Beaches and Mountains: Thai Airways First Class Lounge Bangkok, Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Paris

Trip Report Index


As we deplaned from our Phuket flight there was an agent standing in the jet bridge holding a sign with our names on it. She introduced herself and explained she would be escorting us to the first class lounge. Usually they pick you up in a golf cart, though the walk was short so we were escorted by foot.


Escort to the lounge

After clearing security we were brought to the reception of the first class lounge, where our boarding passes were examined.


Lounge entrance

The Thai first class ground experience is one of my favorites in the world. The first class lounge consists of a main seating area which looks like any other lounge, but then also about a dozen semi-private “living rooms” which are offered first come first serve.


Thai Airways First Class Lounge


Private “living room”

The lounge was empty so we were given a “living room” and the service immediately began. Some might argue the service is a bit over attentive, since the staff to guest ratio must be something like 4:1 at times. There’s almost always a server standing outside of your living room waiting to see if you want anything, and if they don’t hear from you every three minutes they come to check that you’re still alive. ;)


Lounge

As far as the food options go, the lounge has both a menu and a display buffet. You can’t actually take anything from the buffet, but one of the dozen or so waitresses manning the buffet will take down the order for whatever option you point at and bring it to you.


Buffet

One of my favorite features about Thai first class is the hour-long full body massage that first class passengers get. My friend and I both set up appointments for 9PM, so I quickly hopped in the shower to freshen up.


Shower room


Shower room


Toiletries

One of the servers escorted me to the spa reception, where I was offered a cold towel and beverage. I was asked to fill out a health form, and then moments later my masseuse emerged.


Pre-spa treatment cold towels and drinks

They have really nice private treatment rooms, each equipped with a shower and some even equipped with a bathtub. The masseuse brought me into the room and had me take off my clothes and put one of those fishnet underwear garments on. I don’t know what purpose they really serve, since it’s not like they cover anything or keep anything in.


Underwear

As usual, though, the spa treatment was spectacular. After an hour I was brought into the post-treatment room, where I was offered tea and cookies and waited on my friend.


Tea

Once back in the lounge my friend and I were a bit hungry, so we ordered some delicious Thai food.


Dinner

For dessert we had chocolate lava cake.


Dessert

After catching up on some email an agent approached us at around 11:30PM and advised us it was time to head to the gate. Our gate wasn’t far away so once again we weren’t driven in a golf cart. Being escorted along with us was a young American couple. I know y’all are FlyerTalkers, so just admit it. I saw your Continental Gold Elite tag, you taking pictures of the cabin, not to mention the route you’re flying. Admit it!


Walking to gate

Boarding was finishing up by the time we got to the gate, though nonetheless our escort got us right to the front of the line and onboard.


Departure gate

Thai 930
Bangkok (BKK) – Paris (CDG)
Friday, August 5
Depart: 12:05AM
Arrive: 7:05AM
Duration: 13hr
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 1G (First Class)

For those of you not familiar with Thai’s product, it’s worth noting that Munich was actually our final destination. Thai had award space on the nonstop flight to Munich, so why did we route through Paris? Because the Bangkok to Paris route is consistently operated by Thai’s leased 777-300ER aircraft. These are planes they lease from Jet Airways, and it has one of my favorite first class products. It’s the same one I flew on Turkish from London to Istanbul a couple of years back.

With that out of the way, I was once again looking forward to flying this plane.

As soon as we reached the door we were welcomed by an almost overly friendly crew. I think people assume that flight attendants at the major Asian airlines consistently provide excellent service, though many (including me) find Thai to be a bit inconsistent. What makes them different than most other Asian airlines is that they don’t fire their flight attendants at the age of 30. So in international first class you usually have “senior mamas” working (I use that term endearingly). Well, they were certainly senior mamas in first class on this flight, or more accurately one senior mama and two senior, erm, daddies? Nevermind, that just sounds weird.

