Tag Archives: flight review

Review: Dragonair A330 Business Class HKG to DPS

From Hong Kong, I made my way to Bali flying Dragonair, the regional subsidiary of Cathay Pacific. This flight was operated by an A330 with a regional business class configuration.

A330 to Bali!

A330 to Bali!

Because this was a regional configuration, the seats were not lie-flat, but the cabin looked great, and it was perfectly comfortable for the 4.5 hour flight from HKG to DPS. Given that this is largely a leisure route, I wasn’t surprised that the load was pretty light in business class. There were only 13 seats taken (out of 42).

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

Regional business class seat

Regional business class seat

Seat-back IFE

Seat-back IFE

Seat controls and side storage

Seat controls and side storage

Seat fully reclined

Seat fully reclined

Seat guide

Seat guide

They didn’t offer any amenity kits on this flight, but they did go around offering a pre-departure beverage of water, juice, or a guava cocktail. They also handed out wet towels, but they were essentially packaged towelettes and not hot towels.

Food menu

Food menu

Drink menu

Drink menu

Given that I was pretty stuffed from eating in the awesome Cathay Pacific lounges during my layover, I asked that they hold my meal for a bit. The IFE selection was identical to the selection on my long-haul flight from the US.

One thing that I haven’t heard many people talking about is the canned Hong Kong style milk tea available on Dragonair. As far as I know, it’s only offered on Dragonair and not on Cathay Pacific, and HOLY MOLY is this stuff good. It was soooo delicious, but also super caloric and sugary and probably terrible for your health. But it’s something that I’ll look forward to whenever I fly Dragonair.

Ridiculously delicious canned milk tea

Ridiculously delicious canned milk tea

When I eventually did get my meal, it was a VGML, as requested. Up first was a pretty gross appetizer of cold mushrooms and vegetables.

VGML appetizer

VGML appetizer

The main course was pretty good. Just some basic vegetables with tomato sauce and rice, but perfectly edible.

VGML entree

VGML entree

One thing that I found a bit odd was that there appeared to be only one bathroom for business class. I can’t imagine that this would be very pleasant with a full business class cabin on a 4.5 hour flight.

Overall, this was an enjoyable flight, and Dragonair has a solid, reliable experience, just like Cathay Pacific. For regional flights, I might actually choose Dragonair over Cathay in the future just for the canned milk tea…

Review: Cathay Pacific First Class ORD to HKG

I know that Cathay Pacific First Class has been reviewed to death, but this flight was one of the best flights I’ve ever had. The flight attendant was absolutely incredible, and I ordered a VGML for this flight, so that will at least be novel. I’ll skip the pictures of the hard product.

The 77W taking us to Hong Kong

The 77W taking us to Hong Kong

On this flight, I was pretty sure that the first class cabin was just people who had used miles. There were two youngish American couples in first class plus me. I booked my ticket at the last moment, so unless these couples were rolling in it, I imagine that they had booked their tickets pretty far in advance for their honeymoons or something.

Cathay’s seat is one of my favorite first class hard products. It’s giant and comfortable. It’s not an enclosed seat, but I’ve never felt that privacy was an issue with these seats.

One of the most comfortable seats in the sky

One of the most comfortable seats in the sky

I’m also in love with Cathay’s amenities. When I took this flight (a very long time ago), they had just switched amenity kit providers, so the first class amenity kit was made by Aesop. They still have the PYE pajamas, which I love.

PYE pajamas and the new(ish) Aesop amenity kit

PYE pajamas and the new(ish) Aesop amenity kit

I asked for a Hong Kong style milk tea, but for some reason, they couldn’t serve that prior to departure (I’m really not sure why since they just make it from a powder). And they also couldn’t serve me sparkling water. So I ended up with some green tea to go with my VGML pre-flight appetizer. At first, I thought it was fruit in a mousse, but it was in fact hummus and vegetables. I enjoy both of those things, so I thought that it was tasty.

