Review of Bangkok Airways flight Phuket Rayong in Economy

Airline Bangkok Airways
Flight PG282
Class Economy
Seat 9A
Aircraft ATR 72-600
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 23 May 24, 15:10
Arrival at 23 May 24, 16:50
PG   #22 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 122 reviews
ThomasDutch
By SILVER 317
Published on 31st May 2024

Introduction


Given the fact that I made a last minute adjustment to my schedule by flying to Phuket instead of Koh Samui, I also had to find myself a different way of transport getting to Pattaya by May 23rd. As Pattaya is pretty close to Bangkok, the easiest and cheapest option is to book yourself on a ticket to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and order a taxi for approximately 90 minutes down south to Pattaya. The most convenient however is booking yourself on Bangkok Airways' flight to Pattaya U-Tapao Airport with a taxi ride of approximately 45 minutes. I highly suggest to order a taxi in advance for this option as taxi's are somewhat limited at this airport due to low demand.

Booking this ticket is fairly standard and costed me around 4000 THB (101 EUR / 109 USD for a single person) for a one-way ticket to U-Tapao. I didn't pay this hefty amount of sum to be fair as timing was ideal for me and it also gave me an option to try out Pattaya U-Tapao's airport, which has plans to become Bangkok's third airport. Years ago I visited this airport, it was merely a tiny square building serving as an overcrowded terminal for just Bangkok Airways.


Routing


Phuket International Airport


As the flight was scheduled to depart around three pm and I had about a taxi ride of approximately hour, I checked out of my hotel in Patong around noon and ordered myself a grab taxi for approximately 800 THB to the airport, which is very similar to the rate they will charge you if you book a taxi via one of those travel kiosks or via your hotel. 

My friend decided to join me on my ride to the airport to say her goodbyes over there and I guess we had the ferrari drivers among the taxi drivers as the silent chap drove us to the airport like he was driving a go-kart.


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He dropped us off in front of the domestic terminal about two hours prior to my departure and decided to grab some lunch with my friend at the upper floor before saying our goodbyes. About 75 minutes or so, I proceeded to grab myself a boarding pass from one of those self counters, which to be honest was very easy to use.


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The self baggage drop-off of Bangkok Airways was conveniently located right in front of the entrance aand had no line waiting. Drop off took no more than a few seconds as the lady who took hold of my luggage was friendly and efficient.


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Boarding pass was retrieved, luggage was dropped off and it was now time to proceed to security which was in the right aft corner. Security itself was much busier than check-in, however went with a orderly and steady pace and took no longer than five minutes to clear.


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Phuket's domestic terminal isn't really impressive, but does contain a lot of seating arrangements with a eateries and shops around to buy some souvenirs or snack if you became a bit hungry.


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As I had access to multiple lounges with my priority pass, I decided to pay a visit to Bangkok's Boutique lounge which is located in the vicinity of Gate 4.


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The lounge is quite tiny and is split into two different sections for some reason, but I was somehow guided by the ground attendants to the aft and more quiet section, which was also better decorated and was not busy at all with me being the sole occupant.


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The entire food and drink offering of the lounge, however I must admit that you can order multiple dishes by one of the employees via the window. I didn't take a look at this option as I already had some lunch recently and didn't fancy anything big.


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Besides the usual coffee and tea, one can also find some soft drinks and juices with a selection of pastries and snacks.


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My selection for the afternoon. 


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With about ten minutes to boarding, I decided to leave the lounge and said my goodbyes with this teddybear to find my way to Gate 83.


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As the equipment scheduled for our flight was an ATR 72, we were required to go to the ground floor, which was quite busy given the fact that there were two simultaneous departures by our flight and a Thai AirAsia flight to Bangkok Don Mueang. Other than two coffee shops, not much to do here and I would definitely recommend to stay at the upper floor as long as one can imagine as it is definitely more pleasant than this part of the airport.


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Boarding was eventually called about five minutes late and was subject to zones. Zones were honoured by ground staff and those who didn't qualify for the specific zone were sent back to the line. Unfortunately the weather started to take a turn for the worst and started to pour down like crazy by the time we reached our aircraft. This definitely slowed down the entire bus boarding procedure as people stayed in the bus as long as possible without queuing outside.

Staff however was very polite by bringing us one by one to the aircraft using their umbrella.


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Luckily enough by the time I exited the aircraft, weather managed to stay dry for a few minutes before starting to pour down again, but it gave me a chance to grab a picture of our aircraft.

HS-PZH, a 7.5 year old ATR 72-600 will bring us over to Pattaya U-Tapao. This specific aircraft was newly delivered to Bangkok Airways in April 2017 and is configured with a 70-seat all economy cabin. It is also powered by two Pratt & Whittney PW127M Turbopropellors.


