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Thai Airways used to have a reputation for being one of the best airlines in Asia. While that reputation may have been overshadowed by the rise in Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and even Middle East Carriers, the Thai Airline is still a strong product, especially on their newest A350.
I hadn’t flown Thai Airways before and on this trip I was looking for a short hop from Bali to Bangkok.
Thai Airways was the natural choice and on this 4 hour route they were flying an older 777. While I knew this would be an angle flat seat, I was mostly excited to see the service and food.
I didn’t mind giving the short daytime flight and was excited to see what they have to offer.
Because of the short flight from Bali to Bangkok I decided it wasn’t worth using points for this trip. I believe I saw a fare for about 20,000 Aeroplan points but I was low at the time and was planning to pay cash.
I decided to look at the cash rates and found this flight on Thai Airways for about $550 for a one way business class ticket. It was a little more than I wanted to pay so I actually held off on booking until I actually arrived in Bali itself.
When I got to Bali a few days later, I rechecked the rates and to my surprise it was now $400 each after the currency conversion.
I didn’t see the rates fluctuating on Google Flights so I fully expect this was now cheaper since I was purchasing from Indonesia vs from the US.
I quickly secured 2 seats for this 4.5 hours journey and while I didn’t need a bed for a daytime flight I was still excited to see what Thai Airways business class was like.
When I departed Bali I didn’t know what to expect since the arrivals haul when I went through the previous time was pretty small. However, the check in area and airport itself was very well constructed and reminded be of Istanbuls new airport.
I thought this would be a pretty smooth experience but all that changed when we got to customs.
The customs line was very long and unfortunately there was no separate line for business class. I was surprised that it actually moved decently quickly but it still took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes to make it through.
Thai Airways actually had a small lounge at the airport that I visited but unfortunately had a sign for no pictures. I thought that was a little odd but the lounge was pretty basic.
After only 30 minutes in the lounge it was onto the flight for the quick hop to Bangkok.
Boarding went pretty smoothly as there was a dedicated line for business class and I was one of the first few people on the plane.
Thai Airways business class on the 777 is split into a 2-2-2 configuration and is definitely a little dated. The seats don’t have any storage space and a small middle table that you share with your seat mate.
The overhead bin spaces were pretty large but they definitely filled up by the time everyone was boarded.
I did like the colors of the cabin, in a classic Thai purple but you can tell they were showing their age with many of them losing a bit of their color.
Because I booked this flight a little last minute, I did get 2 seats within the middle. There was virtually no privacy on these seats but given the daytime flight I didn’t mind.
The corner seats looked much better but suffered from the same issue of lack of storage.
The IFE on Thai Airways was pretty good and had plenty of selection but also many Thai specific shows. For an aircraft that’s pretty old it was reasonably responsive although the remote was a little tricky.
The flight started out with a welcome drink that were a form of juices. They were a bit sweet for my liking but nice that they served it in these Thai branded glasses.
The seat controls were a bit complicated and given this seat only goes angle flat you need to select one of the faded buttons towards the bottom.
There was a charging port and headphones hidden under the middle so it was a bit tough to access but doable.
When I reclined the seat you can see it doesn’t go all the way flat. You can also see this seat has seen better days with how worn out it was.
While I know this seat is angle flat it went less flat that I expected. For this 4 hour flight it was totally fine but if it was a long haul I expect Thai would fly one of their newer cabins.
A little while after the welcome drinks came around warmed nuts. I really like when airlines take the time to warm the nuts as it makes a difference in my opinion.
Now was the main event for me, the food. I don’t recall a menu but the appetizer was tuna served with some cured meat and a few sauces. The sauces were a nice addition to the tuna and the garlic bread was also a highlight of this app.
For the main meal I went with a shrimp curry that was served with rice, eggs, and veggies. The curry had great flavor and the food was served nice and hot.
The service on Thai Airways was excellent and the FAs were constantly coming back and forth to see if you need anything.
Before landing we were also handed these Sim cards that could be activated in the airport. While I didn’t need it was also a nice touch by Thai to their business class passengers.
Summary & Takeaways
Overall my first experience on Thai Airways was pretty good especially given the older plane on a short hop. While it didn’t live up to the likes of Singapore Airlines or even Cathay, I think there is a ton of potential for Thai Airways given the powerhouse of destinations around Thailand.
The service and food on Thai were above what I expected and I think their long haul product would provide a great experience.
I’m looking forward to flying Thai Airways again and will surely find a flight on their A350 next time.
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