Flight Review: Thai Airways 747-400 Business Class from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Phuket

Flight Review: Thai Airways 747-400 Business Class from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Phuket

Flight Information
Date
: March 20, 2018
Flight No.: TG203
Route: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Phuket International
Airline: Thai Airways
Type: Boeing 747-400
Registration: HS-TGG

The last flight of my spotting trip to Phuket before I got to actually enjoy the spotting part was a quick domestic hop from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Phuket.




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The flight was operated by Thai Airways Boeing 747-400, and while I was traveling in business class, I got to experience the airline’s first class seat given that there is no “real first class” sold on the route.

Thai Airways Domestic Check-in at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

I spent the night at The Phoenix Hotel Bangkok and caught a 6AM shuttle back to the airport where I arrived just ten minutes later. After entering the large departures hall, I headed to C counters on the very left side of the terminal which were used for domestic flights.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport.
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Domestic Check-in

Thai Airways domestic check-in area.

While dropping off my bag – which only took a minute or so – I tried to ask if it was possible to change my seat from 3K to either 1A or 1K, or an upper deck seat (although that would mean “downgrade” to an actual business class seat).

Neither of those was possible since 1A and 1K were occupied and the whole upper deck was closed (as it later turned out, it was occupied by deadheading crew members).

Thai Airways Domestic Check-in

Domestic check-in counters.
Security Check at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Domestic departures.

With my bag on its way to the aircraft, I cleared security check and walked towards the domestic Royal Silk Lounge. On the way, I noticed a 747 being towed to the terminal. And, indeed, as expected, it turned out to be the aircraft that took me to Phuket later, HS-TGG.

Going to the Royal Silk Lounge

Airside at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.
Going to the Royal Silk Lounge

Walking towards Royal Silk Lounge.
Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 Being Towed

Thai Airways 747-400 being towed to its departure gate.

Boarding Flight TG203 from Bangkok to Phuket

I left the lounge around 7:40 and headed towards gate B5 where the flight was scheduled to depart from at 8:30AM. When I got there, the gate area was already filled with passengers and the aircraft was waiting outside almost ready for the short flight.

Walking to Departure Gate

Thai 747 waiting at gate B5.
Thai Airways 747-400

Almost ready to go.

Boarding started twenty minutes before the scheduled departure time, and I was one of the first passengers to get onboard the aircraft.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Gate B5

Minutes before boarding commenced.
Thai Airways Boeing 747

Boarding the Queen.

Once onboard, I was welcomed by the crew and instructed to turn left – into the nose of the Jumbo Jet.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class Cabin and Seat

The aircraft was equipped with Thai Airways’ newer first class seats and, as mentioned above, was located in the nose section of the lower deck of the 747. In total, there were nine seats in three rows.

The first row only had two seats (1-1) due to the curvature of the aircraft, while the second one had three seats (1-1-1), and the third row had four seats (1-2-1).

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class Cabin

Thai Airways 747-400 first class cabin.
Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class Seat

“King” seat.
Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class Seat

“Pair” seats.

My seat was 3K, the right side window seat in the last row of the first class cabin. While the seat was not an enclosed suite, it still provided enough privacy due to the walls on both the front and back of the seat.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class Seat

First class seat for a 1-hour business class flight.

Sitting down and looking towards the front of the seat, there was a wall which also doubled as a closet. And, there was a large in-flight entertainment screen next to which was a fresh flower.

IFE Screen TG

Looking towards the front of the seat.
Closet Thai Airways First Class

Closet.
Flower

Flower decoration.

Under the screen, there was a large ottoman which also provided enough space underneath to store my fairly large camera backpack.

Ottoman and Storage

Ottoman and storage under it.
Legroom

Leg room.

Along the outer (right) side of the suite, there was a long console.

Going from the front of it towards the back, there was a small storage compartment that also housed inflight magazines and a power outlet, a long and narrow counter which housed the massive tray table, a small tablet with the seat controls, and another compartment with USB ports, IFE remote control, audio output, and some storage space.

On the seat itself, there was a pillow upon boarding. And, to the left and above of the seat, there was a reading light.

One last thing to note here about the seat is that given the aircraft’s age, it was showing some wear and tear. But as far as comfort is concerned, the seat was very good.

Thai Airways First Class Seat Controls

Seat controls.
Seat Control Tablet

Seat controls tablet.
Storage Compartment

IFE remote, USB ports and storage.
Thai Airways First Class Storage Space

Storage.
Reading Light

Reading light (notice the tape under it).

Departing Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

After I settled in my seat, one of the flight attendants came to offer me a welcome drink. Based on his suggestion, I decided to go with ice tea – Thai Airways’ signature drink. And, it certainly was the right choice.

