Review of Thai Airways flight Singapore Bangkok in Business

Airline Thai Airways
Flight TG402
Class Business
Seat 15A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300
Flight time 02:24
Take-off 15 Jan 20, 08:11
Arrival at 15 Jan 20, 09:35
TG   #9 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 364 reviews
YGeorgeW
By GOLD 963
Published on 26th January 2020

Star alliance first trip


After visiting Singapore for the first time, it was time to return to Japan for a few days before catching my flight home.


Routing


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While it would have been more efficient to fly SQ F direct from SIN to HND, it was more expensive in terms of miles. SQ would have charged 70,000 Krisflyer points for SIN-HND whereas I could redeem TG F via Bangkok for 65,000 UA miles. Since I already value UA miles less than the Chase or Amex points I would have had to transfer to Krisflyer, it was an easy decision. While getting to enjoy the Private Room and experiencing the only full-service intra-Asian F flight on SQ would have been nice, a long layover at the famous Thai Royal First Lounge in Bangkok was just as appealing.

Often the prices for intra-Asia F routes are actually somewhat reasonable (as far as these things go), though I still would never pay this price myself. I opted for this flight (TG402) specifically to give me a long layover in BKK while avoiding a redeye to HND. I'm also kind of paranoid about connections when redeeming for premium products.


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sats premier check-in lounge


When using T1, premium cabin passengers get to use the SATS Premier Check-In Lounge, which is conveniently located at the end of Thai Airways's row of check-in counters.


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Upon entry, I escorted to one of the check-in desks and processed quickly. The lounge is like most premium check-in: a row of desks along with a small sitting area. You exit straight into the terminal since security is at the gates at Changi.


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thai royal orchid lounge


I decided to check out the Thai lounge at SIN even though I know it isn't much. I usually like to review the lounge you're "supposed" to use anyways. I got there right as it opened at 6:15am.


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Immediately after the check-in desk is the buffet area and a shelf of literature.


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There were plenty of seats arranged in a variety of ways around the lounge. One nice thing is that the majority of seat configurations had easily accessible outlets.



Immediately behind the check-in desk is a narrow room with counter-top seating.


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Adjacent to that room is a VIP Room - no clue who it is for.


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The breakfast spread was not very appetizing, mostly just carbs. The beverages selection were limited.



I made myself a cup of tea, but ended up leaving after about 10 minutes. Note: I believe bathrooms are outside of the lounge.


TGM


Changi is filled with Priority Pass different lounges to use and I also had access to the SilverKris lounges both via my boarding pass and Star Gold status. However, I thought that visiting TGM would be a useful review for everyone since it is a different type of "lounge." From T1, I took the sky train, which runs every 4 minutes or so. It was a fairly quick journey. TGM is on the upper level of T2 along with the other lounges. 


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Once I inquired about using Priority Pass, the helpful clerk handed me a specific menu. Here is the menu available to Priority Pass members:


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As you can see, this is a restaurant with both regular restaurant seating and counter-top seats. The counter-top seats have conveniently located outlets. I grabbed a seat here.


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I picked the Japanese Breakfast Set. It was actually quite good given that this is a Priority Pass meal (and not even technically a PP restaurant). It was delivered very quickly, in under 10 minutes.


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TGM isn't a great venue to lounge around, so I walked right over to the T2 SilverKris Lounge to spend the next 20 or so minutes. I decided not to review the lounge though.


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I got to Gate D34 a few minutes before boarding. Some of the queues at the other gates were getting to be really long while D34 was a breeze. There is a large seating area past the gate security.


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tg402


Thai flies a variety of aircraft on this route. Unfortunately, TG402 is served by an 777-300 with recliner seats rather than their new A350 with direct aisle access and lie-flat seats. Today we have HS-TKD, a 20-years old 777-300.


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Boarding was called at 7:43, 8 minutes behind schedule.


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I managed to hurry down fast enough to have (almost) unobstructed cabin shots. Thai's 777-300s have 34 angle-flat seats spread out over 5 rows. The first row is the only row with a 2-2-2 configuration, the rest are 2-3-2. Therefore, the only seats with direct aisle access is the two middle seats in the first row. I didn't get an exact, but I saw there were 6 or so empty seats.



Here is my seat: 15A.


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A fairly comfortable blanket and pillow awaited me at the seat.


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The seat has almost no storage space whatsoever, so make sure to put everything in the overhead bins. Right underneath the IFE is a packed literature holder where the menus were already waiting. A coat hook can be found next to it. The safety cards are kept in another holder between the two screens with cup holders underneath. The seat controls are fairly self-explanatory. Underneath the center armrest is a tiny storage area where you can find the headphones. The jacks and power outlet are also here. The IFE remote is found in the other armrest. The center divider has an adjustable reading light next to it.