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I was kindly greeted by the flight attendant in the aft upon embarking the aircraft and made my way to my seat. I found the cabin to be in an excellent state and neat looking. The seat itself was definitely more comfortable than some I've had on Airbus aircraft (lufthansa huh huh).


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Given that I'm about 1.83m (6'') tall, I found the legroom to be very generous for an ATR 72. The seat's standard however was probably the msot annoying part being right in the middle.


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The view from my seat with most of the ramp agents seeking shelter below the wing of the aircraft.


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The overhead panel did look quite nice and was equiped with individual air vents. 

By now I was also overhearing a chat between a passenger and one of the ramp agents who did her best to explain that there was a hick up in the system and that his pre-selected option unfortunately was not available, but would do her best to find a solution for him. The passenger, who was clearly not amused by this, was telling her that it wasn't ok in quite a rude manner. The flight attendant in the front cabin, who already seemed to not having her day, stepped into this conversation and took the ramp agent into defense by telling the passenger to calm down a bit and speak in a polite manner. Despite her not having her day, I'd have to give her my props for controlling the situation like that. 


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Once that was solved and I had my attention back to my review, I decided to take a look at the literature in the seat pocket. This consisted of Bangkok Air's magazine, a tiny duty free magazine, safety card and a disposal bag.


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Given the rainy conditions in Phuket, it was kind of fun to see the aircraft taking off with a huge trail of water following them.


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Pushback was eventually about 14 minutes past our schedule and made me see this B777 of Qatar departing to Penang as QR840.


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About 20 minutes past our scheduled departure time, we were finally rolling for our departure to Pattaya u-tapao.


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The engine however could definitely use somewhat of clean.


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Phuket is definitely nicer from above when the weather isn't as poor as this.


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It didn't take long for the flight attendants to come out by serving us our dishes for today's flight which consisted of a bottle of water, rice with some chicken curry and a Young Coconut Cream Cake as desert. 

Considering that ATR's are not equiped with ovens I believe, this food was definitely preheated on ground in Phuket and wasn't really appetiting to be frank as everything was pretty dry and the meal itself was lukewarm. It was a nice gesture to give it a try, but I didn't particularly enjoy this meal.


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Upon completing the food service, the flight attendant came back to serve us some juice, coffee and/or tea, while I was enjoying the beautiful views out of my window.


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An impression of the cabin in flight.


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Was definitely hoping for some better weather, but it seems that Pattaya and Bangkok are also facing similar weather to what Phuket was facing.


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About ten minutes prior to landing, the captain checked in with us informing us that we would be landing shortly into U-Tapao and thanked us for flying with them and gave us a weather update.


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On short final for Runway 36.


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With a very short taxi ride to our stand, it was already apparent that U-Tapao did receive a large upgrade to what used to be the terminal many years ago.


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Thanks HS-PZH for this lovely ride to U-Tapao.


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By the time that our bus was dropping us into the arrival section, another bus for the outgoing flight was already heading to the aircraft for it's departure to Koh Samui. Luggage itself took about another five minutes to be on belt.


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As I already ordered a taxi in advance, the friendly chap was already waiting for me and told me to sit down at the entry as he was going to pick up his car to bring me to Pattaya as soon as possible.


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Thanks for stopping by!

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Verdict

Bangkok Airways

7.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering6.0

Boutique Lounge (Domestic)

6.6/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services6.0

Phuket - HKT

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness6.0

Rayong - UTP

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Despite PG being often the most expensive option to travel, I find them always very comfortable and reliable to use. They operate some of those quirky routes that do surprisingly well and it is always nice to have a proper meal service on board despite the length of the flight.

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2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 652503 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
    It's been a few years since I've flown from HKT, but I remember the domestic terminal just being so cramped and crowded. And most lounges were so tiny and also crowded.

    It was a nice gesture to give it a try, but I didn't particularly enjoy this meal.

    It's definitely a nice gesture to try to have a hot meal on a plane without ovens by pre-heating it on the ground, but like you said that dries out the food and makes it lukewarm by the time it is served. Maybe a nice cold option would have been good, especially since it's only a 1.5h flight. Either way it's great that Bangkok Airways have a full meal on a short ATR flight!

    I've always wanted to try Bangkok and through the years the service has looked consistently good.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 652594 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 657 Comments
      Usually I'm not a massive fan of flying into Phuket for that specific reason and the time prior to this flight they were renovating the domestic terminal, yet I wonder what was changed as the domestic terminal felt the same like it did before. Overcrowded, outdated with a limited number of shops..

      I was actually surprised to see somewhat of a hot meal as I was served a cold meal on my previous meal flying out of Phuket to Hat Yai and that meal was definitely more edible than this, though the service PG offers on their domestic flights is better than any other carrier within Thai's domestic market.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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