win1290
Topic Author
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:23 pm

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Hello and welcome to a trip report covering Thai Smile inaugural flight from Bangkok to Macau and the return flight on the same day. Hope you enjoy reading.

Some brief information about the airline: Thai Smile is a business unit within Thai Airways. It adopts the similar business model as Silk Air to Singapore Airline. Thai Smile positions itself as a ‘light premium brand’ i.e. between a full service airline and a low cost airline. The airline will operate a single type fleet (Airbus A320) to regional destinations within three hour flying from Bangkok and domestic destinations within Thailand. The cabin is fitted with 174 seats and is divided into two class: Smile Plus (Business Class) and Smile (Economy Class)

What to expect on ground and on board? On ground service is pretty much the same as Thai Airways. The benefits of THAI’s Royal Orchid Plus programme and Star Alliance elite status are recognised by Thai Smile. Lounge access is available to frequent flyers and Smile Plus passengers. Also, seat selection policy and the baggage allowance are the same as Thai Airways. On board, the first 5 rows of the cabin are for Smile Plus passengers, the middles seats will be blocked, and complementary meals are offered during the flight. As for Smile Class, a light snack and a drink are complementary but hot meals and more drinks are available for purchase.

Going back to the trip itself, I booked the flight on Thai Smile website back in April. We bought the cheapest available booking class which was the most restricted Economy class (booking class W) and as with Thai Airways seating policy on the ‘cheap’ booking class, seat reservation can only be made from row 50 onwards (on this aircraft, the first row is 31 and the last row is 59). So we booked 5 seats on row 50. On the day before the trip, we did an internet check-in on Thai Airways website and we moved forward towards the front.

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On the day, we left home at just before 5:30am and 15 minutes later arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, which was around 2 hours before the 7:45am scheduled departure time. As usual, I dropped of parent and brother at the Departure hall and went off to park the car. When I rejoined them, my mum already got my boarding pass, and some souvenirs: Thai Smile bag tag and Suvarnabhumi airport bag.

Here are some pictures of the check-in area. Unfortunately, we missed out on the ceremony as mum wanted to go to duty free shops.  http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/s515/win1290/Thai%20Smile%20Inaugural/DSCF7409.jpg

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Some more photos of the check-in area

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Security screening took a few minutes but passport check took around 15 minutes. Some photos post security check:

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Our gate D5 was only steps away

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But it seems we did have some obstacles. There was a small gap we managed to walk to the gate.

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Our gate from above

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This is a big gate, and so even for a full A320 flight, there were still a lot of empty seats

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Our Aircraft

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Once boarding started, this group of Thai Smile team greeted us to the airplane with a ‘wai’ gesture.

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Manual safety demonstration was performed

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Taxied to the runway

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When the seatbelt sign was switched off, the crew came to shut the divider

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The airplane continued climbing

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Then the curtain was reopened, and the MD of Thai Smile made a welcome announcement and there would be a champagne toast to mark the inaugural flight

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Then a variety of canapés were offered.

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The canapés were served from the front of the cabin, but the plates were distributed from the rear. So when I finished eating, I got given a plate.

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But the cabin crew saw this and brought more canapés

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Then a sandwich and a drink were offered

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And soon after, the crew started the sales of hot meals which I didn’t see anyone buying.

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Safety card

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Reading material in the seat pockets consist of Thai Airway’s Sawasdee in-flight magazine, a Travellers’ Companion magazine featuring a special article on Thai Smile, and a Macau travel guide (in Thai)

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Then a cabin crew came on PA saying that there would be a prize draw on the flight. THAI VP Commercial would pick two numbers and as it turned out were 7 and 3, and we were asked to look on our boarding passes for the E-ticket number, and if our e-ticket number had the last two number ending with 73 or 37, and those whose sequence number were 37 or 73 would get a dining voucher.

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Leg room

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Descending to Macau

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As we touched down, passengers started to clap

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As we taxied to the parking position, we were told that once the aircraft come to a stop, the VIP and the press would be invited to leave the aircraft first. And for us passengers to remain seats until the crew invited us to disembark.

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My seat

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As we walked to the terminal, we were given a bag, containing a pen, Macau tourist guide (Both Thai and English), and a bag belt.

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win1290
Topic Author
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:32 pm

Here are the details of the return flight:
Date: 7 July 2012
Airline: Thai Smile
Flight: TG753
Route: MFMBKK
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Registration: HS-TXA

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Thai Smile had 3 check-in counters, two for Smile Class and one for Smile Plus. There were some technical problems with the system and we were told to have a seat while they tried to solve the problem. After 20 minutes or so, we were called over and all of us got our boarding passes and souvenirs: Macau Airport bags. We noticed that the seats we got were different from the one we booked and that we didn’t have the seat next to each other. When asked the check-in agent, she replied that there were only 22 passengers on the flight (our group was 5) so we would pretty much be free to move around the cabin.

