Thai Airways Flight 773
LAX-KIX-BKK on June 19
Boeing 747-400 (HS-TGL Theparat)
Remote Stand 214 via Gate 117
Scheduled departure time: 1:40PM, Actual departure time: 1:59PM
Scheduled arrival time: Forgot to look...
Photo © Tristan Peters
My mom and I piled into a twelve person van that was waiting on the street for us next to my sister's apartment in LGB, after loading our eight suitcases into the van. Our family was laid thin, because my mom and I flew down to LGB together, and spent several days with my sis and brother in law, and then we drove out to LAX to fly home to Thailand. My sister and my brother in law were gunna fly to Thailand about 2 weeks later, and spend about a week and a half down in Phuket for their late honeymoon, before flying out to northeastern Thailand to join us.
We arrived at the Tom Bradley International Terminal around 8AM (my mom insisted on getting there early...5 hours early lol), and somehow managed to get our eight suitcases inside (remember, there are only two of us, and I have a backpack, and my mom has a breifcase), and we dropped all of our stuff by a few benches inside. I told my mom hasitily that I would track down my brother and that she should not worry. My brother was flying in from OAK, on United Express (SKYWEST!!!! WOOHOO!!!! FYI, my dad is a Skywest pilot, so I luv Skywest), and so I walked down to Terminal 8. I wanted to stretch my legs before this seventeen hour flight. Ok, so I was thinking a little stretch, not a 10 mile walk . I thought about taking the shuttle somewhere around Terminal 5, but I was like, oh, come on Shaun, you can handle this, I mean, you're a runner. But then I walked past a really hot FA, and I nearly collapsed when I smelled their scent wafting through the air. Now are you ready to take the shuttle? Well, me being a stubborn male (no offense guys), I refused to give in, and about 10 minutes later, I got to Terminal 8. But then I went inside, and I wasn't sure which terminal his gate was in, so I asked one of the UA agents, where gate XX was, and she said "It's inside security." I wanted to smack that b!tch upside the head, I was like, WTH! DUH! No $HIT SHERLOCK! But I contained myself, and I asked another person which terminal this gate was in, and they too said the same thing: "You have to go through security." I just wasn't sure which terminal I needed to wait at for my brother, you know? Reasonable question right? Stupid answers though. Anyways, I called my brother who snuck up on me, and threw me over his shoulder into a firemans carry, and totally scared the living $hit outta me, but I was glad that he did something a titch more creative than just slapping me on the back, and giving me a noogie er sumthin. But anyways, I apologize to you guys for my reactions a few lines up. When we went to get his suitcase (I took like, three suitcases to Thailand, how did he manage with one, like, where does he put all of his clothes!!!), he said: "Oh, that might be it," so I grabbed it, and pulled it off the carousel to look at the tag, and then this obese woman runs(sorta) up to me and slaps my hand off the suitcase, and says "Thats mine, get your hands off it!" I'm just like *raises eyebrow, and in head imagines big buff brother beating up woman* It hurt my feelings, I mean, its not like I was trying to jack her bag, what would I want from an old lady's bag? I mean, I was just seeing if it was my brother's, and if it wasn't, I was gunna put it back onto the carousel.
My brother and I walked back to the TBIT, and I passed the same FA who had nearly made me swoon earlier, and I tried to contain my drool. Right, so after a while, my brother got really impatient of walking, but I was proud to be walking next to my brother, I like him, he's cool. We got back to TBIt, and took a few pictures from the sidewalk, towards the concourse that extends south. We met up with our mom in the terminal, and shortly thereafter, found our friends that were gunna be on the same flight as us. My mom doesn't really like this woman that much, but she lives in a village near us, so we kinda gotta be nice to her, not to mention that her son is cool Anyways, they brought along like, ten of their relatives, so we were a really big group. We went to stand in the Thai Airways check in line, and while everyone was trying to find tickets and stuff, I was gawking at this fine piece of human creation standing over in the BA line. I was wishing so badly that we could have flown BA, I'm so serious, I would have killed to be on the same flight as that person, so cute! Anyways, an agent from one of the other Asian airlines came over and told us that the TG check in desks wouldn't open until 10:15, and that we weren't allowed to stand in the line until it opened(?!), so we went and put our gazillion bags through security, and it was a good thing, cuz right after that, like, busloads of peeps started arriving, so we got our stuff through without having to wait. When we told them that we were flying TG, they said we would have to put our bags through AGAIN, once the check in desks opened, and I was like, what?! Why? Does anyone know? And since they x-ray your bags and then give them back to you, do they get re-x-rayed again once you check them in? Cuz you could sneak stuff in after they x-ray it and before you check it. in.
