Review of Thai Airways flight Tokyo Bangkok in First

Airline Thai Airways
Flight TG661
Class First
Seat 2K
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 06:20
Take-off 09 Aug 13, 00:20
Arrival at 09 Aug 13, 04:40
TG   #8 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 267 reviews
AznWrldTrvlr
By 8603
Published on 23rd January 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard this second part of AznWrldTrvlr Goes Around the World. You can check on my previous flights here:

AznWrldTrvlr Goes Around the World - Part 1

For this next sector, I had tried to find different combinations to go from NRT to SYD, but no combinations would work and to maximize my time. Earlier in the year I had tried NH’s NRT-MNL route and thoroughly enjoyed it. On this trip, I had hoped to find a connection via ICN to finally try OZ, but no options showed up for an ICN-SYD portion without requiring an overnight at ICN. Then by pure chance I looked into HND-SYD, ignoring the need to find an easy way to get from NRT to HND and discovered an options I could not pass up. I had to jump at the chance when I saw a MileagePlus Saver Award to do HND-BKK-SYD on TG, all in F!!!!! Again, I made this decision just four days before taking my NRT flight. I now had to research optimal ways to get from NRT-HND. I also discovered that in Japan that you could not purchase a prepaid SIM card to use on a mobile phone or iPad, but you could rent one out. Yet to do that you needed at least 3 days notice from most companies. I did find one that would let me rent one for a day with a 2 day notice.

So now that i would be able to surf a bit so I could get my bearings around Tokyo, how would I go between both airports? While I had always heard of the TCAT bus, the thought of going to and through Tokyo by bus did not appeal to me. I had to take a train in the land of trains, an option that seemed to have given me at least, in theory, twenty more minutes to go around and enjoy Tokyo. The optimist in me looked forward to experience this city I had wanted to see since my first international trip at the age of 8.

Journey from Narita to Haneda

While on the IAH-NRT flight, Japanese speaker Lisa had passed out arrival cards for passengers who would be ending their journey at NRT or connecting onto domestic flights. So with passport and arrival card in hand, I arrived at Japanese Immigration as the first person from UA 007. Many passengers did seem to connect onto other UA and NH flights to destinations beyond Japan, including those continuing on UA 007 to SIN. While in the line, an English speaker made sure I had everything filled out and asked how long I intended to stay in Japan. While surprised, he said he seen a few passengers go from Narita to Haneda and that I should have no problem. Within seconds of checking my documents, an immigration official waved me over to his counter and processed me and welcomed me to Japan. I now have proof in my Passport that I have now been to Japan rather than saying I have transited via Japan!

After immigration, I took the escalator down to the baggage carousels and looked for the one for my flight. I had to wait about five minutes as it had taken me twenty minutes to go from plane to baggage claim. My suitcase arrived last among the priority tagged bags; the majority of the ones that came out before mine came from connecting flights. Once I collected my bag, I breezed through Japanese Customs and I could finally breathe and sweat in the balmy Narita air! While nice and cool airside, landside the temperatures rose and I wish I had worn shorts.

Once at the arrivals hall, I had to take the elevator to go up to the departure hall and into a shopping hall to pick up my microSIM card at a post office. At the post office, one of the ladies helped me locate the my rental microSIM. It took a while to find since she could not easily find it. I worried that I had paid for something that I would not use. Luckily she found it in a stack of mail that had just arrived. With the microSIM in a fancy case, I made my way down to train level and take the next train to take me into the city.

I make it to the JR East Service Center and queue up to purchase my ticket. An agent joins the queue to help answer questions and writes a ticket to give to a desk agent who will then print any necessary tickets and issue any cards. Initially I thought of getting off at Tokyo Station and then taking the Yamanote Line to Hamamatsucho and taking the Tokyo Monorail to the Haneda International Terminal. While in line the agent told me to get off at Shinagawa Station and then take the Keisei Line to the International Terminal. It sounded doable but in the end I was glad I tried the Monorail.

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Taking the N'EX train to Shinagawa and then on to HND

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Waiting for arriving pax to get off the train while the staff does a quick, yet thorough clean through.

