Flight Check: Thai Airways 787-9

Thai Airways has made amazing progress the last couple of years in consolidating their fleet. This has also meant adding the Boeing Dreamliner 787-8, 787-9 and the Airbus A350. All three of this new aircraft have really helped Thai’s game and for savvy flyers can often be booked on intra-Asia routes.

Thai configures their Dreamliners in two classes, Business called Royal Silk and Economy. The 787-8 has 22 seats in Business configured in a 2-2-2 layout along with 234 Economy seats laid out in a 3-3-3 setup. The larger and more plush 787-9 features 30 Royal Silk lay flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and 260 Economy seats laid out in a standard 3-3-3 array.

This flight onboard their 787-9 was a short 3 hour hop from BKK to TPE. It’s overkill to use such a new and nicely laid out aircraft on a 3 hour flight to Taipei, but we didn’t complain. As an early morning flight it was nice to have the lay flat seats.

The cabin features Thai’s purple colours and feels spacious, though theses seats would be wider on a 777. The foot well is a little tight, but we’re not complaining.

The flight crew was typically Thai. They where attentive, authentic but not over bearing. Even though boarding was via a bus, which is all too typical at Bangkok, they boarded everyone quickly and had ample time to pass around a welcome drink and say a genuine sawasdee kop to each passenger. Each seat already had a blanket and noise cancelling headphones laid out and their signature orchid.

The IFE was quite large and a good selection of movies, TV, music and live TV with CNNi and others. They also offered in-flight Wifi and passed out free 20mb cards. Unfortunately 20mb is about as much data as you need to just open your email program and update it.

As this was a morning flight they served a breakfast meal with Western, Thai and Chinese options. The Thai meal with a Red Snapper soup and Thai-style omelette was quite good. Usually Thai has good meals out of Suvarnabhumi airport.

All in all this was a very pleasant flight. The crew were good, the 787-9 is a delight and the cabin configuration was really nice. Thai Airways usually has a strong soft product but now that they have more consistency laid out aircraft their hard product is also once again starting to shine.

We highly recommend spending time on Google Flights before purchasing intra-Asia flights… in fact any flight, but especially for premium flights in Asia as prices and aircraft vary a good deal on certain routes. It’s always nice to get a good deal and fly on a 787-9 with lay flat seats versus a 737-800 with standard recline business seats.

 

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