VGML appetizer of hummus with vegetables and some tea

VGML appetizer of hummus with vegetables and some tea

I could immediately tell that Carrie, the flight attendant serving the first class cabin, was awesome. In most cases, I think you can tell very quickly if the flight is going to be remarkable or not. She was fun and gracious at the same time. She also offered to let me try the non-VGML appetizer of crab, after she confirmed that I was okay with eating something not vegetarian. If you like crab, you’d probably like the appetizer, but I preferred the hummus.

Normal crab appetizer with avocado and citrus

Normal crab appetizer with avocado and citrus

Menu for the flight

Menu for the flight

Non-alcoholic drinks

Non-alcoholic drinks

Drink menu

Drink menu

I think that Cathay’s caviar service is great. They have blinis, all the fixings, and a Cathay Pacific-branded caviar spoon. You might notice a glass of Krug in the photo, which was poured because Carrie insisted that I drink some champagne.

Caviar service

Caviar service

No metal spoons here

No metal spoons here

For the main course, the VGML was an Indian-inspired dish of chickpeas, rice, and eggplant. It’s essentially a business class meal plated as a first class dish. But the food was tasty, which is what matters. I would order and eat it again, and I’d be happy to eat this at an Indian restaurant.

VGML entree of chickpeas, rice, and eggplant

VGML entree of chickpeas, rice, and eggplant

For dessert, I took advantage of the red bean soup. They’ll serve it hot or cold (I chose hot). This is a super Asian dessert and super comforting to me.

Red bean soup for dessert

Red bean soup for dessert

Berries and cream

Berries and cream

They lowered the cabin temperature after the meal service, so the cabin was nice and cool for sleeping. No overheating this time. After sleeping for a couple of hours, I woke up and decided to have a snack given the length of the flight. First up was the fruit plate and berry smoothie.

Fruit plate and smoothie

Fruit plate and smoothie

I then asked for the wonton noodles with two fried eggs on the side. Cathay offers made-to-order eggs for their breakfast service, so I wondered if they’d bat an eyelash if I asked for some fried eggs to accompany my noodles. I think the flight attendant was a little confused at first by exactly what I wanted, but I did get the noodles and eggs so I could add the eggs to the noodles.

Asked for the noodles with two fried eggs

Asked for the wonton noodles with two fried eggs

Right before landing, we had breakfast. The VGML breakfast consisted of a cheeseless omelet with peppers and onions and an assortment of sides (spinach, potatoes, tomato, and mushrooms). I’m not sure why they include an omelet in a VGML since a VGML is supposed to be free of eggs and dairy products, but the omelet was pretty tasty. The sides were less tasty. In general, I think the mid-flight snacks are tastier than the second meal service items, so I wouldn’t hesitate to order those instead of breakfast.

VGML breakfast of a cheeses omelet with peppers, onions, and sides of spinach, tomato, potatoes, and mushrooms

VGML breakfast

Given that Carrie noticed how excited I was about the flight, she brought me one of the new (at the time) business class amenity kits. The business class kit contains Jurlique products, and the bag is a little nifty.

Contents of the business class amenity kit

Contents of the business class amenity kit

Overall, this was one of the best flights I’ve ever taken. So what makes service good? For me, it’s the small touches: always being addressed by name, making sure not to interrupt when you’re in the middle of something, being gracious, attending to small details like the position of items on the table, reading the passenger to know how to interact with them, noticing when you need things before you know you need them. This was the most proactive Cathay crew I’ve had, and they were one of the best crews I’ve ever had on a flight.

Trip Report: Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 KUL to HKG

CX 724
KUL to HKG (Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong)
Depart: 5:40pm
Arrive: 9:35pm
Duration: 3h 55m
Aircraft: A330-300
Seat: 15K

The boarding time was stated as 4:40pm, but that’s just when the gate opens and you can start going through the additional security check at the gate. Boarding didn’t actually start until 5:20pm.

A333 to take me to HKG

A333 to take me to HKG

Business class was a 2-2-2 configuration on this plane for a total of 42 seats. The cabin was relatively full with only 6 empty seats. I was offered a pre-departure beverage of water, champagne, orange juice, or guava juice.

