This was my first time trying Thai Airways Business Class so I was quite excited – I had high expectations of terrific Asian service. I was not disappointed. As you would expect the service levels were very high. However, this was not the same at some of the lounges….
Considering flying First Class with Thai? Here is a Review to read first.
United Airlines Business Class Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2
Thai Business Class is based at Terminal 2 for check-in. Head to the very back of the check-in area for business class. A man puts your bag on the luggage thing for you which is always nice! Thai Airways uses the new United Airlines lounge in Terminal 2. It is a LONG walk to the lounge! Even at a fast pace, I would estimate it is about a 20-minute walk from the fast track security area.
The United Airlines Business Class Lounge is quite a nice one. They have an excellent bar and they had a proper cocktail menu which was a nice surprise. I didn’t use them but I was impressed that they had 8 shower pods which looked shiny and new.
The food looked like a standard buffet but it was delicious! Firstly they had some really interesting and tasty gourmet salads eg couscous and chargrilled cauliflower and quinoa and ottolenghi type things. The Penang Beef was absolutely delicious! I also had some Spanish chicken which was very tasty. I was very impressed with the food.
The United lounge has a nice sort of reading room area. They had a good selection of newspapers but a rather average range of the usual free magazines. A few of the power point outlets didn’t work which was a bit annoying as I had to keep moving seats.
Finally, after the long walk to the lounge, the actual gate was nice and close!
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Thai Airlines Business Class Flight London to Bangkok A350-900 (12 hours each way)
There is a 1-2-1 configuration in business on the A350. There was no wifi on the flight,
Thai Airways Business Class is a little low on entertainment options compared to some of the other big airlines. 100 movies are not that much these days and the tv offer was very limited. Having said that there were some good new release movies that I wanted to see.
I highly recommend you book a K seat rather than a J seat. The K seat is next to the window so you have far more privacy than the J seat which is on the aisle.
The food was excellent! I went with the thai options and the green curry beef was excellent. Thai serve Veuve in Business which made me very happy. The bathrooms on board were also excellent.
I was impressed that my toiletries bag was Furla albeit it was a little plain. Thai Business Class also provide these light slippers which are a fantastic idea! On a long flight, you do want to take off your shoes and you don’t want to have to put them back on to go to the bathroom. These little slipper-ettes were perfect! Apart from that, there is one small container of moisturizer and a lip balm as well as toothpaste etc etc.
Thai Airlines Royal Silk Lounge C Gate Bangkok
Only the Royal Silk Lounge at the C gates appeared to have a shower (I later found out that the lounge at the E gates also has showers). The bathroom was huge! It was a little tired but I absolutely didn’t care at this stage as it was all about getting a shower!
Due to my shower and a tight turnaround, I didn’t experience much of the lounge at this point in my journey.
Thai Business Class Flight Bangkok to Sydney and return Boeing 747 (9 hours each way)
Business is a 2 by 2 configuration both upstairs and downstairs. There was no wifi on this flight.
The key thing on the Boeing 747 is you want to sit in the bubble with a window seat – A or K. This gets you the side locker. Not only could I fit all of my carry on items in the locker I would also use the locker to put my feet on when I went to sleep. The seats on the Thai Airlines 747 are old fashioned business eg not a full bed so you are still somewhat upright. However, when you put your feet on the lockers you end up being virtually straight out (if you are 5 foot 5 like me!).
The downstairs business class does not have this – it is just standard seat near the window for the A seat. I was seat 25A. However, the seats on the other side of the aisle do not have a window on the window seat but do have a bit more room on the side of the seat rest – these would be the best seats if you were on an overnight flight and couldn’t get into the bubble.
There is little difference between the screen size for the 747 vs the 350 and the entertainment menu is identical.
On the way back to Bangkok I ate the smoked chicken and then the barramundi with asparagus and orzo pasta which was quite nice. The guy next to me did the thai option and it smelt a lot better than mine! The cheeses were decent. I had the thai Noodle Soup as a snack which was lovely.
Air New Zealand Business Class Lounge Sydney International Airport
Sydney International airport is all shiny and new with the latest in retail and food concepts. There are loads of great food options so if you have the time do grab an aussie breakfast or meal as they will be better than what is on offer in the lounge. In particular, make sure you grab a proper aussie coffee before going in the lounge vs their machine offering – I recommend Kitchen by Mike.
The lounge for Thai Airways Business Class is the Air New Zealand lounge in Sydney airport. It is a big bright and airy lounge and feels nice and new. There are quite a few different seating areas and all sorts of seating options. There is a nice big communal table in the food area. There is no bar area as such.
