Review of Thai Airways flight Bangkok Tokyo in First

Airline Thai Airways
Flight TG660
Class First
Seat 2E
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 05:10
Take-off 12 Nov 17, 15:15
Arrival at 12 Nov 17, 22:25
TG   #9 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 315 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 1577
Published on 8th February 2018
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I am sharing an around the world (mostly) First Class series of trips in this series. I have a strong affection for Lufthansa First class so that was my motivation for the beginning of this trip. The product is well documented and, as a whole, one of the best First Class experiences obtainable on points. Also, I get an inordinate amount of enjoyment trying to secure the space. The windows for partner redemption in LH premium cabins opens approximately 2 weeks prior to departure so you have to operate in that window to secure seats. Additional flights/seats may open as departure nears. This is good fun! For the return I already has the second leg of a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club redemption on ANA so I would ideally use LH to get to Tokyo to complete the circle. It didn't end up that smooth but a lot of fun was had along the way.

Booking the LH legs is a little tricky because you may find a North America - FRA segment but then no FRA - Asia segment to pair with it. That was the case with me. While I initially saw BOS-FRA open there was nothing to pair with it. Then, a few days later FRA-SIN opened however I wasn't thrilled about a BOS departure so I waited, hoping for something further west as a departure point. About 3 days out JFK-FRA opened and I caved, booking JFK-FRA-SIN. At lease JFK would give me the opportunity to try the only LH F lounge in North America, so that was something. I departed not knowing how I would get from Singapore to Tokyo but I did wait list for SQ F SIN-HND. Those normally clear, right?

Courtesy of gcmap.com

photo map

Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:



United Airlines - LAX-ORD - 757-300 - First - No Lounge - Cash (No Report)
United Airlines - ORD-LGA - A319 - First - No Lounge - Cash (No Report)
Lufthansa - JFK-FRA - 748-8i - First - Lufthansa Wining and Dining - United Mileageplus
Lufthansa - FRA-SIN - A380-800 - First - Lufthansa First Class Terminal - United Mileageplus
Thai Airways - SIN-BKK - 787-9 - Business - Silverkris Lounge T3 - Krisflyer Miles
Thai Airways - BKK-NHD - 747-400 - First - Thai Royal First Lounge - Krisflyer Miles (This Report)
ANA - NRT-LAX - 777-300ER - First - ANA Suites Lounge / United Global First Lounge - Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Transit BKK and Thai Royal First Lounge



When we last convened yours truly was whisked into a van from a remote stand at Suvarnabhumi Airport and off to the race to gate C7. After what felt like a long drive around several terminal wings and across active taxi ways we stopped at a nondescript door and the van door was opened. I followed the Thai Airways staff walking at a brisk clip.

photo 20171111_232038

She piloted my only piece of luggage. And we walked…

photo 20171111_232039

Then we boarded a buggy. And we drove…

photo 20171111_232108

Finally we arrived at a deserted transit security checkpoint where 5 people had to stand up to process me through and then resume looking at their phones.

Then, we walked…

photo 20171111_232348

Finally we arrived at the Thai Royal First Lounge. I really was expecting that we would go straight to the gate but apparently boarding hadn't started so we stopped here.

photo 20171111_232656photo 20171111_232657

This was only going to be a short stay as the 90 minute delay in SIN evaporated my planned Royal First Lounge time. I had a look around the aged facility.

I was initially led to one of the private rooms where I placed my belongings. I was offer food and beverage from and tablet device. I declined the food due to the time constraints but requested a glass of still water with ice and a glass of Champagne.

photo 20171111_233426

I had a look around the aged facility.

This seating area just outside the toilets is funny. I can't imagine it gets much use.

photo 20171111_232918

Bathroom was on my list of priorities. Basic amenities of cloth hand towels, soap and lotion were present.

photo 20171111_232953

There is a small and perhaps superfluous buffet towards the back of the lounge.

photo 20171111_233311photo 20171111_233315

I picked a couple of items to take a photo. Artfully prepared little sandwiches.

photo 20171111_233621

There is a dining room that was empty.

photo 20171111_233439photo 20171111_233510

Finally some general seating.

photo 20171111_233457

As I was walking back to my "room" I noticed a glass of Champagne and water in the empty room next door. I arrived at my room to no such amenities. I surmised that my walking away must of thorn off the server and when she couldn't find me she placed the items in the incorrect spot. Before this was remedied I was told that the flight was boarding and we will be heading to the gate. C'est la vie. I'm confident there will be beverage opportunities on board.

