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Thailand Adventure: DEL-BKK-USM On TG And PG  
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15252 times:

Thailand Adventure: DEL-BKK-USM on TG and PG

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second installment of my visit to India and Thailand this past summer. To view my first trip report highlighting United (formerly Continental’s) nonstop service from Chicago to Delhi (via Newark), click here.

After three days in Delhi, I was ready to get out of India and move on to the real crown of the vacation: six days in Koh Samui, Thailand. Samui is located on an Island in the Surat Thani Province, just off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand. It is only an hour flight south of Bangkok.

As I mentioned in my previous TR, planning this itinerary was a complex and exhausting process given the number of variables and constraints involved. Not to mention, I was chaperoning my Princess of an older sister, so minimal travel times were a necessity.

Koh Samui airport is also not an easily accessible airport from major gateway airports in Southeast Asia. It is only served by four airlines: Bangkok Airways, SilkAir, Firefly and Thai, the latter of which is soon to be discontinued. While there are multiple, if not hourly or more, daily shuttle services to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, there are minimal connections to Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

As such, we were somewhat “locked-in” to flying Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Koh Samui. In the meantime, I looked up flights to Bangkok from Delhi, and ideally, Thai seemed like the best option. I allowed us a minimal 3-hour connection time in Bangkok for this purpose. Due to constraints with vacation time, we had to nix any possibilities of overnight stays in Bangkok on this particular journey.


next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15346 times:







Unfortunately, our booking classes on Thai turned out to be non-redeemable/premier qualifying miles on Star Alliance. I was undoubtedly livid about that. You live and learn.

I was excited to finally have a taste of the departure experience from the NEW Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi. Comparatively speaking, the experience is much more pleasant than before, although there was something palpably “nostalgic” about the old T2  

Needless to say, the ground experience in the non-sterile area is phenomenal. There is ample room to stroll around and queue without feeling like you’re hoarding through a stampede. The design is light and airy and you feel as though you’re actually in a modernized country. Simple yet elegant.

And also green   Culturally, they’ve done a nice job incorporating some of the Indian aesthetics.

My one complaint, however, is the absence of a Star Alliance lounge in Delhi airport. Of course, this is somewhat to be expected given the, ahem, absence of a certain Star Alliance should-have-been-member with Delhi as one of its hubs, but I digress.

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FIDS screen pictured here. This was my eighth time flying out of DEL. Of the previous seven, six departures occurred during the European/North American late evening/early morning “bank” between the hours of 10 PM - 3 AM, and one having occurred at 7 AM on an Air India flight in 2007 to Chicago (back when it was AI 111 via LHR).

As such, this was my very first mid-day departure from Delhi. It was lovely.

I was shocked to see that Ethiopian flies to Hangzhou, China from IGI!! Allegedly, it operates 5 times (x35) weekly as ET 688/689, although it has operating restrictions on carrying no local traffic between DEL and HGH (I think - please confirm!)

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Aside from the traditional short/medium haul flights to countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Dhaka, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, and UAE, there were a few interesting/noteworthy flights. I’ve always found it interesting how Finnair times their DEL flights in such an odd-ball fashion (5 AM arrival into DEL, 10:30 AM departure). Must have to do with the shorter stage length to HEL and its pan-Asia network focus?

There are a surprising number of day flights to LHR: Four to be exact: two BA (not pictured here), one Virgin, one Jet Airways, and one Air India. I also noted two flights to Kabul, one on Air India, the other on Kam Air.

The one thing to note about Delhi airport (and this is addressed in Alex's trip report featured here) is that airport “amenities” in terms of Duty Free, Food and Beverage Concessions, Shopping, etc. are all located post immigration in a centralized area, but the actual gate areas are a completely separate walk away. As such, it is difficult to make journeys back and forth.

Now, that being said, the hallways connecting the gate areas and the main foyer are spacious and airy. However, let it be noted that wheelchair assistance is a must for the many   Surprised to see that was the case on our flights, how many Aunties and Uncles were using wheelchair assistance.

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Long corridors

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windows

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Look at this guy!

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Go back to HEL  

[Edited 2012-10-15 15:27:16]

[Edited 2012-10-15 15:28:41]


next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15334 times:

TG 324: DELBKK
Airbus A340-642


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Photo © Grahame Hutchison

HS-TND was delivered to Thai on November 28, 2005

I arrived at Gate 8 and was surprised to notice that our regularly scheduled Airbus A330-300 had been upgraded to an A346!

The passenger make up on this flight was very interesting. It seemed like a predominantly Indian crowd, but I noticed a lot of Australian passports. Judging by the fact that I recognized few familiar faces at the immigration line later in Bangkok, I assumed most of them were transit passengers heading onward throughout Southeast Asia or the Pacific region.

Nevertheless, I grew excited by the prospect of trying out a NEW Asian carrier for the very first time. My previous experiences had been limited to Air India (which sets the bar fairly low) but this would be my introduction to TRUE “purported” hospitality!

Boarding was done by rows, which has become an unfamiliar concept to me as my domestic travel in the US is done almost exclusively by Zone (Delta), Group (American) or Priority (United/US).

Interestingly, neither of my flights (both to and from Bangkok) called for priority boarding for Star Alliance elite members  http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4228_zps30495f29.jpg

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At any rate, we strolled down the long jetway corridors to reach our A346 jumbo that would carry us to Bangkok today. I love flying widebody aircraft on relatively short-haul routes.

The 2x4x2 seating configuration on the Airbus A340 is a delight to have. I’m not a fan of having two seatmates. The seat pitch was industry standard at 32-34 inches, replete with a personal TV (no AC power outlet, however). The seats are probably not the newest in the industry, but nevertheless comfortable enough for a 3.5 hour journey. The color scheme on the seats is also a nice touch.

