JMGRIFFIN
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Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:29 pm



Fresh out of the Lufthansa First Class lounge at Frankfurt’s Terminal B, we headed around the corner to board the flight we’d been looking forward to the most: Thai Airways Royal First on their new Airbus A380-800.

CHECK-IN

We took the train in from Frankfurt after having spent the night in the city for a ~24 hour layover (read: Bratwursts Galore! Sightseeing around Frankfurt, Germany and Westin Grand Frankfurt Hotel Review – Frankfurt, Germany). The good news is that Frankurt’s airport is a short and very easy 15-20 minute subway ride from the center of town.



Thai Airways actually has 2x daily non-stops to Bangkok: a 9pm/10pm departure on a Boeing 747 and a 2pm/3pm departure on an Airbus A380. And this is in addition to Lufthansa’s daily flight on an Airbus A340–that’s a ton of seats per day! This might explain why we were able to find first class Star Alliance award space.



There was a dedicated lane for Thai Royal First Class:




Marketing banners galore

BOARDING



We got to the gate around 1pm for a scheduled boarding time of 1:15pm and scheduled departure at 2:10pm. It was evident that boarding was going to be a bit delayed and so we killed our final few minutes in Germany for the foreseeable future. During our short wait, we saw plenty of weird German things, including but not limited to a skinny girl in a Santa suit wandering around passing out candy from her “toy bag.”





By 1:50pm, it was time to board and we were greeted with another first: taking an escalator up a level to board directly on the upper deck. As with all other carriers, First and Business class was announced to board first.



Since the A380 is such a monster of a plane, it is almost always boarded using multiple doors to cut down on ground time. Thai Airways has both First and Business class on the upper deck, so up an escalator we go.



We passed through the boarding door and were greeted by an army of Thai flight attendants dressed in the traditional Thai garb. We were escorted to our seats and began the utter sensory overload of examining every single button, gadget and compartment at our disposal on the plane.


2F: Home, sweet home


My neighbor’s seat: 2K

PRE-DEPARTURE SERVICE

After allowing us a few moments to get settled in, a FA came by to announce my pre-departure selection: the Lobster Thermidor. We flew Thai Royal First about 2 years ago and the man sitting next to us kept raving about how it’s a crime to not order their “signature dish.” I didn’t want to make the same mistake again but I did find it quite difficult to pass up a spicy Thai curry dish.



Next up, the pre-departure champagne was flowing. I don’t know what was better, that technically this was honeymoon champagne, that it was Dom Perignon (and I’m accustomed to drinking the cheap stuff) or that it was being served to us at the beginning of our Thai Royal First experience… but this stuff tasted tasted extra good.

While sipping ‘champ in up front, waiting for take-off, I was browsing through the Thai Airways magazine and was surprised to see that Thai flies to 13 different European cities.



And they’re growing quite rapidly, adding 17 new planes in 2013, including three A380s.


But seriously, how does this thing fly?!



The seat is filled with magazines to read (including a Cosmo in German for McCown), pajamas, slippers, 2 comfortable pillows, headphones and an amenity kit. The Thai amenity kit was the same as 2 years ago and sort of weak: it was essentially the same exact case as Lufthansa but a little nicer.







Also, if you want a good idea of just-how-freakin-enormous this plane is, check out the picture below that reveals the 16 emergency exit slides!



Take off was VERY bumpy; the A380 is a big ... vessel that really shakes as it hits every bump on the runway.

THE SEAT



This beast can hold up to 507 passengers. Luckily, we were in the cabin that held a max of 12:




The table beneath the LCD doubles as the meal tray by easily sliding out

Thai Royal First on the Airbus A380 is the carrier’s newest cabin and features cubby-style seats that give you a good bit of privacy when lounging and sleeping.



This cubby-style seating makes it great when traveling alone but not as great if you’ve got some company. In fact, the 1 x 2 x 1 configuration and the distance between seats makes it virtually impossible to effectively communicate if you’re seated in anything other than the middle aisle that is 2x seats side-by-side.



There was a multidirectional seat control that let you situate yourself in just about any position humanly possible/desirable.


What’s up, lumbar support

There’s no need to worry about staying charged throughout the flight between the 2 USB ports and 1 international power convertor that could accept just about any plug.




