[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG670) / (TG671) – Business Class, BKK-CTS (13 Feb 17) / CTS-BKK-SIN (27 Feb 17)

Thai Airways uses the 777-300 for both BKK-CTS and CTS-BKK legs

On The Ground

BKK-CTS

Transiting in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

As this is a transit flight from Singapore, I did not perform any check-in for this leg of the flight (click here for the review of Thai Airways from SIN-BKK). We were checked through from Singapore, hence when we reached Bangkok we referred to the flight information for the gate that our flight will be departing. Thai Airways seem to have the practice of putting the arrival and departure flights far apart. As Suvarnabhumi Airport is a big airport, we catered sufficient time to walk to our departure gate.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is a big airport. Do cater sufficient time to walk to the departure gate when transiting

Thai Airways Lounge

There are 4 Thai Airways Lounges for Business Class passengers and 1 Royal Orchid Spa Lounge in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Business Class passengers flying out or transiting Bangkok are treated to 30 mins head and shoulder or foot massage in Royal Orchid Spa. However due to the time constraint, we did not have go for the massage. We visited the Lounge in Concourse C, which has shower facilities and nearer to our departure gate. Both lounges at Concourse C (they are opposite each other) has shower facilities, however Concourse C East Lounge has lesser people waiting for shower at the time of our visit. The lounge is a fairly small lounge, decked in brown and purple colours. There are limited seatings in this lounge. On top of the shower facilities, this lounge as an internet area. There are some finger food and drinks for passengers to enjoy while waiting for their flight. As with the lounge in Changi Airport, there are some reading materials like local newspaper and magazines for passengers to read. One thing to note is that Thai Airways lounges does not announce which Thai Airways flight is departing, the onus is on passengers to note their departure timing and make their way to the departure gate in good time.

 

We used the Concourse C East Lounge as the queue for shower is shorter and is the closest to our boarding gate
TG670 departed from Gate C6
Looks like a full flight tonight

CTS-BKK

Check-in

Thai Airways uses check-in counters B10 to B15 in New Chitose Airport is located on the right side of the International Terminal Building. There are 2 counters dedicated for Business Class Check-in and 4 counters for Economy Class passengers. The queue is short at the Business Class counters, we did not have to wait for too long to get ourselves checked in. Checking-in is fast and the ground staff were very courteous and friendly. They briefed us on the standard stuffs like where the boarding gate is and what time we have to be at the boarding gate. We were also given directions on where the airlines lounge is located before the ground staff wished us a pleasant flight. There are no priority lanes for Business Class passengers in New Chitose Airport. There is a long queue forming at the security clearance, it is a good thing to arrive at the airport ahead of time so that one can enjoy the lounge.
Thai Airways uses the counters in section B in New Chitose Airport for check-in
Business Class queue is separated from Economy Class
2 counters dedicated to Business Class passengers
Do arrive at New Chitose Airport early as the queue to clear security was very long at the time of my checking-in

Airlines Lounge

There is only one lounge in the International Terminals in New Chitose Airport. All Business Class passengers departing New Chitose Airport uses the Royal Lounge, which is located on the 4th floor of the terminal building. It is right up the escalator on the right after immigration clearance. There are 2 sections to the lounge, one for Business Class passengers of all airlines departing New Chitose Airport and a smaller section (payable) for certain credit card holders. The lounge is decked out in comfortable and cosy earthy tones with 125 seats in the general area and 12 seats in the smoking room. There is a small counter serving limited food and drinks for guests to enjoy before their flight. There is also a snooze area at the far most end of the lounge. As this is a silent lounge, no flight announcements was made and passengers are to note their departure time and arrive at their boarding gate in good time.
Thai Airways uses Royal Lounge in New Chitose Airport. This is the only airlines lounge in the airport
Entrance to Royal Lounge in New Chitose Airport
Reception in Royal Lounge
Seatings in the airlines section of Royal Lounge
More seatings and a mini buffet with finger food
Rest area in Royal Lounge
Smoking room in Royal Lounge
Relax area in Royal lounge
Buffet area in Royal Lounge
I had some onigaris in Royal Lounge
There are limited shopping in the airside of New Chitose Airport
TG671 departs from Gate 67 in New Chitose Airport

In-Flight

Cabin

Thai Airways uses B777-300 for both BKK-CTS and CTS-BKK legs of the flight. The Business Class section mainly uses the signature Thai Airways purple colour theme in this cabin. There are 34 Business Class seats arranged in 2-3-2 configuration, less first row which has a configuration of 2-2-2. There are 330 seats in Economy Class section. I find the open concept in the Business Class section of the B777-300 to be spacious, despite lacking privacy. The colour theme of the Business Class section makes one feel comfortable. Amenity kits were already placed on each seat when I boarded the aircraft. Thai Airways uses Naraya pouch for the BKK-CTS leg and Furla pouch for the CTS-BKK leg. I noticed Thai Airways alternates the pouch for outbound and inbound flights. The contents inside the pouch remains the same with the standard slippers, dental kit, lip balm, moisturiser, ear plugs and eye mask.
Boarding the Thai Airways B777-300
Thai Airways B777-300 Business Class Cabin
The Business Class cabin is decked out in purple
Thai Airways Business Class cabin
Legroom is excellent on Thai Airways B777-300 Business Class cabin
Overhead light and seat belt signs
Amenities kit in Naraya pouch was given on BKK-CTS leg
Me holding Furla bag containing amenities kits distributed on the CTS-BKK leg

There are 2 Business Class lavatories up front behind the cockpit onboard. As with most Business Class onboard Thai Airways, the lavatory is a tad small and offers very minimum amenities. Other than the hand soap, other additional amenities are a more upscale eau-de-cologne (as compared to Economy Class) and body lotion. These are also present in Economy Class lavatories. Perhaps the differentiating factor in the Business Class lavatory is the presence of orchid flowers and handkerchiefs on top of the tissues provided. Otherwise, I thought it is no difference (and perhaps even worst) than Economy Class lavatories.

The only amenities in the lavatory in Thai Airways Business Class lavatory
I like the sensor activated tap in the lavatory
Large mirrors in the lavatory in Business Class cabin
Toilet bowl
There is a hook for coats on the door of the lavatory
There is another full length mirror in the lavatory
Air sick bag and sanitary napkins in the lavatory

Seats

The Business Class seats onboard the B777-300 has a pitch of 66″and width of 20″. It is not true 180° flat bed, but a 163° angled flat bed. Passengers who are used to the 180° flat bed might find the seat, when converted into bed mode to be a tad sloppy. The controls to the seat mode is found on the armrest of the chair. The Business Class cabin seats has 3 modes, the upright mode for takeoff and landings, lounge mode and bed mode. I find the lounge mode most comfortable when watching movies on the IFE. The legroom in the Business Class seats are excellent. I have plenty of space to stretch out, thanks to the open concept of the cabin. The seat  even comes with a functioning massage function. The seat controls are located on the left armrest on the seat. There is a small “coffee”table between 2 seats, which creates space to put drinks or other nicknacks. The headphone jack and power outlet is located in a small space under the centre armrest. The seat even have a cup holder and generous space where inflight reading materials are stow behind in front.

 

Seat in Business Class onboard onboard Thai Airways B777-300 in take-off/landing mode
Seat in lounge mode onboard Thai Airways B777-300.  I find this mode to be most comfortable when watching movies on the IFE
Seat onboard Thai Airways Business Class cabin in bed mode. The maximum recline in this mode is 163°
The seat pocket in front can hold a lot of things and there are 2 cup holders
Seat control on the armrest of each seat onboard Thai Airways Business Class cabin
This small button does not do anything. Wonder why was it there in the first place
Additional in-seat reading light
Small ledge that can hold a camera. Headphone jacks and a power outlet is also found here
Thai Airways B777-300 aircraft safety card
Contents of seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways B777-300 has a large IFE display screen on the back of the seat in front of my seat. Thai Airways has a 15″ TV screen with touch screen functions in its Business Class cabin. Despite being an aging aircraft, the IFE is not laggy and the touch screen function is still rather responsive. There are plenty options for entertainment in the IFE, including the latest movies, selected TV shows and games. The controls for IFE is stow under the armrest of the seat.

The 15″ TV screen found onboard Thai Airways B777-300 Business Class cabin 
IFE controller stowed in the armrest
Noise cancelling headphones found only in Business Class cabin onboard Thai Airways B777-300

Meal Service

Thai Airways used to have the option to pre-order meals from a menu online for their Business Class passengers. They still had that last year when I flew with them to Seoul. However this year, this service seem to have ceased and is only available to their passengers flying on First Class.

BKK-CTS

Prior to taking off, Business Class passengers are served welcome drinks with hot towels. I always asked for the signature Thai Airways drink, Violet Bliss, which is not part of the drinks on the tray that the pursuers go around serving. Meal orders were taken after the welcome drinks is being served. As this is a night flight, no meals were being served after taking off, there are no snacks made available for passengers. However passengers can request for Ramen Soup with Simmered Pork or Tuna Onigari served with Miso Soup should one gets hungry in the night. Breakfast was served 2 hours before landing. I opted for the Western Set which comprises of French Toast with Capsicum served with assorted bread and Fresh Fruits as well as yogurt. The food was served together instead of by courses, feels a little like Economy Class but in fanciful china. I find the French Toast to be blend and a little dry, there isn’t much flavouring to the food served. I thought the assorted bread tasted better. I did go for the fruits as I don’t eat strawberry and kiwi fruits. The meal wasn’t that satisfying.

Welcome drink and hot towels were distributed prior to taking off. This purple drink is Thai Airways signature drink Violet Bliss 
Menu for this leg of the flight
Menu for this leg of the flight
Western Breakfast serve onboard Thai Airways. It all came together instead of course by course

CTS-BKK

As with the outbound leg, passengers were served welcome drinks and hot towels prior to taking off. However when I asked for their signature Violet Bliss, we were told it is not available as the drinks had been stored overnight, hence they are not serving that. This was not the case when I flew with Thai Airways the year before (read about my experience here), we were served Violet Bliss when we flew out of Seoul. Since the pursuers claim they are not serving overnight Violet Bliss, I asked for a glass of Apple Juice. A bowl of nuts were served shortly after taking off when the pursuers went around serving drinks.

Menu were distributed at the same time when welcome drink were served prior to take off
Welcome drinks
Snacks and drinks was served shortly after taking off

I ordered the Japanese Bento Set for lunch. The Bento Set comprises of Teriyaki Salmon served with vegetables and mushroom with Japanese Rice. Part of the Bento Set also includes sashimi, and grilled pork belly and fresh fruits. Miso Soup and cold soba also forms part of the Bento Set. While the bento set is rather sumptuous, the miso soup tasted like a lot of MSG has been put into it and the salmon tasted blend. The Sashimi did not last fresh, but edible. The best tasting of all was the soba noodles. Mango pudding was served as dessert which I find it tasty and not too sour.

I opted for the Japanese Bento Set
Japanese Bento Set that I have ordered
Dessert was served later. This mango pudding was delicious

Prior to landing, as we were still a little hungry, we ordered the all day meal of Tomato Rice with Scrambled Eggs. The Tomato Rice tasted blend and the scrambled eggs could do with a little pepper.

Midflight Snack

Service

BKK-CTS

The service onboard Thai Airways Business Class was disappointing and mediocre at best. It is not a service standard that one would expect in Business Class section. We requested for additional pillows from one of the pursuers, but she did not come back with any, despite walking past us a few times. The seat my friend was occupying did not recline, not even an inch. We brought up the issue to one of the pursuers, whom literally stripped the whole chair in an attempt to fix it. After failing to do so for 10 mins, the pursuer gave up and consulted another pursuer (whom we believe should be the in-flight manager). The other pursuer came and also tried to fix the seat, but gave up and declared the seat defective after another 10 mins of trying. She later told us to wait and see if she can swap seats for us. After another 5 mins passed, she came back and told us to move to another seat occupied by a cabin crew. No help was offered to shift our carry-on luggages and the pillows and quilt. The said pursuer stood by watching as we were shifting our stuffs in the middle of the night. When I brought up the issue of our request for extra pillows and no one gives a damn about it, the pursuer turned defensive and claimed that they need time to look for pillows. She finally gave us the extra pillows we asked for reluctantly. Unsatisfied with her attitude, I spoke to another pursuer about her who was passing by. The pursuer in question walked by and overheard our conversation and told me if there are any problems just speak to her directly and don’t need to talk to anyone else. That got to be the rudest and most defensive response I have heard, especially in Business Class where I thought passengers will be treated better. Most of the time pursuers were seen crowding in the pantry talking amongst themselves rather than going around to see if any passengers needed anything. To make matters worst, I found my luggage damaged with a 30cm crack despite the fragile tag being tagged onto my luggage. Makes me wonder if these fragile tags are for show.

