Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok

Given how much traffic Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport handles, it comes as no surprise that many airlines have decided to open their own lounges to serve their premium customers. In addition, Bangkok also has a lot of third party lounges which can be accessed by lounge programs such as Priority Pass and Dragon Pass etc. 

For Star Alliance airlines, the only airlines which have lounges in BKK are obviously Thai Airways, Eva Air as well as Singapore Airlines. Recently, Turkish Airlines also opened a new Bangkok airport lounge given that they also have two flights a day to Istanbul. Remember if you have a Star Alliance Business Class or First Class ticket or hold Star Alliance Gold status you can access any of the three lounges in Bangkok.

The lounge is also open to Priority Pass members, likely to earn extra revenue for the airline. This makes sense as both TK flights leave at night and the lounge would otherwise be empty all day. So if you are flying on a budget airline or just want to give this lounge a try your Priority Pass grants you entrance.

 

“Given that this lounge accepts Priority Pass, it is a great option for passengers who are not traveling in Business Class on a Star Alliance carrier.”

Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Entrance

Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Lounge Access

The lounge is located on level 3 near the entrance of the D gates at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and is opposite the Japan Airlines lounge. It is also very close to the Singapore Airlines Silverkris lounge which is another option should you wish to indulge in some lounge hopping. This lounge is open 24 hours a day based on the Priority Pass website. Unfortunately at the time of writing the Star Alliance website didn’t have this lounge featured yet.

 

Welcome area

Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Overview

The lounge, unfortunately faces the terminal side, so there is no view of the tarmac. We were there at night but I can imagine it being a bright and airy place during the day. We were there around 7PM and it was relatively quiet with just a handful of seats taken. The lounge occupies a large rectangular space. When you walk in there is a large seating area as you can see below and this leads to the dining area and bar. Next to the seating area are two rooms (Quiet Room and Business Centre). This lounge also has a washroom and shower room which I will touch on later.

Seating Area

Between the seating area and the dining area there is a bar where you can get your alcoholic beverages. The usual beer, spirits and wines were available and the selection seemed decent.  I imagine during busy hours the bar will be manned and should you prefer you can have a seat at the bar as well. The lounge attendant saw us looking at the wine selection and immediately offered to pour us a drink as the bar is not self service.

Bar area

Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Facilities

There was a room next to the seating area which supposed to be a business centre of sorts but I wonder who will really have a meeting here? There was also a desktop Mac available if you didn’t bring your own device and need to access the internet quickly. Wifi in the lounge was pretty fast and easy to use which I find very important.

Business Centre

There is also a Quiet Room as they call it where they have some chairs with an ottoman to rest. It was slightly darker compared to the rest of the lounge. It however didn’t really look very welcoming, but I can imagine if you are really tired it could at least give you a place to rest. I think it would have helped if there was a door which can be closed so you won’t be so exposed to the rest of the lounge.

Quiet Room
Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Food and Beverage

Probably the best part of the Turkish Airlines lounge in Bangkok was the live food station where a chef was making fresh Turkish pastries. The chef was constantly preparing new Turkish baked goods and I managed to grab a few of the savoury delights he produced. The items were fresh and hot from the oven and consisted of some of the famous Turkish dishes such as Boerek. 

There were two choices of sparkling wine available (one Prosecco and one  sparkling wine). I am not sure if it’s a permanent feature to have two sparkling wines or if they just happened to have these available. However it is always nice to have a choice and I was happy to see that the sparkling wines and white wine were properly chilled. I went for the Prosecco which was drinkable but nothing out of the ordinary. 

If you like beer, I thought the selection was quite generous as they offered four different brands of beer in the lounge. The selection of soft drinks was also decent and plentiful. 

Below are some fresh parties which were prepared by the chef. They all tasted delicious and this was definitely the highlight for me in this lounge.

Besides the warm dishes, the lounge also had a decent selection of fresh salads as well as cooked items including a local Thai dish as well as some Western options. The sandwiches below looked a bit sad though.