Shortly after boarding my coat was taken (definitely did not need in Singapore, but I had nowhere to pack it) and I was given a hot towel. A while later, a FA came by with PDBs; water and orange juice were the choices. I chose water.


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The IFE screen is rather small. It was also quite dark and not very clear. I tried watching The Monuments Men later, but the picture quality was too poor to actually get much out of it. There is no Wifi on Thai's older planes.


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Thai uses AKG headphones. One interesting note is that when I actually tried on the headphones a little bit into the flight, loud gangster rap came on, definitely not censored. I'm not sure if it was just whatever music was chosen by the previous passenger, or what. I personally don't mind the music, but I could see a parent getting upset if a child put it on with no warning. As for the comfort of the headphones, they were okay, but because they do not fit snugly over my ears, it started becoming a bit uncomfortable after an hour or so.


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We pushed back at 8:11am and took off 24 minutes later.


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The seat belt sign was switched off 5 minutes into the flight. Per my usual, I headed to the lavatories to check them out. There are two business class lavatories in the front of the plane. I was surprised to find that they had small linen towels on a flight this short. The usual amenities could be found, though I did not recognize the brand.



The menus had a nice design, celebrating their 60th year in 2020. Orders were taken prior to takeoff, roughly when the jet bridge was pulled back.


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There are three options, with the Thai option emphasized on its own page (and repeated again on the next page).


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Here is the beverage menu:


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Service began roughly 10 minutes after takeoff. Immigration cards were offered a few minutes later (though I did not need one because I was just transiting). I started off with the Piper Heidsieck champagne, a pleasant business class champagne.


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The tray table was a decent size and pulls out from the center armrest. 


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Everything was served on one tray 25 minutes into the flight. I was wondering what the "Chinese dough" was - turned out just to be a small youtiao (Chinese churro). The meal was okay, I didn't eat much of it, just a little bit of the porridge and some fruit. I did not enjoy the condensed milk and only took a bite. I asked for the Japanese green tea after the meal.


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Here is the bed in the flattest position I could get it. I didn't want to bother my seatmate too much with re-arranging the blanket for a better looking setup, so I apologize for the messiness. As you can see though, this wasn't that comfortable. I wouldn't want to try to actually sleep for any long periods of time on this, especially since I am a side sleeper. It was okay given how short the flight was, though I was unable to fall asleep when trying to take a nap.


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There are also several lavatories right behind the business class cabin, which I checked out when the front lavatories were occupied. I believe these are for economy because they were devoid of any amenities.


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One minor note was that my empty cup of tea was never offered a refill nor collected. I am sure they would have happily done either had I rang the attendant bell, but it wasn't actually in my way so I never bothered. Roughly 25 minutes to landing the captain announced the descent and any remaining trash was collected at this point. My coat was returned roughly 8 minutes before landing.


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We landed at 9:27am Bangkok time and parked at Gate C5 7 minutes later.


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Verdict

Thai Airways

6.0/10
Cabin4.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.5

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge

4.1/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering2.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services5.0

Singapore - SIN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Bangkok - BKK

9.2/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Lounge: If you have time to relax in a lounge, definitely visit the SilverKris Lounge in T2 or T3 over the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge. The transit between T1 and T2 via the air train is not very long. I would not bother showing up early for the Thai lounge. It is a pleasant place to sit and nothing more. I think Thai only has the lounge because they are in T1.

Cabin & Seat: This is a very tired configuration of recliner seats arranged in 2-3-2. It is not even the most competitive configuration Thai themselves operate on this route. It doesn't really bother me for a mere 2-hour flight though and sure beats sitting in economy.

Service: Service flow was very efficient, it only took 30 minutes from the start of service to when the breakfast trays were collected. Flight attendants smiled, were courteous, and generally were warm and welcoming. There's not much more to say given how short the flight was.

Meal & Catering: Breakfast is a struggle for just about every airline and Thai is no exception. The Chinese option was okay, neither good nor bad. Thai does offer a fairly good beverage selection given how early the flight is.

Bottom Line: This is a perfectly fine configuration for a 2-hour flight, though I would recommend the other flights Thai provides on this route over this one. The main reason I took this flight was to have a longer layover.

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Bangkok (BKK)

7 Comments

  • Comment 539623 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 457 Comments

    While I am definitely very fond of flying with TG, it is unfortunately also very clear to me why they are losing money by simply looking at these charges they charge, while UB for example offers you a 700 $ one-way fare to Haneda via BKK with NH. The price they charge you on most routes are often much higher than competitors with little to no extra service (if you compare it to BR for example) and it's always a gamble whether you would have a very old aircraft or a new one on too many of their routes, but thanks for writing this great and 45 minutes for a bowl of noodles? Those definitely had to be worth it if you really took your time to grab them.

