While it is always fun to try a new A380 first class product, I did not expect such a great flight on Thai Airways…my best overall flight ever with them.
After spending about 40 minutes in the Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge in Osaka, boarding was announced and I walked over to the nearby gate, where boarding was actually almost complete.
Thai Airways 623
Osaka (KIX) – Bangkok (BKK)
Wednesday, November 05
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2K (First Class)
First class is located in the front of the upper deck and I was greeted by two bowing flight attendants upon boarding, one of whom escorted me to my seat.
Thai Airways A380 First Class Seating
Thai’s A380 features 12 semi-enclosed seats seats in first class in a 1-2-1 configuration. The cabin is bright, with a yellow, purple, and tan motif. Although the suite does not have closing doors, it is fairly private and quite comfortable.
The seat featured a multi-way adjustor, ample personal storage via side compartments and under the tray table, a power port, two USB ports, and lights. One thing missing: air nozzles. Thankfully it did not get too warm during the flight.
The suite also featured a small closet large enough to store 1-2 articles of clothing or a narrow bag.
The 6hr,45min flight turned out to be under six hours…far, far too short, but I did enjoy a nice nap after lunch. Bedding includes a mattress pad, plush blanket, and pillows.
Thai Airways A380 First Class Lounge
Rather than offering two oversized bathrooms on the upper deck like Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, and Qatar do, Thai offers one large bathroom on the left side and a “lounge” on the right side. I consider the lounge to be wasted space…no one used it during the flight and I doubt it gets much use. The seats are less comfortable than the first or even business class seats onboard.
Thai Airways A380 First Class Amenities…Or Lack Thereof
I was surprised that no amenity kits or pajamas were proactively offered, only slippers. Thai traditionally offered first class passengers Rimowa amenity kits and I built up a nice collection of them over the years. Furthermore, I always received pajamas even on shorter first class flights like Bangkok to Hong Kong or Beijing in the past. But not today. And I asked…I will never turn down the chance for another Rimowa amenity kit. But none were loaded. “Flight too short” I was told. Thus, the only thing I ended up with was slippers.
Thai Airways A380 First Class Service
The flight attendants were excellent onboard: friendly and quite eager to assist. I appeared to be the only native-English speaker in the cabin and one FA laid out all the English newspapers and magazines for me.
Service was timed perfectly after takeoff…not too rushed, but it also did not drag on. FAs addressed passengers by name.
While I’ve had better service before in Thai First, that was more a function of having the first class cabin to myself (Bangkok to Beijing in December 2010). I’d call service flawless on this flight.
Thai Airways A380 First Class Food + Drink
I rate this as my best Thai Airways flight ever because usually the food in first class leaves much to be desired. In fact, prior to this flight I never had a memorable meal (in a good way) in Thai Airways first class. I feel like the carrier tries hard, but quality is often lacking.
Below, you can read the menu for the flight. Note that caviar was not available. Like the amenity kits and pajamas, it seems that the full first class experience is only available on longahul flights to Australia or Europe. Dom Perignon was available, though. My apologies: I do not have a copy of the drink menu.
Before takeoff, a choice of beverage and warm towel was offered. Thai Airways always leaves the can when serving a drink…not the classiest, but perhaps easier than waiting for a refill.
The amuse-bouche turned out be a trio of “hot savories” including beef teriyaki with green pepper, fried fish, and sautéed scallops. The scallops were particularly amazing.
Moments later, a FA set the table for lunch. Thai Airways offers first class passengers a bread basket that contained an assortment of bread. Often that bread is stale or lukewarm, but today it was hot and fresh.
The appetizer included smoked salmon and Carpegna ham…very tasty as well.
A soup course followed, cream of mushroom with croutons and cracked pepper on top.
A Delicious Main Course
For the main course, I ordered beef tenderloin. I was not expecting the beautiful herb crust, which was both visually appealing and added a great taste to the meat. Cooked vegetables and surprisingly good gnocchi were on the side.
Never before have I enjoyed such a tasty main course on Thai Airways.
The meal continued with an elaborate fruit and cheese plate.
I’m not sure what dark orange cheese was, but it was sensational. The blue cheese and brie…meh.
Finally, I enjoyed a slice of chocolate-raspberry cake with a cappuccino for dessert.
Even the coffee was fabulous. Kudos to Thai for such a nice meal.
While a light snack was offered prior to landing, I skipped it. I was still far too full from lunch. When I woke up from my nap, however, a FA offered me some ice cream and I did not want to be rude. 😉
A large bottle of Evian water and another hot towel were presented after the first meal service.
Thai Airways A380 First Class IFE + Wi-Fi
Noise canceling headphones were presented along with the pre-departure beverage upon boarding.
In-flight-entertainment included games, movies, TV shows, a moving flight map, and a tailcam video. The resolution on this camera is not nearly as crisp as new A350s.
Wi-Fi internet was available, but prices were so bad (more than $1 per MB) I just passed on it.
Thai Airways A380 First Class Lavatory
I mentioned above that Thai offers one oversized first class lavatory at the front landing of the upper deck. Without a shower like Emirates or Eithad or even a urinal like Lufthansa, there is plenty of room to move around. Thai uses real towels and Bulgari amenities were available. There were not additional toiletries available, however.
We landed ahead of schedule in Bangkok and I was very sorry that this flight had ended so soon. I always enjoy flying Thai Airways in first class, but loved trying out the A380 and appreciated the excellent meal available on this flight. Next time, I hope to see pajamas and Rimowa amenity kits once again.
Aircraft exterior photo: Anna Zvereva / Flickr