Class: Thai Airways Business Class
Date: January 23, 2019 | 11:45PM – 6:38AM (+1)
Actual Flight time: 4 hours 52 minutes
Booking: Aeroplan: Hong Kong & Asia
I had just under 2 hours to spend in BKK airport. As I would later found out, this is actually not quite enough time. I have to say BKK airport is quite confusing – it’s sort of laid out like a octopus with the main concourse in the middle with spokes leading away from it at every side and corner which is where concourse A-G is laid out. There are lounges scattered everywhere as opposed to most airports where most of the lounges are grouped together.
I spent about 30 minutes transiting from Arrivals to the main departure concourse. The highlight of this layover is that Thai offers a 30 minutes foot or shoulder & head massage to its own passengers. Relying on other travel bloggers I tried to find the Royal Orchid spa as early as possible as I read the line can get very long indeed. I found the Royal Orchid spa in Concourse D and I was told there was a 1.5 hour wait. That was just enough time for me to make my flight so I filed in the form and counted myself lucky.
Directly opposite the Orchid Spa is a Thai business class lounge so I decided went there to grab a bite and shower. The food was mainly Thai food (think pad thai, curry and fried rice) and the lounge was PACKED. There was zero seating outside even though the lounge was actually very big, but I managed to find a quiet spot in the business center. After taking a quick nap I tried to find the showers, but I was told there was no showers in this lounge and I had to go to concourse C.
After walking briskly for 10 minutes (sweating since I was carrying my heavy laptop), I found another Thai lounge and asked for a shower. I was given a number with no explanation of what to do. I figured I was in line and waited for a while for someone to call me. After 15 minutes I was in danger of missing my spa appointment so I went to the shower rooms (there was only 2 and it seemed EVERYONE wanted a shower) to ask the attendant what to do. She waved me away rather rudely (I think there is definitely a language barrier), so I made the snap decision I valued a massage over a shower and again fast walked back to the Spa in concourse D.
Once inside the spa, I was seated with some tea. The contrast inside the lounge/spa area and outside was incredible. It was noisy and packed with people outside. Once inside it was extremely quiet and tranquil, like a separate little world inside BKK airport. My head & sholder massage felt incredible (no photography allowed), exactly what I needed after my hectic experience. Once that was done it was time to go to the gate to board my flight.
This is my first time on the upper deck of a 747. Like the A330, the seats looked a little dated. In fact, the seats is identical to the A330, which I just flew just a few hours ago. The seats had the same outdated controllers, seat adjustment buttons and angled flat sleep mode when fully extended.
Again, there was flowers and drinks offered before take-off. I just had water this time. One welcome but unusual thing on the 747 upper deck was the storage bins next to the window seats. This was perfect for my backpack, so I didn’t have to climb over my neighbor to open the overhead bins if I needed anything from it.
This was a redeye flight so I got to test out the angled sleeper seats. It definitely wasn’t as comfortable as lie-flat like the EVA air or cathay seats, but I slept quite well on it. It is still undoubtedly infinitely better than anything in standard or premium economy.
Food and Drinks
The lights turned off as soon as we took off, so no supper was served. I felt this made sense to maximize sleep time. There was a all day dine menu available at any time, but I didn’t take advantage of it. Breakfast was a choice of Japanese, western or Thai. I chose the Japanese option, which turned out quite good. The fish was a little tasteless, but Thai again scores high in the dessert department.
Surprisingly, the headphones offered was different than the one on the A330. These were AKG branded instead. I usually use my own Bose headphones so didn’t listen to them enough to compare the two.
An amenity kit was offered on this flight, branded by Greyhound Original, a thai fashion design house. It was well packed, with slippers, ginger scented hand cream and lip balm as well as the usual suspects. The case was solid and could be re-used for toiletries on future travel.
I felt conflicted writing this review when it came to rating Thai Airways. One one hand, their seats were old and had a dated design so I wanted to hate it, but their food and service level scored very highly to me.
You won’t find many other airlines that offer massages for business class passengers, along with flowers and pre-departure champagne for regional flights. The high quality amenity kit and food was also welcomed. Taking everything into account, while not on the level of ANA or EVA air, I think Thai is actually a very solid airline offering that is often overlooked or underrated and I wouldn’t hesitate to chose them in the future even if I had to sleep in a angled flat seat.