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Thread: Thai Airways Report: TG 917 and TG 910

  1. #1
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    Thai Airways Report: TG 917 and TG 910

    Hello all,

    I arrived back at Heathrow this morning after an eventful flight from Bangkok and an excellent 4 weeks in the sun. I've got some photos that I need to resize, but I'll upload those in the next hour or so. Hope you enjoy reading it.


    Wednesday 17 March 2004
    Thai Airways TG 917
    LHR to BKK

    Thai Airways International flight TG 917 was scheduled for a 9.35pm departure from London Heathrow to Bangkok, Thailand.
    Following our last flight on TG 917 back in July 2003, we wanted to arrive slightly earlier than you might expect, just to beat the dreadful queues at Terminal 3 for the flight. We had to compete with rush-hour traffic, but we got to the airport within 30 minutes and arrived at the check-in desk at about 5.15pm. The check-in area was not the same one that I was familiar with last year. It was completely empty, with just two desks open at the time. These desks were being run on behalf of Thai Airways by their Star Alliance partner, Air Canada. We checked in without any fuss and were automatically given 2 window seats on the right hand side of the aircraft (Row 47 and 48).
    In Terminal 3, you go up one level from check-in to a row of shops before passing through security. We looked briefly in some of the shops and then decided to move through to departures. The security area was very busy, but the queues moved quickly and we were soon given the all-clear.
    With more than 2 hours until the aircraft even arrived at Heathrow, we needed to find something to do. Knowing just how expensive the airport is, we had already been fed and watered, so it was just a case of looking at the very overpriced Duty Free shops, with no intention of buying anything. By about 6.00pm, we had done all we wanted to do and took some seats in the lounge, eagerly awaiting the announcement of our flight.
    By about 8.30pm, we were called to the gate for boarding. I knew that we would rush there and then be forced to wait in a hot, stuffy lounge for half an hour, so we steadily made to the gate, making stops on the way. Before entering the gate area, we took a look out of the windows to see what was going on at the airport. I had hoped to see the Thai Airways Star Alliance 747 parked up to take us to Bangkok, but it was nothing special unfortunately, just a bog-standard 747 wearing the registration HS-TGZ. As the time neared 9.00pm, we entered the gate area. We were greeted by yet more Air Canada staff who checked our boarding cards and passports. The odd passengers were also having their bags searched. The flight had not yet started to board, but with only about 30 minutes until the departure time, I looked around and saw very few people waiting for the flight. With Easter 2 weeks away and the Thai New Year just a few days later, I was expecting it to be very busy. As it happens, the flight was less than 50% full. It took until about 9.15pm to get the 200 or so passengers seated and prepared for departure, so a slightly earlier pushback seemed possible... but even with not much going on, we sat at the gate until 9.35pm. The safety video had already begun on the screens around the cabin before pushing back and once the tow truck had detached itself from the aircraft, the video was finished and the cabin lights were dimmed for departure.
    As we taxiied to Runway 27R for departure, the airport didn't seem to have too many movements. I noticed an EVA Air 747 ahead of us, as well a LOT Polish Airlines 737 having just arrived. Upon arriving at the holding point for the runway, I look out to my right and could see 4 aircraft queued for landing. There was absolutely no chance of us going anywhere for 5 to 10 minutes. Aircraft kept appearing from the clouds and we were forced to wait. Runway 27L appeared to be inactive with ours being used for both departing and arriving traffic.
    At 9.50pm, we managed to secure a slot just ahead of an aircraft on final approach for 27R. As we turned onto the runway, you could see this approaching aircraft getting very close, so full-throttle was quickly applied and we sped off down the runway, steadily lifting off of the tar-mac and into the air. After a minute or two, we banked left and were soon on the correct course for Bangkok.
    As per usual, we were given plenty of drinks rounds while a pleasant smell filled the cabin. Our evening meal was a choice of fish or a pork curry dish. Being a non-fishy person, I opted for the pork and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was no shortage of bread rolls to accompany the meal, with the crew constantly passing through with baskets of the things!
    With this flight being a night-time service, the crew quickly tidied away everything and about 2 and a half hours after taking off, the passengers were all fed and watered and the rather poor 'Haunted Mansion' film was over. The window blinds were closed and the televisions were turned off, allowing us to sleep.
    I'm not someone who finds it too easy to sleep for long periods of time in an upright position, so I'm always bored when the lights go down. I managed to get a couple of hours sleeping and spent the other few hours browsing the airline's music radio which offered an array of music to suit everyone's needs. Whilst everyone slept, the crew would pass through the cabin every so often with a tray of drinks; apple juice, orange juice, tomato juice, water, milk etc. and you could help yourself.
    Towards the end of the flight, we were served a hot breakfast. Although we were to be arriving at 3.00pm in the afternoon, they served a full English breakfast, complete with a fruit cocktail and yoghurt. The baskets of bread rolls and croissants came out again and passengers could help themselves.
    During this 11 hour 30 minute flight, I moved from my seat just once. This was about an hour before landing. I didn't have any reason to leave my seat, but thought I'd best move about, having been sat for more than 10 hours already.
    Our route was the same one as always, flying over Eastern Europe, into Asia, passing Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Kabul (Afghanistan), Delhi and Calcutta (India). We were descending into a very overcast Bangkok and hit some odd spots of turbulence.
    I'm not too familiar with the runway numbers at Don Muang, but there are two runways which are parallel to one another. Between the two runways is a military golf-course. We landed with the gold-course to the right. Because of the positioning of the course, every arriving aircraft has to go right to the end of the runway in order to get to the terminal. We arrived after a Thai Airways A330-300 and before a British Airways 747-400. We taxiied to the gate and disembarked quite quickly, having to walk a fair way to the baggage reclaim area. On our way, we had to pass the very busy immigration area. Lots of paperwork and then a few minutes wait whilst someone verifies every last detail on every sheet of paper.
    We cleared customs and transferred to our resort within 3 hours. We were quite tired when we arrived and looked forward to the next 4 weeks of sunshine!