Pursuers serving welcome drinks after passengers were settled into their seat. This is the only time when service was good
There is a 30cm crack on my Samsonite luggage when I collected it at the belt

CTS-BKK

The service on the CTS-BKK leg was slightly better than the BKK-CTS leg. Upon boarding, one of the pursuers noted that my friend cannot take beef and notified us of the diet restriction. When meal was served (despite all 3 options not having any beef), my friend was served vegetarian meal. My friend asked if he can choose the bento option (there is no beef in that option), the pursuer whom brought him the meal told my friend that his meal is a special order, hence he cannot order anything else from the menu. When questioned that all 3 options does not contain beef, the pursuer than offered to bring my friend something else if there are any leftovers. I was rather puzzled by this remark. She later came back with more food for my friend, which looked like something she pulled together from Economy Class Section in a sloppy presentation. While it is a nice gesture that the pursuers took note of my friend’s diet restriction, however it is rather disheartening to learnt that my friend cannot order anything from the menu when all 3 options had no beef. I am not too sure why the inflexibility attitude displayed by the pursuer in a Business Class cabin.

The only time friendly service was rendered is during boarding

Afterthought

Although Thai Airways B777-300 is an aging aircraft,  I find the seats to be spacious and most comfortable in the lounge mode. The angled flat bed may turn some off, but still provided good rest especially for a night flight. The lavatory is cramp and has not much amenities than the Economy Class lavatory less some orchids and handkerchiefs and more upscale eau-de-colonge. What shocked me the most is the service in the premium Business Class cabin. Pursuers were defensive and did not render help whatsoever. I find Thai Airways Business Class not worthy to spend that extra penny over with such lousy service attitude. This is the last time I will be flying Thai Airways, especially in their Business Class.
Day breaking on the BKK-CTS leg
Arriving into Hokkaido
New Chitose Airport viewed from above
Japan coast line
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[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG410) / (TG409) – Business Class, SIN-BKK (13 Feb 17) /BKK-SIN (1 Mar 17)

Thai Airways uses their new A350-900 for both SIN-BKK-SIN leg

On the Ground

SIN-BKK

Premier Check-in Lounge

Thai Airways depart from Terminal 1 in Changi International Airport. The airline counter is located in row 4, near to the skytrain in Terminal 1. Premium passengers are treated to check-in at the Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge at the end of Row 4. Checking in at the lounge makes one feel like a VIP, in the classy and earthy designed lounge. The check-in is very fast and the check-in staff briefed us on the standard items like where the gate is and what time is boarding. On top of that, we were also invited to the Thai Airways Lounge prior to boarding.
Thai Airways Business Class passengers can check-in at the Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1

 

Inside the Premier Check-in Lounge
Thai Airways Check-in Counter inside Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge
The check-in experience is very good in the Dnata Premier Check-in Lounge

Thai Airways Lounge

The Thai Airways Lounge is located one floor above the departure hall in the transit area. The earthy lounge is very comfortable and cosy, and has a large seating area decked out with mostly armchairs. There are some simple finger food and drinks available for Business Class passengers to enjoy. Reading materials such as local and Thai newspapers, magazines are also available for passengers to read.
Entrance to Thai Airways Lounge in Changi Airport
The lounge is decked out in purple and earthy colour schemes
Reading material for passengers
There are plenty of seats for passengers
Mostly finger food are being served in the Thai Airways Lounge in Changi Airport
Drinks for all passengers
TG410 departs from gate C13 in Changi Airport
Boarding gate at C13

BKK-SIN

Check-in

Thai Airways dedicates Row A, located at the left side of Suvarnabhumi Airport, for its premium passengers. Passengers are treated to sit-down check-in at that row and dedicated immigration clearance, which is empty at the time of my checking-in. The ground staff at Suvarnabhumi wasn’t as friendly as I thought. There were no smiles and conversations were non-existent. She just passed us our boarding pass and did not even mention which lounge is nearer to our gate nor where our gate was at.

Dedicated check-in row for First and Business Class passengers
The check-in rows for premium passengers are located in Row A in Suvarnabhumi Airport
At check-in counter in row A
Check-in counters at Row A. We were escorted to a counter that is available instead of hunting for one

Thai Airways Lounge

There are 4 Thai Airways Lounges for Business Class passengers and 1 Royal Orchid Spa Lounge in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Business Class passengers flying out or transiting Bangkok are treated to 30 mins head and shoulder or foot massage in Royal Orchid Spa. However due to the time constraint, we did not have go for the massage. We visited the Lounge in Concourse E, which is a fairly large lounge. There are more food options here as compared to that in Changi Airport, food were seen topped up regularly to ensure there are sufficient to go around. There are also a wide range of drinks available in the lounge. As with the lounge in Changi Airport, there are some reading materials like local newspaper and magazines for passengers to read.
Royal Silk Lounge at Concourse E
There are a number of seating for passengers
Some of the food that passengers can chow before flight
Some of the food I grabbed before our flight
Phad Thai and Thai Style Hainanese Chicken Rice. Both are tasty and flavourful
TG409 departs from Gate E5

In-Flight

Cabin

Thai Airways uses their new A350-900 for both legs of the flight. The new aircraft cabin still screams of the signature Thai Airways purple theme, and the seats looks classy with the timber finishing. There are 32 seats in Business Class and 289 seats in Economy Class Section. The seats in Thai Airways A350 are arranged in 1-2-1 configuration, which means all Business Class passengers onboard having direct aisle access.
Flight attendants greeting passengers onboard the Thai Airways A350-900. This is the only time they are friendly
Business Class onboard Thai Airways A350-900, decked in the signature Thai Airways purple
Even the lightings are in purple onboard in the Business Class cabin
Electronic displays on the ceiling of A350-900
The lavatory onboard the A350-900 is a tad small. There is one at the forward of the cabin and 2 more at the aft of the Business Class cabin. There isn’t much amenities in the lavatory, feels pretty much like an Economy Class lavatory. What I like about the lavatory is the sensor tap and the sensor activated trash bin covers.
The sink in the A350-900 looks modern
Cabinet where tissues and handkerchiefs are stowed in the lavatory
Mirror in the lavatory is large
Ea u-de-cologne and hand lotions are the only other amenities found in the lavatory in the Business Class lavatory
I like the sensor activated trash bin cover in the lavatory
Toilet bowl
There are some coat hangers on the doors of the lavatory

 

Very basic lavatory onboard the Business Class
Only difference between Economy and Business Class lavatory are the orchids

Seats

The seats onboard Thai Airways A350-900 has a pitch of Pitch of 73.5″ and width of 20″. The seats can be converted into a 180° truly flat bed. The seats has several mode other than being capable of converting into a flat bed, there is also a lounge mode, which I find it very comfortable to sit on while watching movies. Despite having a massage function, the massage function on my seat is not working. I find the seats a little cramp, especially in lounge mode where leaving and entering the seat is rather difficult. Seat controls are situated at the side of the seat at the side of the small table. There are 2 lightings, including a reading light placed at the side of the seat. Inflight reading materials are placed in the pocket above the side table of the seat. There are several storage spaces at the lower side of the seat, however these impractical storage spaces can only hold magazines, they are too narrow to put my camera, and are too deep to place my passport into (it is rather dirty inside as well). International plug power sockets and headphone jackets are located at the side table, there is a USB outlet beneath the IFE TV.

 

Business Class seats onboard the Thai Airways A350-900
Business Class seats in upright mode on Thai Airways A350-900
Business Class seats in lounge mode on Thai Airways A350-900
Business Class seats in fully flat bed mode on Thai Airways A350-900

 

Reading light and reading materials in the seat
Aircraft safety card
Power plug and headphone jack is found on the side of the seat
Seat and light control buttons are found by the side table
Tray table folded up
Impractical storage space which does not hold anything other than books. It is too deep to put my mobile phone in
Footrest in the Business Class seats onboard Thai Airways A350-900
The legroom is good onboard Thai Airways A350-900
Aircraft safety card  and airsick bags are store in the small seat pocket at the entrance of the seat

In-Flight Entertainment

The new Thai Airways A350-900 has a 16″ flat screen TV in front of every seat. These touch screen TVs can also be controlled by the new generation, smart phone like controller at the side of the seat. The system is not at all laggy, which is very much welcomed. The IFE has a large library of movies, including latest movies to keep me entertained throughout the flight.
The 16″ touch screen TV in Business Class
IFE controller is touch screen as well
USB ports beneath the TV

Meal Service

SIN-BKK

Meal orders were taken prior to take off, at the same time as welcome drink is being served. However I wasn’t volunteered welcome drink onboard and had to asked for one. What a bad start to the flight. After taking off. soon after the seat belt sign were turned off, pursuers sprung into action serving the food that we have ordered. Food were not served by courses, but were given all in one tray, much like Economy Class except that they are placed in more fanciful plates. I had the Seared Prawn with Sweet Chili Sauce, which I find the prawns to be rubberish. Pandan Sago Seed with Water Chestnut is being served as dessert, which I find tastier than the main dish. It is not too sweet and has a nice texture to it.

Menu for the flight
Almond is served after take off
Table laid out for meal service
Snack before dinner
Sear Prawn in Sweet Chili Sauce

BKK-SIN

As with the outbound leg, welcome drinks were being served onboard prior to taking off. This time round I did not have to ask for it, it was volunteered. However the male flight attendant did not know the name of their signature drink. We had to ask for it from another flight attendant. Meal orders were taken. No nuts were served prior to taking off. After taking off, we were promptly served the food that we ordered, which again was served all at one go instead of by courses. I had to Fried Prawn inLychee Sauce. The fried prawn wasn’t crispy, but tasted great with the lychee sauce. I particularly like the Fried Rice that comes with the prawn dish, which tasted good and not too oily. We were served salmon and chicken breast as appetiser, which I find them to be tasty. I did not take the dessert as I was full.

Meals being served on this flight
Table being laid for dinner. There is no pre-dinner snack
The Fried Prawn in Lychee sauce is rather tasty

Service

Service was lacking onboard both legs of the flight, not befitting of Business Class. I felt no difference than flying in Economy Class. Flight attendants were seen just doing their job, instead of making passengers feel welcomed. No help were rendered to any passengers in storing their carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment.

Pursers were hiding in the pantry most of the time on both legs of the flight. The male flight attendant on the right is outright rude and clueless about service

SIN-BKK

Service is bad on this leg. The pursuers were not smiling and not making passengers feel welcome onboard. This make me think that the signature Thai smile I have seen in Thai Airways advertisements is just for advertisements. I was conveniently skipped when serving welcome drink. The tray tables was set up very sloppily, with the attendant holding onto the food in one hand and trying to set up the table with the other. I helped the flight attendant to lower the tray table and layout the table cloth, she did not even utter a word of thanks.

BKK-SIN

The worst service got to be rendered from this leg of my flight. A male attendant serving us was constantly in a foul mood. No smiles came from him. When asked for their signature welcome drink, he did not even know what that was and wanted to give us coke. I had to ask another flight attendant for the Thai Airways Signature drink. The same foul mooded male attendant did not seem to understand the difference in service between Business and Economy Class. I was handed food over my friend, who was about to had his dinner. The male flight attendant simply did not care if my friend was eating. Instead of putting the food down onto my table, I was made to take over the food from him and placed them onto my table. There is another incident involving the same male flight attendant. After the seat belts signs went off, I went to the lavatory. The light outside the toilet suggested that no one was inside the lavatory. I was trying to open the lavatory door, and the male flight attendant saw it. He just ignored what I was doing, but after sometime, he must had felt irritated and told me “Someone inside” and ask me to wait. A female passenger came waiting for the same toilet and he actually told her there are 2 more behind. He could have told me the same information instead of making wait for the toilet. I overheard him telling the passenger in the toilet before me to lock the toilet door properly the next time he uses it.

