clearance gates that we were able to use. We were at airside within minutes of clearing security and custom. Sydney Airport has a lot of shopping options, mostly selling Australian made products. There are also cafes and eateries around in the airside as well as opposite the departure gates. As with outbound flight, we were also boarded before Business Class passengers.
QF81 departs from Sydney Airport Terminal 1
Qantas occupies Row C for checking-in
The queue was very long for Economy Class at the check-in counter
We were diverted to check-in at Business Class counters as we have a pram in tow. There are no queues at the Business Class check-in counters
Passing this departure wall is the security and custom clearance
There are no lack of shopping options in Sydney Airport airside
Other than the standard spirits and tobacco, the airside has a number of shops selling Australian made products
There is quite a crowd at departure gate 32, where we board our flight to Singapore
Passengers with infants are boarded prior to Business Class passengers

The Cabin

Qantas uses A330-200 to ply between Singapore and Sydney, however we got 2 different variations of the aircraft. Both aircrafts has 2 different cabins, Business Class and Economy Class. Despite the different seats, both aircrafts has white cabin with red seats. The choice of white colour makes the Economy Class cabin look fresh and big. The Economy Class cabin is organised in 2-4-2 for both variations of the aircraft.
Qantas Economy Class cabin for the older A330-200 variant. The entire seat is red from headrest to the seats
A newer Qantas A330-200 variation with black headrest and seat. The seat back still retains the “Qantas” red

Lavatory onboard both variations of aircrafts are the same. They are of a decent size but has very limited amenities. There is only hand soap and tissues in the lavatory. No other amenities are present in the lavatory despite flying out on an overnight flight, no dental kits were offered or found in the lavatories.

Sink area in the lavatory
Tissues in the lavatory
Toilet
Mirrors
Coat hanger is found on the door of the lavatory
Amenities are limited in the lavatory, even for overnight flights, there are no dental kits
Handsoap is the only amenities provided in the lavatory

The Seat

SIN-SYD

The A330-200 that we flew from Singapore to Sydney seem to be the older version. There are signs of the aircraft being aging. The seats on this variation of Qantas A330-200 has a pitch of 31″ and width of 17.2″. The seats at the bulkhead is far more generous measuring about 60″. As we were seated in the bulkhead seats, there are pockets on the bulkhead to store inflight magazines and reading materials. However these pockets are unable to store items such as cameras. The Economy Class seats are rather simple and does not come with USB or power plugs. The recline button is found on the side of the armrest together with the headphone jacks. As with most Bulkhead seats, the tray tables are stored in the armrest of the seat. The seats are rather uncomfortable and I did not manage to get a good night rest.

The entire seat is red. These seats are not very comfortable especially for long flights
The legroom is generous for bulkhead seats
Aircraft safety card, reading materials and headphones are made available in the pocket on the bulkhead
Aircraft safety card
Magazines found in the seat pocket

 

Air-con ducts and lightings on the ceiling
Pillows and blankets are already placed on the seats when we board the aircraft
Tray tables are stored in the armrest of the seat
Business Class seats in this variation of Qantas A330-200. These seats does not offer 180° flat bed, rather they are angled flat beds

SYD-SIN

The A330-200 that we flew from Sydney to Singapore looks like it has been refurbished. The seats on this variation of Qantas A330-200 has a pitch of 31″ and is slightly wider at 17.5″. Unlike the previous variation, this version of A330-200 has a USB port located to the right of the IFE screen. The legroom feels a little cramp, especially so when the passenger in front reclines his/her seat. The IFE controller is fixed on the right armrest, which the placement is a tad counter intuitive. Many a times, I accidentally pressed on the IFE controller of my friend who is sitting next to me. The single layer seat pocket on the back of the front seat is rather standard and cannot store bulkier items such as a camera. As with the previous variation, the seat recline button and headphone jacks are located on the armrest. As with the previous flight, seats are rather uncomfortable and gave me a backache after the 8 hour flight.

 

Seats are decked out in red and black colour for this newer variation of the Qantas A330-200
There is a USB port on the side of the IFE screen
Seat pocket
Aircraft safety card
Reading materials founding the seat pocket
Legroom is a tad cramp in the Economy Class
Tray table
IFE controller is fixed on the armrest and the recline button on the armrest
Air-con ducts and lightings on the ceiling
Headphone Jacks
The new Business Class seats on this variation of Qantas A330-200 which offers passengers 180° flat bed

In Flight Entertainment

SIN-SYD

As mentioned earlier, this is an old aircraft. The In-Flight Entertainment system has a mere 8″ screen. As we were sitted at the bulkhead, the IFE screen is stowed below the seat and cannot be used during take-offs and landings. The controller for the IFE seem dated and is stored on the inner side panel of the seat. The screen on these seats are not touch screen, control of the movies to watch have to be made via the controller. The IFE system on this variation of the A330-200 seem to lag. Nonetheless, Qantas does offer a huge selection of entertain options on their IFE system. There are the latest Hollywood Blockbuster as well as tons of movies and TV shows to keep passengers entertained. The Headphone quality is a tad bad,  I had to adjust the headphones a few times to get sound on both sides of the headphone.