    ======

    Friday 16 April 2004
    Thai Airways TG 910
    BKK to LHR

    Of the four flights I have made with Thai Airways, this one was undoubtedly the worst.

    Our transport to pick us up for the 1.10am flight at about 7.30pm. We were at the airport by 10.00pm and were greeted by a representative of the holiday company who escorted us to check-in zone 3 where we could get rid of our seriously overweight baggage and get our tickets. It was just our luck to get stuck behind a Chinese man who had not brought the correct paperwork to the airport with him. The check-in agent told him (in English) that he did not have the right paperwork, so could not travel. He was adament that he did not have anything else, so the chances of us checking in were quite slim whilst this argument went on. The check-in area handled all of the Thai Airways (Domestic & International) departures, so it was very busy. We feared that we would have to join another queue at another desk, but an airline employee patrolling the area, let us push in at another desk. We asked for window seats and were told that it wouldn't be a problem. The check-in agent then told us that there was one window seat and then three other seats at the other end of the aircraft. I said that it was not a problem and that I would sit alone, because being squashed into the middle really didn't appeal. All of a sudden, this single seat was no longer available, so we were given the middle four seats of row 65, only about 7 or 8 rows from the back of the aircraft.
    Our gate number (12) was told to us at check-in, something you don't get too often in the UK, so we kept an eye on the screens waiting for boarding information. We decided not to go into departures straight away, but to eat in the food court upstairs which looked much more appetising and at an affordable price.
    About 90 minutes before departure, we passed through immigration, having paid our 500 Baht (£7.50) departure tax. We were then in the departure lounge, but we had not had any security checks.
    Shortly after midnight, we were called to the gate for boarding. The Star Alliance 747 was not at the airport, so I would not be travelling on that. The aircraft was HS-TGB. At the gate, there were very thorough security checks in place. You first pass through the metal detector and have your bag X-Rayed. You then go down a slope and your have a second metal detection and your bags are searched by hand. Unfortunately, a clumsy member of the group had not put their scissors into their suitcase, so we lost them!
    The gate was packed with passengers, few of which look Thai or even Asian. Most were British Tourists returning to the UK. We started to board at about 12.30am and by 1.00am we were ready for departure. The doors were shut and we pushed back at exactly 1.10am (on-time) and were told that the flight would be 12 hours exactly. The quick safety video was shown and the cabin lights were dimmed. We taxiied to the runway and did not incur any wait. As we turned and the engines were at full power, the Captain decided to request that Cabin Crew be seated. This was de-ja-vu, since the Captain had done this in July 2003 too. The Crew were still parading the aisles when we were rolling down the runway!
    Seconds after lifting off, we were tossed from side to side and a few passengers became a little unsettled. The weather was good, no noticable winds or rain, but we shook and shook for about 30 seconds or so.
    Once airborne, we were treated to a documentary about how Liquid Soap is made in Thailand. Very interesting I expect, but I could not bear it and had to put my headphones down. Whilst this exciting programme was on, the crew served drinks. Where they would usually give you a whole can to enjoy, they poured a glass and kept the can itself on the trolley. Slightly selfish. The cabin attendant working on our section of the aircraft irritated me immensely. She was moody, arrogant, rude, never smiled and never went our of her way to help someone!