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Push-back was on-time. Noticeably, no announcements were made in Hindi although practically the entire passenger makeup consisted of people of Indian origin. We made our way past Terminal Two, upon which I saw this sight which absolutely broke my heart  http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4247_zps1142d01f.jpg

Also - the domestic cargo “terminal” at Delhi looks straight up third world in this pic:

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Quite soon we were airborne and the views of Delhi and its surrounding areas disappeared underneath the haze. By that juncture, I was so relieved to be leaving India finally!

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As I settled into my seat, I explored the IFE available on THAI. By far not the industry standard, but definitely stocked with a handy selection of films spanning multiple nationalities (and FAR superior to the likes of Lufthansa and SWISS). I just love, love love the functionality enabled by exterior aircraft views. There were also great music genres which, like the film selection, accounted for tunes hailing from all parts of the world, leaving me feeling confident that Thai has done its homework in providing a bounty of options” for its global clientele.

Shortly after we reached our cruising altitude, the crew began the in-flight services. There were no menus distributed in Y (which didn’t surprise me given the short duration of the flight) but meals were dichotomized into traditional vegetarian or non-vegetarian, I believe.

Regardless, the first round began with a cocktail/drink service, which came with a fully-loaded bar offering complimentary adult sodas of all kinds. I immediately went for some whiskey and diet coke (my go-to) and the flight attendants were happy to continue re-filling me whenever I requested. We also received some roasted peanuts with the first drink service.

Notice the retro THAI-branded stirrers - so cool! I kept one as a souvenir and am pretty sure I will probably never be able to find it again.

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Roughly 1.5 hours into the flight, the meal services began. It appeared that the non-vegetarian selection consisted of chicken curry with steamed rice and broccoli. Side accompaniments included a whole-grain dinner roll and a fresh leaf salad with tomato, peppers and a black olive.

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Dessert was interesting - I *believe* it was Khanom Takoh - otherwise known as a coconut cream jelly/custard/pudding cake? (correct me if I am wrong, Thais!) Of course very sugary and gelatinous.

It wasn’t the most stunning meal I’ve ever encountered by any measure, but it’s a “beggars can’t be choosers” situation these days traveling in Y in the airline industry. I was just thankful to be fed.

Anyway, the flight itself passed uneventfully. I just kind of browsed around between films and got up every so often to stretch my legs and/or down a few more beverages. The lavatories were very clean, and also stocked with fragrance - something I hadn’t ever noticed before in a YCL cabin before?

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I did make a note to observe the crew and their standards of service. I suppose my most accurate analysis would conclude, “mixed-bag.” There were some that were sweet and talkative when you made the effort to engage and interact, but on the whole, they seemed a bit harried and robotic the majority of the time. Of course, they were all beautiful women, but beauty is so much more enhanced with a smile. In fact, the only “SMILE” I genuinely remember seeing on both of my experiences flying TG to and from BKK was painted on the fuselages of Thai SMILE’s A320s. Disappointing...

Anywho, our descent into BKK was glorified by a beautiful sun ray peering out through gray clouds. While the approach was smooth, the landing was not (somewhat SOP given my past experiences on the A340).

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Don’t you just love how the wingtip on the A340 complelments the sceery so well? i love aviation!!

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At any rate, I was excited by the opportunity to experience my first REAL Asian airport. I must say, I instantly fell in love with Suvarnabhumi airport: major applause to the Airports of Thailand. I am astonished to learn retroactively that Thai does not dominate over 50% of the market share like I suspected: there were Royal Silk planes EVERYWHERE!

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next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15306 times:

Bangkok airport and onward flight







The airport has a very “sterile” feeling to it, but in a way I found its design to be simple, yet elegant. The interior is also very sleek and generates a feeling of warmth and security from the tumultuous weather and world outside, that is the nation’s capital.

Fortunately, the immigration and baggage claim lines were VERY efficient and afforded us plenty of time to connect onward to our PG flight to USM. In fact, I was completely prepared for Bangkok Airways to be entirely LCC-style, so imagine my shock when we were able to receive confirmed standby changes to a flight that left 90 mins earlier for no charge, while also not needing to pay for checked bags. The cherry on top was receiving a complimentary inflight meal on a ONE HOUR flight.

We were given stickers to wear through security, and t we were badged like so:


I felt SO VIP  

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We were bussed to the Bangkok Airways ATR-72. I was slightly nervous flying on one of these birds intra-Asia at this juncture, especially on what *appeared* to be a pseudo-stormy. It felt very old school, boarding through the rear of the jetway on a stairwell up to our seats.

PG 175: BKKUSM
ATR 72-202/212A


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HS-PGD Delivered to Bangkok Airways on July 26, 1995

Of course, we were seated in the last row, aka the non-reclinable chairs, behind a chain-smoking couple from Spain. I, however, was more preoccupied about the ATR we were seated in...

We lifted off from Bangkok just as night fell and glided smoothly over the Pacific ocean. Once airborne, I was stunned to see flight attendants serving out meal boxes to passengers on a one hour flight!!

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Of course, the meal wasn’t “much” but I cannot envision why a carrier that calls itself, “Asia’s premier Boutique Airline” would not stick to an ancillary/Buy-On-Board strategy. At any rate, the contents on the tray showed a starter salad as an appetizer, with vinaigrette, and the main course contained a sticky rice pad, some VERY hard, uncooked green beans, and two shady pork sausage links with chili sauce. Finally, there was an Angel's Food Cake offered with coffee or tea.

Well, I ate the salad and the cake, and took nibbles of the rice, but the sausage and beans tasted inedible. Although in very rare form, I consumed less than 50% of the in-flight meal in an effort to avoid illness.

The flight progressed inevitably before it made our final descent. Landing, per my predictions, was absolutely terrifying. I breathed a sigh of relief when the wheels came to a halt.

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USM airport is more Boutiquey than the airline that dominates it. I felt like it was a resort or country club straight out of a Pinterest catalogue. Passengers were “bussed” to the planes from these rickety trolleys (as though you were in Disneyland) and wheeled to the single baggage claim area.

We took a taxi to our hotel and our Thailand adventure commenced!