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Passing security and passport check didn’t take longer than 10 minutes

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We headed to the lounge. At check-in we were given 4 lounge vouchers

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Food selection

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The lounge was rather good with good selection of food at drinks. Though, I didn’t eat any of the food as I already had dinner before. I quite like the quiet atmosphere of the lounge as it wasn’t at all busy.

Then we headed to the gate 2A

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A very empty flight

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Once the safety demonstration was manually performed, we took off for Bangkok

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When the safety belt sign was switched off, snacks were distributed

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Leg room, felt a bit tighter than on the outbound leg

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For the remaining of the flight, the cabin lights were turned off and I slept until we started our descent to BKK

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Parked at gate D5, the same gate as on the flight before, which was very conveniently located, only steps away from the passport control

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Passport check was done in 5 minutes. We made our way to the car park and drove home in 15 minutes.

This would conclude the trip report. It was a great experience flying on the first flight: The aircraft was brand new, the cabin was fresh, the crew were very energetic. Thank you for reading. All comments, suggests and questions are very welcomed and appreciated.

Regards,

Win
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3731
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:03 pm

Nice report Win on the first ever Thai Smile flight!

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
What to expect on ground and on board? On ground service is pretty much the same as Thai Airways. The benefits of THAI’s Royal Orchid Plus programme and Star Alliance elite status are recognised by Thai Smile. Lounge access is available to frequent flyers and Smile Plus passengers. Also, seat selection policy and the baggage allowance are the same as Thai Airways. On board, the first 5 rows of the cabin are for Smile Plus passengers, the middles seats will be blocked, and complementary meals are offered during the flight. As for Smile Class, a light snack and a drink are complementary but hot meals and more drinks are available for purchase.

I guess that's not going to help them keep costs down

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
When the seatbelt sign was switched off, the crew came to shut the divider

Whoa, like a real business class - impressive

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
The canapés were served from the front of the cabin, but the plates were distributed from the rear. So when I finished eating, I got given a plate.

Ha, doesn't seem like a very good order of service!

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
Then a sandwich and a drink were offered

Looks nice

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
We headed to the lounge. At check-in we were given 4 lounge vouchers

I spent aaages in that lounge when flying Air Asia to Bangkok
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-CDG,LHR-BKK-AKL-TBU,EUA-TBU-NAN-WLG,WHK-AKL-BKK-LHR
 
win1290
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:27 pm

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):

Nice report Win on the first ever Thai Smile flight!

Thanks Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
I guess that's not going to help them keep costs down

I agree, I hope the revenue gained from buy-on-board items can offset some of these costs.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Whoa, like a real business class - impressive

Yep,   

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Ha, doesn't seem like a very good order of service!

Haha, true, but for that I got a second round  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Then a sandwich and a drink were offered
Looks nice

Yep, but I think with this snack, not many people would buy another hot meal, on a relatively short regional flight.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
We headed to the lounge. At check-in we were given 4 lounge vouchers
I spent aaages in that lounge when flying Air Asia to Bangkok

I think its a good lounge  

Regards,

Win
 
Carfield
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:35 pm

Thanks for the first Thai Smile report here!

It is sort of what one expected... I am not too worried about the canape service... most likely an one-off service for the inaugural flight.

At least they give you a free iced green tea and sandwich... better than Air Asia and the new seats look nice.

About J class/Plus, I am curious what kind of hot meals do they serve... did they just serve them the buy on board hot meals? or do they get a separate meals? Do the Plus seats look more comfortable?

It seems that they have various seat pitches throughout the aircraft!

The load definitely looks light for now!

But the seats look very good and the upholstery is magnificent. The branding is quite successful!

Thanks again!
Carfield
 
debonair
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:17 pm

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
Thai Smile positions itself as a ‘light premium brand’ i.e. between a full service airline and a low cost airline. The airline will operate a single type fleet (Airbus A320) to regional destinations within three hour flying from Bangkok and domestic destinations within Thailand. The cabin is fitted with 174 seats and is divided into two class: Smile Plus (Business Class) and Smile (Economy Class)



WOW- but serious, is it really necessary to have a 3rd THAI-Group airline within Thailand? NOK AIR is offering NOK PLUS, also a BusinessClass like product and NOK ECO a no-frill EconomyClass- so is it really necessary to have another domestic airline with little more service in between (to the great Grandmother THAI Airlines)?