I got down to track level as an N’EX train arrived from Tokyo. They allowed everyone to step off the train before closing it to do a quick clean. As they cleaned, I checked out my ticket along with the Suica card which allowed me to use it like the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. The agent gave me a reserved seat as well because I could have ended up in a car going a different direction. Once cleaned, only a handful of people had seats in my cart, About five minutes later, we made our way to Tokyo. The train ride gave me time to pop in that MicroSIM into my iPad so I could go do check-ins on Facebook as well as plan things to see easily accessible to public transit to take me to HND.

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Foot space from my window seat. This cart was widely open yet everyone stayed in their assigned seats.

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Hmmm … N'EX snack menu.

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Notice and map of our journey.

In just over an hour I get to Tokyo station and then make my way to connect onto the Yamanote Line. I guess I got there at a good time as the train arrived and had space for me and my bags. Like clockwork, I arrived at Hamamatscho Station where I would connect onto the Tokyo Monorail that would take me the International Terminal. I got delayed a bit because I did not initially think I needed to insert my N’Ex ticket to get out of the station and into the Tokyo Monorail station, but a couple of minutes later it dawned on me I had to insert my JR Rail ticket and then could use my Suica card to pay for the connection for the Tokyo Monorail. I made it in perfect timing to catch the Haneda Express service with first stop the International Terminal. I did get confused as a monorail cart waited at a station with some people on board and boarding gates open. However, I saw people queue to the side of the boarding gates not knowing why. I saw people board but not know why others waited. Thus, I decided to board and try my luck, which worked as the awaiting monorail served as the express service to Haneda. So now, I had gone from plane, to train, to monorail … COOL!

I make it to the International Terminal about thirty minutes later and make my way to the left baggage center to leave my bags since the TG counters would open at 21:00 Tokyo time. I ended up paying 800JPY to leave my bags during my quick excursion. I did walk around the quiet departure hall a bit and take some pictures before I headed back out into the city.

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Empty TG counter for F & J

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Empty TG Y check-in desks

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Pre-security eating area and shops on upper floor. My next visit to HND I would love to check out the area.

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Selective corridors for pre-security.

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SSK for NH & CA

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D & E desks for NH check-in

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Preview of HND Departure control.

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Non-*A check-in desks.

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It's all Japanese!!!

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I've got a couple of hours to my TG flight to BKK! Time to head into the city!

Since I took the Monorail to the airport, I thought I should try the Keisei Line to go back to the city and connect at Shinagawa Station to Ueno Station. So much to see, do, taste, and experience, yet so little time. I did satisfy my collectors addiction for Starbucks and Hard Rock Cafe. At Starbucks, I got my Tokyo collector’s mug. I found both Hard Rock locations in Tokyo to get my requisite HRC white city tees and special destination tee. Where I do not know where I stopped, I did find a Uniqlo and a Muji just to say I went into both stores in Japan. I first discovered Muji in Torino and in Manila, while Uniqlo in Singapore. I also got to test out my Suica Card and try out some of the interesting drinks on offer from the multitude of vending machines spread throughout the city. I did also see a couple of Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid promotional signs throughout the city. Omedet? T'ky?! .

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Sadly, my only pic taken in Tokyo, but I promise to return SOON!!!

I take the Monorail back from Hamamatscho Station. This time the next express service to Haneda would be in an hour. I decided to take the next available and enjoy the trip. I enjoyed the nighttime view of Tokyo Bay and how interesting the city is. By the time I arrived at the International Terminal, the TG counters had yet to open, so I picked up my bags from the Left Baggage Center and waited till they opened up.

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Back in HND to get bags. It's looking busy now!

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Flight Tracker view of HND

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NH counters seem busy tonight.

Prior to opening up for check-in, I watched the TG agents busily prepare for a rather busy flight this evening to BKK. Between the two flights to BKK that evening, our flight would leave first followed by a NH flight on a 763 about 30min later. At exactly three hours prior to departure, the check-in agents stepped from behind the computers while an automated announcement played to welcome passengers to check in for the TG flight to BKK. At the end of that announcement, all the check-in agents stood in front of the counters and bowed to welcome customers. Cool! I wish I had recorded that opening ceremony, but I had to do a bit of repacking and getting the requisite change of clothes.

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TG F & J counters finally open.

