My wife and I have been to Thailand once before, in 2003, and when deciding where to go on holidays this year, we had decided to go back for another visit. We initially planned to go only to Bangkok and Phuket. I had accumulated enough QF FF points for me and my wife to travel to Thailand with OneWorld. Initially I was only able to book SYD-BKK with BA (World Traveller Plus), and Jetstar StarClass on the way back, because there was nothing else available around our preferred dates. I had never before flown Business Class, and it seemed like JetStar's StarClass was going to be our first time. Sometime later, I found availability in Qantas Premium Economy from Singapore to Sydney, with the added bonus of flying on the A380. For the same number of points, we were now booked on SYD-BKK in BA ClubWorld, and SIN-SYD in QF Premium Economy. I was quite happy with the outcome.
We then booked our flights from Bangkok to Phuket with Air Asia, and from Phuket to Singapore with Silk Air (also a reward flight from KrisFlyer, as the points were close to expiry anyway). One month before we left Australia, I recieved an email from Silk Air, that they had rescheduled us on a different flight, as the one we had been originally booked on was cancelled. It was within 1 or so hours of the original one, so no big deal. In order to fly on the A380 back home, we had to spend a night in Singapore, as the flight leaves for Sydney in the morning, and there weren't any available early morning flights from Phuket to connect.
It was then time to check tripadvisor.com to find some accomodation. We decided to stay at the Park Plaza Sukhumvit in Bangkok, at Burasari Patong in Phuket, and at Crowne Plaza Changi in Singapore. The entire trip was 2 weeks.
The yellow Yaris which we drove to the airport in Sydney
On the way to the airport
At the front of Arrivals hall
I checked us in online 24 hours prior to the flight. The system had assigned seats in the downstairs J cabin, but having never before flown upstairs in a 747 I was happy for managing to snap up the last two available seats upstrairs. We arrived at the airport at around 15:00, for a scheduled departure of 17:30. We proceeded to drop off the luggage at the British Airways counters. Check in was quick, and we were given cards that would fast track us through security checks.
British Airways check in counters
Duty Free area
We did some duty free shopping and then headed to the Qantas Club upstairs.
Here are some shots of the ramp, from the Qantas Club.
Two A380's (VH-OQA and VH-OQB), a 747 and a 767 of the flying Kangaroo. Our flight back from Singapore in two weeks will be aboard the one further away.
A 747 and a 767 resting at the northern bays, near runway 16R.
Pushback complete. This plane was headed for LA.
The third Qantas A380 today.
A DC10 from Omni Air International
VH-QOA being pushed back for her next flight.
After having some snacks and a few drinks at the Qantas Club, boarding was announced, so we went downstrairs and headed towards the gate.
Here is the plane that will take us to Bangkok
Friday, 23 January 2009
Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD) - Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
British Airways, BA10
Departure Gate: 32
17:30 - 22:45 (17:51 - 22:39)
Flying Time: 8h 52m
Load Factor (Business): 90%
Load Factor (Economy): 100%
G-BNLR, (cn 24447/829)
Upstairs Club World Cabin, Seat 64K, Window
Boarding was about half way by the time we got to the gate. We boarded, and proceeded upstairs, to be greeted by a very pleasant flight attendant, who offered us the choice of champagne, orange juice, or water before take off. The upstairs cabin was had two unoccupied seats. Downstairs J cabin was pretty full, and economy class was 100%.
After settling down, I asked the flight attendant, if it would be possible to take a photo in the cockpit, but wasn't overly optimistic. He came back a few minutes later, and said the captain and first officer were busy making final preparations for the flight. A few minutes later, someone tapped me on the shoulder, and it was the captain. He said that they had a few minutes free, and invited me up to the cockpit. He took my camera, asked me to quickly jump in the seat so he could take a photo of me. He made my day
The captain soon came out of the cockpit again, and welcomed everyone in the upstrairs cabin, and gave us a briefing of the flight. He then repeated the same briefing over the PA system for the rest of the passengers downstairs.