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15294 times:

Return







PG 134: USMBKK
Airbus A319-132


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Photo © Tek

HS-PGY was delivered to Bangkok Airways on April 8, 2008

After a lovely week in Koh Samui, we were ready to head back home. Unfortunately, we also had to brace ourselves for a 36-hour journey back to the US via BKK, DEL and ZRH before we’d be back in Chicago and New York, respectively.

Still, the weather was stunningly beautiful in USM that day and the airport transfer experience was effortless. Walking through USM was like going through a strip mall in Hawaii. Relaxed, casual, and although touristy, all very comforting.

Bangkok Airways truly owns and runs this airport. The airline graciously offers complimentary newspapers, refreshments and snacks in the departures area for all departing passengers. It is quite the trip back into the the luxury days of air travel.

Here are some photos of the departures area:

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Free snacks in the departures area

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We were bussed back out to our aircraft and seated for our departure to BKK. Boarding, pushback and taxi were all conducted normally and commenced uneventfully.

Mainline services on Bangkok Airways are nothing special, and in this case, the hour-long flight did not allow much time to truly test some of the softer amenities of the journey.


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Again, we were shocked at the concept of a meal service on such a short flight. Today’s offering was a shrimp noodle bundle on top of lettuce, served with a starter that consisted of some strange meat (pork?), also on lettuce, and with a side chocolate cake. Juice and water were also served.

I kind of just took a few stabs at the entree and selectively had a few bites of the other areas. Didn’t really want to take my chances  http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4679_zpsff75e97e.jpg

More or less as soon as the trays were cleared, we landed in Bangkok. Weather was appreciably better this time around than on the inbound journey.

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Final leg: BKKDEL

In lieu of the aircraft registration, which I failed to capture, I inserted this cutesy little map courtesy of GCM  

After disembarking at BKK, we proceeded outside of security to check in to our TG 315 flight to Delhi. The Departures hall at BKK airport is truly a trip: by far a very seamless experience.

Sadly, the check-in agent failed to understand our requests to interline our luggage with our onward SWISS flight from DEL to ZRH, despite being on a separate reservation. There was also no recognition or cheerful welcome to us as Star elite members. Ultimately, a disappointing show for Star alliance.

Security and immigration were actually very painless and efficient. Asian airports really just knock the US, Latin American, and European processing measures out of the park.

The international departures/sterile side of BKK is a bit overwhelming at first glance. It literally resembles a huge mall, but the interior is a bit of a cluster when it comes to sorting out the locales of creature comforts: F&B, Duty Free, Lounges, etc. The ground staff is also somewhat hit or miss. We had access to the Royal Silk lounge in Bangkok, but we were misdirected several times about its location. We circled back and forth a few times and nearly had given up before we finally managed to find an agent that prompted us to the right place.

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Once inside the lounge, the Princess and myself found the atmosphere to be thoroughly relaxing and ambient. Although detracting from my time to explore Suvarnabhumi at greater length, we were more mindful of the long journey ahead and the need to maximize whatever privileges we had.

The staff at the lounge are fairly friendly, and the facilities are very clean and well-maintained. There is a plethora of reading materials and ample room to stretch out and relax.

There is a fully-stocked self-service bar and a plentiful selection of both Asian and Western appetizers and snacks to choose from, ranging from items like dumplings and baos to spaghetti bolognese and pastries. I found plenty of healthy items as well such as fruits and proteins to keep me happy. Of course, I also hit the Johnnie Walker a few times  

The tarmac view is also pretty good.

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Approximately an hour before our scheduled departure, we made our way towards the gate to begin our “real” long journey home back to the U.S. Surprisingly, it felt like a normal afternoon departure at this juncture, but the reality was that it was still another 30 hours before we’d be disembarking at our American ports of call. A quick trip to the foreign exchange booth and we were at our gate

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http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4702_zpsf7f1137d.jpg

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4703_zpsbb192d70.jpg

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4704_zpsa36e7019.jpg

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4701_zps923734a2.jpg
Our big ship back to DEL

I was excited because this would be my first time flying the -300 series of the 777. I had always been marveled by the length of that widebody plane. Fortunately, Thai uses the 3-3-3 configuration, so I did not fear cramping.

At any rate, I was blown away by the architecture at Suvarnabhumi. Stunningly gorgeous.

I also fell in love with this beautiful thing in the foreground behind our bird. She looked unbelievable in the sunlight. I shall hopefully fly her and to visit her host country some day  http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4705_zpsf2b21071.jpg

Boarding was typical Indian style: chaotic. It’s funny how organized and orchestrated it generally seems to be OUTSIDE of India, but per standard operating procedure, people were pushing and shoving and nudging their way to the gate.

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4706_zps3364ddaf.jpg

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4707_zps113d1a90.jpg

Once at my seat, I settled in and just passed the time before doors shut, and stared at my neighbors to the left:

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4709_zpsbe8cecbb.jpg
Just something else[/b]

After push back and taxi, I tried to snap a few more photos of the scenes around me, before I was reprimanded by the male FA:

“Sir, I know you want to take pictures, but the prane is about to fry. Prease put your phone away.” Whoops.

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4710_zps33c3c3ea.jpg

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4712_zps12ba5f91.jpg
[i]ONEWORLD branded CX A330. I found it curious that there were two CX birds on the ground at BKK today.

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4714_zpsdfbee86d.jpg
[i]Ethnic beauties from LHR and TLV


http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4715_zps1ae75005.jpg
TRULY an exotic spot. Air Madagascar!!!!! This was when I was officially caught  

After a few minutes of taxiing, we were airborn. The phone came out again and started taking photos once more  http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4716_zps5afc66cb.jpg

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4719_zps75292c0a.jpg

d





The flight itself was uneventful (and felt very long). We received a dinner meal service fairly similar to the one served on the inbound leg. The starter was a yummy (albeit random) apple and corn salad medley with a Vinaigrette dressing. The main course was a simple Mongolian beef affair with steamed rice and bamboo shoots, along with another Traditional Thai dessert (another pudding/jelly situation). Noticeably different this time was the provisioning of a wine glass.

