Review of Thai Airways flight Singapore Bangkok in Business

Airline Thai Airways
Flight TG404
Class Business
Seat 12A
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 23 Aug 17, 12:25
Arrival at 23 Aug 17, 13:45
TG   #42 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 398 reviews
Rewardflying
Published on 22nd September 2017
photo tg404 cover

Hello Flight-Report #avgeeks. This is the final flight of the long trek from Chicago to Bangkok going the wrong way. And it's on simply beautiful Airbus A350 flown by Thai Airways which was only 2 months old.

jetBlue A320 Ecomomy service ORD-JFK
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class JFK-FRA / JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
Singapore Airlines Suites Class FRA-SIN / FRA Air Canada Lounge

Thai Airways A350 Business Class SIN-BKK / SIN The Private Room


Thai Airways B747 First Class BKK-SYD / BKK Thai Royal First Lounge and Spa
Air New Zealand B787 Business Class SYD-AKL / SYD Air New Zealand Lounge
Air New Zealand A320 Economy Class AKL-WLG / AKL Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge
JetStar A320 Economy Class WLG-AKL
Emirates A380 Business Class AKL-BNE / AKL Emirates Lounge
Qantas B737 Business Class BNE-SYD / BNE Priority Pass Lounge
American Airlines B777 First Class SYD-LAX / SYD Qantas First Class Lounge
Virgin America A320 First Class LAX-ORD

photo tg404 scenic sin 4

Changi airport is incredible, even at 7 in the morning. The colors, the lights, the shops. It could have been mid-day. But it was morning and I was in need of a shower.

Unlike in Frankfurt when a Singapore Airlines agent met us at the gate, no such amenity was afforded in Singapore. Maybe if I was on a Singapore connecting flight there might have been. But I don't recall the couple next to me being escorted to the lounge. I could have missed it. Changi is also so nice because you are let out in the terminal and don't have to pass immigration or security immediately like most airports. So I was off to the lounge, which happened to be next to the gate.

photo sin pr entry 1photo sin pr entry 2

Offering my boarding passes the agent immediately asked me to follow her. She escorted me through the first class lounge and handed me off to the attendant in The Private Room. Incidentally, my connecting flight was on Thai in business class, so anyone who is wondering if you have access to The Private Room on arrivals after flying SQ first class, the answer is yes. There was no hesitation on behalf of the SilverKris Lounge agent.

photo sin pr cover

The room looks like a country club clubhouse, with big oversized leather chairs being the preferred seating.

photo sin pr room 1photo sin pr room 2

Surprisingly it was empty. With so many international flights arriving from their overnight treks to Singapore I expected the place to be jumping. It wasn't. I found a cozy chair to park my belongings. Instantly a waiter approached and asked if I wanted to have anything to drink or eat. I simply asked for a glass of water then had a look around.

photo sin pr room 3

Outside 9V-SKM was taking a breather after it's long flight from Frankfurt. The awnings got in the way of the only chance I had to get a decent photo of my aircraft.

photo sin pr view

The Private Room in The Private Room.

photo sin pr room 4

A very large TV provided the only entertainment.

photo sin pr room 6photo sin pr room 7

I asked the attendant if I could take a shower. She said to take an empty room, which they all were.

photo sin pr shower 1

I wouldn't call the shower room large, but it certainly was adequate. A fresh towel was wrapped in plastic for your use.

photo sin pr shower 2

Taking a shower after 12 hours on an airplane is a genuine delight.

photo sin pr shower 3

Outside the shower stalls is the main toilet area. After I used a hand-towel an attendant replaced it.

photo sin pr shower 4photo sin pr shower 5

New it was time to check out the dining room.

photo sin pr room dining

My waiter seated me and handed me the menu. I asked for some coffee.

photo sin pr menu coverphoto sin pr menu 1 food

When he returned I asked if was one or two "Egg Benedict" as the description seemed to indicate it was a solo. I only wanted one, you can get as many as you want. I also wanted to try the "Waffles" but wanted one of those as well.

