All of the holiday videos in this blog report can also be found on my YouTube channel. Please be aware, though, that for safety and security reasons, the publishing or adding of comments is prohibited for all of my uploaded videos at all times, as is the displaying of advertisements. If any user is determined to be violating this policy, all comments posted on any of these medium will be erased and dealt with.
Part 1 ~ The Opening
After spending several weeks of pondering on where to go to for the one-week March school vacation break during my first year in pre-university college, we finally decided upon a mini-shopping vacation towards Bangkok, Thailand. I soon became quite excited since I have known Bangkok for a majority of my life.
On the morning of Friday (15 March), both my younger brother and I woke up at around 10.45 a.m. after having a well-earned good night's sleep. The very first thing we did was to have a nice, hot shower and pack our baggage in preparation for the short shopping vacation trip towards Bangkok. My parents also did their final-minute packing, having packed most of their baggage the night prior to the trip.
As for the in-bound journey towards Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), we would be flying with Thai Airways International on flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), which would be scheduled to depart Singapore Changi Airport at 3.55 p.m., and arrive at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 5.15 p.m. later that evening. My parents had also arranged for a MaxiCab to come and fetch us towards Singapore Changi Airport at one o' clock later that afternoon a few weeks in advance.
Once we had finished our baggage-packing time over two hours, our pre-arranged white MaxiCab pulled up at our house doorstep at 12.55 p.m., five minutes ahead of schedule. The driver got out of the cab and offered to assist my parents in loading our baggage into the boot of the cab while my younger brother and I boarded the cab. Once all of our baggage was loaded in, we finally departed the familiar compound of our home at one o' clock, with the entire journey towards Singapore Changi Airport taking just 20 minutes.
Soon enough, we finally arrived at the departure curbside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 1.20 p.m.. While the driver helped out by claiming two baggage trolleys for us, we unloaded our baggage from the boot of his cab. Once we had paid the driver, we thanked him for his services, and went into the terminal building to check in for our flight bound for Bangkok. Arriving at the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge by 1.25 p.m., we went to check ourselves in for Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi).
Thai Airways International (Thai: บริษัท การบินไทย จำกัด) is the national flag carrier and largest airline of the Kingdom of Thailand. The airline is one of the co-founding members of Star Alliance, the world's first and largest airline alliance formed on 14 May 1997. The alliance has a total of 28 full members, as of 1 March 2013. Thai Airways International offers at least 70 destinations around Asia, Oceania, North America, Africa and the European Union, using a mixed fleet of both narrow-bodied and wide-bodied Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
Thai Airways International, along with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and United Airlines, worked together to form the world's largest airline alliance on 14 May 1997. Its frequent flyer program is known as Royal Orchid Plus. Besides fellow partners from Star Alliance, the airline also maintains codeshare agreements with other non-Star Alliance carriers, such as Japan Airlines from Oneworld.
Terminal 1 is currently the oldest terminal operating in Singapore Changi Airport. It was opened on 1 July 1981, in collaboration with the opening of Singapore Changi Airport. Today, a majority of foreign carriers serving Singapore operate their flights in Terminal 1. Philippine Airlines will re-locate its operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 on 28 October 2013.
However, certain foreign airlines shifted their operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Lion Air will re-locate its operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 on 18 October 2013. The following airlines have previously operated out of Terminal 1, but have shifted to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, as of 1 March 2013:
1) Air India (Moved to Terminal 2 on 29 March 2009)
2) Air India Express (Moved to Terminal 2 on 29 March 2009)
3) All Nippon Airways (Star Alliance carrier - Moved to Terminal 2 on 1 October 2008)
4) Asiana Airlines (Star Alliance carrier - Moved to Terminal 2 on 29 March 2009)*
5) China Eastern Airlines (SkyTeam carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 25 March 2008)
6) Garuda Indonesia (Future SkyTeam carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 22 February 2011)
7) Jet Airways (Moved to Terminal 3 on 25 March 2008)
8) Korean Air (SkyTeam carrier - Moved to Terminal 2 on 29 March 2009)
9) Qatar Airways (Future Oneworld carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 25 March 2008)
10) Saudia - Saudi Arabian Airlines (SkyTeam carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 22 February 2011)
11) SriLankan Airlines (Future Oneworld carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 22 February 2011)
12) United Airlines (Star Alliance carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 25 March 2008)
13) Vietnam Airlines (SkyTeam carrier - Moved to Terminal 3 on 22 February 2011)
*Asiana Airlines will move its operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 on 30 September 2013.
