ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:36 pm

My 2nd trip this year is again another of the frequent hops to Bangkok. TG offers frequent sales on the SIN-BKK route and for a full-service flight, the prices were definitely a steal when the flights were booked less than 3 months prior.

Fast forward to the day of departure, headed home after work, picked up my bags and rushed to the airport for check-in slightly more than 1hr before STD. This Friday evening flight is usually very popular with business and leisure travellers and hence I was surprised that deals were also offered for this flight. Checked in at T1 and got my colourful boarding pass.

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With the AirAsia group having moved to T4, T1 is now dominated by the Qantas group (mainly Jetstar flights).

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There was a late gate change from C13 to D47 due to a late departure aircraft at the original assigned gate. Flight also arrived slighly late due to air traffic congestion.

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02 February 2018
Thai Airways
TG 410
Singapore (SIN) - Bangkok (BKK)
A350-900
HS-THB
Economy Class
Flight Time: 1H58M



The flight was originally scheduled to be a B747-400, but was changed a month back to the new A350. Not that I minded either, one a classic and the other the newest aircraft. TG's beautiful 1st A350 being prepared for the flight back to Bangkok.

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Boarding was slightly delayed due to the late arrival, and after a quick turnaround, boarding commenced 10min before STD with priorities and sequences strictly enforced. Welcomed by the beautiful TG crew in traditional thai uniforms at the door.

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TG's A350s are densely configured in 32J/289Y for a total of 321 pax. Compare that to SQ's A350 which only seats 255 pax. Already placed on each economy seat is a pillow and blanket.

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A wet evening outside.

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Legroom was adequate, but felt slightly tighter than TG's B777s and 747s.

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Pillow, blanket and headphones.

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Inflight magazines

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Boarding for the full flight was completed very quick and efficiently.

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After the last passenger boarded, doors were closed and we pushed back. Safety video was played.

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Finnair A350 beside. The A350 is now becoming a very regular sight in Changi.

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TG's A350 is enabled with a live camera view through its IFE system. Here we are taxiing to the runway.

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Turning onto the runway.

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Departure from Rwy02C.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm-j0HXPdtg


Once we were airbourne, I activated the IFE system. TG's IFE system is touch-screen enabled and very responsive, though you may also use the small handset below the monitor. Entertainment choices is decent with the latest movies available, though the range may not be as many as EK's or SQ's latest IFE systems. I selected to watch an action comedy.

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Meal and drink carts were swiftly rolled out and meal service commenced in a very efficient manner, with meal trays and wines offered from the meal cart and the beverage cart following behind.

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This evening, we were offered a choice of Chicken with noodles or Fish curry with rice. Me and my friend both opted for the fish curry as through past experiences, the curries on TG were very tasty. The meal came with a tuna salad appetiser, warm roll with butter, thai-style dessert and a bottle of drinking water.

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Tuna salad is fresh and bread roll is warm and soft.

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The main of Thai-style fish curry with rice and preserved turnip with egg definitely did not disappoint. It is very local thai dish, delicious and flavourful!

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The dessert, which consisted of yam, jelly and coconut milk, was also very tasty!

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Bar cart came down the aisle offering the full selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I only had an apple juice.

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Enjoying my very satisfying meal. Looking at my seatmate's meal, the chicken with noodles was actually a western-style chicken with spaghetti.

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Crew then came down with the coffee/tea cart, offering hot beverages or drinks top-up. I had a tea with lemon. The senior crew also walked arond offering additional breadrolls.

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Meal service was completed very efficiently within an hour of flight. Visited the lavatory which was clean and well-designed. Amenities were basic except for the inclusion of a cologne.

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View of the cabin. Cabin ambience was relaxing despite the full flight.

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Cabin light were dimmed for the remainder of the flight till we started the descent into Bangkok.

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Descending into Suvarnhabumi.

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Landing on Rwy19R a few minutes behind schedule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPsWBscaeW8


Taxied to the terminal and parked at the D gates, right at immigration. Coincidentally, another Finnair aircraft was also parked beside at BKK.

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Passing the Business Class cabin during disembarkation.