8″ IFE screen that is stored under the seat during take-off and landing
IFE controller store in the inner armrest of the seat
Bad quality Headphones provided onboard

SYD-SIN

As this variation of the Qantas A330-200 is newer, it has a 10.5″ IFE screen. The controller is fixed on the armrest of the seat and does not control the channels to be watched on the IFE screen except for the volume. Control for the shows are done directly on the touch screen IFE, which is quite sensitive. Brightness of the screen as well as on/off switch are found under the IFE screen itself. However as with the previous variation, the headphones provided suffer from constant poor connection issues.

10.5″ touch screen IFE screen on the newer variation of Qantas A330-200
IFE controller is fixed on the armrest and only controls the volume.  The placement is so bad that I keep on hitting the IFE controller of my friend’s seat

Meal Service

SIN-SYD

There are 2 meals being served onboard this leg of the flight. Shortly after the seat belt signs are turned off, the flight attendants went around passing passengers menus. Night snack is served shortly after the menus were distributed. No options are given for the night snack, however when we got the night snack, it is different from that stated in the menu. However I thought it is a good idea to serve wraps as night snack, which will not make one feel too full, and yet not allow one to go to sleep hungry in the night. Options were given for breakfast, we were offered either the omelette or fruits for breakfast together with coffee or tea. The food served is decent and does the purpose of filling one’s stomach. Qantas already placed a bottle of water in the seat pocket at the time we board the aircraft, which is not done on most other airlines.

Menus were distributed shortly after taking off
We had roasted chicken wrap for night snack
Omelette was distributed for breakfast

SYD-SIN

As with the previous leg, 2 meals are also served on this leg of the flight. As the flight was delayed, flight attendants went around distributing menus prior to take-off. Lunch was served shortly after taking-off and we were given 3 options to choose from. I opted for the Peri Peri chicken, which is rather dry and the portion served was a tad too small. The wedges are not fried but boiled and the sauce is bland. Another meal is served 1 hour prior to arrival. There are no options for this meal. We were given vegetarian Chinese stir fried noodles. The noodles itself taste decent, the sauce that is given is delicious.

Menu for the SYD-SIN leg
We were served “leftover” orange juices from Business Class cabin prior to take off
The Chicken tasted dry and the sauce is blend
The stir fried noodle is decent but the sauce that was given makes it taste delicious

Service

Service was a mix onboard Qantas and feels pretty much personality driven. While most of the flight attendants are friendly, there are some whom seem not too willing to serve. On the SIN-SYD flight, we asked for help from one of the attendants from Business Class. He came over unwillingly and chilled us off for asking for help. Guess he thinks helping Economy Class passengers is an insult to him. Other than him, the rest of the crew on Economy Class is a lot more friendlier. They were seen patrolling the cabin to check on passengers and were very responsive to call buttons. As the flight was relatively empty, one of the attendants, while conducting her night patrol of the cabin, approached me and notified me that I am free to occupy the 2 empty seats by the window to make myself more comfortable. Crews are certainly more friendly on the SYD-SIN flight. Attendants are always ready to help and constantly patrol the cabin to ensure passengers are well taken care of. Attendants voluntarily offered me drinks upon seeing my cup is empty and quickly return with a can of coke. As I felt hungry in the middle of the flight, I asked one of the attendants if there are buns left. Despite having no buns left, the flight attendants offered alternatives and brought me some nuts instead of just saying no. Attendants are seen smiling and helping passengers during boarding with storing their hand-carries on the overhead compartment.

Qantas flight attendants conducting safety demonstration, which is rare these days with most of the airlines showing safety demonstrations through their IFE

Afterthought

Qantas feels like they are operating on a budget concept. Despite including the meals and check-in baggages, other things such as choosing of seats is chargeable, unlike most other airlines. Qantas does not provide any amenities in the lavatory, and not even dental kits or eye shades for overnight flights. They even charge A$10 for a deck of poker cards, which many other airlines would give out complimentary. The seats are rather uncomfortable, given me backaches after the 8 hour flight from Singapore to Sydney and back. The food portion is small and tasted mediocre. Service is a mix but with more flight attendants whom are friendly, which makes up from the mediocre food and the bad seating. The IFE does the job of keeping passengers occupied with loads of entertainment options. Overall Qantas does the job of bringing passengers from one point to another, but the Economy Class seats are rather uncomfortable to travel in.
There was a delay in Sydney Airport and we were kept updated by the Captain of the flight
Soaring above Australia
Flying above the clouds onboard Qantas

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG670) / (TG671) – Business Class, BKK-CTS (13 Feb 17) / CTS-BKK-SIN (27 Feb 17)

Thai Airways uses the 777-300 for both BKK-CTS and CTS-BKK legs

On The Ground

BKK-CTS

Transiting in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

As this is a transit flight from Singapore, I did not perform any check-in for this leg of the flight. We were checked through from Singapore, hence when we reached Bangkok we referred to the flight information for the gate that our flight will be departing. Thai Airways seem to have the practice of putting the arrival and departure flights far apart. As Suvarnabhumi Airport is a big airport, we catered sufficient time to walk to our departure gate.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is a big airport. Do cater sufficient time to walk to the departure gate when transiting

