Thai Airways

Thai Airways

Thai Airways is a small airline that has been in operation for the last 24 years. They are committed to serving passengers with Thai hospitality and offer many in-flight services including the possibility of Wi-Fi and children’s toys. Their seats are assigned to help the boarding process remain a smooth one and their flights have a good history of being on time.  

Rank Chart Our Score User Score
#1 8.4 8.8 Read Review
#2 7.7 5.6 Read Review
#3 7.5 8.5 Read Review
#26 5.1 0.0 Current

The Good

  • Baggage
  • Assigned seats
  • Check-in
  • Destinations
  • In-flight services

Thai Airways allows one free carry on bag and one free checked bag as long as it is in the weight limits. This is fairly average for many airlines although it is better than a few of those airlines that charge for all checked bags.

Thai Airlines has assigned seats on all of their flights. Passengers can change their assigned seat to other available seats at the online check in. Because the seats are assigned, the boarding process is much smoother than those airlines that do not have any assigned seating. Passengers need to arrive at least 60 minutes prior to take off and present the following items:
• Travel documents
• Boarding pass
• Baggage to register
• Credit/debit card used to purchase the ticket (if applicable)

Thai Airlines allows passengers to print their own boarding pass at home with A4 paper. If the passenger is late to the check-in counter (less than 60 minutes before departure) the assigned seat may be released for other passengers. This could cause more confusion in the boarding process for those who are late and lose their assigned seat. There is a check-in option online for Thai Airways as well as a mobile check-in service; these services are available 24 hours prior to the flight departure. These online check-ins allow for individual and multiple passengers with a maximum of 99 passengers in the same and different booking code. Certain flights also have the option for passengers to receive a mobile boarding pass which is an electronic version of a boarding pass that contains a 2D barcode.

Thai Airways flies in and out of the Bangkok airport. Excluding Bangkok, they have 10 domestic destinations and 61 international destinations in 30 different countries. Their international destinations include:

• Middle East:
o Muscat
o Dubai

• Asia/Pacific: (48 destinations in 19 countries)
o Australia
o Bangladesh
o China
o Cambodia
o India
o Indonesia
o Japan
o Korea
o Laos
o Malaysia
o Myanmar
o Nepal
o New Zealand
o Pakistan
o Philippines
o Singapore
o Sri Lanka
o Taiwan
o Vietnam

• Europe: (11 destinations in 9 countries)
o Belgium
o Denmark
o England
o France
o Germany
o Italy
o Sweden
o Switzerland
o Norway

When compared to other airlines, this is a relatively few number of destinations. Thai airways does have a number of international destinations that would be able to serve a large number of passengers in their travels. However, they do not fly to the Americas and fly mainly to only the largest airports in their international destinations. They do not have a large number of options to choose from in terms of destinations in the countries they fly to. When compared to other top airlines that fly to over 300 destinations, Thai Airways is a much smaller option.

The in-flight services provided by Thai Airways are a bit above the average airline and stands up to some of the better services provided by top airlines. They include a number of luxuries for passengers to enjoy.

• Cuisine: Depending on the class and length of the flight, passengers can choose from a number of Thai and western inspired dishes. First class passengers experience luxuries such as champagne and caviar as well as a multiple course meal with many drink options. Economy class receives a number of options of different meals for the longer flights or a variety of fresh fruits from the highest quality of farms in the country.
• Entertainment: Thai Airways provides the custom selection of top movies, TV shows, and music for passengers to choose from. The screens for each passenger also allows them to play games and receive information about the current flight they are on. There is an available magazine that Thai Airways carries, the SAWASDEE magazine that is always current for passengers to peruse. Thai Airways provides all the same entertainment options that passengers of top airlines have become accustomed to.
• Children: A unique feature to Thai Airways in-flight services includes toys for children. Each flight is equipped with a range of toys, games and books specifically for children. They are even organized according to age with the following categories: under 3 years, 3-6, and 6-12 years. Thai Airways also advertises their crew members to be specially trained to help with small children during the flight, stating how it comes naturally to all Thais who love children.
• Shopping: Thai Airways provides duty free shopping similar to many of the top airlines. They have the most current catalogs available. They are also available to view online so passengers can begin shopping before the flight.
• Wi-Fi: Thai Airways offers Wi-Fi services on their Airbus A380-800 and A330-330 (33H) flights. This Wi-Fi option allows passengers to use their own personal devices such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones although it does cost a fee.
Prices for Wi-Fi packages
5 MB = USD4.99
10 MB = USD8.99
20 MB = USD16.99
30 MB = USD24.99

