SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

*A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:43 pm

Background

I have always been wanting to go to the Venice Biennale but never really put my mind to make the trip because it takes place in the summer when it's much harder for me and especially my partner to take leave from work. But this year's September, due to my partner's boss also being away for quite awhile, and on account that I would be having my birthday at around the same time, we decided to make a special birthday trip to the Biennale especially since it is the architectural biennale this year, and is curated by the usually-thought-provoking Rem Koolhaas and I being an admirer.

We have generally been loyal SQ flyers and have flown many times with them in all their cabin classes. While it is certainly on and off depending on the crew, we had some excellent superbly memorable service with them especially in F and Suites. No doubt we always think of SQ as the best out there. But we are also aware that other airlines are catching up and it's neck-to-neck race in premium cabins. So we want to check the competition out there. We were burning miles for this trip and it was quite a fair bit more expensive to use these partner airlines but our curiosity trumped over my propensity to hoard miles.

This report will be about First Class experience with 3 airlines which are reputedly the best of the best and I will be comparing them both on ground and in the air. I started the journey in Singapore with SQ J but I am not starting the report with this flight since my focus is on F of the 3 airlines. Hope you guys enjoy. And thank you for reading.

Flight number: TG920
Route: BKK-FRA
Reg: HS-TUB
Seat: 1F


My experience with TG started with disembarkation from SQ978, docked at gate D2 of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

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I was booked SIN-BKK-FRA-VCE in the same ticket and told myself there is a 50% chance that TG would pick me up at the gate and drive me with a buggy to the First Class Lounge. If so, then it would be a major tick to their First Class ground service. Considering I came off a competitor airline, they are not obliged to know that I arrive or give me such treatment. If I had arrived off a TG flight, then yes, they must do that.

Well, yes, they did pick us up at the gate. A young smiling agent (everyone smiles in Thailand, the land of Smiles anyway...)was holding a placard with our names and greeted us with a nice Wai and "sawasdee kha" as we emerged from the aerobridge. Well done TG for the special treatment. The trip started with a good note.

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The buggy ride was speedy to the intersection between the C and D wings where we got off the buggy and then up the lift and walked a little bit to the First Class Lounge. I was initially hoping that the buggy would drive us all the way into the lounge like some TRs mentioned. It was not the case apparently. Perhaps not if you arrive from a transfer flight at the arrival level.



The First Class Lounge was manned by more smiling dragons who enthusiastically welcomed us and were about to quickly shepherd us into the lounge when I asked them if we could do the massage first. "Ah, Good idea, Mr SQueeze", they said. So one of them escorted us to the Royal Silk Spa while the other took our carry-ons to be stored aside under their watch.



At the spa, we were immediately seated at one corner and served glass of cold drink.

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"Good evening Mr SQueeze, welcome to Royal Thai Spa, we have two different massages here, the Touch of Silk and the Royal Thai. Which would you want, sir? "

"Oh, what's the difference?"

"Touch of Silk with oil. Royal Thai no oil", she said in her melodious Thai accent.

Both of us opted for the "without oil". First impression so far was just ok. The place is quiet but does not feel posh and expensive like what I expect a First Class lounge to be.

Decor is soothing with plenty of timber accents but is rather simple and lighting is basic. It won't win any interior design award.



We were soon escorted to the treatment room which is much nicer. It's huge. There is a tub at one end. I am not sure if it can be used. I was not offered to use it.

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The bathroom is huge too.



Robe is provided. And the black item wrapped in plastic is a very sexy short shorts. It's super elastic and super short. I wish I could take home some. Haha.

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Huge wardrobe to hang jackets and our clothes is towards one corner of the bathroom



And slippers are provided. I like the design but didn't get to use it much.

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It was then a nice soothing massage for 60 minutes although I must say that I have had better massage elsewhere. They also mixed up on my massage selection. It was supposed to be without oil but I was rubbed all over with it. Ok, fine, they made an error. It doesn't really matter to me so I just continued with it.

Post-massage, we were free to roam around and we settled down in the lounge where there was an assortment of snacks.



Tea was served. The banana snack was pretty good.

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Watching a tacky TV screen that shows lotuses and ponds. Errrr.... Could be much better with a real one. But this is an airport, not a resort. I better manage my expectation.

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A short while later we were back at the First Class lounge.

We walked past the semi private rooms but they were all already filled   I guess we were too late. We should have reserved one of them first before the massage. Most of them were filled with just 1 pax, so it's such a waste of space. One of them was even reserved for someone who was absent for 2 hours plus. I am really disappointed. There should be better management of these spaces. First, I think they should be smaller for 2-3 people rather than the 5-6 they can accommodate now.