TG660 BKK-HND



I am escorted from the lounge. I was sort of expecting another buggy ride but not so. Perhaps only for arrivals. I wheeled my on roll aboard this time too.

photo 20171111_234130photo 20171111_234439

Thankfully the Thai Queen is still with us.

photo 20171111_234636

My escort continued to the door of the aircraft.

photo 20171111_234749

The hand off at the door was completed and I was greeted by the stunning gold silk of one of the flight attendants working F. I was led to my seat, 2E. It is a middle solo F seat and certainly not my preferred seat. Booing day of departure left me with this as my sole choice.

photo 20171111_235042photo 20171111_235334

As I got situated I was offered a beverage and I requested Champagne and still water with ice. It dawned on me that this was my first time in TG F on the 747. I had previously booked TG F on this aircraft from PEK-BKK but was TG'd on day of departure to J on the A330. Finally we meet.

Getting acquainted with the new-to-me suite.

2 pillows were provisioned.

photo 20171111_235208

Suite and IFE controls via tablet.


Good size screen.

photo 20171111_235330

Rimowa!

photo 20171111_235432

The welcome drink was offered with a suspicious looking white ball. The stemware for the wine was very dramatic.

photo 20171111_235203photo 20171111_235243

Menu and wine list were distributed on the ground in a portfolio and read as follows.
photo 20171111_235429
1
photo 20171111_235453
2
photo 20171111_235556
3
photo 20171111_235643
4
photo 20171111_235730
5
photo 20171111_235732
6
photo 20171111_235745
7
photo 20171111_235748

Headphones and slippers were also positioned in the suite.



Boarding complete and time for push back. Sitting in a middle seat I miss the beautiful departure on the quad jet. After the seat belt sign is turned off I take a trip tot he lav. There are 2 behind F that I assume are intended for First Class. It's an odd configuration to me with business class right there by door L1 bu there is a large curtain apparatus separating F form the small J cabin between L1 and L2. The image below, courtesy of seatguru.com is actually incorrect in that there is no 2F and actually only 9 F seats, but gives an idea of the Odd galley running down the right side of the airplane and the small J cabin. It's quite striking how much empty space there is around door L1 and behind the F cabin. It's quite nice from a passenger standpoint but probably not from a revenue perspective.

photo thai_airways_boeing_747-400_7443

Lavatory provisions.

photo 20171112_004741photo 20171112_004954

A peak out the L1 door window.

photo 20171112_004644

Looking back towards the nose from the great open plains behind the F seats. All 9 seats are occupied on this segment.

photo 20171112_004657photo 20171112_004719

The odd long galley.
photo 20171112_055231

Service started fairly promptly with Champagne for me. The 2006 Dom Perignon is served.

photo 20171112_010530

Served with the Champagne are 3 small canapes. The Miang Kam was flavorful.

photo 20171112_005902

The 2006 is a fine vintage.

photo 20171112_010533

Canapes.
photo 20171112_005915photo 20171112_010012
Tphoto 20171112_010019
he tale was set for service. I opted to enjoy the Thai set menu.
photo 20171112_011722

Very interesting "make your own garlic bread" condiments.
photo 20171112_011729

The bread.
photo 20171112_011734

I can't imagine using salt and pepper with Thai cuisine…
photo 20171112_011738

The fried salmon course was first and perhpas the best of the lot. The portion of Salmon was unnecessarily large but the compliment of lemongass, kaffir lime leaf, onion, ginger and chili sauce made for an extremely flavorful experience with each bite tailored to your liking.


The next five items were served together. The beef curry was tender and the pork was solid int he sour tamarind paste. The crab was not to my liking. The plating and garnish were all top notch considering that it's more simple cuisine.

photo 20171112_014315

Rice and Hong Kong broccoli.
photo 20171112_014157

Minced pork. Sort of like larb in flavor.
photo 20171112_014205

Beef in green curry.
photo 20171112_014210

The dry and fishy crab.
photo 20171112_014318

Some fruit and cheese was offered next. Nothing special here.
photo 20171112_020043photo 20171112_020046

Finally I opted for the "lighter" dessert and it was not very good. The coconut ice cream was OK. I probably could have tried the other, better reading, dessert but I was maxed out after sampling all those other plates.



