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

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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.

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My flight from Bangkok to Singapore departs from Gate E1A

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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.

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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.

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Seats in Thai Airways B777-300 Economy Class Cabin

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Tray table folded down

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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.

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Touchscreen TV on each seat in Economy Class cabin

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IFE controller is found on the right armrest on each seat

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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.

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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.

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Flight attendants preparing to distribute meal

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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)

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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.

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Check-in counters for Business Class passengers

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thai Airways A380 Business Class cabin during boarding

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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

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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.

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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.

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Each Business Class seat has a 15″ touchscreen TV

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Flight attendants during meal service

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Flight attendants patrolling the cabin

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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.

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Thai Airways A380 flying through the clouds

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

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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.

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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.

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

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The rear Economy Class section on board Thai Airways A380

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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.

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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.

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

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The IFE Controller is found below the AVOD screen

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Flying over the Sea of Japan

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Thai Airways A350 Economy Class Cabin seats
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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.

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IFE system and controller

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

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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.

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I had the fish with rice option

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

Boeing 777-300 used for this BKK-SIN route

On The Ground

Check-in

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

Lounge

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Seat

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

In-Flight Entertainment

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

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

Meal Service

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

Service

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

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

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

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

Overall

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

 

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

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG659) ICN-BKK – Business Class (7 Jan 16)

The bird that will bring us to BKK from ICN

On The Ground

Check-in

Thai Airways check-in area is located at row J, to the left side of the terminal on level 3. As with most other airlines, Business Class passengers has a dedicated check-in counter (J21 and J22). Check-in was swift, thanks to the mobile check-in on the Thai Airways app. However after checking in our luggages, the staff at the check-in desk requested us to wait by the side for around 5 mins for our luggage to be x-rayed before proceeding to the airside as we were informed that there was some problems with the x-ray machine. There was however no one to inform us if our luggages has cleared the x-ray machines and we were free to proceed to the immigration area.
Thai Airways uses Row J for Check-in
Counters J21 and J22 for Royal Silk Class Passengers
Quite a queue for Economy Class Check-in
Looks like a full flight in Economy Class

Lounge

Thai Airways uses Asiana Airlines Lounge for its premium passengers. There is one located at the satellite terminal of Incheon Airport. A friendly staff (from Asiana Airlines) greeted passengers when collecting their boarding pass for verification. After the verification, the staff directed us to the Business Class section of the lounge, whose entrance is located to the right of the lounge. Past the entrance, the earth-toned lounge opens up to the lounge area, furnished with arm chairs and small coffee tables, the lounge is rather conducive for one to relax in while waiting for one’s flight. There is also a small dinning area, with dinner tables for 2 located next to the buffet area. The buffet area is tucked in one corner on a kitchen island, with mainly sandwiches, bread and salads on offering. The beverage area is located behind the buffet island with both hot and cold options. There are rest areas, with massage chairs, and shower/toilet area tucked in one corner of the lounge. The staffs at the lounge are very friendly and welcoming. They are also attentive and cleared empty plates fairly quickly.
Asiana Lounge in the Satellite Terminal
Entrance to Asiana Lounge
Business Class Section of the lounge
Earthy tone that felt comfortable and relaxed
Passenger Rest area of the lounge
Salad and pasta at the buffet island
Bread on offer
Beverage section
Snooze area
Inside each pod is a massage chair
Shower facilities in the lounge
View of the terminal from outside the lounge

There are no lack of shopping at the airside in the main terminal. Luxury brands such as LV, Bottega Veneta are found in the main terminal. There is also an area for passengers to experience Korean Culture through arts and craft. However at the satellite terminal, shopping options are rather minimal. Incheon Airport has open waiting area concept and the gates are not separated by rooms or partitions.

Airside at the main terminal
Signage at the main terminal
Shopping at the main terminal
Main terminal
Korean Cultural Experience Centre in the Satellite Terminal
Open waiting area in Incheon International Airport
Business Class passengers have a separate queue when boarding
At the aerobridge
Familiar Thai Airways livery
Business Class boarding gate

The Cabin

TG operates 777-300 for this ICN-BKK leg. Entering the iconic Thai airways purple themed cabin, 34 seats Business Class cabin with 2-3-2 configuration, expect for one row which has 2 seats in the centre, welcomes the passengers onboard.
Thai Airways Business Class Cabin
Boeing 777-300 serving ICN-BKK

There are 2 lavatories in Business Class and both were located just before the entrance to the cockpit. The lavatories were a tad cramp. Amenities available in the premium class lavatories include hand soap, moisturiser and eau-de-toilet. Other than using tissue papers, handkerchiefs were available in the lavatory. I particularly like the sensor tap in the lavatory.