Let's wait and see!
 
airpearl
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:14 am

Hi Win,

Thank you for this fantastic trip report, sharing your Thai Smile inaugural experience! That was some celebration, wasn't it? I too was aboard the same outbound flight as you (I flew back to BKK on the turnaround) and was COMPLETELY bowled over by what TG did to make this flight special. TG really knows how to throw a good party and feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of this one.

Even without considering the fact that THAI Smile is intended to be "light" version of the airline (really more a branding than another airline), the tremendous effort that went into this inaugural was just amazing. The elaborate displays, balloons and banners, and not to mention flash mob (you may have missed out on that?) at the check-in desks, specially decorated gates, the champagne (real glasses? wow) and quality canapes, special events on board from speeches to bingo and then - something I thought was the absolute coolest - senior management including the Thai Smile CEO joining the cabin crew through the flight in refilling our champagne glasses and serving the canapes. How to top that? Oh yeah, the flight attendants are really cute too!

The new plane - as any new plane, is nice. I really like the interiors too. The only downside for me is the thought that TG could eventually downgauge some of its regional widebody flights that I fly on to A320 Thai Smile services in a bid to increase frequency and lower cost to compete with the LCCs. So I wouldn't probably go out of my way again to fly Thai Smile - I suspect there'll be a time in the not too distant future when I will not have a choice...

Thanks again for this Win!

cheers
airpearl

[edit to correct typo]

[Edited 2012-07-13 19:23:02]
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:42 am

Hi Win,

nice report about these special flights. I like the Thai Smile branding, but I'm not a fan of the seat design. It will be interesting to see how the Thai Smile brand will develop. I hope that it won't mean the end for Nok Air sooner or later.


PH

[Edited 2012-07-14 01:42:39]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
roberts87
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:22 pm

Nice report, thanks for sharinng. Impressive inaugural celebrations!
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:38 pm

Win,

Thanks a lot for the report. It is always interesting to read about new sub-brands. Unlike PH, I like the seat design   ... very Paul Smith! On a serious note, I really do not get the concept of Thai Smile - especially if the costs (read: crew) are from parent TG. Maybe, they will prove me wrong.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
jwhite9185
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:23 pm

Great report again Win, with some good pictures.

Thai Smile seems like an interesting concept - like a low cost full service carrier!
@mytripreport
 
visualapproach
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:50 pm

How interesting! Thanks for sharing.

It seems that Thai Smile will be taking me from BKK to MFM next March too. I hadn't until this moment noticed or indeed seen that the flight wasn't operated as a mainline Thai Airways flight.
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:55 am

Great report on the inaugural, I hadn't realized they were starting so soon! Interesting to note that Thai Smile carries the TG flight code, so really its like flying an express vs. mainline flight in the US, though TG's offering of brand new A320s and free food isn't as dodgy as some of the regionals in the US. It's also interesting to note that some airlines just get it right, and some simply don't no matter how hard they try - I love the interiors of the aircraft, and this is something TG just gets right time and time again - whereas MH just fails time and time again, even though it seems as if both airlines go for a similar aesthetic.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 9):
especially if the costs (read: crew) are from parent TG

Are Thai Smile crew also mainline TG crew? I'd imagine they'd have to get certified on the A320 though - are they now Smile crew or do they do both mainline TG and Smile? The one thing I will say is I wish they had better uniforms...   
Keep Discovering
 
Thai744
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks for the TR, Win - great to see a new airline and they really seemed to make a big effort for the first flights.

Aircraft looks great. I wonder if this will spell the beginning of the end for Nok Air?

I have to say .. I **LOVE** those orange shorts that some of the Thai Smile girls wear! 
Is it just ground crew who are wearing these?
If their gorgeous cabin crew wore them, it would certainly add to the "inflight entertainment" LOL

Thanks for writing again - well done!
 
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817Dreamliiner
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:46 pm

Hi win

Great report, your pics are great, thanks for sharing

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
on this aircraft, the first row is 31 and the last row is 59

Why is that? Is there some reason for this? seems really odd to start with such a high number, maybe I dont travel enough.  
Please let me know... If you know this is the end of the world, Let me know... If you know the truth...
 
Thai744
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:59 am

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 14):
Why is that? Is there some reason for this? seems really odd to start with such a high number

A few airlines in Asia seem to do this in my experience.

SQ, I think, starts with row 11 in some cases. So does CX I think.
The first row of "Scoot Biz" on Scoot's Aircraft is 11.
 
airpearl
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:54 am

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 14):
Is there some reason for this?
Quoting Thai744 (Reply 15):
A few airlines in Asia seem to do this in my experience.

