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TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Mon Nov 26, 2001 8:28 pm

Thai Airways International
TG993 25/11/2001
Business Class

This is my first MD-11 flight. I changed my trip plan from TG991 (served by 747-400) to this flight specifically just to get a chance to fly this aircraft type.

I arrived at the airport about 2 hours prior to departure time and the check-in counters for business and first class were all empty. The check-in was quick and I was being served quite well. As a business class passenger with Royal Orchid Plus Gold status, a ground hostess would accompany me through the immigration to the Royal Executive Class lounge.

I went to the lounge near gate 14. The lounge has recently been upgraded which provide more capacity and a better bar area. However, I found that although the overall quality of this lounge is good, the lighting is way too bright. For transit passenger who want to take a short nap, this would be a problem. It'd be great if THAI will provide a quiet, dimmed section of this lounge for the passengers who prefer it.

I was called to board at about 7.50AM. The equipment today is HS-TMG. On the MD-11, the door 2L is just forward of the business class section. Therefore, the boarding sequence was first, economy then business which is a good idea since I don't want to sit in my seat while hundreds of other passengers with massive carry-ons walked pass and bumped to my shoulder. Once the door was closed, I moved from my seat at 11B to 11F on the bulkhead because 11B is and exit row seat and, without a foot rest, is not quite comfortable. Before pushback, I was served with a choice of orange juice and champagne then hot towel was offered.

The flight took off at about 8.20AM with only 1 passenger in first class, 2 seats empty in business class, and almost full economy class.

The take off was powerful and I felt that MD-11 gives more feeling of thrust than the 747's. The aircraft interior is showing its age but clean. The seat configuration is THAI's old configuration with 40" seat pitch and very simple business class seats. There is no PTV, no foot rest, no gadgets to play with. It's such a pity that THAI is so slow on the aircraft upgrade program. I also doubt that these 4 MD-11 may never be upgraded at all since they're all near retirement age.

The overall service on this flight was great and the food was perfect. The breakfast was served shortly after the aircraft reached the cruising altitude. I chose Dim Sum which was good.

After breakfast, the light was dimmed and shades closed to allow passengers to rest. They showed 2 movies on the main screen. During the movies, the flight attendants walked through the cabin frequently to offer drinks to the passengers. The Video Walkman units were also offered for the passengers who didn't like the main screen movie. There were 20 movies to choose from. I found that this is an acceptable interim solution until they manage to get PTV's installed on all their aircrafts. The F/A also kept the cabin in a good shape all the times. The restrooms are cleaned and replenished very frequently.

At about 4 hours into the flight, the F/A came out to offer fruits and sherbets to the passengers who wanted some snack. A bowl of instant noodle (big bowl!) was also available on request.

About 2 hours before landing they turned the lights back on and offered drinks and hot towel again. The dinner then followed starting with a snack (Thai styled herb sausage "Sai Oua"), seafood plate, then the choice of 4 main course, fruits and cheese platter, then finally coffer/tea/liqure and dessert. The portion was more than enough!

The flight landed at SYD at 8.50PM, 10 minutes earlier than schedule.

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with this flight. The lack of PTV's and other gadgets are not as bad as I thought at all! Maybe PTV's are way too overhyped by the marketing people. I find that the great service of the cabin crew made a big difference to my satisfaction. I recently flew on UA's international first class with its flat bed sky suite which is 10 times better than THAI's seat but the food and service was not up to par with THAI's business class. I would recommend THAI to anyone without reservation. That's not because I'm Thai but because of their great Royal Orchid service.

One thing I note, though, is that during the landing, they did not dim the light as it should. The F/A who sit at door 2R jump seat also didn't bother to wear the shoulder harnesses either which is not good if we encounter any accident on landing. That F/A would probably injured and unable to help the passengers. I wish the cabin crew pay more attention to safety procedure. I'll send the comment to THAI's management about this.
Cathay Pacific
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:03 pm

Thanks for the report, it's great reading!!!!

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Cathay Pacific....The Heart of Asia  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:57 pm

Great report! Thai's a great airline, no doubt about it. I just wish they'd install PTVs soon.
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Tue Nov 27, 2001 1:06 am

cool trip report and very interesting to read. Looks like that they are a good airline. Sounds nice your experiences. I liked Malaysian Airliens very much.
Topic Author
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Tue Nov 27, 2001 3:53 pm

Carmy: Not only PTV's but a new seat is a must!
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Wed Nov 28, 2001 8:43 am

Great report. There is some talk of Thai installing PTVs in all classes on their aircraft. Not so sure if the MD-11s will get these.
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:27 am

You are right .... PTV's are over-rated...

If they actually work the trade off is usually a decrease in the pitch and personally I'd rather have a more comfortable seat and just watch the video screen.

Nice trip report!

Best Regards

Sydney, Australia
airliners.net's passenger - simultaneously connecting and flying direct.
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Wed Nov 28, 2001 10:07 am

Great trip report.. I'm intending to non-rev on this route soon and specifically on that flight to take the MD11.
Great info  Smile
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Sun Dec 09, 2001 7:28 pm

I have flown on THAI's MD-11 a couple of times myself and I have found that though their Royal Orchid Class is lackng PTVs and the fancy seat gagetry, the service and food totally make up for it. So I definely going to have to agree with Spk! Great trip report...

by the way, does THAI operate the MD-11 to SYD on a regualar basis? I was under the impression that they only operated their MD-11s to Munich, Zurich, Dhaka and some of their scandanavian destinations...
Keep Discovering
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Mon Dec 10, 2001 6:41 pm

THAI has been operating MD-11 on BKK-SYD-MEL and BKK-MEL-BNE routes since October while operating 744 on BKK-SYD route.

Beginning at the end of this year, BKK-SYD-MEL will be upgraded to 744/743 while BKK-MEL-BNE will remain MD-11.

BTW, I just returned home today on board another MD-11 operating as TG994 (MEL-BKK). Same great service!
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RE: TG993 (MD-11) BKK-SYD

Wed Dec 12, 2001 9:25 pm

great trip report! service of TG sounds 'smooth as silk'

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