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Topic: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2010-04-06 17:38:53 and read 23332 times.

Introduction


I originally did not plan to do a trip report on this segment as the flight was originally scheduled to be operated by an Airbus A300-600, an aircraft I am not fond of and really have no interest in. I flew one for the first time from BKK to CNX and I can’t say I enjoyed it too much, plus I have always been suspect of A300s in general. I know the aircraft is perfectly safe, but it’s just a weird gut feeling I have – not really sure why. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I was checking-in online the night before and I noticed a strange seatmap. At first I thought it would too good to be true, but my flight had actually been changed to an A340-500. Not only could I avoid flying the A300, but I would also be sampling one of TG’s nicest aircraft on an hour long flight!

I immediately picked seats behind the wing, so I could have a great view of everything and take a nice landing video.

At Chiang Mai Airport


We arrived at the airport exactly an hour before the flight. I had already printed my boarding pass out the night before so I was hoping for some sort of quick baggage check-in. I somehow doubted there was such a facility, and it turned out I was correct when we had to use the normal Y check-in desk to check our bags. Oh well, not too inconvenient. The agent was friendly enough and it took about 5 minutes to check our bags.





CNX is definitely not one of Asia’s nicest airports, but it gets the job done and I found it to be very efficient.

Right after checking in, I went upstairs to the departure lounge where security is located. It was interesting to note that there was a section of the boarding lounge with comfortable couches reserved for monks IIRC. I also saw some monks get priority boarding when I left BKK a few days before. Very interesting, I have never seen this done on any other airline / country.





I saw our plane land from BKK, and it was good to see that in fact the aircraft was a 345.

Various regional destinations are served from CNX


Boarding was called at 7:50, only 20 minutes before departure.

The Flight


Date: 21 Mar 2010
Airline: Thai Airways International
Flight: TG 101
Aircraft: Airbus A340-541
Departure Airport: Chaing Mai (CNX / VTCC)
Arrival Airport: Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi (BKK / VTBS)
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:10 AM
Actual Departure Time: 8:11 AM (1 min late)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 9:00 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 9:28 AM (8 min late)
Class: Economy
Load Factor: 100% in Y

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good view of the aircraft


I was greeted by some very good-looking and nice F/As who directed me to my seat.

Vibrant TG Cabin






Extremely generous legroom




Ready for departure


I was quite surprised we were able to pushback only 1 minute late. I really had my doubts that TG would be able to board a 345 in 20 minutes, but they did it.

The cabin was very nicely colored, and the seats were quite comfortable minus the hard winged headrest. It was also nice having a footrest, a nice feature that is lacking on so many Y seats.

Safety video was done through the PTVs and the main cabin screen.



Takeoff was slow and shallow, similar to my previous A340 experiences.



I was pleasantly surprised to see that this aircraft was equipped with mood-lighting. Very nice!



F/As then handed out snack boxes. Must say it was somewhat disappointing – the bread had some sort of mystery meat in it and the juice tasted watered-down. Honestly, I much prefer the soft drinks and pretzels given out on U.S. carriers!



The IFE was not activated at all throughout the flight, which was a shame as I did want to see how TG’s AVOD system was.

Cruising


Descent was announced after 15-20 min of cruising, and it was somewhat turbulent.



Approach


Landing video for those interested:



Orient Thai 742


I was pleased when we parked at a jetway-gate. The walk to baggage claim took about 10 minutes, and our bags came out fairly quickly.



Overall, I had a nice flight with TG, mainly because it was on the A340-500. The crew members were friendly, but nothing spectacular. Despite its well-documented inefficiencies, the 345 was a nice ride and I wouldn’t mind taking one from LAX to BKK.

Thank you for reading!