Afterthought

While the only A350-900 recently joined the Thai Airways fleet, I thought the use of space for the seats a little lacking. There are not much practical storage space for some gadgets like mobile phones and cameras. There side pocket is too deep and too dirty to be useful. The seats feel cramp and was difficult to enter and exit when in lounge mode. The massage function did not work on both legs of my flight onboard the A350-900. The amenities in the lavatory is lacking.
What irritates me the most is the service onboard. The attendants made me feel as though I was flying in Economy Class. Not much smiles from anyone and certainly no help was rendered. The wiorst is the male attendant whom did not even know the name of Thai Airways Signature drink. Food was passed over my friend’s head by the male attendant. After this experience, I will not take another Thai Airways, especially in their Business Class. They are not worth paying a premium for.

[Airline Review] – All Nippon Airways (ANA4862) – Economy Class, MMB-CTS, (20 Feb 17)

ANA uses the Bombardier DHC8-Q400 for MMB to CTS

On The Ground

Check-in

There are only 2 airlines that flies from Memanbetsu Airport – ANA and JAL. The check-in for ANA in Memanbetsu Airport is located on the 1st floor of the terminal building, on the left most side of the airport. There are 3 ANA check-in counters in Memanbetsu, with counter 3 being the counter that takes check-in luggage. We did not have to wait for our turn to check in as there are no one in the queue. ANA has a straight to gate service for passengers without check-in luggage, which could be the reason for no one at the queue for check-in. Checking-in was very fast, after the staff at the counter verified our names on the system, she handed over our boarding passes to us. We were also briefed on which gate to go to and the boarding time for the short 50 min flight to New Chitose Airport. As we have luggage to be checked in, the staff at the ANA counter invited us to the x-ray machine in front of counter 3. After our luggage has been scanned by airport security, the ANA staff at counter 3 took over our luggage for checking-in.
ANA sign outside MMB Airport
ANA check-in counter is located on level 1 to the left of MMB Airport. There are 3 counters for ANA, counter 3 is used to receive check-in luggages
JAL Check-in counters beside ANA counter
There are limited shops in MMB airport

Boarding Gate

Departure halls in Memanbetsu Airport is located on 2nd floor of the terminal building, where security checks are being done before we are allowed into the airside of the terminal building. Memanbetsu Airport is a very small domestic airport, there are not many shops around in the airside. Our flight departs from Gate 4, where the announcement for boarding was done soon after we arrived at the airside. Boarding was done fairly fast at Gate 4. As there are no aerobridges to the aircraft, we headed down to level 1 and out onto the tarmac to board ANA4862 bound for New Chitose Airport.
More shops are located on the departure level 2 in MMB Airport
Security clearance before entering the airside of the airport

 

There is only one shop at the airside of MMB Airport
Flight information at airside of MMB Airport
Waiting areas are open concept. Most of the time the airport is empty as there is only one flight departing at any one time

 

ANA uses Gate 4 for this MMB-CTS flight

 

ANA4862 sitting on the tarmac waiting for passengers to board
Luggage collection in CTS Domestic Terminal

In-Flight

The Cabin

ANA uses the twin propeller engine Bombardier DHC8-Q400 for the flight to New Chitose. The aircraft only has one class, with a total of 74 Economy Class seats arranged in 2-2 configuration. The cabin is decked out in the iconic ANA shades of blue seats and white cabin.
Blue seats onboard ANA4962
Seats are arranged in 2-2 configuration onboard

Lavatory

There is only one lavatory onboard ANA4862, located in front of the aircraft, behind the cockpit. Despite being small, the lavatory has all the basic necessities. The amenities in the lavatory is limited to handsoap and tissues.
Sink in the lavatory

 

Large mirrors onboard ANA DHC8-Q400
Tissues and seat covers are found on the bulkhead of the lavatory
Toilet bowl inside the lavatory

 

Handle beside the toilet bowl is a nice touch

 

Air flow duct and return to seat signal inside the lavatory

 

The toilet flush is located beneath the sink

 

Amenity kit drawer and little bin

 

Limited amenities in the lavatory

The Seats

All the 74 seats onboard has a pitch of 31″ and width of 17″. The legroom is very good considering it being a single class aircraft. As this is a domestic flight, there are no IFEs onboard. The seats on board are very basic but comfortable for the 50 min fight time to New Chitose Airport. There is only a button on the armrest for passengers to reclining the seats. The control for lighting is located on the ceiling above our seats. The reading materials are stowed in the single compartment large seat pocket. The single piece tray table is large enough for one to put a 13″ laptop on comfortably.
The seats onboard ANA DHC8-Q400 is very basic, but does the job for a short domestic flight
Legroom is very good onboard the ANA DHC8-Q400
Seat pocket and tray table folded

 

Tray table is large enough to put a 13″ laptop

 

There is only one recline button on the armrest of the seat

 

Aircon duct and light controls are located on the ceiling above the seats
Aircraft safety card
Seat pocket contents
Taking off from MMB Airport. The ANA DHC8-Q400 uses twin propeller jet

 

Flying over Hokkaido, the flight is very smooth and comfortable

Beverage Service

Due to the short flight time, no food or snacks are served onboard. Soon after the seat belts signs are off, both pursuers quickly jumped into action to serve passengers either coffee or tea. Pursuers went around the cabin 2nd time to check if passengers need more drinks.

 

I opted for coffee during this short flight from MMB to CTS

Service

The service on the ground and onboard are fantastic. On the ground, the staffs are very welcoming and did not allow us to wait for too long. After checking-in, the ground ANA staffs thanked us for flying with ANA. Instructions for checking-in of luggage and departure information were given very clearly in the excellent Japanese style service. Despite only having 2 pursuers onboard, service is by no means lacking. Pursuers were seen bowing to passengers during boarding and would go around helping passengers stowing their carry-ons in the overhead compartment. The pursuers would bow and thank passengers for flying with ANA when taxiing for take off. They are also seen smiling to passengers throughout the 50min flight to CTS. When serving drinks. the pursuers kept their smiles on. I noticed that the pursuers would always check cleanliness of the lavatory whenever passengers used the toilet. These friendly pursuers made me feel welcome and wanted to try their product on International Sectors. At no time I witness pursuers not smiling throughout the flight. During disembarking, these friendly pursuers were seen bowing to passengers and thanking them for flying with ANA.
One of the only two pursuers onboard this flight to CTS
As there are no IFEs, safety demonstrations are dome manually by the pursuers

Afterthought

My experience with ANA flying on their Bombadier DHC8-Q400 is a very pleasant one. The aircraft is very well maintained and the flight was very smooth. Despite in Economy Class, the legroom is superb. The service is top notch from check-in to onboard services. Despite having only 2 pursuers onboard, the service is by no means lacking. Pursuers are seen smiling all the time and helping passengers, displaying pride in their work despite being a domestic route. Such service is far better than some renowned international airlines and definitely better than the Business Class I flew into Hokkaido onboard Thai Airways. This short experience with ANA made me want to fly on their international routes.
ANA4862 flying over Hokkaido
Flying over Hokkaido
Approaching for landing in CTS
Touch down at CTS

[Airline Review] – Thai Lion Air (SL104) Economy Class, DMK-SIN (11 Dec 16)

Thai Lion Air 737-800 that flew me on DMK-SIN leg

On the Ground

Thai Lion Air files from Don Muang Airport in Bangkok. The check-in counter is located at row 8, towards the end of the terminal. All check-in baggages are subjected to be scanned through the x-ray machine before passengers are allowed into the check-in counters which are being cordoned off with metal barriers. At the point I was at the airport, there are a huge crowd, with most travelers from China leaving Bangkok, at most of the x-ray machines. I would advise passengers travelling out of Don Muang Airport to arrive at the airport well ahead of time in order not to be delayed by the long queue at the compulsory x-ray machines. Checking-in was a simple affair however the staff at the counter took awhile to check-in my baggages, despite having completed check-in on the internet. It took the staff around 15 mins to complete my check-in process before handing me the boarding pass and briefing me the gate and the time to arrive at the gate.

Thai Lion Air checks in at row 8
This counter checks-in passengers going to Singapore
Don Muang Airport
Don Muang Airport was the former International Airport in Bangkok before Suvarnabhumi Airport was in operation. Don Muang looks rather run down and old, with limited (and pricey) food options before immigration. There are a number of shops selling the standard duty free tobacco and liquiour as well as suveniors at the airside. There are also more food options at the airside.
Shopping at Airside
We are departing from gate 23

The Cabin

Thai Lion Air is operating on a hybrid business model, it is priced comparitively to budget airlines, however Thai Lion Air throws in 30kg baggage check-in, seat selection (when checking-in online), as well as simple snacks onboard into the price, making it a value for money airlines to fly with. I wasn’t expecting great service or product offering onboard initially, however my experience onboard Thai Lion Air greatly surprises me.
Thai Lion Air uses the 737-800 for the DMK-SIN route and boasts that all aircrafts they used are brand new. The single class narrow body aircraft comprises of 189 seats in total. The cabin is bright and the aircraft looks clean when I boarded it. The aircraft has excellent mood lighting that allows the cabin crew to switch to colours that suits the external environment, helping passengers to adjust to the time of the day.
Boarding Thai Lion Air
The single class cabin is brightly lighted and all the seats are decked out in leather
Aircraft safety card
Mood lighting
Mood lighting at night
Lavatory is a tad small onboard Thai Lion Air, stocking up with the basic amenities such as hand soap and tissue as well as toilet roll. I wouldn’t expect the standard amenities such as that found onboard legacy airlines. Despite that, the toilet is functional and serves its purpose.
Toilet bowl
Basin
Soap dispenser and tissue
Vanity mirror

Seats

Seats onboard Thai Lion Air are configured in 3-3. The seats are decked out in dark blue leather with a seat pitch of 31″ and measures 17″ wide. The leg room is very good and I did not feel cramped up even in a seat with normal leg room. The seats are very comfortable and has good recline. Other than a recline buton, there are no other buttons nor a power socket on the seat. Controls such as the light switch and the call attendant buttons are located on the ceiling of the aircraft. The tray table is pretty much standard size as one would find in any other airlines. Other than a seat pocket at the back of the the seat in front, there is nothing else. Thai Lion Air is based on budget airlines model, hence no In-Flight Entertainment units are found.
Leather seats
Legroom is surprising superb in “normal” Economy seats
Seat recline button
Tray table
Cabin ambience during boarding
Other controls are located above the seat
Seat pocket contents
Menu for passengers who want to order more food
Seat pocket
Back of the seat, not used to no IFE screen

Snack Service

Included in the price of the ticket is a snack service. As soon as the seat belt lights go off, crews readied themselves for snack service. Thai Lion Air distributes crackers and a small cup of mineral water to all passengers onboard efficiently. Passengers can also purchase additional meals from the cabin crew at a reasonable price should they feel hungry, pretty much like the budget airlines model.
Cabin crews distributing snacks shortly after the seat belts sign were turned off
Each passenger was given cheese crackers and a cup of mineral water (sorry for the blurry shot)

Service

The service onboard is excellent, despite the limited interaction with cabin crews. Crews stood by the entrance of the aircraft welcoming passengers onboard with a smile and did the same when passengers disembarked the aircraft. Cabin crew also went around twice (in the short 2-hour flight time) with big trash bags to collect any trash that passengers would like to dispose of. There are also smiles on the faces of the cabin crews throughout the flight.
Cabin Crew conducting safety brief
Boarding process

Afterthought

For this price point, Thai Lion Air is much more than your usual budget airlines. Included in the tickets are 30kg check-in luggage allowance on top of a 10kg carry on allowance, snacks (ok I gotta admit the snack provided isn’t that fantastic, but better than your usual budget airlines which provides nothing), as well as seat selection. With the price point similar to that of a budget airlines but with additional perks, I thought Thai Lion Air is really value for money. The seats are very comfortable with great recline angle and excellent leg room. Cabin crews seem to be warm and welcoming despite the limited contact time. I would highly recommend for one to try out when flying to DMK.

