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Great Asia Trip Part 3 - The Arabian Adventure  
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 18543 times:



This is the third part of my trip report series that documents my travel around Asia. For more information about the trip, please refer to the following trip reports.

Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury (by Initious Mar 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 2 - In Love With Emirates (by initious Mar 27 2011 in Trip Reports)

Introduction

It was hard to forget the legendary service that Thai Airways International managed to offer me for my flight to Shanghai back in June. Thai naturally became my carrier of choice after just one trip with them and I was always looking forward to flying longer flights on Thai. However, the longest flight I ever had was a Shanghai to Bangkok flight with a block time of 4 hours and 42 minutes, I would not put that as a very long flight but only just enough to savour what Thai has to offer for their Royal Silk Class passengers.

Having to fly to Dubai for this part of the trip, I have decided upon Thai to bring me on yet another unforgettable journey. Being a slightly longer flight, I decided that Business Class would be the best choice for me. Besides choosing Thai for their service and food, the price is also a huge factor. Prices on EK and SQ from SIN-DXB would range from around S$3400 to S$4000 which is very steep for a student like me to afford. However, Thai is only offering S$1800 for SIN-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN with stopovers allowed in both directions, which I fully utilized. Taking all the factors in mind, the only choice would be Thai.

Thai operates the Boeing 777-200 on this route. If you are in Economy Class, you are bound to be bored as there is no PTV for Economy Class passengers. However, Business Class passengers have PTV with AVOD coupled with lie flat beds, a wonderful combination for a 7 hour flight in the largest continent on Earth.

Booking Process

The booking process for this flight has got to be one of the most troublesome I ever faced. When I finally decided to book my tickets on 11th January, I hopped onto my computer once I reached home and got onto the Thai Airways website at www.thaiair.com where flight bookings, seat selections and online check-in can be done.

The website lets you reserve a fare for 72 hours should you decide to pay later on at their office or giving them a call at their call centre. Besides reserving the fare for you, it also allows you to reserve your confirmed seat on the aircraft. Even though I did not manage to utilize this feature, it is a nifty feature and I think all world class airlines should provide this. Besides that, should you decide to pay directly online, you can also reserve your seat upon booking.

The trouble came when I got to the payment page and keyed in my debit card details. It took a long time after I keyed in my details but all I could do was to wait out the time as I was afraid I might mess up the process if I close the browser or press the back button. Sure enough, the payment was processed a minute later but I was shown to an error page, which I presumed the money was not deducted from my account. To be on the safe side, I logged in to my internet banking account and was shocked to discover that the money was deducted from my account but there was no e-ticket issued even after 2 hours.

The next step involved me frantically calling the call centre, which can take more than 30 minutes to connect to the operator after 1pm. Despite several attempts to get through to the operator, I did not eventually get through so I decided to send a high priority email about the money deducted from my account and sure enough, I got a call from the Thai Airways office and they mentioned that the money will be refunded back to my bank account and I can make another payment once the money gets back. Sure enough, I finally got my money back and made another payment and finally getting my e-ticket exactly1 week later on 18th January.

Should you wish to know the full details of the whole process, please leave a comment and I’ll be glad to let you know as I do not want to flood the report with details.

Check-In

The 4 Great Asia Trippers got a taxi from our hotel, Adelphi Suites in the heart of Bangkok on Sukhumvit Road to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, reaching at around 12pm. This is also where we will part as only Sandeep (AI151) and myself are headed to Dubai while Ish (777ish) and Preet are staying in Bangkok for 1 more day before heading to Kuala Lumpur on LH and back to Adelaide on MH.

Since Sandeep had an earlier flight at 2.30pm and my flight does not leave till 6.05pm, I decided to head for lunch with Ish and Preet before heading to the lounge and spa. Walking from row 9 where WY’s check in counter is to row 1 where Thai has their premium check-in is long and on the way we passed by the Emirates check-in counter which reminded me that just 3 days ago my First Class experience on Emirates started and it ended so abruptly yesterday.


Emirates Check-In for EK384 to Hong Kong


Thai has a very nice premium check in area at Suvarnabhumi Airport, something that I appreciate as you can proceed on to the Thai Fast Track immigration right after check-in without the hassle of queuing up with everyone else. After checking in my (about to be badly broken) baggage and hoping that it can last to Dubai, I went for lunch with Ish and Preet. After some words of parting, we finally bade goodbye to each other and headed our separate ways. I’m sure we’ll meet again sometime, someday, somewhere...


Boarding pass and lounge invitation


Immigration

Passing immigration in BKK would be a chore if you were an Economy Class passenger but thankfully, Thai’s premium passengers get to use the immigration just located behind the premium check-in area as mentioned earlier. However, I was unaware of the immigration desk behind the area so I headed to the CIP Premium Fast Track lane and asked if I can get through with my Royal Silk Class boarding pass. The lady said entrance is only allowed if I have a Fast Track card and told me to line up with the long row of people at the normal lane. Being persistent, I headed to a nearby Thai Airways representative that told me the immigration for Thai’s premium passengers is just behind the premium check-in, which I was grateful for. Although I had around 4 hours before my flight, I did not want to waste any of it queuing for immigration. Within 3 minutes, I was cleared and the escalator brings you straight down to the Royal Silk Lounge.

Thai Royal Silk Lounge & Royal Orchid Spa

Thai operates several lounges in the airport but I have decided to spend my time in the Royal Silk Lounge located at Concourse D this time as I just wanted a quiet place to sit down and surf the internet and catch up with some friends on Facebook. Before that, I decided to head to the Royal Orchid Spa located just opposite the lounge for a nice foot massage after all that walking around the airport.

It has become a habit for me to greet the locals with a warm “Sawasdeekrup” whenever I enter any places / shops etc. as I love the Thai language and I’ve read somewhere that the locals love it when foreigners reply them with the signature Thai “Wai” gesture. However, one thing I noticed is that people tend to reply me in Thai when I greet them with “Sawasdeekrup” and apparently quite a few locals told me that I look and speak like a Thai, especially when I do the “Sawasdeekrup” gesture. Even onboard, the crew speaks to me in Thai without me even opening my mouth. In the Royal Orchid Spa, this is no exception.

“Sawasdeekrup”
“?????”
“Sorry?”
“I’m sorry sir, would you like a massage?”
“Yes please”
“Foot or shoulder?”
“Foot massage please”
“Please take a seat while I arrange for a masseur”

As I sat down, a refreshing cold drink coupled with a cold towel was promptly delivered to me. It tasted very nice and I was still wondering what drink was that but I guessed it was some wheatgrass drink. Just after settling down, my masseur was ready so I took a small sip of the drink (it’s too good to be wasted!) and followed my masseur, Ploy to my little space where I’ll be spending a relaxing 30 minutes without any disturbance.

