Thai Airways 747 First Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from Hong Kong! On Saturday we flew from Bangkok to Hong Kong in Thai Airways’ first class. Thai Airways will always be a special airline for me. Back in “the good old days” I flew Thai Airways first class all the time, thanks to the excellent redemption values that were possible through Aeroplan and MileagePlus, though nowadays the redemption rates aren’t quite as good, which gives me less reason to fly them. The last time I flew with Thai was in 2013, from Tokyo to Bangkok.

To start, Thai has phenomenal ground services in Bangkok — you’re driven from check-in to the lounge, the lounge has semi-private rooms where you can relax, first class passengers are entitled to an hour-long full body massage, and then they also drive you from the lounge to the gate.

What was the onboard experience like on this short 2hr15min flight? Phenomenal.

Thai Airways’ 747 first class cabin consists of just nine seats. There are three seats on each side of the cabin along the windows, and then three seats in the center section. Flying in the nose of the 747 is such a treat, especially with more and more airlines retiring this plane.

Based on the design of the suites you’d almost think that they would have put a door on the seats, though in reality they just have a partition near the area where your head is. Suffice to say that this is an unbelievable seat for such a short flight.

The soft product was the highlight, though. There was free-flowing Dom Perignon 2006.

The meal service was totally over the top. To start there was a corn soup with crab meat.

That was followed by a papaya salad.

For the main course I had the stir-friend flat noodles with prawns.

Then there was a cheese course.

Lastly there was dessert, with the choice between sesame panna cotta and Thai desserts.

Working the first class cabin was Wipa, who was a treasure. She was so sweet and professional. For example, during boarding she saw me take a picture of the first class cabin, and she said “please wait a minute so I can close the overhead bins. The picture will look nicer then.”

Also, I didn’t actually order all of the above food, but rather Wipa force fed me most of the stuff. I just ordered the soup and a main course, but she said I “must try” the papaya salad and “must try” the cheese plate and “must try” the Thai dessert. Before I knew it I was feeling as stuffed as foie gras.

There’s something I find to be charming about the entire Thai Airways experience. As far as first class experiences go it’s not especially fancy or glitzy, but rather just seems well executed and from-the-heart, and that’s something that I really appreciate.

If you’ve flown Thai first class, what was your experience like?

Comments

  1. “For the main course I had the stir-friend flat noodles with prawns”
    I don’t recommend to stir your friends.

  2. I LOVE THIS FLIGHT!! The last time I took it, the flight attendant was literally filling my glass of Dom as the engines were accelerating for take off. She told me to hold on tight to my glass during take off. I did! Awesome short haul F Class 🙂

  3. I have to agree with you, Thai’s ground services for passengers in First Class are excellent. I prefer Krug over Dom, but I suppose that’s splitting hairs. Food can be hit or miss, but their inflight service is consistently excellent in First. I’d fly them again anytime!

    Shouldn’t Ford really be out there waiting on you hand and foot while you battle the flu? As your future husband that is his job after all! In sickness and in health, blah, blah, blah. Hope you feel better quickly.

  4. Ugh we were booked on this 747 in F from BKK-HKG but looks like TG is phasing out the a/c as now it’s “downguagued” to a 773 with no F 🙁

  5. Interesting you say the service was so good on the ground in Bangkok. A shame the First class service does not extend to Business Class. I had to fly to Bangkok recently for a very short trip (2 nights there) and was really surprised on the way home how poor the business class lounge was in their home airport. Worn out furniture, dirty carpets, overcrowded and with very questionable free food, it was one of the very worst I have used. More like a tired Travelodge meeting room than a premium airport lounge. Also very chaotic boarding. I must say the staff on board were excellent and I know I am very lucky to fly business and have the luxury of a full flat bed but having traveled a lot recently on Etihad I must say the Thai business class offering was very poor in comparison.

  6. Like Mark I was booked on the 747 from BKK to ICN coming home from Songkran and got swapped to an a350 🙁 . TGs 747 F is one of the products I’ve been wanting to try out for a while now, and just when I thought I had it…..