I visited the Air New Zealand business class lounge for a morning flight so encountered breakfast. There was a fantastic offering of fruit, yoghurts and do it yourself mueslis with self-serve nuts and seeds etc. There were also some nice bakery options.
Hot food wise there were some very tasty scrambled eggs with chives, sausages and beans. There was a good selection of nice looking breads on offer and a make your own pancakes machine. Finally, there was a chef doing these quite tasty little Asian pancakes with fresh coriander and salsa which were very tasty.
Coffee was standard lounge machine and there was standard juice. A nice bonus was some small glasses of very berry smoothie which were delicious!
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Thai Business Class Lounge in Bangkok
This was not a positive experience! Let’s start with the good news. At Bangkok Airport Thai Airlines Business Class has its own check-in area – Row A. There are even comfy leather poofs you can sit on next to the desk! Even better than this separate area is that you have your own security and immigration! I was through in about 5 minutes. As soon as you enter there is an escalator that takes you through to the main lounge.
This was not a great lounge. It was packed when I was there and there were kids running around everywhere. To be fair this was only a couple of days after Christmas but gosh it was not pleasant. Worst of all they had no champagne! What kind of business class has no champagne in its lounge at its flagship airport? There was only one choice of white wine – a fairly average sauvignon blanc. And the food looked pretty average.
My flight was delayed so I found out that there was another lounge near the E gates. Maybe this one had bubbles! Alas, the situation got worse! Not only were there no bubbles there was no wine! No wine at a lounge! They did have showers but I didn’t need one at this point.
The food was also terrible – sandwiches without crusts and deep fried quiches. It was like going back in time! And there were loads of staff everywhere but they weren’t really doing much.
The lounge doesn’t make boarding calls. I do get this but I had a delayed flight and the only tv was at the entrance which meant I had to keep getting up and checking. I asked at the desk and kept being told 5 minutes and the flight would be boarding. I had one wait for 10 minutes and then heard an announcement that my flight was on the last call! I bolted through the airport and was literally the last person on the plane. All very unnecessary!
Thai Airways a380 Business Class Flight Bangkok to London
Business is a 1-2-1 configuration. There was no wifi.
Once I got on board there was a return to lovely! I finally had champagne and took full advantage – especially as it is Veuve with Thai. Strangely it was the 4th of the month but the tv and movies in the in-flight magazine did not match the selection on the screens. As I had flown to Australia and then back to Bangkok with Thai the previous month I had gone through that selection in fairly heavy detail. The selections on my screen were the same as the previous month.
I asked the hostess. She was lovely and went to explore. She came back and said that it appeared they had not been updated and that there wasn’t anything could be done. Not her fault of course but quite frustrating.
On the Airbus on the way over I had been pleased and surprised to find what appeared to be an extra cushion. Well, it turns out that was a mattress protector type thing – which I only realized when I saw someone put it on their seat! I do wish there was a better explanation of things like this in business class as there is so much variance across airlines and plane models. Anyway, I had my mattress protector this time!
I didn’t find much difference between the A350 business class and the Thai Airways a380 business class. I expected the a380 to be a lot better as they normally are but they were even as far as I was concerned.
There was a super cute toiletries bag on this leg – my third from this return flight! The food was excellent again. I went with the thai option. The breakfast in the morning was great and the staff were very organized with the fast track passes.
Thai Airways Business Class Review: The Verdict
I am going to have to go with 4 stars rather than 5 based on the dreadful experience in the lounge at Bangkok airport on the way back and the average offer in terms of entertainment (exacerbated by the lack of change over on programs from month to month). Ironic that the best lounge experiences with Thai were through their partner airlines. It is very poor to have such an average lounge set up at your flagship airport. However, the in-flight experience was excellent on everything apart from the mediocre entertainment experience. I would still fly business class with them again. However, if Singapore or Cathay were the same or not much more I would take them ahead of Thai.
Thai Airways Business Class Flights:
I tend to use a travel agent for my business class flights – for me, it is London based Trailfinders.
But I do usually also check out sky scanner which has a good range of business class flights to get a sense of who has good deals on for the time in which I am travelling.
And of course, you can check out the Thai Airways website!
If you are staying overnight in Bangkok here are my reviews of hotels near bangkok airport.
If you are staying in Bangkok for a longer time frame check out the top 10 boutique hotels in Bangkok here.
If you are exploring what you are going to do whilst in Thailand have a read of my stay at the wonderful and amazing Kamalaya on Koh Samui.
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Also published on Medium.