Here are the beverages offered.
photo sin pr menu 2 bevphoto sin pr menu 3 tea 1photo sin pr menu 4 tea 2

So while my Egg Benedict and Waffle were being prepared, I had a look at the buffet.



First was the solo egg. It was okay, the hollandaise sauce was a little lackluster.

photo sin pr food 1

Whoa, toaster waffle. And overdone as well.

photo sin pr food 2

Fortunately I wasn't famished as the delicious farro and avocado salad with red lentil soufflé was still with me.

One issue with The Private Room is there aren't many power ports. There were a flew standard Singapore outlets on the walls but no USB ports. I didn't feel like rummaging through my suitcase to get my adapter so I asked the attendant if there was a USB port. In the back was an Apple computer in their "business center". So I spend my time there and surfed the web.

Bored I left early to take the train over to T1 for Thai. I said goodbye to the couple traveling to Hong Kong. They asked if was going to Hong Kong. I explained my original plan was to HKG but I'd changed to Bangkok. Turns out Hong Kong was experiencing a typhoon and their flight was delayed. (My original flight to HKG was canceled.) I wished them good luck and left. Later on I looked up their flight, it was delayed to evening. They didn't get to Hong Kong until close to midnight. I'd left them at 10AM. I felt bad for them.

On the way out I snapped some photos of the First Class lounge. This lounge was empty as well.



I wasn't struck in awe by The Private Room. Maybe it was the toaster waffle, but it wasn't really comfortable, had few power outlets, no view and no rest area other than a lounge chair in a room you could close the door to. None of which would stop me from revisiting it again sometime soon, maybe for dinner.

After booking Thai's A350 twice down to Australia in 2016 and 2017 only to have them swap out the aircraft both times, the third time would be the charm as TG403 was in-flight to Singapore from Bangkok according to Flightradar24. The aircraft inflight was listed was an A350.

Time to transit to T1 using Changi's convenient tram.

photo tg404 scenic sin 2photo tg404 scenic sin 3photo tg404 scenic sin 1

Gorgeous!





Thai Airways has chosen to place 32 lie-flat Stelia Solstys business class seats in the front cabin. And as you can see they have kept the overhead bins in the center section, like Cathay Pacific but unlike China Airlines, Qatar and Singapore, for the A350's I've had the pleasure to fly.

photo tg404 cabin 1

These seats are forward facing using an offset 1x2x1 configuration which can also be found on aircraft with the Vantage XL seat.

photo tg404 cabin 2

The two center seats have a privacy divider, but I couldn't get a photo of one extended. 

photo tg404 cabin 3photo tg404 cabin 4

Window seats in rows 11, 14, 16, 18 are completely exposed to the aisle.

photo tg404 cabin 5

As are the center seat that's against the aisle. 

photo tg404 cabin 6

These are the five A350 aircraft that I've flown showing seating in the front cabin. Singapore and Qatar obviously have the more spacious cabin with 6/7 rows and no middle bins.

China Airlines and Cathay Pacific have similar front cabin LOPA with China Airlines using the B/E Super Diamond seat and Cathay Pacific the Zodiac Cirrus seat. The China Airlines cabin has storage cabinets and 32 seats while Cathay has 2 lavatories and 30 seats with a second business class cabin behind door 2 with 8 more seats. All configurations have at least 2 galleys between the doors. 

Thai has 32 seats as well with 2 galleys but no storage closets and no lavatories between the doors. 

photo tg404 a350 compare seating
(courtesy seatguru)



Thai has little privacy, even in a Seatguru "green" seat by the window. This view is from 12A, the first true window seat in the front cabin. 

photo tg404 cabin 7

Must has been publicized over the narrow entrance into the new United Polaris pods. That entrance is like a double wide door compared to the entrance of a Thai pod. My shoe size is 43. It's probably about an 8 inch gap.

photo tg404 seat 8

This is seat 12A as presented upon arrival with a light blanket and small pillow.

photo tg404 seat 1photo tg404 seat 2

The seat is actually angled towards the window. It doesn't face directly forward. This is the gap between the seat on the cabin wall.

photo tg404 seat wall angle

Here is the opening for your feet when the bed is extended. While bigger than some, it's still narrow. My bag which sits below is almost exactly the width of the rest. The bag is 11 inches wide.