Ploy seemed shy but we started talking after a while. She told me she spoke only a little English and asked if I spoke Thai. I told her that I can only speak very limited Thai which I normally use for bargaining in night markets. Bargaining in Thai is much more fun compared to using English or the traditional “typing on calculator” method.


Waiting area for massage


Ploy giving me my massage


She proceeded on to teach me some simple Thai phrases like “Khun Che Arai?” which means “What’s your name?”and some others which I forgot. She also asked where I came from. Upon hearing my reply, Singapore, she commented that she has heard of the country before but never been there. She also read some information about Singapore on the internet. Continuing the conversation, I told her that I have also been to Chiang Mai back in 2008 and she told me she has not been there before too and that I was very lucky to have traveled so much. I would have guessed she is from a not very well-to-do family by what she told me.

Time flies by when you are chatting and enjoying the massage and sure enough, it was already over even before I knew it. Ploy did a very nice gesture of helping me wear my socks back on after the massage in which I felt a sense of warmth, akin to that of a mother’s love even though she is not that old. I would be glad to have her as my masseur the next time I visit the spa!

I decided to relax in the Royal Orchid Spa after my massage and the prompt waiter brought me a cup of hot tea with some Thai coconut roll snacks. It’s a wonderful combination and certainly helps you relax even further. After finishing the tea and snack, I proceeded on to leave the lounge. On my way out, I enquired if I will be able to utilize another massage on my way back but the receptionist told me that I am only entitled to one massage, although I don’t really know what she meant. Was it one massage per ticket, or one massage per way?


Something to drink and nibble on after massage


Leaving that behind, I proceeded to the lounge and relaxed before heading on to gate D4, my boarding gate for the longest flight in my life, TG517 to Dubai.


Grabbing a bite and something to drink in the lounge



One way I will fly around the world!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 18562 times:

The Flight

Different destinations are sure to bring in different crowds of people. You will hear a mix of Thai and Chinese people talking to each other when you are boarding a TG flight to China and in my case here, I hear and see a mix of Arabic and Thai being spoken around me. It’s hard to even find someone that speaks Chinese. It’s also the first time I am seeing a man bringing his several wives (some has up to 4) to the boarding gate to board the flight together. For those who don’t know, Muslims can have up to 4 wives, as long as you are able to afford it (please correct me if I am wrong).

The mix of generic clothing from t shirts and shorts to people dressed in traditional Arabic white robes and women dressed in the black robes covered from head to toe with the exception of their eyes can be seen all over the boarding gate. It is hard not to know that this is a flight heading to the Middle East. Seeing all these makes me even more excited as I am going to be experiencing a new destination soon and the Middle East is a very interesting place to be in.

In typical a.netter style, my eyes turned right to the nose gear of the aircraft to get the registration of the aircraft that will be bringing me on the longest flight of my life. The aircraft turned out to be HS-TJD, a Boeing 777-200 delivered to Thai Airways back in December 1996, making it 14 years and 3 months old.

Thai Airways International Flight TG 517 – 20MAR11
Origin: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK/VTBS)
Destination: Dubai International Airport (DXB/OMDB)
Registration: HS-TJD (Delivered on 19DEC96)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Time of Departure (Scheduled): 6.07pm (6.05pm)
Time of Arrival (Scheduled): 10.10pm (10.15pm)
Class of Travel: Business
Seat: 14A


HS-TJD preparing for her mission to the Middle East


My boarding pass


Good evening ladies and gentlemen, Thai Airways International Flight TG517 to Dubai is now ready for boarding. Boarding will be called by rows. Passengers travelling in Business Class and Star Alliance Gold Card members can board at their leisure.


I am getting impatient at this point in time. Heck, I’m boarding the longest flight of my life in Thai Airways’ Business Class, operated by a Boeing 777-200 that I have never been on to a completely new destination to me. How good can it get?

As I stepped onboard, I was greeted by the usual warm “Sawasdeekrup” greeting. This has got to be one of the reasons why I fly Thai. You always feel like a VIP when you step onboard, whether in Business or Economy Class.

I approached my seat at 14A and was delighted to see an amenity kit placed nicely on it. Business Class passengers on flights more than 4 hours are presented with a beautiful amenity kit. In my case, I got a dark orange coloured pouch consisting of the basic amenities like toothbrush, mouthwash, shaving kit, socks and the most interesting of all, jasmine flavoured hand cream. As I settled down in the all-so-familiar environment of Thai Airways’ First Generation Business Class seats, a male steward approached me to offer me some welcome drinks. A nice glass of iced tea signifies the wonderful start of my adventure in the Middle East.


Amenity kit


Front view


Welcome drink


Engine view


PTV


All the passengers got onboard and soon we were pushing back to prepare for our flight to Dubai. During pushback, I observed the cabin and noticed that it was spotless despite being 14 years old; this shows how much effort Thai puts into their cabin interior. I looked out of the window to have one final glance at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport where I will be heading back in just under 86 hours. My time in Bangkok up till now is short where I only did some transit and not really having a chance to walk around. I am definitely looking forward to spending 3 days here in Bangkok when I get back from Dubai.


A new plane under development by Boeing?


Goodbye Bangkok! See you in 4 days!


During taxi, the sun began to set. It creates a nice orange glow in the horizon and this perfect moment had to be captured. Soon we reached the runway and off we go, leaving South East Asia behind and heading to the Middle East. There is something about evening flights that I love is that you can catch a nice view of the sunset. It makes the whole sky looks very calming and you can simply relax in the beautiful orangey atmosphere.


Sunset during taxi


After takeoff


More sunset views


From my point of view


Dinner Service

The crew sprung into action once the seatbelt signs were switched off. Roasted peanuts were given out for us to nibble on before the main meal service starts, a different snack from their usual sunflower seeds but both were great.


After takeoff nibbles, peanuts



The inflight supervisor came by shortly after to run a short round of drinks service before the meal. I opted for my usual tomato juice which I unknowingly fell in love with when flying.


Tomato juice


Dinner on this flight looks very promising. You get 4 choices of main course ranging from Western to Oriental to Thai to Middle Eastern. I went for the Western option of Saffron Cannelloni Stuffed with Zucchini and Prawns with Anchovies Tomato Sauce and Vegetables. Sure enough, it did not disappoint me. The inflight catering is definitely something that Thai has to be proud for. Each and every meal can easily be one of my best inflight meals in my entire life.


