- Australia Trip Report: Introduction
- United 777 First Class: San Francisco – Honolulu
- Review: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach
- United Club Lounge + United Global First 747 Honolulu – Tokyo
- Thai Airways First Class A380 Tokyo – Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok
- Thai Airways First Class 747 Bangkok to Sydney
- Christmas Eve on Darling Harbour
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Sydney Opera King Room
- Park Hyatt Sydney: Room Service and Breakfast at The Dining Room
- Sydney Opera House and Manly Beach
- Hotel Review: Hilton Sydney
- Air New Zealand Lounge + United 747 First Class: Sydney – San Francisco
- 6 Observations about Sydney
I had quite a long layover in Bangkok, and checked in about 4 hours before flight departure. Thai Airways’ First Class check-in is at the far side of the terminal. When I finally got there, I was greeted by a rep standing at a metal podium, who was chatting with a few airport workers. When I handed him my ticket and passport, he nodded, took hold of my bag, and walked me into the check-in area – which was really just an area walled-off with metal panels. I was the only person there and was promptly greeted by three different agents standing behind a desk. One of them walked over and shook my hand while another agent took hold of my ticket, passport, and bag. I was offered a seat across from where the agents were standing. When I sat down, another rep came and placed a tray containing a glass, bottled water, and towel on the table.
Just as she left, the first agent came by and gave me details about my flight departure, arrival, etc. I seized the opportunity to pre-order my in-flight meal, which ended up being a good call (more on that later). At this time, I was handed off to another rep, who was tasked with accompanying me to the lounge.
Escort to the Lounge
There was a designated first class security area nearby, where I got through fairly quickly. I had a tiny pair of scissors from a sowing kit I’d forgotten about in my purse, which the security official made me throw out. Security was a breeze and as minuscule as it seems, I love it when I don’t have to take my shoes off. Next was immigration, right behind security. Five seconds and I was through. The rep was waiting for me on the other side, walked me down the escalator and said, “My friend will meet us here and drive you to the lounge.” Right on cue, a Thai Airways golf cart pulled up. I hopped on and pretty much held on to dear life as the driver sped through the terminal.
We drove past the business class lounge, which was quite packed. The driver parked right inside the First Class lounge and the attendant took over from there.
She walked me into the lounge, where several other attendants were standing near the bar and greeted me warmly. I was directed to a private room, which was well appointed, with plenty of seating, a flatscreen tv, and a desk area.
Another attendant came in with a glass of iced ginger tea. She also handed me an iPad and invited me to browse the lounge menu, so I ordered Pad Thai. After a while I found it awkward and kind of boring sitting in a small room by myself, so I moved to the open seating area. It was pretty much empty if you don’t count the German couple that sat in a booth behind me and left about ten minutes later.
Moments after I sat down, my Pad Thai arrived, which was good. I took a few bites in between doing work, and found it to be a generally relaxing environment. The attendants had it pretty easy. I was the only guest and there were five of them, just hanging out in front of the bar. The lounge was completely overstaffed.
While you can order off a menu, there are is also a buffet station, with food so beautifully presented, you don’t want to touch it. There are a variety of things to snack on, pastries, desserts, etc.
When the attendant came by to clear my plate, I asked her about scheduling a massage. She took care of it and when it was time to go, she walked me to the front desk, where another attendant escorted me to the Spa. This was totally unnecessary since the spa was right across from the lounge, but it was nice anyway.
Royal Orchid Spa
Unlike every other blogger that visits the spa, I opted for a neck and shoulder massage. I wasn’t in the mood for a drawn-out, full body massage and wanted to get it over with so I’d have something to write about. After checking in with the attendant, I sat down in the waiting area for all but three minutes when a masseuse came by and walked me over to the massage area. There were a series of open stalls, for lack of a better word, in a corridor and the entire area was dimly lit.
I think the massage took 20 minutes and for the first five minutes it felt like pure torture. The masseuse eased up upon my request and at the end of it I did feel much better, but damn it I will not forget what felt like an ass kicking for the first five minutes!
When it was over, she walked me out and I found my way back to the lounge, which had maybe two guests this time. One was in a private room and the other loitered for a bit before I was yet again alone. This time, the attendants were kind of slacking off. I had to waive one down so I could order a Thai Iced Tea. This stuff was pure heaven and if I can finally shake down the Thai Airways social media team into giving me the recipe, Starbucks will go out of business and I will balloon to 300 pounds within a year. Guaranteed.
I stuck around for a while longer and about thirty minutes before departure, I headed out. One of the attendants stopped me and told me it wasn’t time to board yet. I confirmed my flight information and he assured me someone would get me as soon as it was time to board. After another 15 minutes I was beginning to worry I’d miss the flight, which was showing up as on time. I headed out and checked with the agent, who again assured me all was well. I sat down and five minutes later he announced it was time to go. With 10 minutes to go before departure, I was sure we would be late. A rep instructed me and a couple to follow her. The gate was a short walk from the lounge and after speeding us through a security checkpoint and onto the plane, I finally was able to relax.
A few people in first class had already boarded, while business was pretty much full. I found it strange that they boarded us last, but I was just relieved to make it onboard.
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