I originally did not plan to do a trip report on this segment as the flight was originally scheduled to be operated by an Airbus A300-600, an aircraft I am not fond of and really have no interest in. I flew one for the first time from BKK to CNX and I can’t say I enjoyed it too much, plus I have always been suspect of A300s in general. I know the aircraft is perfectly safe, but it’s just a weird gut feeling I have – not really sure why. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I was checking-in online the night before and I noticed a strange seatmap. At first I thought it would too good to be true, but my flight had actually been changed to an A340-500. Not only could I avoid flying the A300, but I would also be sampling one of TG’s nicest aircraft on an hour long flight!
I immediately picked seats behind the wing, so I could have a great view of everything and take a nice landing video.
We arrived at the airport exactly an hour before the flight. I had already printed my boarding pass out the night before so I was hoping for some sort of quick baggage check-in. I somehow doubted there was such a facility, and it turned out I was correct when we had to use the normal Y check-in desk to check our bags. Oh well, not too inconvenient. The agent was friendly enough and it took about 5 minutes to check our bags.
CNX is definitely not one of Asia’s nicest airports, but it gets the job done and I found it to be very efficient.
Right after checking in, I went upstairs to the departure lounge where security is located. It was interesting to note that there was a section of the boarding lounge with comfortable couches reserved for monks IIRC. I also saw some monks get priority boarding when I left BKK a few days before. Very interesting, I have never seen this done on any other airline / country.
I saw our plane land from BKK, and it was good to see that in fact the aircraft was a 345.
Boarding was called at 7:50, only 20 minutes before departure.
Date: 21 Mar 2010
Airline: Thai Airways International
Flight: TG 101
Aircraft: Airbus A340-541
Departure Airport: Chaing Mai (CNX / VTCC)
Arrival Airport: Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi (BKK / VTBS)
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:10 AM
Actual Departure Time: 8:11 AM (1 min late)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 9:00 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 9:28 AM (8 min late)
Load Factor: 100% in Y
I was greeted by some very good-looking and nice F/As who directed me to my seat.
I was quite surprised we were able to pushback only 1 minute late. I really had my doubts that TG would be able to board a 345 in 20 minutes, but they did it.
The cabin was very nicely colored, and the seats were quite comfortable minus the hard winged headrest. It was also nice having a footrest, a nice feature that is lacking on so many Y seats.
Safety video was done through the PTVs and the main cabin screen.
Takeoff was slow and shallow, similar to my previous A340 experiences.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that this aircraft was equipped with mood-lighting. Very nice!
F/As then handed out snack boxes. Must say it was somewhat disappointing – the bread had some sort of mystery meat in it and the juice tasted watered-down. Honestly, I much prefer the soft drinks and pretzels given out on U.S. carriers!
The IFE was not activated at all throughout the flight, which was a shame as I did want to see how TG’s AVOD system was.
Descent was announced after 15-20 min of cruising, and it was somewhat turbulent.
Landing video for those interested:
I was pleased when we parked at a jetway-gate. The walk to baggage claim took about 10 minutes, and our bags came out fairly quickly.
Overall, I had a nice flight with TG, mainly because it was on the A340-500. The crew members were friendly, but nothing spectacular. Despite its well-documented inefficiencies, the 345 was a nice ride and I wouldn’t mind taking one from LAX to BKK.
Thank you for reading!
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South African BAe 146-200 LVI-JNB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 13 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 767-400ER JNB-ATL In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air Botswana BAe 146-100 JNB-MUB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France 777-300ER CDG-JNB In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
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Delta 737-800 JFK-TPA (Pix And Vid) (by MHTripple7 Apr 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777 DEL-JFK Mar 28 2008 Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 29 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 9W707 W/Diversion (Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777-300ER JFK-DEL ( Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
[Edited 2010-04-06 17:41:05]
[Edited 2010-04-06 17:43:06]