Thai Airways » User reviews
All-class rating 7.1
- Boarding 7.6
- Seat for sitting 7.4
- Seat for sleeping 5.2
- Service 6.8
- Entertainment 5.2
- Food & drink 6.2
- Punctuality 8.3
- Baggage 7.9
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
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This review covers one short international (HKG-BKK) and two domestic (BKK-CNX-BKK) business class flights on Thai International.
There is plenty of competition on these routes and Thai was not the cheapest. However, the Business Class fare was substantially cheaper than CX for the international leg, as well as offering the opportunity to experience Thai’s A380 and enabled us to maintain a similar level of travelling comfort over all our flights on the trip. Business Class offered a substantially more pleasant travelling experience even for the short hops, and was not substantially more expensive than the economy fare.
Easy to complete, though boarding passes could not be printed for any sector. The Thai website has a few function issues.
The HKG lounge is reasonably spacious and is situated on an open landing level above the main concourse. There was a reasonable selection of light snacks and drinks, PCs and complimentary massage chairs. A separate section of the lounge is reserved for First Class passengers. The domestic lounge at BKK was a bit of a non-event, but did include a sort of indoor garden area which was hot but a more pleasant than the chilled “indoor” lounge. The lounge in CNX was small and cramped and actually less pleasant than the departure lounge outside.
Priority Boarding for First and Business was by separate jetway to the upper deck. Unlike in DXB, all A380 Boarding is from the same level in the terminal by means of a ramp with a small incline.
There should be a sign on the door stating “Welcome to the world of purple plastic”. Thai certainly know how to work that colour. The A380 Business seating layout is similar to Emirates, except the individual cubicles are purple, as are carpets walls and uniforms. The tabletops were plastic wood effect and overall the feeling was cheap and a bit tacky. The seat could be converted to a fully flat bad which felt quite comfortable when I tried it. The seat also includes a harness strap which you are required to wear for take-off and landing.
The 777-300 and 747-400 on the domestic sectors are actually also used for international flights have the same lie-flat shell seat in, you guessed it, purple. 747 seating is split between the main deck, in 2-2 arrangement due to the longitudinal galley and the upper deck, which as ever is peaceful and pleasant. 777 seating is 2-3-2.
I had assumed I would be greeted and served by the crew resembling those in the advertisements. My expectations were not met! On the HKG sector this was a substantially more senior and substantially more substantial crew. Frankly they were underwhelming and were short on charm and style. One FA made no attempt to understand a Chinese passenger’s meal choice claiming she didn’t read Chinese, even though the menu was also printed in Thai and English and meal choices were presumably printed in the same order. The crew on the domestic sectors were, however, very friendly and much nicer.
The HKG-BKK flight offered a full lunch service with a choice of four entrees. These were all Asian and my pork and noodles were extremely tasty. Champagne was not sufficiently chilled, but a very pleasant cold lemon tea was also offered. Domestic meal services included a generous scallop salad, but it smelled very fishy and I declined, a chicken vol-au-vent (remember those!) and deserts. No alcohol was served but there were generous refills of soft drinks and tea/coffee. This was over and above what was required on a one our flight.
Not how I thought it would be, although it did the job for the flights I took. It was nice to travel on large wide-bodies for the domestic flights and it’s always a pleasure to be on the 747 upper deck, even if just for 55 minutes. And the lemongrass scented hot towels were very welcome. The international cabin service was underwhelming and there was nothing about it which would lead me to seek it out in future if Thai was an alternative.
First leg of a two-sector, two-ticket itinerary on TG from HKG-BKK connecting to BA BKK-LHR
CHECK-IN, IMMIGRATION & SECURITY
I checked in at the Hong Kong Airport Express in-town check-in in Central during the morning. There was only one THAI desk operating, but only one person in front of me so I was served quickly.
Although the flights were on separate tickets, the check-in agent happily checked my bags through to London on my connecting flight (on BA). She also changed my seat assignment to the exit row on the upper deck. I had hoped to do that on-line but the TG website doesn't seem to allow this. She also checked my seat assignment for my return flight. All in all check-in was smooth and efficient, with the only disadvantages being that she couldn't issue the boarding pass for my onward flight (not her fault) and that although polite and efficient there really was no "warmth" on display.
When I went to the airport in the evening of course I by-passed check-in. Security was reasonably quick - perhaps 10 minutes - and since one of the manned desks for HK permanent residents had no queue I used that rather than one of the e-gates and was through in about ten seconds.
I had tried to research the Star Alliance lounges beforehand but it seemed that TG's lounge had the best reviews so I decided not to lounge-shop. The TG Royal Silk lounge is above gate 40 at the far end of the main part of the building, but the check-in agent had explained precisely how to get there, and there was a small map on the back of the invitation, so I had no difficulty finding it.
There is a First Class section, but only roped off from the business class section so it was easy to see in (and not much different apart from having fewer people in it).
The lounge was quite a bit larger than I had been expecting. Seats were in various configurations of 2 or 4 together, but the lounge was busy so rather than "share" a twin or four in the main area I found a couple of tables tucked away down a gallery at the far end of the lounge. There is a TV viewing area, another area with plenty of PCs for use, a couple of massage chairs, and even an area with some games consoles. There was also a private (but glass-walled) room but a sign indicating it was reserved (though it remained unoccupied). A very decent selection of newspapers and magazines was available in a variety of languages.
