Category Archives: review flights

TG first class PRIVATE 747 flight, syd-bkk, video

Once again, we flew “private” in first class, from syd-bkk. There were no one else booked on that first class cabin. We were the only ones. We ate at one seat, watch tv at another one, sleep on another bed already pre made, with 2 private bathroom just for us. This award redemptions is turning to be one of the best, as we ended up with so many private flights!

service: 9/10. good consistent service.

food: from Sydney, the food seemed to be less good than a flight from Bangkok. We pre-ordered the lobster noodles dish this time.

videos of tg first class 747:

 

pictures:

20150204_10284720150204_12075620150204_10165420150204_11013520150204_11254020150204_11333320150204_11334420150204_11124520150204_11482020150204_10583520150204_12052920150204_100959

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY SQ Singapore first class lounge, hidden lounge 2015

we booked thai tg first class from SYD to BKK. but as a first class star alliance passenger, we have access to the SQ  lounge.

Normally, the staff will tell you that you have access to the new Zealand lounge NZ (which is older, noisier, not as good). We prefer to be outside than inside the old NZ lounge.

The sq first lounge is actually closer to the boarding gate that Thai normally use.

 At the check in desk of sq lounge, the lounge” dragon” ( verify and authorized access), checked our boarding pass and then … Just press a button. Suddenly, a hidden door right beside her slide to open up and she tell us to go into the SQ first class lounge. There were no sign, no mention ANYWHERE that it is a door or entrance to the SQ first class lounge. 

 the lounge is quite nice, good food, good décor, showers clean and big:

 

20150204_093401 20150204_091857 20150204_091859 20150204_091843 20150204_091852 20150204_091847 20150204_091905 20150204_093408 20150204_091843 20150204_091819 20150204_091834 20150204_091829 20150204_091807

 

quantas business class SYD-MEL, quantas business domestic lounge

quantas flight syd-mel business class:

cost: booked with avios, ? cheaper than paying economy. Lots of availability Avios is great for booking flight inside Australia, as the cost cash is always much higher than the points award redemptions.

quantas business class lounge is actually hidden at the back of their normal “CLUB” lounge, accessible ONLY for business and high tier frequent flyers. The “club” lounge is accessible for anyone holding a quantas club paid card.

view from lounge:

20150128_08552820150128_08553420150128_085542

 

 

quantas flight and meal for a short 1 hour flight:

20150128_123936 20150128_124549

Flight TG first BKK-SYD 747, PRIVATE flight

once again, we were the ONLY ones booked for first class flight from bkk-syd, on the tg 747 airplane.

We had the whole first class cabin to play with, eat at one seat, sleep on another one. The thai crew always seemed to love serving us when we are the only ones in the first class cabin. I think maybe because we are not fuzzy or demanding: no alcohol (even with all the free dom perignom), no caviar for my travel partner. They always had to make sure to ask many times that we do not want caviar or champagne… Sometimes, we wish we can just randomly ask someone in the economy cabin to come and dine with us to enjoy the dom perignom and caviar (send me a PM next time !)

cost: part of the 140000 points usairways round the world australia trip

food: 8/10 surprisingly good. we normally do not expect much when flying on an older 747 airplane. Maybe the food was good because it depart from bkk airport, their main airport?

we also PRE-ORDER the lobster. You have the option of pre-ordering special food at least 48 hours prior the flight to get meals like lobster, thai set meals etc. ONLY for thai first class passengers. When the flight is not full, if you do not like the meal you pre-order, the crew have no problem cooking you the pre set meal in the menu.

20150127_175310 20150127_175314 20150127_190115 20150127_190848 20150127_190912 20150127_191016 20150127_152209 20150127_192737 20150127_192133 20150127_152213 20150127_193846 20150127_195208 20150127_193852 20150128_020516 20150127_152155 20150127_152158

service: 10/10 exceptional crew this time. Before, the past few year, TG thai first was very variable, sometimes good, sometimes blah. So far this year (2015), the service on the first class thai was quite consistent across the airplane (747 to a380 flagship)

seat: even if older than their new a380 mini suites, I really like this seat (when it is private flight with no one else), as this seat is quite roomy width wise when you sleep. The IFE entertainment is older. There are 2 bathroom just for us.

20150204_102847

 

 

 

TG thai business class MNL to BKK

We had only 40 minutes from the moment we enter the mnl airport to the flight’s departure time. 40 min to clear 1st secutirt for the bags, then check in, then pay the airport fee, then clear customs, then clear security again…

but we managed to catch the flight.

What was the reason why we were late: well the flight from Palawan ENI with ITI airline was delayed, then it took them forever to bring the luggage to the ITI private terminal (they bring it on a cart by hand).

Then we had to drive from the ITI private terminal to the international terminal. Even if on the map it is very close (2-3 kms), it still took us a good 30 minutes by PRIVATE BMW7 series that we prebooked with raffles hotel before.

