Saturday, March 24, 2012

Farewell to Thai's Airbus 345: Bangkok to Los Angeles


I enjoyed a relaxing and cheap hour long foot and shoulder massage land-side before going through the long immigration lines that took me a thirty minutes to get out off. One good thing about the long lines was that the immigration officer was probably too busy to notice or care that I did not pay the departure tax.

One of the best known secrets when flying in Business Class on Star alliance or having Star Gold status is use the Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge instead of Thai's own Royal Orchid Lounges. The food is much better at the Silverkris Lounge and the only downside is that there are no showers or rest rooms. The lounge was packed when I arrived but I was the only one left after SQ's flight to Bangkok left a couple of minutes later.

View of TG's dometic lounge from the SKL

I caught up on email and talked to the wife while enjoying glasses of whiskey and fresh coconut juice that should get me in the mood for the long 15 hour flight ahead.

As with all flights to the US, there was an additional security screen at the gate. Boarding was called a couple of minutes later with priority strictly enforced. Wheel chaired passengers were boarded first and I was surprised by how many wheel chaired passengers that had on this flight.

The flight was almost full with only a couple of empty seats around in economy. The 34" seat pitch was great and thankfully the IFE was functional. On my first A345 flight a couple years ago, the IFE broke down and that wasn't fun.

Right after take off, the usual hotel towel, drink and dinner service was on offer. I chose the Thai Mussaman curry which was a tad sweet for my liking. After dinner, I took a couple motion sickness pills that put me to sleep while watching a movie until we were about 2 hours from Los Angeles. Per the menu, there was a snack service of sandwiches but I was in dreamland when that happened. Hooray for not needing to wake up for a transit stop!

There was a choice of fried rice or pasta before landing and I went with the fried rice.

Cabin approaching LAX
When we got to the arrival gate, an announcement was made for all passengers to remain seated until the okay was given to disembark. What was unusual on this flight was a bunch of LAPD folks entered the plane and escorted 2 teenagers and what looked to be an officer that were seated in the last row in economy(I'm guessing the US embassy?) of the plane first. I did notice also that they were the last to board in Bangkok. Curious to know who this folks were - probably children of the ambassador to Thailand?

I got lucky with the immigration lines at LAX as I got into a line for a counter that was just open. It was less than 10 people deep and a relatively quick 15 minutes later, I already had my bags and was waiting for my shuttle to the Radisson LAX.

1 comment:

  1. As a Malaysian, how is the visa to US? Is it troublesome and difficult to get? How are the requirements, etc bank account, are they very strict?