The cubby design also has a hidden coat closet. No coat? If you elect to use the pajamas (and why wouldn’t you?!), this will make a great place to hang your clothes.


Your very own personal coat closet


Ahh, cubbies every where!


Seat controls: upright, dining and bed



IFE: In-flight Entertainment

The headphones were basically Bose knockoffs and, while they looked very similar to the Bose noise canceling headphones, the quality was very far from being authentic Bose quality. The noise canceling features did not work very well and the sound quality left a lot to be desired.



With the only bad part out of the way, on to the good: the screens are huge! They’re easily 24″ and maybe bigger? The HD widescreen quality was excellent.





And what better to go with a nice big screen? An awesome selection of programs! The entertainment selection –movies but especially the TV shows– were great. They had entire seasons of many popular shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc…



The controls were great; the handset remote was very easy to use and the screens were easy to navigate.



The only other negative on the entertainment system, apart from the crappy headphones, was that both of our screens froze twice during the flight, mid-movie. This required calling the FA over who then had to go manually reset the computer and let it reboot for 10-20 mins.

Another qualm: the A380 fleet was supposed to have inflight WiFi installed but, after trying repeatedly, I could never get a connection out:


What gives, Thai Airways?

DINNER MEAL SERVICE

~40 mins after take off: Once we were at cruising altitude and wasting no time, the crew came around to distribute the “First Serving”: Canapés.


Canapés

The canapés consisted of: very thinly sliced parmesan cheese on a slice of French bread, a scallop and a sliced meat (prosciutto?) wrapped around asparagus with a pesto or olive oil and herbs garnish.

~ 1 hr after take off, around 3:35pm, our first plates were cleared and tables were set.



The delicious caviar cart making it’s way around:



~1.5 hours after departure: Well, with 2 rounds of “First Servings” down, now time for the actual appetizer, or “First Course”.



This one was another cold dish with a Rillette of crab meat, grilled shrimp, portabello wrapped cheese and roasted pepper and salmon roe.

After wolfing that course down, it was Lobster Thermidor time:



Served with pasta and spinach, there was a decent-sized lobster tail and claw meat. Apart from being a little on the tough side, the dish was excellent with great flavor.

McCown ordered the “Chicken with Eggplant in Green Curry, Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice, Mixed Vegetables”:



This dish was, as McCown puts it “awesome! Very spicy with chicken and lots of broth…very spicy and very, very tasty. Full of green curry flavor and is making me think we might need to skip our next flight and just stay in Thailand!” I had a bite, too, and secretly wished I ordered it over the lobster — but that might just be my love of Thai food clouding my judgement.

4:35pm (~2 hrs after departure): Within about 20 mins, this 4th, main course was cleared and it was on to the cheese, fruit and port selections. For simplicity of choosing, they wheeled the cart around again:


Yes, I’ll take one of each

I ended up trying a “small piece” of just about all of them. There were 4 types of cheese but the one that stood out the most was the blue cheese that had a great flavor. There were then kiwi, cantaloupes and strawberries. Finally, it was all washed down with the Cockburn’s Special Reserve port wine.



And, last but not least: an apple crumble for dessert! (as if we hadn’t been served enough food already…)



(And here they come with the 3rd hot towel of the flight)

So how was the meal service overall? Since we’d just flown Lufthansa First Class the day before, we naturally drew all of our comparisons between the two carriers. Compared to the Lufthansa First Class experience, our Thai Royal First meal service felt a little rushed and mechanical. However, we found the Thai Airways flight attendants much friendlier and pleasant but that might just be my experience with Germans vs Thais.

With our dinner (lunch?) service over, it was now time to catch some shut eye but we needed to clear out for a few minutes so that the FAs could make our beds. We took this opportunity to explore the rest of the plane, starting with the First Class cabin.

ROYAL FIRST A380 CABIN

There’s a decent-sized “first class lounge” in the far right corner of the cabin– although, in practice it was empty and seemed quite awkward to use. Maybe if they had some food or drinks in there?







The bathroom was possibly the highlight of the trip. I’ve just never imaged one so spacious on an airplane. As you walk in, there is a small seating area and full length mirror. As I understand it, this is the space that a shower would have been installed, had Thai Airways opted to include one at the factory.



