Review of Thai Airways flight Bangkok Hong Kong in First

Airline Thai Airways
Flight TG600
Class First
Seat 2A
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 03:00
Take-off 08 Dec 15, 08:07
Arrival at 08 Dec 15, 12:07
TG 373 reviews
hometoyyz
By BRONZE 2995
Published on 28th December 2015
Welcome, dear reader, to a short return trip from Hong Kong to Bangkok on Thai Airways’ 747-400 in First Class. These flights, as fate had it, were my penultimate aviation adventure of 2015.

Stage 1: 12/7/2015 - TG607 HKG-BKK - http://flight-report.com/en/report-12633.html
Stage 2: 12/8/2015 - TG600 BKK-HKG - Your are here.

After a few hours’ sleep at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi, I woke up a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off at 4:45 am. With an 8:00 am departure, and the First Class Lounge at BKK opening at 5:00, I wanted to make sure I made the most of it. Checkout was quick, and there were a number of shuttles back to the airport already boarding as I walked out.

Just about 5:00 am, we arrived at the main terminal at BKK.

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The main hall at BKK has a rather industrial feel to it, but does have some nice Thai decorations — not quite as far gone on Christmas as Hong Kong was.

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From there, it’s a matter of turning left and walking tot he end of the terminal, where the dedicated check-in lounge for Thai’s Royal First class is situated. These two attendants were standing by even at this early hour.

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The gentleman on the right greeted me as I approached, showed me to a seat in the small lounge area, and took my passport up to the desk in the F check-in area.

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The check-in area has a few banks of chairs for passengers to wait while they’re checked in, and behind a partition wall, there are more seats that get pressed into action during peak hours.

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In the past, I’ve been offered a cold towel and a drink here, but at this early hour and when it’s not exactly blazing outside by Bangkok standards, that wasn’t offered this time. Nor is it necessary, as within about two minutes, an agent comes back with my boarding pass back to Hong Kong, and the porter motions for me to follow him, taking my luggage with him. In the past, the First Class check-in process has taken a lot longer than would seem necessary, but that was not the case this morning.

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It’s a short walk down the hall, through the opening you see at the far right of the picture above, beyond the lit-up glass wall panels. There sits the special security area for Thai premium passengers. They’re not busy at all, and in about three more minutes, I’m through security and onto an escalator, which leads straight down into the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge, for business class and Star Alliance Gold customers.

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As we head down, my porter catches the attention of a gentleman standing by, who hustles over to the four-wheel scooter you see at the end of the hall in the picture above. My porter puts my luggage on the cart, and wishes me a pleasant flight, the cart driver puts down a step for me to board, and within seconds, we’re whisking along a deserted hallway that runs the length of the Royal Orchid Lounge and is used only for this purpose — getting First Class passengers quickly over to the First Class Lounge.



Inside, my passport is checked, and I’m asked if I’d like a massage over at the Royal Orchid Spa, which I passed on the way over. I say yes, and the woman behind the counter says she’ll make the arrangements.

Then she shows me into the lounge. There’s only one other person in the lounge, just fifteen minutes after it opened, so she shows me into one of the secluded “living room” areas, and asks me to have a seat. These semi-private living rooms are nicely decorated and offer enough space for a family or business group traveling together, as well as a TV and a computer.



The lounge agent re-appears moments later with an iPad that serves as the menu for food and drink, and informs me the massage has been arranged for “a little after 6:00,” giving me about 45 minutes to relax in the lounge. She hovers as I take a quick look at the breakfast menu, and select a dumpling soup and a congee with pork, along with some water, and an espresso. There will be no dozing off during this F experience.

The drinks arrive moments later, and the espresso is great. So great that I have two more before leaving the lounge.

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Before the food arrives, I wander out to check out the rest of the lounge, which is pretty much vacant at this time. I’m seated right by a bar area, so as soon as I step outside, I’m converged upon by a bunch of people anxious to take care of my every whim, but they quickly let me go when I say I’m just exploring the lounge a little bit.

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Aside from a few of the semi-private living rooms and the main hall seating, there’s also a small buffet at the far end of the lounge, but I don’t check it out.

I return to my space, and soon enough, the dumpling soup and garnishes are delivered to me. Tasty, salty, deliciousness. I thoroughly enjoy it.

