My first experience onboard a Thai Airways A350 was a great one. The difference between Thai’s old and new business class product is like night and day. Throw in good service and a decent meal and you have a winning combination.
I traveled to Guangzhou specifically to experience the A350-900, Thai’s latest addition to its “eclectic” fleet. Thai is known for last-minute aircraft swaps so I was quite pleased to arrive at the gate and see that an A350 would indeed be operating my flight.
It was monsoon season and weather conditions were poor in Bangkok, slightly delaying boarding. But right around our scheduled departure time boarding finally commenced.
Thai Airways 668
Bangkok (BKK) – Guangzhou (CAN)
Friday, July 5
Depart: 10:40 AM
Arrive: 02:30 PM
Duration: 02hr, 50min
Distance: 1,060 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 15K (Business Class)
I was first onboard where I was once again met with several bows and a warm welcome onboard.
Thai Airways A350 Business Class Seating
The cabin is purple…very purple. While not the color I would decorate my house, it fit the Thai Airways theme quite well.
The Thai Airways A350 cabin is arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 seating in a single cabin of 32 seats. Choose odd-numbered seats (A or K) for true windows and if you’re traveling with a loved one, consider even-numbered rows for the so-called “honeymoon seats”.
I’ll note that although the aircraft is new, it appeared the fabric on the footrest was already showing signs of distress.
But the seat is comfortable and very easy to use — a universal power port and pair of USB ports are within easy reach. There’s also several buttons to adjust the position of the seat, a handy reading light, literature rack, a coat hook, and a “passenger service unit” to control the IFE or summon a flight attendant.
After my very short nap on the flight from Tokyo, I was ready to crash and stayed up only long enough to eat lunch. I immediately fell asleep in lie-flat mode, but it wasn’t only because I was exhausted. The faux-down comforter/blanket is soft and warm without being too hot. I slept for 90 minutes, which really made a difference in what would turn out to be a very long day.
Thai Airways A350 Business Class Service
It sounds almost trite, but service was outstanding…in fact, I’d label it close to flawless. Not only was the crew friendly and polite, but so professional. When I took my seat, a flight attendant immediately approached me and said,
Mr. Klint, welcome onboard. We’re pleased to have you with us today. Here’s a menu for today’s short flight to Guangzhou but your pre-ordered salmon was loaded. May I offer you a drink before takeoff?
What a beautiful way to start the flight. The cabin was less than half full so there was a nice ratio of flight attendants to passengers (about four to one), but I surmise the service would have still been very attentive even with a full cabin. Note the flower with the pre-departure beverage below:
I just really appreciate attention to detail. For example, while I was eating a flight attendant noticed I had finished my garlic bread.
More garlic bread Mr. Klint? I’ve got some warm pieces in the oven.
On most carriers, even in first, I have to flag down a flight attendant if I want more bread. I really appreciated the professional, unobtrusive, and anticipatory service on this flight.
Thai Airways A350 Business Class Dining
A full lunch was served promptly after takeoff. I figured (correctly) I would have plenty of red meat on ANA and Thai in first class, so I ordered salmon for this flight. I love tarragon and figured this would be a wise choice. It was.
It was served with carrots, green beans, and linguini with squid ink. On the side was bread, seared Enoki and Eryngii mushroom, fresh fruit, and coconut cream cake.
You can read the regular food and drink menu below:
I’ll note that both the Thai and western options on the regular menu both sounded tasty.
Peanuts and a choice of beverage were served before lunch and a bottles of water were distributed after.
Thai Airways A350 Business Class Wi-Fi + IFE
As icing on the cake, the A350 has wi-fi internet available onboard…though it will cost you. In fact, I could not justify $40 for a 2.5 hour flight and just skipped it. But it is always nice to have.
The built-in IFE unit resembles the same system Thai has on all its aircraft, but was more responsive. A mix of TV shows, movies, games, and music was available along with noise cancelling headphones.
But my favorite part, as always on the A350, is the HD tail camera:
Thai’s magazine also served as a bit of IFE, with special stories and photos chronicling the new King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Thai Airways A350 Business Class Lavatory
I stopped by the lavatory after lunch and was impressed at the flowers and real towels. What a great way to spruce up an otherwise boring space. The lavatory was also very clean and I noticed FAs would go in after passengers for a few seconds (I don’t envy that part of the job…)
Poor weather caused us to enter a holding pattern over Guangzhou. I did not mind the extra flight. We landed and pulled up right next to the China Southern A380 that would
soon eventually take me to Beijing.
My two prior flights in Thai business class were on a 747 and 777. Neither had lie-flat beds and the BKK-LHR flight was honestly one of the worst longhaul business class flights I have ever experienced. This was a very different business class experience. A lie-flat seat coupled with warm hospitality and a tasty meal made this one of my best business class flights of the year.
Have you flown the Thai Airways A350-900? Did you like it?