After a few days in HKG, it was time to head to BKK. My last trip to Bangkok was in the mid 1990's and i'm sure that things have changed, hopefully for the better. Just like the last time I flew there, i was going to get aboard Thai Airways, but this time I will be in J instead of Y.
SFO-HKG on SQ Premium Economy - click here HKG-BKK on TG Business - you are here BKK-HKG on TG Business - click here HKG-SFO on SQ Premium Economy - click here
Again I took the Airport Express to HKG but this time I did it from Central and I had an opportunity to use the free In Town Check-In service which went smoothly. I really appreciated this service since it saves time and pax don't have to worry about lugging their bags on their way to the airport.
Central HK Airport Express station.
I love this TG boarding pass.
Arriving in HKG.
There was no special line for J pax so I used the regular one and after about 10-15 min. going through security and Immigration I was at the other side. I was familiar with the Oneworld and *A lounges at HKG so I decided to spend some time at the SQ lounge.
Singapore SilverKris Lounge
The lounge was full but thankfully my sister and I were able to find some unoccupied "solo" seats in the back.
There is a small room by the entrance and then a hallway with WC's on the side. At the end of the hallway you face the bar and the area reserved for F pax is on the left side. The J section is to the right of the bar.
The buffet is located behind the bar and offers a wide selection of food. Laksa and wonton soup were available on request and when you place the order the attendant gives you a number that you place by your seat area and is then delivered to you.
I had a Singapore Sling which tasted too sweet in my opinion. The laksa was delicious and is one of my favorite Southeast Asian dishes.
There was a kid crying loudly and the parents were trying desperately to quiet him down. We left the SQ lounge and made a quick stop at the TG Royal Orchid lounge.
After a few minutes it was time to go to the gate.
Boarding commenced in an orderly way with priority given to people in wheelchairs followed by premium pax.
There was nobody at the door to greet pax. I saw an inflight manager (golden jacket) pass by but he did not make an effort to engage with any pax. As a matter of fact on both TG flights I get the impression that the inflight managers are there to direct the crew and have minimal contact with pax. Eventually a crew member greets and welcomes us aboard.
Pillow, blanket, headphones and a set of menus were already waiting at the seat.
Hot towels were brought and pre-dept. drinks offered.
The J cabin fills up to about 80-90% and the doors are closed. The safety video is played and we are on our way.
More plane spotting.
Cabin after take off.
A quick visit to the WC before the meal service starts.
It's nice that TG has real towels instead of paper ones.
The FA asks for our meal and beverages choices. i chose the Thai set.
The horror of opening the tray table! Do airplanes ever get cleaned? This sight is enough to kill one's appetite. :P
Drink service starts. We were given some brown rice crackers in a bag which I later find is the same snack that is offered in the back. The FA is charming and introduces herself telling us to let her know if we needed anything else.
The tablecloth is laid down and the tray arrives.
The fish curry is a bit dry.
The meal was very average. Afterwards the trays were cleared and a coconut panna cotta with red beans was served. It was good.
I took the opportunity to stretch my legs. Here is a view of the galley after the J cabin.
Soon we were ready to land in BKK.
There was a Fast Track through Immigration for pax arriving in J and you are asked to present your boarding pass when using this line. We took the City line express train to Phayathai station and from there connected to the BTS Skytrain to Chit Lom for the Intercontinental hotel.
Bonus : Click here to displayhide
This hotel is in a very convenient location next to the BTS (Chit Lom) station. Please bear in mind that not all stations have lifts and even escalators, so if you have big suitcases it might be a challenge to get around. The IC checks all the marks for a 5-star property with staff that is top notch and willing to please. The lobby is grandiose and the rooms are spacious. Pool is a bit on the small side, but the gym and sauna are great.
We checked in at the Club Lounge which has some amazing views of downtown Bangkok. There is a semi buffet for breakfast and the main dishes can be ordered from the "a la carte" menu. Afternoon tea is hearty with all different types of savory and sweet items. I did not partake of the evening cocktail because of oversleeping and decided to go to a restaurant instead, but i understand that it is amazing with a great selection of free flowing liquor. Maybe next time.
Gym & pool.
View from the Club.
Wat Arun - Temple of Dawn
Contemporary high end mall with modern architecture. Eathai is located in its basement and it consists of different stands selling "street" food. Open House in the top floor is a combination of bookstore and eateries.
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge - Business Class Section
Hong Kong - HKG
Bangkok - BKK
SQ has the best food of the three *A lounges at HKG. The lounge can get crowded depending of the time that you visit and if that's the case then it's not the most relaxing environment.
TG can be very inconsistent in terms of inflight product and equipment. I've heard that it can be notorious for last minute aircraft substitutions, but thankfully I did not experience that. I was expecting a bowl of mixed nuts with the beverage service on the outbound but instead I received a bag of rice crackers that is also given to pax in Y. The cleaning issue, especially with the tray table was a big disappointment but to be honest this can happen with any airline and is not specific to TG.
Service from the FA's was smiling and gracious. However, I think that the inflight managers need to be more approachable and proactive in greeting customers. During the outbound and inbound from BKK they gave me the impression of being indifferent and distant. I know a sampling of just two flights might not be enough to make a concrete opinion, but those were my experiences. Other than that the rest of the crew were professional and a joy to deal with.
Catering in J is average and maybe I shouldn't expect much from a flight that is just a bit over 2 hrs. I appreciate that they have creative desserts and that is served separately from the main course. In addition I find it reassuring that WC's are well stocked for such a regional flight with toiletries and real towels.
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