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4727_zps808825f0.jpg

Landing at Delhi was on-time, immigration was thankfully quick since we arrived before the heavy banks of European flights. Interestingly, we arrived at the same gate as my previous inbound flight from EWR on UA 82.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15264 times:

Conclusions and assessments

Thai Airways is a good airline. It is solid in delivery when it comes to the basics: safety, punctuality, check-in processing and boarding, in-flight catering, in-flight entertainment, seat comfort, and branding. Although I do not have a basis of comparison, any schemes of nickel-and-diming, product dilution, cost-cutting etc. are not apparent in the slightest. If anything, they represent exactly what they do stand for and I am happy that they meet expectations.

That being said, there are lacking in key areas. The first (which I neglected to address earlier actually) comes from booking and reservations. Their website is extremely antiquated and runs into severe limitations when it comes to sales and transactions. I had to deal with an unnecessary amount of calls to their US Sales/Ticketing office in Los Angeles because of the problems I encountered on their web engine. While they ultimately did give me a solution, it took several attempts and, at one stage, I was almost infuriated because the man on the phone suggested that the “only solution was for me to come into the LA office and pay with cash.” Simply unacceptable in 2012. As I said, luckily there was a breakthrough.

My second complaint comes from the softer standpoint: I felt like the airline lacked a sense of warmth all-around from its staff. On the ground, in the air, in the lounge - something seemed awry. Distant. Not rude by any means, but not at the level of expectations generally set by Asian carriers. In this category, Bangkok Airways actually won over Thai (more on that later).

Finally, I also feel that Thai is disconnected from Star Alliance. Now, in that vein, I do understand that is more ipso facto rather than a failure to meet expectations. However, I find this tough to contend with given the fact that Thai was one of the founding members of Star, and because the alliance is purported to be the leading global brand and the most closely integrated. Alas, I also must reconcile this with the fact that times have changed and it’s all more about survival of the fittest rather than placing all around emphasis on how things are centralized.

Bangkok Airways was great! Obviously, different expectations but nevertheless pleasant all around experience. Friendly staff, punctual flights, decent on-board products, easy end-to-end integration with booking, check-in and baggage services. I would definitely fly them again intra-Asia if I am back in the SE Asia region soon.

Bonus material

Some pictures from our trip:

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4359_zpsc69fe3a9.jpg
Our hotel, the Dara Samui on Chaweng Beach - HIGHLY recommend

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4376_zps0ae36478.jpg
Our hotel, the Dara Samui on Chaweng Beach - HIGHLY recommend

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4377_zps0026bcf0.jpg
Our hotel, the Dara Samui on Chaweng Beach - HIGHLY recommend

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4360_zps4a92a03b.jpg
Being cliche and trying out Pad Thai in its native country - delicious!

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4932_zps5e50b65d.jpg
Day trip to Angthong Marine National Park - an archipelago on the Gulf of Thailand that is comprised of over 42 islands

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4510_zps3fa9d390.jpg
Angthong Marine National Park - sea Kayaking to Ko Mae Ko

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4940_zps998501fd.jpg
Angthong Marine National Park - sea Kayaking to Ko Mae Ko - you can see the limestone formations

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4935_zps58a3b302.jpg
An emerald seawater lake in the middle of the island encircled by the cliffs - supposedly, a tunnel connects the lake to the rest of the Gulf

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4515_zps3ce4bc97.jpg
Panoramic view from the island just slightly above sea level

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4929_zpsf13f63c3.jpg
Attempting a grueling hike - and spotting Monkeys!

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4923_zpsfd989759.jpg
Nearing the top of a cliff with jagged rocks, no harnesses/ropes/helmets and done entirely in sandals

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4503_zps1e40ed9b.jpg
Made it to the top! View of the Gulf

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4540_zps25c7793d.jpg
Diving at Sail Rock - great experience! Descended to ~29M depth

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4551_zps0b2a3140.jpg
Photo Copyright The Dive Academy in Koh Samui - views from the dive at Sail Rock

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4968_zps57ecb75f.jpg
Tigers!
http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4635_zpsec714b55.jpg
My sister and I riding elephants in the jungle!

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4961_zps97707945.jpg
My sister and I riding elephants in the jungle!

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4963_zps1fd71643.jpg
My sister and I riding elephants in the jungle!

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4954_zps2584de3a.jpg
Chaweng beach

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4953_zpsb209d8d8.jpg
Chaweng beach

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/IMG_4951_zps00e91b2d.jpg
Chaweng beach

Thanks for reading!!! Comments and feedback are always appreciated



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 15008 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hey IrishAyes,

Nice to see the next set of reports and pictures....Really nicely done! Those airline updates on your phone are very trendy, and makes me going to my desktop to get them feel so ancient lol

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
There is ample room to stroll around and queue without feeling like you’re hoarding through a stampede. The design is light and airy and you feel as though you’re actually in a modernized country. Simple yet elegant.

The airport does look very open and airy, unlike the cities in that part of the world which can be claustrophobic and noisy!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
As such, this was my very first mid-day departure from Delhi. It was lovely.

I haven't departed KHi in daylight in a long time now....Always nice to take off in the daytime, but seeing the city lights twinkling underneath at night is just so magical.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Surprised to see that was the case on our flights, how many Aunties and Uncles were using wheelchair assistance.

It is pretty SOP for all Aunties and Uncles to avail of this facility if freely available lol

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I arrived at Gate 8 and was surprised to notice that our regularly scheduled Airbus A330-300 had been upgraded to an A346!

OMG!! And you were just "surprised" huh?? lol....believe me they would have had to take me on the wheelchair down the airbridge had that happen to me...I would have literally passed out seeing her at the gate....Absolutely amazing that you could fly on it!!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Boarding

Interesting to see who the next airline to occupy the gate would be...PK 273 to KHI!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
We made our way past Terminal Two, upon which I saw this sight which absolutely broke my heart

That is a sad sight indeed....Such beautiful birds with equally gorgerous birds in red FA uniforms inside!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
By that juncture, I was so relieved to be leaving India finally!
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
After three days in Delhi


What you were tired of India after just three days lol....but with a trip to Thailand waiting I am sure anyone would want to get there asap!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Notice the retro THAI-branded stirrers - so cool! I kept one as a souvenir and am pretty sure I will probably never be able to find it again.

