Japan Airlines (JAL) announced last weekÂ that its newly-revampedÂ Boeing 777-200ERs (772s) dubbed “JAL SKY SUITE 777” or “SS2” will debut on June 18 fromÂ Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Bangkok (BKK). Designated for regional flying, the SS2 will feature now-industry standard lie-flat seating in business class, a roomy premium economy section, and best-in-class nine-abreast seating in economy, going against the grain during a time when virtually every new refurbishment of 777s calls for ten-abreast seating.
An illustration of the new economy seating configuration on JAL’s “SS2” Boeing 777-200ER – Image: Japan Airlines
What’s even more eye catchingÂ is JAL’s choice to go with an asymmetric 3-4-2 arrangement, while every other carrier uses 3-3-3 (well, when they do have nine across on their older planes). Where new premiumÂ seating is all the rage nowadays, JAL manages to remember the little people, and the economy cabin steals the spotlight…
Airline:Â Thai Airways International
Aircraft:Â Airbus A380-800
Departed:Â Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Arrived:Â Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
Class:Â First Class
Seats:Â 1E & 1F
Length:Â About 6 hours
My wife and I recently embarked on a major bucket list trip to Thailand. Â Since this was a rare sans-toddlerÂ trip, we decided to go all-out and burn pretty much all the miles and points we could get our hands on toÂ fly some premium cabins. Â We were fortunate enough to be able to scrape togetherÂ just enough points (mostly thanks to being new homeowners) to fly to BangkokÂ in first class. Â Our final leg of the inbound journey was on a Thai Airways A380 from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Bangkok SuvarnabhumiÂ (BKK).
Thai Airways’ A380 Royal First Class cabin – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
We arrived atÂ Tokyo Narita on ANA’s new Houston to Tokyo service in first class which, in and of itself, was an amazing experience. Â Our layover at Narita wasÂ about three hours long, during which time we availed ourselves of ANA’s First Class suite lounge.
BONUS:Â Flight Review: ANA First Class Houston to Tokyo on a 777-300ER
Shortly after taking our seats in the lounge, a representative from Thai Airways found us, introduced herself, and asked if we needed anything. Â We asked if she could look intoÂ the status of our checked bags, as we’d had a little bit of difficulty getting them checked all the way through to Bangkok. Â She left with our passports, boarding passes, and bag claim tickets. Â When she returned she had new boarding passes printed on Thai stock and she informed us that they had located our bags and they were all set to be loaded on the aircraft. Â She also informed us that due to a late inbound aircraft, the flight would be about fifteen minutes late, and she would get us when it was time to board. Â No problem, I needed a shower anyway. Is there any greater feeling than showering in the lounge between long-haul flights?
Picture of the Thai Airways Airbus A330 (HS-TEF) involved in the incident. Image: Ken Fielding.
Late Sunday night, local time in Bangkok, Thailand, a Thai Airways Airbus A330-300 landed and experienced a failure of its front landing gear. Flight 679 departed from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) in China and landed at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at about 11:00pm. The aircraft was carrying 278 passengers and 14 crew members. The airline is reporting that eight passengers were â€œslightly injured.â€ We reached to Airbus and they explained that they currently do not have a statement, but are monitoring the situation. The Airbus A330-300 involved in the incident is registered HS-TEF and was delivered to Thai Airways in March of 1995.