Flying Business Class on Thai Airways is always a bit of a special treat, no matter how many times you fly, and if you paid for your ticket or got it with your long saved mileage. There is actually a pretty big difference of perks between domestic and international business class. (Click here to read about flying on Thai Airways First Class)
When flying with Thai airways, the first benefit you will appreciate almost every time is the Royal Orchid Check In counter, which rarely has more than 1 or 2 persons in front of you. On busy days it’s a real blessing.
The domestic Business Class lounge at Suvarnabhumi is quite nice often crowded but nice with a decent amount of food and drinks, no alcohol of course. Their Sala Pao and dim sum are actually really nice.
The International Business class waiting room is larger but not really better. Surprisingly compared to other airlines lounges, there are no wine or liquor served, only beers. If you fly from Suvarnabhumi airport, you can take advantage of the free Royal Orchid Spa. For business class you get a great 30 minutes foot massage or head and shoulder massage and after 23 years in Thailand the skills of the therapist at the Royal Orchid Spa is clearly better than most spas we experiences before.
Of course on an international flight you get a fast track luggage check and immigration with very few people in front of you and a staff maybe a little more smiling than at domestic X-ray check.
The queue as a business class is a little random, some days they call business passengers on a separate lane but most of the time it would be the same lane which makes you force your way through the entire queue of other passengers… which is a little embarrassing. There is no separate sitting area.
The crew always welcomes you on board very nicely, often with special attention and a few personal words. The difference with International is that you won’t really have tie for a movie us not headset, no champagne or any alcohol. There is also a small change to get the old business class seats that used to look like oversized economy class. These are still comfy enough for a short domestic flight but you feel a lot less special.
The crew on board is more experienced, always attentive and friendly, and often addresses to you by your first name (the polite way, using Khun in front, like Khun Willy). You’ll be served a glass of Champagne with a cold towel as soon as you are seated… best way to start a flight. Usually your seat is a compartment semi close cabin with a fully flat-bed, a large table and a large TV screen. On your seat is a branded pouch with some toilet accessories, and it doesn’t matter how many time you fly business, everyone automatically takes that pouch home!
Inside you’ll find accessories to make your sleep more comfortable during the flight: a dark mask, warm socks and ear plug to shield you from your potentially snoring neighbours (it does happen) The rest is to refresh you before arrival: toothbrush and toothpaste, moistening lipstick, comb and brush, Listerine. You also get slippers, a nice pillow and a comfy blanket. If you brought your pajamas you are so ready for a good night sleep better than in your own bed.
Once flying, the cabin crew will offer you a little more champagne or drinks of your choice and take your order for dinner or lunch, usually a A/B choice between fish and meat. Of course you can pre-order vegetarian meal or diet mean when of booking. Food is usually very good and well presented.
Thai Airways has a surprisingly large collection of recent movies, including a good 10 to 15 brand new films just released plus a hundred of well-known movies.
Your alcove offers you just enough privacy, comes with USB plugs and electric plug and little spaces and tablets to store your personal belongings, drinks and snacks. The flat-bed is a well designed seat that even includes a massage option (which i don’t personally like). In most flights the beds recline 100% but we had a few times beds that have just a big of angle and that’s not as good. Even if the angle is just a few degrees, your body keep sliding down.
Airbus A 380 comes with WiFi, 5 first Mb free then 4.99 $ for next 5 Mb, up to 35 $ for 100 Mb. It’s not much but who doesn’t want to send a selfie from up there with the line ‘Guess where I am messaging from?’ By the time you send the photo to prove it, your credit is already expired. One thing is sure, Wi-Fi is here to stay and it will get cheaper and cheaper.
Of course you must be aware that there are many possible business class layouts, including the oversize seats or the diagonal alcoves.
Most of the time Business class disembark first and in several countries get the fast track immigration, a much appreciated feature after a 12 hours flight.