There was a central buffet area with dim sum, and a small selection of Thai hot dishes and a decent selection of Thai condiments and salads. There were also some rather ordinary sandwiches. I had some red chicken curry which was nothing to write home about but quite acceptable.
There was a smallish range of spirits, but only two wines (would Sir like red or white?) - a merlot and a chardonnay. Being a white man, I had the latter. Again, nothing to write home about - drinkable, but in my view rather sub-par.
WiFi was available but didn't want to work with my iPad so I connected to my phone instead. Staff regularly patrolled the lounge, taking away empties and keeping everything stocked, clean and tidy.
Altogether I was quite impressed by the lounge, particularly since it is a short-haul out-station for THAI (although this is perhaps in part because it is also the Star Alliance Gold lounge and seems to be used by other Star long-haul carriers that don't have their own lounge), and in my (admittedly limited) experience of its European equivalents puts them comprehensively to shame - it was much closer to what I would expect for a long-haul lounge, although there are no showers.
The flight was delayed slightly due to a late incoming aircraft, but ample notice was given in the lounge and the delay was short. We boarded at gate 46, about five-ten minutes walk from the lounge. Disappointingly, the gate wasn't open when I arrived even though I had waited for the boarding announcement before I left the lounge. However, I am delighted to report that priority boarding was rigidly enforced, with cheap-seat-people being made to wait while both gate desks were used to clear the queue of premium passengers (and the staff who were checking passports whisking first class passengers out of the queue and escorting them to the front of the line).
I have flown TG 747s before, always in J on the lower deck, which must have the oddest configuration I have ever seen. The entire starboard side of the business class cabin on the lower deck is occupied by a galley, so not only is seating just 2-2 but there is a solid wall running down the right-hand side of the cabin. This time the check-in agent had helped me change to the upper deck, which is also 2-2 but rather more conventional!
Thai have updated the seats since my last flight on the 747 and although the odd lower deck configuration remains, the seats have been substantially changed. Framed in a shell, most seats have large TVs set into the shell-back of the seat in front, where there are also holders for water bottles. Being in an exit row, however, I had a smaller screen set into the armrest.
Staff offered water, juice or champagne very promptly. Headsets, blankets and pillows were already on the seat. Menus were handed out as well.
The drinks service started commendably early after take-off, and menu selections were also sought very quickly. I chose a chicken dish from a choice of three, after seeking a crew member's advice as to which I should choose. I am rarely troubled by indecision when choosing from airline menus, but as a devotee of Thai food I was struggling to decide. As it turned out, the meal was nicely presented and tasty, and I didn't regret my choice, albeit I might have expected better in a restaurant. This was washed down with a very pleasant sauvignon blanc. Top-ups were offered at perfectly judged intervals.
Being a short flight, movies were not offered on the IFE - this was no surprise, as CX (my usual carrier) also only offer TV selections on this route. There was a reasonable selection of TV shows, however, so not only did I not resort to movies on my iPad, I didn't even feel impelled to finish writing this review on board!
Although the flight was short and I didn't want to sleep in any event (I was saving that for my onward flight) I did try fully reclining the seat for research purposes. Here came the first major disappointment of the day.
I already knew the seat was not fully-flat, but I was surprised at just how angled it was when fully reclined. No great danger of sliding down, which can be a problem with some angled-flat seats, since it is in what I am told is a "lazy-boy" configuration. Although I found it very comfortable (excellent padding, I must say) for a short flight, and could probably have slept in it since I tend to sleep on my back when on aircraft and prefer being slightly angled in any event, I think anyone accustomed to sleeping on their side would have found it most difficult.
The crew remained reasonably attentive, and overall I would have to say that the service more than matched my expectations.
Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport was, to my mind, a missed opportunity. The interior, with plenty of concrete on display, still looks unfinished - as though all the interior panelling hadn't been delivered on time. That's just visual, though. The real inconvenience is all the walking. I have never, in many many trips, had a short walk through the airport, and this trip was no exception.
I made my way to the transfer desk, but perhaps due to the late arrival of my incoming flight it appears I had missed the BA desk opening times. I approached the Royal Jordanian desk, having taken to heart the oneworld message that each airline would be able to assist passengers of any other member of the alliance. Hah.... I was just told to go to the gate. Whoops, oneworld.... So much for connectivity...
Fortunately, having been told by the Thai check-in agent in HK that she couldn't issue my boarding pass for the BA flight, I had checked in for that leg online and printed my own boarding pass, so I went straight to the BA lounge and asked them to verify my check-in and my connecting luggage, which was done very quickly.
I could go on, but this really marks the end of the TG leg of my journey so I will stop here save for making one observation which illustrates a sharp distinction in the approach of TG and BA. On my way to London, TG happily checked my bags through to London on BA on a separate ticket. On my return, BA refused to do the same, claiming at first that this was because they didn't have a baggage agreement with TG. A very quick google search at check-in demonstrated that this was untrue, since TG have a page on their website listing the airlines with which they have an interline baggage agreement, and guess what - BA is listed.
I also pointed out that on the very same tickets I had checked a bag through from TG to BA - which of course would require an interline baggage agreement - and even showed them my baggage tag to prove this. The check-in staff were unmoved and insisted they would only check my bag through to BKK, so now I have to go through immigration, collect my bags, go through customs, go to the departure hall, check in, go through immigration, go through security... Thanks, BA, you cheapskates... More on the subject here : http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/Interlining-bags-from-BA-to-non-oneworld-airline
Helpful and accommodating, if rather distant, check-in agent, although her willingness to accommodate requests for seat changes on both legs, and her willingness to check me and my bags through to a (non-alliance) carrier on a separate ticket more than made up for her rather cool approach.
