One of my long-term travel goals is to fly THAI first class from Bangkok using miles not cash. Ironically, the reason for wanting to fly THAI first class is not as much about the flight as the lounge experience in BKK. THAI has a great first-class lounge there that offers one-hour messages. To get the necessary miles, I joined the THAI frequent flier program and fly THAI every once in a while when I’m flying in Asia.
I purchased a Royal Silk (business) class ticket for the flight to BKK. THAI is fairly stingy in awarding miles. Royal Silk only earns 125% of miles flown. This 754-mile trip would earn 943 miles. Presently, THAI requires a minimum of 49,000 miles for its shortest one-way flights in first class.
After a four-hour stay enjoying the buffet in the mostly deserted THAI Royal Silk Lounge, I went to Gate C22 about 45 minutes before the scheduled 13:20 departure. The flight was delayed, but there was plenty of seating and even an electrical outlet or two.
Boarding finally began at 13:20.
I noticed that the gates at KUL, like some other airports, are marked with a latitude and longitude reference. This must have something to do with navigation but seems implausible that airplanes use GPS to park at a gate.
THAI 777-300ER Royal Silk (Business Class) Seat
There is a big difference in the business-class experience depending on the type of THAI 777 you are flying. The THAI 777-300ER (77W) has all-aisle-access seating in Royal Silk business class. In contrast, THAI’s 777-300s (773) have 2-3-2 business-class seating, a decidedly inferior configuration.
THAI 77W Royal Silk seats are 20 inches wide and have 87 inches of pitch according to SeatGuru. These seats are very similar to the seats on THAI’s A350-900, reviewed previously.
Business class on the THAI 77W is comprised of 42 seats in two cabins. My seat was 15A, a window seat in the forward cabin on the port side.
Business-class seats on this plane have a 1-2-1, state-of-the-art arrangement. The seat converts to a fully flat bed. The console for this seat is on the right which provides some privacy and separation from aisle traffic.
The seat is a modern business-class seat. I have no doubt that it would be comfortable on a long-haul flight. The only feature of the seat that I object to is that the footwell is not totally enclosed. For aisle seats it would be easy for feet and blankets could protrude into the aisle.
Seat controls and the video remote are mounted on the console.
The seat has USB ports on the video screen and an a/c outlet below the console.
Amenities for the short flight were the pillow that was on the seat at boarding and nice noise-cancelling headsets.
TG 416 KUL-BKK
From Kuala Lumpur, the direct course to BKK is almost exactly due north. Flight time to complete the 775-mile trip was estimated at one hour and 45 minutes. The flight pushed from Gate 22 at 13:43. It was a short taxi to the active runway.
Service began at the gate with a moist hot towel and beverages. The FAs offered champagne which I usually choose, but I opted for water this time. Even though the flying time was barely over an hour, THAI, like almost all Asian airlines provides a meal in coach as well as business class.
Menus were displayed on the IFE (in-flight entertainment) system.
As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the FAs began the lunch service. All courses were served at once on a tray. The FAs brought the meal from the galley and did not use a cart.
Of the three choices, I had selectd the beef entree.
I enjoyed the lunch. The first course was stuffed salmon with avocado mousse, coconut flakes and ginger plus pear and cherry tomato. I had selected the beef entree. It came with mushroom sauce, potatos au gratin, broccoli and carrots. The beef was slightly over done as oftern happens on planes. Dessert was a Thai specialty, Khanom Thien Nga (rice flour stuffed with coconut and caramel covered with sesame seeds) and a bit of cheesecake. I liked the way each course included a small amount of several dishes.
After lunch there was only a short time to checkout some of the IFE options befroe we were descending to Suvarnabuhmi Airport. At least with a fixed video screen viewing was available al the way to the gate. The FAs did not collect the headsets before landing as is the practice on some other airlines.
TG 416 touched down on BKK Runway 19 Right at 14:50 and parked at Gate C-6 at 15:00.
The seat on THAI’s 77W is a very good business-class seat. The THAI FAs, like many of the FAs on Asian airlines, exude genuine warmth and seem truly concerned that each passenger has a great in-flight experience. THAI, however, can be one of the more expensive airlines to fly on intra-Asia routes. But when I can find a good deal, it is always a pleasure to fly with them.