Buffet area

There was also some onion soup and steamed rice available. Although onion soup before a longhaul flight is not really the wisest decision in my opinion.

Soup station and rice

The hot food items consisted of three hot dishes which were  French beans in tomato sauce, Tom Kha Gai (chicken cooked in a savoury coconut milk sauce) and chicken in cream sauce. I tried a bit of everything for the sake of the review and whilst it didn’t always look very appetizing the taste was decent. I actually thought the Thai dish tasted better than in the Singapore Airlines lounge which offered the same dish as well.

French Beans in Tomato sauce
Tom Kha Gai (Thai local dish)
Chicken in a cream sauce

I liked that Turkish Airlines offered some Turkish elements in  the lounge such as Turkish coffee and Turkish tea which were quite nicely presented in traditional glassware. The tea was nice and I recommend trying it when you are there. You pour the tea from the teapot in to a glass and then add some hot water to it. Something which most people didn’t seem to understand. The staff however was eager and helpful to show us how it was supposed to be done.

Turkish Tea and Coffee
Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Washroom

I felt the Turkish Airlines Lounge washrooms were quite utilitarian and definitely lacked that premium feel which their lounge in Istanbul has for example. This felt more like a public washroom to me and I am also not sure how I feel about the shower room next to the toilet stalls. As I was rushing for time I didn’t ask to see the shower room. However most importantly, the washroom was kept clean when I was there.

Turkish Airlines Bangkok Lounge Washroom

Shower Room within the washroom
Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok – Conclusion 

Overall I thought that for an outstation lounge of a premium airline like Turkish Airlines, this new lounge fell slightly short of expectations. I thought the design of the lounge was quite dull and lacked atmosphere especially compared to their lounge in Istanbul. It felt like one of those sterile serviced offices you can rent if you are not sure how long you need the space for.

The staff in the lounge was polite and friendly and made sure the food items were refilled regularly and kept the lounge tidy. Some of the elements like the freshly baked Turkish pastries and Turkish tea were nice additions and were probably the highlight for me.

If you compare it to the decor of the Singapore Airlines lounge for example, it definitely pales in comparison. This seems to be a bit of a missed opportunity here for TK. On the other hand if you are using a Priority Pass to get access it is slightly better compared to some of the other third party lounges at BKK airport. So overall it’s not a great lounge but definitely does the trick if you are looking for a quiet place to rest a bit. 

 

 

Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore – Bangkok

Boeing 787-10 Review

 

 

New Regional Business Class

Welcome to my first trip report featuring the new regional Business Class of Singapore Airlines on their Boeing 787-10 which will slowly replace the existing Boeing 777-200 as well as Airbus A330 which are currently shuttling within the Asian network of the airline. The new regional Business Class is a fully flat product which offers direct aisle access for every passenger and there are 36 seats available on their Boeing 787-10. The seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 staggered configuration and the cabin is located between doors 1 and 2.

Singapore Airlines SQ 978
Singapore (SIN) – Bangkok (BKK)
Friday, April 12th 2019
Depart: 18:30
Arrive: 20:00
Duration: 2h 30min
Aircraft:  Boeing 787-10
Seat: 16D (Business Class)

“Singapore Airlines is progressively introducing the new Boeing 787-10 on more and more Asian routes”

 

The Boeing 787-10 resting before the short hop to Bangkok
Singapore Airlines – Business Class – Singapore-Bangkok – Boarding

After a quick lounge visit at the Silverkris lounge I made my way to the gate. I somehow always tend to get the gates furthest away from the check-in area and lounge when flying out of Changi Airport and today was no exception and gate E11 it was for SQ 978. As usual most gates were occupied during the busy evening rush hour at Changi Airport. Nevertheless the airport rarely feels busy and crowded which is another reason to love the airport besides a million other. 

