After booking Thai's A350 twice down to Australia in 2016 and 2017 only to have them swap out the aircraft both times, the third time would be the charm as TG403 was in-flight to Singapore from Bangkok according to Flightradar24. The aircraft inflight was listed as an A350.
Time to transit to T1 using Changi's convenient tram.
Thai Airways has chosen to place 32 lie-flat Stelia Solstys business class seats in the front cabin. And as you can see they have kept the overhead bins in the center section, like Cathay Pacific but unlike China Airlines, Qatar and Singapore, for the A350's I've had the pleasure to fly.
These seats are forward facing using an offset 1x2x1 configuration which can also be found on aircraft with the Vantage XL seat.
The two center seats have a privacy divider, but I couldn't get a photo of one extended.
Window seats in rows 11, 14, 16, 18 are completely exposed to the aisle.
As are the center seat that's against the aisle.
These are the five A350 aircraft that I've flown showing seating in the front cabin. Singapore and Qatar obviously have the more spacious cabin with 6/7 rows and no middle bins.
China Airlines and Cathay Pacific have similar front cabin LOPA with China Airlines using the B/E Super Diamond seat and Cathay Pacific the Zodiac Cirrus seat. The China Airlines cabin has storage cabinets and 32 seats while Cathay has 2 lavatories and 30 seats with a second business class cabin behind door 2 with 8 more seats. All configurations have at least 2 galleys between the doors.
Thai has 32 seats as well with 2 galleys but no storage closets and no lavatories between the doors.
Thai has little privacy, even in a Seatguru "green" seat by the window. This view is from 12A, the first true window seat in the front cabin.
Much has been publicized over the narrow entrance into the new United Polaris pods. That entrance is like a double wide door compared to the entrance of a Thai pod. My shoe size is 43. It's probably about an 8 inch gap.
This is seat 12A as presented upon arrival with a light blanket and small pillow.
The seat is actually angled towards the window. It doesn't face directly forward. This is the gap between the seat and the cabin wall.
Here is the opening for your feet when the bed is extended. While bigger than some, it's still narrow. My bag which sits below is almost exactly the width of the rest. The bag is 11 inches wide.
There's a reason the bag is exposed. The area under the footrest is not for storage, the floor is tilted up like a ramp. Maybe a small purse would fit down there but my shoulder travel bag didn't come close. It's best suited for the pillow/blanket if you aren't using them.
This photo shows the seat extended. Obviously for a 2 hour day flight no bedding was provided. but I'd guess that seam needs a pretty thick mattress pad. You can also get a sense of the angle of the seat.
Seat controls and the IFE controller are nicely placed. However with the very responsive IFE touch screen the controller isn't needed.
The monitor was very nice with vibrant colors and very respondent to touch, but then again it was only 2 months old.
This aircraft was HS-THE, delivered in June of 2017.
The two far right buttons on the seat control panel were light switches for reading and kind of like a night light for the table.
One of two placard holders is above the side table.
With the other down above the floor where you enter.
The safety card for this A350.
Your best, and really only storage is this little compartment under the armrest below the IFE controller. It's not large enough for a full size table or laptop. Headphones maybe.
A coat on the coat hook occupies the space into the pod.
The best storage is the overhead bins which are huge.
You have two power ports options. A full compliment of ports on the front of the partition between the table and seat and USB ports below the monitor.
If you use the monitor ports the only place to put your device is to fold out the tray from the back of the pod in front of you. The this tray is pretty small for dining. You can not get out of your seat with the tray table extended.
A few photos of the stock lavatory behind the cockpit.
Time to go.
Departing to the south once airborne the captain turned left and headed north to Bangkok.
We reached a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet in no time. This aircraft is smooth and quiet. The sensation felt like we gently floated up. It's unlike any other plane I've experienced.
I asked for a glass of wine, why I'm not sure as this was day 3 in the air. I had the French Bordeaux (surprise) which retails in the states for about $30.00.
Thai had an extensive menu for today's 2 hour flight.
My first choice was the Thai Main Course but they were out so I asked for the Destination Main Course. I assumed the destination was Thailand.
Everything was served on a single tray. As you can see there is no room for a glass of anything on this table or tray. I'm not sure what the empty oval shaped plate was for. No bread was offered, in fact nothing else was offered.
The smoke salmon with mango salad was fresh and tasty.
And it's against the rules not to have a bowl of fruit on an Asian flight, or most flights for that matter.
The "destination" main course was typical protein with a slightly spicy sauce, rice or fried rice in this case and vegetables. It wasn't any better or worse than other regional Asian carrier lunches I've had on China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore, EVA, etc. It definitely was better than what you might find on a US domestic flight for lunch.
The dessert was pretty cool just to look at.
While the IFE monitor is excellent, the content is very limited. Or maybe I was spoiled by the hundreds of selections on Singapore. But for Thai, this was it.
This aircraft had WiFi. I wouldn't bank on this speedtest being accurate however as I was having connectivity issues with my iPhone.
In no time we were lining up to land in Bangkok. No weather!
One can forgive the IFE content limitations if they simply view the camera option on the A350!
At the gate the first Thai A350 could be found a couple gates down.
Thai definitely has a beautiful aircraft in their A350. However I was disappointed in the business class cabin and seats. While not a big fan of the Stelia Solstys seat, it appears Thai has made some modifications to make them even smaller with less storage. While the seat was excellent for a short 2 hour flight, I feel there are far better options for long haul flights. In fact once I returned I cancelled a Thai A350 long haul flight that I'd booked for later this year.
This concluded my marathon trip from Chicago to New York to Singapore via Frankfurt to Bangkok. Time from entering ORD to exiting BKK, about 40 hours. Remind me not to do that again.
Carrier: Thai Airways
Date: August 2017
Route: Singapore - Bangkok
Flight #: TG404
Aircraft: Airbus A350 #HS-THE
Configuration: J32 / Y289
On Time: Yes
Reward Flying Rating: 6.8 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Brand new cabin and decorated quite nicely.
✔︎Small and confined comes to mind first.
Cabin/Seats Rating: 5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Short 2 hour flight provided a blanket and pillow
✔︎Standard fare for regional Asian airlines, decent meal.
Amenity/Food rating: 6 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Very nice monitor but limited content.
IFE rating: 7 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Average, did their job.
Flight Attendant rating: 6 out of 10 ✈
✔︎A350: This was Thai's 4th A350 and only had a few miles on it as delivery was in June. I love the A350.
Aircraft rating: 10 out of 10 ✈