A (to me) surprisingly good lounge, well-maintained, with clear and helpful boarding announcements marred only by calling the flight a little too soon. Excellent boarding discipline, decent food, good in-flight service, and a seat which was very comfortable albeit not for everyone on a long-haul flight. Good IFE as well. Altogether an experience I would be very happy to repeat...
Brand new 777ER! Looks great inside and service was the best! Flew many times with Thai and always good but this was just fab! They made the plane inside pink and purple never seen anything like this before....loving it!
kristinlim flew Thai Airways Royal Silk (business class) (04/01/2013 12:24)
Traveled on 24th Nov from Malaysia to London on Business Class. Plane was old i.e seats not comfortable and small. Food was edible and service mediocre. The last straw that broke the donkey's back was the condescending tone and attitude by the Thai Airways manager at their UK ticketing/queries office, who goes by the name of Chris. It is the first time in the UK that i have meant a person so condescending and rude. Due to his less than charming way of handling my queries, suffice to say, I will never travel on Thai airways again even if it was given free!!!
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.
My Aer Lingus flight from Dublin arrived at 14:30 and TG933 was scheduled to leave at 21:40 so I had a lot of time to kill landside at CDG, which is a shame as CDG is a pretty awful airport when it comes to facilities, either landside or airside.
I used the free train shuttle service to transfer from T1 to T2, which is the location of the ONLY Left Luggage facility at CDG (amazing that they have only one such facility). You cannot take a trolley on to the shuttle train and I had to lug two suitcases and a carry on up to the train platform, which was not easy.
Having left my bags at the Left Luggage I enquired at Information about the Massage services mentioned on the airport’s website. There are none in the airport. The only one is in the Sheraton Hotel which, technically speaking is in the airport. I paid e120 for a one hour massage, in a strange facility on the fourth floor of the hotel. Although horribly expensive, the massage was very good.
Having made my way over to T1 again, with my luggage, I checked in at the empty First Class facility and was quickly on my way to the Star Alliance lounge. Immigration was, thankfully, not too busy.
The Star Alliance lounge is on the second floor accessible by elevator only. First Class is directly behind the reception desk and Business Class is downstairs. The very friendly staff showed me into the completely empty F lounge. I was the only passenger!!
The Lounge is very comfortable but small. Comfortable seating but not a lot of it. A reasonable, but limited selection of drinks and a buffet of meat cuts, smoked salmon, cheeses etc, as well as crisps and nuts was available. I had planned to eat on board so I did not indulge very much.
I had time to indulge in some duty free shopping and this just reinforced my opinion of how poor an airport CDG is for an international hub…shockingly poor selection in Duty Free and also bar/restaurant facilities.
I headed for the aircraft at 9pm and there was nobody at security so cleared that very quickly. On board I was shown to my Suite, 2A. There was only one other passenger in F, in 1K, so I knew the service would be good!
Hot towel and Champagne followed, along with PJs. Push back was actually bang on time at 21:40.
When the seat belt sign was switched off I changed into my PJs and when I got back to my seat my Bombay Sapphire Dry Martini was waiting for me.
Very nice warm nuts were served followed by canapés, and then the best part of the flight…..the Oscietra Caviar, with all the trimmings and ice cold Smirnoff….yummy.
I know from experience over the last 20 years that Thai allocates half a tin of caviar for every passenger. I also knew that the predicted loading for F on this flight was four pax, but two had not turned up. I asked the very nice FA if I could have the whole tin of caviar and she said “absolutely sir, of course you can”. This was a great start to a lovely flight. When I finished the tin, she asked if I would like more……”woo hoo….more”….of course. So, I had another half tin portion.
Delicious, served with egg yolk, egg white, sour cream, red onion, and a choice of toast melba or blinis, and accompanied by ice cold Vodka. I am always amazed at how cold they can get the bottle of Vodka. I know the caviar is served early on in the flight so they don’t have to keep it cold for a long time, but it was literally ice cold!
This was followed by a starter of Serrano Ham, Lobster tail and poached salmon. I then had the Beef Massaman Curry, which was excellent.
I chose the Grand Cru Saint Emilion from Chateau Berliquet which was great with the beef. I do wish Thai would introduce some New World wines to their F selection. French wine is good but I am a firm fan of a nice Australian Shiraz or a South African wine from Stellenbosch…almost any grape from this region will do!!
I decided to skip dessert and cheese and to sleep. I asked the FA to make my bed and went to the bathroom. When I returned, two FAs were finishing making up my bed
The seats are a fully flat bed in sleep mode (as one would expect) and I slept soundly until two hours before landing.
I declined the second meal and had some coffee and juice instead.
One of the best aspects of flying F into Bangkok with Thai is the superb service upon landing. This aircraft usually lands on a C pier, normally C7 and it is easily a fifteen minute walk to Immigration. First Class passengers get a buggy ride and an escort through Immigration and then each passenger has his/her own personal porter to take their hand baggage and then collect their checked luggage and escort the passenger to their car/limo etc. Excellent ground services!!
All told, a very nice flight, as usual from Thai!!
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.