There were also lots of perfumes, lotions and plugs (even 110 volt for fixing your hair etc):





ECONOMY CABIN

We then ventured for a lap through the plane, starting with economy. We first had to head down the stairs:



For all of the reasons that First Class was awesome, Economy looked miserable. Those seats just weren’t made for average-sized people to spend 10+ hours on a flight.



Packing them in:



ROYAL SILK BUSINESS

Business Class looked nice, the A380 configuration uses cubbies similar to Royal First and makes great use of space by staggering the seats to accommodate more passengers but still permit lie flat beds.





ROYAL FIRST BED

We came back to find a very inviting bed:





At 5:05pm (Frankfurt time), appx 2.5 hours into the flight, the lights in the cabin were dimmed to nearly 0%. A quick glance at the in-flight map showed me that we had 6 hr 50 mins of flying time before reaching Bangkok.

~5 hours later, around 10:05pm Frankfurt time, it was “morning” according to Thai Airways. The lights were back on and beds were being made. And, as if we were even mildly hungry, it was breakfast time as well.

BREAKFAST MEAL SERVICE

For this “Second Serving,” we enjoyed a first course of fresh fruits, yogurts, cereals and fresh juice. To our flight attendant, apparently asking for a “little bit of fruit” actually meant “give me an entire fricken pineapple.”



A+ for presentation, however. For the Main Course, we had the following choices:

McCown ordered the “Crepe Filled with Ham, Mushroom and Cheese” which came with friend bacon, asparagus and a grilled plum tomato.



Not really feeling the soft boiled egg or cold cuts platter, I went with the most American version of breakfast and settled on the “Spinach Omelette” with grilled bacon, grilled tomato and sautéed mixed mushrooms.



(And here comes our 5th hot towel of the flight…where do they keep getting these things?)

With breakfast (and all eating that I’d need to do for the next 3 days) out of the way, the flight attendants came around with souvenirs: Thai Airways A380 Playing Cards! I wonder if Airbus threw those in for free or if they had to pay for them on top of the $414.4 million for the plane.



And then, as quickly as it began our flight came to a screeching halt as we touched down at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with a wheels down time of 12:01am Frankfurt time, 6:01am Bangkok time.



Here are a few more comparisons to Lufthansa First:

  • Cabin: Lufthansa was much more spacious: in about the same space, Thai had 12 seats vs the 8 seats on Lufthansa. The Thai seat area felt cramped compared to Lufthansa.
  • IFE: Thai won in the in-flight entertainment department. Widescreen on Thai vs 4:3 on Lufthansa and much higher resolution on Thai. Not to mention that Lufthansa had far fewer programming choices.
  • Bed: The Lufthansa bed was leaps and bounds better. Thai, while flat still felt like a seat turned into a bed bed. It got pretty hot in the Thai cabin, too.
  • Service: the service was much friendlier on Thai, Lufthansa was great and very professional but the Thai people just have a way about them that makes them seem so much friendlier. Also, the service felt relatively more rushed on the Thai flight.
  • Summary: I just can’t say enough good things about the Lufthansa bed!


THAI ROYAL FIRST GROUND SERVICE

After arriving at the gate, we were whisked off the plane and were escorted down the jet bridge to a golf cart that whisked us away to the lounge.



We went from touchdown at 6:01am to sitting in the lounge at 6:26am, a record 25 minutes! Thai Airways Royal First ground service is simply unrivaled.

BOTTOM LINE: Thai Airways First Class continues to stand out as world class for both hard product and service. Despite feeling slightly rushed, the 6-course meal was decadent and impressive. The A380 cabin was neat to experience, from the giant bathroom to the private cubby-style seats. All of this was topped off by impeccable ground service in Bangkok.
 
Continental
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:37 pm

Awesome trip report. It's crazy how much better first class is on non-US carriers.
 
emek96
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:11 pm

Hi jmgriffin!

Nice report first of all! Thai seems to offer a nice F according to your report, espacially the catering looks really nice. But one question, haven't you been to a lounge before your flight? As far as I know TG First class passengers are allowed to use the Lufthansa Senator Lounge which is just a few meters away of your actual depature gate B46?

