This post is part of our Bali 2014 Trip Report.
Flight: TG431 Thai Airways BKK to DPS in Royal Silk (Business) Class on a two-class A330-300
After our great experience flying Thai Royal First Class, we deplaned our aircraft to find a buggy waiting for us. I was rather jetlagged at this point, but we still had a three hour layover in Bangkok before our flight to Bali. Luckily, those who fly in First and are connecting to another Star Alliance or Thai flight get to use the Thai Royal First Class lounge. We were whisked away very quickly. Our buggy driver drove very fast and was quite good at dodging passengers even though I thought we were going to collide with something or someone. Even though there were 8 passengers in first class, we were the only ones on the buggy. Either everyone else was staying in Bangkok or they got their own buggy!
We were lead to another security screening, but we were escorted through the line very quickly. It was only about 6:30am at that point, and the crowd level wasn’t too heavy in any case. We took an escalator upstairs and there was the lounge. It looked quite non-nondescript from the outside, but the inside was very nice.
When we arrived they checked us in and made note of our boarding passes for our flight to Bali. Since we were technically on Business class to Bali, we did not get a complimentary buggy drive to the gate, we would have to *gasp* walk ourselves. The horror! 🙂
Our gate was rather far away and they informed us we should probably estimate about 20 minutes just to walk there. That left us about 2 hours to enjoy the lounge. I also asked about the complimentary massages and if we could book appointments. Now here’s the thing, I’ve read many trip reports and other blogs which had stated that as long as we arrived in first class, and transitioning to another Thai airways or Star Alliance international flight, that we would be privy to the full body massage in a private room. However, the people checking us in had a different set of rules and said we were only entitled to the half hour back or foot chair massage. I was wondering why that was, maybe they changed the rules recently or they just didn’t know, but I honestly was too tired to argue or try to convince them. We settled for the half hour back massage, and then we were shown to our “private room.”
Since it was so early in the morning, the menus for food and drink mainly had breakfast foods. I ordered a Thai iced tea and let me tell you, it was probably the best Thai iced tea I’ve ever had! Steve had a regular cappuccino.
Pretty soon, they informed us they were ready for our massages. We were escorted across the hall through the business lounge (not as spacious and more crowded) to the Spa. Since we weren’t having full body massages, we didn’t have to change or anything. They offered us some tea and we were taken to these semi-private open rooms, each housing a nice leather lounge chair. The massages were great! Even though it was a chair style massage, the chairs were nice comfortable recliners and my masseuse had good strong pressure, which really helped to revive me. I can’t wait to come back to explore Thailand and experience a real Thai massage!
As soon as we were done with our half-hour massages, we were escorted back to our private room. Envigorated, we placed an order for food – just some tid bits to tide us over as we weren’t that hungry. Since the menu was limited at breakfast, I settled for a Thai fish porridge, and some fried crullers (Asian style fried dough). There was also a small buffet style area which had snacks, pastries, and drinks, but whatever you wanted you can basically order from your private room so you didn’t actually have to get up if you didn’t want to.
I thought the food was tasty and the portions were just the right size for snacking. If I were hungrier, I’d probably have selected more items from the menu just to try everything! One day if I ever return to this lounge, I hope it’s for lunch or dinner so there will be even more food options.
After a refreshing change of clothes (you see why I have to bring a carry-on with me at all times?) and getting in a short nap, we woke up just in time to make the 20 minute buy propecia online price walk to our gate. I have been through some large airports in my life, but Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is huge! They weren’t kidding when they said the gate was far away as I kept thinking we were walking forever.
When we got to our gate, they had already begun boarding. This was an old-school boarding process. Our plane was actually sitting on the tarmac away from the gate and we had to board a shuttle bus to take us to the plane. It’s been a while since I had to do this! It was really hot in Bangkok, so it was good thing I was wearing a T-shirt at this point as just 10 minutes outside would make you sweaty. There were two sets of stairs to the plane, one for the main cabin and one for business class, so up the business class stairs we go!
Our seats were 12 J and K which is are window seats on the 2nd row of the plane.
This particular A330-300 plane was probably the oldest international plane that I’ve been on in a long time. It was definitely beginning to show it’s age but it was spacious and the seats had plenty of leg room. There were personal screens at each seat but it wasn’t an on demand system, and the quality wasn’t very good. Thankfully we had ipads to occupy our time on the 4.5 hour flight to Bali.
After take off, they took our orders for our meals and then a round of drinks came. No Dom Perignon here, but they had some decent champagne. Maybe I’m finally turning into a champagne drinker!
Pretty soon, meal service began. The Thai flight attendants were always gracious and helpful.
After coffees and another round of drinks, the tray tables were cleared and we tried to get comfortable for the remaining time to Bali. Even though it was only 4.5 hours long, we had been traveling for close to 30 hours at this point and we were getting antsy, or at least I was. Steve was out like a light again. The angled lie-flat seats were surprisingly not that comfy. I guess after being spoiled in complete lie-flat, this was slumming it. 🙂 #firstworldproblems.
After what seemed like a really really long time but not quite an eternity, we caught our first glimpse of Bali!
As we touched down, I couldn’t believe we were finally in Bali. After almost 32 hours of traveling and layovers, it felt like we’d been in the air for 2 whole days, so deplaning felt wonderful. Bali’s Denpasar airport is pretty big, but we found our way to the customs and immigration area. Since I am a Singapore citizen, I didn’t need a visa and sped through the “no visa” line. Steve on the other hand had to deal with multiple lines. One to purchase the Visa-on-Arrival, and another for immigration (the longest line ever). I should have purchased the expedited visa process for him but from what I read, it wasn’t always necessary and I thought since we were going in off-season that the lines wouldn’t be that long. In all honestly I should have just purchased it no matter what so we didn’t have to deal with the wait. It cost and extra 30 USD and it would have saved us about 35 minutes of waiting.
While Steve was on line, I managed to change into a breezy dress and get our luggage so I was waiting for him by the time he got out. We made our way to the arrivals area, and saw our driver holding up a sign with our name and “Komaneka” on it. There were many many drivers holding up signs, but luckily we spotted our sign quickly. We followed our driver out of the airport but not before stopping to change a few USD into IDR at a kiok. The FX rate is not the best but we wanted some IDR to tip our driver with. Our driver patiently waited for us and helped us carry our bags towards the car. We were finally on our way to our first resort in Ubud and couldn’t be more excited…stay tuned for the Komaneka Bisma!
Read more about our Bali 2014 trip of a lifetime!