Bangkok Airways A319 BKK-REP In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 30 2010 in Trip Reports)
Asiana Airlines 747-400 LAX-ICN In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-700 ATL-SXM In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR DEL-JFK In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
Drukair A319 PBH-DEL In Y W/TONS Of Pix/Vid (by MHTripple7 Jan 10 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR JFK-DEL In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
South African 737-800 JNB-CPT In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Sep 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
South African BAe 146-200 LVI-JNB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 13 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 767-400ER JNB-ATL In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air Botswana BAe 146-100 JNB-MUB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France 777-300ER CDG-JNB In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France A330-200 DTW-CDG In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-800 JFK-TPA (Pix And Vid) (by MHTripple7 Apr 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777 DEL-JFK Mar 28 2008 Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 29 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 9W707 W/Diversion (Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777-300ER JFK-DEL ( Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2010-04-06 17:41:05]

[Edited 2010-04-06 17:43:06]

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: ryanair!!!
Posted 2010-04-06 18:05:45 and read 23241 times.

Bait and switch... But it was an upgrade! How awesome is that?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I also saw some monks get priority boarding when I left BKK a few days before. Very interesting, I have never seen this done on any other airline / country.

If there are two things the Thais worship very much, it would be the monarchy (really their present King and Princess... But no one cares about the rest of the royal family... That's another story) followed by the respect for monks. In most Thai airports (especially provincial ones) you would see specific seating areas set aside for the latter.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
F/As then handed out snack boxes. Must say it was somewhat disappointing – the bread had some sort of mystery meat in it and the juice tasted watered-down. Honestly, I much prefer the soft drinks and pretzels given out on U.S. carriers!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo.... You actually prefer food from a US carrier????? NNNNNnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...... 

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: Andaman
Posted 2010-04-06 18:34:43 and read 23127 times.

Thanks for the TR, it was interesting to see how TG's A345 looks like. They use that bird on BKK-OSL route, as a regular BKK visitor I'm tempted to try HEL-OSL-BKK next time.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Extremely generous legroom

Yes VERY generous, 36" in Economy and 42" Prem Economy.

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: airpearl
Posted 2010-04-06 18:55:28 and read 23054 times.

HI MHTripple7
What a nice surprise to be getting an 345 substitution on CNX-BKK! Even though TG uses all sorts of planes on this route, the 345 is indeed a rarity.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I really had my doubts that TG would be able to board a 345 in 20 minutes, but they did it.

You should see it done on a fully-laden B744! TG on domestic runs is really about packing them in and getting 'em there as quickly as possible (usually within an acceptable margin of the schedule), and this it does better than most airlines I have been on.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
F/As then handed out snack boxes. Must say it was somewhat disappointing – the bread had some sort of mystery meat in it and the juice tasted watered-down

Interesting about the watered-down juice - usually it's sinfully sweet! The contents of TG snack boxes have been a victim of cost-cutting - it used to a lot more elaborate, especially around meal times. Not so long ago, the crew used to pass out carrier bags towards the end of the flight for those who want to take their meals home instead!

Thanks for sharing the experience.

Cheers,
airpearl

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-04-07 01:49:46 and read 22181 times.

Hi MHTripple7,

another great report, you have flown on numerous really interesting aircraft recently.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
At first I thought it would too good to be true, but my flight had actually been changed to an A340-500. Not only could I avoid flying the A300, but I would also be sampling one of TG’s nicest aircraft on an hour long flight!

I wouldn't mind about getting an A300 again, but of course I'd prefer the A345.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):

The cabin was very nicely colored, and the seats were quite comfortable minus the hard winged headrest. It was also nice having a footrest, a nice feature that is lacking on so many Y seats.

The seat design is really nice. Much better than the common black, blue or gray.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Extremely generous legroom

Where are the IFE boxes located?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I was pleasantly surprised to see that this aircraft was equipped with mood-lighting.

Very impressive - and good to see it was used on that short flight.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
F/As then handed out snack boxes. Must say it was somewhat disappointing – the bread had some sort of mystery meat in it and the juice tasted watered-down.

Ok, this is indeed disappointing.


Anyway, I should try Thai as soon as possible.


PH

[Edited 2010-04-07 01:50:29]

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: initious
Posted 2010-04-07 07:17:47 and read 21302 times.

The legroom for TG's A345 in Y should be around 36 inches according to seatguru.com, what a great way to stretch out for just an hour! My flight from BKK-SIN in 2008 was also subbed with a A345 from A330, but I do not even recall the plane having 3 engines! Well, it's still great though. =)

TG seems to be subbing their equipments very often, hope my A346 flight doesn't get subbed by another a/c!

