Thai Airways A350-900 business class review Bangkok to Singapore

01. QANTAS 787-9 premium economy San Francisco to Melbourne
02. QANTAS 737-800 first class Melbourne to Sydney
03. Air New Zealand lounge Sydney
04. Thai Airways 747-400 business class (upper deck) Sydney to Bangkok
05. Thai Airways A350-900 business class Bangkok to Singapore
06. Vietnam Airlines A321 business class Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City
07. Vietnam Airlines A350-900 business class Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul
08. Delta Air Lines A350-900 premium economy Seoul to Detroit

Being the pessimist that I am, I figured that I only had about a 30% chance of writing this specific Thai Airways business class review. You see, I only had a one hour connection in Bangkok after my flight from Sydney – which I purposely (foolishly?) agreed to when I booked this itinerary. I wanted a ride on that A350 like you wouldn’t believe, so I was willing to take the kinds of chances that most sane travelers would refuse.

But what’s the worst that could’ve happened if things didn’t go as planned? I suppose that missing this flight and having to spend an evening in Bangkok wouldn’t have been all that bad actually. I love Thailand!

However, that “One Night in Bangkok” song from the 80s kept ringing in my head as I rolled the dice on this itinerary and made the purchase. I figured that no matter how this played out, it was sure to be interesting. That’s exactly the kind of spirit that every traveler needs to have, and I forged ahead with the kind of blind courage my cat has when she reaches for things on my dinner plate.

Anyway, because you’re reading this, you already know that I made my connection and a hard man wasn’t made humble somewhere in a shadowy back alley on the streets of Bangkok.

TG409
Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) – Singapore (SIN)
Sunday, February 3, 2019
Aircraft: A350-941
Registration: HS-THD
Duration: 2 hours 2 minutes
Seat: 17A (business class)

Thai Airways A350-900 side view illustration

Thai Airways A350-900 side view illustration by norebbo.com. High resolution PSD / JPG / PNG versions of this illustration are available if you need them. Lemme know!

Thai Airways A350-900 seat map

Seat map of this Thai Airways A350-900 (courtesy of seatguru.com) showing my seat (17A) for this flight to SIN.

BKK-SIN route map

Our route from Bangkok to Singapore this evening (complete with some swirly bits at the end).

If you’re the type of person to skip over my videos thinking that it’s just the same rehashed stuff here on the blog, you should know that I approach these two forms of content differently. The videos are fast moving summaries of my flight experiences, while the blog posts dig a bit deeper and provide a place for me to expand on the portions I think are important. They are intended to augment each other!

Music, as always, is courtesy of my pals over at Epidemic Sound. It’s the best source for YouTube music by far!

Suvarnabhumi airport is the perfect backdrop to begin a Thai Airways business class review

As I was Googling how to spell “Suvarnabhumi” just now, I noticed a clip of text proclaiming it as the 9th busiest airport in the world. And I totally believe it too considering how long I had to walk to my gate after clearing security.

Bangkok Airport interior

Unmistakably BKK. It’s also 10,000 degrees in here, and a few more seconds under this glass ceiling would have fried this pale white boy to a crisp (and the trip report would have abruptly ended here).

This isn’t the first time I’ve been to BKK, so it’s massive size and stunning architecture didn’t shock me as it did the first time I was here (back in 2008). This is easily one of the most beautiful airports in all the world, and it was unfortunate that I didn’t have time to enjoy it on this layover.

Bangkok Airport terminal design

This is a beautiful airport for sure, but the heat (and organic shape of the structure) had me thinking I walked right into the belly of a T-Rex without even noticing. Thankfully it was a stupid thought and it wasn’t the case at all, but – at least I learned what’s it’s like to get eaten by a dinosaur. See? Travel *is* educational!

Making the experience somewhat less enjoyable this time was the fact that the air conditioning wasn’t working as it should have been. It was as hot and miserable inside just as it was out on the tarmac.

sanspotter patreon shoutout

And if tens of thousands of sweaty people rushing around in close proximity (brushing sweaty arms up against one another) sounds hellish, I’m here to confirm it. Nothing will make you cringe faster than wiping the sweat of a complete stranger off your arm as you run to your gate.

This is a beautiful and stunningly designed airport terminal though, so at least I had something nice to look at as I was dealing with mopping up random stranger sweat off my arm.

Gate F1A Bangkok Airport

Gate F1A. I can’t believe I actually made a 1 hour international connection! I guess it’s a good thing I was locked inside a secure airport terminal, because I had enough courage and confidence running through my veins at this moment that would have surely gotten me into trouble out on the streets of Bangkok.

SANspotter selfie BKK Airport

Looking around to see if anyone was going to present me with an award for “most epic connection ever made at BKK” or something. Unfortunately, nothing happened.

Boarding process BKK airport

Should I be concerned that they are boarding the flight now and there isn’t even an airplane parked at the gate?

Bangkok Airport remote gate bus

Seeing these busses meant one thing (other than them refusing to let me drive): boarding the airplane via stairs!

The best Thai Airways business class experience is right here on the A350

As much fun as I had in Thai Airways 747-400 business class between Sydney and Bangkok, the hard truth is that it’s a fairly lousy business class product. Of course the cabin crew was nothing short of fantastic (and the food was pretty good too), but the recliner seats are old and simply not competitive anymore. This is not the case with the A350.

Thai Airways A350

What better way to board my first ever A350 than from the outside via stairs? My only objective now was to make it to those stairs before melting into a useless blob of mush out here on the tarmac (Terminator style).

Big A350 Rolls Royce engine

“It’s so big! (that’s what she said)” – Michael Scott

Thai Airways A350 boarding door

I made it without melting! Let the Thai Airways business class festivities begin…

I like to think of the A350 as a fresh new beginning for Thai Airways. It’s as modern and technically advanced as airliners get, and it’s the perfect platform to transition back into the group of world class airlines they used to be a part of. It’s been a rough few years for Thai Airways (which included failing yet another FAA safety audit and losing the right to fly to the US) and it’s been kind of sad to see them stumble. Thankfully, the new A350 business class product is a major step in the right direction.

Thai Airways A350 business class

Thai Airways A350 business class – I’m thinking that even that guy in the blue agrees with me that this better than the 747 configuration!

Thai Airways business class is just about perfect on the A350. The layout is an industry standard 1-2-1, draped in beautiful purple fabrics and wood accents. Combine this with the legendary Thai onboard service, and it’s a product I’d be more than happy to fly long haul.

Thai Airways A350 business class seats

Every different seat type is in this shot: joined center seats, separated center seats, window seats against the window, and window seats against the aisle. Which one would you choose?

Thai Airways A350 business class cabin

Looking towards the front of the cabin. It’s the direction to look if you’re not a fan of the color purple I guess…

Thai Airways business class review

It’s a shame that we as a society are becoming more and more antisocial and are repulsed at the idea of having to look at complete strangers for more than a few seconds at a time. Or is it? Because I really like how private Thai Airways business class seats are, and if that makes me antisocial, then so be it.

Thai Airways business class leg room

Neanderthal types might find this a bit uncomfortable (the leg room I mean – not my poetic captions).

Thai Airways pre departure beverages

It would have been a SIN not to go with the purple pre-departure beverage. Pun intended (but probably not as clever as I would have hoped).

Thai airways safety

Thinking back on it, I should have sent this safety card (and a letter of recommendation) to the FAA. They aren’t very fond of Thai Airways, but I sure am.

SANspotter selfie Thai Airways business class

I even had enough time to pose for a YouTube video thumbnail before pushing off the gate. I’m as photogenic as a cinder block, but this’ll do.

Thai airways departure BKK

A brief summary of the departure sequence. You can watch entire thing in the video, and I do recommend wearing headphones. A350s sound amazing!

Thai Airways business class food is amazing – even on short haul flights

Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore airplane food today, I was faced with the conundrum of eating (or not) on this relatively short flight down to Singapore. Once we were in the air and screaming towards cruising altitude, the flight attendants kicked of the service with drinks and little bags of nuts.

Thai Airways business class snack

I should probably be complaining how the nuts weren’t served in a ramekin, but somebody tried that once and it didn’t go so well.

The dinner service followed very quickly after, though it’s important to mention that even though we had a choice (a Thai or Western option), there were no menus distributed. A flight attendant simply appeared at my seat, asked “whaddya want?” (in the sweetest Thai way possible), and then scurried off to the galley to retrieve it.

Thai Airways business class dinner

The main course. Some sort of salmon curry thing, which was quite good. Though I had to have a gentleman-to-gentleman conversation with my stomach right before digging in, because I already forced curry on him once today (on the SYD-BKK segment). I’m sorry little buddy! It’ll be nothing but white rice and miso for the next two days I promise!

SANspotter selfie Thai Airways review

Notice the strategically placed glass of water ready to put out any curry-induced flames which could flare up at any moment.

Thai Airways A350 tail camera

My entertainment of choice for this meal service. Much better than my admission of watching “Baywatch” from YVR to JFK last fall on Philippine Airlines!

Thai Airways business class meal service

Looking at this pic makes me think that I could take my trip reports to the next (and a more mature) level by ordering champagne with my meals. Because…that dude looks cool as hell while I’m over here dinking around like a goofball with my glass of water.

Overall I’d give this Thai business class meal service 3.5 out of 5 stars. It did seem a bit rushed and robotic, which is entirely understandable considering how short of a flight this was, but the food was delicious. It was also much milder than the super-spicy fare I had on the SYD-BKK leg, which made this white boy quite pleased. I desperately need to work on my tolerance for food with a little heat.

Is Thai Airways business class something I can confidently recommend?

The fact that Thai Airways has recently failed yet another FAA safety audit means that I’ve been getting a lot of comments from people saying they’d never set foot on this airline until they get thier act together. But having experienced two magnificent Thai Airways flights back to back on the same day, I’m not one of those people.

Sure, they might have a few problems and some inconsistencies that they need to figure out. But it’s not like they’re crashing airplanes and killing people, so until that starts happening I will continue to be a huge Thai Airways advocate. Especially for their business class product!

Thai Airways business class entertainment

Need something to take your mind off the fact that you’re flying on an airline that failed the FAA saftey audit *multiple* times? The in-flight entertainment here on Thai Airways is top-notch.

Thai Airways fails FAA saftey audit

Or you could look out the window and wait for the engines to fall off (which the FAA probably thinks might happen I guess). I’m not a saftey expert or anything, but everything I’ve seen from Thai Airways both in the air and on the ground during this trip leads me to believe they take safety very seriously. I didn’t see one mechanic making repairs with super glue and rubber bands.

At the end of my 747 experience from Sydney to Bangkok earlier in the day, I thought that with the right hard product (seats), Thai Airways has the potential to be one the best overall business class products anywhere in the world. The seats on that old 747 weren’t all that great, but the seats on these new A350’s are incredibly good. And combined with that amazing Thai Airways hospitality, it makes for one heck of a good business class experience.

sanspotter cleared for takeoff book

I’d confidently recommend Thai Airways A350 business class to anyone. Even those who are considering JAL or Asiana as well (which are notoriously and consistently fantastic). Great seats, Great food, and amazing crews make this an easy recommendation.

Wrapping it all up

The descent and landing into Singapore was fantastically stunning. Mother Nature really put on a show with an unforgettable hot and humid sunset – which I suppose happens fairly regularly in this part of the world. Remind me again why I don’t live here?

Thai Airways A350 wing and engine

In a holding pattern doing loopty-loops somewhere over the steamy shores of Malaysia. Any reason to extend this Thai Airways business class experience is a good one for me! Except (of course) for a scenario where an engine falls off and we have to divert to an airport out in the middle of nowhere where we can crash land without ****ing up all air traffic in the region. I’ve got a colorful imagination, don’t I?

Approach into Singapore

Simply no words for the scenery on this approach into Singapore. Which is fine I guess because I may have gone overboard with that last caption.

Singapore Airport final approach

Is this just magical or what? If I were ever to become a boat captain, this is the spot I would have “engine failures” in all the time. “Drop the anchor boys! It’s gonna be a long night…”

Landing in Singapore

Touchdoowwn!! Just so you know, this is a totally appropriate caption considering the Super Bowl was the next day back home in the US. I may now little about Football, but I do know how to use it to my advantage when blogging.

I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to try Thai Airways business class again, but even if they aren’t on very good terms with the FAA right now I’d still have no problem booking them for any future trip.

Finally. I’d like to think that they are working hard to pass the next FAA safety audit (whenever that may be). Once that happens, will likely be seeing them in the US once again where they deservedly belong. After all, next time I get the “One Night in Bangkok” song stuck in my head and I have to return to Thailand to undo it, wouldn’t it be fun to fly there on the national airline? I sure as heck think so.

Thai Airways business class full review

Silver-haired lady at 2 o’clock with a confirmed SANspotter sighting. Nobody else seems to care (as usual).

Thai Airways flight attendants

All silliness aside, this was yet another amazing Thai Airways experience that I can’t say enough good things about. I’m a huge fan of what they do, and I very much look forward to my next flight with them. Thank you Thai Airways!