Review of Thai Smile flight Bangkok Siem Reap in Economy

Airline Thai Smile
Flight WE 588
Class Economy
Seat 52K
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 00:50
Take-off 05 Feb 18, 07:25
Arrival at 05 Feb 18, 08:15
03   #17 out of 118 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 20 reviews
loukas
By SILVER 548
Published on 9th March 2018
Hi and welcome to the 3rd report in this series:

01.02 WAW-DOH, QATAR AIRWAYS - A320 - https://flight-report.com/en/report/30559/Qatar-Airways-QR-262-Warsaw-WAW-Doha-DOH
02.02 DOH-BKK, QATAR AIRWAYS - A380 - https://flight-report.com/en/report/30667/Qatar-Airways-QR830-Doha-DOH-Bangkok-BKK
05.02 BKK-REP, THAI SMILE - A320 - you are here
07.02 REP-KUL, AIR ASIA - A320neo
09.02 KUL-SGN, MALAYSIA AIRLINES - B738
12.02 SGN-PQC, VIET JET AIR - A321
16.02 PQC-BKK, BANGKOK AIRWAYS - ATR72-600
17.02 BKK-DOH, QATAR AIRWAYS - A380
17.02 DOH-WAW, QATAR AIRWAYS - A320

There are many ways of getting from Bangkok to Siem Reap. As it's not far away you can even go there by bus, minibus or taxi but why to take a bus if you can fly? The other thing is that despite the distance being quite small, the journey lasts not less than 8 hours and if you add 2 hours usually spent on the border, you spend a whole day on the bus. No, thanks. Later in Vietnam we met a guy from Sweden that assured us flying was the best choice as he once made this bus trip and it was one of the worst experiences in his life. Once we decided to fly, there were several options to choose from: Bangkok Airways, Thai or Thai Smile from BKK or Air Asia from DMK. While Air Asia and Thai Smile offered almost the same price, Thai and Bangkok Airways were far too expensive for such a short hop. For me the choice was easy then: if there are two airlines that offer a ticket at the same price and one of them is LCC and the other one offers meal, checked luggage and operates from the main airport, there is nothing to think about. We fly Thai Smile :)

Before I take you to the airport and onboard, let me share with you some bonus pictures from my 2-days stay in Bangkok.

It was my second stay in Bangkok and even if some people complain it's too crowded, too noisy and more and more distant from what is true Thailand, I really like this city, its temples, streetfood, markets and massage.

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When I came here first time 4 years ago, the old king Bhumibol was still in charge. Since his death, his son Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (!!!) is the new king of Thailand.

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Before we head to the temples (to do something for our souls), we need to do something for our bodies ;) I recommend this place for the tom yum soup - the best I've ever had.



The Grand Palace ad the Temple of Emerald Buddha were definitely more crowded than 4 years ago but this place is a must when in Bangkok.

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My favourite temple is Wat Pho complex and the temple of Reclining Buddha



On the other side of the Chao Praya river, when you can get by a very cheap ferry, there's another fameous temple Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn). It has recently been renovated and looks very bright and fresh.



We went to the fameous backpackers Khao San road but left quickly as it was terribly crowded and tiring

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AT THE AIRPORT

Our flight was supposed to depart very early (7:25 a.m.) so getting to the airport by skytrain wasn't possible, we needed to take a taxi. I couldn't spot Thai Smile on any entrance so we decided to get inside and search for the check-in desks.

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BKK has this feeling of being big and overwhelming



As online check in wan't possible for this flight, I wanted to try the self check-in kiosk but it sent us to the traditional check-in desk as the other options work only for domestic flights.

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The check-in area is very well marked and the staff is very helpful. There was no queue so it took not more than a couple of minutes.



Copies of deamons from The Emerald Buddha temple. I don't find them scary at all but as I read in one of Marathon's reports they were accused of bringing bad luck to the staff in the arrivals area and that's how they moved to departures.



Even if departing from BKK means going up (for the security check) and then down (for the passport control) and passing many different levels and corridors, this morning it doesn't take much time and within 30 minutes from check-in we enter the airside part of the terminal and head to our gate E1.

The passage to our concourse looks like a shopping mall

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Churning of the sea of milk - a scene from Hindu mythology. Too long for one photo.

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Spotting in BKK is always difficult due to the terminal construction, so taking a good photo of this Thai A380 or 747 is quite impossible

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But if you have a bus boarding here, as it was in our case, it means you will be able to see something more.

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Thai 747

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THE FLIGHT

Our bus ride isn't long this time and soon we notice our A320 in this beautiful Thai Smile livery



Bankok Airways ATR 72-500 and some Thai widebodies

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Smile Plus class seats as we pass to the economy section. I must admit I like this cabin from the very first moment. The aircraft is very clean and looks new.

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Economy class and view from my seat

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Cabin crew consists of young female FAs only, they are all very friendly and helpful from the very beginning, soon we will also learn they are very fast. Immigration forms are being distributed during boarding and as the boarding is long cause we wait for the second bus to come, I have enough time for all the paperwork.

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The seat is thin but comfortable. I would describe the amount of legroom as very good too (sorry for the pic that refused to cooperate and stayed this way despite numerous attempts to make it horizontal)

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The upper seat pocket and safety card



The lower seat pocket content together with Thai Smile route map on the following photo

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Time to go back to normal position… View from my window, Bangkok Airways A319 is visible

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When all pax are on board we begin a long taxi to the runway



Thai 787 and A350



Safety demo is dispalyed on the screens



Time to go up



We shorty pass through the clouds and as the fasten seat belts sing is off the FAs rush with the service. We can't believe our eyes when we receive a warm tortilla and a box wrapped in cloth with fresh fruit, juice, water, refreshing towel and plastic cuttlery. Then a rapid service with cold and hot beverages begins. The flight lasts only 40 minutes!