Again Thai switches planes and used an old 747 with old seats and no personal tv! It s sooo unacceptable to fly today without personal tv. Also when there is personal tv in economy, overall quality of inflight entertainment is very poor on Thai. Its so decadent and wonder why the airline does not check their competitors to see what they offer at similar prices!
This was only a short (2Hr) flight from Bangkok to Singapore.
I have a Star Alliance Gold card so could check in at the Business Class desk. There was no queue and this was very quick. I wish I could say the same for the border staff where all queues were 9 deep and it took quite a while to get through.
I used the Thai lounge which was a little dark but otherwise had a good selection of food and drink. Power sockets were a bit thin on the ground and tended to be in the middle of the floor!
Boarding was quick with priority boarding. I was in 32H which was a great seat. The cabin is 3-4-3 except in Row 31 which only has two seats on either side. This has the advantage that 32 C and H have no seat in front and better legroom than the bulkhead seats. I noticed under seats A, D and K there were small boxes so these are probably the ones to avoid.
There is IFE but it is main screen and I think was showing some David Attenborough wildlife program.
Food was served fairly quick but from the back of the plane so being at the front of economy I was almost last. Needless to say the food has run out and I was offered either seafood or fish from Business Class. I declined not being a great fish eater and they produced a couple of bags of nuts and chips for me.
The seats were modern Recaro type and comfortable for a short flight.
Changi Airport lived up to it's fantastic self and I was in a cab on the way to my hotel withing 15 minutes of reaching the gate.
The fast Narita Express train (NEX) brought me from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station directly to Narita airport to catch my 1100 departure on TG641 to Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi. Check-in at the dedicated first class counter was quick and so was security check and immigration.
Soon after, I found myself at the ANA Suite Lounge which is situated at terminal 1, next to gate 45. NH’s signature lounge appears with typical Japanese understatement. Chairs are comfortable, the spacious room looks clean, the views on the tarmac are fascinating, and the service is top-notch. But something is missing. Is it the personal touch? I don’t know.
Food-wise I was a bit disappointed, I must say. There was not much more on offer than Udon (noodle soups) and a small assortment of – you got it – sushi. Maybe the food offerings were limited because it was only 9am?
For research reasons I also wanted to check out the other lounge option – the United Red Carpet Club, which meanwhile has been renamed as United Global First Lounge. The interior with its “old-schoolish” upholstered armchairs reminded me of the late 70’s.
Nevertheless, the lounge somehow has a very unique charm. My culinary needs were catered with some snacks, nuts, and – you got it again – sushi. Not that I don’t like Japanese cuisine, don’t get me wrong. It just gets a bit boring after a while. Sushi here, sushi there, sushi everywhere.
The dedicated first and business class line and a separate jet bridge to door 1L allowed for a fast boarding without any waiting. Once aboard I was greeted by the purser and escorted to my seat.
Thai’s Boeing 777-300ERs are dry-leased from Jet Airways and will operate until 2013. The configuration is F8 – C30 – Y274, which sums in a total of 312 seats.
The first class cabin comes with a total of 8 suites in two rows with a 1-2-1 configuration (A-DG-K). Obviously, all of those have direct access to the aisle. The seat is 22 inches (56cm) wide, 83 inches (211cm) long and reclines a full 180 degrees to make for a cozy bed. For full privacy you can close the sliding door – a nice feature.
The IFE is quite modern (TG doesn’t use its own IFE on the leased jets) and offers a wide range of movies, series and music. The screen is huge (23 inch/58cm) and the state-of-the-art headphones reduce any bothersome noise.
Another nice feature of the suite is the ottoman in front of the seat which allows a fellow passenger to dine or work vis-à-vis.
Business class is comes with a 1-2-1 fully-flat bed herringbone arrangement (A-DG-K), economy with a standard 3-3-3 (ABC-DEG-HJK).
-Which Seat to choose-
Since I was travelling alone I chose suite 1K for myself. Couples are better off with seats in the middle (D, G) as the divider between the seats is removable and allows togetherness.
When departing from Tokyo towards southern direction I would definitely want to be seated on the right hand side in order to see the summit of the majestic Mount Fuji. What a magnificent view! For best observation one would be well advised to sit in row 1, since the first row has 4 windows, whereas the second row only has 3.
In general, the first class cabin seems a bit worn down already. The wooden interior is covered with scratches and stains. Rubber seals from the sliding doors fall off. I assume TG doesn’t want to invest too much money in a leased aircraft. Fair enough.
With no boarding delay and not too much traffic at Narita airport, the triple 7 rotated on-time shortly after 1100. After a smooth climb up above the clouds the catering began with yakitori (skewered chicken), a curry puff, and the mandatory campari orange. Note that TG doesn’t serve caviar on regional routes! Soon after, I was handed out the lunch and wine menu.
First course included a king crab salad, shrimps and grilled scallops with cocktail sauce followed by a chestnut soup with duck liver mouse (don’t be bedazzled by those fancy ingredients, bottom line is, the food was nothing special…).
In the meantime, the purser advised me of grabbing my camera since we were about to fly over Mount Fuji. The view of this unique mountain is simply spectacular…
Back to the culinary spectacles: main courses were steamed sea bass with yuzu citrus sauce and Japanese veggies, pork curry “pa-naeng” with fried white fungus and minced prawns, or stewed duck leg in braised sauce with truffle and dried tomato mashed potato. I chose the curry which was okay. Desserts included the compulsory selection of cheese (I passed) and rum savarin with orange sauce. If I recall correctly, the wine list offered both 3 selection of whites and reds.
