Members of Royal Orchid Plus (ROP) can now trade just 9,900 frequent flyer points for an hour-long session in one of Thai Airways’ flight simulators – the same used to train the airline’s pilots.
Located at Thai’s head office in Bangkok, honorary pilots will earn their stripes at the helm of a virtual Airbus A380 or Airbus A330 with a ‘simulator specialist’, depending on which aircraft type is available at the time.
Members can practice take-offs and landings at some of the world’s best-known airports including Sydney, Bangkok, Hong Kong and London Heathrow, along with the basics of flying at altitude in a full-motion sim.
Sessions are available at various times between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday, but must be booked at least three business days in advance by calling 1300 651 960 in Australia, 02 545 3622 in Thailand or by emailing [email protected].
At a mere 9,900 miles, ROP members would notch up enough miles for the session from a single return business class trip from Sydney to Bangkok.
That's a steal compared to the two-hour A380 simulator sessions offered by Qantas in October last year, which set frequent flyers back a whopping 275,000 frequent flyer points – only 5,000 points shy of a round-the-world business class ticket.
Qantas still has Boeing 747 simulator sessions on the frequent flyer menu, but at a much more affordable points cost of 115,000 Qantas Points outright or 69,000 points plus $354.20.
If you're wondering what it's like to go for a spin in one of these incredibly lifelike simulators, check out the video below – shot in 2011 when Australian Business Traveller editor David Flynn made the virtual journey from Sydney to London in one of Qantas' Boeing 747 simulators:
Take our word for it: the 3D motion of the simulator plus the detailed scenery outside the cockpit makes a simulator visit an extraordinary and unforgettable experience!
For more details, head to the Thai Airways website.
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