Table set up


Appetiser, a variety of salads


Pretzel


Main course


Cheese plate


Chocolate cake with Earl Grey Tea


Shortly after the main course is served, the cheese trolley gets rolled out and I chose to sample all the cheeses with grapes, biscuits and carrot. No blue cheese this time, but I’m fine with that. I especially love cheddar cheese as it reminds me of the cheese that Jerry usually grabs in the popular childhood cartoon series Tom and Jerry. Dessert came right after the cheese plate was cleared. A wonderful chocolate cake coupled with Earl Grey Tea makes a great ending to yet another perfect meal provided by Thai Airways.

In Flight Entertainment

The in flight entertainment on Thai Airways is nothing to write home about. Having flown on Emirates First Class Suites just less than 24 hours ago, the IFE was quite disappointing to speak of when compared to Emirates but it is still decent and enough to entertain you for the duration of the flight. However, I am not sure if it will be sufficient for a long flight like BKK-LAX.

The IFE features Audio and Video on Demand (AVOD) which is becoming a common feature in most airlines’ IFE with the exception of some. It features around 30 movies with a mix of award winning movies, classics and latest hits. Besides that, you can also choose to watch sitcoms, listen to music and play games on the IFE. Thai provides noise cancelling headphones by Phitek to their premium passengers which is really great for blocking out the sound although it tends to get uncomfortable after wearing it for a long time.


IFE language menu


Features


Movies


Enroute to Dubai

Getting bored with the entertainment system, I decided to fish out my laptop and get started on the first report of my Great Asia Trip series. Unfortunately, this is also the point in the when Thai starts to disappoint. I asked for a cup of tea from a male steward but all he did was look at me and handed the tea over to me a short while later without any smiles or any words. At this juncture, I thought to myself, “Am I really flying on Thai Airways?”

I decided to purchase a Swarovski necklace from the Duty Free Catalogue for my girlfriend so I let a female stewardess know my intention. I enquired about the currency I can pay in as I only had Singapore Dollars to spare on me but the price was stated in US Dollars. I was glad to know that I can pay in Singapore Dollars so I gladly handed my money over and got the necklace. However, it was a very long wait till I finally got my change back. Make a wild guess, how long did Thai Airways take to give me my change for my Duty Free? The answer is 2 hours. It was coupled with a very apologetic steward but I told him it was ok.

As the plane is over India, I thought to myself that I will be reaching the Middle East soon. However, the night lights of India just below is beautiful. The view was crystal clear from the plane thanks to the clear weather. I decided to catch up on some sleep as the time difference was getting onto me. It should be around 11pm back in Singapore now which is much earlier than my usual sleeping time but I guess all the travelling around has gotten the better of me. I put my seat in the lie flat configuration and managed to get around an hour of sleep which was great.

As I woke up, the cabin lights were brightened as the pre arrival snack service was about to begin. Since I am new to this, I was interested to see what Thai has to offer for a pre arrival snack. The inflight supervisor soon approached my roll and I pulled out my tray table. She looked at me and grabbed a roll from the tray and passed it to me without saying anything, which was another disappointment on this flight. Could it be that she was too tired to even open her mouth or has Thai’s service standard dropped?

After passing me the vegetable roll, she finally spoke. “Would you like some drinks, sir?” If I did not describe how she said that sentence, you would have thought that it was in a warm tone with a smile on her face. Sadly, it was the complete opposite. She asked in a very monotonous tone with not even a smile on her face and that was actually the case for almost all the flight attendants, whether male or female, on this flight. What is happening?


Pre arrival snack


Orchids distributed to all passengers. It’s still on my table now, despite being dead and dry…


Cabin view during descend


Approaching Dubai

Soon after the pre arrival snack service, it was time to descend to Dubai. I glanced at the landscape below. We were just over Muscat, Oman. Fellow a.netter Sandeep (AI151) was there just less than an hour ago and should also be on his way to Dubai at the moment.

However, my first impression of Dubai International Airport was not a very good one. Besides having walk a very long and confusing path to immigration (and I almost queued up with those getting the visa!), the fast track for First and Business Class passengers, although marked clearly with a permanent sign, was inexistent. You could proceed to that row even if you were flying in Economy as no one was checking your boarding pass. Thankfully, the queue moved quite fast and since I don’t require a visa (Singapore is one of the countries that has UAE visa waiver), it was almost hassle free. Another good point was that no landing cards are needed so it also saves some time.

Dubai International Airport & Metropolitan Hotel

I met Sandeep at the baggage claim and headed off for our complimentary hotel shuttle provided by Metropolitan Hotel, located on Sheikh Zayed Road and it’s just a 10 minute drive to the largest shopping mall in the world, Dubai Mall. The hotel itself was alright. I was impressed by the lobby once I stepped in. When we proceeded to check in, we were handed a welcome letter (addressed to me as I was the one who made the booking) and welcome drinks which is a very nice touch. Upon entering the room, I was amazed by the size. It’s around the same size as a typical hotel room but the furnishings were beautiful, apologises for the lack of pictures, though!

A very annoying thing about the hotel was that whatever requests we made, we had to call the front desk or operator and they will call us back in a few minutes. It was the first time that I encountered this kind of service procedures. Another thing was that the internet was wired so only one of us could use the internet. If you unplug the cable from your computer, you’ll have to call the operator and let them reset the internet before keying in your access code given to you by the front desk. Besides that, breakfast was not included in the room rates. We had to pay 60 AED each for breakfast although it was definitely worth it as the food was great.

The Arabian Adventure

As we reached the hotel at around 11.30pm, we had nothing much to do but to sleep and await our day tour the next day, proudly organized by Arabian Adventures, a company that specializes in tours from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Shahjah. We got ourselves on the East Coast Tour that brings us around the Emirates and some of the places we visited were Fujairah, Shahjah, Masafi and Dibba. Our tour guide was an immigrant from Sri Lanka and he speaks both English and German, not sure if he speaks other languages. He has to consistently switch between English and German for our tour as majority of the people was German. I was the only Asian and Sandeep was the only Indian in the tour!

Our first stop in Fujairah was the Friday Market which last time was only opened on Fridays but it is open on all 7 days of the week now. I have to say that the whole stretch of market was selling nothing but carpets, carpets and carpets with the occasional stalls selling plants and such. Did not see any of my group members buying anything from any stalls so I guess it did not appeal to any of us.


Our bus going to the other end of the market to pick us up


My tour group members walking through Friday Market


Prove that I have been to Fujairah!


Looking back


Our bus


Cabin shot


Other stops included a lunch break at a beach resort and visiting the “Grand Canyon” of the UAE. It cannot be compared to the real Grand Canyon, for sure! Even though I had 3 full days in the UAE, I only spent the first day touring around and the second day was basically spent in the hotel besides getting a transport over to Dubai Mall and have Burger King before bidding farewell to Sandeep as he is checking in to the airport hotel for the night since he had an early morning flight.


More shots from the UAE


I notice this on most company owned vehicles, guess this is a norm


Mandatory shot of the Burj Khalifa!


