Over the Hari Raya long weekend holidays, I did a short getaway to the very popular Bangkok, a mecca for foodists and shoppers alike. Booked my tickets on Thai Airways at a very reasonable price (comparable to budget airlines prices) for a full-service experience. Lets see how is the Royal Orchid service onboard Thai, after not having flown them for quite some time.
Did online check-in 24hrs prior and thus only got my boarding pass an hour before departure. The flight was upgraded from a B772 to a brand new B773ER to accommodate the huge number of passengers travelling to BKK over the weekend holiday. Flight was totally full in economy.
Spotted an Air France B773ER, arrived from Paris and continuing to Jakarta.
The incoming aircraft, HS-TKR, has arrived early.
We will be departing from Gate C13.
16 July 2015 Thai Airways International TG 414 Singapore (SIN) - Bangkok (BKK) B777-300ER HS-TKR Economy Class
Admiring the beautiful Thai B773ER. The aircraft is rather new and fitted with the latest interior seat designs.
Boarding commenced shortly. Priority boarding and boarding by rows were strictly enforced. Entering the aircraft through the airbridge, a selection of newspapers and magazines were available at the door.
Welcomed aboard by beautiful Thai crew in their traditional Thai uniforms (which they will change out from before landing). Passed a small J cabin into economy. Cabin seemed fresh and new. The seat colours are rather stylish yet reek of Thai tradition.
Reached my seat at the rear cabin. The IFE monitors were similar to those on SQ, but touchscreen activated. A welcome message in various languages was shown.
Cargo being loaded.
A pillow was available on each seat. Blankets were distributed upon request. Headsets were distributed by the crew during boarding. While SQ has switched to inferior earbuds in economy, TG has moved away from the earbuds it previously hands out, to the better quality headsets similar to what SQ used to distribute to cattle class.
Inflight magazines and safety card.
Legroom was more than decent. Seats were equipped with footrests (similar to SQ). IFE handsets and USB ports were on the seatback. Did not use the handsets though a the monitors were touchscreen enabled.
Crew settling passengers and assisting with baggage. Boarding was completed rather swiftly, even with the full load.
Garuda B738 and Scoot's pimple-jet B789 taxiing side-by-side.
Flight time would take about 1h50m.
Doors closed, safety video played and we started our pushback.
Don't you love the engine startup sound of the GE-powered B773ER?
Welcome announcement during taxi.
Taxi to runway 20C.
And a powerful takeoff from Rwy20C, bound for Bangkok.
IFE system was already switched on during boarding. I settled for a teen comedy on this short flight. IFE would be available all the way until touchdown.
No menus were distributed on this short flight, but the menu for the meal was available in the IFE system.
Menu for TG414.
Enjoying the movie.
Crew gave out immigration forms, followed by serving the special meals by hand from the galley. With the short flight time and full flight, the crew definitely were definitely quick and efficient. It also certainly helps that TG staffs its economy cabin with more crew than most other airlines.
My travel partner received his Hindu vegetarian meal first and according to him, every item on the tray was very tasty!
This was followed with distribution of the normal meals.
TG currently has a special 55th anniversary special, with one of the economy dishes on the SIN-BKK route being a celebrity Thai chef special. On this flight, the prawn selection was replaced with the special dish of fish with rice. I chose the fish selection. The meal came with a simple salad, warm soft roll with butter, a pot of water and a dessert.
The main course was a fish fillet with thai-style spicy sauce, thai omelette and rice. It was really delicious and portion was very generous as well! One of the best economy class meals I had onboard.
After swiftly distributing the meal trays, the crew came down with the bar cart, offering the full selection of beverages from the bar. This is one area where TG excels as most other airlines would not bother to set up a full bar cart on a short-haul flight.
I ordered a Coke and was generously offered the full can with ice. Note that the cutlery used on this sector was plastic, which was puzzling as on the return sector, the cutlery was metal.
Meal service did not end there as the crew came round to offer additional bread rolls, as well as wine top-ups. Really fantastic service on this short and full flight!
Enjoying the apricot crumble dessert.
The bar cart made its appearance again with the crew offering hot coffee/tea or more beverages. Totally amazed with the efficiency and generosity of TG's economy meal service!
After the second run of the bar cart, meal trays were collected. Totally satisfied with the meal…
Cruising over South China Sea.
View of the B773ER aft economy cabin. There were some Thai artwork at the rear of the cabin which I did not capture. Overall, I really loved the new cabin colours and ambience of TG's B773ER.
Lavatory was well-appointed as well, with false wooden panelling on the floor and below the sink, and a nice floral touch of an orchid. However not much amenities available, except the necessary and a cologne.
Soon we started our descend.
Crew only started clearing up the cabin halfway through the descent. Female crew also rushed to change out of their traditional Thai uniforms to the ground uniform. They seriously worked the cabin till the gears came down.
An arrival Thailand Customs video was shown.
Our flight route.
Video of the descent with soothing music in the background.
Approaching the runway.
And making a very cushioning landing (felt like landing on a mattress) on Rwy19R, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
Taxied pass a TG A380.
And docked at the gate. Seems like the catering truck has not update its livery for the past 5 years as it still has TG's 50th anniversary logo on its side.
Passing Business Class. The width of Thai's new-generation Business Class seats seemed tiny after getting used to SQ's gigantic Business seats.
Even though we parked and exited via the airbridge, we were directed down the stairs to awaiting buses. This made many passengers confused since the airbridge was linked to the terminal building. Apparently we were parked at the domestic end of the terminal (guess the aircraft would be making another short hop to CNX or HKT before the night long-haul) and would need to be ferried by buses to the international arrival hall.
A look at our B773ER.
A tour of the BKK tarmac while on the bus ride to arrivals.
For this trip, I stayed at Mode Sathorn Hotel, which is located just beside Surasak BTS station. Imagine it as an affordable replica of W Hotel.
This trip was all about tailoring, eating and some shopping. And so, here are some of the food I had!
Singapore - SIN
Bangkok - BKK
It was a truly pleasant flying experience on TG on this short-haul flight. We were well-fed and well-entertained, with nice cabin ambience, delicious meals and great service by the crew. Well done, TG!
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TG's 777ER is business nice, not as nice as SQ business.
However it is a huge improvement on the old angled bed seats. If only Thai would refurbish the other planes with these new seats, they are so much more comfortable.
Thanks for sharing
I LIKE THEIR PRODUCT AND WILL BE FLYING AGAIN WITH THEM TO BKK THEN ONTO TO FRA COME OCT 1.
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