Looking out on the tarmac
Thai Lion Air was surprising good

 

[Airline Review] – Scoot (TZ298) Economy Class, SIN-DMK (9 Dec 16)

Boeing 787-900 that I took for the SIN-DMK leg

On the Ground

Scoot departs from Terminal 2 of the Singapore Changi Airport. Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 looks a little dull and dark. It seemed like the Terminal is in need for a make-over, unlike Terminals 1 and 3, which makes use of natural light to make the terminal building look brighter. Check-in counters that Scoot uses are located toward the end of the terminal. When I checked the Terminal flipboard, it was indicated that checking-in will be done at row 11 for this flight. However when I tried to check-in at the Internet check-in counter at row 11, a staff with an unhappy expression pointed to the row behind the counter. I walked around the counter and saw another Internet check-in queue at row 12. The queue for Internet check-in was comparatively shorter than that for passengers who did not perform Internet check-in. I always advise my friends to check-in on airlines website wherever possible as the “regular” queues tend to be longer.
Flipboards like this has been gradually replaced with LED TVs worldwide
The queue for passengers who did not check-in online is always long. I recommend to always perform online check-in
The queue for web check-in is relatively shorter, in fact alot shorter
Counters for passengers who have done web check-in at row 12
The staff at the check-in counter did the standard procedures for check-in, as I do not have any baggage to check-in, merely collect my boarding pass, the process was done rather swiftly. The staff did not forget to remind me of the departure gate and the time that I need to be at the gate. As with the other terminals, Terminal 2 is also a shopping haven at the airside. There are no lack of shops ranging from luxury brands to cafes to bookshops, one can easily find shopping around the airside a great way to spend time after immigration.
Shopping at airside in Terminal 2

The Cabin

Scoot boasts themselves to be the only airline that uses only 787 in their fleet. The aircraft that is plying being Singapore and Bangkok is the 787-900, which has a total of 375 seats, organised in three class, ScootBiz, Scoot-in-Silence and Economy Class. The Economy Class cabin is decked out with bright blue seats, with the bright LED lights and the large windows, the twin-aisle cabin looked very clean and refreshing. One feature of the window shades on the 787-900 is the electronically controlled dimming of the shades, which worked very well during my flight to DMK onboard Scoot. I noticed at takeoffs and landings, these shades seemed to be centrally disabled to ensure that passengers keep the window shades “up”.
Boarding Scoot 787-900
Aircraft safety card found in seat pocket
Control to dim the window, a feature onboard 787-900
Lights above the seat
Mood lighting while boarding
Cabin onboard Scoot Economy Class
Cabin ambience onboard Scoot Economy Class
Colourful lighting onboard Scoot 787-900 aircraft
The lavatory onboard the Economy Class is of a decent size and is comparable with most legacy airlines. The amenities are very basic and limited to only hand soap, tissue and toilet rolls. Scoot is operating on a budget mode, hence only the basics are provided in the lavatories.
Toilet bowl
Very basic amenities in the lavatory
Large mirrors used to add to a sense of spaciousness
Coat hangers found on the back of the door

The Seat

I booked in the Economy Class seats for this short 2 hour flight from Singapore to Don Muang (Bangkok). The seat pitch in the standard Economy Class seats on Scoot is 31″ and measures 18″ wide. The seats in Economy Class onboard Scoot is 3-3-3 configured. I find the legroom to be very good and I had ample legroom space (I can even cross my legs on my seat).
Bright cabin configured in 3-3-3 arrangement

The seats are very basic, with only a reclining button and three buttons (Call attendant, cancel call for attendant and light control buttons) on the armrest. As Scoot is operating on a budget mode, there are no In-Flight Entertainment Systems nor seat to seat phones. Headphone jacks are not present, neither are any socket outlets for passengers to charge their phones. Behind the seats, one can find the seat pocket with the Scoot Inflight Magazine, menu for ScootCafe, menu for inflight entertainment (to be purchased separately and streamed onto one’s mobile phone or tablet via the Scoot wifi onboard), as well as the safety card for the aircraft.

Excellent legroom onboard Scoot Economy Class
Very basic controls on the armrest. However the placement of these buttons are bad as I kept accidentally hitting the light button
Seat recline button on the side of the armrest
A very basic seat back with only tray table and pockets. Scoot uses streaming into passenger’s mobile phone or tablet to keep costs low
Seat pocket contents
Even the seat pocket is very basic

Service

Scoot being a budget carrier, one would naturally expect minimum service from the airlines. I would rate the service a mix. The inflight service exceeds my expectation. The service started with the pursuers greeting passengers boarding the aircraft with sincerity and warmth. The pursuers were seen wearing a smile when they were patrolling the cabin, be it for safety checks or to sell food and drinks. I purchased a bottle of mineral water from one of the pursuers and she returned promptly with a smile and the product that I purchased. When disembarking the plane, pursuers are seen thanking passengers during disembarkation. While the contact time with the pursuers are minimum, I can still see the friendly and cheerful image that the airlines has pride themselves with.

Due to the lack if IFE, safety demonstration is done “live” by flight attendants

However the ground services is horrendous, especially the call centre. I saw a Facebook post by Scoot on the delay in timing of my flight to Bangkok the day before my scheduled flight. However this notice was taken down minutes later on Scoot’s Facebook page as well as their website. Despite their website stated that all affected passengers will be notified by email and/or SMS, I did not receive any notification via the stated means by Scoot. When I completed check-in on Scoot’s website, the timing I got was the original departure timing. I called the call centre to verify if the flight has been delayed due to confusing communications. The service agent insisted to get my booking reference to check, despite questioning him the need since I have the flight number and the departure date. Afterall I am only confirming the timing of the departure. The staff kept insisting on obtaining the booking reference. Sensing that the conversation will go nowhere, I asked to speak to his supervisor or the manager. The staff replied that there are no supervisors nor managers on duty, any sane person would have rejected this claim by him. When questioned the truthfulness of his claim, the staff then reluctantly provided me with the timing of the flight without asking for my booking reference. I find the Scoot has failed in their promised (as stated in their Facebook page) that affected passengers will be notified (which they have not) and having someone manning the service hotline that treats customers as uninformed.

Afterthought

For a short 2-hour flight, I find Economy Class in Scoot to be comfortable. The leg room in the most basic seat is sufficient. For a longer haul flight, I would think twice about flying Scoot as the lack of IFE make flying a chore. The service onboard exceed my expectations, however not so for the ground staffs from the hotline agents to the staffs processing my check-in. Will I fly Scoot again? Probably not.

 

The flight was very smooth and comfortable

 

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines (SQ255) / (SQ236) – Economy Class, SIN-BNE, (30 Jun 16) / BNE-SIN (6 Jul 16)

SQ uses A330-300 for their SIN-BNE-SIN service

On The Ground

SIN-BNE

The flight from Singapore to Brisbane departs from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. SQ has several check-in counters in Terminal 3, including the self check-in and baggage drop off. For this trip, I used the self check-in kiosks located at row 3. The kiosk is easy to use and prints out my boarding pass swiftly. As I had bags to check-in, I proceeded to the check-in counter behind the kiosks to drop off my luggage. There are ground staffs stationed at the kiosks ready to render help to passengers should they face any problem. Having gotten my boarding pass, I realised the boarding gate was not printed on it. I had to constantly check the flight information screens, scattered around the air side of the terminal for my boarding gate.
Terminal 3 departure hall in Changi Airport 
Passengers who have done online check in are given option to print their boarding pass on one of these kiosks or have their boarding pass collected from the counter
SQ self service boarding pass printing kiosk
After printing the boarding pass, passengers with check-in luggage have to deposit their luggage in one of these counters behind the kiosks
Luggage drop queue for passengers who have opted for the self service boarding pass kiosks
SQ255 departs from Gate A5. Passing the security checks for this boarding gate, the waiting area for the flight comprises of several gates which was rather chaotic especially there are two SQ flights with similar flight number leaving for Australia at around the same timing. Ground staffs seem to compete with each other for attention of the passengers when processing for boarding. Boarding for Economy Class passengers is done in groups, which are separated by the rows on the aircraft. I thought this arrangement has hugely reduced the long queues for passengers waiting to board on Economy Class.
The departure lounge that SQ255 departs from comprises of five departure gates. This has made the area look chaotic 
There are two flights outbound to Australia at timing that are very close to each other. The ground staffs at both gates are competing with each other for attention of the passengers in the departure lounge
SQ255 departs from Gate A5
Aerobridge towards the aircraft
Boarding gates for Economy passengers
Queuing to board SQ255

BNE-SIN

Check-in for SQ flights are located at Row 7 on the departure level of Brisbane International Airport. There are three queues for passengers traveling on SQ in this airport for Business Class, Economy Class and passengers who has done online check-in. As I had done my check-in via SQ’s mobile app, I headed for the online check-in queue. There are hardly any passengers in this queue and my check-in was promptly completed.
Check-in for SQ flights are done in row 7 in the departure hall of Brisbane International Airport
Row 7 in the departure hall
There are three queues at row 7
Dedicated queue for passengers who has done their check-in online. This queue is a lot shorter than the other queues
SQ236 leaves from Gate 78, located at the other side of air side of the terminal after the immigration area. Gate 78 has a dedicated area for passengers to wait around for their flight. However there are limited sitting available at this gate, a number of passengers are seen standing around the boarding gate waiting for boarding. As with my outbound flight, boarding was also done by groups with passengers sitting at the rear most section being boarded first. There is a separate queue for Business Class passengers.
Air side in Brisbane International Airport
SQ236 leaves from Gate 78 through this walkway
Departure lounge at Gate 78
There are two queues for SQ here, one for Business Class and one for Economy Class passengers

The Cabin

SQ uses the A330-300 for both legs of the flight.There are a total of 255 Seats in Economy Class arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration divided into two sections. The cabin ambience feels comfortable with the use of grey and turquoise coloured seats in the front section of the cabin and two different shades of brown in the rear section of Economy Class sections.
Peeking into Business Class Cabin 
Front section of Economy Class. This section is decked in grey and turquoise seats
Front section in Economy Class
Rear section in Economy Class. Seats in this section is decked in two shades of brown
Pillows and blankets are already placed on the seats awaiting for passengers when I boarded the aircraft
There are several lavatories located across the Economy cabins in the aircraft. The lavatory is tad small, and are well stocked with amenities such as toothbrushes and combs. Other than the standard hand soap which is common across most of the airlines, the lavatory is also stocked with mouth wash, hand moisturising lotion and eau-de-toilette. The large mirrors in the lavatory gives one a sense of spaciousness. What I like about the toilet onboard SQ is that the trash bin cover is activated by a step pedal located at the bottom of the bin, which means passengers do not have to dirty their hands while trying to throw rubbish in it.
Large Hollywood style mirrors are found in the lavatory
Moisturising hand lotion and Eau de Toilette are found in the lavatory
Additional amenities in the lavatory
Toilet bowl in the lavatory
I like the step pedal for the trash bin, which means passengers do not have to soil their hands trying to dump rubbish into the bin
Sink area in the lavatory

The Seat

Legroom for the seats on this aircraft is rather generous measuring 32″ pitch and 19″ wide and reclines at 115 deg. The seats are comfortable and capable of providing me with a good rest for the red-eye flight. There are ample storage space in the seat pocket behind the seat in front of mine. There is a small compartment in the seat pocket, large enough to put a mobile phone and passport. The seat has a bi-fold tray table with a vanity mirror on the back side of it, great for passengers who want to look good before deplaning. The recline button is located on the right armrest along with the jacks for the earplugs for the in-flight entertainment system. A multi-pin power socket is also located on the armrest or underneath the seat, depending on which seat one is seated at.