So we had to settle in the main room.

Welcome drinks were quickly offered and drink and meal orders taken.

Since all the semi private rooms were taken, I have to be contented with just a peep through. They are more open than i initially thought they were. They seem quite cosy, like a living room. And I think it is definitely much better than being in the main room.

The main room is quite small considering that this is TG's main hub and it soon filled up and it felt quite crowded for a First Class lounge. The ceiling is low too so it doesn't feel grand. I guess I am too used to the serenity of the Private Room at Changi and the grandeur of the lofty volumes of the lounges there. TG's is quite a disappointment. Perhaps my expectation was too high?

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Nice cozy seating area. I think it's the nicest in the lounge. But this is a seating area to wait outside the toilets. What a waste. They should have more of these in the main room.

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Our cocktails soon came and my goodness, what a copious amount of it.

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Food came next and it all hardly could fit onto our table. I guess we should have gone to the dining section which I think was located off one corner. But the food was really good, and let me say it again, it was REALLY REALLY good. Amazing. Every single bit of it was soon wiped clean off the plate.

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I really liked the Pad Thai and the Tom Yum. The bowl, I think, is the duck curry. I am not a fan of ducks so I tasted the soup only and it was good.

Tender grilled beef a la Thai was served slightly later. It was also very delicious.

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There was a buffet too. I picked a few items but they were not good. They were cold and after the first bite, you know it's food that has been lying around for awhile. So when in Thai First Class lounge, order a la carte only....

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Flight was scheduled to depart at 1145pm. After reading a few TRs here, I was expecting another escort to come and fetch us with another buggy ride to the gate. I saw a few of them had already come and picked passengers. I waited and waited until 1105pm but nobody had come yet. So I went to the reception and asked

"Excuse me, our flight is departing soon, is anyone going to pick us up? Is the gate far?"

The lounge dragon was a rather flamboyant character and with lots of dramatic hand gestures replied, "Sir, going to Frankfurt, right? " (wow, he remembers). "Coming sir, please sit down, we will call you. Gate is not far, it's only about 10 minutes walk" (hmm, ok. So it's going to be on foot, and it's 10 minutes away".

Ok, fine, so I went back to my seat and waited for another 10 minutes. It was then already within half an hour of departure. I was getting uneasy, the lounge was quite claustrophobic and I also looked forward to my first time in TG First, so we decided to make a move.

We passed the reception again, and our flamboyant lounge dragon just bowed and then a Wai "oh, leaving already, sir? Thank you very much. Enjoy your flight."

So much so for expecting an escort who never came. But it's not a big deal to us. Perhaps there are just too many passengers departing around the midnight bank of departures. I would rather be early rather than rushed to the plane. So we walked towards our gate C3.



BKK is a grey drab depressing architecture. It is just so total opposite of the Thai qualities of warmth, friendliness, and relaxed attitudes. Whichever committee approved this kind of architecture for Thailand's main hub deserves reprimand.

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Gate C3 is actually not far from the lounge. We were there in no time.



The travellator down to the holding area.

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Oh boy, it's extremely crowded. Only then you feel what kind of a fat beast the A380 is to be able to carry these many passengers.

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20 minutes before the flight and we had not boarded. It was a sure delay. How is TG going to board 400 passengers in 20 minutes for a timely departure.
Boarding started about 10 minutes before STD 1145pm. Elderly passengers and passengers needing assistance were called first. And then First and Business Class passengers. And almost parallely Economy class passengers from a separate door. We were almost first to board and were welcomed enthusiastically by a friendly team of crew.
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:46 pm

Leading today's team is a lady inflight supervisor. I am not sure what is TG's order of crew. I am only familiar with SQ so let's just call her the same - Mrs IFS. She is a motherly lady who is around the same age like my mom and carries a very big hairdo just like many of my more flamboyant Indonesian aunts when they go to weddings.   She introduced herself to all passengers and profusely apologized for the delay.

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" I am so sorry for the delay, Mr SQueeze. We had a lost phone on the earlier flight from Tokyo and the previous crew couldn't leave in time." (Ok, fine, a small phone delays 400+ passengers, I better make sure I never lose my phone onboard).

" But the captain will make sure we try to catch up later. Are you on a connecting flight? " she was holding the list of passengers on board and seemed to be noting down onward connection and the timings."