We went through security, but my friend's cousin er sumthing went through, and he beeped, and so he went through like, 3 more times, and then he was like, handcheacked, and the TSA chick reached into his pocket, I closed my eyes, and she pulled out his CD player. I was like, omg, you left your CD player in your pocket? His mom screamed some stuff at him in Thai, and he said that he didn't wanna take it out and put it in his backpack...I was like...I thought I was lazy.... We proceeded to gate 117, which was like, right next to security. I was like, wait, 1) there is no jetway, 2) It is at ground level, and 3) there are doors out to platforms. I was like, OMG, we are gunna be bussed out to the remote stands!!! WICKED!!!! And I was right, we all got onboard those little buses, and we drove out to the remote stands. It was so cool! I got this neat shot of two Qantas 744's, back to back, er, tail to tail, and it almost looks like a reflection! You can see it in the myaviation link at the beginning of this report. Not to mention that I saw Wunala Dreaming, another CO 738 with winglets(I had seen one in LAS, and DEN), the Mexicana A320 in retro colors (now repainted into the regular colors-N405MX), and then an AS 737 with winglets too! COOL!!
Photo © Jeremy Irish - Cactus Wings
Photo © Juan Carlos Guerra Aviation Photography of Mexico
Photo © Tim Samples - CFI-CFII-MEI
We got off the buses at the remote gates, and walked up a ramp which the led us like cattle into the awaiting 744. My mom hit it off immediately with the FA's (like always), whlile my brother tried to get her to move toward our seats. We had three seats to ourselves, and I got the window(50K). The flight was packed, and we pushed back from the gate eventually. After we took off, we banked right, and flew along the California coast, and when we were even with KSFO, we banked left and crossed the pacific. My brother got really pissed off, seeing as he had just flown in from OAK that morning, and you know, tragic irony that he was flying right past SFO and OAK. We cruised at FL320 across the Pacific. We landed on runway 24 in KIX, and taxied into gate 40.
We all deplaned while the crew swapped. I felt like I was on Ellis Island, like, being herded off the plane, shoved up a bottlenecked escalator, and down a tight hallway, and then to be yelled at by a snappy little doggy like japanese chick that my brother was eyeing. My brother(being 21) thought it was really sexy how she was snappy and irritable, she said he wanted to break her in, and make her behave *rolls eyes and shoves brother out of line and keeps walking*. Anyways, we walked around in the duty free stores a bit, and then re-boarded. My brother hit on all three Japanese boarding agents, I was like, damn, he isn't even home to Thailand yet, and he's already hitting on chicks! The next five hours were totally uneventful, so I'm not even gunna mention that flight.
Thai Air Asia/Thai Airways Flight XXXX/ 022
BKK-UBP (Ubon Ratchathani) on June 21
Boeing 737-400 (HS-TDR)
Remote Stand 123 via Gate 8
Scheduled departure time: 12:55PM, Actual departure time: 12:56PM
Scheduled arrival time: 2:00PM, Actual arrival time: 2:00PM
There isn't a picture of HS-TDR, so here is just a TG 734
Photo © Mark Tang - HKAEC
Ok, so, after a long tiring flight from LAX, my brother and I drove to my aunt's house in Don Muang (actually only a mile and a half from the airport) home and collapsed into our beds. Our mom decided to drive out to the village where our family lives, but my brother and I didn't wanna sit in the back of a truck for seven hours, so we decided to fly out the next day (well, the same day if you consider the fact that we got home after midnight), on Thai Air Asia. Mistake #1: Thinking that we would be able to wake up in time to make our flight. Mistake #2: Thinking that two teenagers would be able to wake up in time to make the once a day flight(on Air Asia, TG has three) to UBP. Mistake #3: Booking our flight on Air Asia and trying to save a few baht. I mean, no ofense to Air Asia, I would try them next time I go home, but I mean, after a long flight from the US, I didn't need what was about to happen. So, my brother and I are totally sleep, and my aunt is at school, teaching, and my uncle is at work. The phone rings around 11:35AM. I answer, and speak a little Thai to the person, and all I can get out of her reply is "Air Asia, Ubon Ratchathani, Thai Airways, 12:55PM. Then she spoke in broken up english, and she told me that the flight had been cancelled, and that we have been rebooked for a TG flight that leaves in about an hour and twenty minutes. The catch was that if we don't get to the airport within an hour, we will not get our money back and we won't be able to claim travel on either Air Asia or TG.
