This review is from my short 4 days trip to Chiang Mai. Having been busy at work and running around like crazy for 12 hours a day for the past two weeks, I am glad I got this vacation sorted out in advance. I opted for a night sleeper train to reduce the pace of my life, and return on Thai Airways Business Class. So, may I first start with the bonus part – train journey
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Train is not the best mode of transportation in Thailand, actually it can easily be the least effective one. State Railway of Thailand is old-fashioned, everything obsoleted by 20-30 year, but it gave our people with lowest income an opportunity to travel around the country. Ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai cost just 10 dollars in the 3rd (lowest) class carriage. But that’s the commuter style seating for 12 hours, without air – condition, delay is always guarantee.
My carriage is a more “luxury” class of service that is among the first to full up. I purchase ticket via internet exactly 60 days in advance, and it’s gone within a few hours after first reservation opened. It’s the sleeper carriage, with upper and lower berth and fully air-conditioned
However, the scenic route along the Northery route is the reason I select this train as a mean of traveling. It slow my heart rate. You probably understand what I mean
The breakfast set served at Restaurant Carriage, set me back for just 150 Baht, or slightly less than 5 dollars
After my deserved good rest, it’s time for me to go back to Bangkok. I must be among the very first passengers to confirm ticket for this flight, as I got a good promotion fare for the journey on busy long weekend.
The flight depart Chiang Mai (CNX) airport at 19.20, using 777-300. I have completed check in 24 hours in advance and got my favorite 15K seat
I decided to give Chaing Mai Bus a try for my transfer to the airport. It is a new service, launched in town just a few months ago. Before that, the option would be the modified truck for passenger service, taxi, or Grab (still illegal in Thailand, what a shame). The bus accept Rabbit card, which is the cash card introduced by Bangkok’s BTS skytrain system.
I arrived around 15.30, our flight is not yet on departure screen yet, the prior flight has just boarded so there is no queue at check in counter
I manage to print a boarding pass, load my bag and take a bus to the nearby Shopping Malls.
After a few hours, I get back to the airport and take a seat in an empty lounge…. Well, not actually a lounge but an old style restaurant managed by Thai Airways themselves. THAI used to have a dedicated lounge but it was dismantled for renovation around 6 months ago. To my surprise, the lounge is not even close to completion and we have to make do with this restaurant, with sectioned off for Business Class passengers
Snack selection is minimal, since they do not have much space.
Each passenger is entitled to a hot food from this menu
I ordered Khao Soi (Local Thai Northern delicacy of egg noodle, crispy noodle, chicken or beef, in coconut curry sauce)
Any non-alcoholic beverage can be ordered. Altough selection is large, it does not look very premium to me.
And some dessert
Then it’s time for boarding. Airports in Thailand are getting less and less spotter friendly each day. Those glass windows overlooking tarmac and runway are tinted with stickers, obscuring all the view
Flight information Flight : TG 117 From : Chaing Mai International Airport (CNX/VT To : Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK/VTBS) Date : 30 July 2018 Departure Gate : 7 Boarding Time : 19.00 hrs. Departure Time : 19.20 hrs. Actual Departure Time : 19.45 hrs. Flight Duration : 1.16 hrs. Arrival Time : 20.51 hrs. Arrival Gate : A4 Aircraft : B 777-3D7 Registration : HS-TKA Name : Sri Wanna Class : Business Seat : 15K
As soon as I take a seat, cabin crews arrive with a hot towel service, and a tray of welcome drink. I opt for their renowned tamarind tea, which is refreshing
The seat is an old style recliner – Stelia Evolys installed in THAI’s 777-300(non er version), A330, B777-200er. Comfortable enough for regional routes. But TG is refitting a newer Thomson Vantage on 6 of their A330. Hopefully other fleet will follow
Reading light and privacy screen
Seatpitch is huge
The menu? No, it is not supposed to be in this flight. Somebody forgotten to take it out at the end of last flight. Surely a Nagoya - Bangkok one
Magazine from a seat pocket
Time for pushback and take off
Take off clip
Table is dressed, and dinner is served
There are no selection for the meal. Everyone get rice, stir fried sour and spicy fish, baked eggplant. This is pretty good
And dessert of something look like White Chocolate Mousse with brownies and shaved chocolate
Visiting a restroom
Slightly later, descending began
Arrive at Gate A4, baggage claim and that’s the end of my journey
Chiang Mai - CNX
Bangkok - BKK
What I dislike - The "lounge" for Business class passenger is not proper. It should be a short term solution that is going on for too long.
What I like - The flight is nice, despite an old aircraft and older style seat configuration, I found the journey comfortable and food is good. Cabin Crew are all very polite, friendly and work efficiently.
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Hi Arq, thanks for sharing another informative FR! While the cabin is definitely getting outdated, it's certainly nice to have long-haul equipment on a 1 hour flight. Overall, the service is impressive for a short domestic flight, from the cabin to the catering. Regarding the lounge, you're right that it's nothing fancy, but I assume CNX serves mostly domestic and regional markets. In the U.S. lounges that mostly serve regional markets usually don't have any hot food at all--they barely have snacks. So in comparison it's quite nice, but I know lounges in Asia are generally much nicer.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading my review. TG flight between Bangkok and Chiang Mai are the most comfortable choice, in my opinion. As they serve as a feeder for international flight. And we sometimes get the newer configuration 777-300er! As for the lounge, yes, I agree that it is fairly good, but I am still looking forward to the new lounge and would like to know what is on offer, but it seemed to take quite a long time, unfortunately.
Thanks for this report on an interesting domestic route for TG. I agree with what Kevin said about a very nice product -- and solid service -- for an hour-long domestic flight. Catering looked good.... even the main dish in the "lounge," which sounds great by description, and looked pretty good too.
Impressive load -- does TG offer elite or reasonable paid upgrades, or are C fares on these domestic routes just "worth it"? Or is it just because of the long weekend factor?
Enjoyed the bonus with the train -- what a nice combination, between the scenic longhaul train northbound, and then 773 C class on the way back. Nicely done!
Thank you, hometoyyz. Sorry for taking so long to reply.
TG do not offer paid upgrade at counter, and mile upgrade for domestic flight is not available. But everytime I fly this flight, the C cabin is always full. I guess the load comes mainly from Business Class International connecting passenger at BKK. We have a bank of midnight rush to Japan, Korea and some European routes of sort.
Thank you for reading and your reply
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