After I had done finished packing my bags, I went to queue up to check-in. I noticed the check-in agent for F had been helping a passenger who definitely did not travel in F that night. When I approached the premium check-in counters, the queue supervisor welcomed me and asked would I be flying in first or business tonight; I had replied F. She apologized for the busy F counter and asked if I did not mind checking in at one of the empty J counters. The J check-in agent stepped from around the counter and directed me to her. I then noticed how low they placed the baggage belt liked how the conveyer belts to transport checked bags were on floor level rather than raised up in most airports. The J agent greeted me with a smile as I handed over my passport and a copy of my itinerary. She spoke perfect English and confirmed that I would be checked in all the way to SYD. She even asked if I enjoyed my stay in Tokyo, and I said it was too short because I had just arrived from NRT. She informed me she had not met anyone who did the NRT-HND connection. While talking to me, she tagged my bags with a TG F tag along with a *A priority tag and then printed out my boarding pass. Reminiscent of the CX check-in and transit staff at HKG, she laid out my passport, my itinerary, my baggage tags, and my boarding passes. She apologized that she did not have any ticket jackets for my multiple boarding passes, but I smiled and said it was ok. She confirmed that I could use the NH First Class Lounge that evening and that I had plenty of time to enjoy the lounge. With that she called the queue supervisor to escort me to security. I went along with my escort as I could bypass the longer, central security line. I wish I had checked out the non-*A side of the check-in counters to where passengers would travel tonight. Oh well, next time!

I was not and am not used to any type of escort service around the airport. Yet this set the tone for the next few flights I would be taking. The TG queue supervisor informed the security agent I was a F passengers, and so I went through security and passport control in under 5min. It would have been shorter but my boarding pass would not initially scan. I did not have to take off my shoes nor belt, while they requested to scan my laptop separately. From security, I approached Passport control. The officer took my departure card and passed my passport back to me with a quick nod. I guess no stamp for departing from Japan. After Passport Control, I ended up across the hall from the largest Duty Free store inside the International Terminal.

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I made it post-security!

I quickly perused through Duty Free, but not interested me. I did note some high end stores, some open and some closed. From Passport Control, to the left housed JL and other OW partners. I quickly walked over there to check out the flights scheduled along with a possible glimpse to any of the lounges available. The right side of the International Terminal catered to NH and *A partners. Since most of the stores remained closed on the right side of the terminal, I decided to head to the NH Lounges and just relax before my flight.

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heading towards the gates and clubs for OneWorld & SkyTeam partners.

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Very interesting terminal for a 10-finger building.

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Some high-end shops still open, while a couple are yet to open.

While I had not gone through Terminal 1 and 2, I liked the intimately small feel to HND’s International Terminal. They definitely cater to a wealthier caliber of customers. For now I found it odd that many of the completed shops remained closed since there is a bank of flights leaving this late in the evening. It will make more sense once approved airlines start daytime flights to/from HND.

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Entrance to the NH Lounge.

After a quick browse around the terminal, I decided it was time to visit the lounge and get a needed shower! The TG check-in agent informed me I could use the NH Lounge, but did not designate whether I could use the F or J lounge. By 21:15 Tokyo time, I arrived at the escalators that would take me to the lounge. Upon walking into the lounge, a group of NH agents stood up and welcomed me in. I handed one of them my TG-issued boarding pass. When they noticed the “F” printed on my boarding pass, one of them reached for one of my bags and proceeded to escort me into the F lounge. I kindly declined her invitation to take my bag, she smiled and then escorted me into the lounge and let me choose wherever I wanted to sit. Upon walking into the F section, a colleague of hers followed us to where I wanted to sit. When I chose my spot, both ladies stood next to me and smiled and asked if there was anything I would like. I requested if I could take a shower and welcoming agent went to checked the availability of one. She returned a minute later to inform me that all the cleaning crew are preparing the showers. She handed me a pager in exchange for my boarding pass to let me know when the next available shower opened up. She ensured I would receive my boarding pass once I finished using the facilities.

After the welcoming attendant left to schedule my shower, the other attendant asked if I would like any slippers. As a traditions in Japan, I graciously accepted the slippers. When she returned, she handed me a pair of plastic-wrapped slippers. Next, she placed a small tray with a hot towel on it. She then invited me to have a walk around the lounge and enjoy some of the items offered in the food area. I thanked her for her help and then took a breather as I felt and looked tired and sweaty!

