RTW to Bali: Thai Airways First Class Bangkok – Zurich


BKK (Bangkok) – ZRH (Zurich)
3 SEP 2012
Airbus A340-600
Royal First Class

Seats 2A, 2E

As we boarding through our own First Class jet bridge and boarding door, the agent who escorted us wished us a pleasant trip and, immediately, the purser introduced himself to us and showed us to our seats in 2A and 2E.

I chose these seats because, after asking around on Flyer Talk, I learned that these would be better for having access to your travel companion. It’s a simple step across the aisle versus going through and around the forward galley if we both had the middle seats.

We were two of the last passengers to board First Class so I didn’t want to disturb the cabin by taking too many photos. Here is a picture of the entire cabin unoccupied courtesy of Airliners.net.

The Seat 

Seat 2A

Seat 2A

Seat 2A Ottoman

Seat 2E Ottoman

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RTW to Bali: Thai Airways Royal First Lounge in Bangkok


During our approach to Suvarnabhumi Airport, I started to think of what other travel bloggers had mentioned regarding the Thai Airways Royal First Lounge in Bangkok. I had heard it was one of the best First Class lounges in the world. Needless to say, I was excited.

We landed and deplaned first. With eager eyes, we stepped into the artificial light of BKK and this was the first thing we saw:

Our chariot awaits!

Our chariot awaits!

The Thai Airways buggy that shuttles First Class passengers through the airport! Hilarious yet totally awesome. Our ride was at MOST 60 seconds, but it was still nice being driven past the onlookers and escorted to the front of whatever line we came to. Joann and I just laughed at how funny we must have looked in that little golf cart.

Our driver and another F passenger

Our driver and another F passenger

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RTW to Bali: Thai Airways Business Class DPS-BKK


After cooling off long enough in the Premier Lounge, Joann and I made the humid walk to our gate where there was a queue for checking. Although there was no separate line for Business, we were through in a short few minutes.

DPS (Denpasar) – BKK (Bangkok)
2 SEP 2012
Airbus A330-300
Business Class

Seats 14A,14B

Thai’s A330 only features two classes – Business and Economy. I booked us into Business on this flight and First on the next three so the one-way United award from South Asia to USA cost 70,000 miles per person. It was a 10k mile premium over Business Class all the way and it was easily worth it.

The 2-2-2 configuration was perfectly suitable for a four hour flight. The seats were of the angled lie-flat variety. They were shell seats which was great because no one reclined into our personal area. Nothing out of this world but comfortable enough for catching a midday nap after eating.

Thai Airways A330 Angled Lie Flat

Thai Airways A330 Angled Lie Flat


The rest of the cabin

Upon settling in our seats, we found a very thick Thai Airways-branded blanket and a Crabtree & Evelyn amenity kit. The amenity kit was unisex and nothing special. The blanket was awesome; wish I could have taken one home for a couch throw!


Crabtree & Evelyn amenity kit


Thai Airways blanket

Shortly after that, the FA stopped by with hot scented towels and a choice of pre-departure beverages. We chose some Laurent-Perrier champagne over the orange and apple juices.

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne

A few minutes after takeoff, the seat belt sign was turned off and the meal service began. The food was pretty good, but nothing to write home about.


Shrimp Shumai & more champagne




Grilled dory fish with citrus honey sauce


Grilled prawn with ginger sauce


Fruit & Cheese Plate


Creme brulee & Coffee

After dinner, I perused the In-Flight Entertainment but found the selection to be pretty poor. I just kept the noise cancelling headphones on (which worked well to eliminate the engine drone) and put my seat flat to nap for a little.

When I woke up, we were already on approach to Suvarnabhumi Airport, the city of Bangkok well lit early in the evening.

Overall, this short-haul Thai flight in Business Class was a great experience – much better than any US flight in domestic First, that’s for sure.

Let’s Plan: Round The World to Bali in First Class

JFK & British Airways First Class Lounge
JFK-HKG Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific Lounges in Hong Kong – The Wing & The Pier
Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Denpasar, Bali
Arrival at DPS & Transfer to Bali Hyatt
Bali Hyatt, Sanur
So Long Hyatt, Hello Komaneka at Tanggayuda!
Things To Do in Bali
Selamat Tinggal, Komankea!
DPS Premier Lounge
Thai Airways Business Class DPS-BKK
Thai Airways Royal First Lounge in Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok – Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge in Zurich
Swiss First Class Zurich – Montreal
United Airlines First Class Montreal – Newark


Late last year, British Airways hit the frequent flyer community with some pretty devastating news. They would be changing their award chart. Previously, they had a pretty generous award chart with highlights like Business class redemptions cheaper than other airlines and unlimited stopovers. They would now be changing to a distance based award chart that did not favor those of us who liked to fly far and connect often. Most long-haul awards would be increasing mileage requirements by 40%.

It was an inevitable move seeing as they had just minted millions of miles by promoting a 100,000 Chase credit card offer that both Joann and I took advantage of. With news in hand, we decided to take our BA miles and dump them all on a First Class trip to Bali, Indonesia. Here’s how I built the itinerary:

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