Anyway, as soon as we reached our seats in the first row we found headphones and a Rimowa amenity kit already waiting for us at our seats.


Suite 1G


View of suites 1A and 1D


Suite 1K


Ottoman and screen


Rimowa amenity kits and headphones

As soon as we settled in one of the flight attendants introduced himself and said he’d be taking care of us. This guy was quite possibly the friendliest flight attendant I’ve ever had. I’m almost tempted to say he was creepily friendly, though I think he was just one of those really nice people. Not only did he have a huge smile on his face every time he interacted with passengers, but he also had such a nice way of addressing passengers (and extending every syllable as much as possible).

He first offered us hot towels followed by pre-departure beverages. I went with Dom, which the flight attendant proudly served.


Hot towel


Champagne

Shortly thereafter we were offered pajamas and slippers. I immediately changed into the pajamas, since I was just about ready to sleep.


Pajamas and slippers


Pajamas


Flight path

The door closed right on time with a full load in first class, consisting of my friend and I, the American couple seated behind us, and four older French men in all the window seats.

Shortly before pushback the captain advised us of our flight time of 11hr45min, advising us we would have an on-time arrival in Paris.

We quickly pushed back and taxied to the runway, and after a long takeoff roll were airborne.

As we climbed out I started playing around with the entertainment system, which featured dozens of movies, TV shows, CDs, etc. While it’s not quite as good as Singapore or Cathay Pacific’s in-flight entertainment, it’s still very good.


Entertainment system

As we climbed through about 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign turned off and the flight attendants sprung into action, starting with a beverage service. I went with a Diet Coke with lemon.


Diet Coke with… lemon

Shortly thereafter the menu and wine list was offered, which is always presented in a nice folder.


Menu

The dinner menu read as follows:


Menu

And the wine list read as follows:

White Wine:

Chassagne Montrachet Le Divin 2008

Grand Enclos Du Chateau De Cerons 2008

Red Wine:

Nuits-Saint-Georges 2008

Chateau Belgrave 2007

Chateau Pedesclaux Pauillac 2007

Champagne:

Veuve Clicquot Rose Vintage 2004

Dom Perignon Vintage 2002

The flight attendant working my aisle was just amazing. He set my table with such precision, always making sure everything was aligned perfectly. Whenever he would place something on my tray he would put his hand out after the plate was set and say “please enjoy.”

The first course was caviar, which was served with the typical accompaniments. The breadbasket was also offered, consisting of garlic bread, assorted rolls, and pretzel bread. I went with some garlic bread and pretzel bread.


Oscietra caviar with garnitures

The appetizer, which was tasty, consisted of crab meat and avocado.


Crab meat with avocado and mango cocktail sauce

For the main course I had the salmon fillet, which was alright. Certainly not memorable by any stretch of the imagination, though it was edible.


Seared salmon fillet with caper and fresh herbs cream and mixed vegetables

My friend had the lobster thermidor, which he enjoyed.


Lobster thermidor, duchess potatoes, carrot green peas in tomato cup

After dinner a cart was brought around with cheese and fresh fruit. I went with some fruit.


Fresh fruit

For dessert was meringue with fresh fruits. While the mango balls were fun (hey, it’s kind of cool when they pop in your mouth), I wouldn’t have minded something a bit sweeter or another option. After dessert individual bottles of Evian water were also offered.


Meringue with fresh fruits

The entire meal service took about 90 minutes, and the service throughout was spectacular. While Thai’s food is fine, it’s far from being the best in the sky. Singapore, Asiana, and ANA all have better first class meals in my opinion, just to name a few. That being said, it’s not the food that sets Thai apart, but the overall experience, including the ground service.


Seat controls

With just under ten hours to go to Paris I decided to place my seat into the fully flat position and get some rest, since I’d be driving the following day in Germany. Each suite has a special monitor with all the seat controls that’s pretty intuitive, and it took about 30 seconds to get the seat in the fully flat position.

