Flying Business Class on Thai Airways…!
Thai Airways TG466 | Royal Silk Class | Oct 2013
Melbourne to Bangkok | Boeing 777-200
Before you start thinking “Gee this guy is such a farken snob… travelling business and all”, let me just clarify that this was a cleverly orchestrated award booking (done with a lot of help from a friend). Basically, I spent a whole year buying points into a mileage program. Once I’d collected enough, I carefully set all the gears into motion.
Truth be told, the process was quite tiresome…. it involved speaking with many call centre reps in the US (some of them not very bright). And still, I had to iron out a number of mistakes (by them!) before things went smoothly. Thank goodness I double and triple checked everything… TWICE!
Air New Zealand “Koru” Lounge, Melbourne Airport
My goal was a return trip from Melbourne to Paris (via Bangkok) with a stopover in Singapore on the way back. The final tally reached A$2900 all up. That’s quite a STEAL for Business (and First) to Europe! As the day drew closer, I fretted over every little detail and it was only when I breezed past the queue at the check-in desk and walked off with the actual tickets in my hand that it sank in… I had really pulled this off without a hitch!
And that’s how I found myself for the first time in a Business Class lounge. Blinking with peasant-like disbelief, I furtively snapped a few pictures, and quickly sat down as inconspicuously as I could. Unfanciful as this (Star Alliance affiliated) lounge was in the grand aeronautical scheme of things, I was still thrilled as anything!
Even the act of going to the gate was an experience! I initially panicked (as you would) and left the lounge for the boarding gate 30 mins before departure. The staff then calmly advised that I could go back to the lounge, relax and they’ll call us when it’s time (ie. after most of the economy passengers had been loaded). This way, the aircraft flies off quite quickly after you board.
Thus began the airplane journey of a lifetime. With clear paths ahead and not a queue in sight, my ears were ringing with excitement as I boarded the aircraft and saw the cup-shaped encapsulated seats. Next came a complimentary glass of champagne. Sitting down, I immediately threw my legs forward to see if it’d reach the seat in front of me. It didn’t. Wuuuuhoooo!!!!
After takeoff, I started playing with the chair as soon as I could… making it crane and stretch and lean back until it was practically flat. It even had an inbuilt moving component to gently massage your back during the flight. I was also pleased to find that there was enough room for me to plug in my (massive) laptop charger and separate USB ports to juice up my accessories.
Fish cake, sweet chilli sauce with cucumber
Whilst watching the Australian farmscapes roll by below me, a five course lunch ensued… starting with these rather delightful herbed and spicy Thai fish cakes.
Prosciutto sliced, mixed lettuce and micro herbs, olive, artichoke, feta cheese
A white cloth was then placed as a table setting for the other courses. Loved how everything came in proper plates, not to mention you get actual salt and pepper shakers.
Chicken sliced with bamboo shoot in red curry, steamed
Thai Hom Mali rice, stir-fried green bean and carrot
All that said, the main dish came ala economy-style, served in a casserole dish (without the foil top). It tasted very ordinary.
Assorted cheese, fresh fruits
Strawberry cake, fruit tart, raspberry coulis
And about the only thing that I liked from the dessert offerings were the fresh fruit. The cake and tart wasn’t good.
I guess airline food will still be airline food regardless of the class of travel. Pre-cooked, reheated and not all that yummy… and that’s understandable. The main difference is you get more options, a table cloth, real plates and multiple courses on a Business class flight.
Once my table was cleared, I reclined my seat (it went nearly flat, but at a 167º angle), snuggled into the purple duck-down duvet and watched anime whilst the aircraft passed the salt lakes in Central Australia and reached the edge of the continent.
Chicken fried rice with pineapple and spring onion
Refreshments came 2 hours before arrival, just as the aircraft was flew over the mountains of Terengganu in Malaysia. It turned out to be another full meal (just on the one tray), accompanied with a somewhat crazy amount of cutlery. This dish was nicer, with a gentle biryani-like herbed fragrance to the rice.
Even travelling by myself, the 9:30 hour flight didn’t feel all that long… probably because I was so excited. Before I knew it, the plane had started to descend…
How quickly an experience ends. Here’s a parting view of the Boeing 777-200 Business Class cabin before I entered Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport for my transit to Paris.
I’ll end this post here… but stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll be flying First Class to Paris (with my parents) in the very first row of the top deck in the A380!!
Here are my other flight reports for this trip:
Thai Airways First Class A380 BKK-CDG (Full Flat Bed)
Thai Airways Business Class A380 CDG-BKK (Full Flat Bed)
Singapore Airlines Business Class A330 BKK-SIN-MEL (Angled Flat)