Thai Airways Lounge

There are 4 Thai Airways Lounges for Business Class passengers and 1 Royal Orchid Spa Lounge in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Business Class passengers flying out or transiting Bangkok are treated to 30 mins head and shoulder or foot massage in Royal Orchid Spa. However due to the time constraint, we did not have go for the massage. We visited the Lounge in Concourse C, which has shower facilities and nearer to our departure gate. Both lounges at Concourse C (they are opposite each other) has shower facilities, however Concourse C East Lounge has lesser people waiting for shower at the time of our visit. The lounge is a fairly small lounge, decked in brown and purple colours. There are limited seatings in this lounge. On top of the shower facilities, this lounge as an internet area. There are some finger food and drinks for passengers to enjoy while waiting for their flight. As with the lounge in Changi Airport, there are some reading materials like local newspaper and magazines for passengers to read. One thing to note is that Thai Airways lounges does not announce which Thai Airways flight is departing, the onus is on passengers to note their departure timing and make their way to the departure gate in good time.

 

We used the Concourse C East Lounge as the queue for the shower is shorter and is the closest to our boarding gate
TG670 departed from Gate C6
Looks like a full flight tonight

CTS-BKK

Check-in

Thai Airways uses check-in counters B10 to B15 in New Chitose Airport is located on the right side of the International Terminal Building. There are 2 counters dedicated for Business Class Check-in and 4 counters for Economy Class passengers. The queue is short at the Business Class counters, we did not have to wait for too long to get ourselves checked in. Checking-in is fast and the ground staff were very courteous and friendly. They briefed us on the standard stuff like where the boarding gate is and what time we have to be at the boarding gate. We were also given directions on where the airlines lounge is located before the ground staff wished us a pleasant flight. There are no priority lanes for Business Class passengers in New Chitose Airport. There is a long queue forming at the security clearance, it is a good thing to arrive at the airport ahead of time so that one can enjoy the lounge.
Thai Airways uses the counters in section B in New Chitose Airport for check-in
Business Class queue is separated from Economy Class
2 counters dedicated to Business Class passengers
Do arrive at New Chitose Airport early as the queue to clear security was very long at the time of my checking-in

Airlines Lounge

There is only one lounge in the International Terminals in New Chitose Airport. All Business Class passengers departing New Chitose Airport uses the Royal Lounge, which is located on the 4th floor of the terminal building. It is right up the escalator on the right after immigration clearance. There are 2 sections to the lounge, one for Business Class passengers of all airlines departing New Chitose Airport and a smaller section (payable) for certain credit card holders. The lounge is decked out in comfortable and cosy earthy tones with 125 seats in the general area and 12 seats in the smoking room. There is a small counter serving limited food and drinks for guests to enjoy before their flight. There is also a snooze area at the far most end of the lounge. As this is a silent lounge, no flight announcements were made and passengers are to note their departure time and arrive at their boarding gate in good time.
Thai Airways uses Royal Lounge in New Chitose Airport. This is the only airlines lounge in the airport
Entrance to Royal Lounge in New Chitose Airport
Reception in Royal Lounge
Seatings in the airlines section of Royal Lounge
More seatings and a mini buffet with finger food
Rest area in Royal Lounge
Smoking room in Royal Lounge
Relax area in Royal lounge
Buffet area in Royal Lounge
I had some onigaris in Royal Lounge
There is limited shopping in the airside of New Chitose Airport
TG671 departs from Gate 67 in New Chitose Airport

In-Flight

Cabin

Thai Airways uses B777-300 for both BKK-CTS and CTS-BKK legs of the flight. The Business Class section mainly uses the signature Thai Airways purple colour theme in this cabin. There are 34 Business Class seats arranged in 2-3-2 configuration, less first row which has a configuration of 2-2-2. There are 330 seats in Economy Class section. I find the open concept in the Business Class section of the B777-300 to be spacious, despite lacking privacy. The colour theme of the Business Class section makes one feel comfortable. Amenity kits were already placed on each seat when I boarded the aircraft. Thai Airways uses Naraya pouch for the BKK-CTS leg and Furla pouch for the CTS-BKK leg. I noticed Thai Airways alternates the pouch for outbound and inbound flights. The contents inside the pouch remain the same with the standard slippers, dental kit, lip balm, moisturiser, ear plugs and eye mask.
Boarding the Thai Airways B777-300
Thai Airways B777-300 Business Class Cabin
The Business Class cabin is decked out in purple
Thai Airways Business Class cabin
Legroom is excellent on Thai Airways B777-300 Business Class cabin
Overhead light and seat belt signs
Amenities kit in Naraya pouch was given on BKK-CTS leg
Me holding Furla bag containing amenities kits distributed on the CTS-BKK leg

There are 2 Business Class lavatories up front behind the cockpit onboard. As with most Business Class onboard Thai Airways, the lavatory is a tad small and offers very minimum amenities. Other than the hand soap, other additional amenities are a more upscale eau-de-cologne (as compared to Economy Class) and body lotion. These are also present in Economy Class lavatories. Perhaps the differentiating factor in the Business Class lavatory is the presence of orchid flowers and handkerchiefs on top of the tissues provided. Otherwise, I thought it is no difference (and perhaps even worse) than Economy Class lavatories.