My seat, 15K

My seat, 15K

2-2-2 business class seating

2-2-2 business class seating

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

IFE screen

IFE screen and leg room

I’m a big fan of Cathay Pacific. The seats looked new and stylish, although they’re just basic recliners, so they probably wouldn’t be too comfortable on a long flight. But for a 3.5 hour flight, the seats are fine.

They served dinner on this flight, and I had pre-ordered an AVML.

Business class menu

Business class menu

Menu continued

Menu continued

Drink menu

Drink menu

For my AVML starter, I received a plate of chickpeas, beans, peas, raisins, and onions mixed together with a small side of asparagus. It was a bit odd, but it was reasonably tasty and healthy.

AVML starter

AVML starter

My entree consisted of rice, dal, and paneer. Like most Indian food on planes, it was decently flavorful and spicy.

AVML main course

AVML main course

Ice cream for dessert

Ice cream for dessert

The seats don’t recline that much, and the leg rest doesn’t have a foot rest, but again, for a non-longhaul flight, I think these seats are perfectly fine. The IFE is the same as it is on longhaul flights, so there’s a great selection, and the screen was quick and responsive.

Seat fully reclined

Seat fully reclined

Cathay Pacific is known as one of the best carriers in the world and for good reason: they offer a great, consistent product. Even on a regional business class flight, you know you’re going to get a good, solid experience with great service, and this flight was no different.

Trip Report: Qantas Domestic Business Class MEL to SYD Boeing 767-300

QF 426
MEL to SYD
Depart: 11:00am
Arrive: 12:25pm
Duration: 1h 25m
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 4A

After being impressed by the Qantas Domestic Business Class Lounge, I headed to my short flight from Melbourne to Sydney to check out Qantas’s domestic business class in-flight offerings.

The plane to Sydney

The plane to Sydney

I was immediately impressed by the cabin. 2-2-2 seating in business class with pretty comfortable seats, although the pitch was pretty tight. The cabin was completely full.

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

2-2-2 seating

2-2-2 seating

Better upholstered seats than in US domestic business class

Better upholstered seats than in US domestic business class

Bulkhead seats

Bulkhead seats

Seat controls

Seat controls

Pretty tight pitch for business class (I'm not that tall!)

Pretty tight pitch for business class (I’m not that tall!)

I was offered a pre-departure beverage of water or a cranberry drink, but it was offered so late that I had less than a minute to down it before they collected the cups. There were iPads located in the seat back pockets for in-flight entertainment, but I didn’t understand how to operate it, so I got a flight attendant to reset it (I am potentially incompetent, but my seatmate also could not get hers to work). Once it was working, however, the system was responsive and had a pretty good selection for a domestic flight.

iPad for in flight entertainment

iPad for in flight entertainment

Unlike US-based airlines (but similar to most airlines everywhere else), there was a meal service in business class on this very short flight. There was a choice between sweet corn chowder, something like a Waldorf salad, and a ham and cheese sandwich. I selected the chowder, which was pretty tasty for airline food. And the sourdough bread accompaniment was better than most airplane bread, even in first class (main exception off the top of my head: JAL first class bread), and it was given out generously. The dessert cake was also good. Overall, this meal was tastier than any meal I’ve ever had on a domestic US flight.

Sweet corn chowder

Sweet corn chowder

Pretty soon, we were flying into Sydney, and we got to enjoy some awesome views of the city prior to landing.

View flying into Sydney

View flying into Sydney

Overall, I was very impressed by Qantas domestic business class: comfortable seats, good in-flight entertainment, a genuinely tasty meal, and courteous service. Not sure what else I would ask for on a short hop like Melbourne to Sydney.

SEA 2014: Singapore Airlines Suites Class SIN to NRT Review

My flight was departing from the B gates, which was a decently long walk from the Private Room and other T3 lounges. At Changi Airport, security screening takes place at the gate. In theory, this should mean that security shouldn’t take as much time, but the cluster of gates for my flight had a number of flights departing at the same time, so the security line snaked all the way through the terminal and out toward the shops. Total DYKWIA moment, but I was shocked that there wasn’t a priority screening line or an escort for premium cabin passengers, and it took about 20 minutes to get through the security screening (there were a couple of passengers who waved business class boarding passes at people to cut the line).

