The airline with the best average rating is Thai Airways with 8.1/10.
The average flight time is 3 hours and 25 minutes.More information
Welcome to one of my reports. Firstly, as usual, sorry for my bad English and also bad quality of the photos.
Here are parts of the journey:
26-MAR-2019: Jakarta (CGK) - Bangkok (BKK) by Thai Airways TG436 (Airbus A330-300)(you are here)
27-MAR-2019: Bangkok (BKK) - Tokyo Narita (NRT) by Thai Airways TG642 (Airbus A330-300)
08-APR-2019: Tokyo Haneda (HND) - Bangkok (BKK) by Thai Airways TG661 (Boeing 747-400)(coming soon)
08-APR-2019: Bangkok (BKK) - Jakarta (CGK) by Thai Airways TG435 (Boeing 787-8)(coming soon)
This report comes quite late, more than a year after the trip, because I was too busy to do my daily business and finish my undergraduate program until the end of 2019. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced me to stop one of my businesses, that I have more time to relax and do some leisure things, including writing this report.
Back to the time before the trip. My sister, an undergraduate program student focusing on Japanese literature, was sent by her university to attend 1-year student exchange program in Tokyo since September 2018. Our family had promised to visit her learning place in Japan before she left.
At the end of 2019, after my sister got her holiday schedule, we decided to visit Japan on Spring, especially to see the falling cherry blossoms.
Checking the flight ticket prices, just as we had guessed, the ticket was higher than usual, as it was one of "golden period"s for people around the world to visit Japan. Direct flights had costed more than US$1,000 return, so we had to leave this option. Transit flights were significantly cheaper, except LCCs like Air Asia which had also more expensive ticket price than usual for that period.
There were 2 strong candidates to choose: Thai Airways and Philippines Airlines. We had never been onboard both of them, so we were too "blind" about how the flight experience would be.
PR offered slightly cheaper ticket price (but quite significant for groups of family like us), but with long transit in Manila both outbound and inbound. How about Thai Airways??? Slightly more expensive but much shorter transit, and even the chance to be in one of their 747s for inbound flight from HND.
Without too much thinking, we quickly grabbed Thai Airways' ticket for about US$ 450 (return) each person. Only 3 people (me and my parents) would be onboard Thai Airways, while my sister has booked the Malaysia Airlines for her Tokyo-Jakarta return flights. Tickets of separated flights each way with different carriers would cost 2x than the method we took.
About 3 weeks after my sister came home and we prepared the itineraries, hotel bookings, and the JR Pass, we were ready to go on March 26th, 2020.
MARCH 26th, 2020
From our house on the eastern side of Jakarta, we took the Grab (online taxi service) to the airport. The traffic was not too crowded on afternoon.
Arrived at the airport at 3.50 p.m.
Firstly we went to Malaysia Airlines' to print my sister's boarding pass.
Then time for the rest of us to print our Thai Airlines' boarding passes. There was quite long queue and we needed about 15 minutes to complete the task.
My boarding pass, both CGK-BKK and BKK-NRT.
Time to enter the airside after long queue on immigration check as usual.
ANA (All Nippon Airways). We were going to Nippon but not with it.
Our family decided to proceed to Malaysia Airlines' gate to accompany my sister before her boarding. The gate was located on the eastern end of the terminal. As it was too far away from the escalator after immigration, then 3 of us chose to hire the caddy.
I myself chose to walk while also taking snapshot outside the window. It was the peak hour of long-haul flights from Jakarta, so there were lots of big bodies parked waiting for departure.
After my sister boarded her flight, we went back to the waiting hall just close to the escalator, as the Thai Airways' gate was there.
Then we saw our plane was parked and ready to depart. An Airbus A330-300 with registration code "HS-TBA" and nosename "Amnat Charoen", a city on the Northeastern (Isan) area of Thailand. Delivered on November 2011.
Waiting hall, shared by all gates.
Gate of KLM, the airline I frequently took recently. If I travelled to Japan alone, I would board this carrier then taking another flight from Kuala Lumpur.
Gate 6, used by our flight that day.
As usual, I charged my cellphone and powerbank while waiting for boarding.
Then we were called for boarding at 6.20 p.m. Long queue, seemed the flight was almost fully occupied.
Entering the cabin.
Our seat. Sadly we didn't get the window side for both CGK-BKK and BKK-NRT legs.
The seat pitch was fair enough for my feet (no pics available).
Then checking the IFE as usual. Still with the A330's older system.
I always prefer musics than movies, so I checked the musics especially my favorite K-pop ones, and I found an album by K-pop duo Davichi titled "&10". This album would accompany me during half part of this flight.
Then the safety video started, with a lady in Thai Airways' cabin crew suit as the center, and unique effects on the background.
Yeah, we were seating not on the window side so we couldn't see anything happened during take-off. I could only saw any info on the IFE.
Cabin light was turned on once again after take-off. Time to check anything inside the seat pocket.
Then our food came, about 30 minutes after take-off. The set contained Chinese-style noodles with chicken and vegetables, rice crackers, bread, something like pudding for the dessert, and a kind of salad, I guessed it was a Thai-style salad. All tasted nice, especially the chicken.
Not forget to check the lavatory as usual.
I then spent rest of the flight by playing any games on the IFE.
Especially this one. I love it.
The cabin light was dimmed once again just after the dinner completed, to let the passengers rest.
At about 10.00 p.m. the landing announcement was made. Still sad that I couldn't see anything outside.
The plane landed smoothly at 10.20 p.m. on Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Time to leave the plane.
Entering the terminal through the aerobridge.
But then we were moved to the transit area by bus.
More photos of the airside of Suvarnabhumi Airport on the next report (BKK-NRT leg).
Ultimately my first experience with Thai Airways. Yes, I would still onboard with it for next 3 flights during the trip. For this leg, I think everything went nice. The cabin and IFE were good, just like the older-style A330. Cabin crews were nice and polite (Thai politeness can't be doubt). Food tasted good. Nothing bad, only the fleet age which made me quite boring, especially the too dominant white and grey colors.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport Terminal 3 was good but the layout had been ultimately (just like its name, Terminal 3 "Ultimate") wrong. Lots of time needed to reach the gates located on the eastern and western end. But I love the waiting hall layout, shared by all gates, and very nice to see views outside the window.
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport was also good, but I was surprised by lots of renovation projects, and we felt like a warehouse on some parts of it. More comments about the airport on the next part.
Thanks for reading!!! Any suggestions and feedbacks are appreciated.