Flight Test: TG472 Sydney to Bangkok in Business Class
My partner and I decided to take the family to Thailand and Bali which was possible due to the availability of points awards through Singapore Airlines Krisflyer. I have always loved Asian carriers for their understated but elegant service and polite and efficient staff – would this flight meet expectations?
Business Class – A340-600
We arrived at the airport and checked-in – the wait was longer than usual at ~10mins due to what appeared to be difficulties with passengers in front of us. I discovered that Thai allows paid upgrades at check-in, and the upgrade to First class would be $810 each. This was tempting but we decided to stick with Business and save the rest of the money for more important things… like shopping in Bangkok. Or botox.
Did the whole express path customs/immigration thing as usual – Sydney are quite good at processing passengers and are as efficient as they come. Picked up some Grey Goose in duty free and embarked on the marathon walk to the Air New Zealand lounge (which Thai uses for it’s premium passengers). The lounge itself wasn’t terribly busy and we had our favourite seats sitting right by the window – had a wine or three + some munchies.
This was a rather full flight but we were processed quickly by the gate agent from the Royal Silk (Business Class) queue. On arrival at my seat however I found someone already seated there – we compared boarding passes and we had both been assigned the same seat. After an awkward 5 mins of us loitering around the seat in question the flight attendant returned and he was moved elsewhere.
We were seated in the second smaller Business cabin, directly in front of Economy, in the middle block of two seats. The seat was as same as last time I flew with Thai – not completely lie flat but comfortable in relax mode. For an eight hour flight the seat was fine, however I would find the seat extremely uncomfortable on longer US flights (something to keep in mind if your considering Thai for those longer jaunts).
As we were seated in the smaller Business cabin in front of Economy, one may be concerned about the potential noise from Economy. Fortunately for us the noise was minimal. We had two dedicated flight attendant’s looking after the smaller cabin which meant quicker service at meal times.
Standard on demand inflight entertainment offering. It won’t win any awards but it certainly kept me entertained for the flight. The ability to watch the flight-map was great though it was slightly buggy. The videos were generally up to date with a good selection of movies and TV shows (though probably not as good as Emirates however).
Meals & Service
Two meals were provided on this flight – one immediately after takeoff and one shortly before descent in Bangkok. Again, Thai won’t win any awards for it’s ‘middle of the road’ and uninspiring meals, but overall they are filling and do the job. The crew were great and polite in typical Thai fashion – mega efficient. Wine refills throughout the flight were forthcoming and crew responded efficiently to the call bell.
This was a stock standard Thai flight – didn’t blow me away but the crew were polite and efficient. Catering was nice but overall uninspiring. Pretty happy but Thai has room to improve… perhaps with the introduction of the carriers A380’s we will see some improvement in the overall offering.
We flew this flight in late December 2011, so some flight details may now be out of date.