Thar she blows

Thar she blows

The load on this sector was 10/12. I had booked seat 3A, and 2C and 3C were the empty seats, so it felt extremely private, even though the cabin was nearly full. The suite is very spacious and feels classy. I like the color palette, and it just feels expensive to me.

My seat, 3A

My seat, 3A

Is it bad that I think the screen is small after flying Asiana?

Is it bad that I think the screen is small after flying Asiana?

Up the cabin to the cockpit

Up the cabin to the cockpit

Down the cabin

Down the cabin

Across the way

Across the way

Up the stairs to business class

Up the stairs to business class

The in-flight entertainment was started on the ground, which I always appreciate, and the selection was great. The screen quality was good, but it honestly feels a little bit small after flying Asiana’s new first class. And, well, the fact that the suite is so big that the screen is actually kind of far away from you when you’re seated #firstworldproblems.

For my pre-departure beverage, I asked for iced milo and room temperature water. Fussy of me, yes, but I loved the fact that afterward the flight attendant checked on me to make sure that the water temperature was satisfactory to me.

Iced milo and room temperature water

Iced milo and room temperature water

I was then given menus, headphones, newspapers, magazines, an amenity kit, and pajamas. I was only offered an amenity kit on this flight since I was a through passenger, but they did offer me new pajamas on the second flight. The pajamas are made by Givenchy, and I could actually imagine wearing the top with other clothes. As airplane pajamas go, they’re a little on the thick side, so maybe not the best if the cabin is too warm.

SIN to NRT menu

SIN to NRT menu

SIN to NRT desserts

SIN to NRT desserts

Drink menu

Drink menu

DSC05830

Drink menu part 2

DSC05831

Drink menu part 3

DSC05832

Drink menu part 4

DSC05833

Drink menu part 5

They suggested that they serve lunch a couple of hours after departure to align with typical lunch hours in Singapore, and I agreed. I had prebooked the kyo-kaiseki meal, but decided to change to the laksa, which they had no problems with.

Since it was going to be a little while before food, I had more time to explore the suite.

It really is a throne

It really is a throne

IFE controls

IFE controls

Outlets and plugs

Outlets and plugs

One thing that I noticed was that there were a lot of weird spaces to drop things. Because the seat folds over to become a bed (instead of reclining into bed position), there are a lot of open spaces where I can imagine easily losing your passport or boarding pass or cell phone. While it’s maybe not the most comfortable seat, I found the seat to be quite comfortable, and I thought that the seat reclined enough, in spite of it not fully reclining into bed position.

Lots of spaces to drop things

Lots of spaces to drop things

More spaces

More spaces

What a nice view

What a nice view

The meal service started with bread service as well as satay. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the satay as the lamb was a bit chewy, and I generally didn’t find the meat to be worth eating (I am very picky about my meat when I choose to eat it). The garlic bread was tasty, as is evidenced by the fact that I devoured it prior to being served satay.

Table setting

Table setting

Satay

Satay (note the missing garlic bread)

The salad course was small, but tasty. I had the honey mustard dressing.

Salad

Salad

For my main, I had the laksa, and I asked them to take out the fish cake and prawns. They were a little confused by my request but were happy to do it. The laksa was fine and much more flavorful than most airplane dishes, but the egg was way overcooked. Like to the point where the yolk was gray instead of yellow.

Laksa

Laksa

For dessert, I had the passionfruit mousse cake, which was fine.

Passion fruit mousse cake

Passion fruit mousse cake

I then had some fruit, which I was surprised to find served whole. I can’t really remember ever being served whole fruit on airplanes, except for crappy red delicious apples on American carriers. I was pleasantly surprised to find a persimmon amongst the fruit selection.

Fruit

Fruit

With the doors closed, the suite feels extremely private. But I’m personally still unsure whether I prefer first class cabins with suites or open seats, as I appreciate the privacy of suites but enjoy the feel of open-seat cabins more.

