For our Christmas trip to Phuket, I chose to fly with Thai Airways as it was half the price of Cathay Pacific. Thai Airways is part of the Star Alliance, which includes Singapore and United Airlines. Thai’s Royal Orchid Plus Program is open to any person 2 years of age or older. Whilst I am a Royal Orchid Plus member, my daughters are enrolled in KrisFlyer (belonging to Singapore Airlines) as we fly Virgin a lot and they don’t meet the minimum age requirement for the Flying Club.
How did I book my ticket?
Through Daryl at Jebsen Holidays. He also reserved our seats and child meals.
Anything to do in advance?
Online check-in starts 24 hours in advance and it was pretty straightforward. Thailand enforce a strict policy of a 6 month minimum on your passport so check all your passports in advance!
At Hong Kong Airport
Thai Airways operates from Terminal 2. This means you will have a slightly longer journey to your gate so allow a bit of extra time. Thankfully we had checked in online and could use the bag drop as the regular queues were enormous.
Families are allowed to board early so this is useful for nabbing that overhead locker space!
We were on an Airbus A330-300. The seat configuration in Economy is 2-4-2 which works nicely for our family of 4. The plane looked like it had seen better days with slightly frayed seats and battered frames. However I was pleasantly surprised to see On Demand TVs on the back of seats which start operating once you are in the air.
We were sitting in the second Economy section and had toilets available for us at the back of the plane.
There was no offer of a kids pack or kids headphones although I didn’t ask for them. The cabin temperature was freezing so pack layers for your family!
As mentioned above, there’s On Demand TV with a decent kids selection. You had to work the channels from the handset so expect a lot of leaning over your children as they shout ‘I want Peppa Pig!’
If you are looking for tips as to how to entertain your kids on a plane, check out:
Watch out for those nut allergies as Thai offer peanuts as a welcome snack! Don’t forget to pre-order your children’s meal. The kids meal was pretty good; spaghetti bolognese, salad, banana, water, juice, bread roll and a toblerone (which I swiped).
Arrival at Phuket International Airport
Jump for joy, this airport has finally been renovated. Instead of a nightmare bun fight in the Arrivals Hall, the new Arrivals features a proper queuing system. Top marks goes to my husband who now has an APEC Business Travel Card which means we can skip the queue! There are also a few paid fast track services such as Phuket FastTrack but hopefully the new arrival hall will mitigate need for this.
For more tips on flying Thai Airways, check out Air Review