May 28, 2015
“Sawadee, thon chao krap!” Greetings and good morning everyone! Finally, almost two and half month after my inaugural flight on TG’s brand new TG-336 from Kolkata to Bangkok, I have time to actually sit and write about my exciting journey. First of all, this wasn’t the ‘first’ flight for TG’s to Bangkok. It was the first daytime flight from Kolkata, on the first day of service for Thai Royal Silk. Nevertheless, it was just as exciting to be on this bird right on Day One of commercial operations.
It all began with a joint invitation from Thai Airways, Kolkata and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), New Delhi to board the inaugural flight. I, without much hesitation, decided to hop on the plane that would take me to Bangkok! I made a mental note – time was short – just about enough for skimming the city, checking out the food joints and, of course, shopping.
I was heartily welcomed by Mr.Sajid Khan at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The check-in counters for TG opened around 10:15 am and after collecting my boarding pass for TG-336 we posed for protocol photo shoot with the Thai Airways management staff and co-passengers. Immigration was quick and arriving early meant spending some leisure time at the airport! I made for the Travel Club Lounge for some light snacks and a drink before heading across to Gate 11. Boarding was scheduled for 12:15 pm.
Warm, smiling faces welcomed me and a round of fresh fruit juice and hot towels made sure that I ease into a comfy cushiness. We took off at 12:55 pm and were scheduled to land at 4:50 pm. The Airbus is fitted with 42 seats in Thai’s Royal Silk business class that convert into fully-flat beds, and can accommodate 240 passengers in economy. The business class cabin contains seven rows of lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 layout (rows 11, 12, 14, 15 with the seats paired as AB, EF, JK) for a total of 42 seats. Each business class seat has its own 16 inch screen.
One round of champagne later, I decided to settle down nursing a Johnnie Walker Double Black. No complains so far! Soon, it was time for the crew to serve the meal. Prawn Cocktail Salad with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice as the appetizer won full marks. The ginger bread was fresh and I was offered a generous second helping. For the main course, I opted for Chicken Panang Curry, rice and sautéed veggies accompanied with red wine. The curry was hot and tasted as if it was cooked right on the aircraft. The meal did not disappoint. Outstanding would be the word I’d use to describe TG’s catering.
As an afterthought, I’d dare add that on this very first afternoon flight to Bangkok it would have been remarkable if they presented some sort of souvenir – a TG branded T-Shirt, a key chain or a cap. Maybe a goodie bag or at least a certificate. My wishful thinking was soon subdued as TG served another round of red wine and one of my favourite desserts, the blueberry mousse cake, topped with white cream! Finally I had coffee to reboot my taste buds.
It was too short a flight to watch a movie on the IFE and after lunch I was busy with filling up my Thai immigration form. Once done, I just sat back and relaxed for the rest of the flight.
While we were descending, I clicked some snaps from the flight window. The touch-down was smooth and soon I found myself at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. The immigration queue was not a hassle and I got my passport stamped in 10 minutes. Luggage collected from carousel 14, I rushed off into my escapade to Bangkok – make the most of my short stay in the Thai capital.