Thanks again for this story, really enjoyed it!

regards
Elias
Lufthansa is the best airline in the world!
 
triple7man
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:27 am

I flew TG BKK-LHR last December on a 747-400 in economy class. It was not a full flight, so passengers were able to spread out, with some taking a whole row to themselves. The service was excellent, even in Y class. The cabin attendants were all very friendly throughout the flight and I was able to get a visit to the cockpit after landing in LHR. The captain told me to sit in his seat and he would take a picture of me. If TG is this good in economy on an ultra long haul flight, I can only imagine what business and first are like. (Although like you said, I would not want to be in economy on a long haul flight with every seat taken. Been there, done that on UA SFO-HKG 747-400). TG is definitely one of the better airlines to fly, and they rank up there with CX and EK
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
nethkt
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:35 am

Thank you for sharing an amazing flight from FRA to BKK.
Pictures show them all, such a pleasant flight you have had.
And the pineapple at the breakfast! Simply amazing! Feel like arriving in Thailand already.

The gold Rimowa kit s really neat. Expensive stuff. And L'occitane products from France are not cheap.

Coach class, oh well what to comment. I think that is one of best seats and in-flight service out there.
They are never meant to design for human to sit more than an hour.
But sometimes people run out of miles and have to pay for the full fare ticket.

Cabin staff is super friendly especially the younger ones. The olders maybe more reserved but that is our culture.
You become less bubbly (personality) and be more calm and matured. Sometimes it is simply mistaken to arrogance and neglect.

I would agree with most people that while TG maybe behind in newer aircrafts/IFEs, but the service and overall flying experience is on par with SQ, CX, EK, NH, OZ. It's just that they have stopped following Skytrax requirements hence the low ranking etc.

I really recommend everyone to try THAI longhaul flights.
PS. I'm no superfan and rarely fly them longhaul as tickets are way too expensive ex.Thailand
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
JMGRIFFIN
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:32 pm

If anyone likes video trip reports you can view the YouTube I put together from this trip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azFxqHHqwZM

Quoting emek96 (Reply 2):

Hi jmgriffin!

Nice report first of all! Thai seems to offer a nice F according to your report, espacially the catering looks really nice. But one question, haven't you been to a lounge before your flight? As far as I know TG First class passengers are allowed to use the Lufthansa Senator Lounge which is just a few meters away of your actual depature gate B46?

Thanks again for this story, really enjoyed it!

regards
Elias

We were actually able to get into the Lufthansa First Class lounge since we arrived Frankfurt on Lufthansa First. I will be posting the full trip report from the lounge here shortly.
 
debonair
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:42 am

Nice TR...

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
Thai Airways actually has 2x daily non-stops to Bangkok: a 9pm/10pm departure on a Boeing 747 and a 2pm/3pm departure on an Airbus A380.

Thai will discontinue TG922/923 from the beginning of the high-season on DEC 1st 2014 - instead it will start a new 4/7 service to DUS.
 
YYZAMS
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:56 am

I like your report style! I definitely like that you show how 2 people can travel and sit in the seats where you can actually talk and enjoy each other! I will have to read more of your reports to see how 2 can travel together and which seats are best as that seems to be my problem. Great pictures and I had to laugh when you went to see economy to see how cramped it was. The guy with his mouth open sleeping straight up set the tone!
 
9w748capt
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:56 pm

Wow amazing TR - thanks for sharing! Too bad TG is losing baht by the millions - one wonders how much longer they'll be able to keep this up? And that is an insane amount of food! Couple that with the real food offerings in int'l premium lounges... wow!

Just curious - how did you find the cabin temperature on your flight? I flew TG SIN-BKK-BOM last year (in Y) and it was just too damn hot. I was literally sweating the ENTIRE journey. Of course I'm sure they cater the temps for people used to SE Asian climates - as most of the Indian passengers were wrapped up in blankets while I was sweating bullets. Not that I'll probably fly TG anytime soon (as I have oneworld status not *A), but just wondering.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:22 pm

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
This cubby-style seating
Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
The cubby design
Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
private cubby-style seats
Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
the A380 configuration uses cubbies

What is this word?

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
Ahh, cubbies every where!

Apparently so.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
adamspotter
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:15 pm

Great report, Thai F looks very nice!

