Thai Airways: A380 Royal First (Bangkok to Tokyo)


Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Check-In at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (Nov 2013)
The Thai Airways A380 serves five destinations from Bangkok: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Frankfurt and Paris.  I flew the Thai A380 in Royal First from Bangkok to Frankfurt in Jan 2013.  Early November, I needed a last-minute positioning flight from Bangkok to Tokyo.  As oneway economy class tickets were +€300, I turned to miles.  United Airlines MileagePlus had just announced their massive award chart devaluation for bookings after January 31, 2014 making this BKK-NRT trip a great opportunity to burn my remaining UA miles.  While there were no business class seats available on direct flights from Bangkok to Narita, the MileagePlus site was showing Thai Airways A380 First Class award availability for 40,000 miles.  Since I had only 22,259 miles left in my MileagePlus account, I had to figure out a way to buy the remaining miles at an acceptable price.  The ~22K miles in my United account were earned by

  • 18000 miles Club Carlson 100K points conversion (Aug ’12)
  • 1500 miles Hilton stay (Apr ’13)
  • 1250 miles UA IAD-EWR roundtrip (Apr ’13)
  • 1000 miles BCKSTGR bonus offer (Dec ’12)

Fortunately, United MileagePlus allows you to buy so called ‘Award Accelerator Miles’ which come with existing bookings.  Each booking in your UA MileagePlus account shows a custom offer to buy extra award miles.  Although the offer is linked to future flights, the Award Accelerator miles post instantly after you made the payment.  In my case I was offered 17,096 miles for $394 (=$0.023 per mile), not the best offer around (Award Accelerator miles are sold as low as $0.021 per mile), but I needed the miles urgently.  As usual in the airline industry, some additional taxes & fees were added to my award booking: $75 late booking fee, $22.50 Additional Taxes & Fees and $37.63 for the remaining 645 miles.  Total cost of my Thai Royal First flight: 22,259 miles and $529.13 (€399 on Amex).  The revenue fare for TG676 A380 BKK-NRT was €1179.  In the end, this wasn’t an amazing deal, but at least I didn’t have to fly economy class. 😉

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Cart at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (Nov 2013)
To make sure I could enjoy the famous Thai Royal First ground services to its fullest extent, I went early to the airport.  With my flight being scheduled at 8 am, that meant arriving really early in the morning, 5.30 am to be specific.  Fortunately, I was staying at the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport hotel which is connected to the airport via an underground passage.  After dropping off my luggage at the dedicated Thai Royal First check-in lounge, a Thai staff member guided me through security and immigration.  In Thai’s opinion, you’re not supposed to walk to the lounge as First Class passenger, so I was driven through the business class lounge on a throne an airport buggy.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Cart Ride to Royal First Lounge (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (Nov 2013)
The Thai Royal First Lounge opens at 5 am and closes at 1 am.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (Nov 2013)
Upon arrival at the Royal First lounge, I ordered my Royal Orchid Spa treatment. Passengers flying Thai Airways Royal First are entitled to a complimentary 60 minute full body massage treatment whereas Royal Silk (Business Class) passengers can enjoy a 30 minute Neck & Shoulder or Foot massage treatment.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge – Private Corner Seating (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge – Breakfast Menu (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge menu: Boiled Rice with Fish (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge: Boiled Rice with Fish (Nov 2013)
I ordered Boiled Rice with Fish and a Banana Smoothy for breakfast.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge: Beverages & Champagne menu (Nov 2013)
The Royal First Lounge serves G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut Champagne.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (Nov 2013)
At 6 am, it was time for my hour long Spa treatment.  I went for the Touch of Silk Full Body Oil Massage, which was excellent.  I only wished the treatment rooms would be more soundproof, as you can still hear the noise and announcements from the airport terminal. The Royal Orchid Spa opens at 06:00 am and closes at 11:30 pm.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa Bangkok – Massage Treatment Room (Nov 2013)
After the Spa treatment and some more drinks at the Royal First lounge, my Thai lounge host informed me the flight to Tokyo was ready for boarding.

Pic: Thai Airways A380-800 Royal First Class – Seat 3K (Nov 2013)
The Thai A380 aircraft features 12 seats in First Class, 60 seats in Business Class and 435 seats in Economy Class.  I had selected seat 3K which gave me a good overview of the cabin during the 6 hour flight.

Pic: Thai Airways A380-800 Royal First Class – Seat 3K (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways A380-800 Royal First Class – Seat 3K (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class A380 Seat Controls (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Rimowa Amenity Kit (Nov 2013)
Thai Royal First passengers received one of my favorite amenity kits, the Rimowa series. My collection is growing!

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class A380 Seats 3E and 3F (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class Cabin (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Dom Perignon Champagne (Nov 2013)
The Dom Perignon Champagne was present, but unfortunately there was no caviar service on the Bangkok – Tokyo Narita route.  I had pre-ordered my main course, Lobster Thermidor, from the extensive cuisine menu. The onboard MenuChampagneWine and Beverages list.

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Breakfast – Fresh Fruits (Nov 2013)

Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Branded Butter (Nov 2013)


Pic: Thai Airways Royal First Class Lobster Thermidor (Nov 2013)
The picture above doesn’t do justice to extremely delicious lobster, however the vegetables and duchess potato could have looked better.

Pic: Thai Airways TG676 Bangkok to Tokyo, approaching Narita (Nov 2013)
This was my second time flying the Thai Airways A380 in First Class.  While I’m not a great fan of the beige color pallet in the Royal First cabin, the seat was very comfortable with a huge IFE screen.  The First Class seats already started showing some wear and tear due to the light colors of the leather and fabrics used.  Let’s hope Thai manages to keep its new First cabins bright and shiny in the years to come!

8 Comments on “Thai Airways: A380 Royal First (Bangkok to Tokyo)

  1. Pingback: Updated on THAI First A380 - Page 35 - FlyerTalk Forums

  2. Quick question Bart : How long in advacne have you book your award ticket ? I want to catch the same flight in April but I see availability only in coach.

    • Romuald, I only booked the tickets a few days in advance. Tools like ExpertFlyer.com let you check how many seats are still for sale. Depending on that figure, you can ‘guess’ if they will release award seats closer to departure or not. Generally, Thai Airways is releasing quite a number of award seats for each flight.

  3. Pingback: T-68: Luggage for an Around the World Trip | Adventures in Traveling

  4. Pingback: Thai Airways A380: Royal Silk Business Class | bart.la

  5. Pingback: Air Berlin & Etihad Business Class: Jakarta via Abu Dhabi | bart.la

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