  7. The A350 is still as good. Thai may give you a part refund even if used miles from another carrier and will treat you like F class on the ground. I got TG’d from BKK-HND and got $500 (even though i paid with UA miles) and still full first class treatment on the ground. I was very happy with that. IF I had paid id would have asked for the difference in price. At the time $500 was great because the mileage difference was only 15,000

  8. @Lucky – Leeza1 is right. Are you feeling okay Lucky. That’s not how you treat your friends (Is Tiffany aware of this?) 😉

  9. I’m not sure your experience on TG 1st is indicative of TG 1st service overall.

    The BKK lounge is terrific, I’ll grant you that.

    As one who has flown TG 1st for 25 years (Yes, I’m old, leave me alone, SHUT UP!!) I can say I’ve seen the service in first deteriorate over the years to the point that I’ll go out of my way not to fly them. On my last (and I mean truly, it was my last, as I hope never to fly them again) long-haul with them in ’14 (the equipment was a 744) the flight attendants were so loud in the galley that I thought I was in a nightclub – mind you the galley runs the length of the right side of the plane from 1R to 2R, so it’s big, and there were a lot of f/as back there.

    TG used to be discussed in the same conversations as SQ and CX; now TG is viewed as a bit of a has-been, a second-rate carrier, and I understand why.

    Maybe you lucked out, but your experience with TG first (and AF first, for that matter) doesn’t come anywhere near to my experiences with them, but I’m thrilled you had a great flight with them.

  10. I have done the 388 F on TG twice now. The ground service is indeed amazing. The full one hour complimentary massage is unbeatable. The food menu in the lounge is awesome as well. The caviar service, specially the presentation of the garnishes is fantastic. I love TG F. Unless TG pulls a TG and switches aircraft on me, I am flying the same route as Ben next month. Looking forward to trying the 744 F.

  11. Thai was my second First Class experience (the day after a flight in ANA First), and I was blown away by the service, comfort, and food.

    Being in the nose of their 747-400 was also remarkable. ANA won out on food and drink, but otherwise (and especially with ground services) Thai was my favorite.

    Can’t wait to see how they compare with Singapore, JAL and Lufthansa when I finally get around to trying them!

  12. >For example, during boarding she saw me take a picture of the first class cabin, and she said “please wait a minute so I can close the overhead bins. The picture will look nicer then.”

    Had this been in America, some fat b1tch would scream at you and then call the cops.

  13. @Ryan did the compensation happen at the airport upon check in or did you reach out before hand proactively?

  14. Cash (in Thai Baht) at the airport. it was something like 18,000 baht.

    And A350 – the seat is almost as good. Obviously the service/food in J is not as good. But its not $500 worse and you still get the ground experience.

  15. Interesting report! I have always been afraid to go to Thailand for fear that someone will think I am a sex tourist. I have only transited BKK once to see the new airport (now 10 years old) but it was a short connection.

  16. Not so afraid of the locals but what people at home will think when they say “hmm…..he went to Thailand”.

  17. We really enjoy taking this flight between BKK and HKG. I’ve usually seen F available on MileagePlus points for 35,000 each way but just checked it for July and only 2-cabin 777’s seem to be showing up on that route. The 747’s are really nice – hope they aren’t going away completely.

  18. @Derek

    WTF? Everybody who goes to Thailand is a sex tourist? Where did you get that idea? Or you think everyone you know will think that? If so, you need better friends.

  19. Thai Airways is my ABSOLUTE fave !! A few years ago I did the FRA to BKK flight in a 380 business class. OMG… love… And on the return, a delightful foot and neck massage before boarding. This airline and its lovely crew ( in all departments ) is so graceful, caring, and customer focused. I SO wish that the USA airlines would some day get a clue… Thank you Thai– for 18 years of bringing me pleasure and comfort.

  20. Love TG as well, always fly F between HK and BKK, also much enjoy the BKK –
    Haneda F Class. Flew C class BKK – HK two weeks ago, terrific service, grt flight.