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):

There was a dedicated lane for Thai Royal First Class:

With US Airways Economy right next to it 

Thanks for sharing!

cheers,

Brendan
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:23 pm

Lovely TR! I am flying the TG A380 in J this January, from BKK to CDG, and this TR just made me all the more excited for it!

Great details and descriptions, thanks for taking the time to piece this together!
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:41 pm

Nice report, and that pic of you two sipping your drinks in your First Class seats says it all, nothing but smiles...cheers!!

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
They had entire seasons of many popular shows: Mad Men,

I think I could have very comfortably gone through a whole season of Mad Men on that whole flight, or perhaps select episodes of season 1 and 2.

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
The delicious caviar cart making it’s way around:

That truly looks like one of their airline advertisements except that you are experiencing it for yourself...amazing! There is just something so special about Thai, especially the uniform. Glad it has not changed at all over the years. Just curious did they change into their Western uniforms on landing or is that something only on the intra-Asia routes?

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
Economy looked miserable. Those seats just weren’t made for average-sized people to spend 10+ hours on a flight.

Now, now...the A380 seats are supposed to be the widest in the air, really comfortable for us cattle class passengers  .

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
At 5:05pm (Frankfurt time), appx 2.5 hours into the flight, the lights in the cabin were dimmed to nearly 0%. A quick glance at the in-flight map showed me that we had 6 hr 50 mins of flying time before reaching Bangkok.

For some reason I thought those flights were much longer, but clearly under 10 hours. Makes the non-stop Middle East to North America or Australia the longest flights out there, some over a whooping 15 hours. Now those are the flights you truly need to experience F in, no these short ten hour hops ..just teasing  

Did you book your points using US Airways points? I believe they have lower mileage redemption levels. Still can't believe you got to experience all this with a 160K redemption. Using Aeroplan, 160-180K will only get you into J class on most Star Alliance carriers.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
JMGRIFFIN
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:09 pm

Thanks for all of the positive feedback! I'm glad that you guys are enjoying the post!

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 9):
What is this word?

Quoting jmgriffin (Thread starter):
Ahh, cubbies every where!

Apparently so.

haha, since sarcasm is hard to sense online, I'll post the definition: "a place (such as a room) that is very small" but you'll have to cut me some slack, when writing a 2000+ word review of a flight I'm just surprised I didn't use the word "cubby" even more than 4 times!

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 8):
Just curious - how did you find the cabin temperature on your flight? I flew TG SIN-BKK-BOM last year (in Y) and it was just too damn hot. I was literally sweating the ENTIRE journey. Of course I'm sure they cater the temps for people used to SE Asian climates - as most of the Indian passengers were wrapped up in blankets while I was sweating bullets. Not that I'll probably fly TG anytime soon (as I have oneworld status not *A), but just wondering.

Thanks for reminding me, I almost forgot! I found the cabin to be very hot. It was just slightly above my threshold of heat for being able to get some quality sleep.
 
mptpa
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:07 pm

My wife and I were on TG FRA-BKK-FRA on First 2 weeks ago, and I can say the same as your comments. Service was impeccable in air and on the ground, and the 1 hour Thai massage at the lounge was a great way to ease the post and pre flight stress. I am looking forward to my next Thai and Lufthansa First in the next few months. You have to try the LH First Class Terminal at FRA. Superb.
 
JMGRIFFIN
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:20 am

Quoting mptpa (Reply 14):
and the 1 hour Thai massage at the lounge was a great way to ease the post and pre flight stress

Couldn't agree more, if there's one sequence of events that has completely spoiled me forever it has been the Lufthansa First Class Lounge --> Thai Airways First Class --> Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa/Massage in Bangkok combo. All my flights in economy since the Thai experience have been all that much worse.
 
JMGRIFFIN
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RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:13 pm

Lufthansa First Class Lounge Review – Frankfurt-FRA Terminal B



Even though we had a full night’s layover in Frankfurt (see our adventures in Frankfurt here), Jeffrey casanova’d our way into the First Class Lounge at Frankfurt’s airport, duh. Be forewarned that we had just visited the Lufthansa First Class lounge in New York-JFK and this post will make lots of comparisons: Lufthansa First Class Lounge – New York-JFK Airport.

Frankfurt Airport is one of the three mega-hubs in Europe, with more than 52 million passengers/year, 60% of which are Lufthansa travelers (that’s about 100,000 Lufthansa travelers per day!).

