Review of Thai Airways flight Seoul Bangkok in Business

Airline Thai Airways
Flight TG 659
Class Business
Seat 16K
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 05:50
Take-off 15 Jul 17, 09:35
Arrival at 15 Jul 17, 13:25
TG   #9 out of 137 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 367 reviews
DrAviation
By 2405
Published on 27th January 2018
Hi there! Apologies for the long delay. This is part three of my series of flights from Singapore to Seoul via Bangkok on Thai airways. If you would like to follow this series, please view the previous flight report on my flight from BKK to ICN.

TG 404 1225/1345 B772 FR found here!
TG 658 2310/0635 B744 FR found here!
TG 659 0935/1325 [This report]
TG 413 1155/1505 [No report]

Introduction
After 5 wonderful days in sunny Seoul, it was time to head back to Singapore. BUt first, a flight back to seoul on thai airways and a one night stopover in Bangkok to enjoy some local cuisine and more cheap massages.

Since my flight was at 0935 hours, I had to wake up at 0500 to catch an early bus from Myeongdong to Incheon. Apologies for the lack of pictures- I was too sleepy at that point in time. Journey took about 55 minutes and I was at the airport at around 0700.

Pictures of Incheon airport . I quite like Incheon airport's design: an open and well lit airport, giving it a modern and welcoming touch.
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Queues for Thai airways check in. Economy class queues were very long, but the business class queue was short and quick.

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Check in was completed in 5 minutes: Check in counter staff gave me my boarding class and welcomed me to the Asiana lounge at the concourse. No priority pass was given for security and immigration.

Since it was peak hour, security and immigration queues were long, but the staff was efficient and it was completed in about 15-20 minutes. Very good for such a crowd.

airside
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With about 2 hours to burn, I decided to explore the various star alliance lounges available in Incheon, namely the Asiana Lounge and Silver Kris Lounge. There are two Asiana lounges, one at the main terminal and the other at the concourse. I actually walked past the one at the main terminal but decided to head to the one at the concourse instead. What a big mistake.

Plane Spotting on the way. A brand new Asiana A350. Love this new aircraft.
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Train to the councourse
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Lounges

As mentioned above, I headed to the Asiana lounge at the concourse. However, it was disappointing. The lounge was dark and had an uninviting atmosphere. Food options were very: some korean noodles, instant noodles, small snacks. I am quite sure that the main lounge would have much better options. However, i was too lazy to head back. I barely ate anything at the lounge and decided to head to the silverkris lounge. My apologies for the lack of pictures

Atmosphere of the lounge: very dark
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After such a dissapointing lounge, i headed to the silverkris lounge thinking it would have better offerings. However, it was mediocre as well, although better than the Asiana Lounge. There were some standard western berakfast options like eggs, and bacon, and some cold sandwiches and burgers that were not very appetising. At least it was brighter and had better spaces to do work, and less crowded. Again, my apologies for the lack of pictures. I think i might have been so disappointed that i just didn't bother

Entrance to the Silverkris lounge in Seoul.
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Plane Spotting


Since the lounges were so poor, I decided to walk around the airport and look at some planes. The concourse was full of international carriers.

Air France Boeing 777
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Philippines Airlines A321 headed back to Manila
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Singapore Airlines A330. I could have flown it back, but why would I fly economy in SQ when I can get Business on TG with a 747 flight for the same price?
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Vietnam Airlines A350. I think this livery looks beautiful on the A350
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Cathay Pacific A330. Later in the year I had a pleasant flight on Cathay and Cathay Dragon (flight report later!), which would make me sign up for Marco Polo Club.
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The other Thai Airways flight. A 777-300 heading back to Bangkok via Taipei. Not so appealing
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And of course, the Queen that will be taking me to Bangkok today. Majestic
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Boarding and Pre-departure
At around 0900, boarding was called and priorities were strictly enforced. However, I was slightly late and boarded when economy class passengers seated at the rear were boarding.
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A friendly FA greeted me and directed me up the staircase to my seat.

Stairway to Heaven
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I was initially seated at seat 17A with someone seated beside me. I noticed that 16 A and B were both empty and asked the FA if I could move forward. She welcomed me and helped me moved my things to the row in front.

View from my window: Neighbouring Finnair A350.
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The IFE located at the side of the seat. Small screen with a average resolution and average range of movies. Thai airways must offer much better on their newer aircraft and upgrade their older cabin products to compete with the regional competitors like SQ, MH and CX. Even Vietnam Airlines are offering decent products in their new aircraft.
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Pre-departure beverage was served together with a warm towel. I went for champagne as usual. Amenity kit was already placed on the seat when I arrived. This was a different design from my previous flight, though contents were similar. This is a very nice souvenir and useful pouch. Wonder why SQ seems so hesitant to offer amenity kits when other airlines (even those considered inferior) give such kits to pamper their premium passengers.
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16A was an emergency exit row seat. All the room in the world to stretch out my legs.
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At about 0930, the Captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard the flight and announced a flight time of 4 hours 45 minutes. He also dropped a bombshell when he annouced that due to air traffic congestion, our departure will be delayed by 90 minutes. This was greeted by sighs and "whats????" around the entire cabin. I wasn't too bothered since I wasn't in a rush. I would just savour my extended time on this B747. I recall a couple seated on the opposite aisle summoning an FA to complain. They were rather agitated and rude and commented that 90 minutes was unacceptable, and that this never happened on Asiana Airlines. He even told the FA he would never fly Thai again. Come on guys. Even if you flew Asiana today you would be delayed- it is an airport problem not an airline problem. Some people just don't understand things like us AvGeeks hahaha. Later the captain came on the PA again to clarify the reason for the delay was ATC, not any problem with the plane and that every aircraft departing from Incheon today was delayed. Guess the FA gave him a call to explain this clearly so that passengers don't get the wrong idea.

With 90 minutes to burn, I put my seat in maximum recline and watched some movies. FA came around to offer some drinks to passengers. THe seats were similar to the ones in my previous flight, so I won/t elaborate too much. Basically it was in a 2-2 configuration, and did not completely recline to 180 flat bed. It was comfortable enough for short nap on a 5 hour flight, but definitely not acceptable for a long haul flight to Munich or Sydney from Bangkok (which Thai still uses this 747 for)

Take off and in-flight service

At around 1050, we started our pushback and taxi to the runway. Some shots of the view outside the window


Shortly after take off, cabin crew started service by serving some drinks and cold nuts. Some more bubbles for me. Not too sure what brand of champagne this is, but tasted fine to me (Im no expert at wine and champagne tasting)

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Three choices were available for lunch. I apologise as I somehow did not take a picture of the menu. Three choices were available: Korean, Thai and western. Korean option was Bibimbap with some korean side dishes. If i recall correctly, the Thai option was a curry. The western option was a stuffed chicken breast with Brown sauce. Each cuisine had their own appetisers. Since I had a fiar share of delicious Korean food, and was heading for some delicious Thai food, I decided to go for the Western option. Spoiler alert: it was the wrong choice

Table was set with cutlery, bread and butter. Started with the appetiser course: smoked salmon with some tomato salsa like thing. Good start to the meal: salmon and the tomato salsa went well together. Bread rolls were served warm, and were soft. They were simple and nothing compared to SQ's bread selection where garlic bread (yummy) and other fancy breads were available. Wished that Thai Airways would consider offering a better bread selection.
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Main course was served: Fried chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese in brown sauce and potato wedges. Terrible. Breaded chicken was always going to be soggy when served inflight. Potato wedges were soggy and tasteless, and the brown sauce didn't look good and tasted…. weird. Complete contrast to the wonderful meals I had on my previous flights with Thai airways. Maybe the thai option would have been the safer choice
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The western option was served with a cheese plate and some fruits. Cheese was okay, but the breads served with it were dry and tasteless. It would have been much better to just serve cheese with plain crackers. Fruits were welll… fruits. Can't really go wrong there
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The saving grace of the meal was the dessert: Thai Milk Tea ice-cream with some jellies. Ice cream was rich with a strong tea flavour and not too sweet. This was served with cappucinno for me. Coffee was good by airline standards.

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Overall, disappointing meal by Thai Airways.

After the meal, I reclined my seat and took a nap and watched some movies thereafter. Flight was uneventful. Cabin Crew came along frequently to offer drinks and some nuts

Seat in full recline
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Arrival


I didn't take anymore pictures on the flight as I was groggy from waking up so early that morning. We landed at around 1415 Bangkok time. The captain and all the crew were apologetic about the delay. Chill guys, it isn't your fault. While waiting to disembark, I spoke to the cabin crew who asked where I was from. I told her I chose Thai Airways specifically because of the 747, to which she replied " Oh yes. This is a classic plane! Very few airlines have it." She went on to introduce to me some places to eat in Bangkok. Really friendly and proactive crew, as one would expect from Thai Airways.

Immigration was crowded but business class passengers had express queue to use, and I was out of the airport and headed to my hotel Holiday Inn Silom Road in less than 30 minutes.

That is all for this series of flight reports. Feel free to comment below!
See more

Verdict

Thai Airways

6.5/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering2.5

Asiana Airlines Business Lounge

2.5/10
Comfort2.5
Meal/catering2.5
Entertainment/wifi2.5
Services2.5

Seoul - ICN

9.9/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness10.0

Bangkok - BKK

8.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access9.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

This flight was not as good as previous ones. First the unfortunate delay at Incheon, then the poor food served. Cabin products were old- acceptable for a short flight, but should not be used on flights more than 6 hours. One consistent thing about Thai Airways is that their cabin crew are always approachable, warm genuine and proactive. I suppose good service in part of their genes.

Looking forward, I hope that Thai Airways will offer more competitive products out there, or offer competitive prices at least. I will not pay a premium to take business class of this standard. Would not mind if it is at the price I got it for. Thai Airways has proven to be a decent alternative to the usual airline I fly.

Information on the route Seoul (ICN) Bangkok (BKK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Seoul (ICN) → Bangkok (BKK).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Thai Airways with 8.2/10.

The average flight time is 5 hours and 31 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 429370 by
    cheapflyer.JP 61 Comments

    Thank you for your insightful report.
    Thai Business class on B747 looks bit classic, though an upper deck is much more attractive than a modern full-flat seat for AVgeeks, isn't it?
    Indeed, I experienced a B747 upper deck business class seat. It was much more enjoyable experience for me than any other aircrafts.
    I'm looking forward to your next report.

    • Comment 429645 by
      DrAviation AUTHOR 6 Comments

      hi cheapflyer.JP!
      "Thai Business class on B747 looks bit classic, though an upper deck is much more attractive than a modern full-flat seat for AVgeeks, isn't it?"
      - Agree! its fair to say that flying on the upper deck of the 747 is THE dream for many, at least for me. Guess its due to how the
      747 romanticised flying back then when I was younger. A380 just doesn't have that effect.

      "I'm looking forward to your next report."
      - Thanks! Have plenty to write about, just need to find time! Cheers

  • Comment 429417 by
    JW19 118 Comments

    Even with better food options I unlike the guy will still not fly asiana. The food choices never change, equipment used are never consistent and their A333 and 321 has terrible seats. Still don’t understand why are they 5 Star compared to day Japan Airlines.

    Anyway, great report and by going straight to the concourse lounge you are not missing out much. The main terminal lounge is no different. Even the first class lounge doesn’t come near to the SATS lounges back home.

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