09 July 2009 Thai Airways TG 910 Bangkok (BKK) - London Heathrow (LHR) B747-400 HS-TGR Economy Class
After an almost 3hrs layover in Bangkok, whose transit facilities pales in comparison to Changi, it was time to board the continuing flight to London. Again, boarding was done very orderly by class and rows.
My flight would be on HS-TGR. When I booked my flight earlier, it was scheduled to be on a A346, but TG changed the aircraft back to a B744 for their summer schedules, spoiling my chance to try out the A346 and also their personal IFE onboard. Sob… However, brought my own PSP to keep myself entertained.
First impression on boarding the old B744, the seats looked newly upholstered recently to the new colours. Cabin looked clean and well-maintained too.
Cabin during boarding.
On each seat was a pillow and a blanket. What amazed me most was the seat pitch! I am 1.8m tall and I can easily stretch out my legs fully under the seat in front! When seated upright, the distance between my knees and the seat in front is about my whole palm plus fingers length!! Never had this sort of wonderful seat pitch before on any other flights in economy class (exit rows not included). Recline was also very generous. So the myth of TG's B744s having magnificent seat pitch is true! Adding to the comfort, nobody was allocated the middle seat next to me. Only another Viet student on the aisle seat. Load looks to be around 70%.
Amazing seat pitch!
However, the crew on this sector seemed much more colder than the previous flight, at least the stewardess serving my aisle was. No please, thank you or even smiles during service, often just giving cold piercing stares. She looked quite senior and jaded and her service delivery was just unacceptable for Thai standards. As usual, earphones were given out followed by menus and safety video. We pushed back on time and took off for London just after a short taxi.
Bangkok's night skyline.
After seatbelt signs were switched off, hot towels were offered (scented by Thai's signature cologne) followed by a full bar service using a bar cart. The cold and curt stewardess just pushed the cart in front of each pax and uttered the word Drinks?. When the cart reached some rows, she did not even asked and just pointed at the bar cart, expecting passengers to tell her what they wanted to drink. No nuts given out. Immediately after the bar service, the meal carts came out. Choices as below:
Bangkok - London
First Serving Shrimps with Gnocchetti Salad in Italian Basil Dressing
Chicken in Green Curry with Eggplant, Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice, Mixed Vegetables Thai Style or Braised Beef Slices with Red Wine Sauce, Spaghetti, Roasted Vegetables
French Bread Roll, Butter Marble Cheesecake
**For passengers who prefer a light alternative, we suggest a plate of cheese and cold meat.
Had the Green curry chicken for supper.
Meal service procedures exactly the same as for the previous SIN-BKK flight. Meal cart, bar cart, coffee/tea cart as in sequence. Additional rolls were offered. The stewardess again just stopped in front of each row and said Food?. Yah, I know that is food. Will asking for choices from passengers kill her? The green curry chicken was as good as expected since it was catered from Bangkok. However I was still full from the previous flight to finish the meal. Apparently Thai also catered their SIN-BKK sector from Bangkok as the appetizer was exactly the same. Due to UK regulations, only plastic cutlery was given.
Meals were completed within 1.5hrs (SQ usually took 2-3 hrs) and lights were switched off to allow pax to sleep. The main screen entertainment was also turned off. Interestingly, TG only showed 2 tv programs and 1 movie on this flight (and on all overnight longhaul flights) to allow pax a more conducive environment to sleep (I think). Their day flights to LHR featured 4 movies instead. All window shades were also required to be pulled down due to dawn in 4 hrs. As the seat was really comfy, I actually managed to have a decent amount of sleep.
Visited the toilets. No amenity kits were handed out and very basic amenities in the toilets, though toothbrushes, socks and eyeshades are available upon request. Sandwiches were also available upon request. Also did not notice any drinks patrol at night though one can get water at the drinking water dispenser near the toilets or ask at the galley.
All the female crew have also changed into their ground uniform for the breakfast service. First, a round of juices/water and then the meal carts rolled down followed by coffee/tea/juice cart.
Crew in action
The choices of breakfast as follows:
Second Serving Cut Fruit in Passion Fruit Sauce, Yoghurt
Plain Omelet, Premium Herb Sausage, Fricassee of Oyster Mushroom with Italian Parsley, Vegetable Nugget or Mushroom and Cheese Quiche, Pan Fried Bacon, Premium Chicken Sausage, Ratatouille
Assorted Breads, Butter, Jam
Had the Quiche. Once more, our wonderful stewardess never smiled and just asked Egg? and wanted to pass me the omelet. I replied that I wanted the quiche and she never checked and just handed another tray to me. Apparently, she then asked her male colleague what are the choices as her colleague replied omelet and quiche. 2 types of bread were also offered, croissiant or rolls. Chose the croissiant and it was really good. After all the passengers were given their meals, additional bread rolls were again offered.
After trays were cleared, it was about an hour to landing. During breakfast, the only movie on this flight was also shown.
View of the GE engine on the B744
Soon we are over the Netherlands and exiting the Netherlands coast.
Over the English Channel
Descending into London
The very friendly purser came into the economy cabin during descent and bade everyone thank you and goodbye. Almost wanted to comment regarding the really curt and cold stewardess to the purser.
Holding over London
Lets take a tour of some London's attractions! Firstly, Tower Bridge and Thames River
Video of landing into LHR Rwy 27R
We landing 20 minutes early but had to wait for a gate. Parked at the gate.
HS-TGR at London Heathrow
Bangkok - BKK
London - LHR
Overall, it was a comfortable long haul flight but due to the lack in amenities and entertainment, TG will still lag behind other major carriers on the London route. Food was good but the service was very poor on this leg, probably only on my aisle as the stewardess on the other aisle was all smiles and chatting with passengers. The crew that you meet really can make or break a flight.
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