Amenities inside the lavatory
Sensor tap
Both handkerchiefs and tissues are available
Toilet Paper

The Seat

As with most TG flights, Thai Airways uses shell seats in its Business Class cabin. Each seat has a pitch of 70″ and width of 20″. The seats can be reclined to an angle of 170 degrees, which provided an almost flat bed for passengers whom would like to snooze during the flight. Leg room is superb in this cabin. The seats comes with a massage function in the form of vibration. Seat controls are located on the left side of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the right armrest, together with a power socket. There are no USB plugs on the seats. An additional reading light is located on the top of the seat, other than the ones on the ceiling of the cabin. There are a couple of cup holders and some slots for reading materials behind the seat in front of us. Amenity kits and pillows as well as blankets are already distributed on the seats waiting for passengers at the time of our boarding.

Business Class seat
Amenities Kit using Samsonite bags uses by Thai Airways
Seat controls
Additional Reading Lamp
Leg room is superb onboard
Some reading materials in the seat pocket
Seat in fully reclined mode
Seat in lounging mode

Entertainment

TG has fantastic AVOD onboard, featuring a 15″ touch screen TV. However I thought the touch screen function isn’t that responsive. There are no lack of options to keep passengers entertained throughout the flight. I particularly like the way the movies are being organised with the latest release and Thai Movies some of the options. Passengers can also list to music onboard with a wide range of genre, one is bound to find a genre of music that one prefers. The controller for the AVOD is located under the armrest, however the controller is of an older model. Noise cancelling headphones were made available for Business Class passengers

Large 15″ touch screen TV in Business Class
Noise cancelling headphones
AVOD control
Back side of the AVOD control

Meal Service

Once settled into my seat, a friendly pursuer me by and distribute welcome drinks as well as warm towel. Drinks options include the signature Thai Airways “Violet Bliss” (I highly recommend this drink, it goes very well with Pierre Carbonated Water), Champagne, Orange and Apple Juices. As soon as the seat belt sign went off, the pursuers were seen springing into action and served nuts and more drinks. Another pursuer came around distributing menus and returned moments later to take our orders.

Welcome drinks were served the moment passengers board the aircraft
Meal menu
Drinks menu

Due to the long flight time, meals were served course by course. First meal was served about 1 hour into the flight. Pursuers came around setting the table with white table cloths. Moments later, they came back and served the appetiser. We had fried shrimp roll for appetiser. The prawn was still crispy, and tasted very well especially when eaten with the Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce that served with the appetiser.

First course – Fried Shrimp Roll

After seeing that we have emptied our plates, the pursuers came by with the second course – Salmon with Black Sesame Seed. The smoked salmon tasted fresh and goes very well with the salad that came with the dish.

Appetiser – Salmon with Black Sesame Seed

Soon plates were cleared and we were served the main course. I opted for the marinated pomfret with steam rice. The pomfret tasted a little sticky, however it tasted good with the sauce that comes with it. My friend opted for the curry chicken. The dessert served was 3 grapes a slice of pear, which looked rather pathetic on the plate.

I had the pomfret with spicy sauce
Curry Chicken Pa-naeng which my friend had
Dessert – Fresh fruits

Around 1 hour before landing, the pursuers came around distributed chicken wrap. I particularly like the chicken wrap, which has a tingle of spiciness, but too over powering. Drinks were available throughout the flight.

Second meal – Chicken Wrap

Service

The pursuers were extremely friendly and caring on this flight. They truly embraced the warmth and friendliness that Thais are famously known for. They took note of our preferences and came around asking if we need more of the beverage we had been having. They were very observant and plates were cleared shortly after we finished our food. Pursuers were seen patrolling the cabin whenever the seat belt signs were off. One particular pursuer strike conversation with me and was very knowledgeable. She was seen coming to our side of the cabin and constantly asked if we need our drinks topped up.

Pursuer going around serving pre-flight drinks
Caring pursuer listening attentively to the needs of passenger

Overall

Despite the cabin being a little aged, the angled flat seat still was able to provide good rest. The leg room was superb and the seat felt very comfortable. The pursuers were attentive and made me feel like a VIP when flying with them. Food kept on coming and if we were hungry, the pursuers gladly fixed something for us. Overall, I enjoyed this ICN-BKK flight on Thai Airways.