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One of the first few people inside the NH F lounge.

After I composed myself a bit and staked out my corner in the F lounge, I ventured around this intimate, yet spacious lounge. I chose a particular corner as I got a nice view people watching. I saw the little “suites” that had reclined seats. There is also the pod-like business chairs that looked interesting. Next to the “suites”, the lounge had a business center with a couple of computers available for use. Due to its small size, I decided to check out the food options available for tonight’s passengers.

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Amuse bouche

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Amuse bouche - part 2

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Desserts

I decided I should get something now as I had not eaten anything since the Chicken Katsu on board my IAH-NRT flight. I didn’t have time to get anything to eat during my brief visit of Tokyo because I wanted to absorb as much sights and sounds of this amazing city to make me want to return. Passengers that night could enjoy some Japanese Chicken Curry along with a bunch of small bites and ramen noodles available on order. As an NH lounge, it disappointed me they did not have the signature NH Fish Cake Ramen on offer, unless they only served that at NRT. However, I enjoyed the beef ramen option as I ended up having 3 servings of it, along with 2 servings of the chicken curry. For an F lounge and while delicious, I had to wonder if the cooks used Golden Curry or Vermont Curry, popular brands I see at the Asian stores here in Houston.

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Japanese Chicken curry and an automatically dispensed Asahi

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Beef Ramen Bowl

I do also have to comment about the automated beer dispensers available at the lounge as well as the UA Club in NRT. I think they’re brilliant, but guess they make it hard for you to chat with while sitting at the bar. They tilt after you place a chilled mug on the machine. As it fills up, it tilts and the slowly turns upright to minimize any beer head as well as wasted beer, and I for one do not like to waste any beer!

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While these look like coffee machines, these are the automatic beer dispensers! Gotta love Japanese ingenuity!

While I was finishing up my first serving of the chicken curry and rice, a third attendant brought over my beef ramen. As I began to enjoy my hot ramen, my pager started to light up. At the same time, the welcoming attendant approached me to let me know that I could now take my long awaited shower. The agent allowed me to keep my stuff to claim my spot in the lounge. I fished out the necessary items I to change into so I would look clean and fresh for my very first international flight in F. While I took out the clothes I would later change into, the agent asked if I had finished my food. I quicking took one clump of noodles and beef with my chopsticks and stuffed it in my mouth! I was HUNGRY! The attendant smiled and when I swallowed that last amount, I followed it with one big chug of my Asahi beer. I had everything ready for my shower and then followed the attendant to the shower areas near the J lounge. She took my pager and then handed me the card key to the shower room. She informed me once done to give back the key to the agents at the front desk and they would give back my boarding pass. Time for a needed shower!

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Blurred bathroom picture.

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Shower

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I'd be shocked if any of the NH lounges in Japan didn't have these awesome bidets! I need a couple of these at home!!!

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Open sesame!

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Now which buttons do I need to press?

It felt great to be clean and human again! I used all the Shiseido products given to me making me feel crisp and clean. I bid the shower room adieu and handed the key back to the welcome attendants, and one of them handed me my boarding pass with both hands and a short bow. I made my way back to my spot and was surprised at how busy the F lounge had gotten. Surprisingly, no one sat near me, but the small dining area next to the food area appeared packed with hungry passengers.

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My TG-issued boarding passes!

A new, cold glass of beer and a steaming bowl of beef ramen awaited me upon my return from that needed shower. Had the attendants timed it? In hindsight I should have been a tiny bit concerned whether they may have tampered with my food, otherwise, their pro-active response shocked and genuinely pleased me without having to wait to reorder and wait for the beef ramen. After I finished my second bowl of ramen, I decided to check out the J lounge.

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CX 744 and possibly a HA A330 on hardstand.

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Yes … Pinkgrapefruit jerry! ;-)

I decided to try the Pinkgrapefruit jerry, and it tasted like pink grapefruit jerry ;-) I did notice on my way to the shower rooms replica of special NH livery planes. I would love a small version of each, please! I had hoped NH had some for sale during Duty Free sales on my NRT-MNL flight earlier in the year, but they had no model planes for sale.

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NH 77W replica in *A livery.