Doors shut for privacy

Doors shut for privacy

But it's not completely private

But it’s not completely private

Seat reclined as far as it will go

Seat reclined as far as it will go

The seat in Singapore Suites on the A380 is great. It’s large and private and comfortable. The service on this flight segment, however, was not to the standard that I was expecting on Singapore Airlines. Perhaps it was because the load was relatively high, but the service was really slow, and my glass was often empty or almost empty. If I had just been judging based on this flight, I wouldn’t have understood why Singapore Airlines has the reputation it has for service. The in-flight supervisor also wasn’t great, and perhaps it was the lackluster tone that he set that led to the lackluster service.

That being said, my next segment from NRT to LAX had some of the best service I’ve had on a flight and made me totally understand why people love Singapore Airlines…

China 2014: American Airlines Business Class Shanghai to Dallas (PVG to DFW)

I flew business class on this segment not because I applied a systemwide upgrade, but because I got an elusive operational upgrade. Economy was heavily oversold (and extremely light on the flight from DFW to PVG such that I had an entire row of seats to myself in coach), and a ton of people got op-ups.

Actually, I almost didn’t get the op-up. They called my name and gave me a new boarding pass, but then they called my name again to tell me that they couldn’t give me an op-up because I had pre-ordered a special meal (VGML), and they couldn’t feed that meal to a different passenger, so they had to give my seat to someone else. I was not particularly happy about that, so I pulled a little bit of a DYKWIA and asked if they could just call catering to ask if they could cater an additional economy meal and let me have my upgrade (I also offered to not eat on the flight). After a little bit of waiting and me looking sad, they did end up giving me a business class seat.

For flights to the US, there’s a secondary security check, mostly to make you throw out your water so you go thirsty on the plane and use the bathroom less. If you really want to get water on the plane, which I find necessary for flights in coach, my strategy is to have a decoy water bottle. I place one (or more) bottles at the bottom of my bag, and I have one on the top which I throw out at the security check. Once they see me get rid of the top bottle, they usually wave me through.

Anyway, at the secondary security check this time, I heard one of the security women yelling, “I will not let you bring this dangerous good on the airplane!” She was quite insistent and raising her voice. The offending item was a cigarette lighter, and the owner of said lighter said that it was an extremely expensive lighter worth over $500 USD, and he wasn’t going to get rid of it. He said that he was flying first class and couldn’t believe that he was being treated so poorly. They went back and forth a while, but the security woman had her way and they confiscated the item.

This obviously upset the man, and then he started complaining about everything on the flight. Like he said that he spent $15,000 on his “first class” tickets and expected a lie-flat seat and flew lie-flat seats on the way over, but he was seated in business class, and American doesn’t fly lie-flat business class seats to anywhere in Asia except for Hong Kong. I felt bad for the flight attendants who were on the receiving end of his abuse, and I commiserated with them for having to deal with him.

I won’t review the hard product since I’ve reviewed AA business class on the 777-200 before, but I will post the menus and pictures of the food.

IMG_1045

Business class menu PVG-DFW

IMG_1046

Food menu continued

IMG_1047

Drink menu business class PVG-DFW

IMG_1048

Roasted chicken appetizer and side salad

IMG_1049

Strozzapreti (aka priest choker) pasta

IMG_1050

Sundae :/

IMG_1051

Mixed pepper quiche, salad, and banoffee tart

By far, the best part of all of the food was the banoffee tart. I’m not really sure why you don’t see banoffee more in the US, since it’s delicious. Who doesn’t like bananas, cream, and toffee The banoffee tart was clearly superior to the subpar sundae, which is totally overrated. Cheesy pasta is also overrated, as I find that airlines often just try to smother pasta dishes in cheese to obscure the poorly cooked and flavored pasta and vegetables.

That being said, the food was as expected for business class on an American airline (i.e. mediocre), but I was super grateful for getting the upgrade in the first place, so I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining too much. I find AA’s business class seats on the 777-200 to be decently comfortable for a non-lie-flat seat (I like the seats better than slanty-flat seats), I like the blanket and pillows, and I appreciate that they provide slippers (one of the only business class amenities that I actually use). I’ll be glad to see business class transition to lie-flat on AA, but I think these seats are fine in the interim.