While the seat itself was comfortable, my biggest complaint about Thai first class is that they don’t have comforters, but rather only pillows and blankets. They’re the only quality international airline I know of that doesn’t offer them, so it’s a bit disappointing. Yes, first world problems.

I got a solid six hours of sleep, and woke up about four hours out of Paris. I decided to watch a few sitcoms and even ordered a White Russian to make my flight a bit more enjoyable.


White Russian

About 90 minutes out of Paris the breakfast service began. The menu read as follows:


Breakfast

Service started with a choice of juices, and I went with a glass of orange juice. Shortly thereafter the trays were set and items were offered from the breadbasket. I went with a croissant and pastry.


Breakfast setup

Shortly thereafter a cart was brought through the aisle with cereal, yogurt, and fruit. I went with a bowl of muesli.


Muesli

Then for the main course I went with the ricotta tart, which, like most egg dishes on airlines, was alright.


Mediterranean Ricotta Tart

After my tray was cleared I decided to head back to business class for a few minutes to see how full the cabin was. It was only about half full, which surprised me, given how full first class was. The business class cabin consists of flat bed herringbone seats.


Business class cabin

Between the business and first class cabins is a small bar setup where they usually place drinks and snacks between meals.


Business class bar

About 30 minutes before landing the captain came on the PA to advise us that we were 30 minutes out of Paris and would be commencing our descent shortly.

Within a few minutes the flight attendants were through the aisle to offer each first class passenger a flower. That’s the first time I’ve ever had that happen on Thai, and I’m not sure if these were used as decorative flowers during the flight or what, but it was a nice touch.


Flower

The seatbelt sign was switched on 20 minutes out, as there was quite a bit of chop on our final descent.

After a smooth touchdown and long taxi to the gate we arrived right on-time. Despite having worked for 13 hours the crew was all smiles as they bid us farewell, after another enjoyable Thai Airways flight.


Plane upon arrival

Reality quickly hit when we found ourselves in the terminal of one of my least favorite airports in the world.

Comments

  1. James says

    Knowing the percentage of gay Flyertalkers, one day you’ll have to post a picture of yourself in one of those pre-massage fishnet outfits…

  2. says

    I’ve always received an orchid in Thai first.

    “Singapore, Thai, Asiana, and ANA all have better first class meals in my opinion” I don’t think you mean to include Thai in this list =)

  3. Halothane says

    I have always received the flower in Thai F. Good to see that Thai is still using L’Occitane products as well!

  4. Nycflyer75 says

    Sometimes I wish I could defect to star alliance to experience what you do lucky, but skyteam has a hold on me as a Diamond.
    Btw laughed out loud on the ” daddies” comment!!! You always have great one liners that crack me up!

  5. Jeff says

    will be flying bkk-cdg in thai first myself in january, so thanks for the great post and a preview of my flight!

  6. lucky says

    @ JL — At *some* airlines, the hope is for flight attendants to find a husband while flying. Other than that, I think it really all depends on the country. In many countries being a flight attendant for a prestigious airline is great international experience, so it’s not tough to find a job after that. Keep in mind Singapore only accepts something like 5% of applicants for flight attendant positions.

    @ Halothane — I’m guessing my memory is just a bit off. It has been a while since I’ve done Thai longhaul first, so maybe they had them last time too and I just don’t remember.

    @ Nycflyer75 — Hey, lack of international first class redemptions is enough to keep me away from SkyTeam.

    @ Jeff — Enjoy your flight!

    @ chasgoose — Thinly veiled homophobia? What am I missing?

  7. reid says

    @chasgoose I think the LAST thing Lucky should be called is homophobic. I can see how perhaps you could see it that way, but believe me, I have met him in person, and he is NOT homophobic.

    @Lucky Did you find the actual seat was not upkept well? I flew this route and I found the fabric on the seat was fraying, and the plane was just not well kept. The service was just ok, right on the level of LH F…TG just doesn’t impress me that much.