Room service on my last day. The curry chicken was great and wouldn’t set you back more than 15 USD!


On my last day in the UAE, I basically did nothing but eat breakfast and stayed in my room for the whole day till 6pm when I took the hotel shuttle to the airport again. This is also where another highlight of the trip begins for me. I was slated to meet the legendary ronerone, better known to fellow a.netters as Roni. Fortunately thanks to Facebook, I was able to recognize him and we had a very nice chat at the food court in Dubai International Airport Terminal 1. Since we were right next to the apron, there were planes taxiing by every few minutes and we would try to guess the type and thinking where is the plane headed to or where it originated from.


A memorable photo with a fellow a.netter!


We also discussed about his trip reports and he was shocked to know that I actually remembered almost all the trip reports he wrote and the names he gave them. Like most a.netters, I am also a huge fan of his reports! He told me about his upcoming report (at that time) which was an Air Mauritius MRU-RUN flight on the Airbus A340-300. I was quite surprised to know that they actually use an A343 for such a short flight! If you are interested, please find the report here –

Hop-on Hop-off: The Air Mauritius A340 In 30 Mins (by ronerone Mar 28 2011 in Trip Reports)

My flight was at 11.20pm so I figured out we could chat till 10pm and I can proceed to check in for my flight. I was not planning to visit the lounge so the time was just nice for me to clear immigration and head to the boarding gate.



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 18549 times:

Back to Bangkok

My time in Dubai International Airport is definitely gonna leave a great impression in my heart. As Roni and I proceeded to the check in rows, we stopped by to check the FIDS and it was showing the Arabic version. Since I don’t read Arabic, I had Roni to help me translate for me as there was something red beside my flight under the “status” section and it was flashing so I thought it should not be something very good. Sure enough, Roni told me that my flight was closing and being the nervous me, we did a quick farewell and I sprinted into the check-in area as only ticket holders were allowed in.

Getting into the check-in area was a torturous process for me as knowing my flight was closing (it was only 10pm, 1h 20m before departure!) and I had to pass through a security check before getting let in, I got even more nervous. When it came to my turn, I placed my backpack and baggage into the scanner and took the plastic box to place my handphone, wallet, passport and laptop. However, the security officer told me to take off my belt too. He was trying to tell me to put the box into the scanner together with my bags but I was unable to understand him so I tried going through by just leaving the box by the metal detector but finally his words got through so I placed the box into the scanner.

So, being the nervous me again, I grabbed my baggage and backpack before sprinting around 20 metres to the baggage wrapping service as my baggage was so severely damaged that I’m afraid it might burst. After passing my baggage to the guy, I tried reaching for my wallet but suddenly remembered that I left all my important stuffs at the scanner! I let the guy know I’ll be back immediately and sprinted back to the scanner to grab my stuffs. Thankfully they were not taken away by anyone! It’d be disastrous if anyone took away any of my stuffs in there (except for the belt). After grabbing my stuffs, I sprinted back to the baggage wrapping guy and handed him a 50 AED note for the 15 AED service. However, he had no 5 AED for change so he had to get some small change and while he was doing that, I sprinted to the Thai Airways check-in counter to check in for my flight. Fortunately, there was only 1 passenger at each counter so I could choose whichever counter I wanted. As I was queuing up, the baggage wrapping guy came back and was looking for me and I waved to him and I finally got my change.

After all the drama was over, it was finally my turn to check in. I was served by a lady with a very fair complexion but she was wearing a Muslim headscarf known as the Tudung. I spoke English to her at first but she looked up at me after I handed her my passport and spoke to me in Chinese. It turned out that she is from China, just like me! We had a little chat and I got to know that she is from the Shandong Province in China. I was soon handed my boarding pass and lounge invitation. Thai Airways uses the Marhabha Lounge in Dubai, a shared lounge by most airlines. The exterior looked wonderful but I decided to skip it as it was nearing the boarding time of my flight.

Thai Airways uses the generic boarding pass in Dubai and your travel class is printed in big and bold capital letters at the top. If you are travelling in Business, you’ll see a huge BUSINESS printed and same goes for Economy and First. As I reached my boarding gate, I handed my boarding pass over to the agent and he actually addressed me by my last name, first time ever on my 8 flights with Thai Airways in Business Class. I noticed that he did not address the other passengers in front of me (in Economy) so I guess special treatment in Business Class? No matter what, it was a nice touch.


Boarding gate


Boarding pass and lounge invitation


Return Flight

I settled down in the boarding gate and it did not look like a very full flight as it was quite empty. This is one of the A380 ready gates in Dubai T1 and according to Roni, some EK flights do operate from T1 if T3 do not have enough slots. Sure enough, I saw an EK lounge on my way to my gate. Since this is an A380 gate, it definitely has no problem handling other aircraft and it handles the 200 odd passengers on this Boeing 777-200 easily.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, Thai Airways International Flight TG518 to Bangkok is now ready for boarding. We would like to invite Business Class and Star Alliance Gold Card passengers to board the aircraft first. Economy Class will board by rows. Thank you for your cooperation.


Thai Airways International Flight TG 518 – 23MAR11
Origin: Dubai International Airport (DXB/OMDB)
Destination: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK/VTBS)
Registration: HS-TJE (Delivered on 15AUG97)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Time of Departure (Scheduled): 11.28pm (11.20pm)
Time of Arrival (Scheduled): 8.27am (8.40am)
Class of Travel: Business
Seat: 12K

As usual on TG flights, you get a very warm “Sawasdeekrup” greeting from the cabin crew upon boarding. Even though it is already 2am in Bangkok, the crew did not seem tired at all. Guess they had a nice sleep the night before and are ready for this 6 hour flight back to their hometown.

Welcome drinks were offered and I chose orange juice this time. Reading materials were also offered so I took a copy of the TIME magazine but did not really read it though. An amenity kit was also provided for this sector but it was a beige coloured pouch with almost the same amenities. I had to sleep this time round as I have a long day in Bangkok upon arrival since my buddy will be flying in from Singapore, also on TG, to have our own 3-day getaway. I was elated to see that the seat beside me was empty even after the doors have closed so I was convinced that I do not have a seatmate for this leg. However, my happiness did not last long. A man sat down beside me right after pushback and I suppose he was settling down some of his friends or family back in Economy Class before taking his own seat.


Amenity kit


Seat view


Orange juice


TIME Magazine


Noise cancelling headsets


I took one last glance at Dubai International Airport as we rolled on runway 12R heading back to Bangkok. My eyes were almost closing at this point in time but I had to stay awake for meal service since I will not have anything to eat in the next 10 hours or so. Meal on this sector was great too. As usual, there were 4 choices for the main course namely Western, Oriental, Thai and Middle Eastern. I went for the Western option again which was Grilled Salmon and Lemon Butter Sauce with Fine Herbs with Steamed Potato Parsley. The salmon itself was quite huge and tasty. No cheese plate was offered for this sector but a packet of biscuits was offered with cheese coming in a package that resembles those of the butter they serve.