Far away gate in Terminal 2

For Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Changi airport security checks are done at the gate. Due to this the airlines often announce “Last Call” or even “Gate Closing” before the first passenger even boarded the plane. I suspect they want to get the passengers in to the holding area as soon as possible to ensure an on time departure. As most passengers were already in the holding area by the time I arrived the wait for security was short and once passed we could board straight away.

Singapore Airlines – Business Class SQ 978 SIN-BKK

SQ 978 to BKK
Singapore Airlines – Business Class Cabin Singapore-Bangkok

Unfortunately some passengers had boarded already and hence I was unable to get a good shot of the entire Business Class cabin. The initial impression of the cabin is sleek and modern as can be expected from a new plane and Singapore Airlines chose warm earthy tones for the cabin seats which is in line with their other Business Class products in their long haul fleet. 

The seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout and are staggered so that some of the seats are closer to the aisle whereas other seats have a side table giving you more privacy. 

SEAT TIPS:

Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Seat Map

Solo travellers: Seat 12A or K, 15A or K, 17A* or K*, 19A or K

If I am traveling alone I would personally choose the single seats closer to the window (see seat numbers above) as those seats offer almost a cocoon like feeling. Especially if you are a light sleeper, I suggest those seats since you will be shielded slightly from movements in the aisle when passengers or crew walk past. However some people do find those seats a bit more claustrophobic especially when the seat is in the fully flat mode as those seats compared to the long haul product of Singapore Airlines are definitely more narrow.

Couples or friends: Seat . 11 D and F, 14 D and F, 16 D and F, 18 D and F or 20 D and F

If traveling as a couple or with friends the “honeymoon seats” as they are affectionately called are more suitable if you want to talk and enjoy each other’s company on the flight. Thanks to the seats being closer together both have the side table next to the aisle and hence give you that extra privacy during the flight. If you do happen to travel alone and were unable to choose a single seat in the cabin there is a privacy screen you can raise (which thankfully goes pretty high), so you won’t have to be in an awkward position by being close to a complete stranger. 

*  In row 17 below you only have one window (usually each window seat comes with 2 windows) and if a view is important to you do avoid choosing that seat especially on day flights.

Singapore Airlines Regional Business Class Seat 17A

Below is a seat which is closer to the aisle and you can see how you are more exposed to the aisle and might get disturbed by passengers or crew walking past you. 

View of Business Class Seat closer to the aisle

The screen is large and the resolution is crystal clear. The IFE selection on Singapore Airlines is great and there is a large choice of movies, television series as well as music and games. Compared to lot of other airlines you definitely won’t get bored as fast on SQ. I particularly like that for a lot of the tv series they actually have multiple episodes or even a whole season available so you can really binge watch on long haul flights. I would however wish though that they would have some Netflix series available as they do get more and more popular.

IFE screen

The area for your legs is decent but if you like to sleep with your knees angled it does tend to be a bit tight and you end up hitting your knees against the side of the seat. Compared to their product on the 777-300ER it definitely is tighter but then a lot of other airlines have this seat as their main longhaul product. If you keep in mind that the longest flights on this seat is around 8 hours it’s a very good seat and hence no complaints on my side. It definitely beats the angled lie flat product which they have on their A330-300 which will hopefully be history in the near future. 

With the slightly staggered seating you don’t really see the passenger next to you and hence the cabin offers good privacy especially if traveling alone.

The side table is of a decent size and also offers easy access to the two USB charging ports as well as a universal plug to keep all your electronics fully charged during the flight. I like how SQ also has a bottle of water waiting for you already even though the flight to Bangkok is only 2 hours. The headphone is also placed in the small compartment and provides you the option to have gate to gate entertainment should you be engrossed in your movie. Especially for short flights you want to try and finish that 2 hour movie and it’s so annoying if you end up missing that last 10min because they switch off the entertainment system early or collect those headphones. #firstworldproblems

There is also a small mirror you can see below on the left although it is in a slightly awkward angle as you need to kinda turn towards the aisle and hunker down a bit to use it. Hence I think going to the washroom is definitely the preferred option for me.