Not long after that, he also brought me a hot towel.

Thai Airways Signature Ice Tea

Ice tea welcome drink.
Hot Towel

Hot towel.

Boarding was completed just after 8:30AM (our scheduled departure time), and right after, the safety video was played.

With the video over, one of the cabin crew members made a welcome announcement, mentioning that the flight time was expected to be exactly one hour.

Thai Airways Safety Video

Safety video.

We were pushed back at 8:47AM, seventeen minutes behind schedule, and at 9:03AM, we took off from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport’s runway 19L.

Window View

Taxiing for departure.
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Activity

Bangkok airport activity.
Lining Up for Departure from RWY19L

Lining up for departure.
Seconds after Take-Off from BKK

Seconds after take-off.
Clouds

Cloud formations.

Thai Airways Domestic Business Class Breakfast

The seatbelt signs were switched off five minutes after take off and within another five minutes, the crew sprung into action with the breakfast service.

First, the table was set. As mentioned above, it was massive and, although it was a bit beaten up, it was quite sturdy. In fact, the table was so large that it made the business class table cloth look small and a bit funny.

Thai Airways 747 Tray Table

Business class table cloth on a first class table.

As for the breakfast, there was a choice between two pastries from which I chose croissant. Other than that, though, there was no choice.




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Instead, the breakfast was brought on a single tray. And, besides the croissant, it contained an omelette and a fruit jelly for dessert. Separately from that, I was brought another glass of ice tea.

And, later on, hot tea and coffee were offered from which I chose the former.

Thai Airways Domestic Business Class Breakfast

Thai Airways domestic business class breakfast.
Omelette

Omelette.
Thai Ice Tea Thai Airways

Signature ice tea.
Domestic Business Class Dessert on Thai Airways

Jelly with fruits.

While the meal was simple, it was quite delicious. That especially applies to the dessert – of which I could easily have eaten more.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 Business Class Cabin

Once the meal service finished, I decided to roam around the cabin a bit.

First, I took a quick look at the galley which was located along the windows on the right side of the aircraft. And which, rather than taking up the whole width of the aircraft was narrow and long.

Then, I briefly stopped by the second pair of doors which, on a 747, offers great views of the wing.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 Galley

Galley.
Thai Airways 747-400 Wing

Window view from R2 door.

Finally, I took a quick look at the aircraft’s business class cabins. In total, it featured 50 angle-flat business class seats spread across two cabins.

The first cabin was located on the lower deck, right behind first class. It was in a 2-2 configuration, next to the galley. And so, there were only left-side window seats.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 Business Class Seats

Business class seats.
Thai Airways 747 Lower Deck Business Class Cabin

Lower deck business class cabin.

The second one was located on the upper deck, and was in the same 2-2 configuration.

Except, naturally, the upper deck had both left and right side window seats whereas on the lower deck, the pair of seats on the right side was located next to the galley’s wall.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 Staircase

“Stairway to Heaven.”
Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 Upper Deck

Upper deck.

Landing in Paradise

When I returned to my seat, there were about thirty minutes of flight time left, and so I decided to work for a bit. The seatbelt signs were switched back on soon after that, however, at 9:57AM, and so I stowed away my laptop and just enjoyed sitting in the ever rarer 747 and looking out of the window.

Almost in Phuket

Heading towards Phuket.
Phuket Island

Phuket in sight.

At 10:05AM, the landing gear was lowered, and soon after that we flew by the famous beach located next to the runway. We landed at 10:07AM, and at 10:16AM, we reached our parking gate.

Nai Yang Beach Phuket

Approaching over the famous “spotter’s beach.”
Phuket Control Tower

Phuket control tower.
Thai Airways Boeing 747-400

Thai Airways 777-300ER ready to depart.
Phuket Airport

Phuket airport terminal.

However, it took another twenty or so minutes until we could disembark since there was an issue with the aircraft’s door.

Once I was able to get off, I picked up my bag, met up with Yukihiro, and we went out to do some spotting. More on that, however, in the next instalment.

Thai Airways Domestic Business Class Summary

When it comes to hard product on a one-hour domestic business class flight, this is about as good as it gets. In fact, even if I had “just a regular business class seat,” it would still have been more than enough for the short hop.

Similarly, the meal was adequate too. While it wasn’t as extensive as when I flew with Mahan Air between Mashad and Tehran, it was still a filling breakfast.




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All that said, if I wasn’t booking it as part of an award ticket and was paying for the flight instead, I would just go with the cheapest option which would likely be AirAsia from Bangkok Don Muang. If you decide to travel between Bangkok and Phuket that way, keep in mind that there is a free shuttle connecting the two Bangkok airports.

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