My final airline review for my recent trip to Thailand and Myanmar is here, featuring the only non-budget airline I took, and that is Thai Airways, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai return. I should start by saying how relieved I was to not be on a budget airline this time. Thai Airways surprised me when I was searching around to make this trip with a very competitive price, around $180 return, not much more than budget airlines Air Asia and Bangkok Airlines, and the bonus was that Thai flew out of the main International Airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi. Interestingly I find that easier to pronounce than to spell!
My wife had flown in the previous evening, and our flight back to Melbourne also left from there so it was great that we could get cheap flights from Suvarnabhumi to Chiang Mai and back. Thai Airways’ slogan is ‘Smooth as Silk’, and you don’t have to be on board, the slogan is soothing right up.
I didn’t feel there could be any issues with delays or service, all the budget airline issues couldn’t touch me when I flew to Chiang Mai on March the 6th. No, there’s no ‘but’. It was seriously a dream. A clean Airbus 320-300, with arm rests all intact and pleasant staff. On time departure, meal on board and 20kg luggage for no extra fee. No credit card fee when I booked either from memory. A flight of around an hour, efficient and pleasant service, there is very little else one can say.
It was nice to have a snack (and on the return, breakfast) on a short-haul flight. But the BEST thing about the flights – legroom! I wondered if my issues with legroom on previous (budget flights) were all in my. Perhaps my relocation of non-budget airlines offering more legroom were in fact just an incorrect memory. Nope, I definitely had substabtially more legroom on Thai Airways compared to Jetstar and especially Air Asia. A big winner there.
Thai Airways can sometimes have great deals, and domestic flights seem to be well priced, however generally speaking for longer, international flights you can often really pay for the service and experience. One could argue, however, that it is worth it. Seriously, I was so much more relaxed flying Thai Airways, the extra couple of hundred bucks is well worth it. You get what you pay for, and economy class with budget airlines you can really, unless the flight is only half booked, feel like cattle. That is not the Thai Airways experience. Easily the best flights I took on my latest jaunt.
Overall ratings –
Thai Airways – 9 / 10
Air Asia – 5 / 10
Jetstar – 1.5 / 10 (mostly for the Dreamliner)
And thus ends the airline reviews. Coming this Thursday I will be writing a new weekly (where possible) segment on the blog called ‘City Rumble’ where I compare two world cities and determine which city I preferred and why. The cities will be, in my mind at least, comparable. So you know, I won’t be comparing two places that are completely different – ie Hobart and Delhi. This Thursday I am going to kick it off with a bang with two of the world’s heavy weights – London and New York City. So, stay tuned!
Until then, of course, May the Journey Never End!