" Oh yes, we are connecting to Venice on the 8am Lufthansa flight"

" Oh, I think we should be ok. We are probably delayed by half an hour or so. You should still be able to make it in time. That gentleman there is connecting to Vienna would have a tighter connection. We'll make sure we'll take care of you when we land in Frankfurt. Just enjoy the flight. No worry."

Then she went around and did the same to all the other passengers - all 12 of them. She was very relaxed, very seasoned facing first class passengers. I must say she is very very good. This is exactly how I would like to be received in First Class. The crew should be like a host, proud to be there, enthusiastic to engage, and be very comfortable with themselves. Well done. I would give it (10/10).

Now it's time to check the hardware. First impression was so so, just ok. The seat is huge as expected in First Class. The tan colour of the leather is quite nice. But the off-white shouts cheap and looks dirty. It is very plasticky. It definitely doesn't feel as posh as SQ's classy elegant design.

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Privacy is the bare minimum. While you can't see your fellow passengers' faces, you can see what they are watching.

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Screen is wide. Magazine pocket is a bit far next to the screen and is not reachable without standing up first. The table below the screen is not very functional either because it's too far to reach.

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The space underneath is very handy to place more things although there are also overhead compartments above. Here, it's handy for my soft plush toys which are my bolsters to sleep later. At the lowest level, plenty of space for shoes and even one cabin bag. The cream-coloured bag seems to be the safety vests. So lots of functional storage space.



Control for the seats and lights is very straight forward, far far easier to use than the row of buttons on SQ's New New Business Class.

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IFE control is on the inner side with a very functional pocket to charge phones. At least phones don't have to lie around and risk getting lost. Very thoughtful. So how on earth did some guy drop a phone somewhere and then delay 400 people?

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The outer side of the seat is where you find the headphones. That's another pocket. Notice the dirt accumulating around the arm rests. TG, please take note.

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More detailing issues in the execution that screams Cheap Design.

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And to my horror : hair! Whose hair!

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Overall, I think the hardware is quite disappointing. I have so far only flown with LH Old First, TAM Old First, and SQ's all types of First Class. I think TG's is the worst of the lot hardware-wise especially considering this is a relatively new product. From pictures, I also thought that their New First on the retrofitted 747s to be much better, at least design-wise. I am not sure about comfort-wise, I think a lot of people like the A380 version much better. I would just rate it (7/10)

As expected, take off was late by more than half an hour. Post-take off drinks were served soon after. Actually there was also pre-take off drink - the Dom Perignon.



Time to check the menu, which was bound in nice silk fabric - very Thai.



But inside is a normal booklet which again screams cheap with glossy paper and purple fonts. Once upon a time, may be it was considered stylish. But it does need some updating now.

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Table cloth was soon spread over.

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A full basket of breads was served. Very generous although the quality is not very good.

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Salt and pepper shakers with distinctly Thai design. Quite elegant.

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The caviar cart came next. Very classic way of serving. I guess it must have been like this in the bygone era. SQ prepares the dish in the galley now.

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Oh boy, what a huge serving of it. It looks like more than half a tin.

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Instead of Melba toast on SQ, TG serves it with blinis. My fault of not picking more blinis. I need more of them and I should have asked more to balance the saltiness. Shot of vodka was served at the same time but I don't recall it being chilled. I prefer it chilled, which I think I did have a chilled one with SQ though I don't think it's on every one of their flights.

The appetizers came next.

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From the menu, it appears that there should be 3 dishes: foie gras, quenelles of apples, and Thai salad. But it came as a single integrated dish. It looks really good and refined as a plate too. The taste was good too but they don't 'talk to each other'. It's strange to eat foie gras with papaya salad. This dish is conceptually a fusion but was not conceptualised well.

I had a pre-booked menu of prawn red curry.

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I originally wanted the Thai set. One is supposed to be able to do it online but it couldn't work for my booking, perhaps because it was an award flight. So I called the Singapore office to preorder but they didn't see any Thai set menu. I read what was listed on the website but she said what was on her screen was different. Almost giving up, I asked her to read for me one by one. And I settled with the prawn red curry.

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It was a very good meal. And allow me to repeat again. It was REALLY REALLY good. It was easily one of the tastiest meal I ever had onboard. Big thumbs up to onboard catering. (10/10)

Cheese and fruit cart came next.

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It looks like an impressive spread but I didn't pick any. Apologies for the quality of the picture. The cabin was already dimmed quite a bit at the time.

I was very full and was a little hesitant when they offered me dessert but in the end decided that I am too much of a dessert lover to skip dessert.

"Mr SQueeze, we have western dessert and Thai dessert, what would you like?"