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Moments later, the congee appears — also very good. Breakfast options included a variety of egg dishes, and I think just about anything on the menu was on offer, but I decided to stick to some Asian breakfast dishes, anticipating an eggy breakfast on-board.

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With breakfast over, the lounge attendant comes by and tells me they’re ready for me over at the spa, then escorts me to the entrance, just a short walk across the hall.

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Inside, my details are confirmed, I sign my life away, and I’m shown into a small waiting area, where I sit for just a minute or two when my masseuse comes to get me. Meanwhile a hot towel and a fruity cold tea are offered for my enjoyment. The tea is quite good.

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She shows me to one of the suites where TG offers its ground service signature for First Class passengers, a complimentary one-hour oil massage. I’m shown to a change room, but decline to shower as I’d just showered an hour ago at the hotel. I hope that’s not bad form. Provided silk robes are in gold and purple, naturally. Thai certainly has “the little things” down.



I change out of my clothes and into the “who are we kidding” disposable mesh underwear provided and step out into the beautifully decorated main massage suite. The massage offered actually pretty good, at once invigorating and relaxing — definitely the highlight of the TG ground services offering.

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The massage itself ends at about 6:50, so it was actually a little under 45 minutes, but quite thorough and very enjoyable. Then it’s into the shower, and a brief stop in the lounge at the Spa to have a cup of ginger tea and fill out a feedback form.

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At this point, it’s just about 15 minutes to boarding, so I decide to forego one more trip to the lounge, and instead make my way towards the gate for my flight back to Hong Kong.

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Down an escalator I go into the holding area for the gate, and they don’t seem to make a big deal of my First Class boarding pass. So I mix in with the crowd, and get a quick pic of my ride back to Hong Kong.

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I mill around for a minute, and a gate agent comes up to me, and without looking at my boarding pass, says “First Class, please, come aboard,” with an epxression and urgency in her voice that seems to suggest “… and I’m dreadfully sorry you had to intermingle for a minute with the rest of these vermin.” She opens the door up, and I’m quickly down the jetway and aboard, where i’m greeted by the middle-aged female flight attendant in-charge, who shows me to my seat, 2A. Just like last night, but the other side of the plane.

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Unfortunately, once again, this plane features Thai’s “old new” First Class offering. I’d hoped at least one leg would be on the enclosed suite, but no such luck.

Since nobody else is on board in F yet, I have a chance to take a look around. Here’s the view from the front bulkhead — the two lavs in the middle are dedicated to First Class, and reading offerings are already laid out for me to choose. First Class on the TG 744 is a 10-seat cabin, with three window seats on each side, and four centre pairs that would be ideal for those traveling together.

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On my way down, I noticed there was what appeared to be an old overhead projector, and on this plane, that’s confirmed, as it’s currently showing the airshow information for this flight — and very poorly at that.

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Here’s an odd little bit of configuration on the TG 744 — there are no seats immediately behind F on the starboard side — instead, there’s a rather long galley that serves both First and Business.

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Back at my seat, there’s a nice little orchid corsage awaiting. And the usual details — power ports, headphones, seat controls, IFE remote, etc.



Legroom is more than adequate, and fortunately the ottoman can be brought towards you to help make the lounging position more comfortable.

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A look out my window — more advertising in purple and gold.

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The flight attendant comes by with a menu, and quickly takes my order. I hadn’t bothered to pre-book a meal, since nothing on the pre-booking menu seemed particularly suited for breakfast. So I decide to be boring, and go with the western-style breakfast dish.

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A hot towel is offered, and then followed up with an offer for some Dom Perignon. Who am I to say no? Again, my drink was kept topped up until it was time to push back.

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The load was fairly light in First, with five of ten seats occupied. I’m not sure how it was further back, but we were quickly loaded up and pushing back right on time.

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A short taxi on a beautiful morning past some of the TG fleet looking resplendent with their purple tails, and we lined up for takeoff without much delay.

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From there, a pretty takeoff roll and ascent, passing some of our stablemates, including our twin in Star Alliance colours, and our “big brother,” the A380. I enjoyed watching us pulling away from our distinctly-747 shadow as we passed Suvarnabhumi and climbed into the Thai sky.



As we climbed, I popped up my IFE screen, and discovered there was a live camera pointing downwards. It took me some time to figure out how to get out of this mode and into the usual IFE interface. I’m still not sure exactly how I did. But I suppose the important part is that I did.