|The drop-off roads located outside the departures and check-in area of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The drop-off and baggage trolley area outside Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The departures and check-in area of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in the mid-afternoon hours|
|The entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The information screen outside the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The list of airlines utilising the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge for their First and Business Class passengers in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The lounge area by the check-in counters in the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The interior of the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The mini-lounge area in the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
After we had finished the check-in process for Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), we received our boarding passes, as well as invitations to sample the Royal Silk Lounge. According to the check-in agent at the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge, Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) would depart from Gate No. D34 at 3.55 p.m..
Boarding would also commence at 3.15 p.m., approximately 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time. With that, we grabbed our carry-on baggage and went through the private passageway to the passport control area. To get into the airside, we used the thumbprint checkpoint, which is reserved exclusively for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents of Singapore.
|My boarding pass for the sector between Singapore and Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)|
|The airside in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|A lineup of duty-free shops near between Concourses C and D in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
After clearing the SATS Premier Check-in Lounge and passport control area, we were finally in the airside of Terminal 1 by 1.35 p.m.. Wanting to head upstairs over to the Royal Silk Lounge first, We walked past some duty-free shops and took the escalators up towards the airline lounge floor, where both the SATS Premier Lounge and the Royal Silk Lounge were located.
However, the Qantas Lounge was closed on 7 January 2013 for renovation, since it would be having a new secondary hub to Dubai International Airport from 31 March 2013, due to its new partnership with Emirates. Once we arrived at the Royal Silk Lounge, we checked in and set up some of our electronic devices to chill out before having some light bites.
The Royal Silk Lounge looked kind of old, and a kind of a gloomy-looking airline lounge. Based on my observation, there were not much changes since we last used it. There were no windows at all for natural light to come in, which made it look like a dungeon in a castle (i.e. The Slytherin Dungeon in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). I also went to change some Singapore dollars into Thai baht. In return for changing S$1057, I managed to receive ฿24,260 baht. At the same time, I did some plane-spotting to pass the time.
|The airline lounge floor in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|Arriving at the entrance to the Royal Silk Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The Royal Silk Lounge as we enter the main seating areas of the lounge|
|The food and beverage corner of the Royal Silk Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The duty-free shop concourse in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 as seen from the airline lounges floor|
|Outside the entrance to the Royal Silk Lounge as I head to the viewing mall near the duty-free shops in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|Passing by more duty-free shops in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The viewing mall in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The tarmac view of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|An AirAsia Airbus A320-216, registered 9M-AQF, about to be pushed back from Gate No. D36 for her short hop back home to Malaysia as AirAsia flight AK 1812 bound for Kuala Lumpur|
|The departure flight information screens showing the many flight departures from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|A money changing counter near Concourse D in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The airside with restaurants and duty-free shops in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|A China Airlines Airbus A340-313X, registered B-18801, being pushed back from Gate No. D37 for her afternoon flight back home to Taiwan as China Airlines flight CI 754 bound for Taipei|
|A Jetstar Asia Airways Airbus A320-232, registered 9V-JSN, being pushed back from Gate No. C15 for her afternoon regional flight to Vietnam as Jetstar Asia Airways flight 3K 557 bound for Ho Chi Minh City|
|The airport tarmac of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 with some aircraft pushbacks|
|Two Chinese panda models of Kai Kai and Jia Jia in the airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The panda model displays of Kai Kai and Jia Jia in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The passageway towards Concourse C in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The notice board notifying customers of the closure of the British Airways and Qantas Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 for renovation works|
|The entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The list of airlines using the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The upper floor of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, where the airline lounges are located|
|Drafting the report on my blog report in the Royal Silk Lounge. With the original version written in Verdana, a second edition may be using Optima|
|The interior of the Thai Airways International Royal Silk Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|A glass of Coca-cola Zero for myself in the lounge|
|The interior of the Thai Airways International Royal Silk Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 before I left for Gate No. D34|
Part 2 ~ The Flight to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)
Airline: Thai Airways International
Flight No.: TG 414
From: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Singapore
To: Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK / VTBS), Bangkok, Thailand
Aircraft: Airbus A340-642
Registration No.: HS-TNE (Named "Nonthaburi")
Class: Royal Silk Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 20A
Date: Friday, 15 March 2013
After chilling out in the Royal Silk Lounge and some plane-spotting for 1 hour 25 minutes, the clock was already showing 3.05 p.m.. Knowing that boarding for Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) would commence in 25 minutes' time, I decided to proceed to Gate No. D34 immediately for good time. My parents and brother agreed to meet me there.
