This week we are taking a walk down memory lane with a vintage first class trip report. I’m sharing photos and brief commentary from a trip I took in the final days of 2010 and first days of 2011 that included many first class flights from five Star Alliance carriers. As we enter a new decade, the goal of this trip report is to examine how airlines have changed over the last one. Although this trip report has never been published, I will not be publishing a detailed, word-heavy review as I do for current trip reports. Instead, commentary will be limited and the focus will be on photos. For the final post, I will summarize, as generally as I can, how premium products have changed over the last decade.
- Prior Segments
- United Airlines 757-200 First Class Los Angeles to Chicago
- Lufthansa A340-300 First Class Chicago To Munich
- Turkish Airlines 737-700 Business Class Munich To Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines 777-300 First Class Istanbul to Bangkok
- Fifth Freedom Flashback: Bangkok To Ho Chi Minh City On Qatar Airways + Lufthansa
Flight #6: Thai Airways 747-400 First Class Bangkok To Beijing
- Before our flight, we spent the morning relaxing in the first class lounge.
- This included a one-hour full body massage in Thai’s Royal Orchid Spa, a benefit reserved for departing Thai first class passengers from Bangkok.
- The lounge staff are wonderful.
- But the onboard staff of our flight to Beijing turned out to be even more wonderful.
- Check out the vintage livery of our 747-400.
- The first class cabin was truly “vintage” in terms of old-school seating.
- You can see read a detailed recent review of the new 747-400 first class cabin here.
- We had the first class cabin to ourselves and were treated like kings.
- Before takeoff, Rimowa amenity kits and noise-canceling headphones were offered along with chocolates in a silk-covered box.
- Macadamia nuts and menus were also distributed prior to takeoff.
- The amuse bouche was a prawn patty.
- I’m not a foie gras fan in any way — I detest the taste and feel sorry for the poor ducks — so I skipped that and just ate the scallops for my appetizer course.
- Garlic bread…I ate too many slices.
- Pumpkin cream soup was even better than the scallops.
- My brother ordered salted chicken thigh with ginger onion soy sauce and steamed vegetables.
- I ordered pan-fried, grass-fed veal loin.
- Unfortunately, my veal was not very tasty.
- But Jintana, the wonderful female flight attendant pictured below, noticed I did not like it and instead I try the Thai dish. It included:
- Lobster Curry “Chu-Chee”
- Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice
- Taiwanese Cabbage, Carrot
- This was tremendous and a reminder to always order Thai food on Thai Airways
- Next up, a fruit and cheese course.
- Finally, I wrapped up lunch with chocolate and mascarpone tarts and black tea.
- Check out the classic flight map, projected onto a pull-down screen in the front of the cabin.
- Jintana saw we were thrilled to be onboard and brought us each a 747 model prior to landing.
- We landed in Beijing on-time, my first time in Mainland China.
- I’d rate the service on this flight as the best of the entire trip.
- 10 years later, Thai still impresses in that respect.
“The first class cabin was truly “vintage” in terms of old-school seating.”
You got to experience what flying in First Class in the 1990s felt like.
“feel sorry for the poor ducks”
Just not sorry enough for the veal, lobster, or chicken…;)
Out of curiosity, were these seats lieflat? Are there any good places to find photos of old airline seats?
They were not fully lie-flat.
Wow those seats are REALLY close together, aren’t they? Thai had twin recliners before SQ had twin beds in F
Wow, whereas Thai’s First Class seats look truly different today, the First Class lounge seems to be completely unchanged.
Back when first class was a social experience and mingling with fellow captains of industry was the standard.
Before the rise of the internet and antisocial media.
Today’s coffin-like suites have a lot to learn from the first class of yesteryear. Business class is for work, and there individual seats and privacy are a must.
First class is for play.