SQ, I think, starts with row 11 in some cases. So does CX I think.
The first row of "Scoot Biz" on Scoot's Aircraft is 11.

Yes, that's right. I presume it's an attempt to standardize seat row numbers for different classes across all aircraft types. So first class will start with row 1 (and usually end at rows 3 or 4), but the next rows, in business class, will always start at row 11, and economy at 31. On this aircraft, the airline must regard Smile Plus as more economy than business and hence that is why the row numbers start at 31. On TG's 2-class planes like the B772 and A333, the first row is 11.
 
Luv767s
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:22 am

Great report. I'll be on this flight in August and can't wait to fly Thai Smile. Does it look like the business class is worth purchasing to you?
-"...never have I been a blue calm sea, I have always been a storm"
 
LH4116
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:25 am

Hey Win, nice report!

Good to see That Smile finally up and running, an interesting airline concept indeed! To me both the seating and service concepts onboard looked more like a standard European legacy airline, I wonder if this will set the standard for all Asian airlines on regional in the future? Certainly don't hope so  

Another thing that I found surprising was the integration to Star Alliance. Normally LCC/Hybrid subsidiaries have no connection whatsoever to the alliance of the parent company, nor its frequent flyer programme. One thing I found strange was that the Smile Plus counter wasn't *G branded. Were you able to use it, or did you have to queue at the regular Smile counter?

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:45 am

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Another thing that I found surprising was the integration to Star Alliance. Normally LCC/Hybrid subsidiaries have no connection whatsoever to the alliance of the parent company, nor its frequent flyer programme.

Thai Smile doesn't have an own AOC, it's a marketing brand by TG.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
nethkt
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:27 pm

N'Win,
Perfect coverage on Thai   !! Did you book this flight just to bring us the trip report?
You've done very well once again.

Just today Thai   announces Phuket to Singapore! I'm so happy as now I'll have a Star Alliance choice with Silk Air being non-Star Alliance airlines. At least I can use *G lounge in HKT and SIN before the flights and also collect miles toward STAR account.

See you around bro,
P'Net.
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
deltamartin
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:38 pm

Hi Win!

Nice report, and good to read about the inaugural flights with Thai Smile, I have been curious about them. By the looks of it, it seems like a good idea. Another company can handle the low yielding flights, but still keep the Thai branding and everything, unlike SilkAir for SQ.
Their service concept seems nice too, and I surely wouldn't be disappointed if I would have booked a Thai flight and received the service from a Thai Smile flight instead.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):

Hello and welcome to a trip report covering Thai Smile inaugural flight from Bangkok to Macau and the return flight on the same day. Hope you enjoy reading.

Interesting to see the "A STAR ALLIANCE MEMBER" titles there, It made me wonder a few things...

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
The benefits of THAI’s Royal Orchid Plus programme and Star Alliance elite status are recognised by Thai Smile. Lounge access is available to frequent flyers and Smile Plus passengers.

...Which were answered right there!  
Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
Our Aircraft

Looks great!

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):

Then the curtain was reopened, and the MD of Thai Smile made a welcome announcement and there would be a champagne toast to mark the inaugural flight

Nice touch! I gotta make sure to fly an inaugural one day!

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):

And soon after, the crew started the sales of hot meals which I didn’t see anyone buying.

The prices look quite good though.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):

My seat

Looks nice and comfortable!

Martin
 
MSS658
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi Win

Great report, thanks for sharing it with us.
Good job catching the inaugural Thai Smile flight to Macau.
They seem to be a nice little airline.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
win1290
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RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:35 pm

Hello and Thanks for reading and for all the comments, and I am sorry for the late response.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 4):
Thanks for the first Thai Smile report here!

It is sort of what one expected... I am not too worried about the canape service... most likely an one-off service for the inaugural flight.

At least they give you a free iced green tea and sandwich... better than Air Asia and the new seats look nice.

About J class/Plus, I am curious what kind of hot meals do they serve... did they just serve them the buy on board hot meals? or do they get a separate meals? Do the Plus seats look more comfortable?

It seems that they have various seat pitches throughout the aircraft!

The load definitely looks light for now!

But the seats look very good and the upholstery is magnificent. The branding is quite successful!

Thanks again!
Carfield

Hi Carfield, you are welcome, I am glad you enjoyed it. The canape service was sure a one-off for the first flight. I think the free snack and the seats are nice. I am pretty sure the food service on Smile Plus doesn't come from the buy on board items. The seats are the same throughout the aircraft but, according to the airline, the Plus seats have more seat pitch (33 inch) and the middle seats will always be left empty. When I was on board, I felt that the seats I had towards the front has more space than the seats towards the back. I quite like the colour too.

