The B787 is a fantastic aircraft and I have flown it once before with LATAM from Auckland to Sydney. One thing both LATAM and Thai Airways have in common is a 2-2-2 business class cabin. Fortunately Thai is slowing phasing out the 2-2-2 layout for the far superior 1-2-1 config and seat design that Cathay Pacific (and many others) use in their business cabin.
Thai Airways operates their 787 to Perth and Brisbane. Unfortunately, there is no first class cabin in this aircraft, so if you want to fly Thai’s first class product, you would have to leave either from Sydney or Melbourne. In saying that, Perth is the perfect distance to Bangkok for a relatively quick positioning flight of 6h40min after which you can take off to many great destinations around the world.
Booking Thai Airways Business Class
Earning points can be hard work! You need to have the right credit cards and a good level of dedication to earn a lot of points outside of sign up bonuses.
What if there was an easier way to obtain them? Well, there is! Life Miles by Avianca (a Star Alliance member) is a program that regularly offers points up for sale with bonuses as high as 140%
If currency conversion rates and timing align it makes for some really cheap first class flights!
For my itinerary Perth – Bangkok – Paris I made a mixed redemption of business class from Perth to Bangkok followed by a 12h flight in first class to Paris on board Thai Airways’ A380.
The total cost for this itinerary came to just over $2000 including taxes. Considering a one-way flight on this route would easily go for $ 5000-6000, it’s fantastic value for money. This article is by no means a detailed guide on Life Miles, but it goes to show that you don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy the pointy end of the plane.
Checking in at Perth international airport is a breeze, while the economy queue is busy, no one is waiting in the premium line so 2 minutes later I’m already going through security screening.
In Perth, Thai Airways choose to issue lounge passes to the Qantas International business class lounge even though there are 2 other Star Alliance lounges; one from Singapore Airlines and a brand new one from Air New Zealand. Most likely this is due to capacity issues at the Singapore Airlines lounge which is tiny, and the Air New Zealand lounge only opens around 5 PM, 40 minutes after Thai Airways takes off.
The Qantas lounge in Perth has been shrunk down to make room for the new and spacious Air New Zealand lounge. It’s a sorry dingy affair so don’t come too early as there is nothing memorable about the space.
Boarding was fast and efficient and as soon as I entered the aircraft, Thai hospitality took over. Within minutes one of the crew came over to introduce herself and offer a pre-departure beverage and a hot towel. In fact, it was the first of many hot towels received on this trip!
Thai B787 Business Class Cabin
The business class cabin onboard Thai Airway’s 787 is somewhat dated and resembles the look of a budget spa chair minus the pedicure.
A 2-2-2 isn’t really industry leading, and it’s probably the reason Thai is slowly upgrading its business class cabin.
I found the seats too much more narrow compared to other business class products, and although they were pretty comfortable, I wouldn’t want to spend more than 7h in these, just having to climb over your seat buddy is awkward.
Unknowingly I had reserved a seat down the back of the cabin which is a section where one window is missing so you can’t enjoy uninterrupted views outside.
The seat itself had plenty of easy to reach power sockets and ample storage space as well as 3 pillows and a blanket.
Thai Airways offers an amenity kit to all business class guests even on shorter flights such as Perth to Bangkok. The kits are fully stocked with all the essentials such as an eye mask, earplugs, socks, toothbrush, lip balm etc.
Thai’s entertainment section wasn’t exactly inspiring and although it was adequate, I would have liked to see some more new release movies in the selection as it was a bit thin for an international flight. The display, however, was big enough and viewable from all angles.
Thai Business Class Dining
When it came to dining, I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and presentation of the meals in business class. The service was very efficient and friendly as seemed to be the case throughout the entire flight.
I didn’t go for any Thai options, but the food was tasty nonetheless, and my steak was perfectly cooked (as perfect as airline steak can be).
Thai has a pretty good wine list in business class and even stocks 2 types of champagne, a rose and a regular non-vintage.
Thai 787 Business Class In Conclusion
I found the whole Thai Airways 787 business class experience quite enjoyable. Even though the cabin layout isn’t ideal, the seats are comfortable enough for a 6:40h flight and the soft product such as food and service is outstanding. If you’re connecting onto a Thai First class flight, you’re in for a treat.
Thai Airways has one of the best ground service products for premium passengers. Even when arriving in business or economy for that matter, the ground crew will be waiting at the aircraft door to escort you to the lounge in one of the many airport buggies. It’s a seamless experience and very impressive.