Thai Airways » A380-800 » User reviews
Seatplan rating 8.4
- Boarding 8.7
- Seat for sitting 9.7
- Seat for sleeping 3.3
- Service 7.3
- Entertainment 5.0
- Food & drink 8.0
- Punctuality 8.7
- Baggage 5.0
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First, the luggage compartment on window side too narrow to put standard bagpack that full loaded. Second, the safety belt a little bit harder to lock because the locker is too close to the seat of right hand side, not between the lap.
We flew on Thai’s new A380 in business (Silk) class between Singapore and Bangkok. Thai are operating this aircraft on this route as a trial and getting crew used to the operation of the cabin services. First class was not available for sale on this route, only J and Y classes (although I did get a peek of the First cabin with come comments below).
The cabin crew were clearly struggling with much of the service which is understandable so this review will focus mainly on the ‘Hard product’. A basic example of this was that despite sitting beside me, my spouse had all her service provided at a different time to me because it was served from the other aisle.
Changhi was its usual efficient and we briefly visited the Thai lounge before walking to gate D46. Check in was swift in the main terminal and the Silk Class queue was empty.
Boarding: The access to the A380 was separate for Business class with the upper air bridge being used exclusively for access to the business cabin on the upper level. Economy passengers boarded using the lower level air bridge. Those in Economy located on the upper cabin used the internal stairwell at the rear of the plane to access the 10 or so 2-4-2 Y configuration.
Silk class was quite full and we found our seats in row 17 in the middle section of the 2-2-2 staggered configuration. Cost hooks were located in each access area of the seat which explains why no crew came to hang my jacket.
Cabin Interior: The interior of the cabin felt a little tight as we entered but this was down to the deep overhead bins being open but this sense dissipated when they were closed before take-off. The interior colouring was of a number of shades of purple which created quite a calm and relaxing ambiance, together with single acoustic guitar music which played on a loop whilst waiting to close up and during taxi.
Seating: The seat looked similar to the Emirates business offering however the sight line level on the Thai A380 seemed to be quite a bit lower and hence I could see down the cabin. The seat was slightly diagonal but this was to dove tail into the seat in front of you. My spouse’s seat was directly beside mine but there was a latched divider that could be raised to get more privacy if you wanted it.
I lowered the seat before dinner into the fully flat position to see what the sleeping position was like. It was fully flat and seemed to be largely continuous to the lower foot well. The sleeping position was very comfortable. I stretched out and with my head just touching the headboard, I could only touch the end plate if I extended my toes fully (I am 5’9”). The interior arm rest lowered also to give me more space in the mid-section.
During the previous week, we had flown out to SIN in BA new First (744) and both I and my spouse felt that the sleeping position on the Thai A380 Business seat was very similar to the BA first seat in terms of space and comfort. It was a definitively an improvement on BA Club seat which can be a bit discontinuous. ON the Thai A380, I felt that I would easily get a decent night’s sleep on a linger haul sector.
Looking at the general cabin, the better seats to have for privacy are definitely all the window seats since those on the Aisle will have passing traffic with no real privacy. Travelling as a couple, the inner seats in the middle [odd seat numbers] offer the best choice so that you can have easy and quiet conversations.
Entertainment: The Video system (touch screen [approx. 20”] and remote control) was easy and intuitive to use and offered a reasonable selection of films, music and TV choices and comfortable noise cancelling headphones made the already quiet cabin even calmer. Unlike Emirates, there was only one out-board camera but thankfully this was on the tail fin so one could see a good view of take-off and landing on the video screen. [Emirates have 3 out board-cameras]
The wood effect dining table was of a swinging design and was easily swung into place for dinner. The crew struggled with the service but still managed to serve a very tasty 3 choice menu. I had a wonderful Prawn and rice dish accompanied with what was largely a French wine list. The dish was one of the nicest meals I’ve been served on an aircraft.
First Cabin: I walked through the cabin and also looked at the empty (and unavailable) First cabin. It reminded me of SWISS First with the 1-2-1 configuration over 3 rows but it did not offer the privacy of the Emirates suites cabin. Nonetheless, it did seem to be quite a luxurious space with high quality fittings and sense of space.
The flight took only 1 hour 50 minutes and on arrival, our dis embarkation was slightly hap-hazard in that as we arrived into terminal, we joined at the same time as the Lower deck passengers who had obviously gotten off before us so we did not get a clear run to the immigration desks.
Baggage arrived within 20 minutes and our priority bags were in the first batch of 30 bags.
Conclusion: In summary, the Cabin and facilities on this Thai A380 were very good and I would be happy to use this service when they get their crew fully trained and operational. Based on Hard product, given the choice of BA Club or Thai [ignoring the other softer aspects of FF program and lounges etc.] I’d go for the Thai cabin and seat.
I flew in 3E (flight was full, couldn't get a window seat!) from HKG to BKK on Friday lunchtime flight. The sense of excitement was palpable.....from proud crew, to lots of passengers (having their photos taken....me included!!)
I like the seats, and especially like the "push 'n pull" table, very easy to get in and out of the seat even with a fully loaded dinner setting.
Wi-Fi/SMS was not working, and I was told they are awaiting Thai Aviation authority approval to use the on-board Wi-Fi and SMS functionality.
The little "control touch screen" that is the same as the one on the 777-300ER was not working and it took me quite a while to get used to the "manual" seat controls....couldn't figure out the massage function at all, and gave up as it wasn't that important on a 150 minute flight.
Also, a PA was made warning passengers not to try to use the USB ports for charging Apple products as it would cause the AVOD system to crash and they would have to re-boot it for that seat......strange...
The pale cream and gold colour scheme in F is very nice but I noticed some scuff marks already on leading edges of the seat surroundings. Thai maintenance crew will have to do a good job to keep the colours from looking old at an early stage.
Food was up to the usual high Thai standards and I had a very nice marinated chicken dish with a Som Tam (suitably Westernised, unfortunately) side salad and a nice glass of Chablis....no complaints in that department.
However, I was hoping that Thai had installed proper cappucino machines instead of using the awful powdered cappucino packet mix used on the 747s but I don't think they have. I actually couldn't tell if it was just a better brand of "packet mix" but I was definitely not convinced....it does not even come close to the SQ or Austrian Do & Co (eleven different types of coffee to choose from) cappucino.
The main F toilet was huge, but I can't help feeling a lot of the space is wasted. Sure, it's nice to have plenty of stretch room when changing into your pyjamas on long haul flights but I can't see myself settling down on the sofa for any length of time.
The second F class toilet was adequate in size.
The tail mounted camera is awesome....we had excellent flying conditions and the sun sparkling off the metalwork gave me some excellent photo opportunities. I haven't bothered to watch the camera on the few SQ/EK A380s I have been on previously so I don't know if this is a standard placement for the camera.
In summary, I look forward to flying long haul on this bird as long as Thai keep the competitive pricing structure they currently employ for F class, and don't lose the run of themselves and try to price up to Emirates and SQ F prices, because the hard product is still not as competitive.