    Thai Airways issue postcards to passengers at the start of the flight with a menu on them. When it's time to eat, you can choose what to have. The choice was Chicken thigh, Veal in a korma-like sauce or a special Songkran (Thai New Year) seafood choice. I was going to have the chicken. Little did I know, chicken was not available for some reason or another, so I had to go for the veal. Never have I felt so sick before. I peeled back the foil lid of my meal and sight and the smell of what was before my eyes was rancid! It tasted worse. The meat was overcooked, very chewy, grissly/fatty and dry. I lost my appetite and had to push it to one side. I felt so ill that I seriously believed I might vomit, even getting the sick bag ready. I wasn't the only unhappy customer. One guy made his feelings quite clear.
    After the liquid soap documentary, the lights were swithced off and I managed to sleep for at least 6 hours in my faulty chair.
    I woke up thirsty and expected to see someone doing a drinks round any time soon. I waited... and waited... and waited... But for about an hour, I did not see one member of crew pass my seat. Eventually, I got impatient and used the call button and requested a glass of water. It was the Purser who responded to the call. She trotted off towards the front of the aircraft. That was the last I saw of her. Needless to say, there was a drinks round much later on.
    Just before breakfast, I decided that I would fill out the questionnaire to kill some time. But I don't have a pen! Ah well, the in-flight magazine says that the cabin crew have writing materials available for use... I'll ask them for a pen. Like the glass of water, a pen was out of the question. The stewardess insisted on disappearing for 20 minutes before returning with a snazzy biro.
    The Captain had spoken to us and told us that we would be arriving in London at 7.15am, 5 minutes late, despite departing on-time.
    As I counted down the last hour and a bit of the flight, we were fed a cheap breakfast; soggy toast with scrambled egg, fried tomato and onion and a single tinned hot-dog sausage. I had to eat it, since I had not eaten for about 10 or 11 hours by now. I managed to get a bread roll and 5 croissants though. A steward dangled a basket full of bread over my head, offering me more food. He tilted it a little too far and an avalanche was the result! He laughed and apologised.
    The Captain came on again as we passed over the East Coast of England. Heathrow was very busy and we would be required to hold for 20 minutes. We flew in circles for 30 minutes and landed at 7.46am, 36 minutes late, on runway 9L.
    10 minutes after landing, we pulled up alongside an Air Canada 767-300 and the seatbelt sign was switched off. As you know, everyone jumps out of their seat and gets ready to disembark at this point. 5, 10 and then 20 minutes passed, but nobody had gotten off of the aircraft. We waited for some news from the flight deck, but none came. We had parked up and seemed to be going nowhere. At about 8.25am, the queue started to move and we disembarked via a set of steps and boarded buses, which took us to the terminal. This was obviously the case because of our late arrival. The cabin crew chatted amongst themselves in the galleys and to the ground staff, opposed to wishing farewell to the passengers who slowly dismbarked via the second left exit.
    Heathrow was unbearable. The baggage claim area was packed with flights from Stockholm, Copenhagen, New York and Bangkok. When we got to belt number 7, the baggage had already been loaded on and was spinning around. We grabbed ours and raced towards customs, wanting to beat the rush. Customs was very crowded, but the "Goods to Declare" channel was not-surprisingly empty! I couldn't see around the corner, but assumed that customs officers were stopping and searching anyone they could. In fact, there was nobody searching any bags. It was just passengers taking their time getting through into arrivals!