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It was an excellent flight on TG on this short haul. Despite the full load, service was very efficient but remained friendly and warm. The food and beverage offerings were awesome and cabin ambience was good. Was really impressed with the Royal Orchid service on this short sector.
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
theobcman
Posts: 556
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:16 am

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:23 pm

Nice pictures & report ! The offerings on TG A350 look good. I'm not surprised the legroom is slightly tighter as always thought the 747's were over generous.

I'm in Thailand in April and will be taking the A350 CNX > BKK in J ! Cannot wait !
 
User avatar
CollegeAviator
Posts: 374
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 am

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:17 pm

Lovely report, thank you so much for sharing this.
Bittersweet to have gotten the B747 swapped for the A350 - while the former is being retired at a vast rate, the latter would be new for many avgeeks.
AY, TG, QR, LH, CX and SQ come to mind when you think A350 and Singapore....maybe EY in the future as well?
Great pics to go along!
 
ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:52 am

Immigration was quick as there were not too many other international arrivals and it was a 30min Airport Train ride direct to Phaya Thai, where my hotel stayed would be. Stayed ay The Sukosol on this trip, which is a very recommended hotel with convenient transport links, big and comfortable rooms, great service and housekeeping.

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View from my room.

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The next morning, we walked to Pratunam for breakfast at Yok-Zod The Noodle. Wanton noodles were as good as the famous stalls and very afforable too. I tried the tomyum wanton noodles and also a plate of braised pork to share.

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Dessert at YenlyYours in Centralworld. Touted as the place for the best mango desserts, it really lives up to its name with sweet, chunky mangoes and the smoothest mango ice-cream ever eaten.

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Delicious Isan food for dinner at Isan Rod Ded.

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Visit to Chatuchak on sunday morning, of course along with some street bites.

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Lunch at the neighbouring OrTorKor Market across from Chatuchak.

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A new pedestrian linkway is built between MBK Shopping Mall and Siam Discovery Center.

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Dinner feast at Jae Oh, a very popular local dinner place.

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Ending with some thai traditional desserts.

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Visit to Yaorawat (Chinatown) in the morning.

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Brunch at Nai-Ek Roll Noodles, a very popular old-school eatery in Yaorawat, specializing in all things pork, especially the pork innards soup. As we were early, there was not much of a wait.

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A must visit on every Bangkok trip, dessert at After You! The dessert cafe is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

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Was recommended to try a thai restaurant, Somtam, at Siam Square. Its pork floss rice noodles and chicken wings were fantastic!

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The popular American chain Cheesecake Factory has opened a stall at Siam Paragon. However, it only sells its popular cheesecakes at this Thailand branch.

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On the last day, we had brunch at the ever popular eatery Inter Restaurant at Siam Square.

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Facade of Siam Discovery.

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Chinese New Year fair in Siam Square.

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Trying some local sweet treats from a popular stall just beside Novotel Siam Square.

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:14 am

Back to the airport by the Airport Train from Phaya Thai. Check in and baggage drop at the TG counters were pretty empty and we were processed immediately.

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Immigration and security were another story as it took more than half hour to go through both despite most counters opened. After clearing immigration, headed to the gate. View of the tarmac.

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When we reached the gate, boarding should have begun. However, as expected due to the Changi Airshow runway incident just a couple of hours earlier which closed down one of the 2 runways and severly limited Changi's capacity, all regional flights were required to be delayed. Our flight was affected a well and we were given a new departure timing of 8pm from the same gate. Ground staff informed that meal vouchers would be distributed, even though it was no fault of the airline. Not only our flight, but all other flights to SIN were severely delayed for at least a couple of hours as well (SQ's 630pm departure was delayed till 11pm!).

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Googling the lounges accessible by Priority Pass, I discovered that the Oman Air Lounge near the gate is one of the many lounges granting entry to Priority Pass members, and reviews for the lounge were pretty good as well. So headed to the lounge to pass the next 3 hours. Priority Pass members were granted a maximum of 3hrs stay at the lounge, which was alright with us.

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The reception staff welcomed us in warmly. The lounge, though small in nice as expected for an overseas airline lounge, was very well appointed. There is a newspapers and magazines shelf just after the reception.

