Flight 10 18 July 2009 Thai Airways TG 409 Bangkok (BKK) - Singapore (SIN) B777-200 HS-TJD Economy Class
Finally the last flight of the trip. Landed at Bangkok half hr early but as my connection in Bangkok was only a short 1hr05min, it was more than welcomed. The gate for the continuing flight to Singapore was right at the other end of the terminal. Landed at the C gates and have to trek all the way to the E gates. Flight was already boarding when I reached the gate. It appeared that we would be bussed to our plane today as it was parked at the domestic side of the terminal. Thus the ridiculous procedure of riding on the bus to the plane, then climbing onto the aerobridge at the terminal and boarding the plane. Wow, at least can do some plane spotting.
Swiss and SAS A340s at the remote stands. Us folks in Singapore would miss these planes.
A colourful Bangkok Airways B717
Climbing up the steps into the aerobridge
When the bus reached our plane, I was expecting a B777-200ER as the seatmap shown when I checked in online was that of the ER aircraft, but surprised! It turned out to be HS-TJD AGAIN!!! What are the odds of getting the exact same aircrafts on SIN-BKK/BKK-SIN and BKK-LHR/LHR-BKK flights on a single trip. Even my friend got the same A380 aircraft on his SIN-LHR/LHR-SIN flights. What incredible coincidence! But was disappointed as I was raring to try out TG's AVOD system. No luck this time round but so lucky to get the same aircraft again….
As I was on the last ferry bus to the plane, most of the other passengers have already boarded. Was given a warm welcome by the crew during boarding. When I reached my seat row, I saw that it was occupied by 3 other passengers. A steward, seeing my puzzled look, immediately approached me and asked whats the problem. When seeing my boarding pass, he checked the other pax on the row and saw they were sitting on the wrong seats. However, I offered to take their middle row (3 empty seats in a row!) and the steward apologised to me a couple of times for the inconvenience caused. After all passengers boarded, I spotted the rear window row seats were empty and shifted over. An entire window seat row for myself!
Other than this slight hiccup, everything else was smooth flowing. This set of crew proved to be the best of all the 4 TG flights on this trip and one of the best ever I have experienced. They were friendly, engaging and in all smiles even though it was a turn-around flight for them. Nothing was too much of a trouble for the crew. We pushed back slightly late due to late boarding of passengers but only had a short taxi for takeoff.
At the gate
Holding for takeoff. A TG A300 was seen landing.
Video of our takeoff.
Climbing off the coast of Thailand
Some islands off Pattaya?
After seatbelt signs were off, service started, first wth the distribution of immigration cards, followed immediately by the meal service. Same procedure, a bar cart and a meal cart was pushed out on each aisle. Meal trays were distributed first, with a choice of chicken with noodles or curry fish with rice.
Distribution of meal trays.
Curry fish with rice, with a tuna pasta salad and chocolate mousse cake. The cake was very good!
Following the meal cart was the bar cart. As usual, the full assortment of drinks was offered, alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
Cabin crew offering full bar service.
Had a diet coke and again was offered the full can. I was offered full cans for all my drinks on all the TG flights. Kudos to TG on this.
After the bar service was done,further top ups of red/white wine were offered, followed by coffee/tea service before collection of trays. Refreshing towelettes were also offered after the meal service.
I was still very amazed at how much the TG cabin crew can accomplish for the meal service on such a short 2hrs sector. Everything felt unhurried and organised and the meal offerings were pretty generous. Crew were ever obliging to passenger requests, such as requests for peanuts or additional drinks. Duty free shopping was upon request and one just need to write down the item code on the duty free magazine onboard shopping card, passed it to the crew with passport and credit card, and the crew would return would bring the requested item to your seat. The stewardess even gave me a TG branded pen to fill up the card (yep, I bought a B744 model) and the pen was mine to keep. Even took a photo with the 2 stewardess alone my aisle and they were so very obliging and made cute poses too, lol. What a fun flight!
By this time, dusk was falling.
On this flight, the cologne in the lavatory was decorated with orchids.
Very soon, we started our descend. As usual, crew came around to distribute fresh orchids to passengers.
Descending into the sunset.
We were in a holding pattern for quite a while due to heavy traffic. Finally landed at Changi Rwy20C a few minutes late. ]
Taxied to Terminal 1 and parked at the gate. Home sweet home… A JAL Oneworld B773ER parked beside.
Some shots while disembarkation.
Last look at HS-TJD
Bangkok - BKK
Singapore - SIN
Overall, TG offers a solid economy product on the SIN-BKK route. In fact, their meal offerings are more than SQ and service a tad better, probably due to the more organised service flow. However, their long-haul flights are their weakest link, due to the lack of basic amenities. Service was quite good overall (with BKK-SIN being outstanding), other than the BKK-LHR flight which was spoilt by the very cold stewardess (even the coldest SQ stewardess would still fake a smile). Also noticed that TG's B777 fleet tends to be staffed younger and more enthusiastic cabin crew while the B744 fleet were operated by more senior (and probably more jaded) crew. If Thai were to upgrade all the aircraft with the latest IFE and offer more amenities on long-haul flights, they would be a very worthy competitor to the other premium airlines.
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