What's better than flying a 744? A ride in an almost empty upper deck!
Without a doubt this segment flying with the "Queen of the Skies" is the highlight of this trip. Back in the USA, airlines like UA and DL have made commemorative flights bidding farewell to this iconic plane but outside of the USA there are still a handful of 747 operators and TG happens to be one of them. Initially TG planned to retire its 747's by 2018 but that decision has been deferred to 2020 according to Wikipedia.
SFO-HKG on SQ Premium Economy - click here HKG-BKK on TG Business - click here BKK-HKG on TG Business - you are here. HKG-SFO on SQ Premium Economy - click here
After a couple of days at the IC BKK I moved to an apartment in Centre Point Chidlom just down the road. The convenience of an apartment with a kitchen and washer/dryer were hard to surpass and staying here allowed me to have a more "local" experience. On my departure day I reserved a private car to take me to the airport for THB 900 (USD 27.50 OR EUR 23.18). My sisters were traveling with me and we had a large suitcase in addition to carry-ons, so ordering a car proved to be more convenient.
I requested the driver to drop us off at door 1 where the Premium check-in for TG was located.
Inside the check-in area. A pleasant agent checked us in and directed us to the VAT return desk located at the opposite side of the terminal.
Back by gate A, we used the Fast Track security and were inside in 5 min.
Royal Silk Lounge by gate D.
Thai has about 4-5 lounges in Bangkok airport and this one right after Fast Track is the largest.
After a warm welcome by the attendants we set up in a corner of this huge lounge in the back.
The interior is quite spacious with different corners and plenty of empty chairs.
Catering is fine but not outstanding with a couple of hot items and a noodle station with made to order soup.
I appreciate the offer of local specialties like the "tamales" made of sticky rice and some coconut based desserts.
Then it was time to go to the Royal Orchid Spa for my complimentary massage.
Royal Orchid Spa
This lounge is accessed by exiting through the opposite side of the Royal Silk Lounge - D gates and walking across. Pax on TG J have a free 30 min. head & shoulder OR foot massage leaving BKK which makes flying with TG in J a more rewarding and special experience.
I was immediately taken to a back room for a head & shoulders massage. After an invigorating session I left like new and explored the rest of the lounge.
Small bar area.
Snacks in the waiting area.
I was the only pax in the lounge at the time and as tempting as it was to remain there I had to leave since I there were two more lounges to discover. ;)
On the way to the SQ lounge I came across this impressive display.
Singapore SilverKris Lounge
The remodeled lounge debuted in May 2017 as part of a network project with the theme "Home Away from Home" conceptualized by ONG&ONG. For an idea of what the SilverKris looked like before, click on Indianocean and Numero_2 excellent FR's (in French).
We were swiftly welcomed into the lounge by the efficient receptionists and upon entering there was a bar strategically placed in the middle of the room. I ordered an "Escape" from one of the friendly bartenders. Catering is better than the TG and BR lounges with an extensive assortment of items that were neatly displayed. This lounge is a favorite of frequent flyers and can get crowded at times. The lounge has a capacity for 102 people
Display of memorabilia commemorating SQ's 70th anniversary.
"Luk chup" is mung bean paste that is skillfully shaped into fruits. Originally they were introduced by the Portuguese as marzipan but due to the lack of almonds in Thailand they had to improvise and use mung bean as the primary ingredient.
Pumpkin pudding made with coconut cream.
Located at the other end of the terminal on the third floor by the F gates, this lounge has some serious personality with its "groovy" mood lighting and playful ambiance. In a way it reminds people of a nightclub or disco. Seating was plentiful and catering looked solid with a selection of cold and hot items.
My snacks. The mango sticky rice in the back was delicious.
Finally it was time to leave and I had a long way to walk since my flight was leaving from the "C" gates at the other side.
Walking towards the gate.
The gate area was getting crowded by the time that I arrived. BKK is notorious for not being the best for plane spotting so I managed my best to get a shot of my plane.
A few minutes later it was time to board. An agent held a sign for F/J pax to proceed.
There were two air bridges connecting to the plane.
Boarding through door 1L with a peek of the F cabin.
Passing through the lower deck J cabin which feels somewhat claustrophobic due to the one sided galley configuration on the other side. These pics were taken during the flight when i revisited this cabin.
