This is my first time on a Thai Airways flight. This is also my first time flying to another continent, the journey was very far and long, which is about 17-18 hours including transit in Bangkok. And this is also my first time to be a “Tour Leader” for my family (parents, aunts, and cousins). I arranged everything for this trip to Europe by myself alone.
At the beginning when I bought a Thai Airways flight ticket, I was very happy to be able to get a cheap Return Jakarta-Paris, Zurich-Jakarta ticket that cost Rp6,290,000. Moreover, I heard from some friends who have been on Thai Airways, all said that Thai Airways was nice and comfortable. But, my experience is a little different from the others. I was very disappointed because the flight from Bangkok to Paris had a delay of 8 hours.
On September 25, 2017, my family and I flew from Jakarta to Bangkok. After arriving in Bangkok, we had to change planes again to planes headed for Paris. At that time we arrived in Bangkok around 23:30, even though we were supposed to arrive in Bangkok at 22.26. This means that the flight from Jakarta to Bangkok is 1 hour delay. That was the first oddity that I felt.
Then, once I get out of the plane, I check the billboard about the flight’s departure schedule. It says, our plane going to Paris, LAST CALL. This means we have to get to the Boarding Gate immediately, otherwise we will miss the flight. The departure schedule from Bangkok to Paris was initially at 12.05 am. That means, we only have about 20-30 minutes to arrive at the Boarding Gate.
I thought to myself, “This is crazy too. The transfer period is only 20-30 minutes. Moreover I bring my family too. They can’t run fast, because their legs are already weak.” In panic, I immediately followed the directions for the plane transfer. It turns out that at Suvarnabhumi Airport, there are 2 gates for transfers: East and West. Because I could not think clearly, I was misdirected at the time. I was supposed to go to West, at that time I went instead to East 😛 I ran away, how come it didn’t arrive at the gate of our plane? Very far. I ran at the airport until I was sweaty, struggling, and many people looked at it. There is even a Thai monk who also looked at. While running, I looked back too, making sure my family was still behind.
In short, I finally found the Thai Airways officer at the Check-in Counter. He said, “Just calm down. The plane is delaying. You don’t need to hurry.” But he didn’t say how long the delay is, I also forgot to ask at that time. I think, maybe the delay is 1-2 hours. But I continued to run until the Boarding Gate. I was suspicious when I got to the Boarding Gate, how quiet it was. Did we miss our flight?
It turned out … the flight was delayed by 8 hours, which meant our flight departure schedule was at 08.00 am on September 26, 2017. In my heart said, “Damn, I’ve been tired of running scared of missing the plane, until it was seen by many people eh it’s delayed 8 hours.”
The plane from Bangkok to Paris at that time had a technical problem, so we were told to stay at the hotel that was provided by the Thai Airways. We can also have breakfast at the Hotel. Not bad, the hotel is Novotel, which is located in the Airport area. Our passport was held at the airport, but we got a Temporary Receipt in lieu of a passport. Our luggage was also held at the airport. They will immediately transfer our baggage to the plane the next day.
How annoyed. Because we already bought an entrance ticket to the Paris Opera for September 26, 2017. Because of the delay, it’s certain we won’t be rushed to be there. We are scheduled to arrive in Paris at 15:00. Getting out of the airport alone must be long, must pass immigration and pick up luggage. Not to mention if there are problems at the airport, then you also need to check in at the hotel first. Finally I had to let go of the ticket to the Paris Opera that we had bought.
In the morning, after we had breakfast at the hotel, at around 06.00 we departed from the hotel to the airport. There is already a bus that is provided specifically for Thai Airways passengers who have been delayed. Arriving at the airport, we immediately headed to the Thai Airways counter to exchange Temporary Receipt with our Passport. After that, we entered the Boarding Gate. Here we got a letter of apology from the Thai Airways because the plane was 8 hours delay.
This is the first time I’ve felt a delay of up to 8 hours. There are many lessons that I learned from this incident. One of them is, learn how the destination airport is before you get there. Don’t be like me at that time, go to Gate West instead to Gate East, so run around until a lot of people see 😛 Especially if the transfer time is limited, only 30 minutes. Moreover if you bring your parents, they have to run or walk fast even though their legs are already weak.
The Jakarta-Bangkok plane is different from the Bangkok-Paris plane, and also different from the Zurich-Bangkok and Bangkok-Jakarta planes. In terms of food and service, I like the Zurich-Bangkok, Bangkok-Jakarta aircraft. In terms of seating comfort, I like the Jakarta-Bangkok, Bangkok-Paris aircraft. At that time our Zurich-Bangkok plane was rather small at the time, so there was limited space when seated. Generally, I prefer my flights from Zurich-Bangkok and Bangkok-Jakarta. There is no delay, the food is also delicious, the service is also more friendly. Maybe this is what my friends felt. But in the end I felt 2 different experiences from Thai Airways, one that was not good, the other one that was good.
During the Travel Fair, I already ordered a vegetarian meal for 1 person. Maybe there was a miss communication, so while on the plane they did not provide Vegetarian food. Maybe it’s my fault too, no double check again to the Thai Airways. Well, if on the plane from Jakarta-Bangkok and Bangkok-Paris they don’t want to know. They said there was no request for vegetarian food, and they had no effort to help. It was different from when we were on the Zurich-Bangkok and Bangkok-Jakarta planes, they did say there was no request for Vegetarian food, but they had an effort to help. They finally provided special vegetarian food.
Because this is my first experience of flying for a very long time, I thought I would be very bored on a plane. Eh, it turns out that I even enjoy watching Thai movies on a plane. But that was just when from Jakarta-Bangkok and Bangkok-Paris. When I returned from Zurich-Bangkok, I was fascinated to see the scenery under the plane. Usually when I get on a plane, I only see clouds. Well, at that time, I could see the view below me. There are views of the city, the lake, the sea, even the snow mountains too. It’s truly amazing! My plane from Zurich-Bangkok passed through the snow mountains, such as the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. Ahh, it feels like I wanna explore the European continent again!