With all my belongings ready, I left the Royal Silk Lounge by 3.10 p.m. and quickly proceeded on foot to Gate No. D34 for Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi). Upon arrival at Gate No. D34 by 3.20 p.m., I waited for my family before going through the security checkpoint. Once we were in the passenger gate waiting room, I took one good look at our aircraft.
Today, Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) would be operated by an Airbus A340-600, registered HS-TNE and named Nonthaburi. It was also powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 556A2-61 engines. HS-TNE was delivered brand new to Thai Airways International on 9 December 2005, as the fifth Airbus A340-600 and the eighth Airbus A340 for the airline. My excitements grew since this would be my first time riding on an Airbus A340 and the -600 of the type.
The Airbus A340-600 is the most stretched and latest version of the Airbus A340 family. It is powered exclusively by four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines, as with the Airbus A340-500, and is the second-longest aircraft in the world after the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. Its main competitors from Boeing are mainly the Boeing 777-300 and Boeing 777-300/ER.
The Boeing 777-300 is powered by a choice of two Pratt & Whitney PW4000, General Electric GE90-92B or -94B or Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. However, the Boeing 777-300/ER is powered exclusively by two General Electric GE90-115B engines, which are the most powerful jet engines in the world today. Due to limited powers on the CFM International CFM56 engines, which are used to power the Airbus A340-200 and Airbus A340-300, Airbus selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines to power the -500 and -600 series.
|The duty-free shopping concourse in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 as I begin my journey to Gate No. D34 from the Royal Silk Lounge|
|The airport tarmac of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 as I make my way to Gate No. D34|
|Passing by some cafeterias on my way to Gate No. D34|
|Passing by Starbucks Coffee cafeteria near the Skyview Lounge|
|On the moving passageways in Concourse D towards Gate No. D34|
|The departure information screen at Gate No. D34 showing the details of our flight|
|The signs towards Gates No. D33 and D34 in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|The moving passageways in Concourse D of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1|
|Our aircraft for today, HS-TNE, being serviced at Gate No. D34 in preparation for her short return journey to the Kingdom of Thailand as Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)|
|The waiting room in Gate No. D34 relatively packed with waiting passengers|
|HS-TNE (Nonthaburi) almost completing her final cabin preparations at Gate No. D34 before boarding for Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) commenced|
After spending approximately 10 minutes of anticipated waiting in the gate hold room, the first boarding calls for Thai Airways International flight TG 414 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) were finally made at 3.30 p.m.. The Royal Silk Class passengers, as well as the Royal Orchid Plus club members and the passengers requiring special assistance were called to board the aircraft first.
By this time, my excitement was really growing, as the moments from my very first Airbus A340 (that is, also, the -600 series) ride drew near. With that, we grabbed all our baggage and joined the queue for the boarding process. The queue was quite long with lots of travellers, which I know that the flight would be completely full.
