Bangkok Airways A320 Economy Class (My ‘Lie Flat’ Economy Seat) – Phuket, Thailand (HKT) to Bangkok (BKK)

This is a short post to document the quick trip from Phuket, Thailand to Bangkok on Bangkok Airways.  Bangkok Airways is a regional airline that operates from hubs at Bangkok (BKK) and Koh Samui, Thailand.

Other posts about this trip to Phuket:

British Airways Galleries Lounge Newark, NJ (EWR) – Review in 14 Pictures

Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300ER Newark, NJ (EWR) to Hong Kong, SAR China (HKG)

Dragonair A321 Business Class – Hong Kong, SAR China (HKG) to Phuket, Thailand (HKT)

Japan Airlines Business Class 787-8 Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) to Tokyo, Japan (NRT)

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo, Japan (NRT) Main Building

Japan Airlines 787-9 Sky Suite, Tokyo, Japan (NRT) to Boston, MA (BOS)

Over last few years I have flown Bangkok Airways several times between Bangkok and Phuket and Chiang Mai, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia.  I have always enjoyed these flights.

Bangkok Airways calls itself “Asia’s Boutique Airline.”  It lives up to that billing.  The aircraft are new and the service is exceptional.  Bangkok Airways is the only airline I know of that has a lounge for all passengers.

Another remarkable fact is that Bangkok Airways serves meals in economy, usually hot ones, on flights that last barely an hour from takeoff to touchdown.  On US carriers, you’d be lucky to get a beverage service on such a short flight much less any food.

On this trip I visited the Priority Pass Coral Executive lounge at the HKT domestic terminal.  This lounge was just like the Bangkok Airways lounge in that no alcohol is served and only sandwiches and light snacks are available.  On this occasion, the Coral Executive lounge was definitely not as crowded as the Bangkok Airways lounge gets.

PG 909 was scheduled to depart Phuket at 4:50 pm and arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International (BKK) at 6:15 pm.  The trip covers 419 miles and takes only one hour of flying time.

At check in I requested an exit row window seat and was assigned seat 11F in the second row of exit seats so it reclines.

IMG_3555
View from seat 11F.  Raise the armrests and presto you have the proverbial “lie-flat” economy seat with oodles of leg room.

On Bangkok Airways, I have always been able to select an exit row seat at check in or move to one after boarding is complete.  Why others do not do this is a mystery.  I never sit next to anyone.

This version A320 has 162 seats configured 3-3 that are almost 20 inches wide with 31 inches of pitch.  The first three rows are designated as Premier Economy meaning the same seat but with the middle seat blocked.  Why pay more for the same seat with less leg room???

Bangkok Airways planes are always clean and neat.  Iems in the seatback pockets are identically arranged.

IMG_3558
All seatback pockets are arranged this way (as the previous photo shows).  Here I pulled up the emergency card to identify the aircraft type.

To facilitate serving and clearing potentially 162 meals in 30 minutes of cruise time, the flight attendants hand out towelettes pre departure.

IMG_3559
Pre-departure moist towel

This flight left almost 30  minutes late due to a late arriving aircraft.  Slightly delayed flights on Bangkok Airways are not uncommon in my experience.

Our departure was on runway 27.

IMG_3561
Turning left onto runway 27 for takeoff.
IMG_3566
HKT runway 27 departure over the Andaman Sea

After a climbing turn to the northeast over Phuket Island (seems like it should be called Koh Phuket) and the narrow Malaysian Peninsula we reached cruise altitude over the Gulf of Thailand.

Flight attendants began service even before the plane leveled out. IMG_3567

Dinner was three courses – fruit, entree, and dessert.IMG_3568

I had a delightful chicken entree.

IMG_3571
Chicken entree with green beans and brown rice

Bangkok Airways supplies silverware rather than plasticware.  Only non-alcoholic beverages are served domestically.

Overall Impression

I recommend Bangkok Airways for travel around Southeast Asia.  The food and service are terrific in coach and you have free access to lounges is Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.  The price will be slightly higher than on ultra cheap carriers like Air Asia, but is well worth the difference in the travel experience.

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