Thai Airways is the national airline of Thailand, and is one of the founding members of the Star Alliance airline group. Often styled as THAI, the airline flies to over 78 destinations in 35 countries. In 2012 they launched their domestic carrier, Thai Smile, and are also the largest shareholder in the Thai budget airline Nok Air
Thai Airways once operated two of the longest non-stop routes in the world: between Bangkok and the USA. Unfortunately these routes were suspended in 2012, due to industry pressures. Not afraid to innovate, THAI was the first Asia-Pacific airline to serve London Heathrow. It’s now one of the largest APAC carriers currently operating in Europe.
The airline has a very quirky uniform policy. Flight attendants wear purple suits on the ground, and change into different clothing for the on-board service: female attendants wear traditional Thai dresses, while male attendants change into different suit jackets. They change back into their ground uniform before landing.
Thai Airways sponsors the Football Association of Thailand, and is also an official sponsor of Red Bull Racing.
How to Check In
Online check-in starts 24 hours before flight departure, and ends two hours before. Thai Airways also offer mobile check-in via their mobile site. The service is only available on domestic flights departing from Bangkok, Chiangmai, and Phuket, and you need a mobile phone registered in Thailand. There’s a 6 baht fee for receiving the MMS with the boarding card. You can also check-in the old fashioned way: at the airport counter.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Checked baggage allowance is based on route and class. Royal Silk Class (business) passengers can bring up to 30kg of luggage spread across multiple pieces, Economy passengers can bring 20kg, lap babies can bring 10kg, while members of ROP Gold and Star Alliance Gold can bring 20kg extra and ROP Silver members can bring 10kg extra on TG sectors. There are excess baggage fees for passengers who exceed the weight limit.
Seating – Leg Room, Choosing Seats
Economy seat pitch tends to all between 31” and 34”, giving passengers a good amount of room to stretch their legs. Legroom for business passengers varies, from 37”-38” on Airbus A300-600 up to a whopping 87” on the Boeing 777-300ER. Seat pitch for first class passengers starts at 76” on the A340-600 planes, and rises to a respectable 85” on the Boeing 747-400. Seats are assigned at check in.
There are no extra booking costs.
Meals, Snacks, Drinks
Thai hospitality certainly extends on board. First class passengers are greeted with a glass of vintage champagne, and gourmet meals are served at a time chosen by each passenger. There’s also a premium bar service featuring fine wine, aged whiskies, and a range of liqueurs. Business travellers also receive gourmet meals, served restaurant style on porcelain plates with crystal wine glasses. There’s a complimentary bar too, with plenty of fancy drinks on offer. Economy passengers also benefit from a complimentary bar service, and a tasty meal featuring either an Asian or Western main course. Thai Airways boast that their economy class meals could easily surpass business class meals on any other airline.
Thai Airways is fairly punctual. In 2013 87% of departures left on time, while 80% of arrivals did.