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NH 744 replica in Pokemon livery. Was hoping to see a couple of model planes for purchase at Duty Free, but none available. It’s sad that this one is now on its way to be scrap.

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Special NH 763 Panda livery.

Following the path of NH special livery replicas, I end up at the J lounge. While the F lounge had mostly Japanese passengers on hand, the busy J lounge had more non-Japanese passengers on hand all traveling on NH or the other *A partners.

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Checking out the J side of the lounge, rather a full-house tonight!

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J lounges has more of a bar feel than the F lounge.

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A nice mixture of patrons in the J lounge.

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Back section of the J lounge.

After taking a quick tour around the J section, I decided to load up on a last serving of chicken curry and the beef ramen, washed down with another cold Asahi. I enjoyed another 30minutes in the lounge before I decided to head to the gate at the very end of the terminal.

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View of the intimate F lounge from my corner of the lounge.

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FIDS in Korean

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FIDS in Japanese

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FIDS in English

Thank you ladies! I enjoyed my stay at the lounge! I left the lounge around 23:45 and made my way to Gate 105. Earlier when I arrived at the International Terminal to check-in, the airport seemed quiet. After a couple of hours in the NH F Lounge, I left the lounge to see an influx of passengers waiting for their flights.

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After leaving the lounge, heading towards the gate, at the end of the terminal.

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NH flight to HNL, looks like a busy flight tonight!

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GA flight to DPS.

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GA FA's doing a last minute flight debriefing before they board the plane. Nice colorful uniforms.

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SQ Gal making her appearance at HND. I sorta wish I was going to experience the SQ Gal and SQ Service, but it was not to be on this birthday trip. This time I will get to experience TG and Royal Orchid Service.

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Gate 105 is the very end, and there were 2 long lines of people waiting to board.

After reminiscing over my SQ trip back in 2012, I was brought to reality by the rather long line that made an approach towardsGate 107, blocking Gate 106, but that gate had been closed after the recent departure of D7 to KUL. I could barely make out the boarding information for my flight when I reached Gate 105 around 23:50. I could see the left line was for J and *G members and the right line was for Y passengers.

TG 661
HND-BKK
09Aug13
744, HS-TGM, “Chao Phraya”
Seat 2K

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The TG flight blocking the boarding area for 106.

Resided by the fact that I showed up at the gate late and greeted by the rather lengthy premium boarding line, I queued up behind a Thai traveler that headed either from a business meeting or for holiday in Japan. The priority line seemed manageable, while the Y line grew beyond Gate 107. After waiting in line for about five minutes and approaching boarding time, I saw one of the check-in agents hold a sign for Royal First passengers. Unlike their American and European counterparts who use PA systems to start the boarding process, Asian airports and airliners tend to take the quiet approach and announce boardings like the ringside gals during boxing matches. Upon seeing that sign for Royal First passengers, I jumped the queue and could feel the stares of people line. A few probably saw the big “F” on my boarding pass as I approached the TG Ring Gal. The agent who held the sign recognized me; she had checked me in. Seeing my boarding pass in hand, she smiled and I handed her my boarding pass. She escorted me a couple of feet to the front of the line, scanned my boarding pass, handed back my boarding pass to me, and wish me a pleasant flight. WAHOO!!! Another first! I turned around and watched as no other passengers followed behind me. This felt different than the couple of times I had flown BusinessFirst on CO and among the first to board.

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It has been a couple of years since I last rode on a 744, this time in the nose. Wish TG had placed their F cabin upstairs.

I’m not sure about other boarding piers at the other gates, but at 105, the jetbridge area is massive and could probably fit all of us heading to BKK tonight. It definitely felt like it Gate 105 could handle an A380 worth of passengers if the need arose. I leisurely took my time to walk down to the bridge and series of escalators to admire my very first time boarding a TG 744. The feeling reminded me of the rare 743s that I would see parked at DFW on the odd days they had a flight to DFW.

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Blurry night picture. Red carpeting leading to boarding area.

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Hmmm … Door #1 or Door #2?

