Orchid, Elephant, Turtle:
Touring the Thai Conrads
When the (amazing/short-lived) Visa/Conrad promotion went live last year, I’d obsessed over how I could make the most of the deal. Having never been to Conrad Koh Samui (often mentioned as one of the aspirational properties in the Hilton Portfolio, also previously lauded by Aaron), I decided that March 2017 would be as good a time as any to check it out, swinging by Bangkok on the way while enjoying another 50% discounted Conrad stay there.
Thai Airways seemed like the logical option to get from SIN to USM with a BKK stopover; I enjoyed the experience (especially flying on the new A350) but looking back I kinda wish I had saved on the air ticket and got “a la carte” direct flights instead. For such short trips, flying business class is really rather unnecessary – especially if the hardware for regional flights is not particularly great.
Thai Airways Business Class SIN-BKK (A350)
Since Thai Airways was operating the A350 on some flights between SIN-BKK, I made sure that I was able to get on board one of them for my outbound flight.
I don’t know about you, but when flying on business class around lunchtime I try to make it a point to get to the airport earlier to grab some food at the airline’s lounges, which tend to serve better food than the contract lounges that Priority Pass gets you into.
Changi Airport Terminal 1 Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge
So, immediately after checking in, I headed straight for the Thai business lounge in T1.
Since (if I’m not mistaken) Thai Airways is the only Star Alliance airline operating in T1, and there are only a handful of flights to Bangkok daily, the lounge doesn’t seem to get all that crowded – a good thing, in my book.
[Edit: Clearly, the internet is full of people eager to point out just how mistaken I was – Air China, Shenzhen and Turkish fly from here too. Thanks to Avinash and Nick for pointing that out!]
I was actually pretty impressed by the offerings at the lounge – the drink selection was a bit more limited than I’d have liked, but the food spread worked well as a quick bite before boarding the plane.
After stuffing my face with lounge snacks, I proceeded towards the plane in the hope of continuing to stuff my face with in-flight food. The new(ish) A350 was clearly visible from the boarding area.
You can tell how new the plane is from the state of its interior.
The seat was pretty comfortable, with more than adequate legroom.
Other than the large screen in front of the seat, there was a touchscreen to the side of the seat. The seatbelt resembles the type you find in cars (fastened diagonally) – while I’m sure this is more secure, I did find it more uncomfortable. I usually keep the seatbelt on when flying, but found myself unbuckling whenever possible during this flight.
The dining table is stowed away in plain sight pretty much in front of you, to be unfolded diagonally when food is served. A rather elegant approach, I thought.
The fare was pretty good, but nothing earth-shattering. I opted for the Squid Ink Spaghetti for myself. It was… okay, but not all that memorable.
Towards the end of the flight they started giving out orchids for the ladies on board. While a clearly sexist move, Griffles ended up a happy beneficiary when The Wife opted to pin it on him instead of in her hair.
All in all, a pleasant flight – I left the plane feeling rather pleased that I’d opted to fly Thai business for this trip. That said, for a quick 2h flight it’s not really that big a deal – I didn’t even manage to try switching the seat to flat bed mode!
Louis believes he caught the premium travel bug after attaining KrisFlyer Elite Gold and occasionally being upgraded while shuttling between the UK, Singapore and Japan (in economy class). These travels have led to a wonderful marriage, as well as a burning desire to maximise his frequency of travel in business class or better.
He travels with a gryphon plush toy, Griffles, which often stands in for him in vacation photos. Griffles continues to amuse (and confuse) air stewardesses, hotel staff and just about everybody else, all around the world.