OK, I’m not ashamed to admit, I had zero sleep the night before this flight. I knew I had to be up early in order to get to BKK in time to enjoy the lounge and spa.
I was so excited to finally fly on a whalejet, I just couldn’t sleep.
By about 4am, I decided to crank up the Illy coffee machine and officially “wake up”.
I had an incredibly talkative taxi driver, who I’m sure was very friendly, although it was hard to tell for sure because he knew as many words in English as I do in Thai.
The conversation was a bit like this, with the ironic twist being that I played the role of the Asian man.
It’s always a fantastic feeling, pulling up to a special area of the airport for a flight (my favourite so far is the Virgin Upper Class Wing at LHR). TG has its First Class check-in area on the far left hand side of BKK airport. So, it’s the first part of the airport you come across when you approach by car.
The F dragons quickly asked if I was flying in F and waved me through to the check-in area. I was invited to take a seat in a huge comfy chair and offered some water and a cold towel.
The lady in purple came over to ask if I wanted to reserve a massage and also said they could check me in for my onward flights on OZ. I asked if they would be able to reserve seat 1K on both flights, as row 1 was blocked online.
I was handed All 3 boarding passes, printed on TG stock:
Getting seat 1K on the NRT-ICN leg meant that I was guaranteed an F seat sold as Business (another one of life’s great feelings!)
I was escorted through security by one of the F dragons, who informed me that this morning’s flight was no longer 3/12 in F as a load of UA passengers had been IRROPED onto my flight TG388. With that slightly bad news, she handed over to my buggy driver.
I was greeted at the Spa and had my 1hr massage confirmed. I was then given my second towel of the day (hot this time) and some tea to drink.
Unfortunately, the massage was average at best. The masseuse was wearing a mask, which made the whole affair seem bizzarely clinical, like an autopsy. Also, the room was SUPER cold. She turned the aircon off after a couple of minutes but I was never warm enough to relax, especially given that you could hear airport announcements the whole time.
All in all, not worth coming to the airport early for. Especially given how cheap it is to get a proper Thai massage in Bangkok. The value added is literally $30 at most.
With around 50 minutes to go, I sat in a private room in the F lounge. I was again greeted with a towel (back to cold) and tea. I was also given an iPad menu. A new addition since my last visit to the lounge in 2010.
The service was excellent. My server was very quick to bring me a strong espresso with milk on the side. My food came less than 2 minutes later. The freshly squeezed watermelon juice was really fresh and I was proactively asked if I wanted it standard or blended with ice (a nice touch).
Off the top of my head, I would take J lounge food in the Tokyo Narita JAL or NH lounges, the VS clubhouse in LHR and the Qantas lounge in HKG, over this. Those are all great Business Class lounges but a national carrier in it’s home base shouldn’t be losing to them in its flagship First Class lounge.
Shortly after finishing the food (and another coffee) I was informed that my flight was ready to board. I walked to the reception desk, where a greeter met myself and one other F passenger and walked us to the gate. It was actually a pretty long walk but for whatever reason there was no buggy. I’m not sure what the criteria are for getting buggies in BKK, they seem to be doled out at random, depending on how many happen to be near you at any given time.
Still, given the amount of eating and drinking taking place on this trip, the walk was probably a good thing…