"Well, I'll have the Thai dessert please" ( expecting cute little Thai desserts)

A short while later, she came back with the dessert plate and before I said anything, she had already disappeared.

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Other than the blue glutinous rice cake, the brown one was chocolate and the fruit tart was, well, fruit tarts. So this seems like 1/3 Thai. But I didn't want to ping the call button and bother them further. They tasted pretty good anyway.

After my table was cleared, I checked the IFE, which is just decent. It was a night flight anyway, and it was already pretty late.

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The inflight map has 4 versions - similar to the one on AI 787.

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By that time, we were about to make landfall to India, approaching near Kolkata. And oops, look at the projected flight path. It was going to bring us straight through Eastern Ukraine.

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I popped a bit into the "mini lounge" on the right side of the plane. No windows, and nothing to look at the wall. I wonder if this is the best use of the space. I guess there is the bar nearby but the space is not inviting for people to linger.

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Looking down the steps. It's all economy downstairs. It must be like a sea of seats. Grateful that we don't have to be in economy on long overnight flights for quite awhile now.



The toilet is on the left side of the plane. It is nice and huge and better than anything on SQ.



Cool lighting and seat at one corner. The seat is quite handy while changing.



Then I brushed my teeth, washed my face, applied some moisturizer, and was ready to sleep.
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:48 pm

I walked back to my seat and surprise surprise, they had prepared the bed for me, even laying out my fluffy friends comfortably. It really put smile on me.   This is First Class service after all.



And I still can't figure out what this purplish monitor for. Is it a night light? Not very useful for me. It's too big to be a night light.

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I slept for 6-7 hours. Not my best best ever sleep but good enough. I found the cabin a little warm for my liking. But I am always the weird one because I sleep at 17 degrees C at home. The cabin should be about 23-24 that night.

I woke up near Minsk, Belarus.

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Looks like we had steered completely clear of Ukraine and had taken a northerly route.

The table was soon spread again ready for breakfast.

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I requested for a cup of cappuccino and this was served. It was completely flat and tasted horrible. This has since won the worst cup of coffee ever in my life. Next time, I should just stick with black coffee.

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A basket of pastries was placed to the top left but they were cold.

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A cart of fruits came next. Packets of corn flakes were also on the cart. The pomelo was carved and looks like an interesting sculptural piece.

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I had 5 different types of fruits and a bowl of corn flakes. So far so good.

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Then the main course arrived. For me, it was the Eggs Benedict. Very very nice although the egg could be a little runnier. Plate was wiped clean soon after.

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For my partner, the omelette was good as well. Soft and fluffy in the inside. Another thumbs up to TG catering.

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After quite a bit of zigzag on approach to FRA, we were soon on a straight descent.

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Runway is now visible through the camera (whose resolution is pretty dismal in the dark)

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And then it was a long taxi to the gate.

And then we finally docked at the gate after 11 hours 45 minutes. Lufthansa logos grace the gates at FRA.

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Disembarkation was only through door 2 so First and Business Class passengers exited from the same door. The crew did initially attempt to allow F pax to disembark first but for some reason, soon after everybody was to themselves. I guess the delay contributed to the rush.

Getting off the plane, and as expected, a FRA agent was holding a placard with our names. She would be escorting us through immigration and security to our next gate bound for Venice. We had about 1.5 hours to make the connection. We disembarked at the B gates and now had to make our way to the new A gates. We didn't expect it would be a long walk including through a long seemingly endless tunnel connecting the B and A wings. Good that we had this escorting agent. Otherwise it wouldn't be so smooth. And she was good - a very warm friendly Kenyan lady. We shared stories, and laughed together making the journey felt shorter than it was.

Since we still had about 45 minutes left, she dropped us at the LH Senator lounge. Actually to be frank, there are so many lounges at FRA and I can't recall which lounge was it that we went to. I think it's the Senator Lounge at A gates. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. It's newish and nicely furnished. It was quite crowded that morning although it was a Sunday.

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We just had a few glasses of juice and had some yoghurt there and then slowly made our way to the gate. The A gates seem new and so much better than the FRA I know when flying SQ.

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I wish I were a kid still then I could squeeze into this together with the other kids.  http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/661/mTLNda.jpg

A gates and Z gates are actually stacked one on top of the other. the Z gates serve Lufthansa's main long haul routes while the A gates serve Schengen routes. Initially we were wondering how come there were 747s after 747s outside the A gates whose information display monitor read Bologna, Milan, Venice etc. Only then we realized that we would be taking a bus to a remote parking stand. The 747s were at Z gates. Sigh, it would be cool to fly 747 intra-Europe ( I knew it would only happen in my dream)

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The remote parking stand for this morning's LH324 to VCE was really remote.

