Thai Airways upgrades London to A380, halves Heathrow flights

By Chris Chamberlin, May 29 2015

Star Alliance member Thai Airways will upsize its Bangkok-London flights to the Airbus A380 from July 1, but will drop from double-daily to daily service on the route come the same date.

Currently served by two of Thai’s refurbished Boeing 747s, the sole A380 flight will offer travellers 12 of Thai’s flagship Royal First Class ‘mini-suites’…

… and 60 fully-flat beds in business class, all with direct aisle access and similar to those aboard Thai’s newer Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Read: Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk business class review

Filling the entirety of the lower deck are 377 economy seats in the standard 3-4-3 configuration, plus 58 more at the rear of the upper deck in a less-crowded 2-4-2 setting.

Wherever you sit, you’ll also find both AC and USB power outlets from tip to tail to recharge your gadgets.

London flight reduction: impact on transit passengers

With one of Thai’s two daily Bangkok-London services axed from July, Aussie travellers bound for the UK capital may find themselves waiting for many hours in transit – and in some cases, almost an entire day – before their connecting flight departs.

The retained London service TG910 pushes back in Bangkok at 1:10am each day to reach Heathrow at 7:15am the same morning, while on the return TG911 departs London at 12:30pm, touching down in Bangkok at 5:45am the next day. Here’s how that slots in with Thai’s Australian flights.

Sydney, TG476/475: Sydney’s daily Thai flight gives a transit time of 8hr 50m for those London-bound and a lengthy 13hr 35m on the journey home – that’s roughly as long as the London-Bangkok flight spent in waiting.

Sydney, TG472/471: Travelling on Thursday, Friday or Sunday? Avoid Thai’s TG472 flight when connecting to London as you’ll be grounded in Bangkok for 21hr 20m. TG471 is more transit-friendly on the flight home, departing after a connection time of just 2hr 15m.

Melbourne, TG466/465: TG466 is the go-to flight for Victorians jetting to Heathrow, touching down in Bangkok ahead of a 4hr 25m connection. It’s not as great in the opposite direction: taking off after what would be an 18hr 30m transit.

Melbourne, TG462/461: Likewise, skip TG462 and its 19hr 10m transit before the onward London leg, instead pairing that better TG466 flight on the journey out with TG461 on the return: departing after just 2hr 25m on the ground.

Brisbane, TG474/473: With one Thai Airways flight each day to Queensland, Brizzy travellers would spend 4hr 50m in Bangkok on the outbound journey but a staggering yet precise 18hr 14m on the way home.

Perth, TG484/483: The mining capital’s now-daily Boeing 787 services leave travellers waiting for 9hr 55m en route to London and the same 18hr 14m wait as with Brisbane on the way back.

Also read: Photo tour of Thai Airways' Airbus A380

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 139

Chris I love the transit comparisons!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

A lot of effort went into this article! Kudos! A huge amount of effort always does but this was particularly well put together. Would you also be able to include Auckland for your New Zealand based AusBT readers? ;)

Thank you for your kind words. For our friends across the pond, yourself included, you'll have a 4hr 45m transit en route to London when connecting from TG491 and a much longer 13hr 00m wait on the journey home ahead of TG492.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

You're a star Chris, thank you!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 May 2014

Total posts 38

What are Thai doing with the spare LHR slot?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 739

Odds-on they will lease it to another carrier. Could be more profitable then operating a flight. 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 116

Thankgod, I was abit weary with the 2nd LHR being chopped, but its not too bad for the MEL flights as TG offers x2 daily with great timings, if MEL didn't have that 2nd daily flight I might consider someone else. Now TG all you need to do is upgauge MEL to x2 daily 77W! :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 342

The connection time has great importance if you are thinking of using Lifemiles (LM) to redeem flights, as LM won't allow long layovers.

On the outbound, looks like PER is affected. But on the inbound, most are affected except MEL.

Sydney and Melbourne's layover times are much better. It doesn't look good though for Brisbane and Perth.

01 Aug 2012

Total posts 30

Thanks Chris for this well-researched article! It goes to illustrate the dilemma of cut-backs: I know the second London flight wasn't profitable but cutting it jeopardises the whole Kangaroo route, with few passengers prepared to put up with 12+ waits on the way back from London. So this service reducation could prompt further cutbacks. I wish Thai well in steming the tide but with their current management and political meddling they are fighting a losing battle against the Gulfies. Sorry to see that as I have always liked Thai but it's getting harder and harder to stick with them.

09 May 2015

Total posts 34

Thai and Singapore are toast...Emirates will take the lions share of the market for travel from Asia to Europe. They should just start the transition to regional carriers now while they still have some cash flow from their dwindling long-haul routes.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 279

I am from a state where Thai is not served but Singapore for the South Australian Market do pretty well.Granted the onward connections from Asia to Europe leave you with a pretty long layover but what one can do out of Adelaide for instance is get either of the Morning Virgin Australia services to Melbourne to connect onto SQ228 to continue onwards to Singapore and onto Europe going over and on the way home find a good connection that works for them.In the Months say the SQ277 operates Daylights onto Adelaide it is a good connection.The Emirates options might sound better on paper but can cause havoc on your sleep pattern.


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