This segment on Thai Business class 777-200 was part of my trip back from Saigon (SGN), Vietnam to Washington DC (IAD). My complete itinerary included SGN-BKK-NRT-IAD-YOW and cost me 75K + $214 CAD using Aeroplan.
Flt TG557 Saigon (SGN) – Bangkok (BKK)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Duration: 1hr 30min
Check in at Saigon SGN
I arrived two hours before scheduled departure and that was enough to complete check-in and immigration procedures. Thai Airways check-in counters were located in section D and the procedure was smooth as it could be. The agent handed me an invitation to the Rose Business lounge (which I have reviewed before) and also noted/warned that the departure gate was far from the lounge.
A dedicated fast lane for First and Business passengers allowed me to skip a busy security lineup.
While the fast-track security was great, there was no fast lanes when it came to immigration. Immigration took a good 30 minutes and ate into my lounge time. The Rose Business Class lounge was located outside Gate 8, while my flight was out of gate 27, a long walk away! Long enough that gate 27 did not fit in the map on the back of the lounge invitation.
My stay in the lounge was short, I was on my way to achieve the 15K steps for the day by walking over to gate 27.
Gate 27 was located to the very end of the terminal and looked fairly busy. There were some souviner stores handy and the departure lounge was very clean and tidy.
Thai Business Class 777-200
Boarding was announced shortly and invited all Business Class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members. The priority boarding lineup was really long and it took me a good 15-20 minutes before I could actually step onboard.
The old 2-2-2 configuration and the even older bucket business class seats meant extra spacious aisle side. Business class seats were snug but comfortable.
The business class cabin was a major throwback, I was actually enjoying the rare opportunity to experience the “retro-comfort”.
Shortly after boarding the crew came around with hot towel service followed by a pre departure drink. I chose a lemon iced tea to beat the Vietnam-humidity.
The seat, storage and the amenities were a testament to the old days and how far comfort, design and cabin configuration had come since the “golden age” of flying premium. I have flown premium economy seats that are comparable to the seats on this retro-business cabin.
The table between the two seats was oddly placed, it wasn’t quite elbow height (much higher) so made for an awkward positioning. The tray table was located under the table.
The seat controls on the thin strip of arm rest was clunky and not very responsive. In fact the massage function didn’t work on my seat.
The control/handset for the entertainment system was placed under the seat divider while the power and headphone jacks were almost hidden underneath, very hard to reach.
Food Service and a quick nap
Given that the flight was only 1.5 hour long, food service commenced shortly after we reached cruising altitude.
While the seat controls and amenities were underwhelming, I had high hopes when it came to food service, Thai food after all, right?
Unfortunately the menu came across as uninspiring and contained only one option each for starter, main and dessert.
Dinner was presented in a tray with plastic containers/plates. To be honest, it was visually unappetizing, the noodles were over cooked.
Since the flight was only 1.5 hour long, the food service seemed very rushed and impersonal. I was so put off with the food that I didn’t even venture into the dessert. But I was able to order a cappuccino – the best thing about that dinner service!
A hasty dinner service wrapped up quickly and I had about 30 minutes to stretch out and experience the 45 degrees of angled bliss. It was satisfactory at best.
I knew what I was getting into, with the old equipment et al – While I quite enjoyed the retro feel and the spacious aisle and cabin, the seat comfort and dinner service were a major let down on this Thai Business Class 777-200. That it was only a 1.5 hour flight was a good thing and I was happy to have landed in Bangkok for my next leg on ANA 787 (review coming soon) 🙂