Thai Airways Royal First Class Review Bottom Line
Thai Airways Royal First Class review is meant to show that, although the seat is showing its age, the crew, food, and amenities far outweigh the negatives of the hard product. There is also nothing more fun than sitting at the nose of a 747, a treat that is slowly becoming a memory.
The Good: More food than you can eat and high-quality amenities. The crew was one of the friendliest I have ever had, and the attention to detail was sublime.
The Bad: The seat feels a bit old and you could see signs of wear and tear around. Thai should have added doors, it seems like a minimal investment for more of a wow factor. Also, there is no wifi.
The Noteworthy: The Thai Airways 747 has a very odd configuration. Instead of having a galley between cabins, the galley is a long hallway on the side of the aircraft. Some passengers in business end up having a wall next to them.
Note: I took all of these flights in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since travel and work slowed down substantially in the last few months, I took time to catch up writing these reviews. Hope y’all enjoy!
At the Thai Airways First Class lounge, I had requested to be the first person to board, in order to take pictures of the empty cabin. There, they told me that they would relay the information to the gate agent. Once at the gate, the agent there told me that I would be allowed to pre-board right after wheelchairs and people needing assistance.
I waited a short while at the gate, people watching a bit. It was really interesting to see the diverse group of passengers that were taking this flight. I saw backpackers returning home, older couples visiting family in Australia, and a group of Thai school children going to Sydney.
Airline: Thai Airways
Cabin Class: Royal First Class
Aircraft: 747-400 (Reg: HS-TGG)
Flight Number: TG 475
Route: Bangkok BKK – Sydney SYD
Once I was on board, I was greeted by the purser, who happily escorted me to my seat. The refreshed Thai Airways 747 First class cabin consists of 9 seats (opposed to 10 in the old version). They are arranged in a 1x1x1 or 1x2x1 configuration depending on the row. It feels very spacious, with ample room to move around. I was seated in 2A.
The seat itself is a fully flat-bed. The finishes are purple with yellow accents. I found the legroom to be on par with most first-class seats, but the seat itself felt wider than other First class seats. There seemed to be the potential to have a door installed, but Thai seems to have forgone this option. The IFE screen was large and had a good resolution. There was an orchid waiting for me next to the IFE screen. There are multiple storage compartments, one of which holds the IFE control. Seat controls are from a small screen next to the seat. The most similar seat I have flown to this one is the Jet Airways First Class seat, except those had actual doors. There are two USB ports, as well as one universal AC power outlet.
Amenities on Thai Airways First Class are easy to find. For starters, as soon as you board, you are given an orchid. Once I sat down, I was offered one of the coveted Rimowa Amenity Kits, stocked with all the basics from Caudalie. The kits themselves were as high quality as others have said, and I was happy to finally have one. On the seat, there was also a small pillow, and I was offered a small blanket shortly after boarding.
Waiting at my seat in one of the storage compartments were a pair of AKG noise-canceling headphones. They were good, but not as nice as Bose or the Bang & Olufsen that American now offers in Business class.
The pajamas offered to first-class passengers were comfortable, and run on the larger side. They were Thai Airways branded, and have been one of my favorites since.
Departure and Take Off
While I was still exploring the small cabin, the captain came on the PA system to welcome everyone on board and to let us know there would be a 15-minute push back delay due to airspace congestion. He still anticipated an on-time arrival in Sydney. While we waited for pushback, the FA came by and offered me a glass of Krug Champagne. Don’t mind if I do! It was offered along with a hot towel. She also offered me a box of chocolates and brought the menu.
About 10 minutes after our scheduled departure time, the aircraft pushed back. There’s something magical and at the same time powerful of hearing the 747’s engines turn on. It was a slow dull lull, even while taxiing to the runway. However, as soon as we got to the runway, you could feel the power of all four engines in your bones. There’s a reason why they call the 747 the Queen of the Skies. We were on our way to Sydney!
