Thai airways surprisingly has some inexpensive business class flights on short haul routes within Southeast Asia. I was able to book business class seat aboard a 777 going from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata with a 24 hour layover in Bangkok for about $300. Not a bad deal for about 5 hours of flying with the added benefit of being able to tour Bangkok for a day.
I found this flight by searching google.com/flights as I was trying to find a connection with a long layover. Google flights is the easiest flight search tool for finding all the various flights between two destinations. Once you find your itinerary, a link will be provided to the airline’s website or other 3rd party websites.
Thai Airways 418
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Bangkok (BKK) to Kolkata (CCU)
Seat: 15J and 15K
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300
The shiny futuristic looking purple business class seats were pretty cool, and even though it was a 2-3-2 arrangement, the cabin still felt pretty open. For most of the flight, the lights were dimmed which I appreciate on a night flight.
For a short flight, I was surprised about the amount of leg room and the angled lie-flat seat. By the time I finished the meal, I only had about an hour to recline and take a nap. The seats were comfortable, a bit narrow, but way better than what I was expecting on a two hour flight.
The food was pretty average on this flight but still flavorful enough. I would assume on longer flights the food options would be better and have more options.
In conclusion, Thai Airways has inexpensive short haul business class flights within Southeast Asia. If a long layover is possible, it is well worth the effort to tour Bangkok en route to your next destination. The above average business class seats on Thai Airways short haul routes are well worth the extra cash, if you are able to find a good deal.