  21. My girlfriend and I flew First Class on Thai last October from BKK to SYD. We had seats 1A and 1K so we’re n the very front of the nose of the 747…and it was a fantastic experience.

    The Dom constantly flowed, and the food never stopped. Service was extraordinary from the time we entered the first class lounge at BKK until we deplaned in SYD. However, we did fly through a thunderstorm where we suddenly heard a deafening explosion (thunder) simultaneously with an extremely bright red flash that lit up the entire cabin causing my girlfriend to scream. Once the severe turbulence stopped, however, the great service started again.

    It was 9 hours of bliss (except for the t-storm) bought via a United mileage redemption. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  22. What a coincidence. I just arrived in Bangkok after a 10 hour flight with TG925 coming from Munich. I had a similar experience in Thai Royal First Class. I agree with Lucky that traveling in the nose of the 747 is always a treat especially when you are the only passenger in the first class cabin. My flight attendant also tried to pursuade me to try all the dishes they had on the menu. The seat/bed was comfortable and the overall level of service excellent. After arrival a Thai Airways representative picked me up, brought me through immigration and handled my luggage. Overall it was a great traveling experience!

  23. Thai 1st is the most underrated …..I flew Qatar 3 ROundtrips in business and I’ll take Thai 1st any day from the time you arrive in airport to the time you exit …priceless
    Love Thai 1st ….my trip was Bkk to syd

  24. Thai is overall a good airlines, but it’s seen better days. It’s first class used to be top-tier overall, but I think more than a few other airlines have surpassed it a bit. I mean, it’s still a great way to travel, but it doesn’t quite shine as it used to.

  25. Thai meals have significantly improved in the last 2 years-at least the Australian sectors.The Thai food(as in ethnic Thai food) in J is excellent.
    And I do love their F service.Most of my flights are with points.

  26. I very much agree with TravelinWilly! I used to love TG, always flew them. Then I told myself – no more!!! What they did to me once in F between ZRH and BKK, was enough to destroy my total loyalty to them. Also, flying TG is a lottery: each time I flew with them, there had to be at least one FA who was either clueless (can be forgiven), lazy or grumpy!

  27. @Chris
    This is what people who never set foot here (Thailand) think about. Personally i could not care less.

  28. You hit the nail on the head with the comment “comes from the heart”, in my view ME airlines never have that.

  29. As for the guy who suggested people might think he was a “sex tourist” if he went to Thailand, if I were you mate I’d be mixing with a different set of people.

  30. “Before I knew it I was feeling as stuffed as foie gras.”

    really? … probably the most out-of-touch metaphor you could use here.

  31. I flew TG first from FRA to BKK in the A380 and from BKK to MUC in the 747-400 (as in this report) this Christmas. It was my first time flying in F, but I have read a ton of reviews of different F products (avidly collecting points).

    I have to say that it was an amazing experience. I have read a lot of reviews of different F products, and I am quite well versed in the world of food and wine. Based on this I’d say this for Thai Airways: The food is nothing too special, it’s good, but not great. I had the lobster thermidor as main – much better flying out of FRA than flying out of BKK while my wife had the Thai options and they’re good but nothing mind blowing unless you’ve never had Thai food before). The exception is the caviar service, which was fantastic. Where Thai really shines is in the wine selection, with excellent French wines (Boardeaux and Burgundy focused) and of course the free flowing Dom Perignon.

    The hard product, without too many points of comparison, seems quite good, with the A380 better than the 747 of course.

    The ground service in Bangkok is amazing, from the dedicated First class check-in area, fast-track security and passport control, “chaffeur” service by buggy to the F lounge, and from the F lounge to the plane, the massage, and the first class lounge in general.

    I am flying Lufthansa and ANA First Class in a month, and looking forward to comparing notes. From what I’ve seen in reviews I expect better food and hard products, but poorer wine selection and ground service experience.

  32. @ Ken
    In F you can choose between several options including Asian or Western dishes. In addition you can pre order your main dish up to 48 hours in advance on long haul flights.