Given the above stats, it’s not surprising that they’re a bit stingy with access to the true First Class lounge. In fact, here is the short list of ways you can gain entry:

1. Passengers with a same day Lufthansa or Swiss First Class tickets

For those traveling on other Star Alliance airlines, even in First Class, you’ll get the secondary treatment and have to go to the Senator Lounge. Even though we weren’t technically traveling on a “same day” Lufthansa First Class ticket, we managed to be a bit pushy and get in anyway. At the lounge reception desk, we passed over our Thai Airways First Class tickets for the flight departing in a few hours. She scanned them and said, “so sorry, but this lounge is for Lufthansa First Class passengers only, you’ll have to go down the hall to the Senator lounge for partner flights.” I explained that we had arrived on Lufthansa First Class and we were simply connecting in Frankfurt-FRA and handed her our boarding passes from the prior day. Upon scanning them she said that, because the tickets we not from the same day, we wouldn’t be allowed in. I further explained that, due to the weather in New York, we were “forced” to depart a day early and also had a forced overnight layover in Frankfurt and that we should have actually arrived on a same day Lufthansa flight. She acted as if we were the first ones she’d ever encountered in this predicament. After chatting with her colleague, she apologized profusely for the mix up and led us in.



It was a rather large lounge with an average amount of people– definitely not over-crowded like many lounges we’ve visited. There were many options of where to sit: close-quartered comfortable chairs, a business area, plush leather chairs to give individual travelers their own spaces.







Of course, we headed straight for the food area. Whereas many other lounges have food buffets and then you can sit wherever you want, this lounge has a distinct food area, where the buffet and tables are clustered together and there’s not much eating going on in other areas of the lounge.







Lots of delicious foods were on display: all sorts of cheeses, meats, truffled ravioli, Thai beef dishes, etc. These international varieties were all on the buffet; there was a special order menu, too. All of this was free, so the name of the game here (at least for us) is to sample as much as you can.





And, did I mention that there was a real real Jamon Iberico machine on display, alongside all the meats. It really made the meat selection seem a bit fresher… and mostly added to the decor and fun vibe, giving the food area a little more character.



While I sampled the buffet, Jeffrey ordered the VEAL CARPACCIO with FOIE GRAS off of the special order menu.


Veal Carpaccio with Foie Gras

The food was delicious, plenty varied and had a great presentation, but, truthfully, this Lufthansa Lounge’s food just didn’t compare to the Lufthansa First Lounge at JFK. The service was impeccable at JFK and just seemed a bit more “first class” than at the Frankfurt lounge, which seemed just like a typical restaurant service.

Then, there was a dessert bar with all sorts and types of dessert: cakes, pies, pastries, things I didn’t recognize. You name it, it was offered here in this decadent selection. This food area really had an international flair — in case you were missing home (wherever that may be, to an extent), a familiar food was available.



I still haven’t mentioned one of the most intriguing aspects of the food area: the water bar. Yes, a water bar. How elite is that? Bottled water from around the world…if you just can’t accept the taste of other…water. #FWP all the way.




Huge selections of fancy waters from all over the world



Although we weren’t there long enough to do a true sampling, there was also a massage area if you had some extra time to kill.



Now, it’s time for your typical bathroom photos… no big deal. The best part is clearly the marbled shower (it’ll make you forget you in an airport), or maybe it’s the marbled tub? Toss up.





Lastly, tucked away in the huge lounge is also a Cigar Lounge… a lounge within a lounge. Luckily, they make sure all the doors are tightly closed so no smoke leaks out!





BOTTOM LINE (McCown): Maybe it was the smaller, more intimate setting at JFK’s Lufthansa First lounge or maybe it was just the adrenaline rush from just beginning our trip, but I’d say the JFK Lufthansa Lounge is hands-down better than the Frankfurt Lounge — from service to food choices — but the Frankfurt Lounge is still top-notch and offers more selections of food — and water — than most other lounges I’ve been lucky enough to visit.

