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    Anonymous
    #585921

    Hermes1964
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    This review covers one short international (HKG-BKK) and two domestic (BKK-CNX-BKK) business class flights on Thai International.

    Why Thai?
    There is plenty of competition on these routes and Thai was not the cheapest. However, the Business Class fare was substantially cheaper than CX for the international leg, as well as offering the opportunity to experience Thai’s A380 and enabled us to maintain a similar level of travelling comfort over all our flights on the trip. Business Class offered a substantially more pleasant travelling experience even for the short hops, and was not substantially more expensive than the economy fare.

    Pre-departure
    Easy to complete, though boarding passes could not be printed for any sector. The Thai website has a few function issues.

    Airport lounge
    The HKG lounge is reasonably spacious and is situated on an open landing level above the main concourse. There was a reasonable selection of light snacks and drinks, PCs and complimentary massage chairs. A separate section of the lounge is reserved for First Class passengers. The domestic lounge at BKK was a bit of a non-event, but did include a sort of indoor garden area which was hot but a more pleasant than the chilled “indoor” lounge. The lounge in CNX was small and cramped and actually less pleasant than the departure lounge outside.

    Boarding
    Priority Boarding for First and Business was by separate jetway to the upper deck. Unlike in DXB, all A380 Boarding is from the same level in the terminal by means of a ramp with a small incline.

    The Aircraft
    There should be a sign on the door stating “Welcome to the world of purple plastic”. Thai certainly know how to work that colour. The A380 Business seating layout is similar to Emirates, except the individual cubicles are purple, as are carpets walls and uniforms. The tabletops were plastic wood effect and overall the feeling was cheap and a bit tacky. The seat could be converted to a fully flat bad which felt quite comfortable when I tried it. The seat also includes a harness strap which you are required to wear for take-off and landing.

    The 777-300 and 747-400 on the domestic sectors are actually also used for international flights have the same lie-flat shell seat in, you guessed it, purple. 747 seating is split between the main deck, in 2-2 arrangement due to the longitudinal galley and the upper deck, which as ever is peaceful and pleasant. 777 seating is 2-3-2.

    The Crew
    I had assumed I would be greeted and served by the crew resembling those in the advertisements. My expectations were not met! On the HKG sector this was a substantially more senior and substantially more substantial crew. Frankly they were underwhelming and were short on charm and style. One FA made no attempt to understand a Chinese passenger’s meal choice claiming she didn’t read Chinese, even though the menu was also printed in Thai and English and meal choices were presumably printed in the same order. The crew on the domestic sectors were, however, very friendly and much nicer.

    Food
    The HKG-BKK flight offered a full lunch service with a choice of four entrees. These were all Asian and my pork and noodles were extremely tasty. Champagne was not sufficiently chilled, but a very pleasant cold lemon tea was also offered. Domestic meal services included a generous scallop salad, but it smelled very fishy and I declined, a chicken vol-au-vent (remember those!) and deserts. No alcohol was served but there were generous refills of soft drinks and tea/coffee. This was over and above what was required on a one our flight.

    Verdict
    Not how I thought it would be, although it did the job for the flights I took. It was nice to travel on large wide-bodies for the domestic flights and it’s always a pleasure to be on the 747 upper deck, even if just for 55 minutes. And the lemongrass scented hot towels were very welcome. The international cabin service was underwhelming and there was nothing about it which would lead me to seek it out in future if Thai was an alternative.

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