Service throughout the meal was attentive and the Dom flowed the entire time, no provisioning problems here.

I was suprised and excited to see the Old Pulteney on board. I have family in the small town of Wick and have visited there myself. This was my first time enjoying their 21 year and I was quite pleased with it.

photo 20171112_022356photo 20171112_022441

It was nap time now and I put the seat flat. I didn't bother asking for it to be made up. I was out cold until approach.

photo 20171112_053915

Ramen In Ueno



Bonus : Click here to display
See more

Verdict

Thai Airways

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering7.5

Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge

8.0/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment8.0
Services8.0

Bangkok - BKK

7.3/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Tokyo - HND

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The Ground Service: I made a connection that I didn't think was possible so high marks there. The door to door service is some of the best in the industry, in my experience.

The Lounge: I didn't really get much of a visit. The lounge itself looks tired but the service is still abundant and then there's the spa...

The Cabin: It's a good, albeit a bit dates, F cabin. There is ample privacy and low foot traffic. The extra space behind the seats is nice and adds to overall feeling of spaciousness. The nose of the 747 really is the ultimate space for a First Class cabin.

The Crew: Well intentioned and gracious. I felt very well cared for. There is a lack of polish and style that I can't quite put my finger on.

The Food and Beverage: The Champagne was from a prestigious label and adequately catered. The meal had a few interesting elements as a fan of Thai cuisine. My experience on similar regional F routes is that SQ, ANA, JL, and CX all show better.

Overall: Thai Airways is a notch below the other world class airlines that they compete with. Perhaps it's merely the greatness of the the competition that casts this shadow on their efforts. I have another trip in May on the 747 in F so i will have a point of comparison. See you soon for ANA F and Narita Lounge hopping. Happy flying.

Thank you for reading and happy flying.

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 431201 by
    Rewardflying GOLD 398 Comments

    Greetings Christian. It's too bad you didn't have time for the full hour spa treatment. That wonderful hour makes up for the dismal 1960's first class lounge. But you have to love the tvs!

    >The image below, courtesy of seatguru.com is actually incorrect in that there is no 2F and actually only 9 F seats, but gives an idea of the Odd galley running down the right side of the airplane and the small J cabin.
    -Actually it is correct. They have 2 configurations for the 747. You were in the better one with a single seat in the middle row 2. The other cabin has older (yes that isn't a typo) first class seats. Typically the aircraft you were in is the overnight down to Sydney while the AM departure is the older 747 cabin with 10 seats as seatgurued above.

    Question on the J class seat in their 787-9. Did it have a foot rest or is it the same Cirrus "lite" version JL installed in their regional 777-200's and 787s?

    Thanks for a memory trip on TG 747. I still like it.

    • Comment 431434 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 700 Comments

      Hi Mark and thanks for the note. I hope your Chicago winter hasn't been too harsh. I see you've been in the air for some of it.

      "Actually it is correct. They have 2 configurations for the 747..."
      -Interesting, good to know. I do have that Aussie flight in May... They TG'd my 747 and F class on the HKG-BKK already. 777 with J now although it's showing the 300ER config with lie flats. Is the other 747 config, with what looks like recliners in F, gone now? It's still on seartguru...

      "Question on the J class seat in their 787-9. Did it have a foot rest or is it the same Cirrus "lite" version JL installed in their regional 777-200's and 787s?"
      -Oh man, I can't remember. I'm sorry, I was supposed to pay attention to that!

      "Thanks for a memory trip on TG 747. I still like it."
      -She's still the queen.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

      -

      • Comment 431541 by
        Rewardflying GOLD 398 Comments

        > Is the other 747 config, with what looks like recliners in F, gone now? It's still on seartguru.
        -Seatguru is wrong. That layout doesn't exist. The other version is 10 seats in first where there are 2 seats in row 2 middle. The aircraft you should be on to SYD has 9 seats where row 2 has only 1 in the middle. The seats themselves are different. I've only been on the 9 seat version. I've read the 10 seat version is not nearly as nice. Typically the 10 seat is flown to SYD in the daytime while the 9 seat version is the overnight flight as it's better for sleeping.

        >I do have that Aussie flight in May... They TG'd my 747 and F class on the HKG-BKK already. 777 with J now although it's showing the 300ER config with lie flats...
        -That's too bad. They went from 2 first class flights a day on that sector to none for the summer schedule. But there is still plenty of time for them to change it back.