The only amenities in the lavatory in Thai Airways Business Class lavatory
I like the sensor activated tap in the lavatory
Large mirrors in the lavatory in Business Class cabin
Toilet bowl
There is a hook for coats on the door of the lavatory
There is another full-length mirror in the lavatory
Airsick bag and sanitary napkins in the lavatory

Seats

The Business Class seats onboard the B777-300 has a pitch of 66″ and width of 20″. It is not true 180° flatbed, but a 163° angled flatbed. Passengers who are used to the 180° flatbed might find the seat when converted into bed mode to be a tad sloppy. The controls to the seat mode are found on the armrest of the chair. The Business Class cabin seats have 3 modes, the upright mode for takeoff and landings, lounge mode and bed mode. I find the lounge mode most comfortable when watching movies on the IFE. The legroom in the Business Class seats is excellent. I have plenty of space to stretch out, thanks to the open concept of the cabin. The seat even comes with a functioning massage function. The seat controls are located on the left armrest on the seat. There is a small “coffee” table between 2 seats, which creates space to put drinks or other nicknacks. The headphone jack and power outlet are located in a small space under the centre armrest. The seat even has a cup holder and generous space where in-flight reading materials are stow behind in front.

 

Seat in Business Class onboard Thai Airways B777-300 in take-off/landing mode
Seat in lounge mode onboard Thai Airways B777-300.  I find this mode to be most comfortable when watching movies on the IFE
Seat onboard Thai Airways Business Class cabin in bed mode. The maximum recline in this mode is 163°
The seat pocket in front can hold a lot of things and there are 2 cup holders
Seat control on the armrest of each seat onboard Thai Airways Business Class cabin
This small button does not do anything. Wonder why was it there in the first place
Additional in-seat reading light
The small ledge that can hold a camera. Headphone jacks and a power outlet is also found here
Thai Airways B777-300 aircraft safety card
Contents of the seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways B777-300 has a large IFE display screen on the back of the seat in front of my seat. Thai Airways has a 15″ TV screen with touchscreen functions in its Business Class cabin. Despite being an ageing aircraft, the IFE is not laggy and the touch screen function is still rather responsive. There are plenty of options for entertainment in the IFE, including the latest movies, selected TV shows and games. The controls for IFE is stow under the armrest of the seat.

The 15″ TV screen found onboard Thai Airways B777-300 Business Class cabin 
IFE controller stowed in the armrest
Noise cancelling headphones found only in Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways B777-300

Meal Service

Thai Airways used to have the option to pre-order meals from a menu online for their Business Class passengers. They still had that last year when I flew with them to Seoul. However this year, this service seems to have ceased and is only available to their passengers flying on First Class.

BKK-CTS

Prior to taking off, Business Class passengers are served welcome drinks with hot towels. I always asked for the signature Thai Airways drink, Violet Bliss, which is not part of the drinks on the tray that the pursuers go around serving. Meal orders were taken after the welcome drinks are being served. As this is a night flight, no meals were being served after taking off, there are no snacks made available for passengers. However, passengers can request for Ramen Soup with Simmered Pork or Tuna Onigiri served with Miso Soup should one gets hungry in the night. Breakfast was served 2 hours before landing. I opted for the Western Set which comprises of French Toast with Capsicum served with assorted bread and Fresh Fruits as well as yoghurt. The food was served together instead of by courses, feels a little like Economy Class but in fanciful china. I find the French Toast to be blend and a little dry, there isn’t much flavouring to the food served. I thought the assorted bread tasted better. I did go for the fruits as I don’t eat strawberry and kiwi fruits. The meal wasn’t that satisfying.

Welcome drink and hot towels were distributed prior to taking off. This purple drink is Thai Airways signature drink Violet Bliss 
Menu for this leg of the flight
Menu for this leg of the flight
Western Breakfast served onboard Thai Airways. It all came together instead of course by course

CTS-BKK

As with the outbound leg, passengers were served welcome drinks and hot towels prior to taking off. However, when I asked for their signature Violet Bliss, we were told it is not available as the drinks had been stored overnight, hence they are not serving that. This was not the case when I flew with Thai Airways the year before, we were served Violet Bliss when we flew out of Seoul. Since the pursuers claim they are not serving overnight Violet Bliss, I asked for a glass of Apple Juice. A bowl of nuts was served shortly after taking off when the pursuers went around serving drinks.

The menu was distributed at the same time when the welcome drink was served prior to take off
Welcome drinks
Snacks and drinks were served shortly after taking off

I ordered the Japanese Bento Set for lunch. The Bento Set comprises of Teriyaki Salmon served with vegetables and mushroom with Japanese Rice. Part of the Bento Set also includes sashimi, and grilled pork belly and fresh fruits. Miso Soup and cold soba also form part of the Bento Set. While the bento set is rather sumptuous, the miso soup tasted like a lot of MSG has been put into it and the salmon tasted blend. The Sashimi did not last fresh, but edible. The best tasting of all was the soba noodles. Mango pudding was served as dessert which I find it tasty and not too sour.

I opted for the Japanese Bento Set
Japanese Bento Set that I have ordered
Dessert was served later. This mango pudding was delicious

Prior to landing, as we were still a little hungry, we ordered the all day meal of Tomato Rice with Scrambled Eggs. The Tomato Rice tasted blend and the scrambled eggs could do with a little pepper.