  8. lucky says

    @ reid — Tanks! You’re absolutely right, and I forgot to mention that. The seat really doesn’t age all that well. Until you mentioned it I had totally forgotten that my door didn’t close all the way either. It “derailed,” so that was a bit disappointing. But yes, the suites are generally in shabby condition. There’s still some novelty to having an enclosed suite, though.

    Did you at least enjoy the ground services in Bangkok? :)

  9. reid says

    @Lucky The massage was nice, and the lounge attention was nice… definitely up there with LH FRA FCT…but I am sitting in Thailand right now deciding to go BKK-KIX NH C and then KIX-FRA in LH F rather than BKK-LHR or CDG in TG F with a connection in LH C back to FRA. TG’s hard product just doesn’t make me want to spend 13 hours on it…

  10. Carl says

    i travel to Thailand often and while I enjoy the TG ground services, even their lounges up country, I find their cabin service just ok, not as good as the UA Narita based crews and far worse than LH.

  11. Chontzy says

    TG has been a great airline to fly with the fam. My 3yo son has scored an inflatable plane and an old-school TG A380 metal lunch box filled with goodies. They also gave purple orchids to all the women on our last flight from BKK to DPS.

  12. Andy Bluebear says

    BTW, I was sure you had flown his type of FC before, not just on Turkish, but on Thai. And you did. Granted, it was from Bangkok to Tokyo, but still…the funny thing is, I ended up re-reading another previous trip report you did with the same routing, and the 3/4 of the main courses served were identical to your previous trip…I guess they really need to update their menus, this was in 2009! The breakfast menu was also the same, and you even had the same item…you were also much more impressed with it the first time around ;)

    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2009/09/08/quest-to-istanbul-and-hong-kong-part-11-hkg-bkk-muc-on-thai/

  13. Carberrie says

    Do you notice a really big difference between Thai’s First and Business class services?

    The business class cabin here looks really nice, much nicer than Cathay’s even after their renovations. Perhaps the biggest difference is in the ground service?

  14. lucky says

    @ Andy — Hah, you’re very observant!

    @ Carberrie — First class is quite a bit better than business class all around. Keep in mind that one the rest of Thai’s fleet, business class isn’t fully flat, so that’s just the case on this aircraft.

    But having flown Thai business, I can say that the food, service, and of course personal space is substantially better in first class. And of course the ground services are pretty awesome too.

  15. BrewetSEA says

    Sounds like a great trip. I’m jealous of you and Alex and hope to use my US grandslam points for a similar experience.

    And @chasgoose your accusation is unfounded and ironic. You’d realize this if you were less ignorant about the whole situation.

  16. says

    Keep up the great reports Ben. They are just a joy to read and view. I just love travelling vicariously through your experiences, as I only have time travel overseas 2x per year. Just signed on as a “follower” on twitter, so when you are overseas tweeting, I will awoken in the middle of the night with updates. lol!

    Best,
    luvFclass

  17. NC says

    Fantastic trip report!

    One question: How did you set up appointments for the massage? I could not locate any phone number for F class lounge or spa anywhere.

  18. lucky says

    @ NC — Thanks! You can’t make an appointment in advance, though they’re readily available day of.

  19. Donna C says

    Question. How much time do you suppose I should allow on a June layover to allow for the spa treatment in Bangkok?

  20. Cynthia says

    I have a stopover in Bangkok on my first scheduled intl award trip. Right now we arrive 11am in Business Class from Peking on TG and a week later we depart at 6:20pm to Sydney in First Class. Assuming I don’t locate an upgrade on the first part between now and November, will either of these tickets give us access to the lounge? Other than the tickets, do we need any membership status? I have plenty of time to acquire but don’t want the embarrassment of being turned away on the day of. TIA, Cynthia

  21. says

    @ Cynthia — If you’re flying Thai first class out of Bangkok you’d absolutely get access to the first class lounge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *