Heck yeah! Thai Airways A350-900 business class totally worth splurging for.

Heck yeah! Thai Airways A350-900 business class totally worth splurging for.

Trying to decide whether or not if paying the premium for Thai Airways A350-900 business class was killing me. On one hand (if the rumors were true), the food would be excellent. The cabin crew would be happy, attentive, and extremely helpful. 

On the other hand, have you priced Thai business class recently? It’s not cheap. It’s matter fact, I’d even go as far as to call it “spendy” (which is what I usually label anything I really want, but really can’t afford).

Long story short, it was one of the best splurges of my life.

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

My full review of Thai Airways A350-900 business class from Bangkok to Singapore

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. All I’m going to say is that Bangkok airport security is extremely efficient.

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.

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.

The boarding process

Boarding for business class passengers began right on time. I was still in shock from the fact that I actually made this connection, and if anything, that just made the process feel more exciting then it actually was..

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!
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…

Seat overview

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 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.

Departing Bangkok

That “One Night in Bangkok” song from the 80s was playing (loudly) in my head as we rolled out for departure. Anyway, because you’re reading this, you already know that we departed on time and without any issues. A hard man wasn’t made humble somewhere in a shadowy back alley on the streets of Bangkok this night.

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!

The food (and cabin service)

Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore airplane food (I started the day in Sydney), 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 business class meal service
Looking at this pic makes me think that I could take my airline reviews  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 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 earlier in the day, which made this delicate white boy quite pleased. 

In-flight entertainment

Although this was much too short of a flight to fully test out the video entertainment system, I can assure you that it would be an excellent companion on a long haul flight. Most of the movies and TV shows were Asian, with a smattering of Hollywood titles mixed in. Most importantly, the screen was large and vibrant, and scrolling through the menu items (either with the remote control or touchscreen) what is fast and snappy.

Thai Airways A350 tail camera
My entertainment of choice for the majority of this flight. Much better than my admission of watching “Baywatch” in Philippine Airlines 777-300ER business class!
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
Screw the videos. This is my kind of in-flight entertainment.

The descent and arrival into Singapore

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.
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!

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!

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