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The lounge is seperated into 2 main areas, the lounging area and the dining/work area. The lounging area was pretty empty at that time, and has a strong middle-eastern flair in the deco.

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There are 2 private "rooms" which could be shielded from the main lounge by curtains.

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The dining/work area. There is a single toilet and shower facility for use as well.

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A wide selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on offer, including arabian coffee.

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Buffet selection ranged from finger foods, sandwiches, salads, mains and desserts. Pretty wide-ranging and tasty.

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Arabian coffee and dates to start.

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Thai and Middle-eastern starters.

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Hot dishes including Chicken Briyani, satay, chcken puff and falafel.

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Tom yum goong was offered later in the evening as well.

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Fruits, desserts and drinks. The Oman Air Lounge in BKK certainly ranks as one of the best Priority Pass lounges that I have visited so far.

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FIDS. Note the delays of all SIN-bound flights.

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
User avatar
christao17
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:20 am

Really nice report. I appreciate the level of detail and, of course, always enjoy reading others' experiences with my hometown airline. I was interested that you found the seats on the A350 a bit tighter than on the other widebodies. Glad I'm not alone in that perception! When I flew the TG A350 from LHR to BKK a few months ago, I really got the sense that the seating was tighter.
More than a dozen years flying in and around Asia...
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8267
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing - great food pictures especially!

I’ve only had 4 flights with TG, however all were excellent, friendly crews, clean aircraft & good catering.
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
 
ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:08 am

06 February 2018
Thai Airways
TG 409
Bangkok (BKK) - Singapore (SIN)
A350-900
HS-THC
Economy Class
Flight Time: 2H08M



Back to the same gate, where boarding had just commenced.

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It was a bus gate, and we were ferried by bus across almost entire airport compound to the awaiting A350 aircraft. This was TG's 2nd A350 plane.

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The mighty Trents.

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Up the stairs and welcomed at the doors. Apparently the crew has also waited for the delayed flight since 230pm and they would still need to operate the sector back to BKK after this flight.

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View of economy seats and cabin towards the rear, with a pillow placed on each. Blankets were later distributed by the crew.

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View out the window.

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IFE system and camera view.

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Pillow, blanket and headsets.

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Seatback view

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Boarding in progress.

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Boarding completed and we started the very long taxi to the runway. Flight was pretty full and the captain apologised for the delay due to the runway closure in Changi.

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Turning onto the runway and takeoff from Rwy01R.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HQHIY6zbFY


Mood lightig turned on.

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Decided to watch a Korean comedy on this flight.

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Meal service commenced shortly after.

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On this flight, we were offered a choice of Chicken in oyster sauce with rice or Omelette with fried rice. We chose an option each. The meal tray came with a smoked salmon salad, warm roll with butter, a bottle of water and a vanilla mousse dessert.

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Chicken with rice and vegetables option.

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Starter and dessert.

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The main course was decent, but I still preferred the thai curries option.

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Got an orange juice from the bar cart.

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Omelette with fried rice option.

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Generous portion of salmon in the smoked salmon salad.

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The omelette had a tomato-filling. The dish was decent, but again I preferred the meal served on the previous sector.

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Dessert with a cup of tea. Overall, this meal is not as good was the meal served on the previous sector which was excellent.

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Again, meal service was completed very efficiently within 1hr and the cabin lights were dimmed for passengers to rest.

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Very soon, we were approaching Singapore.

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Landing on Rwy02L, which reopened at around 7pm SG Time.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB7JSqL5Tlc


Parked at Terminal 1 C20, which is just beside immigration. A SQ A350 was parked a C1, which is a common occurance as there are insufficient gates at T3.

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Disembarked.

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Again a short an pleasant flight on Thai Airways, which offers very good flight schedules at competitive fares and inflight offerings.

Thanks for reading my short report and comments are welcomed.
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:09 am

-deleted-
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
DDR
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: Flying the Royal Orchid A350 to Bangkok

Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:42 pm

Very nice trip report. Really like your pictures and commentary. Thai looks like a terrific airline.

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