Appetiser – Salmon Roll with Cream Cheese and Chives


Main course


Dessert


Tea


As post departure drinks were being served, I ordered a Bloody Mary (can’t control it, especially when you have just met someone that popularized Bloody Mary on a.net!   ) but it turned out to be the worst Bloody Mary I ever had. I only tasted the Vodka and nothing else. After drinking 2 mouthful of it, I returned it to the cabin crew.


The awful Bloody Mary


Shortly after the main course was cleared, dessert came by. On the menu today was Plum Crumble with Cinnamon Sauce. The norm on TG meals is that it tasted great as usual! Right after meal service, I fell asleep like a baby and when I woke up it was already the pre arrival snack service. Since the cabin crew has already served everyone else, I pressed the call bell and requested for one of the rolls which I believe has curry as the filling.


Pre arrival snack


A comment about the seats is that even though they might be uncomfortable if you aren’t very keen to sleep, you can pass out like a light on it when you are dead tired and it provides a good sleeping environment.


Descending…


Message shown on PTVs before landing


Another view!


Nearly there…


Welcome to Bangkok!


Descend to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport soon commenced and I was excited to be entering Bangkok for the third (!) time in a short span of 8 days. Since I utilized the Fast Track immigration when landing in Bangkok the previous 2 times (one on TG, one on EK) I decided to go through Fast Track again even though I clearly do not need it since my buddy is arriving an hour after me and he’s flying in Economy. However, I was unable to look for the Fast Track. Even after enquiring with ground staff at the airport, none of them was able to tell me where Thai has their fast track even though I was very sure I used it just a week ago. I queued up with the other passengers and saw my seatmate in front of me. It turned out that he was queuing for a huge group of people in advance since he had priority deboarding. There were around 10 Arabian women that managed to get through with around 5 of them before me and he cleared some of us behind him before allowing more of them through. I am sure the passengers behind wasn’t very pleased! Soon after, I finally found out that the Fast Track for TG is actually located at another immigration section. Should’ve been smarter about this!

After I cleared immigration, I received a message from my buddy that was sent while I was still in the air and it wasn’t very good news. What was it? Check it out in the next report!

Conclusion

Despite a minor disappointment from Thai Airways this time, they still managed to leave a great impression in my heart. As the saying goes, “First impressions last”. They left a very good first impression when I first flew with them so I will tend to ignore some minor faults that they have. The product on Thai has improved since the last time I flew with them, specifically the noise cancelling headphones. Will I choose Thai again in the future? Definitely!

Next Up: Great Asia Trip Finale – Brothers in Bangkok


Previous Trip Reports

Flying 5 Star - SQ SIN-CAN-SIN (2009) (by Initious Mar 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Sardines In A Can - Jetstar Asia SIN-HKG-SIN (by Initious Mar 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2) (by initious Apr 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern WUH-CAN-SIN (2/2) (by initious Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Oldest Vs Newest: Royal Silk Class On Thai (by Initious Jun 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
First On Airliners.net - CZ Shanghai To Shantou (by Initious Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
18 Hours Of Royal Orchid Service: Thai PVG-BKK-SIN (by initious Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Good Morning Borneo! - Where Silkair Unwinds... (by initious Oct 17 2010 in Trip Reports)
Irama AirAsia! - Kota Kinabalu To Singapore (by initious Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury (by Initious Mar 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 2 - In Love With Emirates (by initious Mar 27 2011 in Trip Reports)



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineRvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 18159 times:

Hi initious!

I spent half hour reading your report and what a splendid report it is!

Thanks for the elaboration and details which makes the report a really interesting read. Your pictures are great and its nice to look at the pictures of your adventure in the UAE.

Sorry to hear that Thai did not live up to its legendary royal orchid service. It seems that Thai hasn't been up to expectations lately, as with the recent report by Planehunter as well. The meal outbound looks strange to me, but I'm glad to hear that it tasted good. Thai has always been a carrier I held in high regard. Its quite disappointing to hear that their service standards have faltered.

Does Thai have mood lighting on their refurnished aircraft?

I'm curious, are the orchids distributed to all C passengers? I know that in Y, they only distribute to lady passengers. I'd always thought it is a nice touch (well, though I never received any nor I want to :p ).

That was a mad rush at the immigration on your return journey but I'm glad to hear your inbound flight was better and so comfortable that you fallen asleep. Thanks for the foresight to grab a few pictures before you knocked off to slumberland! The meal looks really much better than your outbound. And its nice to hear it tastes as good as it looks!

Oh yes, you've met the legendary Ronerone in person. What a delight! I'm quite a fan of his as well.

Cheers to you on your excellent post,

Warmest regards,
Gavin



They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
User currently offlineJKJ777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 18095 times:

hahahaha, i bought the same time magazine when i was coming back from japan several weeks ago.....in KE biz class.

User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 902 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 17672 times:

Wow! Love the trip report and the photos! That is great that you got to meet Ronerone!

So what exactly does "closing" mean on the FIDS? That you can no longer check-in after the flight is "closed"?


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 17602 times:

Hey Gavin,

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
I spent half hour reading your report and what a splendid report it is!

Thanks! Didn't know it would take so long to finish it! Haha! (And what were you doing up at 7am in the morning? Haha!)

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
Thanks for the elaboration and details which makes the report a really interesting read. Your pictures are great and its nice to look at the pictures of your adventure in the UAE.

Thanks for your kind comments!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
Sorry to hear that Thai did not live up to its legendary royal orchid service. It seems that Thai hasn't been up to expectations lately, as with the recent report by Planehunter as well. The meal outbound looks strange to me, but I'm glad to hear that it tasted good. Thai has always been a carrier I held in high regard. Its quite disappointing to hear that their service standards have faltered.

I actually thought of that report when I was sort of disappointed by their service while on the flight. They seem not to perform so well on long flights but the crew seemed exemplary on the SIN-BKK-SIN flights. It was actually the first time seeing a meal like that for me too but it is definitely memorable! I am not sure if it is the problem with the crew or what but some of them is just a hit or miss. However, it's still better than some Chinese carriers that guarantees you bad service almost all the time..  
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
Does Thai have mood lighting on their refurnished aircraft?

Not that I know of. The whole cabin lights was simply dimmed while cruising.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
I'm curious, are the orchids distributed to all C passengers? I know that in Y, they only distribute to lady passengers. I'd always thought it is a nice touch (well, though I never received any nor I want to :p ).