SEA 2014: Jetstar Asia Economy Class Siem Reap to Singapore (REP to SIN)

The final stop on our tour of southeast Asia was Singapore. Not going to lie–one of the main reasons why I wanted to end in Singapore was so that I could fly Singapore Suites back to the US, but Singapore is also a delicious food city, which made the couple of days we spent there very worthwhile (if regrettable due to the amount of food we consumed).

To get from Siem Reap to Singapore, we flew Jetstar Asia, which is a budget carrier based in Singapore. Jetstar Airways is a subsidiary of Qantas and is based in Melbourne. Since it’s a budget carrier, be prepared to pay for everything, so we tried to minimize our additional expenses by only buying 20kg of checked baggage when we bought our tickets. It’s worth noting that you’re actually buying 20kg of checked baggage, and not one checked bag up to 20kg, so you can check as many bags as you want, provided that they weigh less than 20kg combined.

The flight from REP to SIN is only about 2 hours, so I didn’t mind flying a low-cost carrier, but it’s not a particularly comfortable experience. Seat pitch is only 29 inches in economy class, which I guess is one more inch than Spirit Airlines in the US, but is still very tight.

Remote gate boarding

Remote gate boarding

Economy class boarding

Economy class boarding

Super tight pitch (29")

Super tight pitch (29″)

The flight was uneventful, as one hopes all economy flights are. Beyond the tight seating, there’s not much to review as we didn’t partake in any of the buy-on-board items.

I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Jetstar again if the price were right and the flights were convenient, but be wary of extra charges that can easily jack up the price beyond that of a more full-service carrier.

SEA 2014: Vietnam Airlines Economy Class Hanoi to Siem Reap (HAN to REP)

To get from Hanoi to Siem Reap, we booked a flight on Vietnam Airlines. I had tried and failed to book award tickets for this segment using FlyingBlue miles, but the online award search tool kept wanting to route us through Guangzhou on China Southern instead of the nonstop on Vietnam Airlines, even though I was 98% sure that the Vietnam Airlines flight had award space available. So in the end, we paid cash and did some throwaway ticketing and booked roundtrip flights between HAN and REP because it was cheaper, even though we weren’t going to return to Hanoi.

The Hanoi airport offers free wifi, which is great, but there were long check-in queues for Vietnam Airlines, so leave plenty of time for that if you don’t have SkyTeam status (I had also tried and failed to get a status match to a SkyTeam airline). The terminal was also kept pretty warm, and the lounges were located on the upper floor, which was even warmer, so also be prepared for that.

Vietnam Airlines A321 to take us to REP

Vietnam Airlines A321 to take us to REP

The flight ended up being less than half full. Business class looked just like US domestic business class.

Aircraft cabin with glimpse of business class

Aircraft cabin with glimpse of business class

Economy class seats

Economy class seats

To the back of the bus for us

To the back of the bus for us

We had checked in online, and I had selected seat 16D, which showed as having no seat in front of it on the seat map. In reality, there’s a jump seat in front of this seat, which is not quite the same as not having a seat in front of you.

Jump seat in front of my seat

Jump seat in front of my seat

Row 14 also isn’t a true exit row, so if you’re looking for extra space in economy, choose row 15 (assuming you have the same aircraft configuration). For what it’s worth, there were a lot of seats showing as blocked online when I was selecting seats that weren’t actually occupied, so you could also try changing at the check-in counter or at the gate.

Good pitch in exit row

Good pitch in exit row

We were served a small meal of coleslaw, mystery meats, cucumbers, bread, and dessert. I only touched the dessert (we had brought some banh mi to the airport as snacks–why can’t airlines just serve banh mi? so cheap and delicious, and they keep decently well), which was decently tasty. It was a generic, sweet cake, maybe with a hint of coconut.

"Meal" that was served on this short flight

“Meal” that was served on this short flight

The in-flight entertainment was some sort of funny home video show, which I found amusing, and I found it interesting that the in-flight announcements were made in Vietnamese, English, French, Korean, and Japanese. The first three make sense to me; the last two less so.

Overall, it was a quick and comfortable flight. I’d be happy to fly Vietnam Airlines again, although I don’t plan on flying SkyTeam unless I have to.

