Comments on my flight on Thai Airways TG923 Frankfurt to Bangkok in First Class Seat 2K on November 20, 2006
I was not addressed with my name by any cabin crew upon boarding and also not even once later during the flight. This is a bit unusual for first class. I addition to that the cabin crew did also not actively communicate with the passengers and therefore there was a total lack of personal touch during the flight. Service was friendly and polite but appeared rather standardized and mechanical. It was definitely nothing to be remembered or be impressed about.
A few little comments on the food and drink service: The cabin crew did not know that single malt whiskey is traditionally never served with ice cubes. The shrimp snack offered before the dinner was completely fatty and unhealthy. The glasses had a bad taste of dish washing liquid residues. Wine service was not very good with the glasses not regularly refilled. The tables were never cleared of crumbs or debris during the service.
The real disappointment however was not service but rather the recently refurbished first class cabin. Here, a couple of major mistakes have been made by the designer and it is unclear to me why this has been approved by the airline management. The seat arrangement is completely impractical and not at all well thought of. There are sections in the first class cabin where the aisles are even tighter then in economy class. I was not able to drag my laptop trolley bag along the aisle which I can easily in economy class of the same plane. The particularly critical spot is between the window seats of row 2 (2A and 2K) and the foot rest of the seat across the aisle next to each of them (2E and 2F). One of the cabin crew stumbled twice when passing this narrowest point. During service the cabin crew could not manage to drag the service trolley from row 3 towards row 1 to serve me at my seat in row 2. They had to make a complete go around with the trolley passing the opposite aisle and approaching me from the front. This appeared so ridiculous. The most annoying aspect however is that when seating on 2K you have the foot of your neighbor sleeping at 2F right on eye level a mere 40 centimeters beside you. Who engineered this kind of cabin layout I asked myself.
There is another critical spot around row 3 on both side aisles. There is something like a continuous step or a swell in the cabin floor and the carpet is wavy proving to be another potential stumbling point. The purple color casing of the seats looked nice and stylish but the brown wooden paneling around the seat area did not blend in well and appeared cheap and of low quality. This was especially the case for the dining tables. They were covered with plastic laminate printed with wood grain. I banged my head twice against the overhead lockers. The open lockers in combination with the very narrow aisle made boarding and disembarking a very unpleasant experience. The first class seat was not comfortable to seat in for a 190 meters tall person like me. The seat control functions/buttons were very confusing. They are too large in numbers and some buttons were redundant. Besides that, the seat belt stabilizer (a hard, 20 centimeters long piece) to my right was disturbing while trying to sleep. The toilets in F/C had not been refurbished in line with the cabin seats and appeared old. The soap spenders did not work properly. The water of the washbasin was splashing out with high power when I operated the water tap. I spoiled my shirt with water twice.
To summarize, the new first class on THAIs 747 is a half-hearted refurbishment that is not well designed. It definitely has neither a cozy nor a high class atmosphere and appears like having been made under heavy budget constraints. It is therefore neither fish nor fowl and has to be rated as industry substandard.