Those are really cool....I would have probably asked the FAs to hand me a couple to take home, and serve drinks to my guests with those...they know I'm crazy!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Roughly 1.5 hours into the flight, the meal services began. It appeared that the non-vegetarian selection consisted of chicken curry with steamed rice and broccoli. Side accompaniments included a whole-grain dinner roll and a fresh leaf salad with tomato, peppers and a black olive.

Okay I see this again here, the foil trays which did not happen on some other trip report to Seoul (AirPearl's report) where the meals are directly in the porcelain bowls/trays. Sorry to hear the meal was pretty mediocre.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Dessert was interesting

Looks very uninteresting to me. Like those green tea desserts you get in Asian stores.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I did make a note to observe the crew and their standards of service. I suppose my most accurate analysis would conclude, “mixed-bag.” There were some that were sweet and talkative when you made the effort to engage and interact, but on the whole, they seemed a bit harried and robotic the majority of the time. Of course, they were all beautiful women, but beauty is so much more enhanced with a smile.

Not very much like TG to be a bag of mixed nuts....I wonder what is causing them to have lower standards, or are the new younger cabin crews that they are hiring not as efficient and warm as the older more senior FAs

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Don’t you just love how the wingtip on the A340 complelments the sceery so well? i love aviation!!

I wish you could have got that massive A340-600 engine in there as well....But yes, no view like those afforded by the Airbus wide bodied aircrafts.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Royal Silk planes EVERYWHERE!

A very silky feeling indeed.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Once airborne, I was stunned to see flight attendants serving out meal boxes to passengers on a one hour flight!!

That was quite the offering

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Although in very rare form, I consumed less than 50% of the in-flight meal in an effort to avoid illness.

The flight progressed inevitably before it made our final descent. Landing, per my predictions, was absolutely terrifying. I breathed a sigh of relief when the wheels came to a halt.

Fortunately that landing did not make you lose the 50% you had ingested inflight lol

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
36-hour journey back to the US via BKK, DEL and ZRH before we’d be back in Chicago and New York,

Looking forward to the Swiss sectors!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Again, we were shocked at the concept of a meal service on such a short flight. Today’s offering was a shrimp noodle bundle on top of lettuce, served with a starter that consisted of some strange meat (pork?), also on lettuce, and with a side chocolate cake. Juice and water were also served.

Very interesting offering....Hmm seafood you can't go wrong there!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Star elite members

Wow nice to know

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I was excited because this would be my first time flying the -300 series of the 777.

You have flown the -300ER series, right?

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
“Sir, I know you want to take pictures, but the prane is about to fry. Prease put your phone away.” Whoops.
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
TRULY an exotic spot. Air Madagascar!!!!! This was when I was officially caught

Simply hilarious....On the flight to JFK from DXB on the 777-200LR, and FA came to me while taxing for take off (in the darkened cabin) and told me to put my camera away, saying flashes from the camera could pose a security threat....Why would I use my flash against a window? Of course it was just put away till she left.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Being cliche and trying out Pad Thai in its native country - delicious!

Now where else would you really eat Authentic Pad Thai other than in Thailand itself!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
My sister and I riding elephants in the jungle!

Hey nice to see you and your sis!!


User currently offlineVIDP From India, joined Feb 2010, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14992 times:

Nice trip report. BTW SQ has opened their dedicated Silver Kris Lounge in T3 . Lucky that you got a A346 i/o A333 as they have IFE while the A333 dont have PTV,s . Next time check out the Delhi Dare Devils Sports Bar and lounge Just before the gates nice place to hang around for a quick drink and some nibbles before the flight.

User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14056 times:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):
Nice to see the next set of reports and pictures....Really nicely done! Those airline updates on your phone are very trendy, and makes me going to my desktop to get them feel so ancient lol

Thanks man! This one was a bit long and detailed, but I appreciate you sticking to it.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):
What you were tired of India after just three days lol....but with a trip to Thailand waiting I am sure anyone would want to get there asap!!

Sigh. It's a bit complicated/personal. India is not my cup of tea, really. It could just be Delhi, but on the verge of sounding offensive, elaboration on this point may be best saved for an in-person discussion.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):
I wish you could have got that massive A340-600 engine in there as well....But yes, no view like those afforded by the Airbus wide bodied aircrafts.

Haha. I am not as much of an engine junkie on here as some people are, so I should probably start taking photos for their sakes!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):
You have flown the -300ER series, right?

Nope. This was the first time. You have to remember that the 777-300ER is rare in the States, unless you are on a foreign carrier. Off the top of my head, there are 7 that fly into ORD: BA, NH, KE, EY, JL, AI and CX. Of those, NH would be my one option - but I am flying NH next week from SEA to NRT, supposedly on the 788.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):
Simply hilarious....On the flight to JFK from DXB on the 777-200LR, and FA came to me while taxing for take off (in the darkened cabin) and told me to put my camera away, saying flashes from the camera could pose a security threat....Why would I use my flash against a window? Of course it was just put away till she left.

It's SUCH a stupid rule. Questionable weather or not it in fact does affect anything, but I am not a pilot so I should not comment

Quoting VIDP (Reply 7):
BTW SQ has opened their dedicated Silver Kris Lounge in T3

Have they? I think that is only for exclusive people though. UA paid club cardholders still do not get access, otherwise, I would have shown eligibility on the Star alliance page. Oh well. Although I do believe I can access the Kris lounge in MNL?

