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Saturday 13 October 2012

My Thai Airways A380 experience on TG409 (Part 2)

Welcome to my 2nd part of my A380 Thai's experience!

Click here for part 1.

In the 2nd part, I will cover the following:

-My flight experience on J class
-The business class offering which includes in-flight meals, service and entertainment system.
-Window shots of the A380 departure
-My thoughts on Thai's latest offering
-Ratings for this flight

Meanwhile, sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of the trip report! 

                                       Enjoying Business Class

I pre-ordered a beef steak from TG's website. It took 2 staff to confirm my order. Not very good if you ask me. 

 Initially, I wanted a white wine to go with my steak but decided not to due to throat irritation.

I was expecting more from this inaugural flight, to be honest!  Perhaps some nice postcards of the A380, pens and even a plastic model of the aircraft would have been great. 

The in-flight magazine of this month's issue

   Only first-class passengers of TG601 (HKG-BKK) gets this lovely plane model!

 I can't bear to eat this and like the plane model, only the first-class passengers received it.

The noise-cancelling headset by Thai Airways. The A380's upper deck is so quiet, I think this is not needed if you are just looking to sleep. I tried it for the sound quality and it doesn't disappoint.

                       Cashew nuts and Apple Juice before dinner time

Dinner time! 

Marinated Sichuan Salmon, needle beans salad with Duck in Pommery Dressing which comes with Assorted Bread, Crackers, butter and cheese

Inside the box contains 2 chocolate, Milk and Dark. 

Beef Steak 

Chocolate with Vanilla Creme Brulee

My ratings for this meal:

The appetiser tasted alright, but nothing much to shout about. However, I enjoyed the beef, I found it to be succulent, while the dessert was a good ending to the nice meal. Certainly not the best business class meal I had, but it was good enough for me on this short 2 hours flight! Overall I would give this a rating of 7/10.

Personal TV on J class and my in-flight experience

The take-off of the A380 is quiet and powerful, you can't feel much especially when flying in smooth air. Amazing aircraft really! We were quite fortunate that during the first hour of the flight, it was pretty smooth and that gave us a chance to explore the aircraft which I did. First thing I did was to check out my seat before heading to other cabins for photography.

USB connectors near the screen, I tested it out by charging my handphone, seems fast enough for my liking.

The massage panel and the remote control for the PTV at the side. I didn't really use much of it, but I tested it and it responded to what I expected, no problems at all. 

The tail camera which is definitely a must for an avgeek like myself, enjoying every moment of the aircraft's whereabouts. 

Going through the clouds which I dread at times!  However, this wasn't too bad.

 For a 2 hours flight, what can I watch?  I did some exploring on the movies and it seems dated as I had already seen most of the movies. Still, it is nice to catch up with some of the movies you missed. Using the headset provided by Thai Airways, one can expect to be totally absorbed to the movie without being disturbed.

My PTV hanged on me again, this time on 21A. I gave up and enjoyed the rest of my flight! At this time moment, the turbulence had worsened. The Captain mentioned earlier that we had bad weather along the way, so it was expected. The turbulence was so bad that the cabin service was suspended. It is definitely the worst turbulence for me this year.

While that was going on, I filled up a form that TG's manager gave me to comment on the flight and the product. I had a hard time writing due to the shaking, but eventually, the turbulence died off and the plane made a smooth landing at SIN with a hard touch down on runway 20R.

The plane took quite long to get to the gate, as it paused along the way quite a few times which was good. The longer we spent on the aircraft, the better it was for us! Eventually, we reached our gate D46 and our inaugural TG409 BKK-SIN A380 flight came to an end.

In-flight service: 

One observation I noticed is that the crews onboard my flight didn't greet the J class passengers by their names, is that normal? However, the crews were professional and did a great job serving us despite the short duration and the turbulence that took up about 1/5 of the flight. It was quite a challenge to get everything done within the time frame and for that, they deserved some credits for it. No sign of impatience or panic from any of them. Another positive impression for me is that the crews were accommodating to us and allowing us visiting the other cabins for photos and even volunteer to take photos of us which is great. At the end of the flight, the crews showed no change in their attitude and even took a few friends of mine a tour around the J and F class, that was a nice touch definitely even though the turn around was in less than 2 hours.

My face was pretty much flashed after the flight!

This particular crew wanted to take a photo with me because of my height! 

Both photos were taken by the TG crew, and they have certainly shown us what Thai's hospitality is all about!

My thoughts on Thai's A380 

Having spent just 2 hours plus on the aircraft, I have an overall positive impression on the amazing A380 and Thai's products. I made some records on this flight: 1st J class flight experience with Thai, my 1st inaugural (BKK-SIN) with this magnificent aircraft and the newest aircraft to have flown on so far.

The First class and Economy class cabins have left me with an overall positive experience, but the Business class cabin was a disappointment. I would not fly long haul on the J class for several reasons: Lack of privacy and the seats are a cramp in my opinion.

The A380 is certainly an aircraft to fly on, its quiet and spacious on any part of the aircraft. This is definitely my preferred aircraft for long-haul even if the flight is full.

So far Thai is my 3rd operator of this aircraft type. My previous experience on the A380 is:

1st: SQ 318 SIN-LHR 9V-SKF
2nd: SQ 321 LHR-SIN 9V-SKJ
3rd SQ 856 SIN-HKG 9V-SKA
4th EK001 DXB-LHR A6-EDT
5th EK002 LHR-DXB A6-EDR

                                     Views from my window 

        I was reluctant to leave the aircraft. 

 The nice crew started to prepare for the return flight back to Bangkok.

                   Video of Thai's A380 first take off to Singapore

The group photo, taken after the flight. 

Thanks to Jonathan Pek for this information.


Thai Airways has a lot to do to work on being the top airline in the region. Customer service on the ground and in-flight products, especially on J class of the A380, has to be worked on. The airline could have done a lot to make this inaugural flights one to remember. Just by putting up some posters and giving a key chain on a new aircraft type's first day at work is certainly disappointing for some of us who came from all around the world just to be part of the inaugural flight. Blocking the premium cabins of the very first flight, TG600, has to be very disappointing for some of us, the airline should have made it clear to all to all, not leaving us wondering why were they blocked? Basically, communication between the airline and the passengers is definitely not there. Lately, Thai Airways announced its intention to start up a Twitter account to communicate with the passengers and I hope Thai will work on understanding the passengers' needs and focus on winning the hearts of the travellers. Ground service in Bangkok should improve as well,  I was very disappointed with the boarding procedure, it was in a mess. On the bright side, the in-flight service made up for it and getting to explore the aircraft during the flight and after was a pleasant experience, a big thank you to the crew for looking after us well throughout the flight and allowing us to snap lots of photos onboard.

My ratings

Internet website: 4/10

Mobile website: 6/10
On ground service (BKK): 5/10
In-flight service: 8/10
In-flight meal: 7/10
J class seat comfort: 6/10
PTV on J class: 7/10 (User-friendly)
Punctuality: 10/10
Cabin ambience: 10/10
Aircraft Cleanliness: 10/10
Overall rating: 72/100

Thank you for reading my trip report. 
Click here for part 1.


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