On the way, we passed by a majestic 747-400.

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And we passed more LH's remote stands.

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We passed by the cargo terminal and it was still some distance to go. I almost thought we could have gone to Venice on this bus.

Finally we were there. Boarding was from both doors. Fortunately, the rain had almost stopped too.

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And we were finally seated on a full euro-style business class cabin. It's economy class seat with middle seat blocked.

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The seat is rather thin and doesn't recline much. I wouldn't spend any more than economy had this not been part of a longer first class ticket.

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Legroom is standard economy pitch for a full-service carrier.



LH Cityline regional jet was by our side.

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We departed on time and after again another long taxi, we were off the ground and soon flew above the clouds and the glorious autumn sunshine basked us with morning light.



Cold platter was soon served after. It was good except the very red syrupy stuff which was a bit of an acquired taste because of its very gooey texture.

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A short while later, we were flying over the sunny Austrian Alps. Looks like it will be sunny Italy, no?



Wrong ... Descending below the clouds, we went into very foggy marshy lands.

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Approaching VCE. The structures on the water, I later discovered, were markers for the boat ways.

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Finally landing at VCE.

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An AA-metal with US flight number just landed ahead of us from PHL

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And here we are finally arrived at Venice.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/631/BMJGzQ.jpg

Final thoughts:

When I first decided to fly with TG, I didn't have a high expectation. I read and heard that it is consistently inconsistent so I was expecting exactly that. After experiencing it, I think it's better than I thought. The ground service like the lounge is not as polished and refined as SQ's. But there are more perks like free massage and buggy rides (8/10). The onboard hardware is my least favorite. While the comfort is there, design-wise is definitely very average and forgettable (7/10). The crew was great (9/10) and the food was the best of all (10/10). So like an 8.5/10 kind of experience. TG is not SQ but for the price it offers (where F prices are nearer to SQ's J), I think it is worth it. Will I fly with them again? Yes, perhaps, but not using miles because it's cheaper to fly with SQ's own metal for us Krisflyer members.
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:51 pm

And here are some photos of beautiful enchanting Venezia - a must-visit once in a lifetime

This is the airport 'bus'.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/538/msrAVQ.jpg

And in bad weather, the trip to the city centre felt like in a James Bond movie

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/913/4YJhse.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/904/5YiZS6.jpg

It took an hour approximately to our stop Arsenale which is a few minutes walk downstream from San Marco

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/537/1mOtsW.jpg

The waterfront around Arsenale stop in the evening is gorgeous

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/540/krnoac.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/913/nUloo6.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/673/of09bm.jpg

More incredible views of Venice

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/904/eBuPoe.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/909/t5aylw.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/540/0Vmjwf.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/745/wtLuJU.jpg

Congestion Venetian style



Away from the oppressively crowded San Marco are secret corners of charm and quaintness



Forget about the crowded Grand Canal, there are photogenic spots at every corner

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/907/ShfJD9.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/540/3X6TXP.jpg

Night time is special too. Do not miss nocturnal Venice. It's so much better with much less crowd

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/661/5bYVhO.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/745/LdWWKx.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/537/CvDrIo.jpg



So that's it for Part 1. Thank you for reading

To be continued to Part 2: from Florence back to Singapore with LH First Class with the Queen of the Skies and SQ First Class.
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3812
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:05 pm

Great report - looks like you had a nice flight on TG F!

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):

Getting off the plane, and as expected, a FRA agent was holding a placard with our names. She would be escorting us through immigration and security to our next gate bound for Venice. We had about 1.5 hours to make the connection. We disembarked at the B gates and now had to make our way to the new A gates. We didn't expect it would be a long walk including through a long seemingly endless tunnel connecting the B and A wings. Good that we had this escorting agent. Otherwise it wouldn't be so smooth. And she was good - a very warm friendly Kenyan lady. We shared stories, and laughed together making the journey felt shorter than it was.

When I flew TG F BKK-FRA LH J FRA-DUS I also got an escort, and walking full speed it still took 30 mins to get to the lounge   FRA is too big.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
emek96
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:34 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:48 pm

Hi SQeeze!

Nice report first of all! TG seems to be good in F.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
20 minutes before the flight and we had not boarded. It was a sure delay. How is TG going to board 400 passengers in 20 minutes for a timely departure.
Boarding started about 10 minutes before STD 1145pm. Elderly passengers and passengers needing assistance were called first. And then First and Business Class passengers. And almost parallely Economy class passengers from a separate door. We were almost first to board and were welcomed enthusiastically by a friendly team of crew.