Quoting VIDP (Reply 7):
Lucky that you got a A346 i/o A333 as they have IFE while the A333 dont have PTV,s

wowowowowowow. Thanks for the heads up! This would have been a travesty  
Quoting VIDP (Reply 7):
Next time check out the Delhi Dare Devils Sports Bar and lounge Just before the gates nice place to hang around for a quick drink and some nibbles before the flight.

Will do. Although, I'm not looking forward to my next DEL visit. Thanks for the heads up!



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14053 times:

I've been getting several e-mails from readers who want to know what application I use in the screenshots to document my flight performances. The application is FlightTrack by Mobiata, and I believe you can search retroactively up to 11 months prior to today's date. To download the app and learn more about the other Mobiata travel applications out there, visit www.mobiata.com


next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1506 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13900 times:

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Sadly, the check-in agent failed to understand our requests to interline our luggage with our onward SWISS flight from DEL to ZRH, despite being on a separate reservation.

Great report. I enjoyed reading it all. As regards baggage through checking on separate tickets, well there's really no definite policy amongst airlines even when they are members of the same alliance. As you can imagine, it's all down to cost-cutting because the first carrier tagging your bags picks up the tab should they be delayed or lost in the system.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Asian airports really just knock the US, Latin American, and European processing measures out of the park.

True. But remember that there have been chaotic scenes at BKK during times of political unrest and during the "ash cloud" crisis a couple of years ago.


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7592 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 13761 times:

Hello my friend! Awesome report! I really loved it. I re-read it once again after I had finished it for the first time hehe. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it and for sharing your incredible pics. I kind of felt I was on board those flights for a moment.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
The passenger make up on this flight was very interesting. It seemed like a predominantly Indian crowd, but I noticed a lot of Australian passports. Judging by the fact that I recognized few familiar faces at the immigration line later in Bangkok, I assumed most of them were transit passengers heading onward throughout Southeast Asia or the Pacific region.

Interesting point. One of the first things that came to my mind when I saw that the aircraft was an A346 was that perhaps TG is doing a good job connecting passengers between DEL and Oceania. If I am not mistaken, there is robust traffic between India and Australia and I could imagine it is comprised by a nice mix of business, leisure and V.F.R. pax.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 2):
seat pitch was industry standard at 32-34 inches

33 and 34 inches are, IMHO, quite generous. I'd say that, sadly, 32 is becoming the norm, if not smaller. For example (don't quote me on this, since I don't remember accurately), there were several negative comments about LA's Y cabin in the new 787s, because pitch is down to 31 or 32 inches in a 3-3-3 config. Seems more and more airlines are trying these days to maximize their revenue by squeezing as many passengers as possible in their aircraft, without giving consideration to roominess and comfort. The configuration of the NH and JL international 788s (and I believe NH's international 77Ws) are the exception though.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
THAI-branded stirrers

That is really cool! Glad you got one of those!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
I was completely prepared for Bangkok Airways to be entirely LCC-style, so imagine my shock when we were able to receive confirmed standby changes to a flight that left 90 mins earlier for no charge, while also not needing to pay for checked bags. The cherry on top was receiving a complimentary inflight meal on a ONE HOUR flight.

That is quite surprising! I am glad your expectations were exceeded and that you enjoyed such good service. PG seems to be a very nice airline. Any idea if they might be recruited or pursued by SkyTeam? I seem to recall, albeit vaguely, that AF was in discussions to forge a deal with PG at BKK... no idea what came of that.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
he contents on the tray showed a starter salad as an appetizer, with vinaigrette, and the main course contained a sticky rice pad, some VERY hard, uncooked green beans, and two shady pork sausage links with chili sauce. Finally, there was an Angel's Food Cake offered with coffee or tea.

Well, I ate the salad and the cake, and took nibbles of the rice, but the sausage and beans tasted inedible. Although in very rare form, I consumed less than 50% of the in-flight meal in an effort to avoid illness.

Haha. I am sorry the sausage and beans were inedible. From the pic, the sausages don't look necessarily nasty, just unusual considering it was not breakfast service. Anyway, as you mentioned, it is very commendable that PG would offer a hot meal service with appetizer and dessert in such a short flight... I would not have been offended if they had only offered soft drinks, peanuts and beer.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Again, we were shocked

Question. The pic above this caption shows a divider. Does PG have a premium cabin?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Today’s offering was a shrimp noodle bundle on top of lettuce, served with a starter that consisted of some strange meat (pork?), also on lettuce, and with a side chocolate cake. Juice and water were also served.

I kind of just took a few stabs at the entree and selectively had a few bites of the other areas. Didn’t really want to take my chances  

LOL. I would have fallen for this meal. It does not look bad on the picture.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
TRULY an exotic spot. Air Madagascar!!!!!

Man, that is awesome! Kudos for spotting and shooting it!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 5):
I felt like the airline lacked a sense of warmth all-around from its staff. On the ground, in the air, in the lounge - something seemed awry. Distant. Not rude by any means, but not at the level of expectations generally set by Asian carriers.

That is indeed unexpected and quite disappointing as you well say. Asian carriers and their flight attendants have a great reputation of warm and friendly service, and one would even take for granted that the crew of a TG flight would be smiling constantly and treat everyone with care and dedication. Sorry your flights were the exception. I don't have a lot of experience with Asian carriers, but I was not disappointed by my long-haul flight with KE in Y last year... the crew was great and one f.a. in particular was super friendly and cute. In theory MH, SQ and TG rank higher than KE in this department. Oh well.



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1088 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13526 times:

A complete trip report, well described and full of nice photos.
The food on all 4 flights look amazing, I'm sure they are my taste but maybe they are too strange for you.

The meat item concerned on your PG flight USM-BKK is actually duck meat!

I think PG serves too much food for their domestic flights. The tray is too full of everything and most pax don't really eat much which end up leaving lots of wastes.

Thank you for your nicely done TR.
net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13068 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 10):
As regards baggage through checking on separate tickets, well there's really no definite policy amongst airlines even when they are members of the same alliance. As you can imagine, it's all down to cost-cutting because the first carrier tagging your bags picks up the tab should they be delayed or lost in the system.