I arrived at the end of the jetway where I could choose either Door #1 or Door #2. Door #2 sounded tempting especially to make that left and walk through the J cabin. Instead, I wanted the full experience and chose Door #1 and still got the chance to make a left turn. Tonight HS-TGM named “Chao Phraya” would take me over to BKK. At a brief glance while heading to 1L, I could see one female attendant wearing her traditional Thai outfit in all brown. While I am not a fan of all brown, her outfit had accents in gold thread along with a cream-colored sash; it all fit the iconic TG Gal they use in their promotions. She saw me at a distance and smiled. I guess her colleagues noticed her reaction and a male attendant along with a female attendant in yellow-pink traditional Thai dress approached the door. When I reached the door, they greeted me with a wai and a “Sawasdee ka/krup!” With hands carrying my stuff, I gave a quick nod and replied “Sawasdee krup!” At that point, Jantana, the Chief Purser approached me by name and escorted me to my seat at 2K. Jantana remained the only female FA not to wear the traditional Thai outfit at anytime of the flight. She welcomed me on board and asked if this would be my very first time on board a TG flight. I replied with the affirmative and told her about my excitement. She then asked if this would be my first trip to Bangkok, and I told her no, but that on this trip, i would continue on to Sydney. She informed me that if I needed anything to make it a memorable flight, all I needed to do was ask. She then asked if I would like anything to drink, suggesting if I would like any Dom Perignon. How could I refuse?

Another passenger had boarded prior to me, and one of her baggage tags had a sign for Thai Parliament. She would be the only female in the F cabin, along with five males; this flight would have all window seats taken and no one sitting in the center section.

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Older style F seats for this flight, yet still comfortable.

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F and lower J cabins during boarding process

I got to enjoy the few minutes wandering around and taking pics of a rather empty older style Royal First cabin. I had hoped for the newer F class suites, but I definitely could not complain. Instead, I did get a Rimowa amenity kit that I LOVE!!!

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1A & 1K

After finally taking pictures all over the cabin, I sat down in 2K and admired at all the items on hand at my seat. You can’t help but not soak up everything going around you while experiencing a new brand new experience. Again I was a bit excited to see my newly-wrapped silver Rimowa amenity kit waiting for me!

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It’s not true Royal Orchid Service without the traditional orchid.

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Ottoman and bedding right at my feet.

At 00:04, Pravantham, the FA in the brown/gold traditional outfit, stopped by chair carrying a tray with an empty glass and in her other hand the bottle of Dom Perignon, 2003 vintage. Snobs, especially those on FT may call it a bad vintage, but I could care less and enjoyed sipping it during the boarding process. She addressed me by name and poured me a glass right in front of me. After handing me the glass, she told me to enjoy and she would return shortly.

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Dom 1993

True to her word, Pravantham returned at 00:06 with a jasmine-scented hot towel rolled up and served in a cute metal tray. The jasmine scent calmed me down from all my excitement so I could further soak up the atmosphere on board. After she left, Jantana returned and asked if I would like pajamas and received an XL, not sure if it would fit.

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Some of the goodies from this flight including the only Rimowa amenity kit I got among 4 TG flights in F on this trip.

At 00:12, Jantana returned handing me two menus that would need to be returned at the end of the flight. One contained the drinks menu and the other contained the service menu. Again she addressed me and had a genuine smile to her. Now time to peruse through both menus.

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Drinks menu cover

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Drinks-non alcoholic

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Drinks-1

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Drinks-2

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Drinks-3

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Drinks-4

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Drinks-insert

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Drinks-5

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Menu Cover

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Menu-Welcome

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HND-BKK Menu in Thai

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HND-BKK Menu in English

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HND-BKK Menu in Japanese

Prior to this trip, I checked on the TG website to see if they had offered pre-booking a meal from HND as they do from NRT. Unfortunately, they did not offer the pre-booking option on this flight.

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My armrest

After relaxing a bit in my seat, I walked around to check out the J cabin on the main deck and upper deck. I initially scheduled myself to fly in J on SYD-BKK and had a window seat on the last row of the upper deck. After initially enjoying my F seat for a few minutes, I knew I had to check to see if I could go in F.

I returned back to my seat around 00:18 when I saw the grounds crew close 2L as all Y passengers had boarded. They kept 1L open for a couple of straggling J passengers along with a minor issue that was not announced at this time. At 00:20, the Captain did his welcome message in Thai, followed by the English welcome message four minutes later.