BOTTOM LINE (Jeffrey): I completely disagree with McCown’s assessment and can say that the Lufthansa First Class lounge in Frankfurt-FRA was much better than the New York-JFK lounge. I mean with a full Cigar Lounge, water bar (how over the top “first world” is that?) and a jamon iberico machine, how can you go wrong? The JFK lounge might have felt a bit more personal given that they might only deal with a few dozen First Class passengers a day, but the over-the-top amenities in Frankfurt more than make up for the less personal touch.

[Edited 2014-09-10 11:21:50]
 
JMGRIFFIN
Topic Author
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 4:12 pm

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:06 pm

Thai Airways Royal First Lounge and Royal Orchid Spa – Bangkok-BKK



Our experience with the Thai Royal First Ground Service was short and speedy — just like it’s supposed to be. After touching down from our Frankfurt, Germany to Bangkok, Thailand journey (read more about our flight here: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class – TG 921 Frankfurt-FRA to Bangkok-BKK) at 6:01am, we were welcomed at the gate by a Thai Airways staff member. Once she gathered us together with one other First Class passenger, she led us to a golf cart and promptly whisked us away through connecting security and masses of other passengers to the First Class lounge. We were inside the lounge (clear across the airport) by 6:25am… that’s what you call first class service and record fast speed.




Zooming through BKK airport

Thai Airways Royal First Lounge

“Royal First Lounge at Concourse D, Level 3 – 1,400 sq.m. has been allocated for Royal First Class passengers with the capacity to accommodate 134 passengers at one time.

Opening hours: 05:00 am. – 01:00 am.

Facilities:


  • 2 VIP Rooms
  • 6 Private Corners
  • 22-seat A-la-Carte Dining Room
  • Wi-Fi Internet Corner with 2 PCs
  • Slumber Rooms
  • Shower Suites
  • Toilets with Wheelchair Accessibility
  • TG First Class Check-in Facility
Lounge Access :

  • Royal First Class passengers departing the same day on TG operating flight (One guest departing same day on any Star Alliance operating flight allowed)
  • First Class passengers departing same day on any Star Alliance operating flight (One guest departing same day on any Star Alliance operating flight allowed)
  • Royal Orchid Plus Platinum card holder departing same day on TG operating international flights (One guest departing same day on TG operating flight allowed)

Once in the lounge, the first question we were asked was, “When do you want your spa treatment? And, do you want a full body massage?” Uh… Yes. And. Yes. So, they said, “OK, we’ll come get you at 7:15.”





The First Class Lounge is huge and has a gigantic staff. We were seated in the lounge quickly and juice was delivered immediately. They left an iPad with a full menu with us — interestingly, there were very few Thai dishes on the menu, mainly variations of bacon and eggs (maybe this was because it was only 6am?).







Speaking of 6am, it was very early for Jeffrey’s blanket “This is the best travel experience of my life…ever,” but he still felt the need to say it… and it hasn’t been proven wrong yet.

Following our small waiting time, we were led across the hall to the Royal Orchid Spa, which was, again, huge. After waiting in their waiting area for another 10-15 minutes, the two of us were split up and led to private rooms. Once there, the masseuse asked me to change into a pair of small mesh underwear. She made me feel very comfortable and seemed to take her time– my comfort was her top priority. You just cannot beat a hot oil massage after a long flight!

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa

“Royal Orchid Spa at Concourse D, level 3 – 667 sq.m. is primarily designed to serve Royal First and Royal Silk Class passengers with a full range of spa services.

Opening hours: 06:00 am. – 11:30 pm.

Lounge Access:

  • Royal First Class passengers departing same day on TG-operated international flights
  • Royal Silk Class passengers departing same day on TG-operating international flights (Neck & Shoulder or Foot Massage only)
  • No guest allowed”




Treatment Menu:

Touch of Silk (Full Body Oil Massage – 60 minutes for First Class only)

Start your journey with a relaxing Touch of Silk, full-body oil massage. Performed with the unique ‘Thai touch’, this massage will help to prepare your body for your onward flight by increasing blood circulation as well as relieving muscular tension and helping to provide necessary hydration for your skin. On completion of your Touch of Silk massage, you will be left with an overall sense of well-being and total relaxation.

Royal Thai Massage (Full Body Massage – 60 minutes for First Class only)

Thai massage is perceived as one of the most precious of Thai traditional therapies. Royal Thai Massage helps to stimulate blood circulation, reduces edema caused by traveling and reduces body fatigue. With its unique acupressure techniques, expertly applied to your body, you will find your mind relaxed and muscles relieved, following the stress of your journey.

Neck & Shoulder Massage (30 minutes)

The Neck & Shoulder Massage is a great way to relieve stress which has built up from the rigors of everyday life from working long hours at your computer. Using specific techniques the therapist will work to loosen tight muscles around the neck and shoulders whilst simultaneously assessing how much tension is held in the body and how best to release it. You will board your flight feeling more relaxed and a little lighter around the shoulders.

Foot Massage (30 minutes)

Let’s help prepare you for your onward journey, by taking the weight off your feet and giving them a relaxing massage, which they truly deserve. Foot massage is a well-known relaxation therapy to help take care of tired feet. The gentle touch of the therapists hands and the deeper pressure from their fingers, create a sense of overall relaxation and will help to stimulate your vital organs.”





While my experience was nothing short of fantastic, it was Jeffrey’s first spa and massage experience, and he came out of his room with his eyes wide open, feeling very awkward. So awkward, in fact, that I’ll let him explain it in his own words…

This experience is highly awkward for the first time spa-goer. I entered and was told to take ALL of my clothes off and put on this tiny pack of “underwear.” I had to do a double take because it was the size of a single folded sock.

She then tried to enter the room a time or two while I was still naked and changing clothes. Finally, I was ready in just underwear and the spa gown that was left on the bed. The first thing she said to me was to take off the spa gown.

Wait, what? I just put it on!

Then, I realized it’s so I can lay down on the table. The massage lasted for 15-20 minutes, while it felt extremely good it also felt rather invasive at times. Lots of very, very upper thigh massaging. But again, I had no other massage experience to compare it to.

In fact, by the end of it I got the sneaking suspicion that most First Class men are solo business travelers and might be interested in a little more than what I had ordered…








Once I showered and came out of my room, Jeffrey was waiting on me at the front desk of the spa. They had called for our flight and were rushing to get us to the boarding area on time for boarding. Because we had spent all of our time in the spa, we weren’t able to try any of the food from across the hall in the lounge, but the massage left us feeling relaxed and ready for our next long plane ride.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re flying First Class into BKK with a layover, RUN (or, more realistically, allow the friendly Thai Airways staff to zoom you via golf cart) to the Royal Orchid Spa! The massages are first rate and are the perfect remedy to jet lag and fatigue. The service of Thai Airways never fails to be some of the best air service in the world.
 
SaschaYHZ
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:41 pm

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:39 pm

Awesome TR! Loved the pictures and your description....hopefully I'll experience it one day!
 
JMGRIFFIN
Topic Author
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 4:12 pm

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:58 pm

Quoting SaschaYHZ (Reply 18):
Awesome TR! Loved the pictures and your description....hopefully I'll experience it one day!

Thank you, it was an amazing trip!
 
Avianca
Posts: 5365
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:08 am

amazing report!!!

I am really wondering about the food and drink menue at Thai First Class Lounge in BKK.

I have booked a MUC-BKK-SYD-BKK-MUC in First for later this year. now even looking more forward to it.

regards
Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
JMGRIFFIN
Topic Author
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 4:12 pm

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:45 am

Quoting avianca (Reply 20):
amazing report!!!

I am really wondering about the food and drink menue at Thai First Class Lounge in BKK.

I have booked a MUC-BKK-SYD-BKK-MUC in First for later this year. now even looking more forward to it.

regards
Avianca

Thanks! We were only in the Thai First Class Lounge at BKK for breakfast, and just for a very brief moment before being called back for the spa treatment. I don't remember the breakfast options sounding too good, mainly just variations of bacon and eggs and a few clear broth noodle options--nothing looked worth trying, especially after a multiple meals aboard TG First Class.... Hopefully you'll have better luck if you land in time for lunch or dinner!
 
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777Jet
Posts: 6982
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:29 am

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Great trip report and excellent details and pics!

Makes me look forward to my up-coming flights on TG - but in J not in F  

I can't wait to try out the lounge options in BKK...
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388
 
JMGRIFFIN
Topic Author
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 4:12 pm

RE: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class - FRA-BKK

Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:51 pm

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 22):
Great trip report and excellent details and pics!

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

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