Midflight Snack

Service

BKK-CTS

The service onboard Thai Airways Business Class was disappointing and mediocre at best. It is not a service standard that one would expect in Business Class section. We requested for additional pillows from one of the pursuers, but she did not come back with any, despite walking past us a few times. The seat my friend was occupying did not recline, not even an inch. We brought up the issue to one of the pursuers, whom literally stripped the whole chair in an attempt to fix it. After failing to do so for 10 mins, the pursuer gave up and consulted another pursuer (whom we believe should be the in-flight manager). The other pursuer came and also tried to fix the seat, but gave up and declared the seat defective after another 10 mins of trying. She later told us to wait and see if she can swap seats for us. After another 5 mins passed, she came back and told us to move to another seat occupied by a cabin crew. No help was offered to shift our carry-on luggage and the pillows and quilt. The said pursuer stood by watching as we were shifting our stuff in the middle of the night. When I brought up the issue of our request for extra pillows and no one gives a damn about it, the pursuer turned defensive and claimed that they need time to look for pillows. She finally gave us the extra pillows we asked for reluctantly. Unsatisfied with her attitude, I spoke to another pursuer about her who was passing by. The pursuer in question walked by and overheard our conversation and told me if there are any problems just speak to her directly and don’t need to talk to anyone else. That got to be the rudest and most defensive response I have heard, especially in Business Class where I thought passengers will be treated better. Most of the time pursuers were seen crowding in the pantry talking amongst themselves rather than going around to see if any passengers needed anything. To make matters worse, I found my luggage damaged with a 30cm crack despite the fragile tag being tagged onto my luggage. Makes me wonder if these fragile tags are for show.

Pursuers serving welcome drinks after passengers were settled into their seat. This is the only time when service was good
There is a 30cm crack on my Samsonite luggage when I collected it at the belt

CTS-BKK

The service on the CTS-BKK leg was slightly better than the BKK-CTS leg. Upon boarding, one of the pursuers noted that my friend cannot take beef and notified us of the diet restriction. When the meal was served (despite all 3 options not having any beef), my friend was served the vegetarian meal. My friend asked if he can choose the bento option (there is no beef in that option), the pursuer who brought him the meal told my friend that his meal is a special order, hence he cannot order anything else from the menu. When questioned that all 3 options do not contain beef, the pursuer than offered to bring my friend something else if there are any leftovers. I was rather puzzled by this remark. She later came back with more food for my friend, which looked like something she pulled together from Economy Class Section in a sloppy presentation. While it is a nice gesture that the pursuers took note of my friend’s diet restriction, however, it is rather disheartening to learn that my friend cannot order anything from the menu when all 3 options had no beef. I am not too sure why the inflexibility attitude displayed by the pursuer in a Business Class cabin.

The only time friendly service was rendered is during boarding

Afterthought

Although Thai Airways B777-300 is an ageing aircraft,  I find the seats to be spacious and most comfortable in the lounge mode. The angled flat bed may turn some off but still provided good rest especially for a night flight. The lavatory is cramp and has not much amenities than the Economy Class lavatory less some orchids and handkerchiefs and more upscale Eau-de-cologne. What shocked me the most is the service in the Premium Business Class cabin. Pursuers were defensive and did not render help whatsoever. I find Thai Airways Business Class not worthy to spend that extra penny over with such lousy service attitude. This is the last time I will be flying Thai Airways, especially in their Business Class.
Day breaking on the BKK-CTS leg
Arriving into Hokkaido
New Chitose Airport viewed from above
Japan coastline

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG410) / (TG409) – Business Class, SIN-BKK (13 Feb 17) /BKK-SIN (1 Mar 17)

Thai Airways uses their new A350-900 for both SIN-BKK-SIN leg

On the Ground

SIN-BKK

Premier Check-in Lounge

Thai Airways depart from Terminal 1 in Changi International Airport. The airline counter is located in row 4, near to the Skytrain in Terminal 1. Premium passengers are treated to check-in at the Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge at the end of Row 4. Checking in at the lounge makes one feel like a VIP, in the classy and earthy designed lounge. The check-in is very fast and the check-in staff briefed us on the standard items like where the gate is and what time is boarding. On top of that, we were also invited to the Thai Airways Lounge prior to boarding.
Thai Airways Business Class passengers can check-in at the Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1

 

Inside the Premier Check-in Lounge
Thai Airways Check-in Counter inside Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge
The check-in experience is very good in the Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge

Thai Airways Lounge

The Thai Airways Lounge is located one floor above the departure hall in the transit area. The earthy lounge is very comfortable and cosy and has a large seating area decked out with mostly armchairs. There are some simple finger food and drinks available for Business Class passengers to enjoy. Reading materials such as local and Thai newspapers, magazines are also available for passengers to read.
Entrance to Thai Airways Lounge in Changi Airport
The lounge is decked out in purple and earthy colour schemes
Reading material for passengers
There are plenty of seats for passengers
Mostly finger food is being served in the Thai Airways Lounge in Changi Airport
Drinks for all passengers
TG410 departs from gate C13 in Changi Airport
Boarding gate at C13

BKK-SIN

Check-in

Thai Airways dedicates Row A, located at the left side of Suvarnabhumi Airport, for its premium passengers. Passengers are treated to sit-down check-in at that row and dedicated immigration clearance, which is empty at the time of my checking-in. The ground staff at Suvarnabhumi wasn’t as friendly as I thought. There were no smiles and conversations were non-existent. She just passed us our boarding pass and did not even mention which lounge is nearer to our gate nor where our gate was at.

