I decided to route home over the Atlantic on my crazy 11-day trip around the world in an effort to try as many new products as possible. My business class flight on Singapore Airlines arrived in Bangkok just after 8:00pm, which allowed for 4 hours in the Thai First Class lounge. I was met at the jet bridge by a friendly lounge attendant who escorted me by cart through security and into the lounge. The lounge was fairly empty when I arrived (most international Thai flights depart around midnight, and the lounge became busy, though not crowded, later in the evening).
I had full intentions of reviewing the Thai first class lounge but the combination of exhaustion and meeting a charming lady from Chicago resulted in just relaxing with some champagne and taking embarrassing duck-lip selfies….
Overall the lounge was fantastic, with full dining, spacious and private suites, and very attentive staff. There was also a full-service spa available to those travelling in first class, however I didn’t make a reservation upon arrival and it was fully booked when I attempted to book 2-hours prior to departure. For a full review of the lounge and services, check-out this post by One Mile at a Time. My expectations were high for the lounge, as I had read several reports claiming it to be the best in the world. I still think the Cathay Pacific Lounge at Vancouver Airport is my favourite lounge overall, but I did find this space more relaxing than the Qantas first class lounge at LAX. The flight ended up being delayed, and shortly after 12:30am I was walked to the gate by one of the friendly lounge agents.
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Thai Airways 930
Bangkok (BKK) – Paris (CDG)
Saturday, February, 4
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2K (First Class)
Boarding was almost complete by the time the first class passengers were walked to the gate. While I can appreciate why this is done, I actually prefer being first on to relax with a glass of champagne before departure. That said, there was still some time to enjoy a glass of Dom Pérignon prior to pushback.
This was my first time on an Airbus A380 and I was blown away by the overall space in the first class cabin (which is located on the upper deck). There are 12 seats total in a 1-2-1 configuration spread out over 3 rows. While not fully enclosed suites, there was a fair amount of privacy despite the cabin being full. The colour scheme wasn’t my favourite….
I selected window seat 2k since I was travelling alone. Those travelling together may want to pick the centre seats for the option to converse with your companion. There is also a privacy divider for anyone seated next to a stranger.
The seat was very comfortable at 26.5 inches wide and 83 inches of pitch. While not as roomy as Cathay Pacific First Class, I found the seat perfectly comfortable for an overnight flight. Waiting at the seat were a pair of noise-cancelling headphones (not Bose) which were quite sub-par and I opted to use my own pair instead. There was also a small box of chocolates and a flower, which I thought was a nice touch. The seat controls were simple and easy to use, with full controls on the right and a quick access button on the left.
Thai Airways uses Rimowa amenity kits, which I was super excited about. The contents were fairly basic and were left behind on arrival in Paris.
Seat storage was ample, with plenty of space under the ottoman for cabin luggage, two side compartments under the windows, another small storage bin on the left side of the seat, and a personal closet for hanging items.
Also waiting at the seat were two comfortable pillows, a small throw blanket, bedding for turndown service, and slippers and pyjamas. The pyjamas were very comfortable and not too heavy, which was appreciated. Asian carriers don’t often have individual air vents and are notorious for having very warm cabins.
Before pushback the crew came around and distributed menus and priority cards for customs in Paris. I was absolutely exhausted at this point and forgot to get pictures of the menu! Thai Airways does allow for pre-ordering meals, and I’ve heard great things about the lobster thermidor.
Pushback was about 40 minutes late, and after a short taxi we were finally en-route to Paris. Being 1:00am, I was really wanting to sleep, and decided to have just a quick snack before bed. The seatbelt sign was off about 15 minutes after take-off at which point I ordered some pork noodles, which were delicious, and served with some very hot peppers!
After my snack I decided to freshen up in the bathroom and get changed into my pyjamas, and asked the crew to setup my bed. The bathroom on this A380 is HUGE, with a small seating area and vanity.
While the bathroom was the largest I’ve seen on a plane, the cleanliness was not up to par with other airlines, especially Japan Airlines first class where the bathroom is cleaned after each use.
I came back to the seat which the crew had proactively converted into bed mode. The bedding was high quality and very comfortable, which allowed for a solid 8 hours of sleep!
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I woke up very groggy somewhere over Europe with about 90 minutes before arrival in Paris. I decided to watch the flight map and lounge for a bit (I didn’t even browse the in-flight entertainment options).
On the right side of the seat was a small square box that lit-up a bright purple. I’m still not sure if it was for ambiance or some sort of light therapy to help with jet lag.
Breakfast orders were taken upon waking up, and I decided to go with the western option, consisting of pastries, fruit and yogurt, and omelette. The friendly crew served mine with some caviar since I missed out on the full dinner service earlier in the flight. The food was good, though not memorable at all.
Breakfast took about an hour, at which point we were about 30 minutes outside of Paris. I decided to have a mimosa before arrival, though something was lost in translation and I was served some fruit juice instead.
This was actually a fairly unmemorable flight for me. The service was good, and I ended up sleeping for most of the flight. The seat wasn’t as comfortable as Cathay Pacific first class, the food was lacking compared to Japan Airlines first class, and the service wasn’t nearly as polished as Singapore Airlines first class. It may have been the exhaustion, but I just didn’t find anything about Thai Airways first class industry leading (except for maybe the lounge and ground services in Bangkok), though most aspects were perfectly adequate.
Using Aeroplan miles for first class will cost 107,500 miles one-way from Bangkok to North America and represents fairly good value, especially if you can select a routing with minimal taxes and fees. This flight has no additional surcharges, though I have seen flights with $400+ in taxes and fees, at which point I would look for another carrier.
I’m happy to say I tried Thai Airways first class (especially since I got to experience the flagship lounge in Bangkok with attentive ground services), though I don’t think I would go out of my way to fly them again.