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After a few eventful days in Bangkok, I was ready to head on over to Hong Kong. I initially booked my flights to Hong Kong on the specific purpose of flying Lufthansa’s new 747-8i in First Class. As luck would have it, Lufthansa began flying to Hong Kong with the 747-8i two days before I was scheduled to fly that route.

Bangkok to Hong Kong has been operated by a Thai A380 because of Hong Kong’s strong business-traveler demand.

I got to the airport at about 6:30AM for my 8:05 AM departure. I was dropped off by the First Class check-in area, which is separated by a partition from the other check ins. The check-in was very nice, and I was promptly offered water and a cold towel. At 6:30AM, the humidity and heat were already unbearable, and the towel helped me cool down a bit.

First Class Check-In Area

After checking in, I was given boarding passes for all of my flights and while looking through them, I noticed that my Hong Kong-Frankfurt seat number was 83H. For whatever reason, it didn’t click at the time,  but a 747-8i First Class has rows starting from 1 and not 83. The reason why is because First Class on the new 747 is at the front of the plane versus upstairs on old cabins. Little did I know that this would be something I should have caught a lot earlier.

After getting all my boarding passes, I was escorted through the terminal to the immigration line. After passing through immigration, I was escorted to a waiting buggy that would shuttle me to the First Class lounge.

Once at the lounge, I was greeted by what seemed like every employee. I didn’t get a semi-private room but I was seated on one of the couches. I was immediately asked what I’d like to drink, and I chose Thai Iced Tea. I also inquired about getting a quick massage as it was already 7AM. Eventually, I settled on a 30 minute foot massage.

After the massage, I came back to the lounge where I sat for less than 2 minutes before an agent called me for boarding. I, along with 5-6 others, were escorted downstairs onto a waiting bus. The A380 parked quite far from the lounge, and it took about 10 minutes to get to the plane. I noticed that there are also different buses that people take to the plane. For First Class, there is a VVIP/VIP bus that takes you from the lounge to the plane. This bus is different from the normal bus because it features one huge couch on the bus instead of individual bucket seats and standing areas.

We soon got off the bus and were escorted to the plane. It was a long walk up the stairs and eventually we reached the 2nd floor of the Airbus A380.

Of the 8 people that boarded the bus, 4 were in First Class, and I assume the rest were in business. The purser came around and offered us drinks. I chose orange juice as it was early in the morning.

After the doors closed, the captain came on air and informed us that the flight time would be a short 2 hours and 10 minutes. We eventually lined up for takeoff, and so began the great Royal Orchid service.

The menus were pre-distributed before we got to the seat, and they came in very nice shiny folders.

The purser came around and introduced herself and also took my meal order. Because it was so early, breakfast was being served, and I chose Corn Flakes.

I then proceeded to roam around the plane. I give a lot of credit to Thai for putting First Class on the second floor because they managed to create a nice space for the premium cabin. I also want to point out that Thai’s A380 restroom is ENORMOUS! It is bigger than the Lufthansa A380 restroom, and it even features a separate seating area!

Across from the restroom is a small seating area intended for First Class passengers to mingle and converse. I can imagine that some people might use it on long haul flights, but no one used it on our short flight.

In between the restroom and seating area, there is a small lounge area that is filled with snacks and magazines. On our flight, it was not filled due to the short duration.

I went back to business class and snapped a few pictures there. Business class on the A380 features a flat-bed product, and every seat has a lot of privacy. It is a bit claustrophobic though.

At this point, we were about an hour from landing, and I took the time to peek around the seat and cabin. Thai’s design of the cabin is very bland. The colors are very plain and they don’t make the cabin look that great. In addition, the seat is just as bland as the cabin. At times, it was too bright to even see, so I closed a few windows.

The seat itself has a lot of storage space. There’s also overhead bins and a closet on the side of the suite.

The seat controls were plenty for a seat like this, and the added nightlight to the side had a nice touch.

There was also a folder to the side of me with a ton of Thai Airways A380 stationary items.

 The In Flight Entertainment had a lot of movie selections, and they were fairly recent releases. Thai also supplies their own noise canceling headphones, and they work surprisingly well!

The seat goes flat and the pillows are the best of any airline!

We began our descent into Hong Kong and the clear skies turned into fog/rain. It was so foggy that the TailCam didn’t even show the runway until about 300 yards!

The landing was smooth given the circumstances and we were greeted at the door by Hong Kong based agents. There was an awaiting buggy that drove us what seemed like a mile to the immigration area.

Overall Thoughts:

I think that Thai did an OK job designing the cabin on the A380. There was no need for the table to be in a fixed position above the seat. It kind of makes it look like the ANA 777-300ER seats. It also takes away from the amount of space within the seat. The in flight entertainment looked promising and had a big selection of movies.

The color of the cabin was very plain, and so was the seat. The seat was very comfortable though and Thai’s pillows are in my opinion, the best pillows of any airline.

I believe that it is a great way to fly short haul or even long haul as the A380 flies to Frankfurt & Paris from Bangkok. If you want polished and consistent service with good food and a bed, this is a great way to fly!

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