I spazzed, and kicked my brother to make him wake up, and told him the situation. I called my mom who was already with our family out in a village near Ubon, and she gave me my aunt's cellphone. I called her, and fortunately she is an english teacher, and so I tried to explain that we had 60 minutes to get to the airport. She spoke back in Thai (only 20% of which I understood lol), and hung up the phone. I was like $hit. I didn't have time to exchange some American dollars for Thai baht yet, so I didn't have any way to pay for us to get to the airport. I began throwing all my clothes into mu suitcase, threw a soap bar at my brother to help him wake up, and then hauled our stuff out to the door. Now to haul two heavy suitcases down five flights of stairs when you can hardly stay awake. Great. But as I was pondering over hurling me and my suitcase over the edge (a five story drop btw) of the corridor, to solve my issue of walking getting me and my belongings down teh stairs(I'm joking of course), my uncle rounded the corner and jogged towards me We hauled a$$ and got our stuff squished into a taxi downstairs. We sped to the airport's domestic terminal, and sprinted inside, only to find that to go to the check in counter, you must show proof of travel, which we didn't have, seeing that we came to GET our tickets. My uncle showed the security dude his military ID, and the guy let him in, and when I tried to follow him with my brother, the guy clotheslined me. Im serious. I was like, little mother f'er.
The one problem with my uncle is that he doesn't speak a single word of english. Nothing. Zippo. Nada. He spoke to the TG agent and he came back holding two tickets for my brother and I. I guess that he had to pay for those two tickets out of his pocket, and that Air Asia was going to give him a refund later. I felt bad that he took tim eoff from work to help us get to the airport. Anyways, we went to security, said thanks to our uncle(in Thai of course), and got in line for security. My uncle stood there waiting for us to go through, and its good that he stayed, because the woman asked to see my passport, so I showed her, and then my brother's face paled. I was like, "Uh oh, I know what your about to say." And at the same time: "Where is my/your passport." He threw off his backpack, and scrounged through while I tried to hide my intense blushing, because I hate feeling like a tourist, even though I'm half Thai, and half Irish. I don't look Thai though, I look more Brazilian (people have asked me if I play professional soccer for a Brasilian team), or Tahitian, I have heard both from people. Anyways, he finally found it, much to my relief, and my uncle's relief lol, and we continued through security. Now, the next thing, the flight to UBP is an hour. My family lives about an hour from UBP. So we called our mom, but she was out helping in the rice fields, but my other aunt answered my mom's phone. I explained that we would be there in an hour, in Thai, and she kinda got some of it lol, and as I understand, relayed it to my mom. All we could hope was that they would be there waiting for us.
We walked around, and went down into the PG lounge just to check it out, and I got a cool shot of a TG A340 in the new colors, the lighting was really cool. Anyways, then we went down to the TG waiting lounge for the remote stands, and an A310 pulled into the gate, and we were at ground level, so I got this wicked shot of it pulling in, from a ramper's point of view. Anyways, there was this one girl(probably a guy though, judging from her, erm, his, adam's apple) that kept staring at me. Kinda ackward since I don't go for transvestites. But anyways, we got onto the bus, and got off the bus, and we started to walk towards the plane. My brother stopped me and said, wait, is this the right plane? And I was like, well, considering all these other people are going to Ubon, I think I can safely say yes. But as we climbed the airstairs and stood in teh entryway, he asked one of the FA's, who didn't understand his english, so I translated it into Thai, and she answered yes, and laughed. In her head, she was probably thinking "stupid farangs"= stupid foreigners. And yes, I did feel stupid when this pretty 20~ old chick sat down in the aisle seat next to him (I claimed the window of course-42A ), and he asked her where she was going. I was like *smacks head and says dope*. I was thinking, how would I react if this american guy asked me where I was going? I would get up and walk away. Fast lol. But she just kinda raised an eyebrow, and so I leaned forward, shoved my brother back into his seat, and for the second time in five minutes, asked if this flight was going to Ubon, realizing how stupid that question was lol. But thats what younger brothers must do for their older brothers who don't know how to talk to girls. Annnnnnnnnnyways.
The flight was completely full, and we took off from 21R.We got a meal, which surprised me, even though it was a 1:04 minute flight.. It was really yummy! It was think thick spicy pasta stuff, with carmel cake, yummy! My brother couldn't eat his pasta, so I ate it, yummy! Anyways, we cruised at FL350, and the entire duration of the flight, we had an absolutely stunning view of the clouds, and in our descent into UBP, the clouds were even more spectacular. Oh, and I noticed that the coach seating starts at row 31. What is up with that? First starts at row 26. did they chop the plane's forward half off, and convert it into a 737?
Anyways, that is all for this TR, not to mention that I wanna go nitey. In the next one, I'm gunna post it in the non-av forum, cuz it is gunna be a TR on the State Railway of Thailand. One segment is Sisaket-Don Muang, and the next is Bangkok Hua Lamphong-Surat Thani, and my journey through Phuket, Koh Samui, and Pattaya. The following TR is gunna be a PG ATR-72 from Koh Samui-Pattaya U-Tapao, and a roundtrip from BKK-Sisaket on the train. Then the next is to the US on TG, followed by UA from SNA-LAX-DEN-STL. Ok? LOL, Ya, got a lot to write, but it's coming along. Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed this one, and agian, look out for the coming TR's!