Because our previous flight arrived early into Bangkok, we had just shy of 2 hours to make our connection back home to Singapore. It being so early in the morning, most shops and food outlets at Suvarnabhumi were closed, so even after rushing through transit security, there wasn’t really much to do except to hang around and wait for our flight. All 3 of us did not catch much sleep on the flight from Frankfurt, and so we were almost running on empty. After creating the usual fake accounts on the AOT free wifi server, we sat around surfing the web until about 45 minutes before departure, after which we headed to the gate.
Being Thai Airways, the chance of an equipment substitution is very high. We were hoping that Thai would swop out our scheduled 772 for a 77W, which was quite common on this sector, but it wasn’t to be. TG’s first 772 HS-TJA (a 1996 model) sat at the gate waiting. The gate holding area filled up quite quickly, but boarding was called soon after we arrived and we sat around whilst Business Class and Royal Orchid Gold members were invited to board, shortly followed by passengers seated in the rear economy cabin. We were in the next boarding group and boarded shortly afterward
Once again, we were welcomed onboard with the traditional sawadee by the female cabin crew members manning Door 2L dressed in the traditional thai uniform. We turned right and headed for our seats in the last row of the forward economy cabin, just ahead of the lavatory.
The interior of HS-TJA was in extremely poor shape, with carpets that were so worn that you could see the cabin floor beneath, and the seat in front of me could not stay in a upright position and was reclined for the entire flight. The cabin sidewall was badly scratched, and the 2 windows beside me had an oily residue on them which made taking photos almost impossible without some creative positioning.
The view from seat 48A
On the ground in Bangkok
B777 Safety Card
View through the seats
Signs of wear and tear
Reclined seat in my face
Since this was the first TG flight to Singapore that morning, the load was very good, almost 80%. Boarding was quickly completed and we pushed back on schedule. Whilst taxiing out to the runway, we passed another TG 772 and an Orient Thai 747 Classic roasting on the Bangkok tarmac. We taxied out to Runway 19L without delay and were soon off to Singapore.
Preparing to line up on the runway
Climbing out of Bangkok
It was a quick climb to our cruise altitude of 40,000 feet, during which the crew started their first drink service which was a selection of juices or water with peanuts. Breakfast was served shortly afterward, with a starter of fresh fruit, followed by a choice of fried noodles or an omelette, served with bread roll.
Fried noodles for breakfast – Thai’s catering was superb for the most part
The flight passed very quickly, and soon enough the captain announced the start of descent into Singapore. We flew a straight in approach from the north into Singapore’s runway 20R. If I was to judge the flight, it was excellent until the point of landing. The pilot slammed the aircraft down onto the runway like a piledriver. I first flew on the 777 more than 15 years ago, and I’ve never experienced a landing as hard as this one.
Short final over the site of the former Changi Exhibition Center Moments before the hardest landing I’ve ever experienced on the 777
Vacating the runway near Terminal 3
It was a quick taxi to the gate at Terminal 1, and we were off the aircraft less than 10 minutes after landing. Passing through immigration was painless and our bags were quickly retrieved from the belt.
For a short flight, Thai Airways provided a good passenger experience, with decent IFE and friendly crew, and excellent catering. TG provides a good enough product that would satisfy most passengers, and they are quite competitive on price. After flying Thai on these 4 sectors, I would certainly recommend their flights if the price is right.
Happy and safe flying!
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