Before, we were not too happy to learn that ITI had a bus services for only $30 usd, as we paid $100 for the BMW7 service.  (see iti air Palawan post). When we saw the traffic, and the fact that we actually made it to the airport on time, (as the ITI bus had to make many stops before going to the right international terminal), we were so glad we went with the private raffles hotel transfer service !!

It is still amazing that we were able to check in 30 min before departure, clear customs, 2x security etc in any airport. (even if we had 40 min from the time we enter the doors of the airport) we wasted 10 min at the first security check, as they did not know what to do with all our dive gear.

at manila airport, TG waiting and departure area have a DISTINCT separate waiting area and seats for priority customers (first time we saw this anywhere in the world). Normally, the departure area only have a separate line for priority boarding, not a completely separate seating area as well.

The flight TG is 3 hour mnl-bkk, on an business recliner, non lie flat.

seats: 7/10 considering short flight, recliners style. nothing special to take pictures off.

food: 6/10. not as good as SQf Fisrt class sin-mnl, not as good as a380 F TG

entertainment: 5/10 was on an older system

REMEMBER that even if thai FA do not distribute fast track pass anymore for customs, as a Thai aiways business or first class passenger, you have access to the “hidden” premium line to clear customs. There is NO clear signs at the BKK airport, just follow the premium and APEC / diplomatic line. If a staff stop you before, just show them the business boarding pass. ONLY when you made it to the officers, that there is a small sign that say thai business and first class premium customs line.

We saw a lot of business class TG passengers unaware of the premium line…

Thai air menu:

20150126_130747 20150126_130729

Singapore first class SIN to MNL

We took Singapore 77w flight from Sin to mnl. Cost: 37000 points. (cash cost: 37000 x 0.015 usd): flying first class and cheaper than paying directly cash for economy seats.

it depart at terminal2, so no access to the private lounge SQ first. We did have access to the SQ first lounge in the morning. As usual, the food selection in the lounge is very good, fresh noodles, food serves on Givenchy plates etc..

The flights is only 3 hour from sin to manila Philippine. Even on a short flight, we had the full Singapore first class services: hot towels, full meals, even had time for s quick sleep on the bed.

There are only 8 First seats on that flight. SIN-MNL sq first is the easiest way and cheapest way to experience SQ first. The availability of award is wide open, and you still have access to the first class dedicated check in, lounges at Singapore. We booked this flight relatively late, and were still able to get first class seats awards.

FOOD: 9/10 SQ f is usually always very good.

Service: 10/10: Sq F is always quite consistent, service without being too intrusive, fast while being discreet.

Seat: while very wide, the seat is not my favorite when watching a movie: it does not offer good support for the legs when in recline position.

TV: it used to be that sq F tv are the best, but with newer tv with better contrast, the old 77w tv are now look outdated compared to other airlines (even compared to air canada business class).

20150121_110752 20150121_082549 20150121_092059 20150121_092103 20150121_092107 20150121_092112 20150121_092119 20150121_093329 20150121_093403 20150121_093549 20150121_093555 20150121_093605 20150121_093619 20150121_103305 20150121_104532

FLights ITI airline, MNL to ENI (el nido palawan)

flight is on private charter ITI, cost $500 pp round trip, one class, economy for 75-100 passengers. luggage allowance is only 10kgs. any excess luggage is at 100 php per kilo.  You can leave any luggage not needed at the ITI private terminal in manila.

The terminal is not close to the international terminal. Even if on the map it looks close, with the traffic and custom, you need minimum 3-4 hours between your arrival international flight and departure time of ITI flight. We did not know that, we had 2 hour of singapore arrival, as there were no mention on their website,  and even with the emails, they did not let us know. So we ended up staying one night in makati manila at the raffles hotel at our own expenses.

In retrospect, since we were the first one to get off the plane (first class SQ singapore), we had ample of time to get to the ITI terminal on time…

The flight is only one hour long, with no drinks served so remember to buy and bring some bottle water as it gets really hot.

the wood boarding pass:

20150122_065553

 

ITI private terminal (NOT domestic NOT international terminal):

20150122_073105

 

ITI lounge:

20150122_073039 20150122_073205

 

palawan ENI landing:

20150122_102740

 

once you get off the private airstrip of ENI airport, they will jeep you

to their boat harbour:

20150122_111334

 

then to another speed boat to pangulasian resort:

20150122_114135

 

RETURN BOAT TRANSFER FROM RESORT TO el nido town:

20150126_083901 20150126_083910

 

El nido town harbour:

20150126_085516 20150126_085508

 

EL nido ITI private airport and “lounge”

20150126_092645 20150126_092650 20150126_092810 20150126_092659

 

SO only when we were at the ITI lounge that they advertise a NEW service : bus transfer at arrival in manila to the international terminal!

we DID NOT know that ! their websites did not display it, their travel agent did not tell us. And because we read online that previous customers had nightmares transfer at manila because everybody was calling and competing for taxi at arrival, we wer scared (tight 3 hour window) and pre-arranged our own private transfer with raffles hotel (4500 php !!) witht he bmw 7. (could have save 20$ usd for just a van, but for jsut $20 for the bmv 7? why not we thought).

when we saw that sign advertising the bus transfer services for much less, we thought “doh” !!

