Flight Date: 11MAY2013—I had a four-hour layover at Narita Airport before my Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. Thai Airways do not have their own lounge at NRT, but you do have two choices: the ANA SUITE LOUNGE or United’s Global First Class Lounge. Unlike their awful lounge in Honolulu, United’s lounge at Narita is actually quite nice. ANA’s lounge was closer to my gate though, so I decided to spend my time there instead.
Usually airlines pull out all the stops at their home turf lounges, however ANA’s Narita lounge is well, average. Being generous you could say it’s cozy, but some will find it a bit cramped. I was lucky as there was only one other traveler sharing the entire space when I arrived, but when it’s busy you may want to take a stroll down to United’s much larger lounge at the opposite end of the terminal.
Another thing that is noticeable is the measly food selection. Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing inherently wrong, but after my fabulous experience at Cathay’s ‘The Wing’ last month I guess I’m jaded.
I’ve had the privilege of flying first class on Thai Airways a few times, but this was my first time on their new A380. Thai chose the upper deck and the 12 suites are placed in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Unlike Thai’s former deep purple and grey color scheme, the new A380 is finished in white and gold with beige and light purple accents.
I stowed my carry-on and headed towards the front of the cabin to snap a few shots of the restroom (it’s spacious) and lounge area.
I settled in to my seat 3K just as a flight attendant was passing through the aisles with a bottle of Dom Perignon.
Soon after, he brought the menu, wine list and a mini Rimowa amenity kit.
Flight time from Tokyo to Bangkok is six and half hours and the dinner menu on this route reflects that. I chose the Sautéed Tiger Prawn as my main dish with a glass of Chateau de Chantegrive Caroline.
The meal service began with a small hot savoury followed by a first course of foie gras and morel cream soup.
The savoury dish was cold and stale but everything else was nicely prepared. I especially enjoyed the soup and the main dish.
In-flight entertainment system has been enhanced with the introduction of the A380. Large monitor, easy to use controls and a wide selection of movies, TV programs, music and games. I spent the next few hours enjoying a documentary and listening to music.
There were only six passengers so the flight attendant made up the bed in the seat next to me. The Thai first class seat is comfortable in the sitting and recline positions, however the bed is a bit lumpy and could use a bit more padding, especially on a long haul flight.
Nevertheless, I was able to catch about three hours of shuteye and woke up just as the pilot started the descent into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The new first class cabin on the A380 is fresh and airy, but even though the plane I flew today was only one month old, already you could see scuff marks and smudges on the white interior. I wonder how well it’s going to hold up in the coming years. Flight attendants were courteous and friendly, but were constantly dropping things in the galley directly behind my seat. Food and wine choices are adequate, but not at the level of some of their Asian competitors namely: Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. The points where they shined were the in-flight entertainment system, nifty Rimowa amenity kit and the famous Thai smiles. In my view, Thai Airways is definitely one of the better airlines around these days with a few caveats. All the makings are there for a truly great airline, but for some reason they never quite seem to pull it all together. Anyone out there agree or disagree? Please post a comment below.
More Information on Thai Airways First Class
Thai Airways A380 First Class Photo Gallery