What’s to like – I enjoying flying Thai Airways as they usually have a solid hard and soft product and through redeeming miles in some frequent flyer programs I am a member of there is usually pretty good availability of flights out of Perth without all sorts of restrictions which other airlines can impose.
Could improve – Thai only have angled lie flat seats on their A330 aircraft like several Asian airlines that fly regional Business Class down to Perth, totally lie flats seat would be nice and should be coming with an upgrade of planes on this route mid-2014, but with it being only a 7 hour flight and not over night, the present angled seats aren’t a huge problem.
Flight number – TG 482
Seat Number – 15K
Aircraft type – A330-300
Check in – Flying Thai’s Royal Silk Business Class means that there is a dedicated check in line at Perth airport which means you can skip the economy class line that only has a couple of counters open processing a decently long line of passengers and pretty much walk straight up to a check in counter, always a nice perk if your running late or have come with family to the airport and would rather spend time with them than standing in a queue for 15-20 minutes.
Lounge – Even though Thai is a member of Star Alliance they use the Qantas Club at the Perth International Terminal which always has a few decent things to eat (even if they don’t change very often) and a nice selection of beers and spirits and isn’t usually packed unlike the Qantas Clubs at the Domestic Terminal. If needed there are showers available as well as computers for patron’s use and a good selection of papers and and magazines. I always find it a pleasant start to my trips once I’ve negotiated customs and the duty free shops.
Seat – As stated in the summary, Thai has an angled lie flat seat on the A330s they used to Perth in a 2-2-2 arrangement, so although it is flat to lay on it does angle towards the ground so your feet are lower than your head, which some complain makes it hard to sleep on as you keep slipping down towards the ground. For this type of evening flight (it is also changing to a morning departure making it a full day time flight) I still find it roomy and comfortable so that once the meal service is finished I can recline the seat and enjoy watching the 15 inch tv screen on the seat in front. This is a picture of the seats partially extended.
Food and beverages – I find the food on Thai of reasonable quality and good serving sizes, but perhaps not always presented as well as it could be. On this flight I chose the following:
I enjoyed the fish cakes with the dipping sauce, so much that I even had a second serving that they were walking around the cabin offering.
The prosciutto salad was a nice size for a starter and I like the variety of breads on offer, I usually go for the garlic bread for something a bit different.
I tend to usually go for seafood mains, but as this was a barramundi dish and I find that sometimes has a strong taste I went with the stir fried beef fillet which was reasonably tasty. Again a little more attention to the presentation of it wouldn’t go astray, but all in all a nice meal.
The desert was a nice finish to the meal with the cheesecake and fruit tart
Cheese and fruit is always a nice way to finish a meal. For drinks throughout the flight I went with bourbon and cokes and a Baileys Irish Cream a little later in the flight. For wine and champagne drinkers here is the list of what was available.
As I have experienced with most of my Thai business class flights the crew were attentive and friendly and willing to help with any of my requests.
This flight unfortunately left approximately 30-40 minutes late for some reason which we weren’t told about. The later arrival into Bangkok, combined with the fact that the plane parked away from the terminal rather than at a gate, requiring us to deplane and hop on buses to be taken to the terminal, followed by a very long walk through Suvarnabhumi Airport created a tight connection time to my next flight and no opportunity for a quiet few moments in one of Thai’s Royal Orchid Lounges scattered throughout the airport.
As I with most of my Thai Airways flights the hard and the soft product were solid and the flight enjoyable as was the time in the Qantas Club beforehand. The only real down side was the late departure, but I’m not sure whose fault that was and as it was a late afternoon flight problems earlier in the day can cascade throughout later flights causing problems. Apart from that issue I would recommend Thai’s flights out of Perth, especially as from mid-2014 the flight is due to be upgraded to one of Thai’s new 787s.