photo tg404 seat 6a

There's a reason the bag is exposed. The area under the footrest is not for storage, the floor is tilted up like a ramp. Maybe a small purse would fit down there but my shoulder travel bag didn't come close. It's best suited for the pillow/blanket if you aren't using them.

photo tg404 seat 7

This photo shows the seat extended. Obviously for a 2 hour day flight no bedding was provided. but I'd guess that seam needs a pretty thick mattress pad. You can also get a sense of the angle of the seat. 

photo tg404 seat 3

Seat controls and the IFE controller are nicely placed. However with the very responsive IFE touch screen the controller isn't needed.

photo tg404 seat acc controls

The monitor was very nice with vibrant colors and very respondent to touch, but then again it was only 2 months old. 

photo tg404 ife 2

This aircraft was HS-THE, delivered in June of 2017.

photo tg404 plane age

The two far right buttons on the seat control panel were light switches for reading and kind of like a night light for the table.

photo tg404 seat acc light

One of two placard holders is above the side table.

photo tg404 seat acc placard 1

With the other down above the floor where you enter. 

photo tg404 seat placard 2

The safety card for this A350.



Your best, and really only storage is this little compartment under the armrest below the IFE controller. It's not large enough for a full size table or laptop. Headphones maybe. 

photo tg404 seat acc storage 1photo tg404 ife 1

A coat on the coat hook occupies the space into the pod. 

photo tg404 seat coat hook

The best storage is the overhead bins which are huge. 

photo tg404 cabin oh bin

You have two power ports options. A full compliment of ports on the front of the partition between the table and seat and USB ports below the monitor. 

photo tg404 seat 8photo tg404 seat acc power

If you use the monitor ports the only place to put your device is to fold out the tray from the back of the pod in front of you. The this tray is pretty small for dining. You can not get out of your seat with the tray table extended. 

photo tg404 seat acc tray

A few photos of the stock lavatory behind the cockpit. 



Time to go.

photo tg404 camera dep 1

Departing to the south once airborne the captain turned left and headed north to Bangkok.

photo tg404 scenic away they go

We reached a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet in no time. This aircraft is smooth and quiet. The sensation felt like we gently floated up. It's unlike any other plane I've experienced. 

photo tg404 ife 4

I asked for a glass of wine, why I'm not sure as this was day 3 in the air. I had the French Bordeaux (surprise) which retails in the states for about $30.00.

photo tg404 food wine

Thai had an extensive menu for today's 2 hour flight. 



My first choice was the Thai Main Course but they were out so I asked for the Destination Main Course. I assumed the destination was Thailand. 

photo tg404 menu food

Everything was served on a single tray. As you can see there is no room for a glass of anything on this table or tray. I'm not sure what the empty oval shaped plate was for. No bread was offered, in fact nothing else was offered. 

photo tg404 food

The smoke salmon with mango salad was fresh and tasty. 

photo tg404 food app

And it's against the rules not to have a bowl of fruit on an Asian flight, or most flights for that matter. 

photo tg404 food fruit

The "destination" main course was typical protein with a slightly spicy sauce, rice or fried rice in this case and vegetables. It wasn't any better or worse than other regional Asian carrier lunches I've had on China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore, EVA, etc. It definitely was better than what you might find on a US domestic flight for lunch. 

photo tg404 food main

The dessert was pretty cool just to look at.

photo tg404 food des 1

Detail….
photo tg404 food des 2

While the IFE monitor is excellent, the content is very limited. Or maybe I was spoiled by the hundreds of selections on Singapore. But for Thai, this was it. 

photo tg404 ife content 1photo tg404 ife content 2photo tg404 ife content 3
[photo tg404 ife content 4

This aircraft had WiFi. I wouldn't bank on this speedtest being accurate however as I was having connectivity issues with my iPhone. 

photo tg404 ife wifi speed

In no time we were lining up to land in Bangkok. No weather!

photo tg404 scenic bkk 3

One can forgive the IFE content limitations if they simply view the camera option on the A350!

