Of Flight and Feathers

Fishing boat and memorial float at Baan Naam Kem fishing village

Hi all. I’m back stateside. I actually stayed in Bangkok until February 14, but it was a busy 4 extra days that I didn’t have time to tell y’all. I’m so sorry! (Especially to you, Richard S!) And I went straight to work, clocking in at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday after having arrived on US soil at 8:30 p.m. on Valentine’s day.

I am a little jetlagged, but not too horribly. Thanks too the new Thai Airways’ non-stop flight which I will tell you more about later on.

To top it off, We are moving to Los Alamitos, just a city over, this weekend. Oh yeah. No rest for the wearies!

Now, that Thai Airways flight. For the $1085 I paid for my round trip tickets on the non-stop LAX-Bangkok flight, it’s worth every penny.

THAI offers direct flights from LAX, NYC, and soon Moscow, to Bangkok on the plush Airbus A340-500. There are 2 flights each week, Tuesday and Friday.

What I love about it most is that even in economy, you have your own entertainment unit! As in, YOU have control of what you want to watch, listen, or play. The programmings will keep you entertained through the flight. And of course, there was none of that annoying layovers.

Economy seatings have a little bit more leg room and larger seats. The lay out is 2-4-2 instead of the cramped 3-5-3 configuration.

The Premium Economy gives you even more leg room an wider, more comfortable seats, similar to Economy Deluxe I’ve flown on EVA Air.

Once you get into Business and First classes, it becomes a whole other ballgame. These guys have that modular seats that can lay out flat. Services up in these classes is other worldly, and I’m sure the food would be absolutely divine.

How do I know? With my dad’s mileage gold card, we got upgraded to Business Class on the flight back from Phuket. Tea was served in real cup, and cake on real plate. And that was only an hour flight! I was so impressed. No wonder folks who can afford it fly business/first!

The non-stop flight is 17 hours from LAX to BKK, and 15 hours from BKK to LAX. They provide a meal shortly after take off, again somewhere over Japan, and one more time just before landing. Without stopping, that saves about 4-5 hours out of the entire flight.

This non-stop flight saved me precious time as my original stay was only 10 days, losing one day already on traveling. And I must say that the shorter flight time cut down jetlag considerably. I barely suffer any jetlag on my way over–a little sleepy in the afternoon but could be staved off by some coffee. On the way back is still pretty severe as always, but not as much. At least I wasn’t waking up in the middle of the night too much, but I was absolutely useless at work after 2 p.m.

The only semi bad thing about the flight is arrival and departure time in Bangkok.

You arrive at the crack of dawn at the airport, giving you a whole day to run around the city and effectively fighting off jetlag. But the traffic trying to get back into the middle of town is THE legendary Bangkok gridlock. The flight leaves again in the evening, which you’d once again be in traffic. Worse yet, if you have the Friday night flight, plan to leave the city very very early.

Summary: If you’re tight on time and a little loose on the budget, I’d suggest coughing up a little more and go with THAI non-stop flight.

We’ve talked flight. Now, feathers.

Since I won’t be able to type up the story of my visit down in Khao Lak as yet, I’ve put up photos on my Khao Lak 2006 Flickr album. There are captions there that would tell you a little bit of the stories.

Until then!

One response to “Of Flight and Feathers