The legroom is great onboard SQ Economy Class
There is a hook for hanging clothes and a cup holder next to the TV screen
Seat pocket
Aircraft safety card
Contents of the seat pocket
Additional outlets next to the TV screen
Earphone jack and multi-pin power socket located on the right armrest 
Bi-fold tray table
There is a mirror on the tray table
Tray table fully extended
Seat recline button
On some seats only earphone jacks are found on the right armrest
The multi-pin power socket is located underneath the seats

The seats are not without its flaws. For the SIN-BNE leg, I was seated on row 34. When I was doing my check-in on my mobile app, there was no indication if that seat was “unique”. Upon arriving at my seat, I was shock that the seat was without a window. The condition of the seats onboard both flights were rather dirty with spots and dusts everywhere. There are also stains on the bulk head of the seat where there was suppose to have a window. The seat I took on the BNE-SIN leg could not recline. A stewardess had to give it a hard push for it for recline.

In-Flight Entertainment

All seats in Economy Class has a 10.6″ personal TV, however they are not touch screens. The controller to the PTV is stowed onto the ledge underneath the TV screen. There are no lack of movies and shows in the IFE, which kept me well entertainment throughout the 8-hour flight to Brisbane. However when I was watching movies on the IFE, there are pauses on the IFE every 20 mins, which is quite irritating.
A 10.6″ TV screen for Economy Class is pretty generous
Front side of the IFE controller
Back side of the IFE controller
The IFE controller is stowed under the TV screen
Earphones were placed in the cup holder next to the TV screen

Meal Service

There are two meal services for each leg of the flight. For the SIN-BNE leg, pursuers jumped into action to serve refreshments to the passengers about 30 mins into the flight. Supper was served about 30 mins further into the flight for passengers to catch maximum rest for the over night flight to Brisbane. Chicken and fish are in the menu for passengers to choose from. I opted for the fish which is tasty and the fish was well seasoned. Breakfast, comprising of a bread and a muffin served with coffee or tea, was served about two hours before landing.
Menu was distributed as soon as the seat belt signs were turned off
Fish with rice for supper
Breakfast

For the BNE-SIN leg, peanut and drinks was served around 45 mins into the flight, followed by lunch about 30 mins later. For lunch, passengers are given a choice of chicken with rice or beef with mash potato. I opted for the beef, which is tender and well marinated. The mash potato is well seasoned as well. Perhaps due to my hunger, I found the portion a tad small. Pursuers distributed ice-cream to passengers 30 mins after distributing lunch. Fried rice with chicken was the only option for pre-arrival meal, which was served about two hours prior to arrival. The fried rice is delicious and the chicken was rather tender.

Food options for lunch
Food offering for pre-arrival meal
Peanuts and drinks were distributed
I had beef and mash potato for lunch
Chicken with rice is also available for lunch
Ice cream as desert
Fried Rice with chicken for pre-arrival meal

Service

SQ255

As soon as the seat belt light went off shortly after the aircraft got airborne, the pursuers sprung into action distributing hot towels to passengers in Economy cabin. Another staff came distributing amenity kits to all passengers. The amenity kits in Economy Class, though not as elaborate as that in Business Class, comprises of socks and toothbrush which is a nice touch to the service onboard. However the good service seem to stop there. During meal service, I requested a can of coke from the pursuer and was declined by the pursuer, stating that there might not be enough coke to go around for the 8-hour flight. The pursuer gave me half a cup of coke and promised to return to me if there are leftover cokes to go around. No alternatives, such as giving me another cup of coke or offering of alternative drinks were given. The same pursuer walked by a few times during the flight, but refused any eye contact nor did she got back to me about drinks. However, the same pursuer was seen serving a Caucasian passenger seated across me three cups of soft drinks (one can of coke pours roughly two cups). The same pursuer was also seen topping up the cups of the said Caucasian passenger’s cup. At no point (other than landing), did I see the Caucasian passenger’s cup was empty.

I raised my displeasure with the in-flight manager, but was met with a series of defensive excuses. The in-flight manager also resort to playing with words during my conversation with him. I also raised my displeasure for allocated a windowless seat (what’s the point of selecting a window seat without windows?) not once but three times to the in-flight manager, but was brushed aside by the manager. The manager did not even bother to address my displeasure with the windowless seat. I was deeply disappointed to have received discriminatory service and a in-flight manager who is defensive and brushed aside my concerns, which was not the SQ that many of us has came to know.

 

Pursuers distributing hot towels once airborne
A small amenity kit comprising of socks and toothbrush was distributed to all passengers during the flight

SQ236

As with the outbound flight, pursuers went around distributing hot towels and amenity kits for a day flight. The pursuers were much better in offering service and ensuring passengers feel welcome and are comfortable during the flight. My request for drinks were well met and was offered another round when the pursuers saw my cup being empty. One of the meal option consists beef, as my friend is unable to take beef due to religious reasons, I highlighted my friend’s meal preference and the reason to two pursuers on two occasions to two different pursuers. I was happy that my friend’s meal preference was taken note by both pursuers. However when meal service came, the same pursuers asked my friend if he wanted chicken or beef. I was shocked to have found out that my friend’s meal preference was not taken into account despite having raised to them twice. Luckily there are sufficient chicken meals to go around and my friend was able to have his meal. Other than this little hiccup, the service onboard is generally good with pursuers frequently seen patrolling the cabin and responded to passengers’ requests swiftly. Meal service was completed efficiently and passengers were given ample time to finish their meals. Trays were collected swiftly as well. Compared to SQ255, service onboard SQ236 were much better, befitting of the service that SQ has came to known.

 

Pursuers (this is not the pursuer whom took note of my friend’s preference of meal) distributing hot towel once the aircraft was airborne

Overall

Both legs of the flight were comfortable, despite the outbound flight seem aged. Legroom was superb in Economy Class and the lavatories are well stocked with amenities. The IFE great in keeping passengers entertained throughout the 8-hour flight time. Service was a mix, where I experienced discriminatory service and pursuers as well as in-flight manager whom couldn’t care less about providing equal service to their Asian passengers as compared to the Caucasian passengers. The service for the inbound flight was way better than that of the outbound flight, which is the warm and attentive service that SQ has came to know. My outbound flight experience of discrimination was not the first time that I had experienced onboard SQ. I also experienced similar discrimination during my flight to Bali onboard SQ some five months ago in Jan 16. These has enough to put me off flying onboard SQ. If not for my paid booking for a trip to Taipei later part of the year, I would NOT have chosen SQ again. My Nov flight with SQ will be my last time with SQ!

Flying over Brisbane River

 

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines (SQ948) / (SQ949) – Economy Class, SIN-DPS, (29 Jan 16) / DPS-SIN (1 Feb 16)

SQ uses A330-300 on their SIN-DPS route

On The Ground

SIN-DPS

SQ uses both terminal 2 and 3 in Singapore Changi Airport for its outbound flights to anywhere else in the world. SQ uses Terminal 2 for regional flights and Terminal for outbound flights to anywhere else in the world. The flight bound for Bali departs from Terminal 2. There are several dedicated rows for SQ in the terminal, mainly rows 1 – 4. Row 3 is dedicated to passengers whom has checked in online flying to anywhere in the region. As we had done our check in online, this row is where we drop our luggage. There are 2 sections to this section, one for drop off of luggage for passengers who prefers to print their own boarding pass and tag their luggage at the machines outside the queue in the row. The other section is for passengers who prefer to have a ground staff checking their luggage in. We opted for the assistance in checking in. As the queue were pretty short, we got checked in pretty swiftly be the ground staff.
Curbside at Changi Airport Terminal 2
Passengers checked in online will need to approach Row 3 to drop off their baggage
Self-service kiosk for printing of boarding pass before dropping off baggage at the counters behind
Pretty empty check-in counters for passengers whom checked in online

Changi Airport airside is like a shopping mall. There are no lack of shopping from luxury brands to the more affordable range brands. There are several gardens around the airport spread across 3 terminals as well as cinemas and rest areas. Most of the rest areas are facing the tarmac for passengers to rest and do some plane watch while waiting for their flights.

 

Shopping in Changi Airport
Duty free shopping
SQ departs from gate F54
Entrance to the waiting room

DPS-SIN

The new Denpasar International Airport was opened in 2013. The terminal building still looks new despite being about 3 years old. To gain access into the terminal building, security personnel matched the tickets of passengers with their passport. SQ uses half of Row C (C5 to C12) for their passengers flying out of DPS. 3 counters are dedicated to Business Class passengers and 2 counter are dedicated to passengers whom have done their check in online. As we were early for our flight, there is no one in the queue and we did not have to wait for our turn. The ground staff at the counter acknowledges our online check in and process our check in very quickly and briefed us on our boarding time and gate number.

 

Denpasar Airport new terminal
Curtsied of Denpasar Airport
Denpasar Airport
Denpasar Airport
Inside Denpasar Airport terminal
Flight information
Very empty check-in counter at row C
Internet check-in counter
Once cleared immigration, passengers are made to walk through duty free shop before arriving at a part of the airside where one can find duty free shopping. There are some luxury brand shops and mostly shops selling overpriced Balinese souvenirs. There are limited eateries around in the airside of the terminal.I particularly liked the queue system of Economy Class in DPS airport. Passengers are grouped by row numbers and there are lanes for passengers to queue up according to the group they are assigned to. This makes boarding very efficient and boarding queue seem shorter.
Passengers will have to go through this duty free shop before reaching airside of the terminal
Walking through the duty free shop
More shopping when one exits the duty free shop
Lounge for premium passengers
More shops. Compared to the old Denpasar airport, which is dark and poorly lighted, the new airport is bright and clean
More shopping at the airside
There is a Hard Rock Cafe near the boarding gates
I like the way SQ organise the queues in Denpasar Airport, making boarding feels faster
Economy Class passengers are organised in groups for more efficient boarding
The bird that is going to fly us home
Heading to the aircraft
Through the aerobridge
Pursuers waiting to welcome passengers onboard

The Cabin

SQ uses A330-300 for both legs of the flight plying between SIN and DPS. The aircraft is configured to take up 30 passengers in Business Class and 255 in Economy Class. The Economy class is further divided into 2 sections, each with its own colour theme. The forward section of Economy Class has a brighter theme, attributed to the use of turquoise colour in the seat with light brown. The aft section of Economy Class is decked in beige and dark orange seats.  The forward gives passengers a lighter and brighter feel, while the aft section gives passengers a more warm and cosy feel. Economy Class is configured with 2-4-2 seating arrangement.
Forward Economy Class cabin
Aft Economy Class cabin
Cabin ambience lighting
Seat belt sign and overhead reading light
Peeking into Business Class
Aircraft safety card
The lavatory in Economy Class is rather standard. As with most airlines, the lavatory in Economy Class tend to be a tad cramp. The lavatory onboard both SQ948 and SQ949 have the standard fixtures. I particularly like the step level which opens the trash bin cover by the sink. I thought this is a nice touch. The lavatory is well lighted with what the airline terms as “Hollywood-style” mirror. SQ provide more standard amenities in its Economy Class lavatory. Amenities such as handsoap, mouth wash, hand moisturiser and eau de toilette are available onboard SQ Economy Class lavatories. These amenities are more that what most airlines offer in their lavatories. On top of these amenities, sanitary pads, combs, toothbrushes are also available in the Economy Class lavatories. Most airlines these days do not provide toothbrushes onboard, I am glad SQ still provides these additional amenities.
Toilet Bowl
Hand cream and Eau de toilette
Mouthwash
Basin
Step pedal to open the trash bin cover
Well stocked toilet paper
Additional amenities which is not seen in most airlines these days
Lavatory compartment
“Hollywood-styled” mirrors
Hook on the door of lavatory

The Seat

The seat in Economy Class is comfortable,  with a generous seat pitch of 32″ and a width of 19″. There are a total of 255 seats in the Economy Class split into 2 sections. A small cup holder and a compartment is found behind each seat, providing more storage space for its passengers. The seat also has an AV jack, a USB port and an outlet for one to plug in their iPod to enjoy music from their personal lifestyle device. The seat pocket is rather generous, with 2 large pockets and 1 small pocket providing ample space for passengers to store their stuff. The legroom is great for Economy Class, and I have sufficient leg room for stretching. The seat also has a sliding bi-fold tray table which provided space for passengers sitting in the window to gain access to the aisle without disturbing passenger sitting at the aisle too much. There is also a vanity mirror on the tray table. The headphone jack is located on the armrest, above a power socket for passengers to charge their lifestyle gadget.

