I’m a huge fan of Thai Airways, not just because they’re incredibly generous with award space, but also because they have one of the best first class ground experiences in the world in Bangkok. They have a great lounge and also spa where first class passengers are entitled to an hour-long full body massage. There’s nothing more relaxing before a longhaul flight.
They’re expected to take delivery of their first Airbus 380s in the third quarter of this year, so there has been quite a bit of speculation about what their first destinations will be. Most speculated it would be either Frankfurt, Paris, or London, given that those are their major destinations in Europe. Well, Thai has now posted on their Facebook page that Hong Kong will be their first destination (probably to familiarize crew with the aircraft), followed by Frankfurt.
Now, Thai is notorious for aircraft swaps, so I wouldn’t consider this a done deal.
That being said, if you’re a top tier elite with a Star Alliance airline and able to book awards and redeposit for free, this might be a good time to make a speculative booking in hopes of landing in Airbus 380 first class. Heck, even if you’re not a top tier elite, this might be a good time to gamble and make a booking, since at most you’ll be out $150 or so. I’ve now flown both Lufthansa and Qantas in first class on the Airbus 380, and both experiences were phenomenal.
Given the anticipated third quarter delivery, I would speculate that we’ll see the Airbus A380 flying to Hong Kong by September and to Frankfurt by October or November at the latest. Award availability is still fairly good as of now.
The issue is that they haven’t announced which of the two daily flights will be operated by the Airbus 380. If you want to make a booking and hedge your bets now I’d book a different flight in each direction so that you’ll get it one way or another for sure. Or if you have lots of miles, book ’em both!
All that being said, I’m not actually convinced that Thai Airways will block Airbus 380 first class given how generous they historically are with award space. It can’t hurt to lock in something just in case, though…
Here’s a video of their Airbus 380 cabins: