What Is Thai Airways’ 747 Business Class Like?

Today I flew on Thai Airways’ 747 to get from Bangkok to Hong Kong. Thai Airways flies A330s, 747s, 777s and A380s to Hong Kong, and I was fortunate to finally get to try Thai Airways’ 747. I’m actually happy I got to try their 747 over their A380, since Thai Airways is in the process of retiring their 747s, so I can hitch a ride on their A380 anytime in the future. While Thai Airways features the same seat on the 747 as on the A330, there are lots of differences between the two business class cabins, a few of which I’ll point out here.

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

I personally enjoyed my flight on the Thai Airways Boeing 747, and wouldn’t mind flying it again. Here are a few pointers on my experience today on the two-hour flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong.

Thai Airways 747 Business Class Seat

Thai Airways features angled lie-flat business class seats on the 747 arranged in a 2-2 configuration. They’re spread out across the upper and lower deck, and the upper deck is configured similarly to most other 747s on the market. However, the lower deck business class configuration is unique to Thai Airways, as the right side of the lower deck is dedicated to a massive galley, so half of the business class passengers sitting on the lower deck sit adjacent to a wall.

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Lower Deck

On the plus side the aisles are wide, though looking at a silhouette of Bangkok isn’t quite the same as having a true window view, in my opinion.

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Lower Deck

That said, the seats on the left side are compelling options, due to how wide the aisle is – thankfully we didn’t have to face this dilemma while selecting seats since the seats were all occupied by the time we booked.

Instead we were sitting on the upper deck, which I normally prefer anyway, since it’s more private and features storage bins at every pair of seats.

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Upper Deck

The seats themselves are the same as those on the A330 – they’re comfortable for sitting and lounging, and even okay for sleeping, due to how the seat pan tilts up to prevent your butt from sliding down. Obviously I don’t prefer this to a fully flat bed, though I do see value in choosing this on a mid-haul such as to Sydney, where they can charge premium economy prices for a business class seat.

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Upper Deck

On the upper deck of the 747, storage bins are featured at the side of each window seat, which helps, as storage is otherwise limited. Unfortunately the rest of the experience is less impressive, though.

Thai Airways 747 Business Class Amenities

Thai Airways’ pillow, blanket and headphones are all above par for business class, though that’s about it for the amenities they provide. In this case they also provided orchids at each seat, which was a nice touch which added a bit of local flair, though there’s nothing you can really do with an orchid (compared to a Thai snack, a wooden elephant, etc…)

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Pillow

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Quilted Blanket

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Headphones

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Orchids

The TV screen was also high-definition, unlike the extremely low-quality TV featured on Thai’s A330 business class product. Unfortunately the entertainment system still doesn’t feature a wide range of entertainment.

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Entertainment System

Thai Airways 747 Business Class Food

In the case of Thai Airways’ business class product, a starch and a side is served right in front of you, while the condiment of the main course is served on the side. Thai Airways didn’t offer an appetiser on this flight, though they did offer a pretty flavourful Thai dish (with a terrible pickled turnip side).

Thai Airways Boeing 747 Business Class Meal

Thai Airways 747 Business Class Service

While this isn’t specific to the 747, I found service to be rather cold in Thai Airways business class in general. There were some genuinely friendly flight attendants on both flights, with the flight attendant serving our meals on this flight being no exception. However, everyone else just seemed rather cold and removed.

Overall I found the entire service procedure to be moderately efficient – I didn’t have to wait excruciatingly long for anything, though it wasn’t the most efficient meal service I’ve ever sat through.

Bottom Line: Thai Airways’ 747 Business Class

Does Thai Airways offer the best business class product on a two-hour flight? Probably not, since our other option was in Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class. Aside from Thai Airways (which only offers flat beds on their A380s), virtually every airline flying between Bangkok and Hong Kong features fully flat beds on a majority of their flights, most of which you can purchase for a similar, or even lower price. However, a majority of these are fifth-freedom routes, so comparing them to Thai’s regional product would be slightly unfair.

I’ve talked about how well Thai Airways brands themselves and how committed they are to their branding scheme, which I appreciate. I won’t reiterate that, though this flight was another prime example of the average Thai Airways experience. It wasn’t anything special, though I enjoyed my flight.

Stay tuned for the full review, as well as a couple of other posts that I’ll roll out about my time in Bangkok.

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