Back in 2016, when the rest of my family were on holiday in Hong Kong (where I refused to go as I needed to revise for my January exams), my mother said I needed to take some rest by taking some time off as I was working too hard. So I decided to book a last minute flight with Thai Airways to join them there. However, there were no seats left anywhere except for First Class because it was the Christmas Holidays, and so I had no choice – and that’s how this trip happened.

On-Ground Experience

When I got off my car at Bangkok Airport, there was a porter who came to take care of my luggage. We proceeded to walk to the check-in counter which looked like the ones you see in hotels. After that, I met a lady who escorted me to the fast track, which included security and immigration checks. I spent less than five minutes there which is considered unbelievably quick.

Then I visited the Royal Orchid Spa, available exclusively to First and Business Class passengers, where I got a complimentary back massage for one hour. After I got refreshed at the Spa, I headed to the First Class lounge. There I found a dining area, where I sat down and ordered from the a-la-carte menu, just like in restaurants (except that it was free here). Later I went to the bar, which had a wide selection of drinks, and ordered my favourite “fruit punch”. The lounge was certainly an excellent place to relax, and the only thing I didn’t like was the lack of international newspapers, such as Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.

On Board Experience

Before boarding my plane, I met another member of the airline’s staff who escorted me to the gate and helped me to carry my hand luggage. I then found my way to my seat, located on the upper deck. It was a typical modern first class seat, equipped with a large entertainment screen: you can find this kind of design on most inter-continental airlines. A glass of Dom-Pérignon champagne was served prior to take off, and after the flight had departed, I went to check out the lavatory – it was much larger than the ones in Economy or Business Class. There was also a built-in powder table for ladies located inside.

Before the breakfast service commenced, I had received a menu with about four choices of main course. However, it was also possible to have pre-booked the meal before but it was too late for me. My breakfast consisted of three parts: assorted fruit, cereal, and “lobster rice porridge” which I chose for the main, and unfortunately it tasted awful. After the meal service had finished, I reclined my seat to the fully-flat position and took about an hour-long nap. It was a comfortable journey, partly because the weather on the way to Hong Kong was very nice. We arrived to our destination slightly earlier than expected. Again, with the advantages of the First Class, it only took me about 15 minutes to get from the plane door to the taxi.

So overall, was it worth flying First Class with Thai Airways for under three hours? I would say no, especially if you’re not using any mileage redemption to reduce the high cost (it cost me around THB 36700 or £860 for an online-discounted return ticket between Bangkok and Hong Kong). The meal quality was the major drawback, and the airline needs to put more effort in this matter. On the other hand, their ground service was remarkable and is probably what attracts most flyers.