Dedicated check-in row for First and Business Class passengers
The check-in rows for premium passengers are located in Row A in Suvarnabhumi Airport
At check-in counter in row A
Check-in counters at Row A. We were escorted to a counter that is available instead of hunting for one

Thai Airways Lounge

There are 4 Thai Airways Lounges for Business Class passengers and 1 Royal Orchid Spa Lounge in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Business Class passengers flying out or transiting Bangkok are treated to 30 mins head and shoulder or foot massage in Royal Orchid Spa. However, due to the time constraint, we did not have to go for the massage. We visited the Lounge in Concourse E, which is a fairly large lounge. There are more food options here as compared to that in Changi Airport, food was seen topped up regularly to ensure there are sufficient to go around. There is also a wide range of drinks available in the lounge. As with the lounge in Changi Airport, there are some reading materials like local newspaper and magazines for passengers to read.
Royal Silk Lounge at Concourse E
There are a number of seating for passengers
Some of the food that passengers can chow before the flight
Some of the food I grabbed before our flight
Phad Thai and Thai Style Hainanese Chicken Rice. Both are tasty and flavourful
TG409 departs from Gate E5

In-Flight

Cabin

Thai Airways uses their new A350-900 for both legs of the flight. The new aircraft cabin still screams of the signature Thai Airways purple theme, and the seats look classy with the timber finishing. There are 32 seats in Business Class and 289 seats in Economy Class Section. The seats in Thai Airways A350 are arranged in 1-2-1 configuration, which means all Business Class passengers onboard having direct aisle access.
Flight attendants greeting passengers onboard the Thai Airways A350-900. This is the only time they are friendly
Business Class onboard Thai Airways A350-900, decked in the signature Thai Airways purple
Even the lightings are in purple onboard in the Business Class cabin
Electronic displays on the ceiling of A350-900
The lavatory onboard the A350-900 is a tad small. There is one at the forward of the cabin and 2 more at the aft of the Business Class cabin. There isn’t much amenities in the lavatory, feels pretty much like an Economy Class lavatory. What I like about the lavatory is the sensor tap and the sensor activated trash bin covers.
The sink in the A350-900 looks modern
Cabinet where tissues and handkerchiefs are stowed in the lavatory
Mirror in the lavatory is large
Ea u-de-cologne and hand lotions are the only other amenities found in the lavatory in the Business Class lavatory
I like the sensor activated trash bin cover in the lavatory
Toilet bowl
There are some coat hangers on the doors of the lavatory

 

Very basic lavatory onboard the Business Class
Only difference between Economy and Business Class lavatory are the orchids

Seats

The seats onboard Thai Airways A350-900 has a pitch of Pitch of 73.5″ and width of 20″. The seats can be converted into a 180° truly flat bed. The seats has several mode other than being capable of converting into a flat bed, there is also a lounge mode, which I find it very comfortable to sit on while watching movies. Despite having a massage function, the massage function on my seat is not working. I find the seats a little cramp, especially in lounge mode where leaving and entering the seat is rather difficult. Seat controls are situated at the side of the seat at the side of the small table. There are 2 lightings, including a reading light placed at the side of the seat. Inflight reading materials are placed in the pocket above the side table of the seat. There are several storage spaces at the lower side of the seat, however these impractical storage spaces can only hold magazines, they are too narrow to put my camera, and are too deep to place my passport into (it is rather dirty inside as well). International plug power sockets and headphone jackets are located at the side table, there is a USB outlet beneath the IFE TV.

 

Business Class seats onboard the Thai Airways A350-900
Business Class seats in upright mode on Thai Airways A350-900
Business Class seats in lounge mode on Thai Airways A350-900
Business Class seats in fully flat bed mode on Thai Airways A350-900

 

Reading light and reading materials in the seat
Aircraft safety card
Power plug and headphone jack is found on the side of the seat
Seat and light control buttons are found by the side table
Tray table folded up
Impractical storage space which does not hold anything other than books. It is too deep to put my mobile phone in
Footrest in the Business Class seats onboard Thai Airways A350-900
The legroom is good onboard Thai Airways A350-900
Aircraft safety card  and airsick bags are store in the small seat pocket at the entrance of the seat

In-Flight Entertainment

The new Thai Airways A350-900 has a 16″ flat screen TV in front of every seat. These touch screen TVs can also be controlled by the new generation, smart phone like controller at the side of the seat. The system is not at all laggy, which is very much welcomed. The IFE has a large library of movies, including latest movies to keep me entertained throughout the flight.
The 16″ touch screen TV in Business Class
IFE controller is touch screen as well
USB ports beneath the TV

Meal Service

SIN-BKK

Meal orders were taken prior to taking off, at the same time as the welcome drink is being served. However, I wasn’t volunteered welcome drink onboard and had to ask for one. What a bad start to the flight. After taking off. soon after the seatbelt sign was turned off, pursuers sprung into action serving the food that we have ordered. Food was not served by courses but was given all in one tray, much like Economy Class except that they are placed in more fanciful plates. I had the Seared Prawn with Sweet Chili Sauce, which I find the prawns to be rubberish. Pandan Sago Seed with Water Chestnut is being served as dessert, which I find tastier than the main dish. It is not too sweet and has a nice texture to it.