We pushed back at 17:35, and taxied to Runway 34L.
Here are some more shots from the taxi out.
Air China A330
Three Air New Zealand birds
Brighton Le Sands
Rotate over Rwy 07/25
Nice cloud formations over the Blue Mountains
Orders were taken by the flight attendants, and the food was readied in minutes. In the mean time, they made sure I didn't run out of drinks. The food was pretty good, probably the best I've ever had while on a plane, but I've only ever flown in economy.
Starters and Salad
My wife's main. Thai stir fry vegetables and noodles
My main. Braised short rib of beef
Interesting scenery over the Northern Teritorry
A selection of cheese for dessert
Water bottles were handed out shortly after dinner
The rest of the flight passes rather quickly. I managed to get some sleep, and listen to some music. There was some soft turbulence once we passed Singapore, pretty much all the way to Bangkok. More food was served before landing.
The lie flat seats are awesome.
Top of Descent
The landing was pretty uneventful, we landed on runway 19R, at 22:39, 6 minutes ahead of scheduled, and taxied to gate G4. Customs and baggage claim were painless. We had pre-arranged the hotel to send a car to collect us, and a hotel representative was waiting for us in the arrivals hall. The car soon arrived and we were on our way to the hotel with 30 minutes of arriving.
The hotel we decided to stay at was the Park Plaza Sukhumvit, near the Asok Skytrain Station. The drive from the airport to the hotel was about 45 minutes. We were greeted by friendly staff at reception and were soon shown to our room.
The next day (Saturday) we were up and early and took the Skytrain to the Chatuchack weekend markets.
View from the hotel room.
Overhead crossing between Chatuchack BTS Station, and Chatuchak Park.
Cute, no ?
We spent a few hours wondering around Chatuchack markets, and when it started getting warm, we decided head back, and go to Siam Square, to escape the heat in the Siam Paragon.
Preparations for the Chinese New Year
After a few hours of shopping, we decided to head back to the hotel, and go for a swim in the pool on the rooftop, and then went for a walk in the big and wonderful park around the corner from the hotel (hence the name Park Plaza).
Construction site near the Asok BTS Station
The Park Plaza Hotel can be seen just to the left of the billboard (cream coloured building)
On saturday night we went to Patpong road to do some shopping, but I didn't take the camera.
I was running out of space on my memory card, so we had to find a place to buy a new one. We took a cab to an IT mall (forgotten the name).
A shrine to Budda in front of the mall
We then had lunch in one of the food courts, and took a cab to the Royal Palace for some sightseeing.
My thoughts exactly before we left, but it has a roman blind you could pull down all the way to the floor. You can see it in two of the photos. It is pulled down about 40 cm from the level of the ceiling in those photos.
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8352 posts, RR: 55 Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9186 times:
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.
Looks like the flight was good as was the rest of this segment, nice!
Quoting PlutekPlutek (Thread starter): someone tapped me on the shoulder, and it was the captain. He said that they had a few minutes free, and invited me up to the cockpit. He took my camera, asked me to quickly jump in the seat so he could take a photo of me. He made my day
Pawsleykat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1978 posts, RR: 14 Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8359 times:
Quoting PlutekPlutek (Reply 1):
someone tapped me on the shoulder, and it was the captain. He said that they had a few minutes free, and invited me up to the cockpit. He took my camera, asked me to quickly jump in the seat so he could take a photo of me. He made my day
That would make such a brilliant start to any holiday or flight. Wish it happened more often though
Brilliant Pics and report Plutek, looking forward to reading parts 2,3 and 4
First Class passengers are my favourites. They can't get any further forward without an ATPL.
Sketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1774 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7711 times:
Great report and some great pics
Quoting PlutekPlutek (Thread starter): The captain soon came out of the cockpit again, and welcomed everyone in the upstrairs cabin, and gave us a briefing of the flight. He then repeated the same briefing over the PA system for the rest of the passengers downstairs.
You are one lucky guy. If only there were more pilots like this out there