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

TG408 SIN-BKK

On The Ground

Singapore

Dnata Premium Check-in

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

Lounge

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

Changi Airport Transit Area

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

Bangkok

Lounge

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

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

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

 

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

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

Bus taking us to our flight

The Cabin

TG408

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

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

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

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

TG656

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

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

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

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

The Seat

TG408

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

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

TG656

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

 

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

In-Flight Entertainment

TG408

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

TG656

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

 

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

Meal Service

TG408

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

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

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

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

TG656

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

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

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

Service

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

Overall

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

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG402) / (TG401) – Economy Class, SIN-BKK, (6 Nov 14) / BKK-SIN (9 Nov 14)

On The Ground

I usually fly Thai Airways to Bangkok, mainly due to price factor. Originally I was thinking of separating the 2 reviews. However on a second thought, most of the stuffs will be repetitive. The experience in terms of the hardware for both flights will be the same, given that the same type of aircraft was used for both legs of the flight. The differing experience would be the service in flight and the food on offer.

TG402

We boarded TG402 at Singapore Changi Airport. As we were early, the queue was rather thin. It is always recommended to check in early at the airport, especially the SIN-BKK route as the destination is rather popular. The staff at the counter was not particularly in the mood for a chat, but more of trying to get her job done as soon as possible. As per standard practice, we got our bags checked in relatively quick and handed our boarding pass. I always like to check in early whenever I get to the airport, catering more time for shopping and exploring around the immigration area. Changi Airport in Singapore is an Airport where one would find even 3 hours is insufficient to spend here. There are tons of duty free shopping (comparable to the shopping mall that one would find in town), with big brands like Chanel and Gucci for one to shop. There are also tons of activities the airport offers, with amenities like cinema, massage chairs, gardens (there are a number of gardens in the airport spreading across all 3 terminals). We checked in early to cater time for shopping.

TG402 berthing at Changi Airport
Taking off onboard TG 402

TG401

As we were running late on our way to the airport, I whipped out my mobile phone whilst on the cab to the Suvarnabhumi Airport, fearing that we might miss the check in timing. Checking online first does buy us extra time (usually airlines would stipulate at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure for passengers to check-in). Speaking of which, one should absolutely cater 2 hours for the journey from downtown Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi Airport, taking into consideration the notorious traffic jam that Bangkok is so famous for. I would say Thai Airways had a great mobile site that allowed me to do online check in whilst on our way to the airport. With the online check in we only have to be at the airport 1 hour before the scheduled departure.

With on-line check in, we headed towards the Thai Airways counter at Suvarnabhumi Airport, located at the mid part of the terminal building to have our luggages checked in. One other advantage of on-line check-in is that the queue isn’t that long, we only have to wait for 2 mins at most for our turn. This saves one a lot more time to explore the immigration area of Suvarnabhumi Airport. I would strong recommend that one make use of the on-line check-in function that airlines provides. The service on ground is pretty much standard, however this time round (as compared to our outbound flight), the staff at the check-in counter seemed more friendly and volunteered directions on where we should head for the immigration area and where our boarding gate will be. As we were already running late, we did not have much time to explore the airport terminal. There are a few shops (mostly selling perfumes, tobacco and alcohol) that we have time to explore before heading towards our gate for boarding.

Sculpture in Suvarnabhumi Airport depicting Thai folklore
Duty free shops at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Duty free shops at Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Seat

We were onboard the Boeing 777-200ER on both flights (TG402 and TG401). Thai airways uses a purple coloured theme in their cabins. The seats are decked out in blue, purple and yellow, which gives the cabin a more vibrant look. The leg room for this configuration of the aircraft is sufficient and does not feel too cramp. The aircraft is configured in 3-3-3 seatings in the economy class, giving each passenger 34″ of space between each seat and 18″ of width on each seat. The seats also reclined 122° which is fairly comfortable for economy class on a 2-hour flight.

Economy flight Cabin onboard TG 402
Economy Cabin onboard Flight TG401
Pursuers going around ensuring passengers are comfortable onboard TG401
The leg room is good onboard TG402
Good leg room onboard TG401

In-Flight Entertainment

Each seat comes with their individual Audio Visual On Demand (AVOD) TV screen. Each screen measures 9″, keeping passengers occupied throughout the flight. The AVOD system is touch screen, however the system seemed lag and rather insensitive. Passengers are better off using the remote controller, stowed on the sides of each seat to gain faster access to the TV/movie programmes one desires.