I don't like the boarding system in BKK, even when I flew out on an 737, it was quite unorganized, not to think about the situation when they board an A380...

TG onboard product looks decent. I especially liked the food, seems to be very good.

Well, concerning FRA, there are two choices, either you love it or you hate it   I love it!

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
Since we still had about 45 minutes left, she dropped us at the LH Senator lounge. Actually to be frank, there are so many lounges at FRA and I can't recall which lounge was it that we went to. I think it's the Senator Lounge at A gates. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. It's newish and nicely furnished. It was quite crowded that morning although it was a Sunday.

Indeed, this is the A Senator lounge! It looks 'empty' to be honest, go there on a Monday morning or so  


thanks for report again

greetings
Elias
Lufthansa is the best airline in the world!
 
vieri
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:27 am

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:58 pm

Our first long haul F redemption was with TG so this brought back lovely memories, we did ZRH-BKK-NRT and NRT-BKK-LHR.
The IFS looks like the one we had on our BKK-NRT flight, the same hair do and stature!
She was amazing and very motherly, and so were the rest of the crew working with her. It was on the leased 9W 777-300ER so it had full enclosed suites which were very comfortable and private.
Hope your return journey is as good or better
 
flyforever
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:36 am

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:01 am

Very nice trip report SQeeze!!! I raised in Padova, very close to Venice and I've been there several times and hopefully I'm going back there during my visit back to Italy next week (I'm in London now). Very nice pictures and I totally agree with you: It's not all about Canal Grande and Ponte di Rialto, Venice has its beauty in the hidden corners.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6537
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:47 am

Hi SQeeze,

very nice report with many good pictures! TG F looks impressive in general, I like the catering in particular. But I agree - some elements look cheap and the white color is a bad choice. Nevertheless, I'd like to try TG F one day.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
pokfur
Posts: 709
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:35 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:51 pm

Hello SQueeze!

Ah, deviating from your usual SQ eh?

Lovely, comprehensive, trip report you've got here. Good to know that you had a nice flight on TG, even if they aren't up to SQ's standard, which price-wise, would lead you to think so in the first place anyway.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
A young smiling agent (everyone smiles in Thailand, the land of Smiles anyway...)was holding a placard with our names and greeted us with a nice Wai and "sawasdee kha" as we emerged from the aerobridge.

Lucky you. I didn't get that on my flight this year, even though I was booked TG all the way    Had to walk 1000 miles or something through the airport myself to get to the lounge!

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
There is a tub at one end. I am not sure if it can be used. I was not offered to use it.

I asked to use it the last time, but my request was declined   

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
Robe is provided. And the black item wrapped in plastic is a very sexy short shorts. It's super elastic and super short. I wish I could take home some. Haha.

Hahaha i actually asked for an extra pair and took them home       

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
The banana snack was pretty good.

A fan of bananas eh?   

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
Most of them were filled with just 1 pax, so it's such a waste of space.

Uh oh... I was one of them back in January this year. I suppose they should have made different rooms of varying sizes for different group sizes.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
I guess I am too used to the serenity of the Private Room at Changi and the grandeur of the lofty volumes of the lounges there.

Not entirely true   The Private Room was completely packed in the morning when I was there recently. Didn't know that there were so many flights with First Class around the 9am bank?

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
Tender grilled beef a la Thai was served slightly later. It was also very delicious.

Ehhh they have beef?? How come I didn't know that!  Wow! Glad to read that all the food you ate tasted great.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
BKK is a grey drab depressing architecture. It is just so total opposite of the Thai qualities of warmth, friendliness, and relaxed attitudes. Whichever committee approved this kind of architecture for Thailand's main hub deserves reprimand.

I agree with you 110%! I actually thought that the airport was unfinished or something due to all the exposed lightings on top... Did it make you feel depressed? Lol.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
Oh boy, it's extremely crowded. Only then you feel what kind of a fat beast the A380 is to be able to carry these many passengers.

Was there any express lane for First Class passengers? I think that's why they only bring you to the aircraft right during final call when everyone else has cleared into the boarding area.

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 1):
She is a motherly lady who is around the same age like my mom and carries a very big hairdo just like many of my more flamboyant Indonesian aunts when they go to weddings.

LOL.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
Screen is wide. Magazine pocket is a bit far next to the screen and is not reachable without standing up first. The table below the screen is not very functional either because it's too far to reach.