I always thought they did that too. However, they distributed the orchids to both my seatmate and I (both males) so I guess it depends on the crew. The crew on my BKK-PVG flight only gave it to my female seatmate but the crew on my BKK-SIN flight back in June offered one to me although I rejected it. According to my friend who flew in Y, they gave out orchids in Y too!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
That was a mad rush at the immigration on your return journey but I'm glad to hear your inbound flight was better and so comfortable that you fallen asleep. Thanks for the foresight to grab a few pictures before you knocked off to slumberland! The meal looks really much better than your outbound. And its nice to hear it tastes as good as it looks!

Definitely a very mad rush and I always become very dramatic when I talk about it in real life! I wouldn't particularly say that the flight was comfortable but I just so tired out as we takeoff at 2am Singapore time. I always tend to take pictures from takeoff to landing, except when I'm sleeping of course! The meal was definitely yet another great one, I guess it has been catered from Dubai.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 3):
Oh yes, you've met the legendary Ronerone in person. What a delight! I'm quite a fan of his as well.

He's such a legend that I couldn't believe that I actually met him! We shall go meet him together when he comes to SIN next time!

Hey Burj,

Quoting Burj (Reply 5):
Wow! Love the trip report and the photos! That is great that you got to meet Ronerone!

Thanks for your comments! Yes, it was definitely great to meet him!

Quoting Burj (Reply 5):
So what exactly does "closing" mean on the FIDS? That you can no longer check-in after the flight is "closed"?

That was what they meant. "Closing" means that the check-in for the flight is closing although it only closes 40 minutes before flight departure and at that point in time it was 1h 20m before departure, so 40 minutes before the closure of the check-in counters. I guess they use that to make the passengers check in earlier.

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 17356 times:

Hi Daniel,

and another great report, well done! Bad to hear about the complicated booking process.

You included some nice destination pictures. I may also visit Fujairah in the future. Just spend a great vacation in Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah. Report to follow...the question is when.  

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
However, Thai is only offering S$1800 for SIN-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN with stopovers allowed in both directions, which I fully utilized.

Very good deal!

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
The aircraft turned out to be HS-TJD, a Boeing 777-200 delivered to Thai Airways back in December 1996, making it 14 years and 3 months old.

Good old 777 classic...

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
I notice this on most company owned vehicles, guess this is a norm

Yes, I noticed them, too.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This is also where another highlight of the trip begins for me. I was slated to meet the legendary ronerone, better known to fellow a.netters as Roni. Fortunately thanks to Facebook, I was able to recognize him and we had a very nice chat at the food court in Dubai International Airport Terminal 1. Since we were right next to the apron, there were planes taxiing by every few minutes and we would try to guess the type and thinking where is the plane headed to or where it originated from.

Very nice, I also met him during my latest UAE visit.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17248 times:

Hey PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
and another great report, well done! Bad to hear about the complicated booking process.

I guess there must have been something wrong with their computer system. Thanks for your kind comments once again! =)

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
You included some nice destination pictures. I may also visit Fujairah in the future. Just spend a great vacation in Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah. Report to follow...the question is when.

Hope to be seeing your report soon! Fujairah is beautiful! Did not visit Ras al-Khaimah this time round so I guess I'll leave it for next time. Is it worth visiting?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Very nice, I also met him during my latest UAE visit.

Wonderful!

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17224 times:

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
Hope to be seeing your report soon!

Some others to come first...

Quoting initious (Reply 8):
Is it worth visiting?

I didn't see much of it, except for the excellent Hilton Resort & Spa.  




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16239 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Some others to come first...

Cool! Will be looking forward to them.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
I didn't see much of it, except for the excellent Hilton Resort & Spa.

Ah, that must have set you back significantly.. I guess?



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 15487 times:

Part 4 coming up shortly.. Do stay tuned!


One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 14899 times:

Just wanted to share this funny sign I saw at Burger King at Dubai Mall.  



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14437 times:

Hi Daniel,

An excellent report, with some great photos and detail. Of course, being part of this TR, i was waiting for it, though evidently, it took me too long to get a response through  

I have not seen a TR on TG's DXB service before, so this was definitely something new for me. Too bad the service wasn't as TG as usual, but the amenity kits on a 'short' flight like this are a GREAT bonus in today's times. Especially when SQ doesn't hand them out on Middle East flights which are slightly longer flight time than BKK. Same goes for EK!

Meals looked superb too, especially the stuffed canneloni! Well done on that front. On my previous Gulf-BKK sectors -with the exception of Oman Air- i was not served any meal after takeoff. Instead it was just a breakfast before landing. So it seems that TG offers more than EY and EK!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Besides choosing Thai for their service and food, the price is also a huge factor. Prices on EK and SQ from SIN-DXB would range from around S$3400 to S$4000 which is very steep for a student like me to afford. However, Thai is only offering S$1800 for SIN-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN with stopovers allowed in both directions, which I fully utilized. Taking all the factors in mind, the only choice would be Thai.

Definitely the right choice was to go for TG!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
The trouble came when I got to the payment page and keyed in my debit card details. It took a long time after I keyed in my details but all I could do was to wait out the time as I was afraid I might mess up the process if I close the browser or press the back button. Sure enough, the payment was processed a minute later but I was shown to an error page, which I presumed the money was not deducted from my account. To be on the safe side, I logged in to my internet banking account and was shocked to discover that the money was deducted from my account but there was no e-ticket issued even after 2 hours.

The next step involved me frantically calling the call centre, which can take more than 30 minutes to connect to the operator after 1pm. Despite several attempts to get through to the operator, I did not eventually get through so I decided to send a high priority email about the money deducted from my account and sure enough, I got a call from the Thai Airways office and they mentioned that the money will be refunded back to my bank account and I can make another payment once the money gets back. Sure enough, I finally got my money back and made another payment and finally getting my e-ticket exactly1 week later on 18th January.

Should you wish to know the full details of the whole process, please leave a comment and I’ll be glad to let you know as I do not want to flood the report with details.

That sounds like my booking debacle with Aerolineas Argentinas. Having said that, i hope it isn't a frequent occurrence on TG  
Quoting initious (Thread starter):
After checking in my (about to be badly broken) baggage

Haha i remember that. Hope nothing out of it was missing after you arrived!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
the immigration for Thai’s premium passengers is just behind the premium check-in,

So i take it TG premium passengers get access to immigration counters that are separate to other airlines' fast track service? That's really good!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
“Sawasdeekrup”
“?????”
“Sorry?”
“I’m sorry sir, would you like a massage?”

  

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
or the traditional “typing on calculator” method.

What is the typing on calculator method?

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Was it one massage per ticket, or one massage per way?

I think it is one mssage per sector?