Pre-departure Champagne

The below controls light up when you touch the panel and you can control the seat lights as well as recline function using the buttons below. There are also three preset functions to adjust your seat and you need to keep pressing the button until the desired position has been reached. The call button for the flight attendants is also located here as well as the on and off switch for the TV. It’s pretty intuitive and the panel reacted without any lag when I adjusted my seat.

As mentioned earlier in case you are allocated one of the honeymoon seats but don’t know your seat neighbour the privacy panel can be raised and it goes very high. You won’t even see your neighbour unless you stand up. 

Privacy Shield

SQ decided to install centre overhead bins on the 787-10 which is in line with their other regional product on the Airbus A330-300. This is a sensible decision as the last thing you want is to fight for overhead bin space in Business class. Despite this the cabin feels bright and airy.

Cabin Shot

I think the finishes of the new seats are really gorgeous and the attention to detail is truly reflective of a premium airline. I also like that they have three different lights on the side of the seat which come in handy if you want to read for example without lighting up the whole cabin with the overhead lights.

Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore-Bangkok – Food and Beverage

The dining and drinks selection on Singapore Airlines is definitely above average compared to other airlines, especially for short haul flights where you always get a three course meal (exceptions are Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur). The drinks selection is usually pretty identical to what you would get on a longer SQ flight and has the usual Champagne (Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve), wines and spirits you would expect. With regards to choice of meals, SQ has recently introduced the option to choose your meal from the inflight menu in advance (usually available around 1 month before departure date).  This ensures that you definitely will get your preferred choice should it be very popular on your flight. 

If the inflight menu items don’t appeal to you there is a vast selection available on their Book the Cook (BtC) menu. It offers various cuisine choices from local Singapore to Western food and even Thai, Japanese and Indian food options. Recently they also introduced a choice of healthy dishes should you be watching your diet. For this flight the three menu choices didn’t really catch my fancy so I have decided to choose one of my favorite options on their BtC menu :

Seared Nut-Crusted Veal Fillet
Veal fillet seared with a crust of crumbled hazelnuts and served with veal jus, crushed potato, confit tomato and green asparagus spears (contains pork). Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Carlo Cracco

You can find the full BtC menu using below link:

Book the Cook Menu

The regular South East Asian inflight menu on SQ always offers one Western option and two Asian options. For flights within South East Asia SQ does not offer a separate cheese course which you will get on longer flights.

 

Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore-Bangkok – Meal Service

For the regional flights, SQ serves the meal on a single tray with the appetiser and dessert already on the tray given the shorter flight timings which I don’t really mind. The aim is to get the meal service over and done with so you can enjoy the seat for the rest of the flight.

The appetiser salad tasted fine, although the croutons didn’t taste that great and I felt the ranch dressing was a bit on the thick side. The seared tuna however was tasty and the salad leaves were fresh.

The dessert was slightly better than the usual dessert on those short flights but wasn’t particularly memorable and I didn’t finish it. However, I also don’t really have a sweet tooth, so a dessert has to be pretty spectacular for me to finish it .

Appetiser

My BtC Seared Nut Crusted Veal Fillet was slightly overcooked but was still tasty nonetheless and was accompanied well with the sauce and asparagus. The nut crust is a nice addition to the veal and goes perfectly with the potatoes. As a side note, the potatoes are cooked with tomatoes which enhances the taste as else it could be a bit on the bland side. I can highly recommend this option from the BtC menu and after trying numerous other dishes this still remains one of my personal favorites from the Western menu. 

Main Course

As usual the selection of breads is good on SQ and I am always a sucker for their garlic bread.

Illy Coffee Menu

After dinner I chose a double espresso which tasted pretty good thanks to the Illy coffee they have on board. Non coffee drinkers have a wide selection of TWG teas available should that be your preference.

 
 
Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore-Bangkok – Wifi

On their newer planes SQ offers Wifi services in case you need to stay connected. For Suites First Class, Business Class and PPS passengers you get a bit of free Wifi. The login is pretty straightforward and worked quite fast. 

