Every year we go on an annual trip to Asia, this time we decided to visit family in Taipei before returning to Thailand. We were planning on heading to Bali but due to the volcanic activity we redirected to Phuket/Ko Phi Phi.
This flight report covers the following trips:
SFO - YVR in Business on Air Canada - Here Maple Leaf Lounge / YVR - TPE in Business on Air Canada -Here TPE - BKK in Business on Thai Airways - YOU ARE HERE BKK - HKT in Economy on Thai Airways - Here HKT - BKK in Business on Thai Airways - Here BKK - TPE in Business on Thai Airways - Here TPE - YVR in Business on Air Canada - Here YVR - SFO in Business on Air Canada - Here
After a few days in Taipei visiting family and enjoying a ton of food, we headed to TPE to get ready for out flight to Bangkok. We were looking forward to getting out of the chilly Taiwanese weather and enjoy the heat and humidity of Bangkok.
We booked our flight on Thai since it was a part of Star Alliance and we are all Star Golds.
We arrived at Taoyuan International Airport and proceeded to check-in via the Star Gold line. We inquired about the upgrade to business and how much it would cost. After some time we found out it was $250 USD each way to upgrade so we did it. The process to upgrade was a bit cumbersome, they couldn't take the payment at the desk, we had to walk with our tickets to a customer desk about 200 feet away and do the payment there. Overall, it took about 15 minutes to process the payment and we were finally issued our boarding passes for the flight.
Boarding was delayed roughly 15 minutes.
Due to the set-up of the departure gate, this was the only photo I could get of the Boeing 787-9 that would be taking us to Bangkok.
HS-TWA was the second of two Boeing 787-9s in the fleet and only 3 months old.
The 787-9 set-up was with 30 pax in Royal Silk (business) arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone set-up and 268 in Economy class in a 3-3-3 set-up. It was very similar to the Air Canada 787-9 except that the screen swung out on TG and IMO, the seat was not as comfortable (more later).
At the seat waiting for you was a pillow (that looked rather worn), a blanket and over ear headphones. There were no amenity kits as expected since the flight time was just under four hours.
Menus and oshiburi were handed out along with pre-departure beverages of juice or water.
We were most excited about the Veuve Clicquot on the menu but they would not serve it till we were airborne.
Menu orders were taken and by the time they came to me they had run out of the Western choice. It was strange, I noticed they took the orders of the pax on the port side of the plane first and then there was a gap of about five minutes before she came to the starboard side (moving from the aft to the front of the plane). I told her I'd take the Thai option and she informed me she would maybe have to sub out the "salad" on the Thai option with the Chinese "salad". She later came back in a few minutes and said everything was alright and I'd get the complete Thai choice. All in all, it was a strange interaction.
The seat had a large ottoman/footrest with some give at the front, I'm assuming for comfort reasons.
The controller for the IFE was located in the seat and found it very similar to the AC controller.
There was a storage area along the side of the seat as well as a compartment near the armrest (which had to be in the down position during takeoff and landing).
We pushed back on time and were soon airborne. I found it a bit annoying that you couldn't use your IFE since the screens had to be in the stowed position for takeoff and landing. Once we were airborne I pushed the button that released the screen.
The champagne came out along with your standard offering of nuts.
Meal service began shortly thereafter and everything was brought out on the same plate. I had the fish curry which I found to be delicious if not a bit on the smaller side. After the main, I got a fruit course and then we all got a strawberry panna cotta. I didn't see the almond curd option unfortunately.
Here is my partner's Western meal which looked pretty standard as beef fillets come. His option also came with a cheese and bread/cracker course (mine did not).
Trays were cleared after the meal was down and I laid the seat down to try and take a nap. I found the seat much more uncomfortable than the Air Canada seat. It was VERY narrow in the footwell area and while I appreciated that it was open above (no IFE) it felt very confined. Also, in the fully flat mode I felt a raised bar/hump where my butt was. I tried to adjust my positioning and ultimately found it to be most comfortable when the seat was slightly raised up. Overall, I can't imagine spending 13 hours in this seat, although it is definitely better than economy. :)
The bathroom was your standard set-up with hand lotion and some type of body spray/spritz. Unlike Air Canada, there were two lavatories for business class in the front and none at door two.
We soon started our descent into Suvarnabhumi airport and were parked at the gate. Unlike prior arrivals into BKK our gate was right at the immigration gates which was nice. We walked a few minutes and were through immigration in under 10 minutes.
EVA Air / The Star
Taipei - TPE
Bangkok - BKK
Overall, it was a fantastic short flight in business on Thai. It was my first time on Thai and in their new business class seat. I found the crew attentive and very cheerful but not really going out of their way to be friendly (maybe it's the language barrier). The catering was great and the Veuve was a plus! My biggest disappointment was with the seat and how tight it seemed along with the unusual bump/bar when placed into lie flat mode.
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