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Thai Airways - Dubai, UAE (DXB) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) Flight TG520
Far from meeting, let alone exceeding, my expectations.
Thai Airways Dubai, UAE (DXB) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) Flight TG520: I remember booking this Business Class flight months in advance and thinking that Thai Airways would be a great airline to fly from Dubai to Bangkok (Click here to read our luxury hotel and restaurant reviews for Thailand). I knew since they do not offer a first class option on this flight it would not measure up to Singapore Airlines but, I had a feeling that it would be close; to my disappointment, I was wrong! (Click here to read our Dubai resort and restaurant reviews and click here to read our Bangkok hotel and restaurant reviews.)
Check-In: Since this flight originated in Kuwait I was already checked in. However, there was a short layover in Dubai and everyone had to deplane so they could clean and prepare the plane for the Dubai to Bangkok sector.
When I deplaned, the Thai Airways agent exchanged my boarding pass for a numbered card that would allow me to re-board the plane later. They told us to be back in thirty minutes, however, I knew that in reality it would take almost that long to get everyone off the plane, let alone have time to fully clean and restock it.
With that in mind, I headed to Duty Free and returned about an hour later. After about a ten-minute wait, the plane was ready and they started boarding; returning passengers with their numbered card in one line, new passengers with their boarding passes in another.
First Impressions and The Cabin: As I boarded the A330 airplane and received my second warm Thai welcome and bow that night, I thought back to when I boarded the airplane in Kuwait a few hours earlier.
I liked the 2 x 2 x 2 seating configuration in Business Class but then I remembered; their seats do not fully recline and their footstools do not fully extend; this will make for a long and uncomfortable flight.
As I looked at the purple carpet and the bright mauve pillows and blankets waiting for us on our seats, I reconfirmed my earlier first impression, they looked outdated and tired. Thai Airways surely did not live up to my expectations.
The Flight (Service/Food/Drink): I settled into my seat and prepared myself for the five hour and forty-five minute flight from Dubai to Bangkok.
Shortly after I took my seat, a flight attendant came around with a tray of juice and water; Champagne would need to wait until take-off. Soon after take-off, the attendant was around with a glass of Demilly De Baere Champagne and took our dinner orders.
Dinner started with an appetizer of smoked salmon and smoked halibut and a mixed green salad with sour cream and chives dressing. The main course consisted of a selection of: lamb cutlet with walnut herb crust, braised seafood and tofu with black bean sauce, chicken in curry Pa-Naeng or prawn Machbous. Desert was rice pudding with passion fruit mousse.
The drink menu for this flight to Bangkok was decent with two reds; Chateau La Bonnelle Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2002 and Bourgogne Pino Noir Vielles Vignes, Albert Bichot 2002, two whites; Chateau Thieuley 2006 and Chateau De Maligny 2006 and a different Champagne, Champagne Brochet-Hervieux Brut rounding out their menu. Their spirits included Bombay Sapphire, Jonnie Walker Gold Label, Chivas Regal Gold Signature 18 years and Glenfiddich Single Malt Whiskey.
I chose the lamb cutlet and the Saint Emilion and was pleasantly surprised with how fresh and flavorful the lamb was and how well the wine paired with it. Service on the other hand, was slow and unfriendly at best.
After dinner the attendants served fresh fruit, cheeses and after dinner drinks, including Remy Martin XO, Kahlua, Drambuie and Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge and I checked out the entertainment system only to find out it was not video on demand and only had four or five movies, most of which I have already seen. Again, I expected more from Thai Airways.
Since there was nothing good on TV, I decided to call it a night and get some sleep. I tried repeatedly to flag down a flight attendant for a glass of water but did not have any luck so I pushed the call button and quickly an attendant came and got me a glass of water. With nothing left to do, I reclined (partially) my seat and tried to get some sleep.
The morning came none too soon and I awoke from my half sleep to the sound of the serving carts. Breakfast consisted of a pastry with some sort of a ground beef filling in it, along with a small glass of juice and coffee, not a very impressive presentation and not a very impressive meal.
By this point, I should not have been surprised; Thai Airways is just not a very impressive airline.
Safety: The flight from Dubai was as turbulent a flight as I have been on and I was surprised that even when the pilot put on the fasten seat belt sign the attendants did nothing to make sure people were buckled or to even ask people to take their seats. As the plane jostled us from side to side, passengers were still out of their seats and walking around.
If this had been an isolated incident I would probably overlooked it, but because there was so much turbulence on the flight, the fasten seat belt light came on multiple, multiple times, yet the flight attendants did nothing to make sure passengers were seated and buckled in.
Their lack of attention to safety during the flight made me wonder about their safety standards for maintenance, training and all other safety aspects of the airplane and their flights.
Arrival: Arrival at the Bangkok airport was fast and easy. It took about twenty minutes to get through immigration and another fifteen to twenty minutes to get my bags and go through customs.
Overall Impression Overall, my flight with Thai Airways was disappointing. Their service was more of a lack of service. In today's competitive leisure and luxury travel world, Thai Airways has a long way to go before they would be considered a leader or a five-star airline.
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