By 00:32, 1L still remained open. Finally Captain returned to PA and let all of us know of the problem, short count on meals catered for the flight and were waiting for JL catering to load them up. At that point, I started to feel a bit tired after arriving at NRT and then the adventure to get to HND as well as going around Tokyo. Also, the Dom had its nice effect of relaxing me.

In the background I could hear someone from JL Catering talking to Jantana and keeping her posted along with constant “dings” from the cockpit. By 00:47 Jantana said they could not wait any longer and decided to forego those extra meals as we could miss our departure window by leaving past the departure curfew. . By 00:50, HND ground staff closed the doors and then we began pushback from gate. During pushback, they featured the flight safety video.

I wish I knew which runway we departed from, but my lids grew heavier and was not paying attention. It seemed we took the long taxi to Runway 05, but again that would be a guess. I do not know if it also started raining while we were taxiing, but I am pretty sure it did not and confused it with another flight I would take a couple of days later.

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Keeping cozy under duvet once airborne.

I believe I woke up when we reached our initial cruising altitude at around 01:30. I could hear a bit of clamor going on in the rather large galley that served the F cabin as well as the main deck J cabin. I decided to take a quick visit to the lavatory. When I returned to my seat, I saw the blanket I had used to wrap me up a bit during take off was now nicely folded on my chair and the plastic bags discarded.

Jantana saw me head to the lavatory and came up to me to ask if I partake in the first service. Despite first preferring to enjoy the coziness of my very first F fully-flat bed, the dedicated trip report writer decided to not skip out on any of the meals so I could give a full report. She went back to the galley and Pravantham returned immediately to help set my table up.

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Prosciutto Wrapped in Musk Mellon, Boursin Canapes, Baby Leaf Honey Mustard Sauce

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Smoked Tomato Cream Soup with Herb Crouton and Crispy Julienned Parma Ham

After this I did not know if the soup concluded the first service. Yet in the menu, nothing followed the soup underneath the First Course heading. Thus in a rare occurrence for me, I used the FA call button and Pravantham immediately arrived by my seat and squatted down. I let her know that I had finished eating and if I could request turndown service. She smiled and took my dinnerware, silverware, and table linens and brought them back to the galley. I helped her out by returning that heavy wood table back into position. She returned and kindly asked if I could get up so she could convert my seat. I watched her remove the bed linens from a bag inside the ottoman that had a zip tie on it. She then pushed down the “bed” button and the seat came together to form a bed. Next she placed a thin “mattress” before finally putting the sheets and arranging the pillows. When she was finished, she smiled and wished me a pleasant sleep. I noticed two other fellow passengers see this and they too requested the turndown service.

With bed made, I enjoyed at least two or three hours of sleep. Personally, I enjoyed the pillows, and the duvet would have been great had I not been sweating. Yet off and on I know I had to remove the duvet because I would get too hot and sweaty. I know we had experienced turbulence a couple of times as I remember the chimes for seatbelts had gone off and on.

I woke up in time for Breakfast service to commence. The menu looked appetizing. I guess Pravantham saw me wake up and approached me if I would like to have breakfast. I noted she had changed to her westernized uniform. I smiled and said “please”. I headed to the lavatory while she took the opportunity to remove my bedding setup and return my seat to its upright position. While in the lav, I saw they had put out extra toothbrushes available, and used that to freshen up. When I returned to my seat, Pravantham returned with another Jasmine-scented hot towel on a tiny silver tray. She returned a minute later and pulled out my table and then started setting up from breakfast.

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Breakfast set up

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The First Course: Fruit Platter along with a basket of breads

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The Main Course: Sweet Chili Prawns, Fried Egg, Tofu, Grilled Zucchini, served on Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice.

TG lost some points from the letdown of their meal service. Everything up to the second meal had been amazing. The food, it tasted bland or over-cooked in their tiny ovens. I decided to blame fault on JL Catering rather than TG because they have minimal control on their catering. The tomato soup from the first service had tasted like tomato water; the galley cook had over-cooked the prawns. Also for a cuisine that prides on spicy, this pailed in comparison as I could feel no heat, but more on that in the next episode!

With the small portions, I finished early and got to recline my seat a bit in a lounge/cradle type of way while the rest of F passengers wake up, had breakfast. I packed up my PJs and Rimowa amenity kit and made sure I had my boarding pass and passport within easy access.