I'm sure passengers in Economy Class wouldn't be complaining about a magazine pocket or table that's too far away to reach      

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
it's handy for my soft plush toys which are my bolsters to sleep later.

Your soft toy is huge la! Do you put it in a bag or just carry it around with you? Lol!

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
So how on earth did some guy drop a phone somewhere and then delay 400 people?

Things can get quite tricky in Economy Class, probably   

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
I have so far only flown with LH Old First, TAM Old First, and SQ's all types of First Class.

Mmmm... "Only"...         

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
The taste was good too but they don't 'talk to each other'.

  

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
I popped a bit into the "mini lounge" on the right side of the plane. No windows, and nothing to look at the wall. I wonder if this is the best use of the space. I guess there is the bar nearby but the space is not inviting for people to linger.

It's strange that TG would think that people would want to move out of their comfortable First Class seats to sit here on the hard benches instead... However, on my flight, a couple did find some use for this space - to change the nappies of their baby.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
The toilet is on the left side of the plane. It is nice and huge and better than anything on SQ.

Only coz SQ puts Suites downstairs.

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
And I still can't figure out what this purplish monitor for. Is it a night light? Not very useful for me. It's too big to be a night light.

Haha I wondered the same thing too!! I actually thought maybe it's one of those soothing light things that maybe send out some sort of rays that make you calm and sleep better. But I don't think so...

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
I requested for a cup of cappuccino and this was served. It was completely flat and tasted horrible. This has since won the worst cup of coffee ever in my life. Next time, I should just stick with black coffee.

I think that's because they use instant mix to make the cappuccino. Coffee is one area that SQ does best on board. In my opinion, no other airline has beaten SQ's coffee...  

Anyway, it looks like your flight went rather well overall and nothing majorly bad happened haha. I've my return flight to take next month. Currently booked on the night FRA-BKK flight on the 747. Can't decide if I should stick with that, or go for the earlier A380 day flight to 'enjoy' the 10 hours? But sitting on the Queen in the nose also has its appeal vs the whale... Any thoughts?

Thanks also for the lovely pictures of Venice. I greatly enjoyed reading this trip report and look forward to the other two parts!

pokfur
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:28 am

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
Lovely, comprehensive, trip report you've got here. Good to know that you had a nice flight on TG, even if they aren't up to SQ's standard, which price-wise, would lead you to think so in the first place anyway.

Totally agree. It's a price quality match.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
Lucky you. I didn't get that on my flight this year, even though I was booked TG all the way Had to walk 1000 miles or something through the airport myself to get to the lounge!

I had no escort to the gate. TG is consistently inconsistent.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
Was there any express lane for First Class passengers? I think that's why they only bring you to the aircraft right during final call when everyone else has cleared into the boarding area.

Not that I recall, we were called together with business class. Flying First Class, I prefer to be early and not last minute. I would want to be on the plane as long as possible.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
Your soft toy is huge la! Do you put it in a bag or just carry it around with you? Lol!

They were squeezed into 2 cabin bags and i did carry the big one in my arm every now and then because sometimes at security checks, we got to move fast and i didnt bother to pack him back in . And while you had only seen 1 big and 1 small here. We actually carried 2 big and 2 small for this trip. I think you will get to see all four in the next installment of the TR LOL       I believe they made a lot of security people smile too when the bags got X-rayed and sometimes opened.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
In my opinion, no other airline has beaten SQ's coffee...

Now that you mentioned it, yes i think so. But I tried this unappealingly named "salty coffee" on EVA J Class and that was unexpectedly good. Hard to describe the taste though.   

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
Currently booked on the night FRA-BKK flight on the 747. Can't decide if I should stick with that, or go for the earlier A380 day flight to 'enjoy' the 10 hours? But sitting on the Queen in the nose also has its appeal vs the whale... Any thoughts?


For me, the answer is pretty straightforward. I found the A380 hardware pretty underwhelming. The new 747 must be much better product-wise. And I abhor the daytime eastbound flights because when you land, it is morning but is actually only the beginning of your bedtime. And the rest of the day is dreadful. I prefer night time departure ex-Europe to land in Asia early evening. The jetlag is more bearable to me. And moreover, didnt you fly on their A380 before? Then this time, I think you should stick with your 747.

Oh, but btw, is your 747 going to be the refurbished one or the old one?
 
pokfur
Posts: 709
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:35 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:27 pm

Hello SQueeze!

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 10):
I had no escort to the gate. TG is consistently inconsistent.

I think they escort you after everyone else has boarded, so you probably left the lounge too early. I, too, decided to walk to the aircraft myself back in January so no escort at all. I received one at Frankfurt though, and he was admittedly much more useful for my transit there.

