Review: Weekend with the Mosquitoes – TG 609 Hong Kong to Phuket A330-300 Business Class

Introduction
The Beas River Chalet Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways 609 A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Phuket
The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Phuket
Thai Airways 608 A330-300 Business Class Phuket to Hong Kong


THAI Flight 609
Friday, February 20th, 2015
Origin: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 40 Dep: 10:25 (10:50)
Destination: Phuket (HKT) Gate: 10 Arr: 12:55
 (13:05)
Duration: 3 hr 30 min (3 hr 15 min)
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A330-300
Seat: 15A (Business Class)

THAI has a total of 36 business class seats. The seats are pretty standard angled flat arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seatmap

THAI slightly revamped their long haul product so it has a higher seatback shell and glossier finishes, which were featured on my flight. Keep in mind that these flights are also used for flights as long as from Bangkok to Madrid (though they’re revamping for Solstys style business class seats, which are much better for long flights), so while I don’t think I could stand the seat for that long, it’s definitely more than enough for a short three hour flight.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin

We settled in our seats, 15A and 15B, while my mom and my sister settled in the row behind. The colours aren’t the most aesthetically appealing, especially with the pinkish-red pillow and headrest, and it seems like the new cabins on their 777-300ERs also have these colour tones, so I’m not too impressed.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat 15A and 15B

To my left were the seat controls, which are fairly intuitive. The massage function works, though it’s not spectacular.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Controls

Legroom was way more than enough, and the seat was acceptably padded (though I’d have appreciated it be even softer).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Legroom

On our seat were a pillow and blanket. While the pillow was fine, the blanket was fleecy, thick and more than enough for a short flight (though I hope they have more substantial blankets for long hauls as well).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Pillow

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Blanket

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Blanket

I sat down, and acquainted with the seat. THAI’s business class seats on their Airbus A330 are twenty inches wide, and feature a reading light, a pretty huge flatscreen TV, a “handle” at the top of the seat and universal power ports. Unfortunately, the seat didn’t feature a USB plug, so I had to plug my phone in my computer to charge (stupidly I forgot to bring the power plug with my cable).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Reading Light

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Power Plug

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class TV playing airshow

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Remote

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View from Seat 15A

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View from Seat 15A

There are flimsy partitions between the seats, but they do the job pretty well.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Partition

There was a button that got stuck in once I pressed on it, but I’m not sure what it was for.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Seat Button

As the door closed the friendly purser came over and offered us orange juice or champagne. Of course, as an early teenager, I wouldn’t want to get drunk at all, much less on the way to Phuket.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Welcome Drink

We were also offered hot towels.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Hot Towel

I admired the view out of the window as the crew got everyone ready. Ahhh…

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View Out of Window HKG

I noticed that there was a little wear and tear on the seat, which I guess the airline didn’t bother fixing.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Wear and Tear

At 10:30 we pushed back, and there was some interesting traffic along the way, including a Lion Air 737-800 heading to Jakarta.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of (creepy) Lion Air 737

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Cathay Pacific heavies

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Tarmac

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Cathay Pacific A340

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Cargo Terminal

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Taking Off

It’s always kind of nice to see Azerbaijani planes up here in Hong Kong, as we know that we’re connected to places that most people don’t know about (which is Hong Kong for most people in Azerbaijan and Baku for us).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Silkway Airlines Cargo 747

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Runway

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Runway

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Dragonair A330 (B-HLL)

Soon we took off at runway 07R, where we immediately took off. Views of the airport were stunning, but it wasn’t the best day in terms of weather so things quickly fogged up.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Runway 07R

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Takeoff

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Takeoff

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Takeoff

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Takeoff

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View upon Takeoff

After takeoff, I needed a bathroom visit, a movie and sleep, and prioritised accordingly. I asked my dad if he could wake me up during meal service, and decided to have a quick nap before then.