Quoting debonair (Reply 5):
WOW- but serious, is it really necessary to have a 3rd THAI-Group airline within Thailand? NOK AIR is offering NOK PLUS, also a BusinessClass like product and NOK ECO a no-frill EconomyClass- so is it really necessary to have another domestic airline with little more service in between (to the great Grandmother THAI Airlines)?

Let's wait and see!

Hi Debonair. I think THAI is creating the new regional focus sub-brand to prepare for the Asian Open Sky which will become effective in 2015.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
Hi Win,

Thank you for this fantastic trip report, sharing your Thai Smile inaugural experience! That was some celebration, wasn't it? I too was aboard the same outbound flight as you (I flew back to BKK on the turnaround) and was COMPLETELY bowled over by what TG did to make this flight special. TG really knows how to throw a good party and feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of this one.

Even without considering the fact that THAI Smile is intended to be "light" version of the airline (really more a branding than another airline), the tremendous effort that went into this inaugural was just amazing. The elaborate displays, balloons and banners, and not to mention flash mob (you may have missed out on that?) at the check-in desks, specially decorated gates, the champagne (real glasses? wow) and quality canapes, special events on board from speeches to bingo and then - something I thought was the absolute coolest - senior management including the Thai Smile CEO joining the cabin crew through the flight in refilling our champagne glasses and serving the canapes. How to top that? Oh yeah, the flight attendants are really cute too!

The new plane - as any new plane, is nice. I really like the interiors too. The only downside for me is the thought that TG could eventually downgauge some of its regional widebody flights that I fly on to A320 Thai Smile services in a bid to increase frequency and lower cost to compete with the LCCs. So I wouldn't probably go out of my way again to fly Thai Smile - I suspect there'll be a time in the not too distant future when I will not have a choice...

Thanks again for this Win!

cheers
airpearl

Hi Airpearl! Many thanks for the nice words  .
Very nice to know we were on the same flight with the inaugural celebration! It was my first time on any inaugural flight and it was a very happy moment for me. The flight felt very short given all the amazing celebration on board, and yes the flight attendants are very cute . How was your return flight from Macao? Were there any celebration at the airport or on-board?
I agree that the new plane is nice and I also like the interiors as well. But whilst it may be that THAI is replacing some of its regional widebody flights with the A320 due to cost advantages, there are quite a few high traffic routes that Thai will most probably use its widebodies such as BKK to HKG or SIN or China or India.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Hi Win,

nice report about these special flights. I like the Thai Smile branding, but I'm not a fan of the seat design. It will be interesting to see how the Thai Smile brand will develop. I hope that it won't mean the end for Nok Air sooner or later.


PH

Hi PH, Thanks a lot. It was a great experience on the first flight. I think the concept of Thai Smile is quite interesting. Hopefully, Thai Smile won't affect Nok Air too much given the more premium feels. But, Thai Airways is planning to launch another strictly low cost airline by the middle of next year to directly compete with Air Asia. This could potentially be worrying for Nok Air, but at least THAI said it is collaborating with Nok Air on this matter.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 8):
Nice report, thanks for sharinng. Impressive inaugural celebrations!

Thanks Roberts87! glad you enjoyed, it sure was a special experience  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 9):

Win,

Thanks a lot for the report. It is always interesting to read about new sub-brands. Unlike PH, I like the seat design   ... very Paul Smith! On a serious note, I really do not get the concept of Thai Smile - especially if the costs (read: crew) are from parent TG. Maybe, they will prove me wrong.

Saludos,
A.

Hi Abrelosojos! you are welcome, I am glad you liked it. I quite like the seat design too, haha, you are right, very Paul Smith .
The crew on Thai Smile are new recruits, they are not from the parent Thai Airways, but initially, they are supervised on-board by Thai Airways cabin crew.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 10):
Great report again Win, with some good pictures.

Thanks a lot James,

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 10):
Thai Smile seems like an interesting concept - like a low cost full service carrier!

Thats a very good way of putting it  
Quoting visualapproach (Reply 11):
How interesting! Thanks for sharing.

It seems that Thai Smile will be taking me from BKK to MFM next March too. I hadn't until this moment noticed or indeed seen that the flight wasn't operated as a mainline Thai Airways flight.

Thanks Visualapproach!
I hope you have a good flight with them  . I think it can be quite confusing as Thai Smile carries the same TG flight code.