photo tg404 camera arr 1photo tg404 camera arr 2photo tg404 camera arr 3

At the gate the first Thai A350 could be found a couple gates down.

photo tg404 scenic tg350 2

Flight path

photo tg404 flight path

For rewardflying ratings as well as other reports click on this link
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Verdict

Thai Airways

6.3/10
Cabin5.5
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering6.5

Singapore Airlines Private Room

7.3/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services8.0

Singapore - SIN

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Bangkok - BKK

6.0/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Thai definitely has a beautiful aircraft in their A350. However I was disappointed in the business class cabin and seats. While not a big fan of the Stelia Solstys seat, it appears Thai has made some modifications to make them even smaller with less storage. While the seat was excellent for a short 2 hour flight, I feel there are far better options for long haul flights. In fact once I returned I cancelled a Thai A350 long haul flight that I'd booked for later this year. 

This concluded my marathon trip from Chicago to New York to Singapore via Frankfurt to Bangkok. Time from entering ORD to exiting BKK, about 40 hours. Remind me not to do that again.

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Bangkok (BKK)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 67 avis concernant 8 compagnies sur la ligne Singapore (SIN) → Bangkok (BKK).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Singapore Airlines avec 8.7/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 2 heures et 17 minutes.

  More information

7 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 414153 by
    indianocean SILVER 7573 Comments
    Too bad Singapore Airlines doesn't offer a decent ground service in its owh hub for Suites/First class passengers whether they stop in Singapore or whether they have a connecting flight.

    The first time I went to the Private Room, I was impressed. It's always like that with the first times, isn't it? (LOL)
    Now I think there's nothing home to write about. It's as quiet as the First class section. This lounge needs a refurbishment.

    I also think that SQ catering is better.

    Thank you
  • Comment 414200 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 493 Comments
    Hi Indianocean,

    Yes it's in need of a make-over. I know what you mean about first times, with the anticipation and all. Having read some recent reports on the Private Room I was somewhat prepared. I didn't expect to be wowed. But like I said, I'll be back!

    Thanks for reading and your comments. Hope you're on a Suites flight soon!
  • Comment 414318 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    Hi Mark.

    Thanks for sharing this enjoyable and informative FR as always. Too bad that the SQ experience on the ground is nothing to rave about. For an airline of this caliber one would expect so much more - either that or it just shows what a brilliant job its marketing dept. has done.

    The interior of TG's A350 J cabin is beautiful with the combination of purple and brown tones, but the lack of privacy and tightness of the seats are disappointing. If you had to cancel your TG A350 trip later this year, that speaks volumes about this product.

    Catering looks correct for a flight of this length but the lack of bread offer is puzzling, especially with the empty oval dish. Personally I'm not a fan of this new menu cover. I think the previous ones were more appealing, but this is a matter of individual taste.

    Happy travels.
  • Comment 414364 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 493 Comments
    Hi Adan, and thanks for reading! I suspect some of these SQ services have slipped over the recent years with the LCC cutting into market share. Seems all the top tier carriers are working on death by a thousand cuts.

    The interior of TG's A350 J cabin is beautiful with the combination of purple and brown tones, but the lack of privacy and tightness of the seats are disappointing. If you had to cancel your TG A350 trip later this year, that speaks volumes about this product.

    -It really was an attractive aircraft. One thing I forgot to mention was on this flight they didn't color the cabin with any mood lighting. Granted it was a day flight but other carriers have mood lighting for boarding, even during the day. The question is maybe they didn't get the lighting option. That would be too bad. Happy reward flying!
  • Comment 414373 by
    socalnow 976 Comments
    Greetings Mark and thank you for another fun and informative read.

    I have a strong affinity for The Private Room. I find the service to be top notch and the food and beverage as good as any F lounge. I also appreciate that it is in fact exclusive. Go to a Oneworld F lounge and it's packed with Y passengers who have status. Anyhow I don't quite understand why some are so critical of the experience. I guess because no one holds their hand form the aircraft to the lounge?