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: AI151
Posted 2010-04-07 10:00:04 and read 20883 times.

Hi MHTripple7,

Great little TR. I wish most of my flights would get an aircraft upgrade and be as lucky as you. Legroom looks very good at 36" and I do love the multi coloured seats. Definitely puts me in a good mood!

As for the lack and taste of food, it was made in different departments I'm sure.

Sandeep (AI151)

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-04-07 11:12:52 and read 20649 times.

Hi MHTripple7,

It must have been fantastic to get onboard a TG A345 for such a short leg. What a lucky guy!  
Nice pics of the airport and cabin interior. Well done!

You have to fly TG domestic during the meal time to savor more substantial food offering. This is what I got while flying J from Chiang Rai after breakfast time.



Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: mtaabq
Posted 2010-04-07 16:28:06 and read 20119 times.

Wait just a doggone minute! You PREFER the beverage and snack service on US carriers? What are you? Some kind of freak?

LOL, seriously, I'm just kidding. We bash the in-flight service of US carriers so much reading a COMPLIMENT caught me a bit off-guard.

Thanks for great pics and a great report.

Mike
(mtaabq)

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2010-04-07 19:32:04 and read 19834 times.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
Bait and switch... But it was an upgrade! How awesome is that?

I know, there is nothing better than equipment changes for the better!

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
If there are two things the Thais worship very much, it would be the monarchy (really their present King and Princess... But no one cares about the rest of the royal family... That's another story) followed by the respect for monks. In most Thai airports (especially provincial ones) you would see specific seating areas set aside for the latter.

Ah ok, thanks for that.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo.... You actually prefer food from a US carrier????? NNNNNnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...... 

LOL, you should've tried the mystery meat and I swear you would have said the same thing!

Quoting Andaman (Reply 2):
Thanks for the TR, it was interesting to see how TG's A345 looks like. They use that bird on BKK-OSL route, as a regular BKK visitor I'm tempted to try HEL-OSL-BKK next time.

Thanks, Andaman. I can say that you will most definitely have a nice flight on TG's A345.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):
HI MHTripple7
What a nice surprise to be getting an 345 substitution on CNX-BKK! Even though TG uses all sorts of planes on this route, the 345 is indeed a rarity.

Indeed, I was shocked to say the least.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):
You should see it done on a fully-laden B744! TG on domestic runs is really about packing them in and getting 'em there as quickly as possible (usually within an acceptable margin of the schedule), and this it does better than most airlines I have been on.

Yes, I flew a TG 744 from BKK to HKT and they did it again. I noticed F/As very actively helping passengers get seated, which I suppose is a factor.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):
Interesting about the watered-down juice - usually it's sinfully sweet! The contents of TG snack boxes have been a victim of cost-cutting - it used to a lot more elaborate, especially around meal times. Not so long ago, the crew used to pass out carrier bags towards the end of the flight for those who want to take their meals home instead!

The juice on my next TG flight was better so perhaps it was just bad luck for this flight. Despite it's quality, I did appreciate the gesture of receiving somewhat of a meal on such a short flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
another great report, you have flown on numerous really interesting aircraft recently.

Thanks, PlaneHunter.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
The seat design is really nice. Much better than the common black, blue or gray.

Agreed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Where are the IFE boxes located?

I want to say that they were located under the seat, towards the forward right.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Very impressive - and good to see it was used on that short flight

Yes I love mood lighting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Anyway, I should try Thai as soon as possible.

Indeed, I've heard good things about their long-haul product.

Quoting initious (Reply 5):
TG seems to be subbing their equipments very often, hope my A346 flight doesn't get subbed by another a/c!

And if it's subbed down, then hopefully it will be an A340-500 and you will have the exact same experience!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 6):
Great little TR. I wish most of my flights would get an aircraft upgrade and be as lucky as you. Legroom looks very good at 36" and I do love the multi coloured seats. Definitely puts me in a good mood!