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 10):
I think you will get to see all four in the next installment of the TR LOL

Seriously SQueeze....   What a grown man you are   

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 10):
Now that you mentioned it, yes i think so. But I tried this unappealingly named "salty coffee" on EVA J Class and that was unexpectedly good. Hard to describe the taste though.   

LOL. That big grin says it all...   

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 10):
The jetlag is more bearable to me.

But I'm flying back home to Singapore so it doesn't really matter... I was wondering if I should 'maximise' my First Class experience.

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 10):
And moreover, didnt you fly on their A380 before? Then this time, I think you should stick with your 747.

Yes, I did fly the A380. And the Queen of the Skies won't be around much longer so I suppose I should catch her when I can! And I've heard that flying in the nose of the 747 is supposedly somewhat special too!

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 10):
Oh, but btw, is your 747 going to be the refurbished one or the old one?

Scheduled to be the refurbished one. But as you well know with TG, it could be swapped out for the old one  

The night flight has traditionally been flown by the A346 with the old First, but recently changed over to the 747.

pokfur
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:15 am

Quoting pokfur (Reply 11):
Seriously SQueeze.... What a grown man you are

You know my age meh? I am not even 15 yo leh...  

Quoting pokfur (Reply 11):
I was wondering if I should 'maximise' my First Class experience.

well, for me, 'maximising' must include at least 6 hours of sound sleep on the flat bed, which i find difficult to do when on day flights.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 11):
And I've heard that flying in the nose of the 747 is supposedly somewhat special too!

Hmm, i guess you must be too young at the time when 9V-SPA to 9V-SPQ still ruled the skies.   
It's more than special.
 
pokfur
Posts: 709
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:35 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:32 pm

Hello SQueeze!

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 12):
You know my age meh? I am not even 15 yo leh...  
Quoting SQueeze (Reply 12):
Hmm, i guess you must be too young at the time when 9V-SPA to 9V-SPQ still ruled the skies.   

These two statements are incongruent with each other. #justsayin   

Actually, yes, I have flown in the nose of the 747 when I was much younger and needed a stack of pillows to sit on just to look out of the window haha. Then, the 747s that SQ had didn't even have winglets   

Of course I soon grew up, went past the 12 year old mark, and my parents decided it was not worth paying full price for me + old enough to fly alone so I was relegated to the back of the bus from then on... Till these few years when SQ decided to release the long-haul J for Savers redemption and I started working my charm on my parents again   

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 12):
well, for me, 'maximising' must include at least 6 hours of sound sleep on the flat bed, which i find difficult to do when on day flights.

Oh I see... I'm a bad sleeper on flights so even on the night 747 flight, I foresee myself being a bit more frustrated at trying to sleep than actually sleeping. Ah well. I'll think about it next week or something haha.

pokfur
 
debonair
Posts: 3692
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:02 pm

Very freat series of TR, well done!

Quoting SQueeze (Thread starter):
We have generally been loyal SQ flyers and have flown many times with them in all their cabin classes. ... No doubt we always think of SQ as the best out there. ... So we want to check the competition out there. ...
This report will be about First Class experience with 3 airlines which are reputedly the best of the best and I will be comparing them both on ground and in the air.

I think one of the best airline within the *A is swiss/LX, even if their F-product is "dated" - but their crews and service are legendary!
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:41 am

Quoting pokfur (Reply 13):
Oh I see... I'm a bad sleeper on flights so even on the night 747 flight, I foresee myself being a bit more frustrated at trying to sleep than actually sleeping. Ah well. I'll think about it next week or something haha.

Hi pokfur,

I notice that you slept very well on BA's Premium Economy.
May be First Class is not for you, eh?    Haha.
 
pokfur
Posts: 709
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:35 pm

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:16 am

Quoting SQueeze (Reply 15):
Hi pokfur,

I notice that you slept very well on BA's Premium Economy.
May be First Class is not for you, eh?    Haha.

EH tsk enough ah!!   

Hahaha. In any case, I just phoned TG and the A380 flight is full, so looks like it's going to be the 747 flight by default!

pokfur
 
nethkt
Posts: 1025
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: *A First Class To Venice: TG,SQ,LH (Pt 1: TG F)

Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:13 am

A very enjoyable THAI F class trip report.
Seem like you had a great set of crew onboard. The food looks really neat and the craved pomelo is so exquisite, so royal.
Thank you for sharing. Will continue on the next part of your trip reports.
Net-HKT
Let's just blame it on yields.

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