I bought my ticket the day before travel and was quite disappointed to see that business class had sold out. With no formal reviews online of Biman Bangladesh, I had no idea what to expect and braced myself for a wild ride. While perhaps not as entertaining for trip report purposes, Biman economy class was not only survivable, but actually fairly nice.
Arriving from Vientiane, Laos on Thai Airways, I proceeded to the transit counter at BKK to collect my boarding pass for the flight to Dhaka. Because my connection to London was on a separate ticket, I was unable to check-in all the way through.
I took my sweet time in the Oman Air Lounge and thought I was cutting it very close by arriving at the gate 20 minutes before departure (according to the boarding pass, boarding began 1hr5min prior to departure), but boarding had not even begun.
A friend/client of mine who is of Bangladeshi descent sent me a note that his friend, another Bangldeshsi American, would be traveling on my flight. I met up with him in the gate area and we chatted for a bit. Looking around, he joked I would be the only white guy on the flight and he was not kidding: I was. The flight appeared to be exclusively Bangladeshis. I did not see any Thai nationals either.
Finally, boarding began around scheduled departure time. It was a free-for-all.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines 89
Bankgok (BKK) – Dhaka (DAC)
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Depart: 04:35 PM
Arrive: 06:20 PM
Duration: 2hr, 45min
Seat: 22C (Economy Class)
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Economy Class Seat
The 737-800 featured Boeing’s Sky Interior and was very clean. The seats were upholstered in different shades of green and the red pillows made a nice accent. I was quite impressed by the cleanliness of the cabin.
I was not impressed by the tight seat pitch. It felt like 30″ and my knees were firmly against the setback in front of me, even when not reclined. Actual flight time only was only a tad over two hours so it was fine, but avoid the 737-800 on longer Biman flights. As a point of comparison, the 777-300 I flew from Dhaka to London the following day had only 9-across seating with more generous legroom in economy class. Thankfully, the flight to Dhaka was not full and the middle seat next to me remained opened.
We took off about 45 minutes late from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Economy Meal Service
FAs offered apple juice and peanuts after takeoff. There was not a full beverage service offered once during the flight. Biman is a dry airline.
A warm dinner was served next. The choice: mutton or chicken. I do like good mutton, but figured this might be greasy/fatty mutton so I just chose chicken. It came with a piece of cake and bottle of Coke, which I traded my seatmate for 7up (he didn’t like 7up).
The chicken was fairly spicy and it turned out to be a nice meal. I did not touch the cake. Coffee and tea were offered after the meal. Napkins appeared to be hand stamped:
Maybe it is just a cultural thing, but the FAs loudly stated, “Excuse me” every time they handed out a packet of peanuts, beverage, or meal. Not a gentle “excuse me” but more like they had just bumped you or like you had just made a social faux pas. It was so annoying.
Another annoying thing: my seatmate ate with his mouth wide open. Oh my goodness, he sounded like a dog chewing on a bone. I think I suffer from Misophonia, so perhaps it was just me, but it drove me crazy. How about you?
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Economy IFE
I was pleasantly surprised to see a late-model IFE seatback system. Although the on-demand programming was quite limited, there was still a nice selection of western movies, TV shows, music, and games.
An interactive map charted our progress toward Dhaka.
Bring your own headphones, because the complimentary ones are about as cheap as you can get:
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Economy Lavatories
I used the lavatory toward the end of the flight and it found it fairly clean. A few splashes of water…or something…on the floor, but nothing horrible. No paper towels, though: just tissues.
For a ~2hr flight, I was happy to enjoy a hot meal and good IFE. While legroom on the 737-800 is tight, it is bearable. My ticket was $187 and I booked it via Kayak. Business class, had it not been sold out, priced at $310. Is the $123 upgrade worth it? I’d say so — the business class seats were like domestic first class seats but also include a special transport shuttle on the ground in Dhaka.
Next up: my transit in Dhaka.