Airline: Thai Airways International
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Departed: Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Arrived: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
Class: First Class
Seats: 1E & 1F
Length: About 6 hours
My wife and I recently embarked on a major bucket list trip to Thailand. Since this was a rare sans-toddler trip, we decided to go all-out and burn pretty much all the miles and points we could get our hands on to fly some premium cabins. We were fortunate enough to be able to scrape together just enough points (mostly thanks to being new homeowners) to fly to Bangkok in first class. Our final leg of the inbound journey was on a Thai Airways A380 from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK).
Thai Airways’ A380 Royal First Class cabin – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
We arrived at Tokyo Narita on ANA’s new Houston to Tokyo service in first class which, in and of itself, was an amazing experience. Our layover at Narita was about three hours long, during which time we availed ourselves of ANA’s First Class suite lounge.
BONUS: 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. We asked if she could look into the status of our checked bags, as we’d had a little bit of difficulty getting them checked all the way through to Bangkok. She left with our passports, boarding passes, and bag claim tickets. 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. 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. No problem, I needed a shower anyway. Is there any greater feeling than showering in the lounge between long-haul flights?
I’ll be the first to admit it. I was naive. I really didn’t think it could get worse than our low-cost carriers (LCCs) here in the U.S. I mean, I’d suffered Spirit’s kneecap-busting 28-inch seat pitch. I’d waited an hour-and-a-half to retrieve my bags from Frontier’s severely understaffed operations at DFW. I’d paid for my carry-on bags, seat assignments, drinks, and everything else imaginable. How bad could it be?
During our recent trip to Thailand, my wife and I wanted to travel from Krabi (KBV) in the south of Thailand to Chiang Mai (CNX) in the north of the country. Although I enjoy different flying experiences, I certainly did not go looking to fly AirAsia. There are several operators offering tickets for this route; however, AirAsia was the only airline flying this particular route nonstop. Wanting to make the most of our limited vacation time, we chose to take the shortest option. The tickets were ridiculously cheap by U.S. standards – about $35 each.
My first hint of trouble came when I tried to check-in online the morning of our flight. I wanted to make sure that my wife and I had seats together and pay for our checked bags. When I logged on, I was able to make these selections, albeit with some trouble. Getting assigned seats cost about 200 Bhat ($6) each.
Our checked bags would have been about 300 Bhat ($9) each. Not bad, and pretty much in line with what I expect from an LCC. But the problem came when I tried to pay. Try as I might, I could not get the system to accept payment without error. So, I tried – again and again – for nearly an hour before giving up. Oh well, I figured we’d get it resolved at the airport. Wishful thinking.