The Bad

  • Ticket prices
  • Flight statistics
  • Time in business

Thai Airways specializes in mostly domestic flights; their international flights were on the high end of the price range when compared to other airlines making the same journey. The farther away the destination is from Bangkok, the more expensive Thai Airways is when comparing ticket prices with other airlines. Many times, the other destination's main airways were a much better deal. For example, on a flight to Beijing, Air China was a much cheaper option than Thai Airways. This happened often on international flights, many of the other airlines available beat out Thai Airlines on the ticket price. On domestic flights however, Thai Airways fared well against other ticket prices. They may not always be the cheapest but they are right around the ball park of the cheapest options available. On some specific flights, such as Bangkok to Phuket, Thai Airways is one of the only options for flights and is also very reasonably priced.

Thai Airways has a good percentage of on time daily flights according to Flightstats.com. 84% of their most active routes are on time. 9% are late and 2% are very or excessively late. This is very similar to other top airlines. Many of them are in between the 80%-90% range for being on time so Thai Airways fits well with them. When looking at their most active routes for the previous month, Thai Airways had 4% of their flights canceled or diverted. This is more than the average top airline. Most of the top airlines have 0% of canceled or diverted flights. In this aspect Thai Airlines comes in below the top airlines. Many of their most popular flights had high ratings and on time percentages. Their top three routes include:

• Phnom Penh to Bangkok (4.8 stars, 91% on time)
• Yangon to Bangkok (4.7 stars, 87% on time)
• Singapore to Bangkok (4.6 stars, 90% on time)

Their lowest rated flight comes in at 1.5 stars and is only on time 63% of the time. It is the Guangzhou to Bangkok flight. Overall, Thai Airline's daily flights are highly rated and are similar to many top airlines. They have many ratings that come in better than other small airlines similar to themselves and are able to stand up to some of the top airline ratings.

Thai Airlines has been a registered company of the Securities Exchange of Thailand since 1991. Their 24 years in business is a relatively short amount of time when compared with other top airlines. A number of airlines have been around for over 50 years and some closer to 100. So while 24 years is not a really short amount of time, when compared with other airlines, Thai Airways is a new company. Thai Airways works to strive towards the following values:
" To serve a holistic airfreight for domestic and international markets while focusing on standard, safety, convenience and service that reflect Thai identity to deliver the valuable and dependable products along with strengthen impressions and good relationship with customers.
-To supervise the business according to international standard to create a sustainable growth to the organization and create high revenue to shareholders
-To create a strong culture of the organization of learning, to realize about customers' importance and to strengthen the abilities, skills and responsibility along with accumulate organization relationship with its employees to bring the best out of all workforce.
▪ To help, strengthen and response to society and environment as a national airline."
It is important that passengers on Thai Airways feel the hospitality of Thai culture.

The Bottom Line

Thai Airways is not a recommended company. They do not fly to enough destinations to be recommended, plus their prices are a bit higher than some other international companies.

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    June 28th, 2017

    Racist and clueless staff - deny boarding with 2 young kids because they think only a white person can be French In all my years of travel across all continents I have never come across such a racist and clueless airline staff. I was travelling with 8 my 5 & years old kids From Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok with onwards flights from Bangkok to Paris. My children and I are French national of African descent. To our utter shock and honor we were denied boarding and left stranded in an foreign airport because all 6 staff members at the boarding gate check in counter could not believe that black people could possibly be French. We lost in excess of USD 4,000 and when trying to reach Thai Airways to refund our tickets money we were told we would need to claim from the travel agent. How unbelievably stupid can staff in an airline that deal with international travel be. They mercilessly mocked my children for claiming to be French nationals and literally confiscated our passports with the intent to destroy them!!! How can such a thing happen. Videos and photos available.

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