        Looking forward to JL from you soon!

        • Comment 431587 by
          socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 700 Comments

          Thanks for the insight Mark.

          "Typically the 10 seat is flown to SYD in the daytime while the 9 seat version is the overnight flight as it's better for sleeping."
          -So clearly I'll be TG'd to the 10 seat 747 ;)

          "But there is still plenty of time for them to change it back."
          -That's what I was thinking. I ignored the UAL requests to accept the schedule/equipment changes. If worst comes to worst I can bail on the whole itinerary without the fee...

          "Looking forward to JL from you soon!"
          Oh the peer pressure, LOL. I'll get on it. Spoiler alert, 2 days with JAL in premium cabins is a bit of alright.

          Take it easy Mark, happy flying.

  • Comment 431409 by
    Razza_Pr 203 Comments

    Hi Socalnow, and thank you for this FR.

    “There is a small and perhaps superfluous buffet towards the back of the lounge.”
    - For anyone who might have a tight connection, is very hungry, and is probably willing to hold the pastry with paper towels.. not that superfluous maybe?

    “I had previously booked TG F on this aircraft from PEK-BKK but was TG'd on day of departure to J on the A330. Finally we meet.”
    - It’s too bad when you finally did meet, you had to end up in the middle seat with no views outside :/

    “Very interesting "make your own garlic bread" condiments.”
    - Interesting indeed. You may not have durian breath on board, but garlic breath is sure to be acceptable! Thankfully there are beverages with which you can flush down the smell :D

    “The fried salmon course was first and perhpas the best of the lot.”
    - It was at this point that I realised that there was no caviar aboard this flight.. then again, last I read, not even SQ offered caviar on board SIN-TYO flights.

    “I probably could have tried the other, better reading, dessert but I was maxed out after sampling all those other plates.”
    - Gotta appreciate the Thai branding on the macaroon though.

    “Ichiran is open 24 hours. What a wonderful world we live in.”
    - Heh. What beauty. If I opened one in Oxford, I might garner enough interest from the students staying up late.. and from myself, of course.

    Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

    • Comment 431435 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 700 Comments

      Greetings Razza and thanks for the banter. I appreciate and enjoy your comments.

      "For anyone who might have a tight connection, is very hungry, and is probably willing to hold the pastry with paper towels.. not that superfluous maybe?"
      -Good points all. That was me except for the hungry part.

      "Interesting indeed. You may not have durian breath on board, but garlic breath is sure to be acceptable! "
      -LOL!

      "It was at this point that I realised that there was no caviar aboard this flight.. then again, last I read, not even SQ offered caviar on board SIN-TYO flights."
      -It used to be served on SQ11 NRT-SIN. Don't know if that's the case anymore... I've never been offered on the HND-SIN runs.

      "Heh. What beauty. If I opened one in Oxford, I might garner enough interest from the students staying up late.. and from myself, of course."
      -I like your business plan.

      Take care and happy flying.

  • Comment 431723 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 4368 Comments

    And he made it! Thanks to that legendary TG F ground service. Gotta love how accommodating the Thai are, offering food in the lounge with so little time to spare.

    " I was led to my seat, 2E. It is a middle solo F seat and certainly not my preferred seat."
    - On the bright side, you have the best view of the cabin. On the not-so-bright side, the whole cabin has a view of you, lol. Seems off being in the middle like that, exposed on both sides, but I guess the side partitions offer enough privacy? There's something so Captain Kirk about being in that solo middle seat in the nose of a 747 haha

    TG may not have the best F product, especially compared to some really top notch competitors in Asia, but for a 6 hour flight, minus the lack of caviar, the experience seems truly First class. From the ground service, to the 2006 Dom, to being in the nose of the Queen, it's all very First class.

    Thanks for sharing this adventurous routing!

    • Comment 432051 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 700 Comments

      Greetings KevinDC and thanks for the note.

      "Gotta love how accommodating the Thai are, offering food in the lounge with so little time to spare. "
      -I assumed the lounge attendant was unaware of my connection plight.

      "There's something so Captain Kirk about being in that solo middle seat in the nose of a 747 haha"
      -LOL, I had the exact same thought!

      "TG may not have the best F product, especially compared to some really top notch competitors in Asia, but for a 6 hour flight, minus the lack of caviar, the experience seems truly First class."
      -I think that sums up the experience quite succinctly.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

Login to post a comment.