This is my first time flying on a Dreamliner. When THAI took delivery of their first B787-8 back in August last year, I decided to try this aircraft out for a one day trip to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. THAI's B787-8 was used on BKK-CNX route for around two months for crew familiarizing flights before beginning its longer routes. At the time I took the flight, this baby plane was less than 2 months old. It was used on 3 flights daily during that period.
The routing :
TG102 BKK-CNX B787 C –> you are here! TG121 CNX-BKK B787 C –> no report
THAI's first B787-8 has the HS-TQA registration and has the royally-bestowed name of Ongkharak which literally means Royal Guard and is also a district of Nakhorn Nayok, a province in central Thailand.
I took the first flight of the day which departed at 8am. I arrived at the airport around 6.45 am and went to the check-in counter. It is worth noting that THAI doesn't allow advance seat reservation on their domestic flights in any class. You may select your preferred seat at check-in (H-24). The agent was efficient though a bit cold, issued me two boarding passes for the day and a lounge invitation. I passed through security and made my way to the lounge which was situated in the Concourse A (mainly used for domestic flights).
The lounge was pretty crowded at this morning hour and full of westerners who might have just arrived from Europe. The staff at the reception were all friendly and welcoming. The catering is not bad at all for a domestic lounge. I had a bowl of Thai pork porridge which was very good.
My boarding passes for the day.
When it was nearly time for boarding, I headed to the Gate A6 which was just a short walk from the lounge. There were a lot of people at the holding area which could tell that this might be a full flight. It was the case actually. Boarding was called on time and priority was well respected.
I was welcomed at the door with a professional looking female FA. I sat down in my seat 14K. My first impression was that the cabin was much smaller and narrower than I thought it would have been. The load factor in J today was 100% ful as opposed to the return flight which only had 6 pax in J (out of 24 seats)l. A FA came around offering newspapers and welcome drinks. It is again worth noting that no alcoholic drinks are served on all domestic flights in all classes. Females FA do not wear the traditional Thai uniform, they only wear the comtemporary one. I opted for the iced-tamarind tea which was very refreshing. :D
The cabin has 4 rows (11,12,14 and 15). The row 15 has no window. The seat itself is lied-flat. I like this shade of purple THAI chose for this seat. Not too imposing like the one on their A380 and certain B777-300er. THAI opted for a 2-2-2 configuration on their B787 which for me was a bit disappointing. I find this configuration outdated and passengers nowadays would prefer the 1-2-1 for direct aisle access and the privacy etc. The window seat so cramped when sitting next to a stranger (which was my case.). If I were to fly solo on this aircraft again I would go for the aisle seat instead for the space sake. On this very short it was fine, but for longer route I don't recommend at all.
The seat pics
The seat control.
View from my seat (on the return flight) 14A
View from the back galley.
The IFE control which was eX3. Very easy to navigate. Though no headphone was provided on this short flight. I had to use my own.
The view form my seat. A row of PG's ATRs…. the airline I have yet to fly.
I played with the window a bit. The electronic control system was really nice. It was around 8.20 am outside.
The table was the set for breakfast. No choice.
The breakfast tray arrived, followed by the bread service which was served warm but I forgot to take the picture. I had the fish porridge this time.
The coffee and tea service followed right after the bread. Again no photo.
The meal was more than sufficient on this one-hour flight compared to what many other airlines serve on flights of the same duration. The fruit was a bit on the hard side but the porridge was good. I was quite impressed that even on this short flight the service didn't seem rushed at all. The crew were all professional at handling this kind of situation where they have to serve a hot meal on a one hour flight with full load. Thumbs up for that!
The rainbow mood-lighting…
I was listening to the radio option on the IFE when the caption annouced our descent to CNX.
And we landed safely…
Some photos of the day trip
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it!
Thai Airways Royal Silk Domestic Lounge
Bangkok - BKK
Chiang Mai - CNX
Overall, it was a great experience flying with a new aircraft. The flight was though too short to experience all the amenities to the full extent.
Cabin comfort - While the seat was comfortable enough, the configuration just ruins everything like privacy and aisle access for window seats which were important for me.
Crew - Very professional. Friendly and did their job with a smile.
Meal and Catering - Not outstanding, but considering the duration of the flight. This offering is hard to beat.
IFE - The press was provided. The IFE of great content though no headphone provided to take advantage of.
Punctuality - Arrived on time. Perfect!
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