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 12):
Great report on the inaugural, I hadn't realized they were starting so soon! Interesting to note that Thai Smile carries the TG flight code, so really its like flying an express vs. mainline flight in the US, though TG's offering of brand new A320s and free food isn't as dodgy as some of the regionals in the US. It's also interesting to note that some airlines just get it right, and some simply don't no matter how hard they try - I love the interiors of the aircraft, and this is something TG just gets right time and time again - whereas MH just fails time and time again, even though it seems as if both airlines go for a similar aesthetic.

Thanks sq_ek_freak! You are right, Thai Smile is like an express carrier from the mainline Thai Airways, perhaps with more of a difference brand identity than the parent Thai Airways. I do like the interior of Thai Smile too.

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 12):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 9):
especially if the costs (read: crew) are from parent TG

Are Thai Smile crew also mainline TG crew? I'd imagine they'd have to get certified on the A320 though - are they now Smile crew or do they do both mainline TG and Smile? The one thing I will say is I wish they had better uniforms...   

That Smile crew are not from the mainline Thai Airways crew, they are newly recruited and work on Thai Smile only. The uniform is so different from Thai Airways and may need some time to get used to, but when I saw it, I like it.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 13):
Thanks for the TR, Win - great to see a new airline and they really seemed to make a big effort for the first flights.

Aircraft looks great. I wonder if this will spell the beginning of the end for Nok Air?

I have to say .. I **LOVE** those orange shorts that some of the Thai Smile girls wear! 
Is it just ground crew who are wearing these?

Thanks a lot Thai744.
I love the feeling of the brand new aircraft  . I hope it doesn't mean the end for Nok Air. With Thai Smile, it may not affect Nok Air very much. But as Thai Airways is launching a low cost airline within the next year or so, its good to know that THAI will be working with Nok Air to create a new airline.

I agree with you, I like the uniform too. Some of the cabin crew also wear those shorts on board  and from what I heard, not many airlines have shorts as a cabin crew uniform.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 13):
If their gorgeous cabin crew wore them, it would certainly add to the "inflight entertainment" LOL

Thanks for writing again - well done!

HAHAHA 
Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 14):
Hi win

Great report, your pics are great, thanks for sharing

Thanks a lot 817Dreamliner!

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 14):

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
on this aircraft, the first row is 31 and the last row is 59


[quote=airpearl,reply=16]Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 14):
Is there some reason for this?
Quoting Thai744 (Reply 15):
A few airlines in Asia seem to do this in my experience.

SQ, I think, starts with row 11 in some cases. So does CX I think.
The first row of "Scoot Biz" on Scoot's Aircraft is 11.

Yes, that's right. I presume it's an attempt to standardize seat row numbers for different classes across all aircraft types. So first class will start with row 1 (and usually end at rows 3 or 4), but the next rows, in business class, will always start at row 11, and economy at 31. On this aircraft, the airline must regard Smile Plus as more economy than business and hence that is why the row numbers start at 31. On TG's 2-class planes like the B772 and A333, the first row is 11

Thats right. I think the reason Thai Smile's Plus seats starts from row 31 is the Plus section are the first five rows in International flights and only three rows will be allocated for Smile Plus for domestic flights. It gives them the flexibility of adjusting the Smile Plus and Smile class capacity according to the demand.

Quoting Luv767s (Reply 17):

Great report. I'll be on this flight in August and can't wait to fly Thai Smile. Does it look like the business class is worth purchasing to you?

Thanks Luv767s, and sorry for the late reply. The price in Business is usually about twice the price in cheapest Economy on Thai Smile. But still, the return price to Macau from Bangkok with Thai Smile in Business Class is still about the same (if not cheaper) than the return flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong (similar distance) with Thai Airways in Economy. In this sense, it is quite a good value. Also, the lounge access at both Bangkok and Macau is available when flying Smile Plus, and the cost of accessing the lounge at Macau is approximately 1000 THB. Again, it makes it a good choice to go Smile Plus. Having said that, it wasn't uncomfortable in Smile Economy class and the free snack and drinks are nice.
I hope you have a good flight  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Hey Win, nice report!

Hey Jonas, Thanks you!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Good to see That Smile finally up and running, an interesting airline concept indeed! To me both the seating and service concepts onboard looked more like a standard European legacy airline, I wonder if this will set the standard for all Asian airlines on regional in the future? Certainly don't hope so

It sure is an interesting concept. I agree that the service, especially the Business class seating, are similar to European airlines. I don't think this will set the standard for the mainstream Asian airlines, at least not by Thai Airways, as THAI recently announced a clear distinction between a long haul fully flat Business class seats and a angled flat regional Business class.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Another thing that I found surprising was the integration to Star Alliance. Normally LCC/Hybrid subsidiaries have no connection whatsoever to the alliance of the parent company, nor its frequent flyer programme. One thing I found strange was that the Smile Plus counter wasn't *G branded. Were you able to use it, or did you have to queue at the regular Smile counter?