I then decided to get a rest. To my surprise TG doesn’t offer a pajama on their flights to or from Tokyo. Even though they state on their homepage that every flight exceeding 6h a pj is offered in first class, they actually don’t. Fair enough.
At least I was given one of those really cool rimova amenity kits which look like a small suite case. It consists of a comb, tooth brush and tooth paste, mouth spray, lip balm, hand lotion, and a facial spray (la maxima).
I closed the sliding door to my suite, pushed the “do not disturb”-button and had a deep sleep for a couple of hours.
I woke up prior to landing in Bangkok and was given a juice and a warm towel to freshen up. After a smooth descent we arrived at the gate on time and the cabin crew bid farewell.
A TG ground staff was waiting for me at the end of the jet bridge. She greeted me and invited me to hop on the cute TG golf cart which made my way through immigration to the baggage reclaim area fast, easy and hassle-free.
After picking up my bags (which were the first on the belt) the ground staff escorted me through customs to the car which was waiting for me outside the terminal building. The whole arrival procedure was very quick.
Overall service of Thai Airways was good, especially the ground staff at Bangkok airport. I love the private suites which look elegant and are pretty comfortable.
Food-wise though, I expect more from TG. They just can’t keep up with the culinary highlights of let’s say Swiss International Air Lines or so. Even business class meals of Singapore Airlines or United surpass Thai’s first class meals in terms of taste and quality.
On another note I think it’s a pity that the cabin looks used and worn down. Thai should invest more in the maintenance of their aircrafts – leased or not. To me, the condition of the cabin represents somehow the attitude of an airline (two thumbs down in this regard for TG). Furthermore, allow me one thought on lounges. Please get more creative! I want something else than sushi again and again!
The flight was amazing, the newly furbished business class seats were very comfortable and the whole ambience was great!
However on the Thai Airways website- the seating plan for the aircraft showed the very old business class seat that only reclined to around 130, so I called the call-centre and they said the same thing as the website-- that shows they know nothing!!
Futhermore it was great service and a great flight
This flight relates to a short journey from Bangkok to Vientiane on one of TG's four 737-400s - not offered as an option on the menu above.
I checked in at the transfer desk at Bangkok, having transferred from London. My ticket showed the Lao Airlines codeshare number but I received a Thai boarding pass which was great as I could now use the Lounge, courtesy of my BMI Gold Card, maybe the last time I will get to use it????? My baggage tag was swiped so I remained hopeful that my bag would transfer between airlines.
My transit time was quite long so I settled into the comfort of the hide Thai lounge by Gate D1 - I understand that Thai have 8 lounges at the airport and this is the largest I have come across. Food options appeared to be good but, after my recent breakfast, I confined myself to tropical fruit (my weakness!!) and caffeine drinks in order to stay awake and do some work.
Boarding was through Gate D1A, the bus gate and Business Class and Gold Card holders were bussed out to the aircraft first. Just as well as the flight was very full and most passengers far exceeded normal hand luggage limits. So those who boarded late struggled to find space in the overhead bins. So it was not surprising that were were a few minutes late in pushing back but took off without too much of a taxi.
I was seated in Seat 40K - Thai have strange numbering so that Economy (in reality about Row 10) starts at 30 so it was not too far back.
Inflight service was a dinner box of noodles and a dessert but I declined this and just had a quick drink before landing in Vientiane some 10 minutes behind schedule.
Queues are the norm here, first for visa on arrival and then through passport control but things were not too slow on this occasion. My luggage was waiting for me in the baggage hall and I was en route for my hotel about 40 minutes after landing.
Thai run a good network of regional services - nothing fancy but OK for the duration of the flight.
Thai to refit 12 B747 aircraft....... I have just experienced the new refit and can confirm I will never fly Thai Economy every again. Yes on the plus side you can experience average quality built in entertainment system, but at the experience of any leg room. The newly fitted seats include a large metal box beneath each seat that prevents you from extending your legs. A truly awful experience !!!! Having flown Thai (business & Economy) over the last ten years, some 40+ flights where the service has always been excellent despite an ageing fleet. What a disappointment.
We travelled with Thai to Paris via Bangkok on 31/8/2011 and returned on 30/9/2011.
Boarding in Brisbane and transfer in Bangkok went very smoothly. Service on board both flights was excellent with very good food and beverages. The glass of champagne on boarding is a nice touch.
The seats on the two flights were as different as chalk and cheese. On our first leg their "new" business class seats that don't fully recline are only good for watching their IFE - which was quite good. They are almost impossible to get a good nights sleep on. They are too narrow to turn in and being semi-flat at only 160-170 degrees you consciously feel as if you're slipping out. Transfer arrangements and their Royal Silk lounges in Bangkok are very modern with the opportunity to have a relaxing shower in-between flights.
The flight to Paris (TG930) may be on an older configured 777 but the business class seats recline fully flat and thus provide you with a good nights sleep. The food and service was again excellent and I just wish they'd use those type of seats in all their long haul aircraft. For the price Thai provide a very competitive business class service.