Soon, as we walked along the jet bridge towards Door A, we were finally on board HS-TNE by 3.40 p.m., which was just in good time for a 3.55 p.m. departure. At Door A, a flight stewardess welcomed us on board and showed us the direction to our seats. I was quite amazed as we passed by the Royal First Class cabin. As Singapore to Bangkok was a regional flight route, the Royal First Class seats were sold as Royal Silk Class (Business Class) seats.
Once we went into the Royal Silk Class section, we would be seated in Seats No. 20A, 20B, 20E and 20F respectively. I was quite amazed at the long size of the aircraft, and seeing Thai Airways International's Royal First Class seats. The Royal Silk Class seats we would be using for the short hop to Bangkok were the newer generation angled shell design seats. The first new generation of these seats were introduced, following the introduction of the carrier's Airbus A340-500 aircraft in 2005.
They were then installed on most of the airline's long-to-medium-haul fleet (e.g. Airbus A340-600, some Boeing 747-400, and Boeing 777-200). As usual, the flight attendants did their usual routines of distributing the food and beverage menus for the flight, and the pre-departure beverages to the Royal Silk Class passengers. As always, I had my normal glasses of orange juice and water to start off the journey with as the boarding of the plane continued.
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin during the boarding process in Singapore|
|A pair of Thai Airways International's first-generation of new Royal Silk Class seats on its fleet of Airbus A340-600s|
|A view of my seat, 20A, during the boarding process in Singapore|
|The safety information brochure for Thai Airways International's fleet of Airbus A340-600s|
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin shortly before the boarding process in Singapore was completed|
|My pre-departure glasses of water and orange juice|
At exactly 3.55 p.m., all the aircraft doors were closed and the safety briefing information video was played on all our front video screens. As we started to push back from Gate No. D34, meal orders for the flight were taken. For the main course, I opted to have the grilled beef with port wine sauce, roasted potatoes, carrots and green beans. We then began our taxi to our assigned runway for take-off, passing by several aircraft and Terminal 2 along the way.
After a relatively long 25-minute taxi to our assigned runway, the four Rolls-Royce Trent 556A2-61 engines spooled to life and with that, we finally lifted off from Singapore Changi Airport at 4.20 p.m.. We then began to climb into the bright afternoon sky for a regional flight time of 1 hour 50 minutes over the seas of Southeast Asia towards the capital city of the Kingdom of Thailand.
|The safety briefing demonstration beginning to show on my front screen|
|Part of the safety demonstration video that explains the dangers and consequences of on-board smoking|
|The cover page for the food and beverage menu for the sector between Singapore and Bangkok|
|Reviewing the food and beverage menu for the sector between Singapore and Bangkok|
|Reviewing the wine list for the sector between Singapore and Bangkok|
|A Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-343X, registered 9V-STI, taxiing towards Terminal 3 in preparation for her evening flight to the People's Republic of China (Mainland China) later during dusk as Singapore Airlines flight SQ 810 bound for Beijing|
|A Jetstar Airways Airbus A330-202, registered VH-EBJ, resting on the tarmac near Terminal 1. She will later be heading for an overnight flight to Japan as Jetstar Airways flight JQ 063 bound for Osaka (Kansai)|
|A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-841 resting near the cargo hangars on the tarmac|
Thai Airways International Flight 414 ~ Taxiing To The Runway
|Nearing our assigned runway in preparation for take-off|
Thai Airways International Flight 414 ~ Afternoon Take-off From Singapore Changi Airport
The seatbelt sign was turned off at 4.25 p.m., just five minutes after take-off from Singapore Changi Airport. As the flight attendants sprung into action to commence the in-flight service, I went to the lavatory before starting anything else. What I saw in the lavatory was amazing. On Thai Airways International's fleet of Airbus A340-600s, there are windows for passengers to gaze out at the sky while using the lavatories.
