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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: Thai Airway 787-8 Economy Bangkok-Phnom Penh

In my previous posts, you can see how I booked this fare but it was on one itinerary from Manila-Bangkok in Business Class and then onward to Phnom Penh in economy for 27.5k United Miles.


As we had a flight time of only 52 minutes this review will be relatively short, especially since I was sick and didn't take too many pictures.


Bangkok Transit:


In my previous post, you can read what happened during my transit in BKK. However, after realizing I had to get on the plane I made my way over to the new terminal (S Gates) by train which is a rocketship!


I got to gate 109 approximately 10 minutes before boarding and saw there to be a 787-8 at the gate. This was amazing since the original flight showed an A320 but as we all know Thai Airways translation in English is "aircraft switch" but this time it worked out for the better. I will always try to avoid narrowbodies where I can since I feel like I am sitting in a sardine can.


Boarding commenced right on time and they even had two jetbridges for this flight which is a nice offering. I turned right (yes I know so sad) and made my way back to seat 44A for the short hop to Cambodia.


The Seat:


Due to the aircraft switch, I was lucky with no one sitting next to me during this flight. The 787-8 is arranged in a classic 3-3-3 configuration which seems to be the industry standard for the Boeing 787 series. The seat was more than adequate for a short flight, my legs didn't touch the seatback and at 6 foot tall that's a good sign. They were showing signs of wear such as rattling and a window dimmer that looked like it had spun through the washing machine 67 times but it all functioned okay. Each seat also features a screen with some different options of movies and TV shows.



The 3-3-3 arrangement is a comfortable way to fly on such a short flight especially when no one is sitting next to you.



Take-off:


We pushed back right on time and the loudest screech was heard from the flaps going down for takeoff. I don't get nervous flying but to say that a worrying thought didn't go through my head would be lying. We headed out on a short taxi where we departed North, bound for Cambodia.



In-Flight Service:


Approximately 8 minutes after takeoff the crew snapped into action to serve a full meal and beverage service on this 52 minutes flight. For a 52-minute flight in First Class in the US you would be lucky to receive a snack let alone a full meal in economy. An amazing attendant came around the aisles offering a Chicken Teriyaki with Japanese white sticky rice while saying "Please enjoy your meal" to every customer. A drink cart followed behind with options of soda, water, red wine, white wine, or some liquor all for free. I didn't choose to have anything mainly because I was half asleep and ill.



The meal was actually really good surprisingly. I wasn't expecting anything on a flight of this length but was pleasantly surprised. The chicken was flavorful and the rice was just, well, rice.


The crew came around as we began our descent from 28,000 feet to clear up all of the trays and before we knew it the light of Phnom Penh came into sight.


The service didn't feel over the top rushed but it did feel like they were trying to squeeze in a meal (which is exactly what they are doing). With the amount of passengers they had to serve the crew did a fantastic job.


Arrival:


We touched down exactly, you guessed it, 52 minutes after takeoff into Phnom Penh. With a runway length of less than 8500ft, the pilots had to engage those reverse thrusters and apply those brakes. After a taxi of about 2 minutes, we pulled into the gate and went straight to immigration where I had my visas ready. I was let right into the country with no problems and was off to the hotel.



Final Thoughts:


While I was sick and wasn't in the mood to take this flight it was unbelievably pleasant and would fly this route again with Thai, especially if it was on a 787-8. TG offered a full meal service with alcohol on a 52-minute flight in economy! The seats were more than adequate as well as the legroom. Everything was on time and efficient. Overall I would rate this product a 8.8/10 for economy.

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