This review refers to a multi-sector trip with Thai from London to Hanoi via Bangkok and return. For both legs, I was transfering from/ to a domestic UK flight. On the outbound, I checked in in Belfast with bmi and, despite a common flight reference and Star Alliance all the way through, was not permitted to check my bag through so had to collect and re-check at Heathrow. This was a hassle but not a major problem. Check in was routine although there was some lengthy discussion about my visa eligibility in to Vietnam. As a Star Alliance Gold member, I enjoyed the SAS London Lounge in T3 and then headed to the plane. Boarding was delayed by about 75 minutes because of a light problem but once on board, seated in 44C,an aisle seat on one of Thai's revamped 747s with seatback IFE. Seat was fine, with reasonable economy legroom although the IFE box was a bit in the way. Flight was routine despite the delay and arrived only 45 minutes late. Meals were good and well presented. Service is attentive for economy, delivered with good humour and energy.
The connecting flight to Hanoi was on a A330-200. We were bused from the gate as is the case for all regional flights from Bangkok. The cabin is quite tight and, in economy, is 2-4-2 so a good bet is to go for one of the 2s - I was in an aisle seat in 35B. Cold snack box during the 90 minute flight which was fine and arrived a bit early. I did have visa problems in Hanoi due to an error by the organisation I am working for there and was in danger of a quick return to Bangkok. The Thai representative in Hanoi was wonderful and arranged for a local travel agent to sponsor me in (at a moderate cost).
The return was the same route except the domestic sector was with BA to Glasgow. Even though the BA ticket was not linked to my TG ticket to London, the helpful girl at check-in in Hanoi tagged my bag all the way through and held my breath for the next 18 hours (figuratively) to see whether it would follow me all the way through. The lounge in Hanoi is shared by a number of carriers and is improving...... The connecting flight to Bangkok was on the same type of aircraft as before and again I had an aisle seat. Bussed to the terminal in very hot and humid conditions.
Spent the waiting period in Bangkok in the Thai Business Lounge by Gate 3, one I know for certain accept bmi Gold. This is quite small but serves a purpose with a reasonable choice of drinks and free wifi. The treck across the airport to a C gate for the flight would have been wonderful exercise if I had not cut the timing a bit tight!!
I had the same seat on the way back to London and, with one free next to me, slept really well after a great Thai Red Curry for dinner. No individual IFE on this older 747 (something Thai really needs to address) but as I slept for 8 hours did not both me. Really appealing breakfast and arrival in Heathrow some 30 minutes early. Service delightful again. Endless queues at every stage of the transfer to and through T5 but plenty of time for my BA connection. Glasgow flight routine with the option of a second breakfast. Arrived in Glasgow and, low and behold, my suitcase came trundling out, albeit last!!
I can say that if using an Economy product, there are many worse options than Thai. The seats are fine for class with reasonable legroom. Service is warm and helpful and the food is good. The IFE does need updating on some aircraft.
BKK to FRA 747 First Class (daytime flight) connected from SIA and greatly appreciated meet and greet service as flight from SIA was at one of the farthest gates at BKK. Golf Cart to Thai's amazing First Class lounge, utilized all of the services including massages. Boarding: For those who haven't departed BKK in Thai First if you're in the lounge they wait to board Royal First Class passengers last once all other passengers are on board. There's no one at gate security check or on the bridge to aircraft. Staff escort you from lounge through security and right to gate of aircraft. Same 747-400 and pod seats as inbound flight the week before. Arrival: Was met by a very nice gentleman from ground crew who escorted me for my connecting Lufthansa flight to Sao Paulo though he wasn't aware of the Lufthansa First Class lounge in Main Terminal so we backtracked back to lounge. Great service and helpful at every turn!
Always enjoy service on Thai Airways First. Unfortunately they no longer service JFK so routed through Frankfurt with Lufthansa and used their First Class lounge during 9 hour layover. Seat is comfortable for relaxing, eating, working and enjoying films. To sleep a fitted sheet covers the entire length of the seat though it might be nice if they had a mattress pad instead. Sat in 1A outbound 1K on return flight. Both are great seats at the nose of the 747 so quiet and private with no one passing by. Great food but no a la carte section on the menu like other airlines. Good assortment of films and entertainment. Had to have the system rest twice but by the second time it was working just fine. Relaxing cabin and very attentive service by cabin crew, they couldn't have ben nicer or more helpful. Best part at the end is being met by ground-staff and whisked away in purple golf cart to First Class lounge.
HKG to BKK Recently I flew from Hong Kong to Bangkok and back in Thai Airways' economy class. Last time I flew with it was 10 years ago. I do not expect too much as it was B747-400 aircraft which was quite old and equipped with no PTV at all.
SEATS: I had nearly forgot how comfortable that I can travel in economy. With revenue driven nowadays, airlines always think of how to maximize the total capacity by adding more seats into the aircraft, except from Thai airways. It offered 33' pitch in between their seats and provided wide legrooms that I haven't seem for a long time. I did not have to consider the one sitting at the back by inclining my seat throughout the trip.
FOOD: I thought nowadays airlines had skipped the snacks and drinks before lunch/dinner with budget cutting purposes. Surprisingly that they offered nuts and a wide range of drink selection. I could also ordered drinks with multiple attempts. Dinner was delicious and CA kept offering you more drinks. Red wine was the best choice among the selection.
SERVICE: CA was efficient and hard working. I could never think of they are able to distribute snacks/drinks and then dinner/drinks within such a short 2 hours time. Compared to other 5 stars airline, Thai airways service is much more better.