After paying a visit to the lavatory, I went back to my seat to relax for the short flight. A few minutes after I began to settle down for the flight, a flight stewardess appeared towards my dad and I. She distributed two packets of roasted cashew nuts, and brought me a glass of water to commence the in-flight afternoon tea service. Within 10 minutes, she also brought out our meal trays containing our first courses.
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin shortly after the seatbelt sign was turned off|
|Inside the lavatory of Thai Airways International fleet of Airbus A340-600s|
|A warning sign in the lavatory that reminds users that tampering with, disabling or destroying smoke detectors is a criminal offence under Thai Civil Aviation Law|
|The observation window in the lavatory of Thai Airways International's Airbus A340-600s|
|A view of my seat, 20A, during the journey to Bangkok|
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin shortly before the in-flight tea service commenced|
After spending a few minutes of anticipated waiting, the flight stewardess re-appeared at our seats, but with our main dishes this time. It was the grilled beef with port wine sauce, roasted potatoes, carrots and green beans we had pre-ordered before take-off from Singapore. We then tucked into our main afternoon tea courses.
With the first bite, the beef tasted very tender and was cooked just right. The potatoes and vegetables, along with the port wine sauce, went along perfectly well with my meal. My dad had to agree, but gave his to me to finish off as he was still full from his meals in the Royal Silk Lounge. I must agree that this is one of the best beef dishes I have ever had inflight.
After having a wonderful in-flight afternoon tea, the flight stewardess came to my table to clear my meal tray. Feeling pretty full after finishing off the main meal, I declined to have dessert. After visiting the lavatory once more, I was left to my own personal devices to keep me company for the remainder of the flight.
|A packet of roasted cashew nuts to commence the in-flight afternoon tea service|
|A glass of water to commence the in-flight afternoon tea service|
|Doing some more work on this blog report on my laptop|
|Flying somewhere over Tioman Island in Malaysia in the bright afternoon sky|
|My first course: Smoked salmon and marinated king prawn with pesto|
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin during the in-flight afternoon tea service|
|My main course: Grilled beef with port wine sauce, roasted potatoes, carrots and green beans|
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin shortly after the in-flight afternoon tea service was finished|
|Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (507158)|
|The rear view of the Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin|
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin during cruising altitude between Malaysia and Thailand|
|The Airbus A340 wing view and the Rolls-Royce Trent 556A2-61 engines as we get closer towards Thai airspace|
|Flying over a thick blanket of clouds into Thai airspace|
|The view of the wing and the Rolls-Royce Trent 556A2-61 engines as we enter Thai airspace|
|The first sights of Thailand coming into view|
In accordance with the Thailand Local Time, the seatbelt sign was illuminated at 4.55 p.m., ¼ of an hour in preparation for descent into Suvarnabhumi Airport. Knowing that it was not long before arrival into Bangkok, we stowed away our hand-carry baggage and buckled up for the landing in Suvarnabhumi Airport. After a short flight time of 1 hour 50 minutes from the Republic of Singapore, we finally touched down in Suvarnabhumi Airport at 5.10 p.m., five minutes ahead of schedule.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ) is one of the two airports serving Bangkok, Thailand. It is the main international airport serving the Bangkok metropolitan area, as well as the largest and busiest airport in the Kingdom of Thailand. Opened on 28 September 2006, the airport took over most of the international flights previously operated by the older Don Mueang International Airport.