Thailand 2014: Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong (BKK to HKG)

Introduction
Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge The Pier Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Millennium Hilton Bangkok
Cooking with Poo
Overnight Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Le Meridien Chiang Mai
Patara Elephant Farm
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai to Ko Samui
Conrad Koh Samui
Bangkok Airways Koh Samui to Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Check-in and Lounge Bangkok
EVA Air Evergreen Lounge Bangkok
Louis’ Tavern First Class CIP Lounge Bangkok
Singapore SilverKris Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways Lounge Hong Kong
Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Suites Seoul to New York
United Airlines Business Class PS Service New York to San Francisco


TG 606
Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG)
Depart: 4:00pm
Arrive: 7:45pm
Duration: 2h 45m
Aircraft: Boeing 747
Seat: 1A

After my lounge hopping to four different lounges at BKK, I went to my departure gate to board my flight to Hong Kong.

The beautiful 747 that would take me to Hong Kong

The beautiful 747 that would take me to Hong Kong

I received a warm welcome on board. The crew was older than I’m used to seeing on Asian airlines, but they were extremely friendly. The main flight attendant who would be taking care of me this flight greeted me and confirmed that I had pre-ordered a meal, and she remarked how good it looked. She offered me a pre-departure beverage and a hot towel.

As far as I know, this is the shortest route that Thai serves that has a first class cabin. I was lucky enough to get a 747 with a refurbished first class cabin of only 9 seats, and the seats are quite similar to what they have on their A380. The carpet in the cabin is extremely purple, but otherwise, I really enjoyed the cabin and the seats. There was a large closet at the front of first class for larger bags and coats, and the cabin felt spacious. I also appreciated the small touches like the fresh orchids at the seat, and there was plenty of storage at the seat.

My seat, 1A

My seat, 1A

More of the seat

More of the seat

Seat and IFE controls

Seat and IFE controls

View of the center seats

View of the center seats

View of the cabin

View of the cabin

View of the cabin

View of the cabin

Unusual galley location

Unusual galley location

As I was taking pictures, a flight attendant offered to take a picture of me. This is always a small touch that I’m grateful for (I’m not a huge fan of selfies, even though I’m guilty of them too). She was even attentive to small details like making sure my bags were out of the picture.

Even though I had pre-ordered a meal, I was still handed meal and drink menus. Of note, they were serving 2004 Dom Perignon, instead of the 2003 that’s more common on other carriers.

Food menu

Food menu

Wines

Wines

Champagne

Champagne

Dom 2004

Dom 2004

Once we were in the air, meal service began promptly (after all, the flight is only a little bit over 2 hours long). The meal that I had pre-ordered was essentially the only vegetarian option that I saw that wasn’t a vegetarian special meal. First up was a potato leek soup and a full bread basket. I’m generally not a big soup person, but this soup was tasty.

Potato leek soup

Potato leek soup

For my mains, I got a basil mushroom dish and a spicy sour curry. The basil mushroom was decent and pretty spicy; the curry mostly reeked of fish sauce. I would have eaten more of both, but the portion of rice was inadequate for the amount of saltiness. I’m sure I could have gotten more rice, but I didn’t ask.

Basil mushroom dish and spicy sour curry

Basil mushroom dish and spicy sour curry

Next up was a cheese plate, which I initially declined but the flight attendant insisted. She particularly recommended the cheese with the fruit in it, but cheese isn’t really my thing.

Cheese plate

Cheese plate

Finally, I was plied with many Thai sweets. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I thought that everything that was served was pretty tasty and slightly unusual in a good way.

Thai sweets

Thai sweets

Overall, the food itself was fine, but the service was great. I felt like I was being doted on by an Asian auntie who keeps on plying you with food. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it.

The load on my flight ended up being 9/9, which was perhaps due to the numerous flight cancellations that Thai was doing at the time due to the civil unrest (this flight occurred in February), as my friend’s flight on Thai got cancelled and he had to be rebooked.

All in all, I really enjoyed this flight. People often say that Thai isn’t quite as good in the air, but I was honestly blown away by the service (I ended up writing in to Thai about how great my flight attendant was), the hard product was great, and I’m pretty confident that the food on Thai is better if you eat meat.