Very true. I should be better-versed in the complexities behind this process, but it is so case-by-case that it's virtually impossible to grasp it at eye-level.

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 10):
True. But remember that there have been chaotic scenes at BKK during times of political unrest and during the "ash cloud" crisis a couple of years ago.

Again, excellent point. Thanks for bringing my attention to this.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13067 times:

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 11):
Thanks so much for taking the time to write it and for sharing your incredible pics. I kind of felt I was on board those flights for a moment.

Thanks for reading as always!

Quoting nethkt (Reply 12):
The meat item concerned on your PG flight USM-BKK is actually duck meat!

I think PG serves too much food for their domestic flights. The tray is too full of everything and most pax don't really eat much which end up leaving lots of wastes.

Haha, I don't think I'd trust duck meat on a plane. Keep the birds in the air, but not served on China  

Agreed that the waste situation is probably bad. Then again, I don't manage their revenue so it's their call, not mine!



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12953 times:

Interesting trip. Good to see you traveling again, and it seems you had a good time in Thailand. I find it a little too commercial for my tastes. Interesting comments about Bangkok Airways - their slogan actually is contrary to the LCC offerings as they want to be known for their service. How much of a premium was your flight sold for?

Great report, with lots of awesome pictures! I really do need to go back to India, and especially Delhi. Miss the place!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (2 years 20 hours ago) and read 12788 times:

Hi

Great trip report, thanks for sharing! Great to see DEL by daylight.
TG and PG seem to have decent products. Great food offerings on TG if you compare it against the US/euro carriers.

Nice to see the vacation pics as well

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1167 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 12644 times:
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Hi IrishAyes,

Another great report you made here with lots of fatnastic pictures, thanks for sharing!
Thai airways loooks good as mostly seems to be the case. Surprised about the service on Bangkok Airways, a meal on an 1 hour flight? well done!
Love your pictures of Koh Samui, looks like such a relaxing and calm place!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I was shocked to see that Ethiopian flies to Hangzhou, China from IGI!! Allegedly, it operates 5 times (x35) weekly as ET 688/689, although it has operating restrictions on carrying no local traffic between DEL and HGH (I think - please confirm!)

That would be too bad if it is true, would make for a great fifth freedom flight!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
There are a surprising number of day flights to LHR: Four to be exact: two BA (not pictured here), one Virgin, one Jet Airways, and one Air India

Doesn't that make 5 flights not 4 :P

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 5):
Finally, I also feel that Thai is disconnected from Star Alliance

Out of curiosity, why do you feel that?

Looking forward to your next report!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 12343 times:

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 15):
How much of a premium was your flight sold for?

It wasn't cheap; almost cost as much as my r/t DEL-BKK sectors on TG. I should have known...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 15):
Great report, with lots of awesome pictures! I really do need to go back to India, and especially Delhi. Miss the place!

Thanks man! Means a lot coming from you - see you in ORD soon, hopefully!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):
Great trip report, thanks for sharing! Great to see DEL by daylight.
TG and PG seem to have decent products. Great food offerings on TG if you compare it against the US/euro carriers.

Nice to see the vacation pics as well

Thanks for reading!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 17):

Another great report you made here with lots of fatnastic pictures, thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Brendan! Reading your TR on LAN in a moment....will leave feedback.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 17):
That would be too bad if it is true, would make for a great fifth freedom flight!

I know, right?

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 17):
Doesn't that make 5 flights not 4 :P

HAH. I miscounted. 2x BA flights although one is a daylight flight! Ha. Thanks for the correction  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 17):
Out of curiosity, why do you feel that?

Meh. Just seems like it does its own thing. Carriers like AC and LH are so much more *A gun-ho. Actually, to be truthful, even LX appeared kind of distant. I am flying NH on Thursday, so I'll see what they are like.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlinewin1290 From Thailand, joined Jan 2012, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 11670 times:

Hi IrishAyes,

Fantastic trip report! Very nice to see both TG and PG flights. Though, I would prefer PG on shorter regional routes. Very nice also to see your stunning photos of Koh Samui, a place where I would love to visit one day.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 2):
I arrived at Gate 8 and was surprised to notice that our regularly scheduled Airbus A330-300 had been upgraded to an A346!

A very nice start indeed. I love the A346  
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 2):
Interestingly, neither of my flights (both to and from Bangkok) called for priority boarding for Star Alliance elite members  

Thats quite unlucky. Usually on almost all flights I had from Bangkok, the ground team were very strict in their boarding procedure, with priority boarding strongly enforced.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Dessert was interesting - I *believe* it was Khanom Takoh - otherwise known as a coconut cream jelly/custard/pudding cake? (correct me if I am wrong, Thais!) Of course very sugary and gelatinous.

I don't think it looks like khanom tako, cause tako would be a soft-ish coconut cream and it would look white.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
the main course contained a sticky rice pad, some VERY hard, uncooked green beans, and two shady pork sausage links with chili sauce. Finally, there was an Angel's Food Cake offered with coffee or tea.

The main course looks like Thailand's Northern dish, the sausage is rather spicy and is called 'Sai Ua' or Chiang Mai sausage.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
Again, we were shocked at the concept of a meal service on such a short flight. Today’s offering was a shrimp noodle bundle on top of lettuce, served with a starter that consisted of some strange meat (pork?)

The meat on the starter looks like duck.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
Sadly, the check-in agent failed to understand our requests to interline our luggage with our onward SWISS flight from DEL to ZRH, despite being on a separate reservation. There was also no recognition or cheerful welcome to us as Star elite members. Ultimately, a disappointing show for Star alliance.

That sounds very bad. I had the same problem last year when booked the flight from BKK to Brussels via LHR with TG and SN in two reservations. Having phoned (a few times)TG call-center and asked whether I could check the baggage through to BRU, their staff couldn't give a clear answer, in fact, they didn't know that SN is a *A member. But when checking in for the flight, fortunately, my bags could be sent through to BRU.
From my personal experience, TG ground team (especially check-in agents) don't usually recognise Star Alliance elite pax, which is quite disappointing, but usually their crew on-board do.
Did you use the dedicated check-in zone for the *A Elite passengers (located on check-in row B)?