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
For those who don’t know, Muslims can have up to 4 wives, as long as you are able to afford it (please correct me if I am wrong).

That is correct   Though it definitely rakes a lot of effort to bring all 4 wives onboard the same flight without any drama  
Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I opted for my usual tomato juice which I unknowingly fell in love with when flying.

I am told that this is something normal and happens with many people! Some friends of mine apparently feel that same urge   Must be some 'legal' disease or something   haha

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Sure enough, it did not disappoint me. The inflight catering is definitely something that Thai has to be proud for. Each and every meal can easily be one of my best inflight meals in my entire life.

I think BKK's catring is one of the best out there

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
This is also where another highlight of the trip begins for me. I was slated to meet the legendary ronerone, better known to fellow a.netters as Roni. Fortunately thanks to Facebook, I was able to recognize him and we had a very nice chat at the food court in Dubai International Airport Terminal 1. Since we were right next to the apron, there were planes taxiing by every few minutes and we would try to guess the type and thinking where is the plane headed to or where it originated from.

Haha .. Great catching up with you Daniel!

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
He told me about his upcoming report (at that time) which was an Air Mauritius MRU-RUN flight on the Airbus A340-300. I was quite surprised to know that they actually use an A343 for such a short flight! If you are interested, please find the report here –

Hop-on Hop-off: The Air Mauritius A340 In 30 Mins (by ronerone Mar 28 2011 in Trip Reports)

wow thanks a ton for marketing my TR here!  
Quoting initious (Reply 2):
So, being the nervous me again, I grabbed my baggage and backpack before sprinting around 20 metres to the baggage wrapping service as my baggage was so severely damaged that I’m afraid it might burst. After passing my baggage to the guy, I tried reaching for my wallet but suddenly remembered that I left all my important stuffs at the scanner! I let the guy know I’ll be back immediately and sprinted back to the scanner to grab my stuffs. Thankfully they were not taken away by anyone! It’d be disastrous if anyone took away any of my stuffs in there (except for the belt).

I did stay back at the food court for a little longer after you went in for check-in. Glad i did, in case any incident needed my assistance.  
Quoting initious (Reply 2):
This is one of the A380 ready gates in Dubai T1

And this is the very same gate where i boarded EK3801 on the A380's 1st commercial flight to the USA  
Quoting initious (Reply 2):
I ordered a Bloody Mary (can’t control it, especially when you have just met someone that popularized Bloody Mary on a.net! )

  

Too bad it was a bad one! Too much vodka and too little tomato juice is just plain nasty!


Thanks a lot for sharing!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14270 times:

Heya Roni!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
An excellent report, with some great photos and detail. Of course, being part of this TR, i was waiting for it, though evidently, it took me too long to get a response through

Thanks for the compliments! =) Well I know you're a busy person haha. :p

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
I have not seen a TR on TG's DXB service before, so this was definitely something new for me. Too bad the service wasn't as TG as usual, but the amenity kits on a 'short' flight like this are a GREAT bonus in today's times. Especially when SQ doesn't hand them out on Middle East flights which are slightly longer flight time than BKK. Same goes for EK!

Yeah I guess this should be the first (or maybe second) TR on TG's DXB service. TG really treats their premium passengers well!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
Meals looked superb too, especially the stuffed canneloni! Well done on that front. On my previous Gulf-BKK sectors -with the exception of Oman Air- i was not served any meal after takeoff. Instead it was just a breakfast before landing. So it seems that TG offers more than EY and EK!

Wow, no meal after takeoff? My stomach would be grumbling for food.   However, I'd have appreciated it if they could serve a small breakfast instead of the rolls they serve, like some scrambled eggs or something? Haha.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
That sounds like my booking debacle with Aerolineas Argentinas. Having said that, i hope it isn't a frequent occurrence on TG  

I am sure it isn't a frequent occurrence on TG. They were fine the first time.  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
Haha i remember that. Hope nothing out of it was missing after you arrived!

Nah, nothing was missing and thankfully it survived the DXB-BKK flight, 3 days in Bangkok followed by BKK-SIN and finally back to my home. It's on it's way to the scraper now... New baggage ready!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
So i take it TG premium passengers get access to immigration counters that are separate to other airlines' fast track service? That's really good!

Yeah, you get TG fast track when you fly them from BKK, not more than 2 people in front of you!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
What is the typing on calculator method?

You ask the person how much, and they reply you by typing on their calculators. To bargain, you type on the calculator the price you want. Basically for most tourists that don't know Thai and the store owners that don't speak English. A unique method that I see only in Thailand!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
I think it is one mssage per sector?

I think you can visit it as many times as you want as long as you do not have a "Royal Orchid Spa" stamp on your boarding pass. In my case, I used it twice as I flew out of BKK twice.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
That is correct   Though it definitely rakes a lot of effort to bring all 4 wives onboard the same flight without any drama  

Yeah, I seen some small drama like the wives reluctant to go on the plane.. Not sure why.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
I am told that this is something normal and happens with many people! Some friends of mine apparently feel that same urge   Must be some 'legal' disease or something   haha

Should be.. It originated from a post in Polls and Prefs forums that asked "What do you drink when flying?" Someone mentioned tomato juice and I decided to try it last June and fell in love with it immediately. Funnily enough, I ONLY drink tomato juice when flying TG, or in TG's lounge....

Post here:

Beverages You Only Drink When Flying (by Yflyer Mar 3 2010 in Aviation Polls)

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
I think BKK's catring is one of the best out there

Definitely!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
Haha .. Great catching up with you Daniel!

Great catching up with you too!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
wow thanks a ton for marketing my TR here!

No problem Roni, good things are meant to be shared!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
I did stay back at the food court for a little longer after you went in for check-in. Glad i did, in case any incident needed my assistance.

Wow, I am touched by that! I'd have thought that you are already driving your car on your way home when I was messaging you. If I unfortunately missed my flight I might have needed to stay at your flat for a night. :p

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
And this is the very same gate where i boarded EK3801 on the A380's 1st commercial flight to the USA

Cool, thought EK would use T3 for an inaugural flight.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
Too bad it was a bad one! Too much vodka and too little tomato juice is just plain nasty!

Definitely, but it helped me in sleeping! =) Drank not even half of it though as it was really too awful!

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6457 posts, RR: 38
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 14039 times:

Hi Daniel,

Great report! A fascinating journey through UAE too.. I shall endeavour to get there some day.

TG seems very good apart from the patchy service but I think you should try other airlines too and get a rounded perspective of the products!   Not bad at all considering the price however.

Quoting initious (Reply 2):
addressed me by my last name, first time ever on my 8 flights with Thai Airways in Business Class. I noticed that he did not address the other passengers in front of me (in Economy) so I guess special treatment in Business Class? No matter what, it was a nice touch.

