Trip Report & Review – Thai Airways 747-400 First Class!

Thai Airways operates five daily non-stop flights from Hong Kong to Bangkok, but only one of those uses the internationally-configured 747-400. I had booked a direct flight from Hong Kong to Beijing, but after seeing others’ review of Thai First Class, I decided that enduring a red-eye in a non-flat bed and making an additional connection in Bangkok may just be worth it for the experience.

This trip report/review is part of a series. See also:

Thai Airways (TG) Flight 607
Hong Kong (HKG) – Bangkok (BKK)  |  Boeing 747-400
2045/2225  (2 hour 40 minutes)
First Class  |  Seat 1A

15 minutes after the scheduled “boarding time,” boarding finally began through both doors. What I liked was that while there was a single sign for Business/First passengers, the gate agent manually checked everyone’s boarding pass and directed First Class passengers over to a special line. As a result, I was one of the first passengers to board.

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Three flight attendants greeted passengers at door 1L, and perhaps because I headed to my seat too quickly, a flight attendant (who was presumably responsible for escorting passengers to their seats) looked really puzzled and embarrassed as I turned around.

I settled in quickly and took a few pictures of my seat.

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The seat was fairly spacious with a good amount of storage space on the side.

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There was a tablet-looking device which had a touch screen I could use to control my seat. It was a big sluggish, but luckily there were a few presets I with physical buttons.

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There were two USB outlets for charging and a nice entertainment control much like the ones on my Cathay Pacific flight.

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The power outlet was located in a compartment by the leg rest which was rather far away. The compartment also contained noise canceling headphones and the usual seat-back pocket materials.

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The noise canceling headphones weren’t branded, but they were fairly good and got the job done…well for a sub 3-hour flight anyway.

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The reading light was up to the left, also controlled by the touch screen panel.

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The TV was massive, but it was a shame that many of the programs had black borders around them, which wasted a lot of screen real estate. The orchid was a nice touch.

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There was also a closet, which I’m sure would be useful in the winter or on long-haul flights.

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The purser came to introduce himself and once he found out it was my first time in Thai First Class, he insisted on showing me around the cabin and told me I could move to any empty seat I wanted throughout the flight. The First Class cabin had 9 seats and was very spacious. The two seats up at the nose of the plane were very far apart.

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The seat directly across from me:

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Hot towels were distributed and a glass of 2004 Dom Pérignon was poured at my seat.

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And once the flight attendant saw me taking pictures, she brought more and more “props” every time she came back to refill my glass. It started with one flower, and then the bottle, and then another flower…

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The menu was distributed and it came in a very nice leather (?) menu holder.

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Meal service began with drinks. I had a glass of 2010 Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons, which was a little nutty and honeyish at the same time.

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The menu reads as follows:

MENU

Canapés

First Course
Salmon Gravlax

Main Course
Deep-fried Ling Fish Fillet and Eggplant with Chinese Black Bean Sauce
Steamed Rice
Pak-choy

OR

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Seasoning, Mushroom Brown Sauce
Lyonnaise Potatoes with Onion and Parsley
Roasted Asparagus, Carrot

OR

Stir-fried Thai Noodles with Prawn “Pad Thai”
Grilled Lobster

Assorted Breads, Crackers, Butter

Cheese and Fresh Fruit Plate

Dessert
Apple Cherry Crumble Tart
Coffee Bavarois Cake

Tea, Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino

The Capane was a wrap-type offering with a type of seafood that I couldn’t quite tell the identity of. Nonetheless, it was delicious.

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I was served my very own basket, which I always think is a waste because there is no way anyone would eat every single piece of bread, but I guess it makes for a nice presentation.

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The table was set and the appetizer was served. Unlike many other Asian airlines, and perhaps because this was a short flight, the silverware was not laid out by the flight attendants, but instead came in a bundle.

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A flight attendant came by with garlic bread, which I obliged. It was frankly not crispy at all and a bit on the hard side.

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For the main course, I took a risk and went with the Pad Thai. I know lobster does not travel well and this dish definitely confirmed that. The lobster meat stuck to its shell for the most part and was very mushy. I had hopes for the Pad Thai (on Thai Airways), but I thought it was a bit over-heated since it was hard and dry. Nonetheless, a lobster Pad Thai on a 3-hour flight with Thai is still better than mystery chicken on a 5-hour flight on US Airways.

 

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The flight attendant then brought over a fruit and cheese plate.

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…and finally, dessert was served. The flight attendant made a very special effort in making sure it looked presentable since she saw me taking pictures.

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I had a glass of the Baron Otard 1795 Extra Cognac with dessert.

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My TV wasn’t working until after takeoff and I decided to watch a few episode of Arrested Development. I must say I was a little surprised (and happy) to find them offered.

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Since it was a short flight, no amenities kits were distributed. I asked for a toothbrush and the flight attendant delivered a dental kit promptly.

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I think Thai’s First Class product really lived up to its name. The hard product was solid (the bed was comfortable for the 15-minute nap I took) and the service was impeccable. The food can certainly be improved, but I would definitely choose to fly Thai again for their long-haul routes.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for posting. Great pics! I really appreciate the unique color theme on TG.
    Nice menu options for such a short flight. Looking forward to taking TG606 FC
    myself in a few months.

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