As we prepared for takeoff, I familiarised myself with the seat. In spite of having seen so many pics and trip reports, it was my first time sitting in this type of seat. I tried, but sorry, I’m not in love with it. I found the lack of any handy storage spots a bit underwhelming (there was a little nook behind me, to my right) and as I previously mentioned, the lack of privacy was an issue for me (especially when one is worried about potentially feral passengers ruining the overnight flight). As other bloggers have mentioned, the foot cubby is a little small, though that didn’t really bother me.
We took off at 00.44 BKK time.
After takeoff, I decided to go to the toilet. As usual, I locked the door but while I was doing my thing, suddenly the toilet light dimmed and the door opened a crack! I found myself letting out a few expletives, which may have stopped the person on the outside opening the door any further. My god, that could have been even more embarrassing and I still don’t know how that happened, since I ALWAYS lock the door for fear of such a situation.
The initial drink service took a long time, which was a bit annoying on an overnight flight when most passengers would want to be making good use of the flat bed.
Additionally, the meal service was rather slow and drawn-out. I think it would have been better if it was fast, even on the one tray, so that passengers could maximise their sleep time. The breakfast service was dine on demand, which is great.
How gorgeous are these Thai desserts! I couldn’t decide between them, so the crew member said “Why not try both?” Why not, indeed! The one on the left is banana and coconut milk, while the second picture shows little Thai cakes. Gorgeous presentation and a lovely way to finish off the drawn-out but tasty meal.
The entertainment selection wasn’t any better than on the 747. During the meal service I decided to watch Focus, which I’d never seen before and wouldn’t require too much thinking from the viewer. If, like me, you find yourself catching up on movies (whether trashy or arthouse) on planes, Thai’s entertainment will do the job. The TV selection is lacking, since there are only a couple of episodes rather than full seasons. I found the placement of the headphone jack annoying, since it could only be draped in front or behind you. It would be better if there was a jack next to the passenger, not behind.
After the meal service, I went to the toilet again, to prepare for sleep. On my side of the cabin, it was more convenient to use the toilet in the rear galley, just before economy class. There is also another business class toilet near the cockpit and forward galley, located on the other side of the cabin. Unfortunately, while the sign on the toilet clearly said “Royal Silk Class passengers only”, and crew were in the galley, it was not enforced – economy pax were using it and the crew said nothing. That meant there was only one dedicated toilet for business class passengers. It was particularly awkward when an economy passenger tried to push in ahead of me, eyes averted like they were on the MTR trying to get a seat, when I’d clearly been waiting longer and, whether they should have been there or not, it was my turn! (Not to mention that they shouldn’t have been using that toilet) Don’t take this as snobbery – when I fly economy, I use the economy toilets. I would be absolutely mortified if someone told me to go back to the economy section. It was a very awkward situation that could have been avoided if the crew, who were right there in the galley, had been more proactive. Unfortunately, this crew were rather conflict averse, as seen in their avoidance of kids running around before takeoff.
Back in my seat, there was turbulence at around 2am and the seatbelt signs were switched on. I still managed to drift off to sleep for a few hours, only to be woken up by my phone’s 6am alarm for work! Having gone to the airport straight from work, I hadn’t thought to turn it off. Whoops. I wasn’t the only one – another absent-minded passenger had an alarm go off not long after.
I found the bed in full flat position quite comfy, but when the pillow was placed on the padded headrest, my head was too elevated for my liking. Short people like me can slide down and sleep in the foetal position to avoid this, but taller people may not be able to.
Knowing that I would be picking up a car and driving straight after landing in Australia, I willed myself to sleep more, but I couldn’t. However, the crew were always around for those of us unable to sleep, and as passengers woke up, were offered refreshments and breakfast. I really like the dine on demand breakfast concept, part of the Thai Samrab service.
As breakfast was being served, an economy passenger even walked through the whole business class cabin to the front toilet before she was politely requested to go back. As we say in my part of the world, “more front than Myer!” Not cool. I personally would be mortified at the loss of face and would rather wait in the right section to avoid embarrassment, but that’s just me.
The cabin lights were on, but the mood lighting was still nice and soft, not harsh like in economy.
I bought some duty free presents that I couldn’t buy in Bangkok airport due to the liquids restrictions on flights to Australia. Unlike on other airlines, the duty free service wasn’t pushed, and passengers interested in purchasing needed to ask the crew.
At 11.48am BNE time, the Captain announced we would begin our descent soon and land slightly behind schedule due to congestion at BKK. It would be 29 degrees in Brisbane – wow! This would be a nice reprieve from Hong Kong’s winter. It’s not that cold in Hong Kong, but the smog is particularly nasty and there’s something so free about a Queensland summer.
It really hit me that I was about to be in Australia when the strict Australian Quarantine video played. I’d been so busy at work and had just rushed from work to the airport, I guess I hadn’t really registered I was visiting home.
As the crew prepared for landing, saxophone music filled the cabin. The purser personally thanked each passenger for flying Thai Airways: “We hope to see you again”. The crew adjusted the electronic windowshades so they were “open”, though they had trouble with three which remained blue but finally were fixed.
Sitting in the middle section, I couldn’t really see anything out of the windows until “thud”, we’d landed and started our taxi to the gate. Hello, Brisbane. It’s been a while.
This particular flight (flight times vary according to the day) lands at a very quiet time of the day for Brisbane International – we seemed to be the only international arrival, and as we were stepping off the plane I heard duty free staff say “They’re here – get ready!” (it’s impossible to avoid duty free at Australian airports, as you must walk through it on the way to immigration). I was soon through immigration and priority luggage was delivered quickly.
All in all, a decent flight. I don’t love the 787 business class, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly it, especially if a competitor offered reverse herringbone seats in business class. The crew should have been a lot more strict with economy passengers trying to access business class facilities, and also with astray parents. However, the crew were extremely polite and responded to requests quickly. Smooth as silk? Not quite, but not a bad way to fly.