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I settled in and decided to check out a movie — Captive, starring Kate Mara. Not exactly great, but there were few films I hadn’t seen which interested me. That provides decent quality noice cancelling headphones in First.

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And it’s worth noting once again — this tray table is absolutely huge.

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Beakfast service begins with an excellent cup of capuccino, and then the table is set, complete with bread basket. Unlike the bread basket last night, I did not leave this one alone. Instead, I attacked it like a hungry animal. Everything was very good, but the chocolate croissant was excellent. Having polished it off partway through my meal, the flight attendant thoughtfully brought around another one, which I totally didn’t need. but I still ate the extra chocolate croissant.



Apparently, the 55th anniversary celebration ended sometime between last night and this morning.

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Breakfast began with a bowl of decent muesli, and an interesting yogurt “with fruit salad.”

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Then perhaps the most artfully-presented fruit plate I’ve ever seen on a plane.

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And then onto the main — which doesn’t look like much, but was actually very good. The egg soufflé was delicious, and the mushrooms were also particularly good. Very enjoyable.

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Then this sweet was presented, and explained to me as “Chinese dough.” It seems pretty indistinguishable for a fresh donut. Again, quite good.

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At this point stuffed to the gills with food, I put my seat into a comfortable recline position, and watch my movie. Despite the rather elaborate breakfast, I’m impressed at how quickly we get through it, just over an hour into our flight of just over two hours.

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I make a quick visit to one of the lavs, which has some nice decorative accents.

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And on the way back, a quick look at the first class seat in full recline.

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As the movie ends, the in-charge flight attendant struggles with an attempt to show a pre-arrival video, which interrupts programming, and has to be stopped and re-started several times before it works properly. When she’s done, we’re into our descent into the Hong Kong area, and this adventure is almost over. As bright and sunny as it was in Bangkok this morning, it’s looking rather overcast over to Hong Kong.

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We touch down pretty much right on schedule, and make the short taxi to our gate, where my F experience for this year has left me resolved to have another such experience in the not-so-distant future.



With wai’s all around, we’re off the plane and into the hallway at Hong Kong, ready for the long walk to passport control and customs, which is moving pretty efficiently at 11:30 in the morning. Since my flight back to Canada doesn’t leave for about eight hours, I’m quickly landside, where again the Christmas decorations are in full bloom, and off to find a bus into town for a bit of shopping before heading home.

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Verdict

Thai Airways

8.6/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge

9.8/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering10.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services10.0

Bangkok - BKK

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

A great morning flight with good service, solid catering, and amazing views, particularly on the crystal-clear ascent out of Bangkok.

I really enjoy Thai's first class product, especially when one is flying out of BKK so one can truly enjoy all there is to offer, and such a treat once again to have the flight on the Queen of the Skies. Riding in the nose is a great experience. But then, so is riding on the upper deck.

And so ends this one -- one more 2015 adventure to post. One which started just 20 hours or so after my flights home to Canada from Hong Kong. (Which were also just fine on AC.)

Thanks for reading!

Information on the route Bangkok (BKK) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 50 reviews of 7 airlines on the route Bangkok (BKK) → Hong Kong (HKG).


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The airline with the best average rating is Emirates with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 44 minutes.

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2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 153502 by
    socalnow 978 Comments

    Thank you Hometoyyz for the great report on a fantastic and nostalgic airline and aircraft.

    ...I woke up a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off at 4:45 am. With an 8:00 am departure, and the First Class Lounge at BKK opening at 5:00, I wanted to make sure I made the most of it.
    -I take great joy in seeing others that are maximizers as I am when traveling with a special airline in a premium cabin. Is there any other way?

    This whole experience looks great. I am pleased to see Thai is still at a level of attention to detail. The ground service, the orchid at your seat, keeping the PDB topped up, the splendid fruit presentation, and etc. Their business is at quite a crossroads and hemorrhaging cash but it seems they still have a staff that takes pride in the product and service.

    Thanks again for sharing and happy flying.

    • Comment 333323 by
      hometoyyz BRONZE AUTHOR 542 Comments

      Thanks for the feedback, Socalnow!

      I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one who does silly things like show up as easly as possible to maximize premium experiences. Hey... this doesn't happen to me every day, and in this case, getting there was waaaaaay more than half the fun. Closer to 100 per cent.

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