08 July 2009 Thai Airways TG 410 Singapore (SIN) - Bangkok (BKK) B777-200 HS-TJD Economy Class
My first ever flight on Thai and was initially dreading the long flights ahead without personal inflight entertainment. Checked in online 24hrs before the flight. The flight was totally full in Business and Economy!
Reached the airport about 2hrs prior to flight and the check-in counters were crowded. Even the internet check-in desks were having long queues. No wonder the flight was full, the Asian Youth Games Iran and Jordan team members were also on the flight to Bangkok. However, ground staff were actively controlling the crowd and also directing Business Class travellers to check-in in the Premium Lounge.
Caught a glimpse of my plane while proceeding to the gate. HS-TJD. No personal PTVs, which are only available on their B777-200ERs.
In the gatehold room. Note the big group of Iranian youths who came to Singapore for the games.
Boarding was conducted very orderly, with pax needing assistance, business class and Star Gold pax first and followed by seat rows. First impression when boarding, the aircraft looked clean and well-maintained. The seats, even though were multi-coloured, were actually quite pleasing to the eyes and also matched the uniforms of the Thai crew quite well, unlike MH's smarties-coloured seat fabrics. Crew were friendly and also assisting in the boarding.
Boarding was swift and doors were closed on scheduled departure time. Economy class was 100% full!! Interesting to compare how the crew would perform on the SIN-BKK sector as compared to SQ. Earphones were given out (which were encouraged to be taken home) and safety demo was shown.
BA B744 at the gate beside.
As we taxied to Rwy20C, the center and overhead screens were switched on to the nosegear view. Interesting to see the view as seen by the pilots! Flight time would be 1hr 50 min.
Cabin view. Note the taxiway lights on the center screen.
And of course a customary legroom shot. Seat pitch was just average at 32 pitch.
Shortly after takeoff, crew came around with newspapers and magazines, which were also available on the aerobridge just before boarding the aircraft. Wet refreshing towel wipes were then distributed (no hot towels here).
Steward distributing newspapers and mags.
Promptly after, meals were served. We had a choice of Chicken with noodles or Beef curry with rice. Also on the tray was a shrimp and pasta salad, warm roll and butter and a thai dessert. Had the chicken with noodles, which was quite good. Thai is still using porcelain casseroles for their economy class meals which are quite heavy, but said to retain heat better. SQ had changed theirs to plastic wares which are much lighter (every gram counts) and of more contemporary design. Metal cutlery were also used.
For the service procedures, TG adopted a very different meal service procedure as compared to SQ. 2 carts would be rolled out on each aisle, a bar cart and a meal cart. First, the meal trays would be distributed by a crew, followed by another offering drinks from the bar cart. Full drinks selection was available including liquors and wines. Whole cans were offered. After the bar service, coffee/tea service was conducted. Crew also came down the aisle with red/white wine bottles for top-ups. Additional bread rolls were also offered and even garlic bread (presumably from business class) were given out!
Comparatively on the same sector, SQ would serve the meals and drinks together using 1 cart and also no full bar selection is available (usually only soft drinks, juices,wines, coffee and tea on the meal cart) unless upon request. What impresses me most is that the TG crew seemed to conduct the meal service on the short flight with full pax load quite effortlessly while SQ crew sometimes looked flustered when doing the meal service on a full load similar sector flight. TG's meal procedure also felt faster and more organized with the meal service completed slightly more than 1hr after takeoff!!
Full bar service.
For entertainment, short tv programs were shown on the overhead screens. Nothing worth watching though. Visit to the toilet, not many amenities as compared to SQ.
Before landing, orchids were offered to passengers, which was a nice touch. Female crew then did their superwomen change into their shirts and skirts from their traditional thai uniform for landing.
Landed in Bangkok ontime for 3 hrs of transit for my next flight to London.
Singapore - SIN
Bangkok - BKK
Overall very impressed with TG on the short sector, very comparable to SQ. Crew and meals were just as good if not better than SQ. Their weakest link is still their inflight entertainment system and hopefully they will upgrade more of their aircrafts with PTVs in the future.
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