After a less than smooth transit experience in Frankfurt, I was excited to try out the new flagship of Thai’s fleet, the A380. Lots of purple as expected, but the Royal First Class seat is a great way to travel.
Thai Airways Royal First Class Suite on the Airbus A380
I’ve flown Thai First class before, but this is the first long haul flight in a cabin designed to their specifications. My past experiences were when Thai operated the Jet Airways wet leased 777-300ER. My only other flight on a A380 was also departing Frankfurt, but on Lufthansa. I think the Lufthansa First Class cabin design is a little be more aesthetically pleasing, and it seems more open, with no overhead bins. Still, the Thai First Class is quite nice, and the purple-ness more subtle than some older products they fly. Another review of Thai A380 First Class by James has some excellent photos of his experiences.
My view of the Royal First Class cabin from seat 2E
Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class
The Royal First Class cabin on the A380 is at the front of the upper deck. There are 12 seats situated 1-2-1 in the area between the upper front doors and the stairs to the main deck. Lufthansa uses this same area and only has 8 seats. On my flight, 11/12 seats were occupied. This was by far the most busy Thai First cabin I’ve had compared with past experiences. I sat in 2E, since I was originally traveling with my wife, but due to the nearly full cabin, I was unable to change seats to my preferred window.
One item of note, if you want to look out the windows, row 2 would be best, as there are 4 windows at this row, in rows 1 and 3, there are only 2 windows
A quick photo tour of my seat:
reading light at shoulder level
Intuitive seat controls
“Literature only” storage under the armrest.
A somewhat odd purple light. I took this to be a nightlight, although I’m not positive
Soon after settling into my seat, the famed Royal Orchid service began.
The hot towel-Thai Royal First style: Annually voted as most popular trip report photo
In flight service
Thai provides an excessive amount of hot towel services. I received one upon being seated, then another before and after each meal service, plus more. Its actually quite nice, but notable how often it occurs. Besides the hot towel, I was also offered a menu, some pajamas and a drink. I don’t have too many opportunities to drink Dom Pérignon, so sure I’d have some champagne which was served with mixed nuts.
case for Thai pajamas
The pajamas were presented in a zippered case. These were lightweight and comfortable, with a tan v-neck shirt and brown pants. I liked these better than the powder blue version I’ve received before. The case seems unnecessary, but it looks nicer than just a plastic wrap.
In addition, an amenity kit was provided. This was my first time receiving the famous Rimowa amenity kit. Thanks to James for the photo. The contents have not changed since his flight.
Thai Royal First Rimowa amenity kit contents
Once we were on our way, I changed into my pajamas, and returned to my seat to dig into the menu to figure out what I would have for the main meal service. Here are the menus:
Thai Airways International takes great pleasure in welcoming you on board. Our legendary Royal Orchid Service will make your journey as Smooth as Silk. Our dedicated chefs choose the finest ingredients and add Thai herbs to Thai dishes that are veing served as in-flight meals. Also, only the finest wines from the best vineyards have been selected to accompany your meal.
White Sturgeon Caviar with Garnitures
Rillette of Crab Meal
Chicken with Eggplant in Green Curry
Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice, Mixed Vegetables
Seared Pork Loin with Rosemary Jus
Fine Noodles, Mixed Vegetables
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce
Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish, Vegetables
Grilled Salmon Fillet with Hollandaise Sauce
Fettuccine with Green Pesto, Vegetables
Assorted Bread, Butter
Assorted Cheese, Fresh Fruits
Apricot Crumble Cake
Passion Fruit Sauce
Tea, Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino
Shrimp Wonton Soup
Mixed Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Yellow Noodle Soup with Chinese Roast Pork and Garnitures
Fruit Juice, Fruit Smoothie
Crepe filled with Ham, Mushroom and Cheese
Baby Asparagus, Grilled Plum Tomato
Grilled Tomato, Sauteed Mixed Mushroom
Soft Boiled Egg
Cold Cuts Platter
Bresaola Ham, Smoked Salmon, Cheese
Assorted Bread, Butter, Jam, Honey
Tea, Coffee, Chocolate Malt
THAI’s Cellar in the Sky
THAI’s carefully chosen wine list featuring superb champagnes, fine wines as well as excellent liquors from master winemaker’s. And, what could be more enticing to round off your THAI dining experience than a glass of Otard, the Extra Cognac 1795. Distinguished port, aged whiskies, sherries, excellent chilled beers and selections of other beverages are also here to tempt you, wherever you fly with THAI.
May the wines and other beverages included in this list give you as much pleasure to drink, as they have given us in selecting them.
Our champagne and wines have been carefully selected by experts.We are delighted to serve them to our premium passengers on a rotation basis. Please consult with cabin attendants for the availability, so that you can experience these special wines at different times when you fly with THAI.
La Demoiselle de Sigalas Bordeaux 2010
Montagny Premier Cru Chardonnay 2009
Château Larmande St. Emilion 2009
Savigny-Lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Peuillets Pinot Noir 2010
Givry Premier Cru Clos du Cellier Aux Moines Pinot Noir 2010
Please accept our apology if your preference is not available.
Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004
1795 Extra Cognac OTARD
Mekhong THAI Sabai, Mekhong Amethyst, Campari, Gin Martini, Screwdriver, Bloody Mary, Black Russian, Vodka Martini, Warre’s Warrior Port, Bristol Cream Sherry
Rum, Gin, Bourbon Whisky, Whisky, Vodka
Otard Extra, Kahlua, Drambuie, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
Heineken, Chang Beer, Singha Beer
Fruit Juices, Diet Soft Drinks, Perrier Mineral Water, A Range of Soft Drinks
Espresso, Cappuccino, Decaffeinated Coffee, Special Blended Coffee, Ceylon Tea, Oolong Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Japanese Green Tea, English Breakfast Tea, Peppermint Tea, Camomile Tea, Ovaltine SWISS
Time to eat
The meal began with canapes then the table was set prior to caviar served with vodka (and more Dom). I only eat caviar on airplanes, but Thai’s presentation wasn’t quite as pretty as others I’ve had.
Next was the first course, with a trio of starters.
There also was an individual bread basket along with butter.
I love thai food, so I chose that option for my main course, going with the Chicken and eggplant in green curry. The spicy flavors seem to hold up well on the plane. Portions were a little bit small, but since I’ve mostly been eating and sitting on planes for the last day, I am fine with this.
Next was some fruit and cheese. The fruit place was pretty small, but the fruit was good, especially the physalis fruit. I had to ask what this was. To me it looked like a tomatillo, but was sweet, almost like a strawberry. The cheeses weren’t anything too exciting to me, so I just had a little bit.
Finally the meal concluded with dessert, the crumble cake with passion fruit sauce.
In Flight Entertainment
During and after the meal service, I explored the in flight entertainment. The screen is large and clear, and there is a large selection of movies and shows. This is much improved compared with IFE systems on older planes in the fleet. Eventually I wanted to get some sleep, so I requested my bed to be made. While this was happening, I toured the cabin a bit. There is one very large lavatory in the front of the cabin. In addition to the main use of a lavatory, there is a bench and changing area, plus a vanity mirror. This was especially nice for changing into pajamas away from the toilet.
On the other side of the front of the upper deck, there is a lounge. I’m not really sure why Thai opted to arrange the cabin this way. I think another lavatory would be better for this space, as I didn’t see anyone utilizing it during the flight.
I returned to my seat, and it was converted into a bed, with a comfortable mattress pad and a duvet. There are no doors to enclose the suite, but in bed mode, with the partial enclosure it is private enough, and I slept very well.
After a short night and little sleep on my way from Toronto, I got pretty well rested on this flight. I missed the mid-flight snacks, but didn’t need any more food at this time.
Pre-arrival meal service
Soon after I was awake, the second meal was served. It started with some fruit (and more physalis), and I also opted for some muesli and yogurt. The fruit plate was pretty light on the fruit, but again it was very fresh.
breakfast selection on Thai First
Thai also provided another full bread basket with the breakfast service. The cinnamon crusted pastry in front was excellent.
The crepe I chose for my main was tasty as well.
Clearly not typical American portion sizes, but this was fine. More food to come in the lounge
The long flight from Frankfurt was nearly over. This was definitely a comfortable way to fly across Asia. I think the Thai A380 product is excellent, especially in First Class. Thai service can be hit or miss. This wasn’t as great as it can be, but my past excellent experiences have been in less full cabins. 11 passengers is a lot, and while service was good, not surprisingly, it wasn’t as good as when I was only one of a few in the cabin.
Our route from Frankfurt to Bangkok
Before landing, some orchids and a deck of cards were given to each First Class passenger
The excellent tail camera as we approached the gate in Bangkok
Arrival in Bangkok
Once off the plane, an agent in the jet bridge had my name on a card. I requested to go to the First Class Lounge, which is typically allowed after arriving in Thai First Class. A few hours in the Thai lounge and spa before my flight to Kuala Lumpur where I would finally be stopping for a quick visit and some sleep in a real bed before continuing to my destination.
Other posts in this series:
- Air Canada to Toronto and The Maple Leaf Lounge
- First Class all to myself: Lufthansa Inaugural Toronto to Munich
- Munich Lufthansa First Class lounge then transiting Frankfurt
- Thai Airways Royal First Class on the Airbus A380 Frankfurt to Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
- My time in Kuala Lumpur and at the Le Meridien
- Malaysia Airlines economy from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap
- The Le Meridien Angkor, my home base in Siem Reap
- A Picture Tour of the Angkor Wat Temples Around Siem Reap
- Best Western Amaranth for a short layover in Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge and Spa
- Thai Airways Royal First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges in Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
- Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport
- Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge in Seoul
- The only passenger in Asiana Airlines First Class Seoul to Frankfurt
- The best lounge in the world? Back at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal
- Lufthansa First Class with a seat and a bed Frankfurt to Toronto