Menu for the flight
Almond is served after take off
Table laid out for meal service
Snack before dinner
Sear Prawn in Sweet Chili Sauce

BKK-SIN

As with the outbound leg, welcome drinks were being served onboard prior to taking off. This time around I did not have to ask for it, it was volunteered. However, the male flight attendant did not know the name of their signature drink. We had to ask for it from another flight attendant. Meal orders were taken. No nuts were served prior to taking off. After taking off, we were promptly served the food that we ordered, which again was served all at one go instead of by courses. I had to Fried Prawn inLychee Sauce. The fried prawn wasn’t crispy but tasted great with the lychee sauce. I particularly like the Fried Rice that comes with the prawn dish, which tasted good and not too oily. We were served salmon and chicken breast as the appetiser, which I find them to be tasty. I did not take the dessert as I was full.

Meals being served on this flight
Table being laid for dinner. There is no pre-dinner snack
The Fried Prawn in Lychee sauce is rather tasty

Service

Service was lacking onboard both legs of the flight, not befitting of Business Class. I felt no different than flying in Economy Class. Flight attendants were seen just doing their job, instead of making passengers feel welcomed. No help was rendered to any passengers in storing their carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment.

Pursers were hiding in the pantry most of the time on both legs of the flight. The male flight attendant on the right is outright rude and clueless about service

SIN-BKK

Service is bad on this leg. The pursuers were not smiling and not making passengers feel welcome onboard. This makes me think that the signature Thai smile I have seen in Thai Airways advertisements is just for advertisements. I was conveniently skipped when serving the welcome drink. The tray tables were set up very sloppily, with the attendant holding onto the food in one hand and trying to set up the table with the other. I helped the flight attendant to lower the tray table and layout the tablecloth, she did not even utter a word of thanks.

BKK-SIN

The worst service got to be rendered from this leg of my flight. A male attendant serving us was constantly in a foul mood. No smiles came from him. When asked for their signature welcome drink, he did not even know what that was and wanted to give us coke. I had to ask another flight attendant for the Thai Airways Signature drink. The same foul mood male attendant did not seem to understand the difference in service between Business and Economy Class. I was handed food over my friend, who was about to had his dinner. The male flight attendant simply did not care if my friend was eating. Instead of putting the food down onto my table, I was made to take over the food from him and placed them onto my table. There is another incident involving the same male flight attendant. After the seat belts signs went off, I went to the lavatory. The light outside the toilet suggested that no one was inside the lavatory. I was trying to open the lavatory door, and the male flight attendant saw it. He just ignored what I was doing, but after some time, he must had felt irritated and told me “Someone inside” and ask me to wait. A female passenger came waiting for the same toilet and he actually told her there is 2 more behind. He could have told me the same information instead of making me wait for the toilet. I overheard him telling the passenger in the toilet before me to lock the toilet door properly the next time he uses it.

Afterthought

While the only A350-900 recently joined the Thai Airways fleet, I thought the use of space for the seats a little lacking. There is not much practical storage space for some gadgets like mobile phones and cameras. The side pocket is too deep and too dirty to be useful. The seats feel cramp and were difficult to enter and exit when in lounge mode. The massage function did not work on both legs of my flight onboard the A350-900. The amenities in the lavatory is lacking.
What irritates me the most is the service onboard. The attendants made me feel as though I was flying in Economy Class. Not much smiles from anyone and certainly no help was rendered. The worst is the male attendant who did not even know the name of Thai Airways Signature drink. Food was passed over my friend’s head by the male attendant. After this experience, I will not take another Thai Airways, especially in their Business Class. They are not worth paying a premium for.

[Airline Review] – All Nippon Airways (ANA4862) – Economy Class, MMB-CTS, (20 Feb 17)

ANA uses the Bombardier DHC8-Q400 for MMB to CTS

On The Ground

Check-in

There are only 2 airlines that flies from Memanbetsu Airport – ANA and JAL. The check-in for ANA in Memanbetsu Airport is located on the 1st floor of the terminal building, on the left most side of the airport. There are 3 ANA check-in counters in Memanbetsu, with counter 3 being the counter that takes check-in luggage. We did not have to wait for our turn to check in as there are no one in the queue. ANA has a straight to gate service for passengers without check-in luggage, which could be the reason for no one at the queue for check-in. Checking-in was very fast, after the staff at the counter verified our names on the system, she handed over our boarding passes to us. We were also briefed on which gate to go to and the boarding time for the short 50 min flight to New Chitose Airport. As we have luggage to be checked in, the staff at the ANA counter invited us to the x-ray machine in front of counter 3. After our luggage has been scanned by airport security, the ANA staff at counter 3 took over our luggage for checking-in.
ANA sign outside MMB Airport
ANA check-in counter is located on level 1 to the left of MMB Airport. There are 3 counters for ANA, counter 3 is used to receive check-in luggages
JAL Check-in counters beside ANA counter
There are limited shops in MMB airport

