Thai Airways International 409, BKK – SIN

 

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TG 409

BKK – SIN

Boeing 777-3D7ER

Economy Class, Seat 67A

 

Prologue

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Consistently cited for exceptional service and good value airfares, Thai Airways International has a reputation for quality flying in Southeast Asia and beyond. The flag carrier of the Kingdom of Thailand has also served as a de facto ambassador for the country over the last 53 years. We fly with it on one of its key routes from Bangkok to Singapore and experience the new Boeing 777-300ER.

 

Check-In

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Arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, we were greeted by long lines for check-in. As we had already completed internet check-in using the Thai Touch iPad app, we were able to bypass the line and head to the bag drop counter. The ground agent today was efficient in processing our documents and tagging our bags to Singapore, but lacked the friendliness often associated with Thai Airways and Thailand, which was disappointing considering this was the airline’s home base.

 

Boarding & Departure

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Boarding proved to be a better experience with friendlier ground agents and an orderly process when the aircraft was ready. Dual lanes for premium passengers/status holders and economy class passengers by row numbers ensured a speedy journey down the jetway. Onboard the aircraft, the cabin crew were welcoming, greeting passengers with the traditional Wai and assisting passengers in stowing their carry-on bags and locating their seats.

 

Seat

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Thai Airways had rostered its newest fleet addition to operate our flight and the new slimline seats on the Boeing 777-300ER are easily one of the best economy class seats in the sky today. Featuring a traditional Thai fabric motif, it is spacious and provided sufficient space to move around and adopt a comfortable position for the flight. Recline and lumbar support were also good, with a 2-step folding tray table, seatback-mounted screen and inflight entertainment controller affording more legroom when in-use.

 

Crew

The airline did not disappoint with the crew onboard today’s flight displaying the country’s renowned hospitality. They were pleasant and largely met requests promptly despite a full passenger load and the short flying time. However, we did feel that the cabin could be better organized as the crew appeared to be in a rush to complete the meal service, shifting meal trays between the various cabin sections in a flurry of activity shortly after takeoff.

 

Meal

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2 main choices (fish or curry chicken) were available onboard, accompanied by a warm bread roll, papaya and chicken salad starter and coffee creme brulee dessert. Our first choice of fish was not available by the time we were served (which was rather disappointing considering this was the outbound sector and the catering was uplifted from Bangkok). Portions were also a little on the small side, a reality of the cost cutting evident throughout the industry.

 

Despite not being our preferred choice, the Thai chicken curry with rice we had was tasty and would have been better if it was warmed longer before service. The sweet dessert complemented the spicy curry nicely and was accompanied by a glass of white wine from the crew on their drinks run. Following initial service, the crew returned on a second drinks run offering coffee, tea and refills.

 

Entertainment

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The latest version of Thai Airways’ audio-video on-demand entertainment system was equipped on the jet and is a marked improvement over the airline’s previous generation inflight entertainment. Available from boarding to landing, it offered a selection of movies, short features, music and games (although not as extensive as Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld or Emirates’ ICE systems). We like how an effort to showcase Thai film and media is part of the programming and promoting the unique culture of Thailand. USB connectivity was available in every seat and the aircraft was also equipped with inflight Wi-Fi connectivity (although it did not appear this feature was active on our flight), which will benefit passengers flying longer sectors.

 

Arrival & Deboarding

The jet parked at our assigned gate following a short taxi after landing. Good job to the ground and cabin crew for getting the doors opened quickly and enforcing priority deplaning for premium passengers. The crew were also on-hand to bid passengers farewell rather than become pre-occupied with turning the aircraft around for the return sector, which we have witnessed before on other carriers.

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