I am originally booked in Business Class on a redemption ticket using 75,000 ROP miles for a return flight. This leg was supposed to be on the new A380 product but 2 days earlier I received an email stating the plane had changed to the older 747 product. This meant ‘Recliner’ seats instead of the fully-flat ones I had purchased. After a number or complaint emails and phone calls to Thai Airways, I was happily surprised to receive a First Class boarding pass upon check-in at Narita airport.
Everything starts off great. I am the second passenger to board this Boeing 747-400 aircraft and am ‘slightly’ blown away at the size and space of the First Class seats. Granted, the plane is old (overhead projector onto pull down screen old!!) but the 1-1 layout is remarkable. My seat, no, ‘open suite’ is 2K on the right-hand side of the plane.
Upon sitting down I am offered a hot wet towel, glass of Dom Perignon Vintage 2006, and begin to explore my private space. The amenity kit is a hard Rimowa mini-case, filled with products by Clarins. The seat has a zillion controls, the TV pops out of the side of the console (it is quite small compared to the A350 coming over). There is also a Thai stamped macaroon to enjoy.
Shortly after take-off our meal service begins. It starts with Amuse-bouches and mixed nuts. Then the table is opened and it is huge! I request the Western menu. The table cloth is laid for me and the first course is presented but although the menu states ‘Lobster Newburg’ and ‘Salmon Gravlax’ I can’t see any lobster. I ask the flight attendant and she points at the creme fraise – but I tell her that is not lobster. She then asks a colleague who embarrassing says he forgot to add the lobster to my plate, and takes it away then returns shortly with the correct meal. Weird….
The main course is served by 2 flight attendants and consists of Scallop Coquille with vegetables. Unfortunately it’s not that good. It is luke-warm and the vegetables taste like they have just come out of the freezer.
The same slip-up that occured during the first course happens again when they forget 2/3 of the printed menu for dessert. Only the tiny panna cotta is brought. Again my plate is taken away and the correct menu items are soon brought out. It turns out to be the best part of the meal, although the mango sorbet is rock-hard.
Ah yes – the cloth napkin! This is given to me just before the second try of the dessert comes out. A little late. It’s the little things like this that I didn’t think happened in First Class. I guess a bit more training is required.
I manage to sleep in a lie flat bed position for about 3.5 hours straight which is a blessing, although the cabin is a little cold throughout.
To be honest all in all it is a very underwhelming experience. I was so excited to be upgraded – this is only the second time I have flown First Class (the other time was a short haul HKG – BKK flight on SQ Suites) and yet the food, cabin, and service coming over in Business Class on Thai Airways on their A350 product was far superior.
I am glad I didn’t use points to purchase this First Class ticket.
And to top off the experience – a bus from the plane to the gate….I’m in a grab over an hour after landing 😤.