OVERALL: The food is nice. The 33' pitch seats left imprint in my memory. Good service and smile from CA
I was seated in 1A which is great for a day flight but i do prefer 2C for night flights just a little quieter. the food was dreadful. the champagne not cold and on asking for a glass before landing it was flat.
Flew Royal Silk from LHR to BKK and on to AKL and return. All flights left on time and priority boarding was speedy. Welcomed with a class of champagne and a newspaper. Meals on all flights were not much better than economy meals I have had on other airlines. Main courses already in dishes and put all together on a trolley and handed out from this, no individual service. Good choice of wines and my glass was filled as often as required. Lie flat angled seat was not very comfortable and sleep eluded me. AVOD did not have a good choice of movies and no noise canceling headphones just normal economy headphones with a cotton cover over the earpieces. Royal Silk lounge in Bangkok was comfortable and I enjoyed a free massage and a shower but once again choice of food very poor and limited. Will not fly Thai again
Thai Airways B747-400 / B777-200 ER Business Class Flights TG 917 / TG 993 LHR-BKK-SYD
BACKGROUND: Thai Airways currently operates twice daily (lunch time and evening) from London Terminal 3 to Bangkok with good connections in BKK to various points in Asia and Australia. TG 917 is the evening departure.
CHECK-IN HEATHROW: We arrived approx. 2 hrs before the 21.35 departure and there was no queue at the business class (Royal Silk) counter. The pre-booked seats 17J/K could even be improved to 16J/K. Row 16 is the first row in the second section of the upper deck and provides the most space and can’t be pre-booked since it is normally reserved for passengers with senior status in the frequent flyer program. So, check-in undertaken by SAS staff, was a breeze and the suit case check through to Sydney. There was also hardly any queue at the fast track security and within minutes we were on the way to the lounge.
THE LOUNGE IN HEATHROW: Thai is using the SAS lounge in Heathrow which is quite spacious and laid out over two floors. The lounge contains the usual amenities which one would expect. The bar contained the usual drinks stock and some hot and cold food was available. The furnishing of the lounges has clearly a Scandinavian ambiance. Since the Thai flight is the last departure of the day lounge staff started already clearing up before the flight was called.
BOARDING LHR: There was quite a long walk from the lounge to the boarding gate. Here after a few minutes wait we had priority boarding as business class passengers. Once on board on the upper deck we were shown our seats and our coats were taken immediately and a glass of champagne, orange juice or water was offered. The aircraft pushed back on time.
THE SEAT: The aircraft was in a 26 seat lay out (2-2) on the upper deck which meant it was furnished with the new business class product. The seat is angled lie-flat and felt comfortable for dining as well as sleeping. Blanket, pillow, head phone as well as an amenity kit were already placed on the seats. The cabin looked clean and well looked after.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE: The upper deck in a Boeing 747 is certainly the place to be. It is quieter and has an intimate feeling. On the upper deck one has additional storage space with the side cupboards next to the window seats. Also passengers with children are usually seated on the main deck. Row 11 (first row) should be avoided since they are next to the toilets as well as row 19 which is next to the galley.
THE FLIGHT: Once the plane had reached cruising height the cabin crew prepared for dinner starting with a traditional Thai fish cake as an appetizer. The main menu offered a choice of western as well as oriental dishes and included salad, main course, cheeseboard and dessert. The dishes were well presented. There was also a good choice of red and white wines as well as a selection of teas. Approx. 2 hrs before landing in Bangkok an additional light meal (western or oriental) was offered. Service was attentive and the crew very friendly and at the end of the flight the serving crew member gave a personal thank you which sums up the good service provided.
IFE: The aircraft was equipped with AVOD. There was a good choice of films in various languages, music and games.
STOP-OVER IN BKK: The flight arrived on time in concourse C and for the approx. 3 hours stop over we made our way to the Thai Royal Silk lounge on the same concourse of the airport. Thai operates two lounges on either side of concourse. However, one was closed and therefore the one open in this part of the terminal was quite crowded bearing in mind it is also in use for all Star Alliance members and it was late afternoon with a lot of departures scheduled during the next 2-3 hours. The lounge provides all the amenities one would expect with good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, hot food, news papers and magazines. In the business section there are a number of pcs with free internet available and this part of the lounge was also very busy. All in all the lounges appeared long and narrow does not look very spacious. Having seen a sign in the lounge for free massage for first and business class passengers we made our way to the Royal Orchid Spa which was nearby. Business class passengers are entitled to one free 30-minute neck and shoulder or foot massage. Since it was not busy we had no problem getting a neck and shoulder massage. Afterwards tea is offered in the very quite and nicely furnished reception area. This was definitely was a good way to kill stop-over time.
BOARDING BKK: After the massage we made our way to gate C10 which is at the end of concourse C and quite a good walk from the Spa. Here we had again priority boarding as business class passengers. Once on board we were shown our seats (row 12 = second row) and our coats were taken immediately and a glass of champagne, orange juice or water was offered. The aircraft pushed back on time.
THE SEAT: The aircraft in use for this flight to Sydney was a B-777 200ER with a 30 seat (2-2-2) lay out in Royal Silk class and furnished with the new business class product. The seat was slightly different but angled lie-flat and felt also comfortable for dining as well as sleeping. Blanket, pillow, head phone as well as an amenity kit were already placed on the seats. The cabin looked again clean and well looked after.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE: The first row (row 11) on this aircraft gives one slightly more space but lighting is affecting the tv-screens which are fixed on the wall in front. Row 16, the last row, is relatively noisy since it borders the galley.
