Two weeks ago I had to head to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand for business. Being a regular flyer on Thai, I decided to try Nok Air again as I hadn't flown them for over 2 years.
I made the booking easily on the internet, and the total fare was about $40USD one-way between the two cities.
My thoughts on the new airport in BKK were made in another trip report (BKK-REP), so I won't go into my dislike for the place again in this report. However, I have included some photos of the airport and the gate lounge area. (Note the ridiculous seating arrangements in one of the gate lounge shots where they have placed 2 rows of seats facing each other with about 4 inches of room between the two rows! Madness!)
The "A" concourse gates are for domestic flights. I did find a nice food-court area with a lovely outdoor seating area which is fine for smokers to use. (But no free WIFI!)
The flight was delayed 30 minutes, and the aircraft was HS-TDB, (formerly operated by TG), named "Phuket", and sponsored inside-and-out by TOT (The Telecommuncations Authority of Thailand).
Nok Air features "Nok Plus" which is the equivalent of TG's domestic business class seat, and includes a free newspaper and snack. Unfortunately when I booked Nok Plus was full, so I was in regular economy. (It's about an extra $20USD to go Nok Plus - a bargain!)
The flight was 100% full, so I made my way to my aisle seat, half-way down the aircraft.
As stated before, everything inside-and-out of the aircraft was sponsored by the TOT.
We pushed back and taxiied to 19L, and waited while a Thai Air Asia 737, a TG A330 and a TG 744 bound for Sydney took-off ahead of us.
We were airborne 49 minutes after scheduled ETD, and proceeded to make a series of left-hand turns to get us heading north and on track for CNX.
The crew were casual and friendly, yet professional, and really seemed to enjoy their jobs. The came around with the food-and-drink-for-purchase trolley, and I purchased as sandwich and a drink. The sandwich was very fresh and actually quite tasty. Cost was about $2USD.
The crew then came around with the merchandising trolley, which contained a wide range of Nok Air souvenirs at pretty cheap prices.
The F/O made an announcement 20 minutes into the flight containing all the standard stuff such as flight time, weather, routing etc.
During the flight I went to the bathroom which was spotlessly clean.
For an old aircraft, it was certainly in very good condition and the cabin had been well-maintained.
Flight time BKK-CNX is about exactly an hour, and we began our decent from FL340 and just seemed to drift into CNX without any fuss at all.
We deplaned 46 minutes after the scheduled arrival time, and were bussed to the terminal in Chiang Mai. I only had cabin baggage, so was off the aircraft and into a taxi in about 5 minutes flat.
Nok Air is fine for the cost-concious traveller, and the staff are friendly and efficient. I like the fact that they have seat allocation, (unlike other local LCC's Air Asia and Tiger Airways where boarding is a complete disaster), and I would definitely fly them on a regular basis.