Dining on Thai Airways Royal First is a majestic affair. By the end of the flight, I had gained 10lb and almost had to be rolled off the plane. The menu is presented in a gold/beige binder, with a separate drink and food menu. The menus read as follows:
The meal started with an amuse-bouche of fried mushroom with tomato salsa. It was interesting, to say the least, but the salsa tasted fresh.
After this, the table was prepared with the utmost precision. Notice how the butter, oil, and other condiments were positioned in a triangle. The next course was a caviar course. I initially wasn’t a big fan of caviar, but it has grown on me. As with preparing the table, the caviar was presented with attention to detail. I am not a caviar expert, but it tasted great with all the fix-ins.
The next appetizer was a mix from the whole world. I would never have thought to mix all those individual ingredients together. Taste-wise it was okay, but the presentation was also impeccable. For my main course, I ordered the Samrab Thai. WOW! The amount of food was insane. Every single dish was delicious: the shrimp, the steak, the sauce, even the rice was perfectly cooked.
By the time I was done, I could not eat anything else. The Flight Attendant, however, insisted in a very kind way I try the dessert. I told her I would not be able to finish it, and she said that it was fine, but that I should try it. She was right! The traditional Thai desserts were delicious and also adorable. I loved the Thai logo on a piece of white chocolate.
About 80 minutes before arrival, I was woken up for breakfast. This was also a feast. I wasn’t really hungry, but I wanted to see what a Thai breakfast was like. Breakfast was also a lot of food. The table was prepared with the same degree of precision, and the amount of food was fit for two people. I was not a fan of the rice dish, but everything else was delicious. After I was done with the meal, the flight attendant came by with a fresh orchid and Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
Thai Airways Royal First Class suites sadly don’t have a door to make them feel more private. They have all the hardware that seems to be needed for a door, but the airline must not have deemed them necessary. However, the seats are wide and comfortable even in the upright position. When I requested my bed made, the flight attendant brought a mattress pad, a second pillow, and a duvet. The bed was quite comfortable, and after the feast, I had just had, I was ready for some shut-eye. I slept well for a solid 3.5 hours and woke up about 1.5 hours before arrival in Sydney.
IFE and Wifi
The inflight entertainment was the only area I felt that Thai Airways can improve. Their library of movies is good, but nowhere near other airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines. The screen resolution was also no industry-leading. Although I did watch a few reruns of The Big Bang Theory, most of the flight the screen was set to the moving map. Thai Airways’ 747s do not have wifi, which for a short flight like this was not a big deal. I appreciated the chance to be disconnected and rest.
Notes on Service
The royal in Thai Airways Royal First Class is found in the service. I had one of the most amazing, attentive, and proactive crews of all time on this flight. I was always addressed by name, my drinks were kept refilled, I was well taken care of and the “all smiles crew” were genuine. They were very proud to fly for Thai Airways, and even more so to be the First class crew. All in all, in the top 5 airline crews I have had to date.
Landing and Arrival
Too soon we were preparing for landing in Sydney. Although we were expected to be kept in a holding pattern due to weather, we were cleared to land without having to fly in circles. As we descended into Sydney, I got amazing views of Sydney Harbor on a very cloudy morning.
When we got to the gate, the crew thanked each passenger for flying with Thai Airways, the purser came by to make sure we had a pleasant flight and wished us well on our onward journeys.
I honestly have nothing negative to say, the lack of suite doors and wifi were the worst part, and I personally did not mind. Yes, the seats are worn and not industry-leading, but what the airline does not have in the hard product, it makes up for in the soft product. The service by the crew was phenomenal, the food was fit for a king, and the amenities were terrific. I would fly with Thai Airways again in a heartbeat.
What do you think? Have you ever flown on THAI Airways Royal First Class? What was your experience like? Let us know!
Here is a list of all my flight reviews: The Millennial Traveler Flight Reviews
Here is a list of all my lounge reviews: The Millennial Traveler Lounge Reviews
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