    Gorgeous indeed. That is a beautiful aircraft inside and out. It seems from your review that the function hasn't followed the form. That's too bad. The tiny entrance, the small tray table that locks you in, and the lack of in-seat storage is frustrating for a new aircraft. As you point out other configurations on this aircraft don't suffer from the same maladies.

    Love the tail cam!!

    "We reached a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet in no time. This aircraft is smooth and quiet. The sensation felt like we gently floated up. It's unlike any other plane I've experienced. "
    -It is really amazing how A350 and A380 are so quiet. I'm sure the light fuel load contributed to the climb performance and reduced power needs, but I completely understand.

    "My first choice was the Thai Main Course but they were out so I asked for the Destination Main Course. I assumed the destination was Thailand. "
    -That's amusing to me. Three choices is nice for a short hop though...

    The meal presentation is really lovely, perhaps it's just the excellent photos. I like the dishware.

    "In fact once I returned I cancelled a Thai A350 long haul flight that I'd booked for later this year. "
    -Well there you go. That's all I need to know about the Thai A350 experience.

    Thanks again Mark. I'm looking forward to your next installment as I think F is where Thai really shines. Happy flying.
  • Comment 415209 by
    Razza_Pr 216 Comments
    Greetings, Rewardflying, and thank you for this FR.

    Pardon me for being late to the party. Difficult clients are.. difficult, to say the least :|

    I can see why you're not a big fan of the Stelia Solstys seats. Neither lack of storage or accessibility were considered in my previous reports, though I can see why it can be bothersome.

    "And as you can see they have kept the overhead bins in the center section, like Cathay Pacific but unlike China Airlines, Qatar and Singapore, for the A350's I've had the pleasure to fly."
    -I'm loving the cabin panel there at the back.

    "The area under the footrest is not for storage, the floor is tilted up like a ramp."
    -I mainly used the space for shoes storage before I put on the airline-issued slippers.

    "You can not get out of your seat with the tray table extended."
    -Did you not try to push the table forward? Not the most practical of ways, but it worked just fine for me.

    "My first choice was the Thai Main Course but they were out so I asked for the Destination Main Course. I assumed the destination was Thailand."
    -Error 404: Thai meal option not found. Gotta love coincidences, eh?

    I can see the weaknesses of the Stelia seats more objectively now, though I'm not sure I'd favour the B/E Super Diamond over this - as I'm just not a fan of angled seats. Definitely favour both to Vantage XL seats though. Is the entrance to the seat really that much narrower compared to say the Apex Suites, or the aforementioned angled seats? Or do you suppose TG has modified it to be smaller to accommodate more seats and save weight?

    Thanks again for this FR. I look forward to your next publication. Cheers!
  • Comment 415341 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 493 Comments
    Hi Razza, good to hear from you.

    I'm loving the cabin panel there at the back.

    -Yes, it is a beautiful cabin. Wonder if they use the purple colors for mood lighting at night?

    Did you not try to push the table forward? Not the most practical of ways, but it worked just fine for me.

    -I didn't try that but I don't think there was enough room. The tray on these Steila seats folds up on the back of the seat in front of you. Not sure the hinge would allow it to fold that way.

    I can see the weaknesses of the Stelia seats more objectively now, though I'm not sure I'd favour the B/E Super Diamond over this - as I'm just not a fan of angled seats. Definitely favour both to Vantage XL seats though. Is the entrance to the seat really that much narrower compared to say the Apex Suites, or the aforementioned angled seats? Or do you suppose TG has modified it to be smaller to accommodate more seats and save weight?

    -Definitely modified and angled. Tight squeeze on Apex but they're a little wider. I've flown the Asiana Smartium which are these seats and didn't feel as cramped. I know what you are saying about forward facing, the issue is when you get a seat on the aisle. With the Apex, Vantage and XL, ANA staggered, United Polaris and others if you have the seat that's not exposed to the aisle they are great. But the ones on the aisle have no privacy and getting bumped by carts and passerbys is frequent. That doesn't happen with the reverse herringbone. Just my opinion. Delta may have solved this issue with the enclosure. Hoping their delivery schedule holds for my ride end of year to find out.

    Hope you keep those clients in line! TG first coming in a couple days.

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