If you have a Boingo account you can also use that to login for the wifi service. Don’t forget if you have a Citi Prestige MasterCard you get free access to Boingo which can save you a lot of money for wifi in the world and in the air on a number of airlines.

Once logged in you can browse the internet but beware the 30MB will be used up quickly so I highly recommend to set your phone to battery saving mode so that the data usage will be limited.

 

 
Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore-Bangkok – Washroom

As usual the washroom on Singapore Airlines is always kept clean and tidy and has numerous amenities you can expect to find on SQ. I particularly like the fact that on the dreamliner you don’t have to touch the flush button. You can merely hold your hand near the sensor and the toilet will flush automatically.

I really like the new partnership SQ has with Penhaligon’s and their scent Quercus happens to be one of my favorite scents and hand soap brand. I really love this change and hope they keep this for a while.

The hand soap is unfortunately not Penhaligon’s hand soap but obviously still does the trick. 

SQ offers most amenities in the toilet which include toothbrushes, shavers etc which is why they so far have not offered a separate amenity kit in Business class although it seems this might be changing soon based on recent trials. However as of now no confirmed plans have been released.

 

I really like the fact that you can press the pedal to open the trash chute so you don’t have to touch a lot of things in the toilet. I wish other airlines would install this option too but obviously this is another first world problem topic. 😉

Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore-Bangkok – Bed Mode

Even though the flight is barely 2 hours long I still managed to find time to convert the seat in to a fully flat bed and managed to rest for a few minutes before the cabin was being prepared for landing. As you can see with the privacy shield raised you have quite a private cocoon to rest. For a regional flight it definitely does the trick and lets you rest pretty comfortably. 

The blanket and pillow provided is of good quality as well as size and I really like the colours they chose for the pillows. Having said that I am usually always too warm in the plane to use the blanket so I often use it as a mattress topper to make the flat surface a bit more comfortable.

Seat in fully flat mode

After a few minutes the dreaded announcement “Cabin Crew, please prepare the cabin for arrival” came from the captain which meant the end was nearing for this flight.

Given that it is a short flight the cabin lights were never fully switched off but kept in this semi dark stage which was quite pleasant before the bright lights were turned on for arrival.

We arrived slightly behind schedule as our flight was delayed by around 30 odd minutes in Singapore but were at our gate shortly after touching down. It seems SQ has an arrangement with Bangkok airport that they always get the D gates which are closest to the immigration and arrival hall which is a blessing. If you have been to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport before you will know the walks can be very far depending at which gate you arrive. 

Immigration thanks to the Fast Track card provided by SQ was a breeze and we were waiting at baggage claim around 5 minutes after the door was opened. For an airport the size of Bangkok the wait for luggage was not terrible but obviously not as fast as in Singapore. Priority baggage did come out first and my bag arrived amongst the first ten bags which is always nice.

Singapore Airlines – Business Class Singapore-Bangkok – Conclusion

As usual this was another good Singapore Airlines flight and the hard product especially was a nice upgrade for this short sector. When I initially booked this flight the aircraft was still listed as the Airbus A330-300 and hence I was lucky to get the new Regional Business Class.

The food was decent given the length of the flight but I do wish the appetiser could be a bit bigger and unfortunately on the flight today the main course was slightly overcooked. However having the choice of so many options for a 2 hour flight is amazing if you make use of the Book the Cook feature and I highly recommend you to make use of this.

The cabin crew was polite, friendly and did a good job given the flight was only 2 hours long. Unlike some of my other SQ flights previously, the crew did not have that X-Factor which some of the SQ crews have which have really left a memorable impression. However this is not meant as a criticism of any sorts but more of an observation after having flown multiple flights with Singapore Airlines.

As more and more aircraft with the new Regional Business Class arrive SQ will really have a competitive edge again.  Once all the the deliveries are complete you will have a consistent product in Business Class and have a fully flat seat on every SQ flight.