Boarding Gate

Departure halls in Memanbetsu Airport is located on 2nd floor of the terminal building, where security checks are being done before we are allowed into the airside of the terminal building. Memanbetsu Airport is a very small domestic airport, there are not many shops around in the airside. Our flight departs from Gate 4, where the announcement for boarding was done soon after we arrived at the airside. Boarding was done fairly fast at Gate 4. As there are no aerobridges to the aircraft, we headed down to level 1 and out onto the tarmac to board ANA4862 bound for New Chitose Airport.
More shops are located on the departure level 2 in MMB Airport
Security clearance before entering the airside of the airport

 

There is only one shop at the airside of MMB Airport
Flight information at airside of MMB Airport
Waiting areas are open concept. Most of the time the airport is empty as there is only one flight departing at any one time

 

ANA uses Gate 4 for this MMB-CTS flight

 

ANA4862 sitting on the tarmac waiting for passengers to board
Luggage collection in CTS Domestic Terminal

In-Flight

The Cabin

ANA uses the twin propeller engine Bombardier DHC8-Q400 for the flight to New Chitose. The aircraft only has one class, with a total of 74 Economy Class seats arranged in 2-2 configuration. The cabin is decked out in the iconic ANA shades of blue seats and white cabin.
Blue seats onboard ANA4962
Seats are arranged in 2-2 configuration onboard

Lavatory

There is only one lavatory onboard ANA4862, located in front of the aircraft, behind the cockpit. Despite being small, the lavatory has all the basic necessities. The amenities in the lavatory is limited to handsoap and tissues.
Sink in the lavatory

 

Large mirrors onboard ANA DHC8-Q400
Tissues and seat covers are found on the bulkhead of the lavatory
Toilet bowl inside the lavatory

 

Handle beside the toilet bowl is a nice touch

 

Air flow duct and return to seat signal inside the lavatory

 

The toilet flush is located beneath the sink

 

Amenity kit drawer and little bin

 

Limited amenities in the lavatory

The Seats

All the 74 seats onboard has a pitch of 31″ and width of 17″. The legroom is very good considering it being a single class aircraft. As this is a domestic flight, there are no IFEs onboard. The seats on board are very basic but comfortable for the 50 min fight time to New Chitose Airport. There is only a button on the armrest for passengers to reclining the seats. The control for lighting is located on the ceiling above our seats. The reading materials are stowed in the single compartment large seat pocket. The single piece tray table is large enough for one to put a 13″ laptop on comfortably.
The seats onboard ANA DHC8-Q400 is very basic, but does the job for a short domestic flight
Legroom is very good onboard the ANA DHC8-Q400
Seat pocket and tray table folded

 

Tray table is large enough to put a 13″ laptop

 

There is only one recline button on the armrest of the seat

 

Aircon duct and light controls are located on the ceiling above the seats
Aircraft safety card
Seat pocket contents
Taking off from MMB Airport. The ANA DHC8-Q400 uses twin propeller jet

 

Flying over Hokkaido, the flight is very smooth and comfortable

Beverage Service

Due to the short flight time, no food or snacks are served onboard. Soon after the seat belts signs are off, both pursuers quickly jumped into action to serve passengers either coffee or tea. Pursuers went around the cabin 2nd time to check if passengers need more drinks.

 

I opted for coffee during this short flight from MMB to CTS

Service

The service on the ground and onboard are fantastic. On the ground, the staffs are very welcoming and did not allow us to wait for too long. After checking-in, the ground ANA staffs thanked us for flying with ANA. Instructions for checking-in of luggage and departure information were given very clearly in the excellent Japanese style service. Despite only having 2 pursuers onboard, service is by no means lacking. Pursuers were seen bowing to passengers during boarding and would go around helping passengers stowing their carry-ons in the overhead compartment. The pursuers would bow and thank passengers for flying with ANA when taxiing for take off. They are also seen smiling to passengers throughout the 50min flight to CTS. When serving drinks. the pursuers kept their smiles on. I noticed that the pursuers would always check cleanliness of the lavatory whenever passengers used the toilet. These friendly pursuers made me feel welcome and wanted to try their product on International Sectors. At no time I witness pursuers not smiling throughout the flight. During disembarking, these friendly pursuers were seen bowing to passengers and thanking them for flying with ANA.
One of the only two pursuers onboard this flight to CTS
As there are no IFEs, safety demonstrations are dome manually by the pursuers

Afterthought

My experience with ANA flying on their Bombadier DHC8-Q400 is a very pleasant one. The aircraft is very well maintained and the flight was very smooth. Despite in Economy Class, the legroom is superb. The service is top notch from check-in to onboard services. Despite having only 2 pursuers onboard, the service is by no means lacking. Pursuers are seen smiling all the time and helping passengers, displaying pride in their work despite being a domestic route. Such service is far better than some renowned international airlines and definitely better than the Business Class I flew into Hokkaido onboard Thai Airways. This short experience with ANA made me want to fly on their international routes.
ANA4862 flying over Hokkaido
Flying over Hokkaido
Approaching for landing in CTS
Touch down at CTS