Comfortable Economy Class seats. Large size pillow and Givenchy fleece blankets are already placed on the seats
AV input and iPod as well as USB outlets are found on the right of the TV screen
Cup holder and a small hook as coat hanger found on the left side of the TV

 

Bi-fold tray table gives passengers a sense of space
Tray table fully extended
Vanity mirror on the back of the bi-fold table
Seat recline button found on the armrest of the seat
Headphone jack and power socket are found on the armrest of each seat
Excellent legroom in Economy Class
3 tier seat pockets with sufficient room to store items. I particularly like the small pocket which can be used to stored smaller items like passports, mobile phones
Seat pocket with inflight reading materials
Contents in the seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

Passengers are treated with a 10.6″ Personal TV screen in every seat in the Economy Class, however these TVs are not touchscreen which is not a problem as the AVOD controller is rather responsive. KrisWorld is SQ’s entertainment system, which has tons of options to keep passengers entertained, ranging from the latest release of movies to TV shows to games. There is also a row of LED reading lights under each personal TV screen, which can be tilted to expose the reading lights. The AVOD controller is stowed underneath the personal TV screen. One side of the controller controls the menu for KrisWorld allowing passengers to select their preferred entertainment. The call button and reading light switches are also located on this side of the controller. On the back side of the controller, one can find a keyboard, directional joystick as well as 4 buttons which is used for playing games on KrisWorld. SQ distributes earplugs which passengers are free to bring them back. The quality of the earplugs are rather bad, nonetheless it is good enough to be used onboard.

LED reading light under the PTV
10.6″ Personal TV, which is one of the largest in the industry
IFE controller is stowed under the PTV
Backside of the IFE controller
Earplugs

Meal

As with most other airlines that has a relatively short flight time, time is critical for the pursuers especially on a near full flight. The pursuers sprung into action as soon as the seat belt sign has been turned off. They went around preparing for food like clockwork, hoping to beat the time and get the food to all the passengers within the short flight time.

SIN-DPS

I guess the safest meat to serve in this region has got to be chicken and fish. The options for this flight we had was pan seared fish or curry chicken. I had the curry chicken. The chicken tasted tender and the spice in the curry wasn’t too overpowering. When eaten with the rice, the curry is very delicious. My only qualm is there is too little of the delicious curry for the bed of rice. My friend opted for the fish. I was told the fish tasted fresh and the seasoning on the fish is just perfect. Also on the menu was a salad for starter (nothing fantastic, the dressing was “normal”) and chocolate mousse for desert. I find the chocolate mousse to be a tad too sweet for my liking. The pursuer went around serving coffee and tea after all the passengers got their food. Pursuers also went around serving drinks.

Dinner is served
Curry chicken with brinjal
Fish with potato

DPS-SIN

The options for this leg of the flight is again restricted to chicken and fish. Both my friend and I opted for the chicken. The chicken was dressed in spicy rendang sauce served with rice over a bed of long beans, carrots and cauliflower. The rendang chicken is a little dry, but the level of the spicy is just nice, perfect for passengers who are not used to taking spicy food. Both starters and desert are the same as the previous flight.

I was given 2 buns and 2 desert by the friendly pursuers
Chicken Rendang for dinner

Service

SIN-DPS

The service onboard this flight feels very standard of SQ. The standard warm towels are being passed to passengers shortly after take off. Somehow the pursuer working at our aisle felt a little fake in her service. Her smile is rather plastic and she some how gave me the impression that she is not sincere in her service. I requested playing cards and a can of coke from her during the flight, but these requests were not being taken note. At first I thought she might be having a bad day, however I did witness her warmth when dealing with a Caucasian passenger. Not once, but 3 times I saw her going up to the Caucasian passenger initiating conversation and checked if he was comfortable during the flight and if he needed anything like a drink during the flight. I was taken aback by such discriminating service by her. Having said that, the pursuers serving the other aisle seem friendlier and warmer. I saw they going around asking passengers if they needed anything with a very warm and sincere smile.

The pursuer on the right was serving our aisle
These pursuers on the other aisle seem friendlier in their service
Going around doing their job

DPS-SIN

The service onboard this leg is much much better than my outbound flight. From the moment we stepped onboard the flight, the pursuers asked if we needed help with our carry ons, to the dinner service, when the pursuers asked if the food was alright and if we needed to top up our drinks. The pursuers tried their very best to accommodate to our request. We requested to change seat prior to taking off and were assisted by the pursuers in securing our new seats. The pursuers have warm personality and occasionally popping by to ask if we needed more drinks. They were seen joking with my friends and other passengers during their free time. We were also given extra deserts by the pursuers as my friend complemented that they liked the desert. The pursuers felt sincere in their service onboard SQ949.

Overall

SQ provided very comfortable flight on their seats even in Economy Class. The cabin decor felt warm and cosy and the amenities found in the lavatories are a notch above their competitors. The pillow found on the seat is large for Economy Class and the fleece blanket gives Economy Class passengers a feeling of premium. Passengers will be spoilt for choices in the entertainment system, especially on a large screen (larger than most other airlines of the same class). The food is great onboard and very delicious. However the service was mixed, giving me a feeling that luck plays a huge part in determining if we got good service, depending on who served our aisle.
Sunset onboard SQ

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG409) BKK-SIN – Business Class (9 Jan 16)

Boeing 777-300 used for this BKK-SIN route

On The Ground

Check-in

Thai Airways has a dedicated check-in area for their premium passengers. Passengers flying in First Class or Business Class checks in at row A. Unlike a proper check-in lounge that some airlines operates at their country of origin, the premium check-in area is essentially a whole row of check-in counters with chairs for premium passengers to sit while the ground staff process their check-in. First Class passengers have a separate check-in area in this row. Checking-in is swift as I already done on-line check-in through the Thai Airways mobile app. What I like about the check-in at Suvarnabhumi Airport is the Fast Track immigration, which is located at the end of the check-in row. At the time of my checking-in, there were no queues and we made it through the immigration in under 5 mins. After the immigration area, access to the lounge is just down the escalator located behind the immigration counter.
Dedicated check-in row for Thai Airways premium passengers, located at row A through door 1 in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Signage for row 1 at the entrance of the airport terminal
Signage for row 1 inside the airport terminal
Row A for Thai Airways Premium passengers
Row A check-in area
There are seats for premium passengers at row A
There are hardly any queue at Row A
Relatively empty row
Row A counters
This way leads to fast track immigration clearance, where there are hardly any queue. Premium passengers are treated to swift custom clearance

Lounge

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the home to Thai Airways and there are a few lounges that passengers can gain access to. Passengers can visit any of the lounges and choose the lounge that is closest to their departure gate. The lounge that is linked to the immigration area at the premium check-in counter is the largest lounge at concourse D. Royal Silk Lounge at Concourse D is spread across a total floor area of 1400 sq , decked in earthy tones, the lounge has ample rest space for their premium passengers. The food offering at the lounge is limited to finger food and the standard beverages. Despite the large size, due to the decor of the lounge, it felt rather cosy. We did not stay at this lounge long as we headed for the Royal Orchard Spa for our massages, which is located right across the lounge at Concourse D.
Direct access to Royal Silk Lounge after fast track immigration clearance
Food area in Royal Silk Lounge
Hot beverages
Cosy Royal Silk Lounge
Buffet area serving finger food in Royal Silk Lounge
This lounge is the biggest of 4 lounges spread across air side in Suvarnabhumi. There are ample arm chairs in this lounge for passengers
Towards the entrance of the lounge

Business Class passengers are treated to a 30 mins foot massage or a head and shoulder massage at the Royal Orchard Spa. The spa lounge is decorated with mainly a wooden theme that gives its visitors a sense of zen when entering. Upon entering, the friendly ground staff asks for our boarding pass and arranged masseuses promptly, whom will take us to the treatment area and began the massages session. I opted for the foot massage, which the skillful masseuse did her magic on my weary legs. The skills of the masseuse is comparable or even better than some of the massage palours one can find in Bangkok. The massage totally took away the tiredness on my legs and my legs felt refresh after the 30 massage session. As we did not have time to shop around, we headed back to the lounge we had entered from immigration (it is the nearest to our gate) and enjoyed some finger food.

 

Entrance to Royal Orchid Spa
Spa Treatment for First Class passengers, who are treated to a 1-hour spa
Decor in the Royal Orchid Spa
Passengers can rest here while waiting for their flight after the massages
Massage treatment area
A very skillful and professional masseuse working her magic on my tired legs
Finger food for passengers back at the lounge in Concourse D
Finger food in Royal Silk Lounge
Cosy rest area in Royal Silk Lounge

The waiting area was rather crowded, signalling a full flight on this BKK-SIN leg. At the gate, Thai Airways ground staffs checked our boarding pass and invited us to wait at the waiting area. As with most airlines practice, Thai Airways boarded their premium passengers as well as passengers who needed assistance.

The bird that will fly us from BKK to SIN
Heading towards the waiting area for our flight
TG409 departs from Gate D7, which is quite a distance from the entrance of the lounge at Concourse D
Looks like a full flight today. Passengers are already waiting at the waiting area for our flight back to SIN
Aerobridge to the aircraft
View of the aircraft from the aerobridge
The Cabin

Entering the Business Class cabin, we were welcomed by the familiar Thai Airways purple coloured cabin. Thai Airways uses the Boeing 777-300 aircraft for this leg of the flight. The aircraft is fitted with 34 seats in Business Class and 330 seats in Economy Class.

Pursuers standing by to welcome passengers onboard
Royal Silk Class
Contents in the seat pocket and noise cancelling headphones which were placed on the seats when we boarded
Aircraft safety card

As with most of the Thai Airways aircraft, the 2 lavatories are located in front of the Business Class cabins, just before the cockpit door. The lavatories are a tad small for Business Class cabin, but fitted with the necessary hardware such as the toilet bowl and the sink. I particularly like the tap which is operated by sensor. There are also amenities such as handkerchief, tissue, eau-de-toiletry, hand moisturiser and hand wash in the lavatory. However unlike some airlines, there is no presence of mouth wash onboard the Thai Airways Business Class lavatory.

 

Sensor tap sink in the lavatory
Mirror in the lavatory
Toilet paper
Handkerchief
Small paper cup
Hand moisturiser and eau-de-toiletry in Business Class cabin

The Seat

Thai Airways uses the shell designed seats on its 777-300, arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats in Business Class has a pitch of 70″ and measures 20″ wide. They are capable of reclining to almost flat, angled at 163 degrees. The legroom on its Business Class seats are superb, with sufficient space for the passenger seating away from the aisle to gain access to the aisle. Amenities such as pillows and blankets as well as the noise cancelling headphones are already made available on the seats when I boarded the aircraft. All Business Class seats comes with a massaging function for the lower back, deployable via the seat control panel on the armrest of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the armrest between 2 seats and a power socket is located across the headphone jack. In addition to the overhead reading light, there is also another reading light located on the top left corner (depending on which seat one takes) of the seat.
Business Class seats
Seat control on the armrest of the seat
Headphone jacks under the arm rest of the seat
Power socket with international plugs
Overhead compartment and bulkhead reading lights
Another reading light on the top of the seat
Business Class passengers gets 3 windows
Ample legroom in Business Class
Coat hanger on the backside of the seat in front of us
Seat pocket and cup holder
Extra compartment for storage of small items between the seats
Business Class seats in lounging mode
Business Class mode fully reclined

In-Flight Entertainment

Thai Airways has fantastic AVOD system onboard, with wide variety of choices from movies to radio stations to music to games. The aircraft is fitted with 15″ LCD TV on the back of the seat in front of us. The AVOD is well organised in menus for ease in selection of entertainment. I particularly like the new movie menu, which immediately channeled me to the movies that I wanted to watch, especially useful for this short 2-hour flight from BKK to SIN. The controller for the AVOD is hidden under the cover of the armrest of the seat. The AVOD controller is an older model with easy to use and functional buttons. However it is not as responsive as I would like it to be. The AVOD felt lag, perhaps due to the age of the controller system.