BUT once we arrive in manila after the delayed flight (ITI is very well known to delay and even cancelled the previous scheduled flight), we had only less than 1 hour before our international flight depart… one hour to get to the international terminal, check in, clear security, customs.. etc..

the drive from the ITI terminal to the international terminal took 25 minutes! even if it is only 2-3 kms away. GOOD thing we had our own private expensive transfer, as with the bus, we would never get there on time, as they stop at domestic terminal, then international terminal….

In retrospect, we should have booked another day in makati manila after arrival from palawan, as we learned at ITI is always late or usually cancel flights. Luckily, for us, we made it to the international flight on time.

 

 

4k video tour of thai first a380, private flight cdg-bkk

part of our australia 2015 first class trip was booked with thai airways first on the new airbus a380, from cdg-bkk.

the first cabin is configured as 12seats, all mini suites. There are 2 private bathroom (one huge bathroom located in the nose of the airplane, the front left. There is a private lounge at front right side)

we managed to be the only ones on this flight in first class. So we had the WHOLE a380 first to play and sleep with. Taking off on one seat, eat at another one, sleep at another seat with the bed premade… We had Private bathroom, private lounges, and the best thai crew ever, with what seems like 5 (!!) FA serving us.

it feels a lot more spacious and luxurious as we felt as if 20150119_141110 20150119_141136 we were on our private airplane with all that space. It felt as it is better than the new “residence suite first class” of etihad

 

private lounge:

20150119_141128

thai first class food and pre order LOBSTER thermidor:

you can pre order food from thai website for special orders like lobsters, thai set menu etc..:

20150120_122723

 

20150120_050829

20141121_144311 20141121_145050 20141121_152353 20141121_232903 20141121_154256

When you are flying first with thai from CDG paris, we also had access to the whole first class lounge at the star alliance first lounge at terminal 1. There were nobody in that first class lounge. The lounge is basic, with basic food and drinks.

For showers, we had to go downstairs and use the showers in the business lounges at terminal1. The showers were decent, clean, and is bigger than swiss first class showers lounges at zurich. The water Pressure was good, but the room was HOT as the infrared lamp was on permanently.

At arrival in BKK airport, as with all first class passengers, we had a ground crew waiting with our names. We boarded a private golf cart and they escorted us to the thai first lounge.

as usual, what is special about thai tg first services compared to other first class airlines is their excellent ground services and lounges: you get access to their award winning first lounge even if transiting in first class to business class, and you have access to the free one hour massage ! ( as long as your next flights in business class is also with thai tg airways)

below is the video shot in 4k with samsung note4, non edited, raw from phone note 4, of first class thai a380

First class lufthansa in 3 D

3D PICTURES OF  lufthansa first class

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 3D PICTURES OF LUFTHANSA FIRST CLASS

usual MPO 3 d format.

as usual, LH F is consistent and excellent. service and food was excellent

tip: if your plane end up at non gate position in munich, LH F ground services will pick you up in mercedes s class and drive you directly to the first class lounge.

then you can clear passport control in a private passport booth inside the lounge.

The food in lh F lounge MUC this time was just ok.

maybe we have been spoiled by the excellent food in italy and paris on this trip already. (in many future posts)

 

 

SYD lounge quantas, air calin business class SYD-NOU

trip planner: new caledonia

remember that if you fly business class international with quantas at SYD airport, you can check in at a dedicated private area at the end of the terminal.

It is a little like first class terminal at frankfurt : private check in, private security, and the lounge entrance is directly connected right after the security !! that is cool for just business class service

The food at air calin biz class is average, surprisingly for a french airline.

the seat of the flight air calin SYD-NOU is non lie flat, recliner comfortable for a short 3 hour flight

quantas and their partner, air calin does accept reward points booking with AVIOS. and since the distance is short, avios rewards is worth it. It cost 20000 avios plus $235 tax and fees for business class ticket one way per person. Compared to min $1000 usd pp one way.

DSC00516

syd quantas lounge food
syd quantas lounge food
quantas lounge food
quantas lounge food

DSC00522

DSC00524

air calin business class seat
air calin business class seat
air calin business class
air calin business class
menu air calin biz class
menu air calin biz class

DSC00530

food air cain biz class
food air cain biz class
food air calin biz class
food air calin biz class

DSC00541