Monday, October 3, 2011

FRA - BKK on Thai First Class with Lufthansa FCL visit


We heard those dreaded words when checking in for our flight to Bangkok - "I'm sorry sir. There was an aircraft swap and it's the older plane today". We were as some flyertalkers called it, just TGed! Thai operates 2 types of 747 one with a relatively new first class cabin and an ancient (and I'm not exaggerating when I say ancient) first class cabin. We were truly disappointed but I tried to console myself that "at least" I get to try the older plane and blog about it. Yea right.

We declined the escort by the ground agents  through immigration and to the Senator Lounge that Thai uses for it's First Class Passengers as we wanted to do some shopping and head to the First Class Lounge in Terminal B since we had a same day Lufthansa First Class boarding pass from our flight from Almaty. The First Class lounges are only open to Lufthansa First Class and Honor Circle passengers. Other first class Star Alliance passengers are relegated to the Senator Lounges which are also open to Star Gold passengers.

It took us a good 15 minute walk through the mess in Frankfurt to get to First Class Lounge in Terminal B. First impression of the lounge was that it looks ALMOST identical to the First Class Terminal. We were shocked at how quiet the lounge was - we might have been the only 2 passengers in the lounge when we arrived but eventually a couple more passengers arrived later on.


747 from the lounge

After a couple of waters, whiskey and champange, we headed to one of the shower rooms that had the bath tub. There was no one manning the counter so we just helped ourselves. As with the shower rooms in the First Class Terminal, the shower room was huge and it was more than enough for both of us. We turned on the bubble bath and slowly enjoyed a dip with a glass of whiskey.

We next checked out the buffet for a light snack. We were slightly disappointed that the food selection for dinner is identical to the lunch menu. Since we expected a pretty big meal on the plane later, we just grab some snacks and dessert from the buffet.

Instead of the ice-cream bar that we had at the FCT last week, the lounge put on an impressive fresh fruit selection.

Since we still had time to kill and didn't know how far the departure gate at Terminal C was, we left the lounge early and headed to the Senator Lounge at Terminal C which was a hike away. It ended up being a pretty bad decision as we worked out a slight sweat and the lounge was underwhelming especially coming from the FCL. In hindsight, we should have either just stayed longer or head to the renovated Senator Lounge in terminal B. Oh well.

We arrived at the departure gate right on the departure time printed on the boarding pass but boarding had not started yet. About five minutes later, the ground staff that helped us with check-in saw us and escorted us into the aircraft first just as the boarding announcement was made. Love the pro-activeness!
747 taking us to Bangkok

There was no miracle and we were stuck with the old First Class cabin. We didn't get an empty cabin with another passenger traveling with us today. There are 14 first class seats which are all in pairs. This was great for couples traveling together but I wouldn't be happy if I was traveling alone and paid for a full fare first class ticket. The seats wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be as it was actually rather comfortable to sit and lounge in. The only drawback was that this has got to be the narrowest first class seat ever.

The infamous old seats.

There was a 30 minute delay due to air traffic control but when you're flying first class on vacation, delays aren't a big deal. It just means more time on the plane to drink, eat and sleep. There was the pre-departure drinks and nuts run from the flight attendants and we were disappointed that they did not open the bottle of Dom and we requested for champange. Instead, they served us the champange meant for business class. After take off, we had to explicitly ask for the Dom to be served. Definitely not top-notch service!

Dinner was served about 2 hours after take off. I went for the Thai option with the green curry where Lydia went for the steak. The curry was good and tasty. The same however cannot be said for the steak. It was hard, overcooked and dry and not even close the the steak she had on the HKG to ICN Asiana flight a week ago. We would recommend those flying on Thai to stick to the Asian/Thai options as we have yet to have any outstanding Western option from Thai.



Bread Basket


Horrible Steak

Green curry

Dessert - Peach Crumble. Very good!
We were tired after dinner and since the inflight entertainment system was horrible on this flight (no AVOD & tiny screens), we got ready for bed. Thai provides pajamas and a good Rimowa amenity kit but there was no turn down service with extra bedding. Not sure if it was due to the old aircraft. The seats are not fully flat but we slept fine as we were already tired and I actually prefer to sleep at a slight angle.

First Class Thai Pajamas
We woke up about 2 hours prior to landing. We continued where we left off with the bottle of Dom that we couldn't finish and some breakfast (still amazes me that macabus can polish off 8 bottles on a LAX to BKK flight). For some unknown reason, the Dom tasted even better then when we had it before we went to sleep.

Fruit plate

Pork Noodle Soup


About 11 hours later, we arrived in Bangkok. This was definitely not the perfect flight with many aspects that could have been better such as the plane, food and the service itself.

Arriving into Bangkok


  1. As much as I hate the 'old' TG 744 (and I really do not know why they'd go all the way to paint the entire plane in new colors, but not upgrade the seats during the D check!), for F class, it's not that bad. Having experienced the new ones several times already, I don't think they are great either.

    Nonetheless, it's the business class passengers that got screwed big time with this equipment swap. TG must have a policy where they should allow business class passengers to opt out and endorse their tickets to LH if they end up switching their equipment last minute. Really stupid of TG to have these old versions keep flying around!

  2. Thanks for leaving the comments :)

    Agree with you that it would suck even more in business class.