Thailand on British Airways or ThaiBack to Forum
Anonymous14 Apr 2010
So here are my choices for a direct flight outbound 24th May return 18th June
British Airways, in CLUB WORLD on BA website. Benefits, superb flat bed on a modern aircraft, very adequate catering, tier points, airmiles, fantastic lounges, supporting Britain
Price …. on BA website Club World – ca. £3100 (no changes)
Thai – in FIRST, superb bed in First class, catering above and beyond. Excellent cabin with great attitude. Terrible shared lounge in T3 (but will use the better BA lounge anyway), old aircraft, but very updated First product, met on arrival in BKK, taken to through VIP channel, (no queing at imigration) sat in chairs as staff look for your bag(s), which does come through first. On the way back, the most amazing series of lounges and spa’s..
Thais (web fare) price in FIRST £2300 + can change the return sector for £70.
Can someone please give me a reason for choosing the BA product over the Thai product??? I would far prefer to support Britain. It seems a no brainer to pay £700 less to go First over Club.
Strange thing is that the flight times are virtually the same. Come on someone, find me a reason to fly BA. Even VK’s comments about possible incentives, to fly BA have not yet been seen, except for a few additional airmiles.14 Apr 2010
You can choose BA only if:
You have a lot of money so you don’t care about the fare (so you had to choose BA’s First), i asume that you don’t have extra 3k pounds from the fare that you said above.
You ar a BA shareholder
Or you are junkie with BA’s miles14 Apr 2010
Clearly, in circumstances like these, it’s difficult to justify on a standalone basis the premium that you describe to fly one airline’s business class over another’s first class product.
The value is personal to the passenger – those who would perhaps miss a status-level (re)qualification by switching to the cheaper carrier might amortise the premium over the duration of their (re)new(ed) status and justify the extra on that basis. Others would never entertain such an idea.
For those who might seek to question more widely why BA (in this case) is more expensive than Thai (on this occasion) will find their answers both in the competitive landscape which currently prevails, and also the specific points in different airlines’ promotional calendars at which the comparison is made.
Currently, BA is maintaining a very low-profile as far as exUK promotions are concerned; compare this to some very aggressive activity in mainland Europe. Choosing Rome as your departure point would reduce the cost of your Club World return to Bangkok to just over EUR2380/GBP2085, furnish you with additional tier points, and offer fully-flexible terms.
Other destinations, as highlighted on the above page, are arguably even better value.
Of course, who knows what deals may be announced for UK departures in the future.14 Apr 2010
Indeed the incentives to which I was referring have already been released for European BAEC members:
This is more than just some additional BA Miles (though a not inconsiderable 5k BA Miles per Club Europe flight is not to be sniffed at!).
It includes one of the most generous fast track to Silver Card Status ever made:
Not only will you be earning bonus BA Miles but as a Blue member, fly just one Club World or four Club Europe return flights between 13 April and 30 June 2010 and you’ll be awarded your Silver card. It comes with the privileges that help make your journey more convenient and rewarding.
In this example, as a BAEC member in one of the offer countries, taking just one Club World return trip as you plan to do would result in 25k bonus BA Miles (in addition to the usual 17750 base miles return for Blue Card holders) and a Silver card for everyone in your party.
As continentalclub states, there will very probably be UK offers along shortly though these may not be as generous. It is likely BA will hold off releasing these until the strike threat is lifted, though the Union seem to have been instructed to keep quiet until the General Election is over to avoid upsetting their Labour Party chums.
Flying as a European BAEC member with a starting point exRome will allow a stopover in London, so you are effectively getting flexibility and two weekend breaks in Rome (and indeed you could open jaw the ticket to somewhere else in Europe on the return sector) so that makes BA doubly attractive. But it *is* more hassle than a point-to-point in First.
Obviously I don’t have to mention the situation in Thailand is somewhat precarious right now; was there last week and it’s deteriorated since then.
It’s hard to predict when the next fare sale will happen, but given your flights are relatively soon it would probably be best to press on and book with whichever carrier suits your needs best, as pretty much all sale fares require 28 days advance purchase anyway.
There is an unpublished fare sale to the US on right now which ends 20 April:
BA Club World Sale – 27th March to 20th April 2010
Unpublished CW sale to a number of destinations in the USA for travel June 2010 through September 2010. 28 days advance purchase required. This is to match the current Virgin Atlantic sale.
NYC – £1,489
LAX – £1,999
SFO – £2,299
MCO – £1,833
and there is almost always a World Traveller/ WT+ sale in Early July.
Bangkok in Club usually has a sale fare exUK of about £1,999, which you can reduce by a further £150 if you are a shareholder.15 Apr 2010
I don’t want to rain on your parade, but you might want to check which aircraft Thai is using. I have long since abandoned Thai – you will see many threads regarding their very variable product, especially in business.
Agreed their FC meet and greet at Bangkok is brilliant. However they still have about 6 totally decrepit 747’s in their system that can turn up anytime. Whilst the FC seat on these is completely horizontal, seats are arranged in pairs. Due to a poorly designed floor mounted ‘shell’ behind each seat, it means if you are in a window seat, when your companion has his/her seat flat, it is EXTREMELY difficult to get over their feet. And because of the positioning of this shell, it means FC feels cramped – if you have a bag in front of you on the floor, you can’t recline the seat because it will be in the way. It’s a horrible design that manages to waste a lot of space.
However If you get the right seat on BA Club, then you don’t have the ‘climb-over’ issue.
These old banger Thai 747’s have a habit of being scheduled on any route “unannounced”.
The latest 747 FC seat on Thai is indeed great – a 1-2-1 arrangement, with all seats having aisle access. if you are sure you are getting this aircraft, then fantastic.
On a smaller note. another reason I gave up on Thai is their food. Being vegetarian you would have thought that Thai could do something interesting, considering the many great vege meals in the national menu; on Thai in First (ex Sydney or Zurich) where a 6-course meal is offered (if you are a meat eater) the vege easter gets no starters (sorry, all meat) no soup (sorry, all with meat); a salad of cold spinach (can you imagine) a main course of the same spinach, only hot, with a couple of noodles on the side. Really they don’t care – I complained long and hard over several years to the Sydney office, who only ever sent me form letter replys “sorry our service wasn’t to you satisfaction”
So, as I said, don’t want to rain on your parade, but be aware if the planets are in alignment you will have a great flight; if not…..15 Apr 2010
Thanks to Continetal Club, i am trying to book, when i can get through to the Italian call centre, return in Club World ex Milan or Rome. I will have to gateway Hong Kong but my business base is BKK. In addition i have to go to SIngapore, PHN and Hanoi – but wil probably use a mixture of TG, Air Asia and Bangkok AIr.
I appreciate the link to Italy, it is a massive savings.15 Apr 2010
at 14:1815 Apr 2010
what i wanted to do was go into Hong Kong and home from BKK. I realise there may be a fare increase but the web does let you open jaw. The other question was that as this is a 4 sector flight that involves changes in London, i wanted to know if the date of sector 3 (irreleavant of whether it is BKK or HKG) can be changed, because i know sector 4 date can be chamged..15 Apr 2010
I’ve flown both BA Club and Thai First to BKK on a number of recent occasions, and (apart from the rather soulless London Star Alliance lounge), the seat, food, ambience, general pampering and ‘royalty’ feeling of being a Thai First passenger beats BA hands down. IFE is slightly better on BA, but not enormously so.
I reckon the BA fare is disproportionately expensive because so many passengers go through to Australia, and that is where their core business on the route lies.15 Apr 2010
Flying First class with THAI will be the right choice as they pick you up at the gate in golf carts and take you straight to the head of the line in Immigration. Going back home also, you will have a separate entrance for the immigration and again the complimentary golf ride and a complementary Massage.16 Apr 2010
Very interesting reading…
I am currently considering Club World for an upcoming trip to Miami in September/October.
Does anyone of you know if there is usually a CW sale for that time period? Browsing through some threads, I think they had one last year but none for these two months so far this year. Is it too early for that?
The current sale ends on September 5, which is just short of my planned departure date.
I used to fly Lufthansa a lot, so I am not that familiar with BA’s pricing policy (or their usual sales), but after my latest experience with LH business class, I’ve decided to invest my money in a better product.
If this was your travel period, would you book now or possibly wait for a better deal (which – from your experience – could come down the road)?16 Apr 2010
Thank you very much indeed for your wonderfull suggestion re BKK ex Rome. I was at Heathrow today and spent some time at the ticket desk in T5. I was looked after by somebody who knew the BA ticket system like no one else and the results were simply amazing. An unrestricted / transferable / fully flex CROSS BORDER ticket sold to the the destiantion in Asia i wanted – on the date i wanted in the pounds sterling equivalent to the Euro price. I will gladly pay a ticket agent to find these fares rather than have to hang on the phone for 30 minutes and then speak to someone who simply doesnt know the system.
The person at the ticket desk, whilst flattered at my comments said it was just like a flight deck, you have some agents more experienced than others, This i accept, however, what is not acceptable is that a passenger is sold a more expensive ticket due to the inexperience agents who simply are not aware of certain ticket prices.
A very profitable day spent at Heathrow. Many thanks again to Continental Club who put me on the right path.18 Apr 2010
I also would chopose Thai.
Whilst they had the A346 on the LHR route for a while, their new First, IF it is featured on the 747 you get from LHR, is excellent, spacious, private, reasonably priced, (You also get a decent amount of miles earned).
I flew BKK-SYD on the A346 overnight 2 weeks ago, which was far superior new seats & cabin to the 777 & 747’s.
Suprisingly the 2 C cabins were 70% empty, with only 2 in First.
Be aware of the Consul advice re Bangkok right now, from both Australian & FCO sources. Been through several times in the last months & the situation is not good at the moment, very precarious, but the airport has not been affected.
I would go for Thai, & use yr First Miles earned to good use also!23 Apr 2010
Given your planned routing, BA is the only airline which can serve the open jaw ticket with a consistent cabin.
I am sure you will have a great flight on BA’s Club World, and enjoy your weekend breaks either side of the main trip.
How much did you end up paying for the flights, exRome?23 Apr 2010