A short stay over the clouds

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Shortly we begin our descent over Cambodia with Tonle Sap lake visible in the distance and rice fields full of water



Landing

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It seems that at this time of the day Air Asia roules here, but a Bassaka Air aircraft can be visible too and something that looks very familiar - Small Planet A320 that must have been leased for the winter season.



Cabin seen during deboarding

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Cambodia Angkor Air A320

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And our A320 as we walk to the terminal

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Very odd looking terminal buildings

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What looks very classic outside is very modern inside and the whole immigration process with visas upon arrival is surprisingly fast and in very nice atmosphere (for the first time in my life immigration officers smile, ask how I am and wish me a nice stay in Cambodia - a positive shock!). Visa costs 30 USD, you just need a photo and one of the forms that were distributed onboard.

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Most of the hotels here offer a free ride from the airport. Our driver, Mr Siem, waited for us in the arrivals hall. The tuk tuk ride to the hotel was an unforgettable experience…. I loved Cambodia from the very first moment here.

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To be continued soon :) Thanks for reading!
See more

Verdict

Thai Smile

8.9/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment6.5
Meal/catering9.5

Bangkok - BKK

7.6/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness6.5

Siem Reap - REP

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services5.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Sometimes a great short flight can be worth more than a million long ones. This flight with Thai Smile was my best flight lasting less than one hour. The cabin, the crew, exceptional service for such a short flight made it a great experience. REP has a very modern, clean and nice arrivals terminal and the immigration officers are exceptionally polite.

Related

7 Comments

  • Comment 436235 by
    Eric V P SILVER 59 Comments

    Thank you for sharing! Yesterday morning I passed by a WE plane while my plane taxied from KUL and now there's a WE report here, which is good :D

    Once we decided to fly, there were several options to choose from: Bangkok Airways, Thai or Thai Smile from BKK or Air Asia from DMK. While Air Asia and Thai Smile offered almost the same price, Thai and Bangkok Airways were far too expensive for such a short hop.
    - How much was the difference between WE and TG, and PG, and if you don't mind sharing, how much does the flight cost (since flights to/from REP are notoriously rather expensive to begin)? It seems a bit strange that you said TG was priced far more than WE, though I could see TG relying more on connecting traffic rather than O&D.

    The Grand Palace ad the Temple of Emerald Buddha were definitely more crowded than 4 years ago but this place is a must when in Bangkok.
    - I skipped it while I was there a few months ago, not only due to the crowd but because of the steep entrance fee (which would equate with either 10 roundtrip train trips to Maeklong (where the railway market is) or a lot of pad thai + mango with sticky rice).

    Thai 747
    - She's indeed a beauty, so it's sad to count her days with TG.

    .... We can't believe our eyes when we receive a warm tortilla and a box wrapped in cloth with fresh fruit, juice, water, refreshing towel and plastic cuttlery. Then a rapid service with cold and hot beverages begins. The flight lasts only 40 minutes!
    - Even by Asian standard it would be considered luxurious, but since they also took time for beverages run did they still have time to collect trashes, or was it the cleaners' turn after deplaning? It seems that the competition with PG makes for a cut-throat competition in service, which is always a good sign.

    Once again, thank you for the report!

    • Comment 436239 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 191 Comments

      Hi and thanks for stopping by! The ticket price was about 100 USD, while TG and PG wanted ca 150 USD. Yes, flights to REP are expensive, the bus costs ca 30 USD but as I wrote It’s rather considered as a nightmare. They managed to collect everything before landing, I’ve never seen such a fast and well organized crew, a perfect team work! The ticket price to the Grand Palace is expensive and you are right that you can have many nice things for 500 BHT in Thailand but I like the place very much and comparing to ticket prices to Angkor It’s not expensive at all. Many thanks! Have a nice weekend!

  • Comment 436252 by
    nechus SILVER 437 Comments

    Wow! I agree with you, Loukas! What a remarkable service for such a short hop! And what a handsome cabin! Certainly an unforgettable experience. I hope the airlines on this side of the world will read this report. They need it!

    Thanks a lot for sharing and congrats on your beautiful trip. :D

  • Comment 436736 by
    KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

    Hi Loukas, thanks for sharing another great report!

    I love Thailand and have been many times, but never got to try Thai Smile. After reading your report, I'll definitely have to consider flying them next time! I'm very impressed with the service on Thai Smile. I've also always wanted to take a hop over to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat.

    The Thai Smile cabin looks really nice! Though I'm not a fan of the headrest covers, the seat colours are nice and they look comfortable! I see that the Premium cabin is a "European Business class" style cabin with just an empty middle seat. I've always said this is smart for Low-cost carriers--less so for legacy carriers.

    Nice Bangkok bonus! Looking forward to a Cambodia bonus.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 436864 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 191 Comments

      Hi Kevin, many thanks for your comment. Thailand is great but, believe me, Cambodia is even nicer. As far as the airlines are concerned, here you can easily see how air travels in Europe and America used to be once. Thai Smile is great, don't hesitate to try it next time you come to Thailand. Have a nice day!

  • Comment 440071 by
    Rl 777 805 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Excellent bonus pictures from Bangkok, thanks for sharing.

    Nice shots of the airport.

    “But if you have a bus boarding here”
    - Seems like the bus was painted to match TG’s livery, nice.

    “I have enough time for all the paperwork”
    - Clever, better to be finished with the boring stuff in the beginning I suppose haha.

    I’m a big fan of the colours and patterns used for the seats onboard.

    Wow, impressive service for such a short (and inexpensive) flight!

    At REP it seems like they’ve managed to do a great job at combining a cultural exterior look with a functional and modern interior look.

    Have a good one, see you.

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