I am glad that Thai Smile do recognise the Star Alliance benefits  . Yes,a *G can use the dedicated *G counters when checking in from Bangkok, and from Macau can use the Smile Plus counter. But as lazy as I am, I went to the first available check-in counter in Macau which was the regular Smile counter .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Thai Smile doesn't have an own AOC, it's a marketing brand by TG.

  

Quoting nethkt (Reply 20):

N'Win,
Perfect coverage on Thai   !! Did you book this flight just to bring us the trip report?
You've done very well once again.

Sawasdee krup P'Net,
Thanks a lot! I always wanted to sample the Thai Smile service and the brand new plane and it was also a great day trip with the family in Macau   and of course, I also enjoy doing the report  
Quoting nethkt (Reply 20):
Just today Thai   announces Phuket to Singapore! I'm so happy as now I'll have a Star Alliance choice with Silk Air being non-Star Alliance airlines. At least I can use *G lounge in HKT and SIN before the flights and also collect miles toward STAR account.

Thats a very good news! I didn't hear about it before, when are they starting the flight?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
Hi Win!

Hi Martin!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
Nice report, and good to read about the inaugural flights with Thai Smile, I have been curious about them. By the looks of it, it seems like a good idea. Another company can handle the low yielding flights, but still keep the Thai branding and everything, unlike SilkAir for SQ.
Their service concept seems nice too, and I surely wouldn't be disappointed if I would have booked a Thai flight and received the service from a Thai Smile flight instead.

Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it. I think Thai Smile is a good concept and I hope they are doing well.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
Nice touch! I gotta make sure to fly an inaugural one day!

Indeed, it was my first inaugural flight and it was a very good experience.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
The prices look quite good though.

Yes, just over 3 EUR for a hot meal is not bad.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
Looks nice and comfortable!

  

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 22):

Hi Win

Great report, thanks for sharing it with us.
Good job catching the inaugural Thai Smile flight to Macau.
They seem to be a nice little airline.

Greetings
Marc

Thanks a lot Marc  
It sure is a nice little airline (literally, for now with one aircraft) but I do hope it grows better and bigger.

Regards,

Win
 
akhmad
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:45 pm

Hi Win,

Very nice report of inaugural flight of Thai’s new subsidiary airline.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
Thai Smile is a business unit within Thai Airways. It adopts the similar business model as Silk Air to Singapore Airline.

Though with a slight difference because SilkAir is a full service subsidiary of Singapore Airlines...

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
As for Smile Class, a light snack and a drink are complementary but hot meals and more drinks are available for purchase.

and more like Air Berlin.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
(on this aircraft, the first row is 31 and the last row is 59).

I had to get used to it when I flew Thai for the first time. Can you tell me why the odd numbering?

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
When I rejoined them, my mum already got my boarding pass, and some souvenirs: Thai Smile bag tag and Suvarnabhumi airport bag.

Nice souvenirs. By the way, I was surprised that check-in agent did not demand to see you in person before issuing your boarding pass. SilkAir’s Customer Service Agent Joy demanded to see Herman before proceeding to check him in for our flight to Bandung.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
But it seems we did have some obstacles.

It is good to see so many carry on trolleys available, but why were they arranged in the way that your passage got blocked?

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
this group of Thai Smile team greeted us to the airplane with a ‘wai’ gesture.

Sweet!

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
there would be a champagne toast to mark the inaugural flight

Lovely! Served in a proper glass as well.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
But the cabin crew saw this and brought more canapés

  


Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
Reading material in the seat pockets consist of Thai Airway’s Sawasdee in-flight magazine, a Travellers’ Companion magazine featuring a special article on Thai Smile, and a Macau travel guide (in Thai)

I would have raided the seat pocket. 


Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
As we walked to the terminal, we were given a bag, containing a pen, Macau tourist guide (Both Thai and English), and a bag belt.

I love goodie bag!


Thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,
Suryo  
Friends forever
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:25 pm

Hi there Win!

How have you been doing?
Nice report on the festive Thai Smile inaugural flight, thanks for sharing! Thai Smile looks like an interesting airline

cheers,
Brendan
 
win1290
Topic Author
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:24 pm

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
Hi Win,

Hi Suryo  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
Very nice report of inaugural flight of Thai’s new subsidiary airline

Thank you!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
Though with a slight difference because SilkAir is a full service subsidiary of Singapore Airlines...
Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
and more like Air Berlin.

