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The Days of This Qantas Business Class Seat are Numbered

Where: Australia
May 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comment (1)

What you see above is the original Qantas “Skybed,” the angled flat seats which are still found on the airline’s Airbus A330s and which we experienced on a recent flight from Bangkok to Sydney. They wont be around for much longer though, as an improved business class seat—fully flat, and all seats with aisle access—is being rolled out from the end of this year.

While we had a pretty good flight on this overnight sector, and spent most of it stretched out in our window seat trying to get some sleep, we’ll be looking forward to the refurb for a number of reasons. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what things are like today, and what you can expect going forward:

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Three Airlines Cut Flights to Bangkok Amidst Protests

January 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

The political unrest currently underway in Bangkok has convinced at least three airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Hong Kong Airlines, to reduce the number of flights into Thailand's capital during the second half of January and February.

"We've learned that Singapore Airlines plans to cut 19 flights between Jan 14 and Feb 25. Cathay will probably follow suit because passengers are uneasy about the political situation in Thailand," Suvarnabhumi Airport General Manager Rawewan Netrakavesna told the Bangkok Post. Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said that Hong Kong Airlines was probably going to cut about 60 flights as well.

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New Airline Alert: Asia Atlantic Airlines

Where: Thailand
August 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM | by | Comment (1)

If you've made it through all of the alliteration in that title, we are excited to bring the news of a new airline based in Thailand. The fresh-faced carrier is a mixture of Thai and Japanese travel companies and will bring a 'New Dynamic Force' in chartered tour groups between the two countries.

Capitalizing on the country's leisure market, the airline will be based in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and flying their two Boeing 767s from the Thai capital to Tokyo Narita and Osaka. Each of the planes will be equipped with both the cushy seats of business class and the cheaper seats of economy.

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Flight Review: $130 from Singapore to Bangkok on Scoot

Where: Singapore
June 26, 2013 at 11:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

We talked at length last year about Singapore Airlines’ low-cost off-shoot airline called Scoot, which promises low fares and lots of Scootitude all around Asia, giving travelers a full review of a journey from Australia’s Gold Coast to Singapore. Almost a year on, we've now given Scoot another whirl on a shorter leg, from its base in Singapore to the Thai capital of Bangkok.

We ended up on Scoot for a number of reasons: the late afternoon departure fitted our schedule perfectly, ScootBiz (the airline’s business class product) fares were not far off economy fares on other carriers, and there was of course the novelty factor of trying yet another airline.

Our experience in a few words? A deserted ScootBiz cabin, young and enthusiastic staff, decent seats and space, and—like last year—uninspiring food and moderate cleanliness. Read on to find out more.

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Flight Review: A Small Flight in a Big Business Class Seat on Thai Airways

June 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM | by | Comment (1)

Ok, before anyone starts berating us for the unfair comparison of intra-European business class with what we found on our domestic sector between Bangkok and Phuket, hear us out. We know comparing a short-haul, single-aisle plane that’s flying, say, London to Rome, is pretty much guaranteed to come up short in the space and comfort department against the wide-body Airbus A330 Thai Airways used for our flight. We know the dynamics of the business class market in Europe are vastly different from domestic/regional Asia traffic.

But still, anyone who has forked over the substantial cost of a European business class ticket and found themselves with the "luxury" of exactly the same seats as in coach bar the empty seat in the middle, a curtain separating the cabin that might as well not be there looking at the amount of traffic that finds its way from said coach cabin to the forward washrooms, and a hardly inspiring "meal" service, will agree that it can be a bit of a lackluster experience. In contrast, there were lots of things to like on our short 1.5-hour hop from Thailand’s capital to one of its main beach destinations.

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The Most Visited City in the World is NOT New York

June 11, 2013 at 3:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you prefer to travel the 'beaten path' and visit cities that see more than their fair share of tourists, you may want to rethink your itinerary since there has been a shift in where the planet's travelers are heading. It's actually Bangkok, and not New York, that reigns as tourist capital of the world.

The figures are based on a recent survey put forth by Mastercard. The Global Destinations Cities Index lists the Thai capital as tops for foreigners coming to see the sights, eclipsing London, Paris and New York.

