The Norwegian winter climate can be quite inhospitable at times. Dreaming of palms and beaches rather than a white Christmas, I was able to secure reward tickets with Thai Airways and Airbus A350 from Brussels to Bangkok for my Christmas holiday.
Thailand has become a very popular holiday destination for Europeans, even if it is an 11-hour flight away from almost anywhere in Europe. Until now it hasn’t been a priority for me but needing an escape from snow and freezing temperatures, I decided it was about time.
I was able to secure a business class reward ticket with Thai Airways from Brussels, which wasn’t easy during Christmas holiday. The return trip set me back 82,500 SAS EuroBonus points and an American Express Companion Ticket.
Since I had plenty of time on the ground in Brussels, I had the chance to visit both The Loft and The Suite lounges before departure
I arrive at the gate a few minutes ahead of scheduled boarding time. The line for priority boarding seems to equal the amount of business class seats on the Airbus A350. This isn’t surprising, since it’s Christmas Holiday for most of Europe and probably not many business travelers.
I boarded through the front door where I was greeted by two friendly flight attendants who point my to my seat 19K.
Cabin and seat
Thai Airways Airbus A350-900 business class cabin has eight rows in staggered 1-2-1 configuration with a total of 32 seats.
If you’re traveling solo, I would recommend the window seats and the rows where the seat is closer to the window. These seats offer the best view out the window and the most privacy. Similarly, for couples my choice would be the center section “honeymoon” rows where you are close to you travel companion while retaining privacy. The other rows are preferable if you’re traveling solo and unable to get a window seat or just want some space between you and your travel companion. These seats are however close to aisle and offer less privacy.
Already waiting in my seat was the bedding and a basic Lacoste amenity kit. The slippers are a bit of a tight fit. The seats are very comfortable while seated, but slightly cramped for my 6’2” when converted to a bed.
My Airbus A350-900 is just over two years old. As a result, the interior is fresh and modern, and I like the bright purple colors of the cabin.
The entertainment system TV screen is crisp and clear, and the remote and seat controls are responsive and easy to use. The electrical outlet is near the floor in front of you, while the USB outlets is under the TV. WiFi is on the expensive side with $35 for 500MB and $60 for unlimited data. Buying smaller packages doesn’t really make sense as background services or apps on your laptop or smartphone with consume your data in no time.
Food and beverage
As soon as everyone is seated, I was offered a glass of Champagne. I was even offered a refill when the flight attendant came back to take my food order.
As soon as the fasten seatbelt sign is switched off after take-off, I was served another glass of Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel along with some nuts. The crew immediately starts to prepare the meal service and a few minutes later, my starter was served. The first course consists of Parma Ham, Creame Cheese and Roasted Scallops. It’s very good, although maybe not spectacular. The wine I have chosen, Chateau Tour Prignac 2016, is also very good and I stick to it throughout the meal.
For the main course I have chosen the Samrab Thai with green curry beef, deep-fried crab meat, soup, rice and stir-fried pickled turnip with eggs. I really enjoyed the dish and it was definitely the culinary highlight of the trip.
I was then offered a cheese plate which wasn’t on the menu before I had chocolate cream for dessert. Neither cheese plate nor the dessert was bad, but not very exciting either. I had a Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12YO single malt scotch whisky with the desert.
For breakfast I go with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, bread, fruits and yoghurt. A solid, wholesome breakfast.
Thai Airways delivers a perfectly fine business class meal, although there is room for improvement. The cheese plate and desert are uninspiring, the presentation is simple, and everything is served on trays. The service is extremely efficient, perhaps a bit too much as it feels a bit robotic and impersonal. The crew is however, always smiling, friendly and helpful.
Thai Airways Business Class
Thai Airways delivered in line with my expectations. It’s not quite on the same level as Singapore Airlines or Qatar Airways, but not at all bad. The Airbus A350 is a fantastic aircraft and I like the cabin and seats, although a bit cramped. The food and service are good, but not spectacular. Entertainment system and Wifi were good as well, but a bit expensive.
All in all, I’m happy with my flight and I would gladly fly Thai Airways business class again.