The airport serves as the main hub for Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai Airlines and Thai Airways International. Bangkok also serves as a regional gateway and an important destination for many foreign airlines, like Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. However, all low-cost international flights moved back to Don Mueang International Airport on 28 October 2012.
|The Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 Royal Silk Class cabin shortly after the seatbelt sign was illuminated in preparation for descent into Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The wing and engine view during the descent into Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|Flying over some paddy fields in Thailand as we descend into Suvarnabhumi Airport|
Thai Airways Internationnal Flight 414 ~ Evening Touchdown in Suvarnabhumi Airport
|Taxiing on the airport tarmac towards Concourses B and C shortly after we landed|
|An All Nippon Airways Boeing 767-381/ER, registered JA606A, resting at Gate No. C5 after arriving from Japan as All Nippon Airways flight NH 953 from Tokyo (Narita)|
|A Thai Airways International Boeing 747-4D7, registered HS-TGF, being serviced at Gate No. B6 in preparation for her evening flight to India as Thai Airways International flight TG 317 bound for Mumbai|
After taxiing on the airport tarmac of Suvarnabhumi Airport for approximately 10 minutes, we finally docked on to a remote aircraft stand near Concourses B and C. I immediately got the fact that a movable aircraft staircase would be docked at the aircraft door to allow passengers to disembark. We would also have to take a Thai Airways International airport tarmac shuttle bus to the main terminal to claim our baggage, which I find to be very troublesome.
As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, we immediately unbuckled and took our belongings before disembarking the aircraft. Upon exiting the aircraft, the flight attendants bid us farewell, thanked us for our patronage with Thai Airways International and wished us a pleasant stay in Bangkok. In return, I thanked the crew for my first and wonderful on an Airbus A340.
As with my previous blog reports, there are airline grading systems I have set for each airline I fly with. They are classified under the seat, food, service, aircraft cleanliness and legroom space. Each of these five sections are worth 20 points, totalling up to a total of 100 points. A minimum of 40% or a 'D' grade is a pre-requisite for an airline to qualify for a pass. The grading systems are as follows:
A+: 85% or above (Airline has an excellent rating and performance)
A: 75% ~ 84% (Airline has a good rating and performance)
B: 60% ~ 74% (Airline has a good rating and performance)
C: 50% ~ 59% (Airline has an adequate rating and performance)
D: 40% ~ 49% (Airline has a fair rating and performance)
E: 20% ~ 39% (Airline has a poor rating and performance)
U: Below 20% (Airline has not met the requirement for the minimum grade)
Thai Airways International Flight 414 Score Report
Food: 20 / 20
Service: 15 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 20 / 20
Legroom space: 18 / 20
Total: 92 / 100
In summary, Thai Airways International achieved a total score of 92% between Singapore and Bangkok. This means that they deserve the highest grade, an 'A+'. Since I last flew on the airline a few years back, this is the first time in many years that Thai Airways International has taken a huge improvement and leap. It was indeed a pleasant flight with Thai Airways International, and on board an Airbus A340.
Part 3 ~ The Journey to the LIT Hotel Bangkok
After claiming all of our personal belongings and disembarking from Thai Airways International flight TG 414 from Singapore, we walked along a movable staircase and board an airport shuttle bus to the main terminal building. With such methods like this, I easily find that walking down a movable staircase from an aircraft is just like going down a crammed rabbit hole.
Arriving flights should be docked on to proper jet bridges and not onto remote stands with movable staircases like rabbit holes. Without saying anything more, we boarded a Thai Airways International airport shuttle bus towards the Main Terminal of Suvarnabhumi Airport. We bypassed several aircraft along the way to the bus alighting point, which was located in Concourse D of the airport.
After a short five-minute bus ride from HS-TNE, the ultra-long Airbus A340-600 which operated Thai Airways International flight TG 414 from Singapore, we finally arrived at the drop-off area near Concourse D at 5.30 p.m.. Upon our alight from the bus, we took the escalator up towards the immigrations area near the transit mall of Suvarnabhumi Airport. At the immigrations area, there were some lots of travellers, either travelling to Bangkok for leisure or for business purposes.
Upon relatively quick clearance of the immigration process, I went to check which baggage belt our bulky check-in baggage would be arriving at. According to the baggage belt information screen, our check-in baggage would be arriving at Belt No. 10. Without wasting any more time, we grabbed two baggage trolleys and headed to Belt No. 10 to claim our baggage.
|The interior of the Thai Airways International airport shuttle bus|
|One last look at HS-TNE before we were on our way to the terminal building|
|A Thai Airways International Boeing 747-4D7, registered HS-TGG, taxiing on the tarmac for her supposedly delayed regional journey to Hong Kong as Thai Airways International flight TG 606|
|The airport runway at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The airport tarmac near Concourse D at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The Thai Airways International airport shuttle bus we took from HS-TNE|
|The transit mall of Suvarnabhumi Airport close to the immigrations area|
|Going up to the immigrations area at Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The baggage claiming hall in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The massive baggage belt information screen in the baggage claiming hall in Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|Baggage Belt No. 10, where our check-in baggage would be arriving|
After claiming all our check-in baggage from Belt No. 10, my mum and I went up with my dad and brother in the arrival hall, where they were searching for us. I was not very sure what had happened, but decided not to pursue the matter, since it didn't matter that much. In the arrival hall, a man holding up a sign for the LIT Hotel was waiting for us.
He then assisted us with our baggage trolleys to the passenger pick-up area. It was there when a big white cab pulled up. As we boarded the cab, my dad and the cab driver helped to load our baggage into the boot of the cab. As soon as all our baggage was loaded into the boot of the big white cab, we were all ready to head to the LIT Hotel Bangkok. Soon, by 6.05 p.m., we were on our way over the crowded roads of Bangkok for a journey time of 1 hour 20 minutes towards the LIT Hotel Bangkok.
|The massive arrival flight information screen in the arrival hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The arrival hall in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The pick-up area in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport outside the arrivals hall|
|The Thai Airways International hangar at Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|Travelling on the expressway towards downtown Bangkok|
|The Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link viaduct with a Thai Airways International Airbus A330-300 about to land in Suvarnabhumi Airport in the background|
|Passing by a green field near Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|The sun beginning to set over the expressway|
|The Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link running by the expressway|
|Bypassing the Piyavate Hospital at night|
|Bypassing some hotels located near the expressway|
|Bypassing the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link Makkasan Rail Terminal Station|
|Finally approaching downtown Bangkok at night|
|Bypassing the Amarin Plaza Bangkok|
|Bypassing MBK Center at night|
After a journey time of 1 hour 20 minutes from Suvarnabhumi Airport, we were finally at the entrance to the LIT Hotel Bangkok at 7.25 p.m.. A hotel porter came out with a baggage trolley to help with the unloading of our baggage while we went to check ourselves in for the six-day stay at the LIT Hotel Bangkok.
Upon checking into the LIT Hotel Bangkok for the six-day vacation, we finally received our room keys. We would be staying in Rooms No. 609 and 610 for the entire stay here. With the hotel porters opting to help bring our baggage up to our rooms, we took the elevator up to the sixth floor, where our rooms would be located. Upon arrival at our sixth floor rooms, we went inside.
My parents' room had a small study table, a king-sized bed, a mini-bar, and a television. My room had the same features, but with two separate beds for my brother and I to sleep on. However, one weird feature concerned our bathrooms. Instead of having proper and separate bathroom doors, there were curtains instead, which I find to be very weird and unusual.
|Finally arriving at the main entrance to the LIT Hotel Bangkok|
|An area leading towards the Kiriya Spa in the LIT Hotel Bangkok|
|The main lobby of the LIT Hotel Bangkok shortly after we arrived from Suvarnabhumi Airport|
|Finally arriving at our rooms|
|Finally catching a glimpse of my parents' rooms|
|The first view of the room I would share with my brother|
After all our baggage was brought up to us at our rooms, we spent some time unpacking our baggage and sorting out our attires and pyjamas for the coming days and nights. We then had a rest in the room, pondering on where to eat for dinner later that night. Soon, we decided to head to the Siam Discovery Center, which was located just across the LIT Hotel Bangkok.
