This post is part of our Bali 2014 Trip Report.
Flight: TG971 Thai Airways ZRH to BKK in Royal First Class
Flight TG971 was where we got to experience true “first class”. All other flights we took were in the equivalent of business class, or were only called “First Class” by default because it was a 2-class plane. Our ZRH – BKK flight was on an Airbus A340-600 which has all 3 classes, albeit in an older plane. We didn’t get the posh semi-private suites which are available on the other planes, like the A380, but we were just happy to be experiencing premium cabins on award travel that it didn’t matter.
Our gate got crowded quickly when they announced boarding. We realized it was a pretty full flight, in fact, all 8 seats in first class were filled! Walking to the plane, we were so excited!
We did get to board before everyone else, and the flight attendant at the plane showed us to our seats, which were in the 2nd row, middle. First class was in a 1-2-1 configuration with 2 rows, 8 seats total. By having the 2 seats in the middle, me and Steve could set next to each other. We each had to go down separate aisles of the plane though since the middle seats are separated by a long divider. The seating area per passenger was huge. The seat itself was very wide, and there was a tremendous amount of leg room. In addition the cabin felt very large and airy due to the lack of overhead compartment space in the middle of the plane. They were the highest ceilings I’d ever seen on a plane! It was amazing to be able to have to much space in a small cabin.
We were offered a pre-departure drink of choice and we both settled for the Dom Perignon. I am not really a huge champagne drinker, but I guess it’s because I don’t get to drink Dom on a regular basis. Dom changes your view of the world. It really does.
We were offered menus, and our choice of sizes in pajamas. The pajamas were baby blue and really soft and comfortable. I actually enjoy wearing them all the time!
I really liked the hard case Rimowa amenity kits. They match my carry-on! They were shiny and sleek looking, and could double as a jewelry case because of the protective hard shell. Although purple is not my favorite color, I thought it was pretty cool, and represents the Thai Airways brand effectively (their colors are purple and gold). I’ll be reminded of our experience on Thai every time I use it! In the case, they had your standard on-board amenities.
The following is a list of the in-flight menu. I didn’t take pictures of the drinks menu as I was not really interested in it. Dom all the way!
As soon as we took off and the captain turned off the fasten seat belt sign, service for the main meal began. I was totally looking forward to this! While our table was being decked out with table cloth and silverware, we were served warm nuts (what’s with airlines and the warm nuts?) and some canapes.
Then came “champagne wishes and caviar dreams…” – the famous caviar service. Two flight attendants were on hand to plate this for each passenger. You could tell them what you wanted or didn’t want, and I opted for a little of every garnish, but declined the shot of vodka (a little tipsy at this point from the Dom).
Then came the rest of the courses:
After dinner service you could order more drinks, but I think after several (many) glasses of champagne, I was more than ok. They dimmed the lights pretty quickly after that and many prepared for bed, although it was technically only afternoon in Zurich time. I took some time to watch movies on the IFE. I thought the screen was a bit small for first class, but then again, this is an older plane.
When I went to change into my PJs, the flight attendants asked if they could make up my bed and I said yes. The bed was made up by reclining the seat fully which extends all the way to the ottoman. The seat was covered with a soft quilt like bed sheet and a fluffy pillow (the gold one that was resting on my ottoman in the picture earlier) and topped with a gold duvet. I wish I could have take a picture of the bed set up but it was dark and I didn’t want to bother other passengers with my flash.
I don’t have a pic in the PJs at that point in the flight because I looked pretty tired and morbid, but here’s one of me a few nights ago wearing them:
A few hours of sleep later, as if we hadn’t eaten enough, we each got a snack of wonton noodle soup. It was a good sized portion and it was pretty tasty. The broth was quite flavorful but the noodles could have been more al dente. I love noodle soups though so being able to have it on a plane made me so happy.
Although the lie-flat bed was very comfortable, I still had a hard time sleeping because of the time difference. I only could doze off for about 2-3 hours and then I watched movies and played games on my ipad. Sleep does not come as easily to me as it does to Steve. I think I’d been traveling for close to 21 hours at that point and I only got about 3-4 hours of sleep.
Before we landed we had breakfast service. It was decidedly a less grand affair than the dinner service but more than enough food for breakfast.
I liked the fruit, cereal, and bread basket, but I honestly was not in the mood for eggs so I didn’t really eat much of the omelet, just the mushrooms, tomato and some of the breakfast meats. I thought the sausage was really pallid-looking and I prefer my bacon crispy, but it would have been a decent offering if I wanted eggs as they were surprisingly not rubbery as I expected. I wish they had an Asian-style breakfast, maybe congee or something like that. I would have been more inclined to get that if it was offered. I was also a little full from our midnight snack of wonton noodle soup. I think I should have ordered another noodle soup for breakfast instead!
After breakfast was cleared we began our descent into Bangkok. It was early early morning at that time (like 5:30am) so the sun wasn’t out yet. My mind was all confused as to what time it was, that I wasn’t sure if I should be tired or not. Maybe it was the excitement that we were almost to Bali but I was pumped up at that point! It felt so wonderful to land because we were finally in Asia and almost to our final destination! Just one more flight to go…
In the meantime, we had a great experience flying Thai Royal First Class. The small cabin size and gracious flight attendants provided us with excellent and unobtrusive service. Even though we had an older plane, first class seats were spacious and open. I didn’t feel stifled at all. We were one of the first to deplane, and we were whisked away in a cart to the Royal First Lounge to wait for our flight to Bali.
Stay tuned for the next post on the Thai Royal First lounge in Bangkok as well as our last flight until we reach Bali!
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, and I’ve made it easy on myself and ordered a Honeybaked Ham. I still have to make some sides though. The weather on the busiest travel day in the US is pretty horrible on the Northeast, rain/snow/sleet mix, ugh. I complained about the heat in Bali but I wish I could be there right now, having my usually breakfast of a freshly squeezed watermelon juice, tropical fruit, and mie goreng. Safe travels everyone!