At 04:00 BKK time, the Captain makes his final announcement to indicate our initial descent into BKK. We had about another 40min left in the flight and looking at a possible early arrival into BKK despite the late departure from HND. At that moment, I didn’t want this flight to end, but a new experience awaited me at BKK.

After the Captain had made his announcement in Thai and in English, all the FAs started preparations in getting the cabin ready for landing. I noticed all the female FAs had changed into their westernized uniform. For the women, the color looks nice on them; for the men, the maroon and grey color looks out of place. So far I still think SQ male FAs are one of the simplest and sharpest uniforms I have personally seen.

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A thank you gift!

As inched closer to BKK, Jantana and Pravantham went to each passenger and thanked them, starting with me. Both actually kneeled in front of me and thanked me for flying with them. I told them that I had truly enjoyed my very first TG flight and thanked them for making it memorable. As Jantana said thank you, Pravantham presented me a thank you gift consisting of an orchid I could pin as well as a deck of playing cards featuring TG’s A380. I smiled and thanked them again! Very personable indeed!

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Actual flight information for TG 661 HND-BKK from FlightTracker.

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HND-BKK-SYD GC Map

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Flight overview of TG 661.

We arrived a couple of minutes early into BKK at 04:36 BKK time on I believe on runway 19R. It took a couple of minutes to taxi around the airport and disembark at C1. Once the plane came to a complete stop, the captain turned off the seat belt signs, and everyone got up to collect their belongings. Jantana manned 1L which they docked first before connecting onto 2L. I leisurely took my time because as I knew I had plenty of time to wait till the lounges opened. With 1L now opened, one of the grounds crew manned the door and offered to escort passengers down the jetway. She held two lists and I saw my name written on one of them. I approached her and she politely smiled that someone would be waiting for me at the end of the jetway.

This ends this portion of the TG 661 from HND to BKK. Boarding for TG 472 will be commencing soon. Please feel free to enjoy the lounge until we call for boarding.

Colin
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Verdict

Thai Airways

7.9/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment8.5
Meal/catering5.0

ANA Domestic Lounge

8.2/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment9.0
Services8.0

Tokyo - HND

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Bangkok - BKK

8.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Despite being a bit particular on the meal and catering, TG truly wowed me. It is hard for me to summarize this one trip because I feel like I should summarize the whole trip. Please stay turned for the next installment of AznWrldTrvlr Goes Around-The World!

Related

12 Comments

  • Comment 97801 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3978 Comments

    Wow, two report on TG First in the same day! What a treat :-)
    After a long transpac flight, I don't know that I would have the energy to do an NRT-HND connection and go into the city as well. Maybe if there was an arrivals lounge at NRT to take a shower or freshen up that would help. It's is night and day between the empty F lounge and the crowded J lounge. It's great to be on the upper deck on a 747, but I don't think any airlines put their F cabin up there; I've only heard of them in the nose. Too bad you got the old F cabin, though it's nice that it was not full. I imagine the planes that have already been fitted with the new cabin fly primarily longer routes like BKK-Europe. Thai FAs are always great!

    Kob Kun Krap for sharing and looking forward to the next leg!

  • Comment 97879 by
    jetsetpanda 2177 Comments

    Thanks for the interesting report and sacrificing some of your sleep in order to sample the first meal for the team ;)

    It's too bad that the catering did not live up to expectations, especially from the carrier of a country that is renowned for its food. I only flew TG once in the late 90's from HKG-BKK in Y and still remember the meal as one of the best that I have tasted. As a matter of fact, I think TG still has a good reputation for serving tasty Y meals.

    • Comment 288005 by
      jetsetpanda 2177 Comments

      Well, your screen name is not too shabby neither. ;)

      If you don't mind me asking, are you in the culinary business?

      Would you be joining the get together in NY in March?

      Looking forward to more of your travel adventures.

  • Comment 97938 by
    lagentsecret 8489 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this comprehensive FR

    The lounge is nice but far from being outstanding

    You seem to be unlucky with the TG catering, usually good

    Great First Class service as expected

  • Comment 98399 by
    eminere™ 251 Comments

    Enjoyed reading your report. How do you get Flight Tracker? Is it an app or a web site and is it free to use?

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