Trip Report & Review – Thai Airways A330-300 Business Class, Bangkok to Beijing

I had less than 1.5 hours to connect in Bangkok (from my flight from Hong Kong) and I was a little nervous when I found out my inbound flight would be arriving 30 minutes late. I had faith though having heard so many exceptional things about Thai’s ground services.

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

Lo and behold, the second I stepped off the plane, an agent was already holding up a sign with my name on it. I got on an airport golf cart and was whisked through security, eventually stopping at the lounge.

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The agent informed me that boarding would begin in 10 minutes, but assured me that it was “totally okay” if I wanted to use the lounge. I didn’t spend enough time in the lounge to do a full-on review, but here is a quick snapshot of the main seating area.

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Thai Airways (TG) Flight 674
Bangkok (BKK) – Beijing (PEK) |  Airbus A330-300
2350/0530+1  (4 hour 40 minutes)
Business Class  |  Seat 12J

Bangkok airport is special in that your boarding pass is scanned when you enter the boarding area, not when you board the plane. There were two separate boarding doors but unless you have been to the airport before, there was absolutely no way to tell which one was for Business and which one was for economy. I was lucky enough to have been there before and picked the right line to queue behind.

Business Class on Thai’s A330-300 was arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration with recliner seats. I was a little nervous about that since the flight was a red-eye, but I managed to get some shut-eye since I was so tired.

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I selected an aisle seat in the middle, but the aisle was getting crowded so it was hard to get a picture of my seat. Here is a left aisle seat.

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The amenity kit and blanket were waiting at the seat, designed by Porsche Design. It was a hard-shell case that I found hard to use since there were no interior zippers to keep contents from shifting around—much like the overhead compartments on this flight.

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Two separate menus—one for food and one for drinks—were distributed.

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A flight attendant came by with four choices of pre-departure beverages. He had orange juice, champagne, a purple fruit punch, and a red fruit punch. I went with the purple fruit punch—it’s Thai after all.

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Meal service began shortly after we reached cruising altitude. Like most regional business class, dinner was served on a tray. I selected the yi mein as my main course.

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I usually have a hard time sleeping in recliner seats, but I managed to sleep for an hour or two probably because I was extremely tired from all the travel.

The seat controls were physical buttons—nothing fancy, but it got the job done.

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For the remainder of the flight, I occupied myself by watching a rather limited selection of films and TV shows. One complaint I have about the seat was that there was virtually no storage space other than the seat back pocket…and since the seat back pocket was hard plastic, I couldn’t even fit the case of my headphones inside. With the amenity kit, my camera, phone, headphones, magazines, etc. the seat felt more cramped than it really was.

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The flight itself was pretty unimpressive, but I still would have taken it to save on a night’s hotel rate and to sample Thai’s First Class. The service was as usual, impeccable, but the hard product was on the disappointing side (but then again…I had just got off from a First Class flight…)

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