The bathroom featured Borghese amenities, including “Eau de toilette” (literal translation: water of the toilet).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bathroom Toiletries

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bathroom Toiletries

To get things straight, I’m not sure if THAI’s Airbus A330 business class is angle lie-flat. It seems like the seat is at an angle, but the cushion triangularly sticks out in the middle, which seems like a good idea so your buttock is upright, but creates even more kerfuffle when sleeping on your side. I slept fine (due to the fact that I had a lot of work to do the night before and barely got any sleep), but I’m now losing sleep over whether the stick-out thing should be there or not.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bed

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bed

Sure enough my dad woke me up during mealtime service, when the nuts were passed out.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Meal Nuts

I had a look at the menu. THAI serves Palmer & Co. Brut Réserve champagne on their flights, which retails for ~HK$378 (~US$48).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Champagne

Neither of the people travelling with me tried it, but it doesn’t look half bad (given that it’s six points below Krug Grande Cuvée Réserve and…wow, Duc de Paris isn’t even rated).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Menu

The salmon gravlax for starters wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t half bad. It was better than I expected.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Starter

I was served a miserable piece of bread with corn kernel skins in it (grits? wrong part).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Bread

I was also offered tea.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Tea

I ordered a coke to go with it. On Cathay Pacific, they pour it out of a party coke bottle into an icy glass, but on THAI, they give you the full-sized +150ml can for you to enjoy as well as an ice glass, which I preferred.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Coke

For my main course I had beef stew. Let me get this straight, it wasn’t perfect – some pieces of beef were cooked to a perfect medium rare, others were to the point of flaking apart due to how overcooked it was. However, the flavours were there, and they exceeded my expectations by a mile (I expected all the beef to be overcooked, but at least some made the perfect mark).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Main Course

I skipped the cheese course as I wasn’t really looking for something strong on the flight, especially having eaten so much in the morning. My dad had it though and gave it a thumbs up.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cheese Course

Dessert was another highlight (though the presentation wasn’t the best, as a dollop of cream fell off the strawberry mousse onto the chocolate crusted mango tart).

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Dessert

Overall the meal was great, much better than I expected, and apart from the corn bread and a few pieces of beef it was pretty much perfect. The service was also fine, as the crew were efficient and smiled, though they weren’t especially warm.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin upon meal service

I had a look at the economy class cabin after lunch, which looked packed, much like the business class cabin. The seats looked pretty comfortable and I loved the purple-red-yellow colour tones – some people love it, some people hate it, and I’m in the former category.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Economy Class

I noticed that the crew rest seats were also occupied, which I would be sitting in for the inbound. Asking the inbound purser, the curtains can be used, but not many passengers do touch it.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Crew Rest Seats

I worked for a few minutes after lunch. The table is substantially big, just to fit a 13″ MacBook Pro.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Table

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Table in comparison to my MacBook Pro, to scale

I resorted to watching Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which featured Steve Carrell and was pretty damn awesome.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class TV

I had the chance to check out the rest of the entertainment selection, which was pretty extensive.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Entertainment Selection

Shortly after I finished my movie the plane began its descent, and the pilot came on the PA and announced that we would be landing soon. Views upon descent were awesome, in which we went out into the glistening sea, did a 180˚ turn and landed at the airport runway.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Descent

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Descent

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Descent

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Descent

The dirt on the windows were a slight obstruction to the good views.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Window Dirt

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Descent

Before anyone bombs me from saying “glistening sea”…

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Descent

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Cabin upon Descent

We began our final approach as we turned back, and arrived Phuket International Airport roughly a quarter of an hour behind schedule, where we were welcomed to the city.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Final Approach

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Final Approach

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Final Approach

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Landing

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class Views upon Landing

Traffic at Phuket was also pretty interesting, with sightings of a Dragonair A321 and a Transaero 777.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Dragonair A321

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of Transaero 777

Also present was the aircraft that rolled down the runway at Hong Kong Airport on February 26th, 2015, another THAI Airbus A330, HS-TEP.

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THAI Airbus A330-300 Business Class View of HS-TEP THAI A330

We alighted the aircraft at gate 10, and after a hectic immigration experience it was off straight to The Bell Phuket, which I was excited about.

Bottom line on THAI’s Airbus A330 Business Class

THAI offers a substantial business class product to Phuket, and while it didn’t blow me away, I’d say that the hard product is better than Dragonair’s.

All in all it was awesome for the rate, and I’d gladly fly the airline on the same route again.

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