IFE: The aircraft was equipped with AVOD and the program was the same as on the LHR-BKK sector. A nice additional channel in the IFE provided on this aircraft is the opportunity to watch take-off and landing through a nose mounted camera.
THE FLIGHT: As on the flight before once the plane had reached cruising height the cabin crew prepared for diner starting again with a traditional Thai fish cake as an appetizer. The main menu offered again a good choice of western as well as oriental dishes and included salad, main course, cheeseboard and dessert. The dishes were again well presented. The wines as well as champagne were the same brands as on the previous flight. Approx. 1 ½ hrs before landing in Sydney the cabin was prepared for breakfast which also included a western or oriental choice. Again service was attentive through out and at the end of the flight the serving crew member gave a personal thank you which sums up the good service provided. The flight arrived in Sydney slightly early.
ARRIVAL IN SYD: Arrivals here have become a bit of a pain in particular when a few planes arrive at the same time. We were lucky this time. The crew distributed express cards which helped to speed this up at immigrations and customs. The luggage from London was already on the belt once we cleared immigration and reached the customs hall. However, it still took about 60 minutes to reach the arrival hall.
VERDICT: Both flights left and arrived on time. The aircrafts were clean and the AVOD provided good entertainment. The seats were comfortable for sleeping and after diner we had on each flight a couple of hours a good sleep. The lounge facility in Bangkok was average. However, with the opportunity to use the spa transit time passed quickly. Service all around was very good and both crews were attentive and very friendly.
Poor effort every time. They need a new fleet and a better check in system.
I love TG, it is one of my favourite airlines. Of course in Asia I rank SQ and CX as the best and PR as the worst. My recent flight from BKK-HKG was excellant, albeit on an older 747. The FA's are so nice and you can feel they care. The food is always good, and ample. Getting Gold status really helps, the lounge in BKK is superb. Also flew BKK-HKT and loved the domestic lounge.
My first time with Thai Business Class, had high expectations and was sadly disapointed. Some of the seats was reperad with "metal tape" and the plane looked a bit wered out. Staff onboared looked tired and did not do a lot to make you feel welcome. Wine selction limited and the food fare from great. Needless to say I will not choose Thai again, since there is so many other good options.
I've been flying with Thai for some time now and am very satisfied with their J Class offering.
I agree with everyone regarding 'sliding down' and being a bit taller than average cannot use the foot rest. I generally just put a blanket on the floor to support my feet. It's not the widest J class seat on offer but I generally sleep pretty well.
It's all about value for money and Thai price their product very competitively. I also think that the crew are very good.
A330-300 from Bangkok to Perth, and Perth to Phuket. Seating pitch and width is ok, but no personal television. Depending on your seat, you may or may not be able to see the big screen or even the small hanging screens properly. Food is edible. Service really depends on the particular crew member, some are good, some are horrible!
very old seats
Excellent seat. Felt very roomy: I had a 'B' seat, next but one to a window.
I always get seat 2A that is not intrusive even is just in front of Business class The seat is easy to to adjust
Flew return Hong Kong-Bangkok flight last week. The Thai Airways flight I was in originated from Incheon International Airport in Korea with a stopover in Hong Kong.
By the time I checked in at Hong Kong's Chep Lap Kok airport, all the good seats were taken. I was at the tail section and seated on an aisle seat. (Same thing happened on my return trip four days later.)
The inflight service was good. The staff were gracious and were eager to please. They were quite accommodating in providing unlimited drinks. One gentleman sitting near me asked for his glass of Scotch to be refilled twice. Good thing he can hold his liquor. The food was very Thai, which whetted my appetite for local cuisine before reaching the destination.
The seat was very comfortable with an adequate legroom. Onboard entertainment was limited as there was no personal tv, but it did not really matter on a short-haul flight like this one.
Overall, it was a pleasant journey.
Great economy flight.. plenty of room, more so than other carrier flights to BKK. Service was very good, food was fine. Only drawback - no personal TV, but for such a short flight, its not vital. I took a window seat - 50K - easy to rest and take a nap.
Thai First Class promises a lot but sadly delivers little. The priority check-in is generally not as promised and you are often overlooked when the staff spot one of their own Royal Orchid Gold members. Great if you are one, less so if you are paying a First Class fare and pushed aside while they are checked-in in preference. I personally don't like the First Class lounge in BKK as I like to help myself to food and drink from a buffet/bar rather than take an educated guess as to what they may offer and order from the staff. Thai say that they will take you from the lounge to the gate but on each occasion I have asked I have just been directed with a very general arm pointing in one direction or another. The seats are the same as those on Malaysia Airlines and are comfortable for sitting and sleeping. The food is of good quality, similarly the champagne, whilst oddly the wines are very poor. On the whole there is no wine list presumably in a cost-cutting measure which necessitates each wine being brought to you to look. I now stick with champagne for the entire flight as I have never found a wine that I like. The crew seem to lack an understanding of wines and happily pour wines in which the cork has deteriorated, tainted the wine, and then cork debris floats in your glass. You can see why I stick to champagne! Good seats, but an inferior product and a crew that is anything but as smooth as silk. The Thai (nationality) friendliness is nowhere to be found on Thai Air. Don't start me on customer relations as they simply don't reply. Pathetic given the money I spend on their product.