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Transport : Airlines

Related: Thai Airways

In this trip report, I review my flight on Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 in First Class known as Royal First from Bangkok Airport, in Thailand to Munich Airport (MUC) in Germany. I flew this route in February 2018.

Originally, I was booked on a flight from Bangkok to Paris onboard one of Thai Airways’ six Airbus A380 planes, but due to a technical failure which delayed the Paris bound flight for 8 hours (from midnight till 8 am), I was offered the choice between waiting at the airport in a small bedroom (since the Thai Airways First Class lounge closes during the night) or being rebooked on a Thai Airways B747 to Munich that departed one hour later than the Paris bound flight, with a connecting flight to Paris operated by Lufthansa.

I choose the latter since I was tired and just wanted to get back home.

The cost of my one-way First Class ticket from Bangkok to Paris was 280 euros + 105,000 Miles& More miles. Miles and More is the frequent flyer program of Lufthansa, a Star Alliance partner of Thai Airways.

Remember, if you are planning to book a flight or a luxury hotel, contact our luxury travel concierge to get a quote before booking. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, deals and special benefits.

One of the nicest things about travelling First Class with Thai Airways is the impeccable ground service from the moment you arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, which starts with the Thai Airways First Class Lounge at Bangkok Airport.

Thai Airways features a mixed long haul fleet with 10 Boeing 747 planes, 32 Boeing 777 (both B777-200ER and B777-300ER), 8 Boeing 787, 15 Airbus A330, 12 Airbus A350 and 6 Airbus A380 planes.

The carrier is notorious for last-minute aircraft swaps, and that’s problematic if you’re flying Business or First Class, since all aircraft feature a different cabin layout and seat product, ranging from bad (Thai’s old First Class installed on some B747s) to excellent (Thai’s A350 Business Class product).

Thai Airways plans to retrofit its 777-200ER fleet later this year as part of a push to offer lie-flat Business Class seats across its long haul fleet. Thai Airways is also introducing a new premium product for its regional fleet, which will debut later this year on a retrofitted A330-300s.

Thai Airways First Class Cabin

First Class in Thai Airways’ Boeing 747s is located on the lower deck in the plane’s nose. The carrier operates two versions of First Class.

The ‘old’ First Class cabin configuration features 10 seats, with 3 seats on each side and two pairs of seats in the center (row 2 & 3).

The ‘new’ First Class cabin configuration features 9 seats, with 3 seats on each side as well as one single seat (row 2) and one pair of seats in the middle (row 3).

The new First Class cabin layout offers a much better experience compared to the old product since the new seats are semi-enclosed suites with plenty of privacy. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to know in advance which product you’ll get as last-minute plane substitutions are such a frequent occurrence with Thai Airways, but I was lucky that the flight to Munich was operated by a Boeing 747 with the new First Class configuration.

The new First Class cabin features an almost tropical retro-look. The light grey suite walls are partly covered with wooden panels, with the ‘mahogany’ theme persisting in the dark, purple seat fabrics and the leather arm- and footrests. Bright yellow pillows, blankets and headrests make for a remarkable and colourful contrast.

Two rather small lavatories for the exclusive use of First Class passengers are located in the back of the cabin. A narrow, long galley is located beside the lavatories, along the windows on the right side of the aircraft, which is a rather odd configuration since it means that passengers in the Business Class cabin on the left side of the plane are looking onto this galley’s wall.

No seat map of the new First Class cabin can be found online (Seatguru’s seat map of Thai Airways’ B747 is not correct).

The Best & Worst Seats on Thai Airways

I was seated in suite 1K for the 11-hour flight from Bangkok to Munich. All suites feature the same layout and are surrounded by high walls except for the entrance area on the aisle side.

Thai Airways did not install sliding doors in these suites (like in Emirates‘ First Class), as it would have increased privacy.

The ergonomic seat, which has a width of 23 inch (58 cm) and a pitch of 203 cm (80 inch), is very comfortable, and the various seat positions, as well as the suite’s lighting, are controlled via a tablet that is located near the armrest. Several other storage cabinets are also located in the arm rest, with one of them holding the massive foldout tray table. Across the seat is a large 23 inch TV screen, a leather ottoman, and some additional storage space beneath the ottoman.

At the push of a button, the seat automatically reclines into a flat bed of 86 inches (218 cm) long, with fully retractable armrest. When you want to sleep, a member of the cabin crews installs a mattress pad, two fluffy pillows and a thick blanket.

What are the best First Class seats on Thai Airways’ B747? Solo travellers should go for the window seats, while companions should choose the two middle seats in row 3.

What are the worst First Class seats on Thai Airways’ B747? There are no bad seats in Thai Airways’ A380 First Class cabin, although the two seats in the first row are not as private as the other seats because the cabin is quite narrow here.

Amenities

Thai Airways First Class passengers get the following amenities: A Rimowan kit which comes in the form of a mini-suitcase in various colours. The bag contains the essential items for long haul travel (e.g. eye mask, ear plugs, a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash) in addition to two tubes of Monteil skin products (e.g. facial moisturizer and lip balm), a pair of slippers and a comfortable, Royal Thai labelled pyjama, packed in a bag with an exotic motif.

Food menu On Thai Airways

The dinner that was offered during this flight was exceptionally good, consisting of some of the best food I ever tasted in a First Class cabin. I selected the following items from the menu:

First serving: white sturgeon caviar with garnitures.
Hors d’oeuvre: foie gras terrine with Monte Vibiano sesame dressing.
Soup: curried pumpkin soup with Alaska king crab meat and Isigny crème fraiche quenelle.
Main course: baked Chilean sea bass with creamy leek crust, fried leek and lobster bisque, and served with spinach ravioli and tomato concassé, roasted potato, buttered asparagus and tomato, and roasted resto pumki.n
Dessert: lemon pie with raspberry sauce.

Breakfast service was less extensive and a bit disappointing. Fresh fruits, yoghurt, cereals, fresh fruit juice and a fruit smoothie were offered as a starter, followed by a tomato dill omelette, with pork sausage, bacon with spring onion, roasted baby potato, and grilled asparagus.

Entertainment

Each First Class seat on Thai Airways’ B747 features a 23-inch entertainment screen. The entertainment system is controlled by a handset which is hidden near the arm rest and also doubles as a game controller. Noise cancelling headphones are available although they are not of the best quality (and cannot be taken away with you). The entertainment selection on offer is decent, with over 1,000 hours of regularly updated movies, short films, games, music, news and information.

Thai Airways in-flight Wi-Fi internet service is available on the Airbus A380-800, A350-900, selected A330-330 and Boeing 787, but not the B747. It is worth mentioning that the service onboard Thai Airways’ flights is excellent.

Review by my friends at Luxury Travel Expert