It was time for another weekend trip, this time to the Land of Smiles, Bangkok Thailand! As it was meant to be a weekend getaway, air-tickets around the weekend are more expensive than usual. The cheapest that we could get for a Friday evening departure and Monday evening return was actually on Thai, at S$280 return. AirAsia and Tiger flights around the same timings cost about the same while Jetstar was much more expensive! And with TG being a full-service carrier, it was definitely a no brainer.
24 February 2012 Thai Airways International TG 410 Singapore (SIN) - Bangkok (BKK) B777-300 HS-TKF Economy Class
Thai operates from Terminal One at Changi and as usual, it was very crowded at T1 with all the weekend holiday makers. However the queues at TG check-in counters were not very long, surprising considering the flight was 100% full! According to the check-in agent, most pax had checked in as I only reached the airport 1.5hrs before the flight.
I had checked in online the day before and was issued the boarding pass with my pre-selected seat. Why row 69, the 4th row from the back? Because it offers one of the best seat pitch onboard TG's B773 at almost 35-36 and we would be one of the first to be served our meals.
Went through immigration using automated clearance without much of a wait and proceeded to the gate at C24 after wandering around the shops for a while. The plane had arrived early from Bangkok. HS-TKF would be flying us to Bangkok today.
Boarding had not started but the gate was fully packed! I was really chock-a-block! Security at the gate was quick and I grabbed another shot of TKF after passing security.
Shortly after entering the holding room, boarding was called for premium pax, *Gold and those needing assistance to board. It appeared that there were lots of status pax on this flight! Following that, boarding was announced by row starting from the rear and it was enforced very strictly. Those not seated at the rows announced for boarding were turned back at the entrance to the aerobridge. Overall, boarding was very orderly. Kudos to TG here!
Went down the aerobridge to the entrance where 2 pretty Thai stewardesses greeted us with Sawadee Kas and a wai. Newspapers were also available on a trolley at the door. I was directed to the correct aisle and proceeded down the very long plane! Along the aisle, more crew were wai-ing and Sawadee-ing till I reached my seat. Talking about TG's economy seats, I simply love them! Not too flashy and with a touch of class. Beats many other airlines' earthy and boring tones (think SQ, EK).
Pre-set on each seat was a pillow. This B773 was retrofitted with TG's AVOD inflight entertainment system with touchscreen PTVs. The system was already on and movies could be watched ones you are seated. Entertainment choices were not as extensive as SQ/EK/QF etc but more than sufficient even for a long-haul flight. The seat-pitch at row 69 however, rocks! It felt just an emergency seat row on budget airlines and was about 36 i guess.
Parked at the gate. The crew also distributed earphones and we could start our movies immediately even though boarding was still underway.
Boarding in progress. 2 stewardesses were manning my aisle. There were 4 crew assigned to each economy cabin, making quite a high crew-pax ratio. Total there were 12 crew in economy class for 330 passengers, and another 3 or 4 in business class. Thai is really generous in their crewing.
Pillow and earphones. Earphones are for you to take home.
Boarding was completed just before 2100hrs and we pushed back. TG's really nice safety video was played and we had a very long taxi to Rwy02C, passing T3 and Budget Terminal.
Due to a number of departing aircraft ahead, we only took off at about 2125hrs. All this while, we were already enjoying our movies on the PTVs.
Shortly after takeoff.
Stuff in the seat-pocket.
After seat-belt signs were turned off, crew came around with arrival immigration forms followed by hot scented towels. The towels were the disposable type and not the thick cottons ones seen on SQ. About 30min after takeoff, the main event started, food! My experiences on TG regarding their meals had always been very favourable and this flight was no exception. On offer today was either Nasi Goreng (spicy fried rice) with curry chicken or Fish with rice and vegetables. We took a choice of each to sample both fishes.
Delicious thai food starts on Thai. On my meal tray, there was a starter, hot bun with butter, main course and cake.
Starter was just a salad with crunchy vegetables, accompanied with salad dressing. Not too imaginative but at least TG bothered with a starter. SQ had removed theirs on BKK sectors.
Nasi Goreng with Curry Chicken. It was very good! And portion was big too!
Fish in thai sweet chilli sauce, rice and vegetables. Drew praises from my friend as one of the best fish he ever ate onboard a flight. I tried some and it was really good! Meals were all catered from BKK, thus explaining the high quality.
Dessert. I was hoping for some sort of Thai dessert but we got a cake which was rather dry. The only letdown of the meal.
Thai still serves their economy meals in ceramic casseroles, which added a touch of classiness. Wonder which airline still does that.
A full bar cart service was offered after distribution of meals with choices of liquors, wines, soft drinks and juices. I had a diet pepsi and was given the whole can. After the bar service, coffee/tea was then offered along with seconds of drinks. Thai crew members were generally friendly and really efficient. Meal service on the full flight was completed within 30min! Quite unbelievable for the frequent SQ flyers.
Stewardesses conducting beverage service after distributing meal trays.
After the second round of drinks offered, trays were collected. We still had almost an hour of flying left. I made the routine visit to the lavatory(which TG is also very generous with, having 10 lavatories in the economy cabin ). Not much amenities in it, only a cologne.
Continued watching my movie for the rest of the flight till descent when I turned to the map-view. Passengers are free to use the IFE all the way till landing and parked at the gate. No wonder many of us are so annoyed with SQ's policy of switching off the IFE early and prohibiting all use of IFE during takeoff/landing.
However I noticed that TG had discontinued giving out orchids to female pax prior to landing. Probably they still do that for long-haul flights? Had a very smooth landing into Rwy19R, accompanied with soothing landing music in the background.
We landed 5 minutes late, mainly due to the late departure from SIN. Disembarking of aircraft with crew wai-ing along the aisles again. The female crew had all changed to their ground uniforms.
My comfortable seat for the 2hrs flight.
As it was the late evening peak, queues at immigration was quite bad. However it moved fast and I was cleared in 20 minutes, just as the bags started coming out from the belts.
Airport express train to city cuz there were almost no taxis and massive queues at the taxi stands!
Singapore - SIN
Bangkok - BKK
Again, it was a great flight on Thai. Of all airlines plying the SIN-BKK route, I guess TG is still the best choice, mainly due to their outstanding meals and beverages offerings. Service by the cabin crew is generally fine as with this flight and the type of IFE you get (AVOD or big screens) would depend on the flight that you choose. Seats are also excellent, if you know which rows to select. Overall, I think TG still offers a very reasonable economy product with competitive prices.
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