At around eight o' clock, we walked along the busy streets of the Pathum Wan District, eventually arriving at the Siam Discovery Center by 8.20 p.m.. As soon as we entered the Siam Discovery Center, we took the escalators all the way up to the sixth floor, where all the restaurants were located. There, we made a good look at what types of restaurants were there.
|Approaching the Siam Discovery Center at night|
|Walking past MBK Center|
|Inside the atrium of Siam Discovery Center|
|The sixth floor of Siam Discovery Center where the restaurants|
After looking through the various restaurants located on the sixth floor in the Siam Discovery Center, we finally stumbled upon a Japanese steamboat shabu-shabu restaurant, by the name of Evaime Shabu-shabu. Feeling very hungry already, we entered the restaurant and requested a table for the four of us. With the food and beverage menus distributed to us, we decided to make a good review through the menus before placing our orders for the steamboat dinner.
In the middle of the restaurant near the entrance, there was a buffet table, where diners can make their own selection of sauces and take it to their dining tables. A few minutes later, a waitress finally came to our table to take down our orders for dinner. We ordered several food items that seemed to be that of our likings. With the steamboat hotpot delivered to our dining table, we had a sumptuous steamboat dinner that night.
|The entrance to Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant in Siam Discovery Center|
|My parents posing for a photograph in the restaurant|
|The heating pad for the shabu-shabu hot pots in Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant|
|Reviewing through the food and beverage menus of Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant|
|The interior of Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant|
|The shabu-shabu hotpot plate set up on our dining table|
|The first set of sliced luxury beef ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|The sliced corn and tofu boiling in the hotpot|
|The sliced corn, tofu, fish cake noodles and a few slices of beef cooking in the hotpot|
|A small plate of sliced beef with egg ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|The first set of sliced pork ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|The second set of sliced luxury beef ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|Several vegetables being boiled in the hotpot|
|A small plate of sliced pork with egg ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|The second set of sliced pork ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|Several slices of pork and some mushrooms cooking in the hotpot|
|The third set of sliced luxury beef ready to be cooked in the hotpot|
|Some Taiwanese noodles and vegetables being boiled in the hotpot|
|Several pieces of sliced beef and vegetables cooking in the hotpot|
|The interior of Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant just before we left|
After a sumptuous steamboat dinner feast at Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant, the clock was finally showing 9.30 p.m.. Knowing that all the restaurants would be closing in ½ an hour's time, and there was nothing else to do around the Siam Discovery Center, we decided that it was time to head back towards the LIT Hotel Bangkok for the night.
With that, we paid our bill and left the restaurant for the LIT Hotel Bangkok via the same way we came into the Siam Discovery Center. The roads were still crowded and lively at this time at night, as we left the Siam Discovery Center by 9.45 p.m.. The entire walk back towards the LIT Hotel Bangkok took no more than just 10 minutes.
|The exterior view of Evaime Shabu-shabu Restaurant in the Siam Discovery Center|
|The sixth floor lobby of the Siam Discovery Center|
|The busy roads of Pathum Wan District at night near the Siam Discovery Center at night|
|The exterior view of the Siam Discovery Center at night|
|The busy and crowded roads of Pathum Wan District at night|
|Walking down a deserted alley at night near the LIT Hotel Bangkok|
|The outside view of the LIT Hotel Bangkok on our first night|
|The main lobby of the LIT Hotel Bangkok at night|
|The two beds where my brother and I would sleep for the upcoming nights|
After a short 10-minute walk through the lively nightlife of the Pathum Wan District of Bangkok, we were finally back at the LIT Hotel Bangkok by 9.55 p.m.. Feeling tired from the journey from Singapore, we took the elevator up to the sixth floor and returned to our rooms. Before settling in for the night, we had a well-earned hot shower and changed into our pyjamas.
It was then that we unpacked the remains of our baggage at the same time. After doing some of our own personal stuff on our electronic devices, it was finally getting late. Knowing that we wanted to go shopping the next day, we headed to bed just before the clock struck two o' clock that night.
This officially brings the first section of my short vacation in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2013 to a close. As always, questions and comments are more than welcome for this blog report. The other three sections will be published with the best quality images and videos.