9″ TV screen
Front camera live feed to the AVOD
Options on the AVOD
AVOD located above the tray table 
Standard controller for AVOD 
Safety Card onboard Thai Airways 
Inflight magazine available in each seat pocket

Amenities

Pillows and fleeced blankets together with headphones are distributed by the flight crew prior to departure, which keeps passengers comfortable and entertained throughout the flight. These days such amenities (at least blankets and pillows) are seldom being distributed, even on full fledged airliners. The lavatory onboard both flights are rather cramp, however sufficient for one to manoeuvre around in. Each lavatory comes with the hand soap, sanitary napkins and hand soap. There are also extra puke bags that can be found in these lavatories.

Lavatory
Basic lavatory amenities

Meal and Service

The service onboard differs on both flight. I shall cover both food and service in this section of the review.

TG402

There are 2 food options on this flight – Omelette and chicken porridge. Both options taste equally bad and blend and there seem to be an obvious note of mass production with very lousy ingredients for both options. The food proportions are small and not good enough to service as a meal. As a pre-cursor to meal, the portions seemed sufficient. Other than the 2 options, Thai Airways also included a small croissant and  some cut fruits (3 slices to be exact) as part of the meal. Coffee and tea along with other drink options such as Coke, spirits and alcohol, and fruit juice are available onboard.

Omelette onboard TG402
Chicken porridge onboard TG402
Orange juice – my only drink onboard TG402

The service onboard this flight is very bad. Throughout the flight, there do not seemed to have any service for drinks. Flight attendants are only seen prior to departure, at meal service and prior to landing. There are no runs for fluids onboard and one would have to call for the attendant to have some drinks served up. The crew onboard this flight do not seemed to be very friendly either. The atmosphere onboard seemed to be very gloomy as I hardly see any smiles on the faces of the crew. There is this particular crew that has a very sour face, as though she just had a fight with her boyfriend prior to the flight. I witnessed an instance where another passenger requested for some drinks from her, she just showed him her palm and only return some 30 mins later despite she was with a cart. The said crew even gave the passenger a very hostile stare when serving up his drink. Throughout the flight, there isn’t any hint of any smiles that the Thais are famous for. Food service is very slow and slag and passengers are rushed into finishing their meal.

TG401

As with most airliners, TG401 also gave passengers 2 options when come to food. There are chicken fried rice and baked fish for passengers to choose from. The food on this flight is decent. At least there are more taste to them compared to TG402 I flown in from. As with most economy class food, the food is sufficient to sustain one from hunger pains throughout the flight, but insufficient to fully satisfy one’s stomach. I had the chicken fried rice, which also comes with an omelette. It tasted decent, but can be a little on the blend side. There are also sides such as buns, salad and moose served along side the meal. As with the previous flight, drink options such as coffee, tea, Coke, juices and alcohol are also available.

Chicken Fried rice onboard TG401

The service onboard this flight is way better than TG402. The crew onboard seemed to enjoy their work and smiles were kept on their face most if not all the time. The crew spread their joy to the passengers, which made the flight lively and enjoyable. Meal service was prompt and the crew distributed the food in good speed, collecting the trays at a later time, giving passengers more time to consume their food. Drinks service is seen throughout the flight. I requested for a can of Coke to be shared with my friend, when the attendant came around to collect the empty can (he was merely passing by my seat), he offered another can so that we can keep ourselves hydrated. My friend also requested for Children activity pack so she can give it to her children who were not flying with her. The attendant took the efforts to look for the activity packs and did so with a smile that the Thais are famous for. Attendants are very visible throughout the flight ensuring that passengers are well taken care of and their requests are being met.

Overall

The level of service onboard Thai Airways seemed to vary with the crew and the time of the flight. I have noticed (with my past experience onboard Thai Airways) that the service level on the first flight is usually the worst, no matter if one is traveling on Business Class or Economy Class, whilst that of the last flight would usually be better.  The airlines have a few misses and hits and the greatest of all misses is the service that one would get onboard. The hits gotta be the little amenities such as pillows and blankets that most of us take it for granted that are still available onboard. Nonetheless for a short flight to Bangkok from Singapore (and back), I would still choose Thai Airways provided the price is right.

Taking off from Singapore Changi Airport
Taking off from Singapore Changi Airport
Arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Taxiing at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport