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Thai Trip II: BKK-CNX-BKK TG Royal Silk Class PIX!  
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 18421 times:

This is part II of my trip to Thailand. For part one, click on the following link
Thai Trip I: SIN-BKK-SIN LX Business/Economy PIX! (by Coal Dec 29 2006 in Trip Reports)

Background
After some days in Bangkok, it was time to go to northern Thailand to Chiang Mai for a couple of days and explore the Thai mountains. I got a relatively cheap airfare on Thai's Royal Silk class for about 7,000 Bhat. One, Two Go (stupid, stupid name) by Orient Thai was advertising one way fares for 1,700 Bhat, but I thought I'd indulge a little and earn the miles.


Suvarnabhumi just after 6am


Suvarnabhumi at dawn


Check-In

Check-in was fast and efficient. Not too friendly, although I gather it was because the check-in agent didn't speak much English. I got my boarding pass and was directed to the domestic departure area, were I should find the Royal Orchid lounge.


Check-In information display

The lounge itself was quite nice. It was very big, and it was really crowded! I was surprised there would be that many people flying domestic business, especially Westerners, but I guess most of them must've been Star Gold or so. The food was really nice, and there was also a capuccino machine as well as some good O.J. (hey, I'm from FL!). After grabbing some food I made my way to a more private area to sit down. The chairs, although they looked really plush, were hard as rocks! Good thing I would only be sitting here for a few minutes. They also had 4 PCs with internet connections, of which I made use to check A.net and to post a question RE: the partial closure of the new BKK due to some mismanagement by the previous government. Boarding time came soon, so I headed towards the gate.


Thai's Royal Orchid Domestic lounge


Good food selection


Gate
At this point I was still unimpressed with Suvarnabhumi. The domestic gate area looks a lot like the international arrival area, with all the cold, bare concrete. The gate for this flight was A1D, which is in a group of gates (A1B, C, and D) in the ground level. People are bussed to the aircraft from here. This was pretty exciting as I always enjoy riding around the airport at tarmac level. In the distance I could see a 744 in the old colors, parked in a remote stand. I figured this would be our ride for today. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that our 744 was in the new colors, and was parked in one of the international gates (C or D pier, cannot recall). Awesome! This would mean we would get the international business configuration. It felt just great being next to the Queen. As we got off the bus, we headed up the stairs attached to the jet bridge. There was a dedicated bridge for premium pax. As I boarded I was greated with the traditional Thai bow and showed to my seat, 23A.


Gate Area


Gates A1B, A1C, and A1D


Boarding pass


The Queen!


While I waited for pushback, I tried to play around with the seat controls. They were not very intuitive, and didn't work all that well. The seat did not fully recline, even when pressing the button to turn the seat into a bed. Plus, the foot rest got jammed many times, leaving me in quite an uncomfortable position.


Seat 23A


Seat controls


Thai's Royal Silk class


Looking towards Royal First class


Flight: TG 102
Route: BKK-CNX
Aircraft: B747-400
Schd (Act) Time: 08:15 (09:00) - 09:25 (10:20)
Seat: 23A


The flight was delayed due to some connecting pax arriving late into BKK. Finally just before 9am we started our push back. There were quite a few a/c in line for departure, including a few TG 744s, QR A332, and a few PG ATR42s.


Legroom


Thai 744


Bangkok Air ATR42


Qatar A332


Thai 744


Bangkok Air ATR42


Taking off from BKK while listening to Infected Mushroom's "Ratio Shmatio"


The short flight was uneventful. The F/A's did the minimal that was required of their job, which left me unimpressed. There were no menus, and the choice of food for breakfast was some kind of rice noodle roll filled with mushrooms and shrimp, which was quite tasty! This came along with a stale croissant, coffee, and orange juice made out of concentrate. The tablecloth was literally thrown at me, quite rude! Also, when the F/A removed my tray, she accidentally pulled the iPod earphones out of my ear, quite painfull! No apologies were offered, even though she clearly noticed this. Furthermore, my three requests for a bottle of water were ignored.

The IFE consisted of a selection of about 70 channels of movies, programs, and audio that seemed to have started well before take off. You could rewind and ff the movies, but they were not offered on demand. Also, no headphones were offered, so I just listened to some Infected Mushroom on my iPod and read about Chiang Mai while watching the moving map.


Moving map

Soon enough, we were descending next to the mountains, into Chiang Mai. I took some pics of the fog blanketed mountains, but they came out terrible and I decided not to include them in the report.


Finals for CNX

After landing, I quickly made my way to baggage claim. Here, I was also left unimpressed by Thai. Despite the fact that I had a Priority tag on my luggage, it came out last! You can imagine how long I had to wait for it, considering this was a full 744 flight. I guess Thai does not understand the concept of priority.


Deboarding at Chiang Mai


Looking out the window while waiting for my bag, I spotted a Nok Air ATR42


Arrivals area


After a few days in Chiang Mai, it was time to go back to Bangkok for a day of some shopping, before returning home to Singapore.


Check-In
The Thai Royal Silk check-in line was pretty long, with most passengers going to Phuket. So I decided to head over to an open Economy check-in desk. I was greeted by a nice girl wearing a badge that read "Trainee." I hesitated while remembering my experience with the AF check-in agent in OSL back a few months ago, who was on her first day on the job. I decided to give the TG trainee girl the benefit of the doubt, and let her check me in. It took her a while to find my reservation, due to the fact that she looked under my middle name instead of my last name. After a few minutes of trying to explain, in painfully slow English, which one was my last name, she found my reservation and gave me seat 14K. She pointed me towards departures and told me where the lounge was. Silly me didn't wait to check and see if she put a Priority tag on my bag. Well, she didn't, and later I would have to wait for my bag to come out last again! At least this was an A300 and not a 744.


Chiang Mai Check-In Area

The Thai Royal Orchid lounge was conveniently located in the small gate area. The lounge itself looked pretty big from outside, but this was due to the fact that most of the walls had mirrors, creating that space effect.


Thai Royal Orchid lounge


Inside the lounge


The lounge was packed! I nearly couldn't find a place to sit, and I learned nearly all of the passengers in it were heading to Phuket, save for me and a couple from the US (I found it interesting that most of the tourists I met were all Americans - and they say Americans never travel!)


The empty lounge after the flight to HKT

The food selection here was not good at all. There were some bologna sandwiches and some kind of breakfast pastries. The orange juice again was made from concentrate (yuck!). But the coffee was quite good and I had about 4 cups. There was not much reading material, just like in the lounge in BKK. Selection included a few newspapers in Thai plus the Bangkok Post, but no international newspapers.

There were also two internet terminals, but it was painfully slow, mostly because of the earthquake in Taiwan. Ironically, the only page I was able to open up was the IHT's, which had the headline: "Asia goes back to pre-Internet days."

Gate

I left the lounge around noon to explore the small gate area. 12:15 came around and our flight hadn't boarded yet. No reason was given for the delay, and boarding for Royal Silk was finally called at 12:30, which meant a 15min delay.


Gate 6

I boarded through door 2L and was directed to seat 14K. Ah, it felt good to be on an old workhorse. I really like the A300! I think it's due to the fact that I flown on it on AA so many times.


Seat 14K


Thai's domestic Royal Silk class


Legroom


Check out the old school IFE controls!


I was offered orange or tamarind juice by the F/A. I hadn't had tamarind juice in... wow, I'd say over 10 years! So I took it and was quite nice. This was followed by a steamy hot towel and a copy of the WSJ Asia. Seated next to me was a distinguished looking lady. Now, I couldn't figure out whether she was the purser's wife or someone important in Thai society. The purser only drew his attention to her, even after some of my requests were turned down. He fell short of literally kissing her ass. But at the end of the flight, she said something that got him visibly angry and he started to raise his voice at hear to a near scream! In any case, I found it quite unprofessional for the purser to devote his entire time to her and ignore the rest of the passengers in C.


Ramp in Chiang Mai

Flight: TG 107
Route: CNX-BKK
Aircraft: A300-600
Schd (Act) Time: 12:30 (12:45) - 13:40 (14:00)
Seat: 14K


We pushed back about 15mins behind schedule, which was not too bad. We took off to the North and made a quick 180 degree turn to the South towards BKK.

Another uneventful flight. I spent most of the time listening to the tunes in the iPod and reading the WSJ. As with all the other sectors in this trip, there was no menu offering. The meal was lunch, which consisted of Duck in Peppercorn sauce, some stale piece of pie, and some kind of white flan concoction filled with fruits. This was washed down with a coke brought on a tray along with water and OJ, and finished off with a coffee. The coffee was cold, and the effect of this on the creamer was not good at all. 2 requests to the purser for another cup of hot coffee were ignored. I also found the duck to be an odd choice for a meal. I personally like duck, but everyone else in my family hates it and thinks it has a pond-like taste. The duck was ok, a bit rubbery.

We came in North of Bangkok and flew over the now closed Don Muang airport, which might actually open again for some flights if they do decide to partially close Suvarnabhumi for repairs.

We flew all the way to the South of Bangkok and made a 180 degree turn over the South China sea for a rwy 01R arrival. After landing we quickly taxied to pier A.


Domestic Pier


TG 734, PG 717, and Orient Thai 747 in view


I got off the a/c quickly and walked to baggage claim. Of course, since my bag hadn't been tagged as Star Priority, it came out at the end. At least it wasn't a 744!


Connecting flight info


View from baggage claim


Overall, I wasn't impressed with Thai. I chose them over PG because of the *A miles, but if I ever have to fly domestically in Thailand again, I will definitely give Bangkok Air a try.

For the return trip from BKK to SIN, go to part one in the following link

Thai Trip I: SIN-BKK-SIN LX Business/Economy PIX! (by Coal Dec 29 2006 in Trip Reports)

Cheers,
Coal


Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAlaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 905 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 18342 times:

great report mate!
good to read another one of yours!

the new seats for thai look rather slim, I think I'll stick with QF(1.5" slimmer then QF), all the same it looked nice!
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.



to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 18108 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks Coal, another enjoyable read.

Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
I really like the A300!

- Me too, not had that many A300 flights, but really enjoy the old bird.

Regards

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 offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 17900 times:
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Nice report! I also like flying on the A300. I flew on one between Frankfurt and Berlin in 2002, and enjoyed the flight very much.

767747


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 17666 times:

Yes, the A300 is a great plane. As mentioned, I've flown it a lot with AA b/w JFK and MIA and b/w MIA and destinations South. But this one was the first one I ever saw that still had the really old style, analog audio controls.

Cheers,
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 17234 times:

Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 1):
the new seats for thai look rather slim, I think I'll stick with QF(1.5" slimmer then QF), all the same it looked nice!

Thanks mate. Yes, true. Maybe on a long haul flight you might be able to feel the difference, but actually those Recaro seats were some of the most comfortable I've sat in. Reminded me of my car seats, actually. Nice lumbar support.

Cheers,
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineBAW076 From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2006, 750 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 17202 times:

Great report mate, and wonderful pics!

That new Airport in Bangkok (can't say or spell the name of it!)... looks something else!

Chris  wave 



N754AN (x2), G-CPEL, G-MIDE, G-BPEC, G-BZHC, EI-DCH, LN-KKN, G-VIIW, G-BNLT, G-DBCA, G-MEDE, G-DBCE, G-MIDP.
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17011 times:

Quoting BAW076 (Reply 6):
Great report mate, and wonderful pics!

Thanks buddy!

Quoting BAW076 (Reply 6):
That new Airport in Bangkok (can't say or spell the name of it!)... looks something else!

Yes, actually parts of it reminded me a bit of CDG 2F

Cheers,
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8451 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 16910 times:

I flew BKK-CNX in June on TG in Y. The meal consisted of jelly and a stale criossant with some kind for pate on it.

User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 16798 times:

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 8):
I flew BKK-CNX in June on TG in Y. The meal consisted of jelly and a stale criossant with some kind for pate on it.

Not bad for a domestic flight. I was actually only expecting a sandwich and a drink in C.

Cheers,
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineSASDC8 From Norway, joined Mar 2006, 756 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 16461 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and good pix  Smile

Flew 4 flights on TGs Domestic Business Class last year and found the service (in the air) to be quite good. That can not be said about their ground crews (check-in) in BKK, HKT and UBP. They did not even smile once, which is quite astonishing in "The Land of Smiles".

I also fell in love with the A300 (3 out of 4 flights were on it); quiet, powerful and comfortable  Smile

Stein



2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16279 times:

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 10):
Nice report and good pix Smile

Flew 4 flights on TGs Domestic Business Class last year and found the service (in the air) to be quite good. That can not be said about their ground crews (check-in) in BKK, HKT and UBP. They did not even smile once, which is quite astonishing in "The Land of Smiles".

I also fell in love with the A300 (3 out of 4 flights were on it); quiet, powerful and comfortable Smile

Stein

Thanks! Did those A300 have the old business class seats?

Cheers,
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 301 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 16097 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thai have really lowered their standards in recent times which makes me quite sad as they used to be great and I was more than happy to fly them.

Now I choose SQ whenever I can - even though it means going through SIN.

Its surprising that TG have dropped service standards when they are competing against the low-cost sector, and also Bangkok Airways, who are young, fresh, innovative and have outstanding products and services.

Might have to change my username from Thai744 to PG320!


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 16037 times:

Hi Coal,

Cool report and photos.

You can get some very attractive business fares with TG.

Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
One, Two Go (stupid, stupid name) by Orient Thai was advertising one way fares for 1,700 Bhat

1, 2, Go actually sets its fares at 1,700B, so whether you book in advance or on the day makes no difference (subject to availability, of course).

I flew HGN-CNX on TG AT7 in Dec. Since then, I've flown BKK-SIN, KUL-PNH and REP-KUL. Next, on 7th Feb, is HKT-BKK.

James in Singinginthepouringrain.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 15279 times:

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 12):
Thai have really lowered their standards in recent times which makes me quite sad as they used to be great and I was more than happy to fly them.

Interesting. Although I cannot compare to TG's service in the past, there was a clear difference between flying the 744 and the A300.

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 13):
Hi Coal,

Cool report and photos.

Thanks!

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 13):

You can get some very attractive business fares with TG.

 checkmark 

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 13):
Next, on 7th Feb, is HKT-BKK.

So how was it?

Cheers,
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
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