    Overall, an interesting set of flights. A shame about the inbound flight this morning. I've always been so fond of the service offered by the airline, but I think today was a real letdown. Outbound flight = 7/10 and Inbound flight = 3/10.
    Michael

  2. #2
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    So your back, sorry to hear about that BBK-LHR run!

    Youve missed alot...how was thailand?

  3. #3
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    A380!!, it was excellent. In the next fortnight, we are hoping to book up for our next trip in late October to early November. We're hoping to go to Hong Kong for 3 nights before going to Thailand. If we do go to Hong Kong, the flights are operated by oneworld; LHR-HKG with British Airways, HKG-BKK with Cathay Pacific and BKK-LHR with Qantas. However, if we settle for just Thailand, it will be Thai Airways again! After our most recent flight, I don't know if I'm too happy with that!

    Anyway, got 6 photos to show. They are pretty much the same. Heathrow was dark and I'm not sure how they would react in Bangkok if I started to take photographs. You'll have to settle for the out of the window shots!

    First up, this is the wing through the window...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Michael

  4. #4
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    Second photo is the winglet of HS-TGZ. The sun really relfects off of it quite strongly...
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    Michael

  5. #5
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    Over Bangkok, 30 seconds or so from touchdown...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Michael

  6. #6
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    A few feet above the runway, about to slam down...
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    Michael

  7. #7
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    brilliant report glad you had a nice/ok flight going there but you should complain to thai international airways for the return flight as that is not on glad you also enjoyed thailand and got a tan i went to jersey and got a tan aswell glad you are back and you are now going to have to catch up on all the news

  8. #8
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    One-Two-Go Boeing 757 parked up at Bangkok. This is HS-OTA and it was still parked here early this morning when we departed for London...
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    Michael

  9. #9
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    kool photos michael welcome home!

  10. #10
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    Great report Michael, shame to hear about the inbound flight. I'm off to the sun and the warmth of the Far East in just over 2 weeks now, so I'm very much looking forward to it!

  11. #11
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    Great report!! Shame about the inbound flight!!
    Last flights:
    17/4/11 TCX2134 MAN-ACE G-TCCB
    24/4/11 TCX2135 ACE-MAN G-DAJC

  12. #12
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    FYI, Michael, I was parked up a couple of gates away from Royal Barge at ZRH on the 25th of March. Didn't get a pic, though, there was an LX 330 and a 340 between us.

  13. #13
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    Nice holiday but not so nice flight home seems ages since you went ,you really give a good flight report lots of detail and information thanks again

  14. #14
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    Great report and pictures. Shame about the return flight

  15. #15
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    cheers T5, the reviews were well worth a read and the photographs looked great!


    LGKR

  16. #16
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    Michael, i know I'm not going exactly where you were, but it's in the same area! Just wondering if you had to take malaria tablets? And if so, how did you cope with them? Where we're going we have to take them, I just hope there isn't any side-effects.

    And also, what is the weather like at this time of year? I'm guessing very hot, extremely humid, lots of tropical rainstorms etc?

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by wannabe pilot
    Michael, i know I'm not going exactly where you were, but it's in the same area! Just wondering if you had to take malaria tablets? And if so, how did you cope with them? Where we're going we have to take them, I just hope there isn't any side-effects.

    And also, what is the weather like at this time of year? I'm guessing very hot, extremely humid, lots of tropical rainstorms etc?
    You'll not need to take malaria tablets. I know that no vaccinations are compulsory unless you plan on visiting the extremely remote areas of the country. Yellow fever is required if you are arriving in Thailand from an infected country. If this is the case, you will be required to show a certificate. I had my yellow fever two years ago after visiting Costa Rica, but it's not too easy to get hold of. It has to be used within days of being manufactured, so most surgeries don't stock it.

