Thai Airways, Royal Silk Class
THE FLIGHT: The flight was from London Heathrow's Terminal 2 to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and was operated by a B747-400.
THE CHECK-IN: Check-in a few hours before departure was speedy. One desk was open for passengers flying in Royal Silk, the airline's business class. There were self-check-in desks available, though they were not entirely intuitive to a first time flyer with this carrier. Flying from Heathrow Terminal 2, I had access to the United Club lounge. The lounge offered complimentary food and drink, and good high-speed wifi access, showers, beds and power points.
THE SEAT: The aircraft had two floors and I was sat downstairs where the section contained 14 seats in a 2-2 configuration. My seat was 22A and beside the emergency exit which offered a huge amount of legroom. Seat width was 20 inches, however I had no storage space beside me and all items had to be kept in the overhead locker. Business class seats are angled lie-flat seats with a 170-degree recline. An AC power socket, USB port and headphones socket was located beneath the right armrest. Over my right shoulder I also had a personal LED light and there was a small divider between seats. IFE featured over 100 films and there were a huge number of CDs available.
THE SERVICE: Service in Royal Silk was of a high quality. I was greeted with a glass of Champagne and a hot towel; food orders were taken quickly. A wide range of drinks were available and a four-course dinner was served shortly after take off. It included a tasty dish of grilled prawns with wheat noodles. Friendly and attentive cabin crew ensured my flight was comfortable and enjoyable.
THE VERDICT: The business class cabin was full but I was nevertheless impressed by the level of service. There was no wifi access onboard and the lack of a full 180-degree recline flatbed seat may put some off. That will change when Thai introduces its new A380s on the service in July. Overall, it was a comfortable flight, with terrific service, and enough onboard amenities to continue working on the go.
THE DETAILS: From July Thai will operate a daily service on the route using its new Airbus A380 aircraft. The flight duration is 11 hours and 15 minutes. Return economy fares are from £512 including all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges. See: thaiairways.com.
Reviewed by Benjamin Coren (2015)