Thanks AI151. This is the second equipment upgrade I've had. My first was back in 2005 when my DL 763 was subbed for a 777 from ATL to TPA!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
It must have been fantastic to get onboard a TG A345 for such a short leg. What a lucky guy!  
Nice pics of the airport and cabin interior. Well done!

Thanks akhmad.

Quoting mtaabq (Reply 8):
Wait just a doggone minute! You PREFER the beverage and snack service on US carriers? What are you? Some kind of freak?

LOL, seriously, I'm just kidding. We bash the in-flight service of US carriers so much reading a COMPLIMENT caught me a bit off-guard.

Yes I knew I'd get a lot of criticism for that remark! But I would still never pick a U.S. carrier over my TG flight as a whole... TG wins in everything else.

Quoting mtaabq (Reply 8):
Thanks for great pics and a great report.

Many thanks, mtaabq.

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: ohsopc
Posted 2010-04-07 19:47:56 and read 19807 times.

so you missed the PG lounge on your REP flight and you went on a domestic TG 345 without asking for an upgrade? If you mention it at check in they would at least put you in premium economy and possibly business class. Basically there are very few 345 flight on Thai that doesn't have op-ups. This is because the 345 have 60 J seats and Thai never can fill those seats. (This is why they really wanted to get rid of these planes) but from a passenger perspective 345 is just an upgrade haven.

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: ryanair!!!
Posted 2010-04-07 19:56:50 and read 19787 times.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 9):

LOL, you should've tried the mystery meat and I swear you would have said the same thing!

Dearie... You underestimate me. I am Asian, remember? We eat all kinds of shit! A little "mystery meat" isn't going to throw me off. 

That being said, we do eat "mystery meats" all the time. Fast food restaurant meat patties, sausages etc... Just chunks of unwanted cuts all smashed together.

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: initious
Posted 2010-04-08 08:39:34 and read 19072 times.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 9):

And if it's subbed down, then hopefully it will be an A340-500 and you will have the exact same experience!

I'll be travelling in J so it will not be any much difference, but I'd love to be on the A346 if possible! 

Anyway, hope for more great reports from you in the future, been always following your reports!

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2010-04-09 17:28:36 and read 17711 times.

Thanks again for the comments everyone.

Quoting ohsopc (Reply 10):
so you missed the PG lounge on your REP flight and you went on a domestic TG 345 without asking for an upgrade? If you mention it at check in they would at least put you in premium economy and possibly business class. Basically there are very few 345 flight on Thai that doesn't have op-ups. This is because the 345 have 60 J seats and Thai never can fill those seats. (This is why they really wanted to get rid of these planes) but from a passenger perspective 345 is just an upgrade haven.

This time I was aware that we could actually sit in Y+, however it was only an hour flight and I wanted to test TG's ULH Y product. Plus I like sitting behind the wing.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 11):
Dearie... You underestimate me. I am Asian, remember? We eat all kinds of shit! A little "mystery meat" isn't going to throw me off. 

Haha, ok you win!

Quoting initious (Reply 12):
I'll be travelling in J so it will not be any much difference, but I'd love to be on the A346 if possible! 

Anyway, hope for more great reports from you in the future, been always following your reports!

Yeah I've never been on the A346 and I would really like to. I still have one and possibly two more Trip Reports to upload on Asiana. One of them is on the 777 (aka my favorite aircraft).

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2010-04-09 22:28:33 and read 17498 times.

Hi MHTripple7,

Nice short flight, great to get a sub to the 345, fantasitc plane.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Airbus A300-600, an aircraft I am not fond of and really have no interest in

- I love the A300, beautiful bird, hard to get on these days, well except in Thailand  

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix
Username: chepos
Posted 2010-04-10 10:06:41 and read 17046 times.

Thank you for sharing, believe me you would rather have the snack box on THAI rather than what we get here in the US.
This past week I flew from CLT to PHX and the only complimentary item was the beverage, everything else was for sale. Anyhow, I have a soft spot for the A300, it was the aircraft I grew up flying on so I kind of miss it.

Regards,

Chepos


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