15″ LCD TV in Business Class
AVOD control stowed under the armrest of each seat
The AVOD controller is in a rather bad shape

Meal Service

As with most Business Class services, the pursuers approached us with welcome drinks and wet towels as soon as we were settled into our seats. We enquired about the “Violet Bliss” and was gladly given by the pursuers. We were told this drink is the Thai Airways signature drink and limited quality were brought onboard on every flight. The pursuers came around with menus to be returned a little later to take our orders for meal. At the same time, pursuers came around distributing quilts for passengers in Business Class. As soon as the seat belt signs were switched off, the pursuers sprung into action doing their rounds serving warm almond nuts and doing another drink round. We opted for the “Violet Bliss” once again. About 45 mins into the flight, dinner was served. As this is a short flight, all courses of the meal was served at one go. I opted for the sea bass meal, which was delicious. The perfectly seasoned sea bass was thick and tasted fresh. The starter, salmon with duck, was served together with the meal course. I did not like the salmon as it tasted a tad salty for my liking. Neither did I like the Mango Passion Fruit dessert as it tasted a tad too sour for my liking. After serving all the passengers meal, the pursuers came around serving coffee and tea. I opted for a cup of cappuccino, which the pursuers gladly served to me.
Meal and Drinks Menus were distributed once we settled into our seats
The drinks selection was rather limited compared with other airlines
Food menu
“Violet Bliss”, a must try onboard Thai Airways
Warm nuts and another round of “Violet Breeze” with Pierre carbonated water was served as soon as the seat belt sign was turned off
Starters, Main Course and Dessert was served all at one go due to the short flight time. I opted for the sea bass.

Service

The good service from Thai Airways was felt at the moment of checking-in at the airport. The friendly and warmth ground staff struck conversation voluntarily and checked how was my stay in Bangkok. She patiently and efficiently processed my check-in and tagged my luggage professionally.

I can’t say enough how I loved the service rendered by the professional staff at the Royal Orchid Spa. The staff was very professional and skillful and the massage rendered was as good if not better than those one can find in some of the massage palours in downtown Bangkok.

The service I received onboard TG409 was impeccable. The pursuers felt warmth and sincere and did not make me feel they are going through motion. The pursuers took note of my preference for “Violet Bliss” and even suggested how the drink can be best consumed. She suggested adding Pierre water to bring out the taste of the drink better. And she was right. A fresh glass of “Violet Bliss” always appear on my table whenever the pursuers saw my glass empty, without me having to ask. The pursuers truly portray the friendliness and warmth of the Thais that many came to know. They went around serving passengers with a smile and their attention to details is superb. Despite being busy for this short 2-hour flight, the pursuers did not show signs of frustration and rush. They went around doing their best to satisfy all passengers in the Business Class Cabin.

Friendly pursuers going around service warm nuts and drinks after the seat belt sign was turned off
Pursuers going around serving meals to hungry passengers
Pursuers going around serving drinks after meal was served
Attentive pursuer in action in the Business Class cabin

Overall

My experience with Thai Airways is more positive. Despite the ageing hardware on the 777-300 aircraft, as seen in the degrading AVOD controller, however the service I received more than make up for it. Despite being ageing, the seats are still comfortable, but the cabin can be a little stuffy as the air conditioning does not seem to be functioning well. Thai Airways has wonderful service, which made me felt welcome from check-in to onboard services. The ground staff as well as the pursuers onboard felt warm and sincere. They even took note of small details that makes flying with Thai Airways a pleasant experience.

 

Shot from my seat
View of the evening sky
Somewhere up in the sky between BKK and SIN

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG659) ICN-BKK – Business Class (7 Jan 16)

The bird that will bring us to BKK from ICN

On The Ground

Check-in

Thai Airways check-in area is located at row J, to the left side of the terminal on level 3. As with most other airlines, Business Class passengers has a dedicated check-in counter (J21 and J22). Check-in was swift, thanks to the mobile check-in on the Thai Airways app. However after checking in our luggages, the staff at the check-in desk requested us to wait by the side for around 5 mins for our luggage to be x-rayed before proceeding to the airside as we were informed that there was some problems with the x-ray machine. There was however no one to inform us if our luggages has cleared the x-ray machines and we were free to proceed to the immigration area.
Thai Airways uses Row J for Check-in
Counters J21 and J22 for Royal Silk Class Passengers
Quite a queue for Economy Class Check-in
Looks like a full flight in Economy Class

Lounge

Thai Airways uses Asiana Airlines Lounge for its premium passengers. There is one located at the satellite terminal of Incheon Airport. A friendly staff (from Asiana Airlines) greeted passengers when collecting their boarding pass for verification. After the verification, the staff directed us to the Business Class section of the lounge, whose entrance is located to the right of the lounge. Past the entrance, the earth-toned lounge opens up to the lounge area, furnished with arm chairs and small coffee tables, the lounge is rather conducive for one to relax in while waiting for one’s flight. There is also a small dinning area, with dinner tables for 2 located next to the buffet area. The buffet area is tucked in one corner on a kitchen island, with mainly sandwiches, bread and salads on offering. The beverage area is located behind the buffet island with both hot and cold options. There are rest areas, with massage chairs, and shower/toilet area tucked in one corner of the lounge. The staffs at the lounge are very friendly and welcoming. They are also attentive and cleared empty plates fairly quickly.
Asiana Lounge in the Satellite Terminal
Entrance to Asiana Lounge
Business Class Section of the lounge
Earthy tone that felt comfortable and relaxed
Passenger Rest area of the lounge
Salad and pasta at the buffet island
Bread on offer
Beverage section
Snooze area
Inside each pod is a massage chair
Shower facilities in the lounge
View of the terminal from outside the lounge

There are no lack of shopping at the airside in the main terminal. Luxury brands such as LV, Bottega Veneta are found in the main terminal. There is also an area for passengers to experience Korean Culture through arts and craft. However at the satellite terminal, shopping options are rather minimal. Incheon Airport has open waiting area concept and the gates are not separated by rooms or partitions.

Airside at the main terminal
Signage at the main terminal
Shopping at the main terminal
Main terminal
Korean Cultural Experience Centre in the Satellite Terminal
Open waiting area in Incheon International Airport
Business Class passengers have a separate queue when boarding
At the aerobridge
Familiar Thai Airways livery
Business Class boarding gate

The Cabin

TG operates 777-300 for this ICN-BKK leg. Entering the iconic Thai airways purple themed cabin, 34 seats Business Class cabin with 2-3-2 configuration, expect for one row which has 2 seats in the centre, welcomes the passengers onboard.
Thai Airways Business Class Cabin
Boeing 777-300 serving ICN-BKK

There are 2 lavatories in Business Class and both were located just before the entrance to the cockpit. The lavatories were a tad cramp. Amenities available in the premium class lavatories include hand soap, moisturiser and eau-de-toilet. Other than using tissue papers, handkerchiefs were available in the lavatory. I particularly like the sensor tap in the lavatory.

Amenities inside the lavatory
Sensor tap
Both handkerchiefs and tissues are available
Toilet Paper

The Seat

As with most TG flights, Thai Airways uses shell seats in its Business Class cabin. Each seat has a pitch of 70″ and width of 20″. The seats can be reclined to an angle of 170 degrees, which provided an almost flat bed for passengers whom would like to snooze during the flight. Leg room is superb in this cabin. The seats comes with a massage function in the form of vibration. Seat controls are located on the left side of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the right armrest, together with a power socket. There are no USB plugs on the seats. An additional reading light is located on the top of the seat, other than the ones on the ceiling of the cabin. There are a couple of cup holders and some slots for reading materials behind the seat in front of us. Amenity kits and pillows as well as blankets are already distributed on the seats waiting for passengers at the time of our boarding.

Business Class seat
Amenities Kit using Samsonite bags uses by Thai Airways
Seat controls
Additional Reading Lamp
Leg room is superb onboard
Some reading materials in the seat pocket
Seat in fully reclined mode
Seat in lounging mode

Entertainment

TG has fantastic AVOD onboard, featuring a 15″ touch screen TV. However I thought the touch screen function isn’t that responsive. There are no lack of options to keep passengers entertained throughout the flight. I particularly like the way the movies are being organised with the latest release and Thai Movies some of the options. Passengers can also list to music onboard with a wide range of genre, one is bound to find a genre of music that one prefers. The controller for the AVOD is located under the armrest, however the controller is of an older model. Noise cancelling headphones were made available for Business Class passengers

Large 15″ touch screen TV in Business Class
Noise cancelling headphones
AVOD control
Back side of the AVOD control

Meal Service

Once settled into my seat, a friendly pursuer me by and distribute welcome drinks as well as warm towel. Drinks options include the signature Thai Airways “Violet Bliss” (I highly recommend this drink, it goes very well with Pierre Carbonated Water), Champagne, Orange and Apple Juices. As soon as the seat belt sign went off, the pursuers were seen springing into action and served nuts and more drinks. Another pursuer came around distributing menus and returned moments later to take our orders.

Welcome drinks were served the moment passengers board the aircraft
Meal menu
Drinks menu

Due to the long flight time, meals were served course by course. First meal was served about 1 hour into the flight. Pursuers came around setting the table with white table cloths. Moments later, they came back and served the appetiser. We had fried shrimp roll for appetiser. The prawn was still crispy, and tasted very well especially when eaten with the Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce that served with the appetiser.

First course – Fried Shrimp Roll

After seeing that we have emptied our plates, the pursuers came by with the second course – Salmon with Black Sesame Seed. The smoked salmon tasted fresh and goes very well with the salad that came with the dish.

Appetiser – Salmon with Black Sesame Seed

Soon plates were cleared and we were served the main course. I opted for the marinated pomfret with steam rice. The pomfret tasted a little sticky, however it tasted good with the sauce that comes with it. My friend opted for the curry chicken. The dessert served was 3 grapes a slice of pear, which looked rather pathetic on the plate.

I had the pomfret with spicy sauce
Curry Chicken Pa-naeng which my friend had
Dessert – Fresh fruits

Around 1 hour before landing, the pursuers came around distributed chicken wrap. I particularly like the chicken wrap, which has a tingle of spiciness, but too over powering. Drinks were available throughout the flight.

Second meal – Chicken Wrap

Service

The pursuers were extremely friendly and caring on this flight. They truly embraced the warmth and friendliness that Thais are famously known for. They took note of our preferences and came around asking if we need more of the beverage we had been having. They were very observant and plates were cleared shortly after we finished our food. Pursuers were seen patrolling the cabin whenever the seat belt signs were off. One particular pursuer strike conversation with me and was very knowledgeable. She was seen coming to our side of the cabin and constantly asked if we need our drinks topped up.

Pursuer going around serving pre-flight drinks
Caring pursuer listening attentively to the needs of passenger

Overall

Despite the cabin being a little aged, the angled flat seat still was able to provide good rest. The leg room was superb and the seat felt very comfortable. The pursuers were attentive and made me feel like a VIP when flying with them. Food kept on coming and if we were hungry, the pursuers gladly fixed something for us. Overall, I enjoyed this ICN-BKK flight on Thai Airways.