    The weather is 'tropical' and all year round you are guaranteed sunshine whenever you visit. I think the Thai people say that there are 2 seasons - one hot, one cooler and one wet. Unfortunately, July is very wet and the wettest month of the year. We had 5 days of non-stop rain which appeared from nowhere. I understand about this time of year to be the hottest and with the Thai New Year going on as well, it's an excellent time to visit. November (my next trip) is the cooler season with temperatures still very high, but nice at about 32C.

    Don't be put off by the thought of rain though. We had perfect weather for most of our 3 week holiday last July and the rain is a treat in the very humid conditions in which you'll be living. Have a great trip.
    Michael

  18. #18
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    No T5, I'm not actually going to Thailand. I'm going to the Malaysian island of Borneo, in the rainforests where I think Malaria tablets are very highly recommended.

    Sounds like the weather should be good, and I think even when it does rain it's so hot, it'll soon be over with anyway!

  19. #19
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    sorry to hear about the return flight hope you had a marvellous time as like i said i is off to BKK soon with Thai hope my return flight is better good report and great photos

  20. #20
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    Youve missed a lot of arguing. KabirT, Steve and Andrew are all leaving, because of crap posted by skylinerworld.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by starjet
    Youve missed a lot of arguing. KabirT, Steve and Andrew are all leaving, because of crap posted by skylinerworld.
    So I hear. I hope my incredibly long flight review doesn't fit into the 'Crap' catergory!
    Michael

  22. #22
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    No it doesn't!! It fits into the excellent category!!
    Last flights:
    17/4/11 TCX2134 MAN-ACE G-TCCB
    24/4/11 TCX2135 ACE-MAN G-DAJC

  23. #23
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    Great report and great pictures!
    Click here to view my photos at JetPhotos.net!
    Click here to visit my website!

  24. #24
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    Top report Michael and a shame about the return flight. Doesn't Thailand look gloomy in those pics, I thought those were your LHR landing pics for a minute? (lol)

    Your report certainly doesn't fit into the 'crap' file, it's just the sort of thing we need more of on here just now.

    Well done.
    Go n-ithe an cat thú, is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat !

  25. #25
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    Michael,

    Good to have you back, and I'm always pleased to read a report on a Star Alliance carrier. I am very disturbed to hear that your return flight was so bad. When it is 12 hours in duration, it makes it all that much worse. Seeing as your previous 3 flight on TG went so well, and this one went so bad, it was probably a more difficult pill to swallow. I echo the sentiments that one of the members mentioned earlier on this thread, in that you should notify Thai Airways via an email on their website. Basically, copy and paste what you just wrote for us in the email you send them. If you are a frequent flyer member, include that number in your email. Also include that you plan on flying them in the future and are loyal to them, however you were inconvenienced by the sub-par service on this particular flight. Lastly, do not lose faith in Thai because of this one bad flight. I have a bad flight or two on United, as well. When I do, however, I let them know about it and I have been awarded in the past.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by greekdude1
    Michael,

    Good to have you back, and I'm always pleased to read a report on a Star Alliance carrier. I am very disturbed to hear that your return flight was so bad. When it is 12 hours in duration, it makes it all that much worse. Seeing as your previous 3 flight on TG went so well, and this one went so bad, it was probably a more difficult pill to swallow. I echo the sentiments that one of the members mentioned earlier on this thread, in that you should notify Thai Airways via an email on their website. Basically, copy and paste what you just wrote for us in the email you send them. If you are a frequent flyer member, include that number in your email. Also include that you plan on flying them in the future and are loyal to them, however you were inconvenienced by the sub-par service on this particular flight. Lastly, do not lose faith in Thai because of this one bad flight. I have a bad flight or two on United, as well. When I do, however, I let them know about it and I have been awarded in the past.
    Thanks for the reply. I did fill out one of their surveys on the aircraft and forgot to hand it to the crew. As a a result, I would now have to post it back to Thailand. I'll browse the website and find an email address to contact them.

    Will post their reply in a few days.
    Michael

  27. #27
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    nice report and nice pics too !! keep it up

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