Upon entering the upper cabin we are greeted by the FA's. There were 3 crew members assigned to this part of the cabin and only 4 occupied seats (including yours truly) out of 26. Plenty of space to stretch out and get your own pair of seats.
Headphone, pillow and blanket were already placed on the seat.
USB and headphone jacks.
As soon as we sat down a smiling FA offered hot towels served on a tray.
I took this opportunity to go to the front of the cabin and use the WC.
Great legroom on the EMERG EXIT row.
There are 2 WC's in the front. TG uses real towels instead of paper ones.
After I returned to my seat the FA offered pre-dept. drinks. I chose TG's official drink "Violet Breeze" - a blend of lime juice and pressed butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) blossoms tea. The drink is only available when you leave from BKK. For those interested in drinks made with this type of leaves, the intensity of the color can range from purple to light pink depending on the pH balance of the mix. The more acidic the drink, the lighter the color. From a pH8 to pH4 the color is an intense blue, At pH3 it changes to a deep purple and when it reaches pH2 it shifts to pink.
When I finished the drink I moved to 18A .
Meal & Beverage menus were on each seat.
Before taxiing out an announcement was made that the cabin had to be sprayed before arriving into HKG. Then a FA fumigated the cabin while walking across.
Some plane spotting while taxiing out to the runway.
Cabin after take off with two crew members sitting by the EMER EXIT jumpseat.
Soon after leveling off the service started with a bowl of nuts. I ordered a glass of champagne which was beautifully presented in a flute glass, just the way that it should be.
I ordered the Thai choice and everything was served at the same time on a tray with the exception of dessert. The meal was fine but nothing remarkable. i thought it was "unique" to serve dried fruits with the cheeses instead of grapes or crudites.
Salmon with shrimp mousse.
Stir fried pickled cabbage with eggs and steamed rice.
Cheese selection with dried fruits.
A few minutes after the tray was cleared, the dessert came. The one that I was given was the Chinese dessert and not the corresponding longan jelly listed under the Thai meal. I did not bring this up to the FA since I did not mind. I give credit to TG for serving something local and more exotic. The texture of this dessert felt pasty and the pairing of taro and coconut felt competing rather than complementing.
A few shots of my seat area.
I stretched my legs a bit and visited the galley. The male FA was very friendly and when I asked him for some souvenirs he gave me some inflatable toys and pens.
Downstairs to the main cabin.
Pretty soon we arrived in HKG and once we parked at the gate and were ready to go downstiars, one of the FA's escorted us to the lower deck J cabin while another crew downstairs held the Y pax behind the curtain letting us go through first. That was service!
Bonus : Click here to displayhide
Centre Point Chidlom
I wanted the convenience of a kitchen and washer/dryer during part of my stay in BKK so i rented an apartment at the Centre Point hotel which was down the street from the IC. The room was spacious and comfortable with plenty of water bottles supplied every day. It was a good 10 min. walk from the Chit Lom BTS station in a semi residential area.
Views from room.
Wat Pho & Reclining Buddha
Always an impressive sight. This was my second visit since the mid 1990's. Understandably the Buddha was the main attraction, but I also found the murals compelling in their depiction of everyday life in Thai society. It's a shame that almost no one paid attention to the walls on the other side.
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge At Concourse D
Bangkok - BKK
Hong Kong - HKG
It's almost a treat to fly on the 747 and thankfully TG did not have any equipment substitutions at the last minute. Sitting in the upper deck represents the quintessential experience of flying this iconic aircraft and it was even better when it was nearly empty. The service from the 3 FA's assigned to the upper deck was fantastic and I really felt like a guest. Catering is adequate for a flight that is a 2+ hrs so don't expect anything spectacular, but providing three choices is really nice, although the Western option in both legs seemed a bit light.
BKK airport is huge and visiting all the *A lounges require time and a good pair of legs. I only visited the main TG lounge located by the D gates and it was huge although a bit dated. Catering is average but at least TG makes an effort to provide local treats which was appreciated. SQ is undoubtedly the best *A lounge at this airport and offers the best catering iMHO, although it can get crowded since everybody prefers to come here. The BR lounge at the other side has a funky ambiance but catering is solid.
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