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Thai Airways, First Class - A380: Hong Kong To BKK  
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1680 posts, RR: 18
Posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 12520 times:

744px-Thai-Airlines-Logo_2008.svg

Airline: Thai Airways
Aircraft:
Airbus A 380
Cabin:
First Class
Seat:
3K, window
From:
Hong Kong
To:
Bangkok
Date:
24. August 2013
Departure:
13:25
Arrival:
15:05

BSLBKK

It’s only at this stage that things got really out of hand when I was planning this trip. I’d got my dates all messed up and realised rather late that instead of spending one night in Hong Kong before eventually heading home, I’d be spending two full days in Hong Kong. Of course the easiest thing would have been to simply rearrange the rest of my schedule. Like that I might have had a full day in Perth for example, which I really liked the look of – from what little I saw.

Or I could do something else that would be tremendously fun. I could significantly increase my carbon footprint with yet another bout of senseless flying, simply for the joy of cruising at 38’000 feet.

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT

At 11:00 I check out of The Peninsula. It's such a beautiful hotel. Even the lobby is a work of art.

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And this here will be taking me to the airport today. Sitting in the back, the sound of the engine is but a mere murmur, like the satisfied purr of a fat cat that’s just polished off a bowl of rich cream. It’s quite sexy actually.

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The journey by car from Tsim Sha Tsui on the southern tip of Kowloon to the airport takes approximately thirty minutes to complete. We pull up in front of terminal 2, where a porter from the hotel is already expecting me to take my luggage and escort me to the Thai Airways check-in counters.

CHECK-IN

Thai Airways has got quite an operation here in Hong Kong. Check-in is quickly done for the flight to Bangkok as well as the onward connection. I am also issued a lounge invitation.

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Before I leave, I inquire about the possibility of paying to upgrade to First Class. The check-in agent informs me that all seats are already taken, but one passenger has failed to turn up so far. She instructs me to contact the lounge attendant about thirty minutes before departure to check on the situation of the seat.

THE LOUNGE

From check-in I am escorted to the entrance for the security check. The porter bids me farewell and hopes I enjoyed my stay at The Peninsula. Oh you have no idea!

Terminal 2 is essentially a separate building with a set of check-in counters on the opposite side of the road from the main terminal building. Behind security and immigration there is an escalator leading down to the automated shuttle that takes you across to the gate area attached to terminal 1.

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From there I change trains and take the shuttle to the far end of the pier where gates 33 through 80 are located. The Thai Airways lounge is one floor up from the gates, overlooking gate 40. My flight today will be leaving from gate 62.

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The lounge is very colourful, with a good selection of hot and cold dishes.

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The big bird arrives.

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About thirty minutes before departure I approach the lounge reception where I am informed that the upgrade worked - jay! The flight has been closed for check-in with one empty seat up front. I am advised to go to the gate and pay the fare difference there, where I will also be issued a new boarding pass. The fare difference is merely HKD1600.

BOARDING

So I contact one of about ten gate attendants for my flight to pay the fee. The new boarding pass is promptly issued and I shall be on 3K for this flight, a window seat.

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There are three separate queues for boarding. The left one is for Economy on the lower level of the vessel, the middle one is for First Class and the right one for Business Class, both of which are located on the upper deck.

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THE CABIN

The cabin is very nice. Using a combination of wood and beige colours, there is something very soothing and inviting about the seat. There are two comfy pillows on my seat, as well as a day blanket for this short flight. There is also a folder with A 380 and Thai Airways stationary.

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SERVICE

We begin with the obligatory hot towels. If I’m not mistaken, they’re scented with Bulgari’s Essence de Thé Vert, which has a very refreshing and subtle perfume.

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Next, another flight attendant comes through the cabin with the Dom. I think he’s a bit upset when I ask him if I could have a Perrier instead. A bit later on, the same attendant brings me the menu and the wine list for today’s flight.

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DEPARTURE

Just before we push back, another big bird arrives at the gate next door.

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Take-off is sluggish, to say the least. You’d think we were flying all the way from Hong Kong to Europe, judging by how long it takes us to get airborne. Once we do take off, we hit some rather severe turbulence. It’s quite impressive really. To see or rather feel a little 737 doing all sorts of summersaults in the sky is one thing, but when it’s an A 380 it’s quite another. Fortunately before long we’re clear of the clouds and cruising through much calmer air.

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It’s quite funny to watch the other passengers. One guy has already lowered the blinds and another has changed into something a little less al dente. I’m not quite sure what’s going on exactly, the flight time to Bangkok is only two hours and ten minutes anyway.

Once the fasten seat belt sign goes off, I decide to explore the loo and the lounge area on the top floor.

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The loo is very stylish, I must say. It has a changing area which kind of sectioned off from the toilet.

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THE MEAL

We begin with an amuse bouche of smoked salmon on cucumber and grilled vegetables. To drink I have a Singha beer.

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Then the table is set for the meal. The crew pay a lot of attention to detail. For example they make sure that the logo of the tablecloth is the right side up. And whenever one of them fills up my glass, they make sure the logo on the can of beer is facing toward me.

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There is also a breadbasket. Initially I think I may have been spared the temptation to overindulge on garlic bread. But it turns out that they bring that separately. In the end I think I have seven pieces of the stuff. I can’t help it, it’s a compulsion…

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The first course is boiled Canadian scallops with capers mixed with almonds, sundried tomatoes and frisée lettuce and cucumber. A very tasty dish.

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Next comes the main course: pan-fried sea bream filet with a garlic sauce, served with vegetables and herb millet. It’s a nice chunky piece of fish, although it is perhaps a little on the dry side.

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Then comes a plate of anonymous cheeses with crackers and fruit – it doesn’t say on the menu what cheese it is.

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And finally for dessert we have Mövenpick yoghurt ice cream with diced fresh fruit.

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The meal concludes with a coffee and another scented hot towel. By this time we’re only 34 minutes out of Bangkok. Not bad at all.

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ARRIVAL

The weather in Bangkok is pretty much the same as in Hong Kong: overcast, occasional rain and a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. Before the take their seats for arrival, the three cabin crew working the First Class cabin stop at every seat to say good bye, which is a nice touch.

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As I exit the airbridge I am already being expected by a Thai Airways representative with a golf mobile. We wait for another passengers and then off we go to the security check for my next flight.

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11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4684 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 11562 times:

Hi William,

Great to see that your odyssey continues! I'm really enjoying this trip report series, and I think I'll be as devastated when you finally make it home as you will be!!!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I’d be spending two full days in Hong Kong

Sounds good to me  

Although I imagine the heat at this time of year must be a shock to the system after the crisp winter mornings of South Australia!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I could significantly increase my carbon footprint with yet another bout of senseless flying, simply for the joy of cruising at 38’000 feet

However much I love HK, this does sound like a good substitute  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I check out of The Peninsula. It's such a beautiful hotel. Even the lobby is a work of art

One day...

I always stay in Central as I love the Hong Kong Island side, but if I got the opportunity to stay here I wouldn't say no! You get to look at the Central skyline, and you're in a good location to simply putter across the water on the Star Ferry... perfect   

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Terminal 2 is essentially a separate building with a set of check-in counters on the opposite side of the road from the main terminal building. Behind security and immigration there is an escalator leading down to the automated shuttle that takes you across to the gate area attached to terminal 1

Aahhh, thanks for that! I had often wondered where the gates for T2 were, that makes a lot more sense now

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The fare difference is merely HKD1600

Bargain! That's an incredible fare. Also, it's pretty impressive that they had a 100% booked load in F.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The cabin is very nice. Using a combination of wood and beige colours, there is something very soothing and inviting about the seat

I agree. While I do quite like the EK suites, this is much less in your face and, in a sense, looks more relaxing.

TG look really decent here. The food looks good and it sounds like the service was decent.

Thanks for the continuing reports, and enjoy the rest of your trip  

Happy flying,
Alex



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineFlyingRoo82 From Australia, joined Aug 2012, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 11522 times:

Another great trip report! For the extra money it was definitely worth experiencing Thai First Class, the food looked amazing for such a short flight. Interesting that certain airlines have pay upgrades at check in - was this due to your frequent flyer status? To my knowledge the Australian carriers (QF and VA) don't have pay upgrades at check in - only points.

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11080 times:

Hello William

Great story about TG's new 380!
F looks top notch.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1110 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10663 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi William,

Once again a great report you made here!
TG F looks very nice, shame it was such a short flight!
What a great idea to get some more flying done instead of heading straight home from HKG  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Or I could do something else that would be tremendously fun. I could significantly increase my carbon footprint with yet another bout of senseless flying, simply for the joy of cruising at 38000 feet.

What a wise choice, I would have done the same!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Sitting in the back, the sound of the engine is but a mere murmur, like the satisfied purr of a fat cat thas just polished off a bowl of rich cream. Its quite sexy actually.

:D

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
From check-in I am escorted to the entrance for the security check. The porter bids me farewell and hopes I enjoyed my stay at The Peninsula. Oh you have no idea!

Very nice service from the porter, The Peninsula sounds like a great hotel!

Thanks for sharing!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 10494 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi William,


A great trip report! How is MH's first class on the A380 compared to TG's? Overall, which airline would you prefer?

Cheers,
Jtnstar.


User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1680 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (7 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9862 times:

Hi Alex

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
Great to see that your odyssey continues! I'm really enjoying this trip report series, and I think I'll be as devastated when you finally make it home as you will be!!!

I'm glad you're enjoying this series. Making the experience was rather fun too actually! I'm writing this from the First Class lounge in Frankfurt. Only one more leg to go.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
Although I imagine the heat at this time of year must be a shock to the system after the crisp winter mornings of South Australia!

It wasn't too bad. Apart from that I was just happy not to be feeling cold anymore!

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
However much I love HK, this does sound like a good substitute

Spoken like a true a.netter!

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
Aahhh, thanks for that! I had often wondered where the gates for T2 were, that makes a lot more sense now

Same here, the famous T2 has eluded me for a long time. From what I could tell, they seem to be building some sort of satellite in HKG right now.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
Bargain! That's an incredible fare. Also, it's pretty impressive that they had a 100% booked load in F.

Well, if all the others paid for an upgrade at check-in as well that's probably why the load was 100%.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
I agree. While I do quite like the EK suites, this is much less in your face and, in a sense, looks more relaxing.

I've never tried the EK suites, mainly because I think, as you say, that they're a bit in your face about it.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
Thanks for the continuing reports, and enjoy the rest of your trip

My pleasure. And thanks, it's certainly been a fun trip!

Hi FlyingRoo82

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Reply 2):
Interesting that certain airlines have pay upgrades at check in - was this due to your frequent flyer status? To my knowledge the Australian carriers (QF and VA) don't have pay upgrades at check in - only points.

Yeah, when I booked the QF tickets I figured I'd try to get a paid upgrade at check-in. When I asked in ASP though, the poor woman had no idea what I was talking about.

Hi Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
F looks top notch.

Thai's First Class was great, although for such a short flight a bit less food might have done too. As it is I feel like I spent the whole flight eating!

Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
TG F looks very nice, shame it was such a short flight!

Nah, it was okay. Kind of like an appetizer.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
What a great idea to get some more flying done instead of heading straight home from HKG

Yes, that would have been so boring!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
What a wise choice, I would have done the same!

I'm sure you would have - and added a few segments more probably!

Hi Jtnstar

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 5):
A great trip report! How is MH's first class on the A380 compared to TG's? Overall, which airline would you prefer?