Thanks,

Win


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11440 times:

Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
Fantastic trip report! Very nice to see both TG and PG flights.

Thanks, Win!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
Thats quite unlucky. Usually on almost all flights I had from Bangkok, the ground team were very strict in their boarding procedure, with priority boarding strongly enforced.

Yeah....didn't happen on either of the flights  
Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
I don't think it looks like khanom tako, cause tako would be a soft-ish coconut cream and it would look white.
Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
The main course looks like Thailand's Northern dish, the sausage is rather spicy and is called 'Sai Ua' or Chiang Mai sausage.
Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
The meat on the starter looks like duck.

Ah. Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification  
Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
Having phoned (a few times)TG call-center and asked whether I could check the baggage through to BRU, their staff couldn't give a clear answer, in fact, they didn't know that SN is a *A member. But when checking in for the flight, fortunately, my bags could be sent through to BRU.

And this is what I find unacceptable. For a global airline that is based in such a service-oriented country, it really baffles me that the carrier is so insular/unfamiliar with the capabilities/benefits offered by a mega alliance. Even more confounding is that THAI is a Star founder.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
From my personal experience, TG ground team (especially check-in agents) don't usually recognise Star Alliance elite pax, which is quite disappointing, but usually their crew on-board do.
Did you use the dedicated check-in zone for the *A Elite passengers (located on check-in row B)?

Nope. Wasn't aware of it. Since posting this TR, I have flown on All Nippon in Y and C class. Totally blows THAI out of the water when it comes to service orientation and elite recognition. I am a believer.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10222 times:

Hello IrishAyes,

First of all happy A.net birthday!   


Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Not to mention, I was chaperoning my Princess of an older sister, so minimal travel times were a necessity.

Do you visit a gym on regular basis? Your older sister must feel safe with her muscular, strong younger brother.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
I was excited to finally have a taste of the departure experience from the NEW Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi.

I gladly recall the nice memories of my own traveling through DEL T3 in 2011.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Culturally, they’ve done a nice job incorporating some of the Indian aesthetics.

Absolutely!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 2):
There were also great music genres

Also dance and today’s hits?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
The cherry on top was receiving a complimentary inflight meal on a ONE HOUR flight.

What about the lounge? Even if you fly Economy, you are entitled to visit the lounge.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
behind a chain-smoking couple from Spain

I hope they didn’t smoke on board.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
Today’s offering was a shrimp noodle bundle on top of lettuce, served with a starter that consisted of some strange meat (pork?), also on lettuce, and with a side chocolate cake. Juice and water were also served.

Yummy!   


Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
I also hit the Johnnie Walker a few times

Black Label, I assume?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
I was blown away by the architecture at Suvarnabhumi. Stunningly gorgeous.

  


Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
I found it curious that there were two CX birds on the ground at BKK today.

BKK is a CX mini hub with fifth-freedom routes to CMB, DEL, KHI, BOM and SIN.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 5):
Pad Thai in its native country - delicious!

So many countries, so many customs. Way to go!


Thank you for sharing this exciting brother-sister Thai trip of yours!


Have a nice Sunday,
Suryo  



Friends forever
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1313 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 9384 times:

Hey,

Thank you for a great report.

The views from USM airport always amazes me ... unfortunately on my asian trip I did not get there (Bangkok airways are so expensive!) hopefully one day.

Well done. Jonathan



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinechristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 9325 times:

The Bangkok Airways meal to Samui was Sai Oua, traditionally northern Thai sausages, served with sticky rice and raw veggies as a garnish. The green beans are yard beans, which are actually a bit crunchier than regular green beans. Nice of them to serve something with a local flavor.

[Edited 2013-02-01 09:38:59]


Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8668 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
First of all happy A.net birthday!  

Thanks, Suryo! It's been a fantastic five years, how time has flown!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
What about the lounge? Even if you fly Economy, you are entitled to visit the lounge.

I did go to the lounge in USM (I think?) which is nice. I went to the TG lounge in BKK on the return.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
Black Label, I assume?

Oh yes, as always.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
Thank you for sharing this exciting brother-sister Thai trip of yours!

Anytime! looking forward to your next TR as well. Congrats on the anniversary!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 22):

Hey,

Thank you for a great report.

The views from USM airport always amazes me ... unfortunately on my asian trip I did not get there (Bangkok airways are so expensive!) hopefully one day.

Well done. Jonathan

Thanks, Jonathan! It is an exciting airport indeed.

Quoting christao17 (Reply 23):

The Bangkok Airways meal to Samui was Sai Oua, traditionally northern Thai sausages, served with sticky rice and raw veggies as a garnish. The green beans are yard beans, which are actually a bit crunchier than regular green beans. Nice of them to serve something with a local flavor.

thanks for the clarification!



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
25 9w748capt : Can't believe I hadn't seen this TR before but I'm glad I found it! I'll be flying TG SIN-BKK-BOM in a few weeks. And as of right now SIN-BKK is suppo
26 IrishAyes : No worries my man! It's nice to see you stopping by here. Excited to hear you're traveling soon - enjoy the A346! Oh man, this is my #1 ANET request
27 Post contains images Superfly : That is my favorite Thai dish! Some day I need to take you to Nitya Guay Yan out in Bang Sue. They have the best Sai Oua. I think you meant to type s
28 IrishAyes : Very cool! Thanks for sharing! LOL I might, but I am scared of Bangkok. I think I need to be prepared mentally to be able to hand leaving Suvarnabhum
29 lukeyboy95 : Hi IA. Another excellent report. I took a similar CMB-BKK not so long ago. Would have much preferred daytime like this, but I have to say TG;s offerin
30 Post contains links and images Superfly : Why? It's one of the safest big cities in the world. It's just a local saying for - nevermind, it's not that serious. Just relax. Something to that e
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