Airline reviews Thai Airways Hints & Tips

Thai Airways Hints, Tips and online

Fully booked empty planes on Thai Airways

Thai have some codeshared planes around the peninsular, with Thai codeshare flights on Malaysian airways planes. Often these will appear either fully booked or expensive on the Thai website, such as from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur. If you book them on the Malaysian Airlines website, they are available - and much cheaper.

Thai Airways Window Shade policy

Thai Airways have an insane window shade policy which will drive you mad, especially on the day flight from Bangkok to Sydney or Hong Kong.

Thai crew snap the shades down as soon as they have finished the inflight service, and insist that they must be down for the entire flight - in daylight. If you dare open them, they persistently dash out of the galley to harras you, insisting they must be shut. The reason for this is so that the passengers don't wake up, and then they have to serve you - it is pure lazyness.

This is irritating, particularly after an overnight connecting flight to Bangkok, when you want to stay awake on the day flight to help reset your body clock.

However a get around for the problem - at least in business class - is to seek out the purser before take off, chat to him, and explain that you would like to look out as daylight is very important to you: he will then tell the crew, who will never disobey him. Sometimes you can be the only person on the flight who is allowed to have a window shade up.

Thai Airways Operational Upgrades

One of the common questions is "How do I get an upgrade on Thai to Business or First class?". Alas, getting upgraded to business class on Thai really isn't that easy. The airline has the Western, rather than American, model for upgrades longhaul. Which is to say you'll only get an upgrade if your paid for class is full, and then upgrades are processed accordingly to a pecking order of elite frequent flyer status. You are very unlikely to ever get an upgrade unless you are at least a Gold Star Alliance member.

To start with, make sure you are a frequent flyer, and you do fly frequently: after all, if Thai are going to upgrade anyone, they will upgrade those passengers who fly with them pretty regularly, and hence will enjoy the upgrade enough to put more business Thai's way. Then if the flight is full in economy, and someone needs to be moved up, the check in staff will first look at Gold members, and then Silver level, and then at other Star Alliance members at the equivalent levels. Another thing that Thai look at is how much you paid for your ticket: it's much more likely to happen with a full fare ticket (although occasionally you can get lucky with a discounted economy ticket).

As always, my advice on dressing properly in the pages on how to get an upgrade applies.

Thai Airways website

Thai 747 at Bangkok October 2003 Bangkok Thai 747
Thai's website is like going back in time to the birth of the Internet. Using very basic HTML, it has the style of a mid 90s site. There are seatmaps and film listings, but the booking system is very basic. Get ready for some very big fonts!

Main website:
There are also Seatmaps
You can see the Inflight services with a laughable text.
There is a list of the inflight films.