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways (TG408) SIN-BKK/ (TG656) BKK-ICN – Business Class (31 Dec 15)

TG408 SIN-BKK

On The Ground

Singapore

Dnata Premium Check-in

Thai Airways uses the Dnata Premium check-in lounge in Changi International Airport for its premium passengers. The lounge is located behind Check-in Row 3 and 4 in Terminal 1 of the airport, where the Thai Airways Economy class is located. The lounge is decked out in earth tones with arm chairs for passengers waiting to be checked-in should there be a crowd. There are also beverages available for waiting passengers. Data Premium check-in lounge is also utilised by several other airlines checking in their premium passengers such as Qantas. As I was walking into the lounge, a friendly ground staff welcomed me and escorted me to the check-in counter for Thai Airways. It is apparent that only 1 counter is being used for the Airlines. The check-in lounge is empty at the time, I was prompted welcomed by the check-in staff and check-in was speedy. There is a corridor that leads into the immigration area at the lounge. Soon I found myself clearing the customs and in the airside of the airport.
Entrance to Dnata Premium Check-in Lounge
Passengers get sit-in check-in
Waiting area with beverages and reading materials available should there be a need to wait
Direct access to immigration control
Direct access to immigration control
This door way leads to the immigration

Lounge

Thai Airways has a dedicated lounge located in Terminal 1, on level 3 of the transit area. A friendly ground staff welcomed passengers utilising the lounge. The lounge is rather small, but good enough for passengers waiting for their flight. A large portion of the property is being dedicated to passengers for their resting. There are some finger food (mainly Thai cuisine) available between the entrance of the lounge and the passenger waiting area. Beverages are also made available behind the food counters. Magazines and newspapers are also available nearby the food section. There is another section where can access internet from. There are no shower facilities nor toilet at this lounge. The nearest toilet is outside the loge. There are also powerpoints at each seat for passengers to charge their electronic gadgets. Despite the size, the Thai Airways lounge is rather comfortable to rest in while waiting for the flight. From the looks of it, the lounge seem to be rather under utilised as there wasn’t many users of the lounge. The food offering is rather limited.
Entrance to the Thai Airways Lounge
Passenger Rest area. The lounge is decked in the Thai Airways purple theme
Passenger rest area
Passenger rest area
Reading materials for passengers to pass time
Cold Beverages
Beverage counter
Finger food available
Finger food
Fried rice and Tom Yum Soup are also available
Internet access area

Changi Airport Transit Area

Changi Airport Transit Area is like a shopping malls, with loads of duty free shopping from cosmetics to luxury brands such as Hermes, Burberry to name a few. There are no lack of shops to keep transiting passengers occupy while waiting for their flights. There are other facilities that are made available such as roof top gardens, rest areas and even a theatre. For this trip, I spend most of my time in the lounge, hence leaving little time for me to shop around.
Shopping in Changi Airport Terminal 1
Thai Airways used gate D32 for their SIN-BKK leg. At the time of my checking-in, most of the passengers were already waiting for boarding. I like the Changi Airport waiting area as it allows passengers to look into the tarmac at the bird that they will be boarding momentarily. This flight seem full as passengers almost fill the waiting area. As with most airlines practices, Thai Airways boarded their Premium passengers and passengers whom require assistance first before the rest of the passengers were boarded.
Gate D32
Looks like a full flight to BKK
TG408 getting ready for its flight to BKK

Bangkok

Lounge

There are several lounges spreading across Suvarnabhumi Airport for Thai Airways. There are separate lounges for passengers flying their business class and first class passengers. There are 4 lounges spreading across the airport for Thai Airways Royal Silk passengers. 3 of the 4 lounges offer shower facilities. The largest of the lounge is located at Concourse D. The lounges offers similar finger food as the one in Changi Airport, mainly sandwiches and dim sums. Beverages are also being offered in the lounges. All the lounges offer the same food. Passengers awaiting for their flights can visit any of the 4 lounges or even hop around the lounges. No announcements will be made for any flight leaving, hence passengers are urged to watch their boarding time closely. The lounge is rather cosy, decked out in the familiar Thai Airways purple as seen in the lounge in Singapore Airport. A huge proportion of the lounge area is set aside for passengers to rest. I had the chance to use the shower facilities in the lounge while waiting for my next flight. The shower room is as good as those found in a hotel room. The shower room is large with a toilet bowl and a wet area. Thai Airways uses Thann shower amenities in their shower room. A towel is provided by the friendly lounge staff as they prepare the shower for passengers.

Location of the lounges in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Entrance to the lounge
Entrance to the lounge
Finger food in the lounge
Beverage counter
More food
The lounge is decorated in the Thai Airways purple
Me in the lounge
Rest area of the lounge
Grabbed myself a coke while in the lounge 
Shower room
Wet and dry area of the shower room
Thann Bath amenities
Food and beverage area of the lounge
Food selection
I like to decor of the lounge, gives one a cosy feel

Passengers flying with Royal Silk Class are treated to 30 mins of either foot massage or shoulder and neck massage. The massage service can be found at the Royal Orchid Spa. As one walks into the spa, friendly ground staff welcomed passengers and enquire which treatment will one be taking. After which, masseuses are already standing by escorting passengers to the massage area. The ambience in the Royal Orchid Spa screams of zen and tranquility. The entire area feels more like a proper spa then an airport lounge. I opted for the foot massage and the professional masseuse is very skillful in her trade. The massage took away the aches and pains I had on my legs.

 

Entrance to the Royal Orchid Spa
Entrance to the Royal Orchid Spa
Christmas decorations in the Royal Orchid Spa
Masseuses leading the way to the treatment area
Very professional massage service

As Suvarnabhumi is a large airport and the facilities as well as the gates are spread out, one is advised to cater more time for transit or even to get to their gates. As arrival and departure are located on different levels of the airside, one is advised to cater time to get to the departure hall (passengers will be subjected to x-raying their belongings and removal of boots before access is granted to the departure level, where the lounges are located).

Bus taking us to our flight

The Cabin

TG408

TG operates Boeing 777-300 for their SIN-BKK leg. The aircraft is decked with the signature Thai Airways purple in the cabin. The 34 shell seats Business Class cabin has a 2-3-2 configuration, with the first row in an odd configuration of 2-2-2 seating. Each window seat has a generous 2 window panels. In the Economy Class cabin, this flight has 330 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Walking down the aerobridge
Friendly pursuer greeting passengers 
Business Class Cabin
Each window seat has 2 window panels
Business Class Cabin

Both lavatories for Business Class is located at the front of the aircraft, just behind the door to the cockpit. The lavatories are a tad cramp for a Business Class cabin. Compared with other airlines, the amenities in TG lavatories are slightly limited, with only hand wash, moisturiser and perfume. There are tissue and handkerchiefs available in the lavatories as well. No toothbrush or mouthwash is available, perhaps due to the short flight time for this sector. One thing I like about the TG lavatories is the sensor tap.

Sensor tap and sink area of the lavatory
Toilet bowl
Other amenities found in the lavatory

TG656

TG operates A330-300 for this BKK-ICN leg. As with the previous flight, the aircraft is decked with the Thai Airways purple in the cabin. There are a total of 36 seats Business Class cabin with 2-2-2 configuration. In the Economy Class cabin, this flight has 263 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.

TG 2-2-2 configuration in Business Class Cabin
Amenities such as amenity kit, slippers and headphones are already placed on the seat
Slippers are also provided on this leg, other than in-flight socks found in the amenity kit
Thann amenity kit for all J-Class passengers
Dinner and wine menu is being distributed when passengers got settled into their seat

Both lavatories for Business Class is also located at the front of the aircraft, just behind the door to the cockpit. The lavatories onboard feels more premium than the previous leg with the wood trimmings.  Compared with other airlines, the amenities in TG lavatories are slightly limited, with only hand wash, moisturiser and perfume same as the previous leg. There are tissue and handkerchiefs available in the lavatories as well. No toothbrush or mouthwash is available, however these are already distributed in the amenity kit. The taps onboard this aircraft is also sensor operated.

Toilet bowl
Sensor tap and sink area
Perfume and moisturiser
The wood trimming makes the lavatory feels more premium

The Seat

TG408

TG uses shell seats in this flight, with a pitch of 70″ and 20″ wide. The seats are capable of reclining to 170 degrees, which provided an almost flat bed for passengers whom would like to snooze during the flight. Leg room is superb in this cabin. The seats feature a massage function, which essentially is adding some form of vibration to the seat, hardly any massage at all. The seat controls are located on the left side of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the right armrest, together with a power socket. There are no USB plugs on the seats. An additional reading light is located on the top of the seat, other than the ones on the ceiling of the cabin. There are a couple of cup holders and some slots for reading materials behind the seat in front of us.

Business Class seats 
Ample leg room
Seat controls
Headphone jacks
Powerpoint in the seat
Reading lights and divider
In flight reading materials
Aircraft Safety card
Dinner and wine menu was distributed when we got settled down onto our seats
Storage on the back of the seats in front of us
Fully reclined seat configuration

TG656

TG uses shell seats in this flight, with a pitch of 70″ and 20″ wide. The seats are capable of reclining to 170 degrees. This is important for flying on an overnight flight, which provided me with a good rest. As with the SIN-BKK leg of the flight, leg room is superb in this cabin and I can stretch my leg all the way. These seats also has a massage function. The seat controls are located on the left side of the seat. The headphone jack is located under the right armrest together with 2 USB jacks. There is also a power socket under the arm rest of the seat. An additional reading light is located on the top of the seat, other than the ones on the ceiling of the cabin. There are a couple of cup holders and some slots for reading materials behind the seat in front of us.

 

Seat at lounging mode
Seat fully reclined for sleep mode
There are a couple of USB jacks located beside the Headphone jack
Powerpoint socket under the armrest
Seat function control
Aircraft information card
Contents of seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

TG408

The AVOD onboard features a 15″ touch screen TV with no lack of movies for passengers to watch onboard and the movie selection is quite large. There are also latest Hollywood blockbusters available. The controller for the AVOD is located under the armrest on the left of the seat. Noise cancelling handphones are already distributed on the seats when I boarded the aircraft.
Large 15″ TV
AVOD control is located under the armrest
AVOD controller

TG656

As with the previous leg, the AVOD onboard features a 15″ touch screen TV and a huge selection of entertainment options from movies to TV shows to games to music. The controller for the AVOD is located under the armrest on the left of the seat. Noise cancelling headphones are already distributed on the seats when I board the aircraft.

 

15″ AVOD TV screen
A newer model of IFE controller
Back side of the IFE controller

Meal Service

TG408

As with many premium class, pursuers came around serving welcome drinks upon passengers got settled into their seats. A warm towel is also being distributed upon settling into my seat. This is also when the pursuers distribute menus and came around later to take orders for the meal.

Welcome drink. The purple drink is TG’s signature “Violet Breeze”, a must try non alcoholic beverage
Menu
Wine list

Moments after the seat belt sign is off, the pursuers sprung into action, with one going around distributing pre-meal nuts and drinks. The rest of the crew prepares the meal. I opted for the prawn meal, which is flavourful and not too spicy. As this is a short flight, there are no separate servings for appetisers and main course. With all meal all served at once, this feels more economy (except that it is presented in nicer china) than premium class.

Nuts and drinks are served as soon as the seat belt sign is off
I opted for the tasty prawn
My friend opted for the chicken

TG656

Same as the previous leg,  pursuers came around serving welcome drinks upon passengers got settled into their seats. A warm towel is also being distributed upon settling into my seat. This is also when the pursuers distribute menus and came around later to take orders for the meal.

Moments after the seat belt sign is off, the pursuers sprung into action, serving meals for passengers. This time round, due to a longer flight time, there are time for the crew to split the meal service into appetiser, main course and dessert. I opted for the braised chicken, which is a delight. After the trays are being cleared, the crew came around checking with passengers if they want coffee or tea. During the flight, when I was sleeping, I woke up to find a bottle of water being placed by the crew in the cup holder in front of the seat.

Meal Options
Beverage options
First course – appetisers
Main course
Dessert
Tea after meal

Service

Service onboard both legs are impeccable. Crews exhibit the warm of the Thais with smiles seen throughout both flights. They are attentive and thoughtful. Service is prompt and meals are cleared in a timely manner. The crew are seen patrolling the cabins throughout both legs to ensure that all passengers are well taken care of. Even for a short 2hour SIN-BKK leg, the crews are seen smiling and acceding to the requests of all passengers. TG offers a book the meal service for all premium class passengers, however the options are rather limited. I did not utilise this option as I prefer the “surprise” factor when it comes to meal onboard.

Overall

TG is becoming one of my favourite airlines. With warm service seen onboard both legs of my journey from SIN to ICN. Crews are seen walking up and down the cabin and serving drinks throughout the flight. I like the fact that a bottle of water is being place for passengers while they were sleeping so that one can be kept hydrated. This is a very nice touch, whereby most other airlines do not provide. TG provides oversized pillows and quilt (not those fleeced blankets) in their Business Class, which is great for sleeting. In terms of hardware, the cabin seem aged and seats are not 180 degrees recline, however it still provides a great sleep for my BKK-ICN leg of the flight. The entertainment system onboard allowed me to keep entertained, making the flight time seem short.