A340 Business Class, Seat 11B
Check-in and luggage allowance:
Upon checking in at the Business Class counter at Sydney International Airport, I was advised by my professional check-in executive, Peter, that the flight had changed its ETD by one hour with the aircraft having been downgraded to a smaller jet, therefore making it a full flight.
After my request for an aisle seat was processed, and my luggage tagged all the way to Phuket, I enquired if the flight delay would impact my onward connection, which Mr Peter advised that as soon as the flight details were uploaded upon take off, the staff at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport would be aware of the situation and handle all re-routing if required upon landing.
Thai Airways shares its lounge with Star Alliance's Air New Zealand in Sydney, but due to my ticket restriction I was unable to access the lounge on this occasion.
The A340 is configured in 2-2-2 offering an almost lie-flat seat, very comfortable and large in my opinion. Each seat within a cocoon backing showcases a large entertainment screen with entertainment on demand.
The "smooth as silk" approach to customer service was clearly demonstrated through the 8 hour 40 minute flight to Bangkok. After the steward assisted in putting my suitcase in the overhead compartment, I was offered a pre-take off beverage and hot towel, along with the menu for the flight which consisted of lunch and pre-landing snack.
Meal and snack service:
As soon as we're up in the air, we are handed some mixed nuts and await our drink service which is surprisingly a trolly service. Unfortunately, due to extreme turbulence, we are not actually able to be served any drinks until almost an hour later.
The lunch meal consisted of three entrees, Thai fish cakes, salmon, duck and scallop and a side salad, which due to the delay, were brought out very quickly after the service was recommenced.
The only choice for the passenger is with their mains, which varied from seafood pasta, lamb rogangosh, steak and Thai chicken green curry. I opt for the pasta and was delightfully surprised that it was cooked perfectly al dente with fresh seafood in a creamy white wine sauce.
Cheese and crackers follow, with some fresh fruit and dessert which looked like a passionfruit pudding though I declined having indulged in the cheese platter.
Champagne (the real kind), two different whites and two reds are available along with a selection of spirits, port, baileys, cocktails and soft drinks throughout the flight.
The flat screen screens are in line with what one would expect from contemporary airlines these days, and offers a wide variety of latest releases, classics, television shows and other documentaries. I opt to watch a classic, Top Gun, and settle in with a nice glass of port.
Thai Airways is usually on time, but due to the aircraft change we were delayed an hour from Sydney. What was amazing was the service we received upon landing in Bangkok. I was immediately escorted into a mini bus, then ushered onto an buggy to help speed us through the airport, before quickly being cleared at a separate immigration and ushered onto my connecting flight, which was delayed specifically for us. We were told that our bags would not be available, but will be transferred later that evening, however, much to our surprise, our luggage was also quickly processed and on our flight. The Thai service here was undoubtedly exceptional.
THAI operates 42 times a week from Australia to Thailand….14 from Sydney and Melbourne, daily from Brisbane and 7 a week from Perth including 3 non-stops to Phuket. Non-stop flights to Bangkok have convenient connections to Europe and North Asia, whilst flights via Phuket to Bangkok allow for connections to domestic Thailand, Indonesia and the Indian Subcontinent. Flights between Perth and Thailand are operated by an Airbus A330-300.