Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thai Airways TG492 Auckland to Bangkok - Business Class

After a pleasant day and a half wandering around Auckland it was time to head for the airport for my flight to Bangkok. Today I would be taking the daily Boeing 777-200ER Thai Airways non stop flight from Auckland.

My transport to the airport was by the airport shuttle bus, it was just a 5 minute walk to the nearest pickup point on the main street in Auckland. The cost is NZD16. Quite reasonable really and a lot cheaper than a taxi!

After dropping off a few passengers at the domestic terminal we arrived at International departures and I made my way to the Thai Airways check-in desks. There was no queue in the business class line and I was quickly issued my boarding pass by the Air New Zealand staff member manning the desk. I had been assigned an aisle but asked for a window seat and I was offered 16K, the last remaining window. I accepted it despite knowing there is one window missing from this row and you have to lean forward to see out.

With check-in complete, I headed upstairs to departures and then on to the Air New Zealand Koru Club lounge for a bit of lunch. The lounge has an 'adults only' area where children are not welcome which is nice. I set up with my lunch and a glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc in that area. Much to my disgust, as I was setlling down, a baby in the adults area started crying!! Some people have no respect for others whatsoever... I don't mind crying babies in general, but this was supposed to be an area for adults and not families. The staff didn't seem to care in the least. At least the food on offer was good!





Parked at Gate 9 was HS-TJT, a 4 year old Boeing 777-200ER, one of six of this model in the Thai Airways fleet. This particular aircraft has been named 'Patham Wan'.

The great thing about the -200 series B777's with Thai is the 2x2x2 configuration in business class compared to 2x3x2 on the Boeing 777-300. In economy class these 6 aircraft all have personal televisions with Audio Video on Demand in every seat.

HS-TJT awaiting her passengers for the journey home to Bangkok

Boarding was called for Business passengers only and the gate agents strictly enforced this with many economy passengers who had surged forward being turned back and told to wait. I made my way through the hoards of economy passengers and soon settled in 16K. I was immediately offered a choice of newspapers and decided to catch up on Thai news with a copy of 'The Nation'. Pillows, blankets and amenity kits were placed on each seat.

Seat 16K - missing one window

In the seat pocket a pair of noise cancelling headphones was available along with the usual duty free catalogue and airline magazine. The inflight entertainment system showed a flying time of 11 hours 31 minutes today. The flight departs mid afternoon but follows the sun so most of the flight is in daylight hours.

Within a few minutes of being seated a welcome drink was on offer, I took the champagne as usual. Whilst the rest of the passengers boarded I did some plane spotting and noticed an Air Tahiti Nui A340-300 beside us, bound for Papeete.


The doors were soon closed and I was pleased the seat beside me was vacant, allowing me a little more room. It also gives me 2 inflight entertainment screens so I can watch the flight progress on one screen, with a movie on the other.

Taxi out - nose camera view on the right hand screen

It was a very cloudy day in Auckland and it took a few minutes of climbing to get through the solid cloud layer, but we soon emerged above into the bright blue sky.

Above the clouds

The amenity kit on offer is basic but contains everything you need, the contents can be seen below:

Amenity Kit

Once we were through the clouds the seatbelt sign was switched off and the service commenced with a round of drinks and some veggie chippies.

The menu below shows that there is three servings on this flight. The first meal is the most significant of them. The order of service varied from the menu provided with the 'Second Serving' sandwich being served last, before landing in Bangkok. The second main meal was served about 8  hours into the flight.

Did anybody proof read this menu - what is a 'Freeting Season'?

The lavatory amenities on offer are 'Salvatore Ferragamo' branded. The Thanh and Bulgari amenities they had previously are no longer featured.




















The New Zealand made 'veggie chippies' were really tasty. I kept drinking champagne which was Piper Heidsieck on this flight. After a round of drinks the food service commenced.


The food ex-Auckland was of a really good standard and I enjoyed the meal. I had the roasted lamb loin which was cooked very nicely. The service was good too, with regular top ups of my wine and offers of more bread.

After the main course the cheese and fruit plate was delivered along with a glass of port. By the time the ice cream was out I was absolutely stuffed. I declined the regular coffee and ordered a cappuccino which wasn't too bad considering it was made on an aircraft.




















With the first meal over it was time to close the blinds and allow people to sleep or enjoy movies. I settled back and had a nap. At some point the crew offered me a drink and some peanuts:


After about 8 hours it was time for.... another meal! This second meal is a smaller one but it's still pretty significant.

The entree and main are served on the one tray. There was scallops for an entree followed by a main of chicken and prawn noodles. It was really tasty! The chocolate tart dessert served afterwards with coffee was absolutely divine. One of the tastiest dessert's I've had in the sky. Two thumbs up to Auckland catering!


We still had a few hours to go and I spent my time relaxing watching movies. I wasn't hungry but had wanted to try out some instant noodles which are available as a snack any time during the flight. I pressed the call bell and ordered them, 5 minutes later a tray was delivered with my hot noodles in a cup. Basic but very tasty!

Bed in reclined mode

Instant Noodles snack

With an hour or so to go before touchdown the crew came around and asked all passengers if they would like a sandwich. There was two choices on offer, I had a chicken sandwich and cup of coffee. The lights remained off during this service and those sleeping were not disturbed. The sandwich was a little soggy unfortunately, and not particularly tasty.
With night fallen outside this flight was drawing to an end. The captain announced our upcoming descent and arrival weather information. Despite flying for 11 hours I still felt quite fresh and had enjoyed this flight very much. What a great way to get from New Zealand to Thailand!

The crew performed really well on this flight. They were polite and courteous at all times. The food was of a good standard and I certainly did not ever go hungry! We landed on schedule but unfortunately we parked at a domestic gate which meant a bus ride to the international arrivals area. I am never a fan of this, but being in business class meant I was in the first bus to leave which was a slight consolation. Overall though, a great experience on TG492!

Parking at the  domestic concourse





2 comments:

  1. Mmmm... food looks good! Business looks nice and roomy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. the food on this flight was very nice indeed!

    ReplyDelete