The airline with the best average rating is Nok Air with 6.8/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 6 minutes.More information
While I had another week of free time, I decided to hunt down for some tickets back to Thailand once again. The usual airliners that offer cheap tickets from Amsterdam to Bangkok were present once again like Qatar, Etihad, Emirates & Aeroflot. While I am not the biggest fan of taking them on economy flights, I noticed that there was an outsider offering very cheap flights too, which usually sells them for quite an expensive price.
This outsider was Kenya Airways and as I am not familiar with them, I decided to book my flight with them only two days in advance of my travelling date. Another good point of taking up this itinerary was that I would receive some generous mileage for my flying blue points. The downside however is that my trip was extended by an extra five hours compared to direct flights to Bangkok from Amsterdam. This itinerary however meant that I would finally be able to experience the Boeing 787-8 myself as I never had the chance to fly on it and I would finally be able to fly on a 747 once again from KLM to Nairobi as their 747 is going to be phased out by 2021.
To fully complete my schedule for the week, I had to book a return flight to Ubon to visit my parents-in-law and to meet up with my girl. This however meant that I had to choose between Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lionair or Nok Air. As AirAsia and Thai Smile did not really give me any flights on the times suitable for me, It was either a choice between Thai Lion or Nok Air…. That one was easily made for me, so Nok Air it was.
Find my complete routing below.
While it was an absolutely nightmare to find any taxi that was willing to bring me to Bangkok Don Mueang Int'l Airport for a fair price, I finally managed to find one, although he dropped me off at the arrival hall of the international terminal as departures was way too crowded. The international terminal of Don Mueang however is very crowded and you will have to walk an obstacle course through hordes of Chinese tourists to get to domestic departures, which is usually much quieter.
Domestic departures is reached and it is now up to me to find the counters of Nok Air to drop off my bags. I know that they are one of the last rows.
As I checked in online already, I simply move myself behind the line that was waiting for Mobile Check-in. It looks busier, but it definitely went on a decent pace and dropped my luggage off in less than five minutes, while I obtained a boarding card in paper format too from the lady behind the counter.
On my way to security, which was no hassle once again and cleared it in a minute or two. The security check takes less than the entire walk to reach one of those stations. While cleared, I head my way to the Coffee Club just passed the security and order a ''Signature Iced Mocha' together with a ham-cheese croissant as I was hungry.
As I am finishing my drink and meal, I watch a brand new Airbus A320 with Winglets (HS-CBI) of Thai AirAsia being pushed back for it's flight to Nan as FD 3552. I took this exact flight a year ago to Nan and it is definitely a destination I would recommend if you love nature. And in case you are curious to that specific flight report, you could always find it here.
Our gate for today was Gate 77, which meant that we were going to board our aircraft by bus…. As I made my way to my gate, I just realized that I really need some glasses by now as I took the escalator to gates 51 to 58 instead of walking down the stairs to the gate I was assigned to. Back to the stairs!
While the seating section at the bus gates is usually very crowded, I seated myself in the floor inbetween the topfloor (used for the jetbridges) and the bus gates, which has tons of seating with almost no people. Definitely a very good place to get a short uncomfortable nap in case you have a connecting flight in Bangkok.
Boarding was called about fifteen minutes past boarding times and I joined the line as one of the lasts. While Nok Air used to have a variety of different colours and liveries for their birds, they however decided to remain to a similar livery nowadays with a variety of different colours.
Unrelated to this specific report, I just wanted to share a very old photo of what kind of liveries they used to have back then.
Let's not dwell too much on it and return to the flight report.
Meet HS-DBX. A 2.3 years old Boeing 737-800 with the name Nok Tawan, who has solely been in service to Nok Air as to date.
As I was one of the last ones to disembark the bus, it took a while to board the plane wishing my fellow passengers to rush it a bit more as it was very hot in that burning sun with temperatures up to 35 degrees of celsius….
It took a while to board, but it definitely felt like winning an award when that air conditioning was cooling us down. I made my way over to my seat 38A, which wasn't too far from the front. The legroom as usual was generous for a low cost airline and is not really anything to complain about for the price they charge you for it. The two flights costed me about 2200 THB (equivalent to 64 euro) all together with 15 kg included.
My view from my seat for a hour or so. Not too shabby!
The literature of Nok Air in the seat pocket in front of you.
Push back was about fifteen minutes late and gave me a view of some of the turboprops of Nok Air with a Thai Lion Air A330 in the back.
Orient Thai's Boeing 767-300 is still parked at one of their gates, however that specific pier of Bangkok Don Mueang is simply rotting away and is not being used for any passengers to board an aircraft by jetbridge. I always wanted to try them out, but never got a chance to do so….. Theoretically it might be possible as the company is not bankrupt as of today, but all operations were suspended in July 2018 to restructure their business model.
While we are slowly moving forward to our runway for departure, a quick photo of the international part of Bangkok Don Mueang with the usual traffic. A B737 of Thai Lion, An A320 of Thai AirAsia and a B777 of Nokscoot.
While an AirAsia was holding short in front of it, I had a fabulous chance to capture this beautiful Airbus A340-500 of the Royal Thai Air Force.
It took another ten minutes for us to roll for any reason unknown as no traffic was in front of us. By this time, the A340 we saw landing was already parked at it's stand. Airborne time was 13:54, which meant that we were already running late by about 34 minutes…
A nice photo of Krung Thep (Bangkok), before it will disappear in a long stretch of farmland.
Let's take a look of today's flight path, which is pretty much a straight line after our early turn. Cruising level was 31.000 ft for today.
Still in that early turn….
When we reached a certain safe altitude, the flight attendants jumped into action and served us the complimentary bottle of water with a new decoration. I wonder who's the creative person behind them. They never seem to bore me and Nok Air keeps updating them multiple times per year.
Upon completing of their first round, the flight attendants were now ready to start their BoB service. The prices they charge are reasonable for an airliner, but still expensive. Instead I just took a photo of the cabin with some nice mood lightning.
By this time, we were already cruising at 31.000 ft.
After the second round, the flight crew informed us that our descent was already initiated. The flight attendants quickly made their way through the cabin with their duty free. Shortly after they were preparing the cabin for landing,
On a very short final.
Landed at 14.41! 16 minutes behind schedule.
An 180 degree turn was necessary at the end for a small backtrack on the runway to reach our terminal.
While Ubon has two jetbridges and one was occupied by a Thai Smile Airbus A320, we were still parked at a remote stand. Only on the return flight I came to understand that the 2nd jet bridge was under construction. Upon disembarking, a trolley with umbrellas were provided in case you wanted to have protection from the sun during that short walk. A nice gesture, but not really necessary. A last look of our aircraft.
While no information is given in regards to what belt is in use (there are usually two belts), it was pretty clear that belt no. 2 was in use as no 1. was under construction too. Luggage appeared on belt about five minutes later and I was shortly off to my girlfriend who was waiting for me outside.
For the price paid, the product they delivered was sufficient. Aircraft was in a very good shape, the cabin crew was friendly and the common delay of Nok Air was there too. The complimentary water still is a nice touch for a LCC.