Upon arrival at the Bangkok airport, I was greeted with a buggy to take me to the lounge or immigration. I originally had a relatively short layover, but Thai decided to cancel the BKK-HAN flight that I was on, so I had a pretty lengthy layover instead, so I ended up deciding to spend some time in the lounge, get my massage, then head into town before coming back for my evening flight.
Since I was arriving in first class, I had access to the first class lounge (see a previous review), but since my connecting flight was in business class, I was only offered a 30-minute massage (and see more information about lounge access and massage rules). I got the neck and shoulder massage this time around, and it was painful as Thai massage often is, but it felt great after two long flights.
After the massage, I went into town. It’s worth noting that I was repeatedly warned that I would have to pay departure tax upon coming back to the airport. Since my itinerary just had a layover, I didn’t have to pay BKK departure tax when I ticketed. But technically, if you leave the airport (i.e. go landside), you’re then subject to the tax of 700 baht when you come back. This is definitely a case of YMMV, though. I already had my connecting boarding pass from Frankfurt, but it was apparent that it was printed in Frankfurt, so any of the boarding pass checkers or the person at immigration could have asked for the tax, although no one did. If you don’t have a boarding pass yet, it’s also possible that the check-in agent will ask for the tax, although again, it’s YMMV. Just be ready to pay it, but be happy if you don’t get asked.
Anyway, once I got back to BKK after a day in the city, I decided to go to the Thai first class lounge that was closest to my departure gate, which meant instead of going to the Royal First Lounge, I went to the Royal Orchid Lounge in Concourse E. This lounge has a small separate first class section. (Another note: I was flying with someone who was in coach, and since I was connecting to business class, I technically wasn’t eligible for a guest, but the lounge dragon let both of us into the first class side).
This lounge is small. At least the first class side is. It’s not a big deal since we were the only people there until the last 10 minutes we were in the lounge since I imagine that everyone else goes to the Royal First Lounge, but it’s essentially as large as the picture above shows.
Upon entering the lounge, we were asked for food and drink orders. We ordered some fruit, pad thai, and green curry. The pad thai wasn’t great (at least compared to what you can get on the street), but the green curry was decent. And then we stuffed our faces with desserts. The food menu was essentially identical to the menu that’s served at the Royal First Lounge.
While this lounge maybe isn’t quite as impressive as the Royal First Lounge, I enjoyed it a lot. It’s nice having space to yourself, and the service was attentive.