Sorry, my mistake. You are right!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
I had to get used to it when I flew Thai for the first time. Can you tell me why the odd numbering?

On TG airplanes, First Class always start from row 1 and have a single digit row number. Business Class rows always start from 11 (on TG two-class aircraft that don't have first class, the first row is 11). Economy Class is always from row 31.

But on Thai Smile A320, where the first few rows are dedicated to Smile Plus (Business Class), the seat number still starts from 31 .I guess this is because the seats themselves are more-or-less like the standard economy class (except for the more generous seat pitch according to the airline), and also that the airline has the flexibility to adjust the cabin according to demand for each flight, without creating a perception that 'the seats aren't Business Class'.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
Nice souvenirs. By the way, I was surprised that check-in agent did not demand to see you in person before issuing your boarding pass. SilkAir’s Customer Service Agent Joy demanded to see Herman before proceeding to check him in for our flight to Bandung.

That is interesting, I didn't notice this until you mentioned. Usually when we travelled with Thai Airways, the agent would need to see everyone travelling before boarding passes can be issued, but perhaps, in this particular case, may be that we were let through because all of us were already checked in online. I am not entirely sure with this.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
It is good to see so many carry on trolleys available, but why were they arranged in the way that your passage got blocked?

Hehe, I have absolutely no idea why were they arranged in such a way. But I suppose it was in an early morning, so they put all the trolleys in this space before allocating them throughout the duty free area.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
I would have raided the seat pocket. 

:D

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
I love goodie bag!

Me too!!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
Thank you for sharing.

You are welcome!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 25):
Hi there Win!

Hey Brendan!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 25):
How have you been doing?

I am doing great, thanks, though been quite busy in the last month or so. How about you?

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 25):
Nice report on the festive Thai Smile inaugural flight, thanks for sharing! Thai Smile looks like an interesting airline

Thanks! The airline has an interesting concept, I hope they will do well.

Regards,

Win
 
akhmad
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi Win,

Quoting win1290 (Reply 26):
Sorry, my mistake. You are right!

No worries. It does not make Thai Smile less exciting to try out. If I ever come to Thailand again, I would love to fly the airline.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 26):
On TG airplanes, First Class always start from row 1 and have a single digit row number. Business Class rows always start from 11 (on TG two-class aircraft that don't have first class, the first row is 11). Economy Class is always from row 31.

Thank you for clarifying.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 26):
But on Thai Smile A320, where the first few rows are dedicated to Smile Plus (Business Class), the seat number still starts from 31 .I guess this is because the seats themselves are more-or-less like the standard economy class (except for the more generous seat pitch according to the airline), and also that the airline has the flexibility to adjust the cabin according to demand for each flight, without creating a perception that 'the seats aren't Business Class'.

It looks like that Thai Smile has adopted intra-European Business Class concept. Somehow, it is kind of inspiring me to establish a new regional airline, Berlin Smile. 


Quoting win1290 (Reply 26):
may be that we were let through because all of us were already checked in online.

That could be the explanation. We were not yet checked in online when I showed up at Joy's counter.

Suryo  
Friends forever
 
win1290
Topic Author
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:55 pm

Hi Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 27):
Thank you for clarifying.

You are welcome!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 27):
It looks like that Thai Smile has adopted intra-European Business Class concept. Somehow, it is kind of inspiring me to establish a new regional airline, Berlin Smile. 

Haha. This Business class concept is certainly interesting. In fact, I think it is an extremely good value product. Business class on Thai Smile from Bangkok to Macau costs around the same price as Economy Class on Thai Airways to, say, Hong Kong, and with Thai Smile Business class one gets lounge access too. Having said that, I don't hope this type of Business class will be a standard in Thailand (or Asia) though as I would prefer to see the current regional Business class to stay  

Thanks,

Win
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:37 pm

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing this first Thai Smile report.

Quoting win1290 (Thread starter):
the MD of Thai Smile made a welcome announcement and there would be a champagne toast to mark the inaugural flight

- Nice touch!

I like the seat fabric, a bit different & looks nice too.

Cheers

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
 
win1290
Topic Author
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

RE: Thai Smile Inaugural: Bangkok To Macau, July 2012

Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:07 pm

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing this first Thai Smile report.

Thanks Mark, I am glad you liked it.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
I like the seat fabric, a bit different & looks nice too.

I like it too, it certainly looks different than other airlines.

Thanks,

Win

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