    • Comment 539624 by
      ThomasDutch GOLD 457 Comments

      and that fare is in J class btw.

      • Comment 539640 by
        YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 183 Comments

        Thanks for stopping by and reading ThomasDutch!

        The price they charge you on most routes are often much higher than competitors with little to no extra service.

        - I've heard that TG prices oddly for what they offer and so revenue yield is not good.

        it's always a gamble whether you would have a very old aircraft or a new one

        - That's probably one of the biggest concerns for me: there's too much variance. I was worried my 747 to HND was going to get swapped for an older layout (though I think I read somewhere that they are pretty good about keeping the Tokyo routes consistent).

        45 minutes for a bowl of noodles?

        - They definitely were worth the wait and I think I got lucky with only 45 minutes. These waits for food are often only if you happen to have the extra time or it isn't your first time visiting somewhere. Stay tuned for the next report where I wait even longer for a different bowl of noodles :)

        Thanks again!

  • Comment 539770 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5256 Comments

    Thanks for another great report, definitely enjoying this series. Haven't been to Asia in a few years so I'm reminiscing :)

    When using T1, premium cabin passengers get to use the SATS Premier Check-In Lounge

    Love that about SIN T1...it just feels fancy to check in sitting down with a drink!

    I'm disappointed by the poor food offering at the TG lounge...I would have expected better.

    As you can see though, this wasn't that comfortable.

    Yeah, that's not even angle lie-flat, that's straight up cradle recliner, and not even the good kind because the leg-rests are too low so they don't cradle so you just slide. Good thing they don't put these birds on longer flights. For 2h, it's totally fine, though...much better than the recliners we have in US domestic F.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 539835 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 183 Comments

      Thanks for commenting Kevin!

      I'm disappointed by the poor food offering at the TG lounge...I would have expected better.

      - In fairness, maybe the offering later in the day are much better.

      Yeah, that's not even angle lie-flat, that's straight up cradle recliner, and not even the good kind because the leg-rests are too low so they don't cradle so you just slide.

      - Yea, I tried to lay down for napping, but just could not get comfortable period. I think it was more comfortable in a halfway reclined mode.

      much better than the recliners we have in US domestic F.

      - Didn't we recently have a discussion about how it would be an insult to compare Asian carriers to US/European regionals? :)

  • Comment 541784 by
    socalnow GOLD 980 Comments

    Greetings YGeorgeW and thanks for the next installment. Entertaining and informative as always.

    While getting to enjoy the Private Room and experiencing the only full-service intra-Asian F flight on SQ would have been nice, a long layover at the famous Thai Royal First Lounge in Bangkok was just as appealing.

    -We call that a win-win. I flew the TG F flight you are connecting to back in November and haven't contemplated a report yet. You flew in January and have already posted. The shame.

    Thanks for the look at the lounges, especially TGM. I've seen that on Priority Pass but didn't know what it was. For those traveling on cheap Y tickets ex. SIN there sure are a lot of great lounge options. That and your +/- $50 from so many fantastic destinations. I'm living in the wrong place...

    The TG equipment roulette didn't hit for you today. Even on the dated aircraft I've found the service to be good, it seems you did too. Breakfast flights are a different beast and expectations are lower. Nice Champagne offering and it looks splendid in those tall flutes.

    One of the most exciting part of Singapore for me was getting to try the famous Michelin-starred hawker stalls. Hawker Chan in Chinatown is probably the most famous, but the Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle was my favorite stall during my visit.

    -Yes! So fantastic. The gravy on those noodles, OMG, and the pork skin. Where else did you eat? Where'd you stay? Food paradise!

    Thank you again for sharing this flight. Looking forward to the TG F story! Happy flying.

    • Comment 542032 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 183 Comments

      Thanks for reading Christian!

      I flew the TG F flight you are connecting to back in November and haven't contemplated a report yet. You flew in January and have already posted. The shame.

      - Not at all! I just happen to have had a bit of free time in late January and could work on these.

      SIN there sure are a lot of great lounge options.

      - If I had a ridiculously long layover (i.e. 10 hours or something) and did not want to go into Singapore, I would consider taking a tour of every single PP lounge in Changi for fun. Now that would be some impressive lounge hopping.

      Even on the dated aircraft I've found the service to be good, it seems you did too.

      - Yes, the hospitality on Thai was apparent from the beginning.

      Yes! So fantastic. The gravy on those noodles, OMG, and the pork skin. Where else did you eat? Where'd you stay? Food paradise!

      - I tried the Hawker Chan stall (not really a stall anymore), Super Star Original Famous Penang Laksa (a stall), the Golden Peony, and Restaurant Labyrinth. There are other miscellaneous meals that I didn't really take down. I stayed at the Conrad - AMEX FHR had a great third-night free deal.

      Thanks again!

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