You can get this in QF Economy Class   Also EK Economy and most times, NZ Economy. Haha.

Quoting initious (Reply 14):
To bargain, you type on the calculator the price you want. Basically for most tourists that don't know Thai and the store owners that don't speak English. A unique method that I see only in Thailand!

I see it in HK and China too!


Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 13964 times:

Hey Nicholas,

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 15):
Great report! A fascinating journey through UAE too.. I shall endeavour to get there some day.

Thanks! You should definitely get there someday.. EK AKL-SYD-DXB would be great for you!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 15):
TG seems very good apart from the patchy service but I think you should try other airlines too and get a rounded perspective of the products!   Not bad at all considering the price however.

Well I shall try EK on SIN-DXB or BKK-DXB next time..

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 15):
You can get this in QF Economy Class   Also EK Economy and most times, NZ Economy. Haha.

Nice.. Never happened to me even in SQ Economy!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 15):
I see it in HK and China too!

Haha, nice! Probably I don't see it there as I speak Chinese.

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinelh4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 12573 times:

Hello Daniel, great report!

Another great part of your adventure it seems! Once again, I'm impressed with the fare you payed for your TG flights to DXB, seemed to offer some pretty good value for the money  

As stated earlier on FB, the portions in TG's J class are a bit on the small side, however the generous food options seem to compensate for that IMHO. Also, I was a bit stunned to hear about some of the crew members being so rude, those things shouldn't be allowed to happen in premium on a world class airline. Did you send them a letter regarding this matter?

Your stay in the UAE looked great, nice that you managed to meet Roni! 

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12397 times:

Hey Jonas,

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 17):
Another great part of your adventure it seems! Once again, I'm impressed with the fare you payed for your TG flights to DXB, seemed to offer some pretty good value for the money

The fares were definitely pretty cheap. SQ is charging me S$1200 for SIN-AUH/DXB so I figured out I will pay out more for TG J and with a mandatory stopover in BKK.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 17):
As stated earlier on FB, the portions in TG's J class are a bit on the small side, however the generous food options seem to compensate for that IMHO.

They were actually quite nice even for a person like me who has a huge appetite. You can actually request for more food if you wish. I once requested for another serving of the appetiser as it was simply too great.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 17):
Also, I was a bit stunned to hear about some of the crew members being so rude, those things shouldn't be allowed to happen in premium on a world class airline. Did you send them a letter regarding this matter?

I am not sure about this as this was the only time it happened. However, I might guess that it is due to it being an overnight flight so they were not in the best of their image. I did not send a letter to them as I think this is just a small lapse in their service. The service on other legs were pretty good, especially SIN-BKK-SIN.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 17):
Your stay in the UAE looked great, nice that you managed to meet Roni!

It's great but expensive too! Definitely an honour to have met Roni, one of the legends on this website.  

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2989 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12155 times:

Another good piece,

I've always had the impression that TG is a consistently good airline and the holistic experience is always above average. I've rarely seen bad reviews on TG, which is a good thing for them.

initious, I think you cannot compare EK's ICE to any other IFE, it'll lead to disappointment.    But I think TG does a fine job with the IFE they have,

Thanks for sharing.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5130 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12140 times:

Another excellent report by you, and on TG ... though to be fair, I was a little disappointed on the outbound catering. The main looked mediocre and the pre-arrival snack lacking.

Great too hear of the TG spa experience. I positively adore that place.

Keep these coming!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 12024 times:

Hi Ojas,

Quoting ojas (Reply 19):
I've always had the impression that TG is a consistently good airline and the holistic experience is always above average. I've rarely seen bad reviews on TG, which is a good thing for them.

They are pretty consistent service wise but they gotta work hard to standardize their product offerings.

Quoting ojas (Reply 19):
initious, I think you cannot compare EK's ICE to any other IFE, it'll lead to disappointment.    But I think TG does a fine job with the IFE they have,

Well, it's inevitable that we have to compare as I just got off EK less than 24 hours ago.  

Hi Alex,

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Another excellent report by you, and on TG ... though to be fair, I was a little disappointed on the outbound catering. The main looked mediocre and the pre-arrival snack lacking.

Thanks for your comments. The main on the outbound was pretty good actually but I'd have appreciated some sauce on the carrots etc. too as they were too bland to be eaten on their own.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Great too hear of the TG spa experience. I positively adore that place.

That is one of the main reasons why I keep flying Thai.  

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11867 times:
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Hi Daniel,

Good read, finally got around to it!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Prices on EK and SQ from SIN-DXB would range from around S$3400 to S$4000 which is very steep for a student like me to afford. However, Thai is only offering S$1800 for SIN-BKK-DXB-BKK-SIN with stopovers allowed in both directions

- At that price, TG is a no brainer and you get more flights  
Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This is also where another highlight of the trip begins for me. I was slated to meet the legendary ronerone, better known to fellow a.netters as Roni.

- Roni is indeed a legend, I've been fortunate to fly together once and catch up a few years later in NYC, great chap!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
I was elated to see that the seat beside me was empty even after the doors have closed so I was convinced that I do not have a seatmate for this leg. However, my happiness did not last long. A man sat down beside me right after pushback and I suppose he was settling down some of his friends or family back in Economy Class before taking his own seat.

- What a shame, I can just imagine being there and feeling the happiness drain away as the seatmate arrived.

Good stuff, TG looked fine as always though the pre arrival snack looked a bit dodgy.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11761 times:

HI Mark,

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
Good read, finally got around to it!

Thanks for reading and your kind comments!  
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
At that price, TG is a no brainer and you get more flights

Definitely! Not to mention getting new aircraft type logged instead of the boring 77E with SQ.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
Roni is indeed a legend, I've been fortunate to fly together once and catch up a few years later in NYC, great chap!

Wonderful! Should organise an Asian a.net meeting soon.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
What a shame, I can just imagine being there and feeling the happiness drain away as the seatmate arrived.

Yeah, funny that all his friends or family were in Y while he was in J though.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 22):
Good stuff, TG looked fine as always though the pre arrival snack looked a bit dodgy.

I must say the pre arrival snack is abit lacking but still good enough considering the price I paid.  

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 2 hours ago) and read 11480 times:

Nice trip report (which concludes for the whole series). Quite amazed by the bus service you had in part 1 of the trip  


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
25 Post contains links initious : Hi MSS658, Thanks! Actually this is not the last part of the series, the last part is here: Great Asia Trip Finale - Brothers In Bangkok (by initious
26 The777Man : Hi Daniel! Very nice report on TG which provides amazing service as always! One of my favorite carriers as welll. The777Man
27 Post contains images initious : Hi The777Man, Thanks for your kind comments. Hope to see you flying on TG soon. Regards, Daniel
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