  33. @Michael

    ANA will definitely have a poorer ground service compared to Thai, but Lufthansa’s will be just as good in it’s own way. No massage, but great service and you’re driven to your plane.

  34. @vand – agree, an odd analogy that does not work. It is the goose that is stuffed.

    Also, what is the fixation with doors around a seat at the moment? All you need is for your head to be shielded for sleeping.

  35. Flew TG F from Narita to Bangkok on A380. The plane was/looked old, and was very noisy. Not what I had expected. Wine list was very impressive with Dom, then French Grand Cru or 1stCru wines. Food was not memorable, cold Wagyu short ribs, sent back, came back warmer, but not edible.

    We were met at Bangkok airport and driven to customs, a very nice perk as the distances are very long.

    Overall, Asiana, which we flew in F from LAX was far superior to TG. Would not go out of my way to fly TG again.

  36. Seatguru shows TG 744s with 10 or 14 F seats, cabin config must have changed.

    For those slumming it in business, a galley the full length of the downstairs cabin must be a noise generator, as with BA you’d want to wangle a seat upstairs.

    Decade ago at least, we three siblings each put roughly the price of AKL-BKK-LHR round trip in steerage class into a pot to buy our aged mum a Royal Silk Class ticket. She duly appeared, in special ground service wheelchair at LHR arrivals, purring about the standard of TG’s ground handling and inflight service for her no longer fully mobile self.

    Not quite so good back at AKL. She complained about being left to last in the upstairs cabin while an empty catering truck was found and she was duly extracted, in wheelchair, via the upstairs galley loading door. At least that’s what I think she said.

    I pointed out that, no longer being self-loading freight, she had been treated as wheeled freight and there were worse ways to leave a 747 in Auckland’s wet and windy weather than in a covered scissors lift catering ‘elevator’. And straight into the courteous command of a ground handling agent who sped her through baggage claim and immigration and on to a domestic connection.

    It took her a long time to see the funny side.

  37. @LUCKY SAYS: If you’ve flown Thai first class, what was your experience like?
    My last TG flight in FC was BKK to BOM. Once on board, service was perfect
    and comfortable. Since that flight I have only had long layovers at BKK, with not enough
    time to go in to the city for a meal.
    Ditto: @ROBERT S: Worn out furniture, dirty carpets, overcrowded and with very questionable free food, it was one of the very worst I have used. More like a tired Travelodge meeting room than a premium airport lounge. Also very chaotic boarding. And nothing
    more insulting than at boarding time, weather via golf cart of walking (Business Class),
    the gate is half way to SGN only to find out we are boarding a bus that takes us back
    to a remote area and we walk up steps to the aging aircraft. And a nice view of a dozen
    or so empty gates at the terminal. Reminds me of the functionality at DOH.

  38. “Before I knew I was stuffed as foie gras”

    Hahaha

    Best line ever!

    Can’t wait for my 1st tg 747 experience in seats 1A 1K. Just hoping I don’t get tg’d

  39. I agree with the posters complaining about Thai biz. Two weeks ago I flew SYD to BKG FC; the 747 was showing its age but the service, attention to detail and food were sensational; as was the pick up to the FC lounge in BKG where you basically get your own private room and server. But then I transferred to biz en route to HKG and it was pretty basic, both in terms of attention to detail and amenities. The IFE was particularly dated and dull.

  40. Were booked on the early morning TG BKK-HKG flight in December using UA miles….sonlooking forward to it and hoping they dont have an aircraft change! Our first TG F was LHR-BKK and it was great, then we tried the A380….good but still liked the 747 nose layout

  41. I did this exact same flight late last Fall; was very nice especially the chauffering around BKK; the F lounge was almost empty. But, have to agree that the J lounges in BKK need work. The A380s in J class are fine but wouldn’t go J in 747s.

  42. @Ryan, When you were TG’d BKK-HND was it a last minute aircraft swap or well in advance? My HKG-BKK itinerary using UA miles in July has just been downgraded from F to C – am I likely to receive a part refund on the ground at HKG?

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