Sat 8th June, 2013 08:05 Kuala Lumpur (KUL) M 09:15 Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok (BKK)
Thai Airways TG 420 Non-stop: 2 hours 10 Airbus A330-300 (333)
I found the best fare for this flight on Skycanner. Ironically the cheapest fare on this Thai Airways flight was sold via Malaysian Airlines. So while booked on a Malaysian airlines flight number, I was flying on a Thai Airways plane. The logic of airline fares and rules, I have long given up on. The disadvantage of booking on the Malaysian flight was that I was unable to manage my booking on the Thai website.
The Thai Airways website is itself very easy to navigate and if their fare was cheaper, I would have booked it there!
Check in: 8/10
I checked in at the Malaysian counter at Kuala Lumpur. Service at 6 in the morning was fast and friendly. Initially I was offered 49k a window seat in the second half of the economy cabin on this Airbus A330. Upon gently pressing the agent, I was moved to 39J, an aisle seat near the front of economy.
At the gate Thai airways moved me to 31J at the very front row of economy where I had almost the whole row of to myself!
The boarding process was made more difficult with the arrival of a tour group from mainland China. They swarmed into the gate area literally knocking anyone over in their path. A group of women from the group, pushed in front of me and then brought their husbands forward to join them. I commented to the group, that I was there first. The group knowing I was addressing them, pointedly ignored me. What can you do? At this point, I stood my ground refusing to let anyone else push in front of me! As I did, I noticed a young woman who had been swept to the side in the melee. She was standing gazing at the line with real fear on her face. I gestured to her to join me which she gratefully did. It turned out that she was on her first trip out of France. This was her very first time in Asia. She asked me fearfully if all Malays were like this. I explained the group were not Malays or Thais and that generally she would have a good time in Thailand!
The airline staff held the group to one side and called other passengers to board ahead of them.It gave me great satisfaction to walk past the pushy women! kudos to the staff for rescuing this situation.
On Board: 10/10
We were welcomed on board with a polite wai (หว้) , the Thai greeting with palms pressed together in a prayer-like manner. There was plenty of luggage room in my area as there were not many of us at the front of economy. Of course, some passengers threw their luggage into the locker near me as they walked past to their seats further back in the plane.
Thai has 305 seats on their Airbus A330. The 42 seat Royal Silk Business Class section was probably a quarter full. Each seat has a pitch (distance between seats) of 49″ and a width of 20″ and is arranged 2/2/2 . In Economy, the 263 seats are arranged 2/4/2 except for the last five rows of economy where the arrangement is 2/3/2. Thai gives a 31 to 32″ seat pitch and seats are a standard 17.5″ wide. I had more room at the front of economy. The section was probably two thirds full. i suspect not a lot of revenue for the airline was generated by this flight.
No amenity kit was provided but the crew brought around a refresher hot towel soon after take off. Always welcome!
There are three Business Class lavatories and six Economy Class. The ones in Economy were spotless and filled with little extras long gone on other airlines such as moisturiser.
In Business Class, each seat has a personal TV and 110V power outlet. Overhead video monitors only are in Economy Class. The video presentation had no interest for me.
Take off felt effortless and smooth. There were a few bumps as we ascended but nothing dramatic.
A generous breakfast was offered. It was Western continental style with delicious fresh fruit, orange juice, yoghurt, and a choice of Thai style croissant or bread roll. There was even seconds of the roll. It was served graciously. Presentation was good and there was even real silverware (cutlery).
We had a very smooth touchdown, a short taxi and a very warm farewell. We were at the gate a few minutes early.
My Flight Rating: Overall 81% (4 out of 5).
My Overall rating of Thai airways: 4.8 out of 5 (My fifth favourite airline in 2012)
Thai Airways has a 4 star Skytrax Star Ranking
Positives: Staff, Meal
Negatives: Entertainment system
Would I fly them again? Yes