The First Class cabin on the Malaysian A380 is definitely much nicer than the one on Thai. All things considered, I would say Cathay Pacific is my favourite airline from the region. Fourth place goes to Thai Airways. What I' not sure about is places two and three. Possibly SQ is in the second place ahead of MH. But only just.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1570 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9194 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good day knightsofmalta,

Nice to read and see what Thai 1st class service is like. Good to see that the FA’s went the extra mile into the details. They must be trained meticulously! The personal and ‘at seat’ goodbyes are certainly a nice touch. I liked the bar area and that secluded change area as well. Are those amenities only for 1st class of also for business class?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1680 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8936 times:

Good evening Nils, and thanks for dropping in.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
Nice to read and see what Thai 1st class service is like. Good to see that the FA’s went the extra mile into the details. They must be trained meticulously! The personal and ‘at seat’ goodbyes are certainly a nice touch. I liked the bar area and that secluded change area as well. Are those amenities only for 1st class of also for business class?

Actually I'm not really sure about the amenities. I'm guessing they probably have something for the Business Class passengers, but most likely a different line of product or so. I know that that's what SWISS does. In First the cosmetics are by la prairie, whereas in Business Class they're just no name products they use.

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 9, posted (7 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 7777 times:

Hi William,

after a little break, it's time to check the rest of your series! TG's A380 F Class product looks very impressive as usual. Very good idea to ask for an upgrade. I guess I would have invested these HKD1600 as well.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Sitting in the back, the sound of the engine is but a mere murmur, like the satisfied purr of a fat cat that’s just polished off a bowl of rich cream. It’s quite sexy actually.

That's what I call an airport transfer in style.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The cabin is very nice. Using a combination of wood and beige colours, there is something very soothing and inviting about the seat.

I agree - but I guess it takes some effort to keep all elements clean in that cabin.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Once we do take off, we hit some rather severe turbulence. It’s quite impressive really. To see or rather feel a little 737 doing all sorts of summersaults in the sky is one thing, but when it’s an A 380 it’s quite another.

Just some days ago, a TG A380 encountered very severe turbulence on the same route - that caused quite a mess on board and left many people injured. Not exactly what you want to experience at any time.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

Once the fasten seat belt sign goes off, I decide to explore the loo and the lounge area on the top floor.

These lounge seats look a bit cheap - the corner reminds me of a commuter train somehow.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1044 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7442 times:

Hello Khun knightsofmalta!

Thank you for the trip report of First class service on THAI shortest A380 service route.

Must agree that the food is a bit too much for the length of the flight but sure passengers can opt to skip.
Also very nice to hear that flight attendant on your flight took care of little details here and there.
It supposed to be like that on all THAI flights but I think some flight attendants could care less about it which give some inconsistencies on THAI's service.

I believe they offer paid upgrade when flight is overbooked, yup, they overbooked Business class on HKG routes.
If no one cares to pay, then they will give free op-up according to tier status.

Will keep following your amazing trips! I love it when ones could care less about carbon footprints. What the hec!

Cheers,
NET-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1680 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6133 times:

Hi Nethkt

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
Thank you for the trip report of First class service on THAI shortest A380 service route.

My pleasure.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
Must agree that the food is a bit too much for the length of the flight but sure passengers can opt to skip.

Of course, I could always have said no. But I'm always so curious about the service that I have the meal even if it's just to see what's on offer.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
It supposed to be like that on all THAI flights but I think some flight attendants could care less about it which give some inconsistencies on THAI's service.

I think that's not just a problem with Thai actually. Sometimes you have a crew that's just having a bad hair day. I've also had crews where it was quite apparent that they didn't get along amongst each other. Which is fair enough I guess. But not if the passengers get the brunt of it. That was not on Thai, by the way.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
I believe they offer paid upgrade when flight is overbooked, yup, they overbooked Business class on HKG routes.

Initially that's what I thought too. But when I went back to have a look at the Business Class, there were still quite some seats empty.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
Will keep following your amazing trips! I

Thanks, next one coming up soon.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
I love it when ones could care less about carbon footprints. What the hec!

Oh go on then, give me a bad conscience after all!

Cheers,
William


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