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The Cure for a Long Layover: Transit Tours at Six International Airports

June 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM | by | Comments (0)


Hanging out in Amsterdam

A 6+ hour layover sure sounds like guaranteed misery, right? Wrong, if you're between flights at one of the several international airports that offer city tours for passengers in transit.

Some airports provide these tours absolutely free as a way to promote tourism, but all require that you clear immigration and customs in order to take them.

So before you settle down for a 10-hour boredfest on a bench near an airport Sbarro, try out one of the transit tours at these six airports:

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Flight Review: Helsinki to Bangkok in Finnair’s New Business Class (Part 2)

June 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Having talked you through the basics of our time in Finnair’s latest business class, we’re finishing up today with more on the airport experience, seat comfort, and in-flight service during our two, 11-hour runs between Helsinki-Vantaa and Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi airports.

Airport experience

Helsinki’s Vantaa airport must be one of the easiest in Europe for passengers rushing to a connecting flight, with a minimum time required between flights of about 30-40 minutes. The business class lounge, however, is not one with which we're super impressed, owing to the fact it's one large open space that's often so crowded you can barely find a seat. If you do magically have your choice of seats, head for the recliners facing the windows. There are at least shower facilities if you want to freshen up before catching your next flight.

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Flight Review: Helsinki to Bangkok in Finnair’s New Business Class (Part 1)

June 4, 2013 at 2:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We recently showed you some pictures of the business class product Finnair is rolling out across its entire fleet of long-haul Airbus planes, and now we can tell you what it’s like to fly it, having spent nearly 24 hours in the cabin on a recent trip to Thailand.

As it happens, one leg was an overnight and one leg was a day flight, giving us plenty of time to put the product to the test for both sleeping and lounging/working. Flight AY89 left Helsinki Vantaa (HEL) at 5.10pm, arriving at Bangkok Survanabhumi (BKK) at 7.15am the next morning. Flight AY90 left BKK at 8.55am, arriving at HEL at 3.20pm the same day. Naturally, in the name of proper research, we also picked two different seats on opposite sides of the cabin in our quest to find the best seat of all.

We’ll break down our experience for you in parts, starting with how we ended up on Finnair, the cabin & first impressions, and which seat you should choose.

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Traveling in Thailand: Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport Versus Don Mueang

May 7, 2013 at 11:37 AM | by | Comment (1)

If you've been to Bangkok in the past 6 years, there's a pretty good chance you flew into the flashiest airport the city has to offer, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).

The predominately concrete, metal and glass building of BKK is simply massive and it's obvious why it ranks as the 6th largest major airport in Asia; it even claimed the title of the most Instagrammed airport in 2012.

On the other hand, if you traveled to Bangkok before the middle of 2006, you most likely landed in the city's other airport, Don Mueang (DMK), which has since given up the official airport code of BKK to the newer, larger counterpart. Now, the airport is primarily home to low-cost carriers such as Air Asia and Nok Air.

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Flight Review: A Quick, International Hop on Thai Airways

Where: Thailand
April 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Flying in Asia is fun if only for the ability to try out a new airline or two. Well, we just hopped on a few new airlines (new to us) this week in SE Asia, and the first one we will talk about is Thai Airways.

The airline has a lot to brag about right now, after recently taking the delivery of new A380s, but our flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok didn't call for a superjumbo. Even though we weren't on the A380, the Boeing 777 on our route wasn't anything to sniff at.

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Now Hiring: Flight Attendant Barbie

Where: Thailand
March 4, 2013 at 3:29 PM | by | Comments (2)

It takes a special sort of person to be a flight attendant. In the early days of airplane travel, flight attendants were a cross between nurses and bellboys, then the jet era called for them to be glamorous representatives of the airline. Today, flight attendants are recognized as service professionals who often undertake a full career in the skies.

Thailand's budget airline Nok Air is still seemingly stuck in that early jet age mindset, however, as they've just launched a recruitment drive via Facebook, with requirements that read more like Barbie's resume than a job posting.

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