My stay in Bangkok had been relaxing. As it was my first time in Bangkok (other than the brief layover en route to Sydney), I saw the touristy stuff (Royal Palace, Temple of the Dawn, Markets, etc…), had some Thai food, took it easy. That was of course until the night before my next long haul flight (if you want to consider ~5hrs longhaul). There seems to be a pattern emerging here…It was Saturday night, I can’t be blamed for my irresponsible actions. I met some friends at Oskar and the drinks soon took us next door to BED, which led to me not getting home until about 45 minutes before the car came to gather me at the Mandarin. 7am flights, the bane of my existence.
Thai Airways have dedicated check-in points for their Royal Silk (Business) and Royal First passengers[Thai people really love their King] that are segregated from the rest of the terminal. This is fantastic, because you are checked in, boarding pass in hand within 5 minutes maximum. Beyond this perk, the real bonus lies in the separate security and immigration queues Thai maintain for their premium passengers, as immigration wait times at BKK can be horrific.
Once the bags were scanned and I was checked out of the Kingdom it was time to stop in the Royal Silk lounge (and pine for the nearby Royal First lounge and the free massages it comes with). The Royal Silk lounge is rather spacious, there is free wifi and a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Now having visited Thai business lounges in a number of airports, it seems they all have the same food offerings. Assorted dim sum, mixed fruits, pre-wrapped tea sandwiches, a hot box with some combination of mini-pizza, chicken or tuna puffs and or chicken hotdogs in pastry. Sometimes at breakfast hours there will be sausages and eggs, other times there will be a selection of cakes. I’m not sure if I should be proud of my memory or horrified that i’ve spent enough time in Thai lounges over the past few months that I can mentally picture the food and bev layouts and walk my way through the offerings.
Boarding was relatively on-time (for Thai anyway) and unfortunately this two-class Airbus A330-300 had not received Thai’s new business class seat. Thai has a new J seat that has been introduced on their Boeing 777’s, most of the 747’s and some of the A330’s. The new seat is an angled lie flat, while the older style A330 seat is a cradle type. Since I was exhausted, any seat would do.
While there are in-arm PTV’s on the A330, the IFE was not on-demand. The movie on this flight was The Three Musketeers, I opted to watch the moving map and sleep. Does Orlando Bloom actively seek out only roles that allow him to wear foppish facial hair and carry a sword?
Slippers and amenity kits were offered on this flight. The meal service was breakfast as it was a 7am departure.
My one gripe is that Thai people fancy their cuisine spicy, yet every type of “chili sauce” I find in Thailand (and most of SE Asia) is a mix of hot and sweet. I don’t want the sweet. Give me Asiana style straight fire. Again, it may be a problem that I think of everything in terms of airline products. After breakfast I nodded off for most of the flight. I came to as we were flying over the brown and red outskirts of New Delhi. Upon landing I was shocked by how empty the airport was. When you think of India, large open spaces devoid of a crush of humanity is not exactly the image that comes to mind. Even immigration was a breeze. Once stamped into the country it was out the door to meet my driver and into the dust and the smell that is India.