The Last Aeroplan Hurrah: Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok

The Last Aeroplan Hurrah: Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok

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Along with the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, the Thai First Class Lounge in Bangkok is one of my two favorite lounge experiences in the world. That’s one of the reasons I love Thai’s flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong so much. It’s the shortest route on which they consistently offer a first class product, and as a first class passenger you get access to the same amenities as a longhaul first class passenger. In-flight Thai is good though not great, so I’d much rather take a short hop on Thai Airways and instead fly other airlines longhaul.

When you pull up to the airport there’s a dedicated first class check-in area with bellmen that help bring your bags to check-in.


Terminal exterior


First class check-in

The first class check-in area is partitioned off from the rest of the terminal and has a seating area. While the agent processes check-in another agent comes and offers tea and cold towels.


First class check-in


First class check-in seating


Tea and cold towels

Within a few minutes we were checked in and escorted towards immigration and security. Once through immigration and security we were driven in a golf cart to the first class lounge. This has to be one of the funniest parts of the experience, given that they literally drive you through the business class lounge to the first class lounge. The reactions are priceless, especially if you have the misfortune of being the person seated backwards.


Golf cart to the lounge


Waving to business class passengers

Once in the first class lounge we were offered a private “living room,” and a few moments later a couple of waitresses showed up to offer us something to eat. I instead asked about the possibility of an hour-long massage, and she went to check on availability for me. Eventually we decided on a 1:30PM massage, which was about 30 minutes after we arrived.


First class lounge


“Living room”

In the meantime I got caught up on some work. At 1:30PM I crossed over into the Thai Spa, which is right across the hallway. As a first class passenger you’re entitled to an hour-long full body massage, while as a business class passenger you’re entitled to a 30 minute back or foot massage.


Spa reception

Once in the spa we had to fill out a form, accompanied by more tea and cold towels.


Tea and cold towel

Moments later the masseuses appeared and took us to our private rooms. The suites are decorated nicely with a separate shower and changing area, and then a tub and table.


Spa room

As is customary in Asia, you change into “fishnet” underwear, which really doesn’t serve much of a purpose if you ask me, since everything still hangs out.

The massage was great as usual, and once it was complete I showered and headed back to the first class lounge for lunch.

The food spread in the lounge is quite good. They have both an a la carte menu as well as a buffet, though you don’t actually take anything from the buffet but rather just point to what you want, and the waitress brings it to you.


Buffet


Buffet

I had some prawn cakes and also a chocolate bomb. Perhaps not the best name for a dessert in an airport, though it sure was delicious. My friend had some pad thai.


Prawn cakes


Friend’s pad thai


Chocolate bomb

Our departure was scheduled for 4PM, and at around 3:50PM an agent came to fetch us and drive us to our gate. As it turned out the gate was all the way at the other end of the airport, so it was about a 10-minute golf cart ride. The golf carts are designed in an interesting way in that one person sits facing forwards, while the other person faces backwards. I had the pleasure of sitting backwards, and got to watch as each pissed off person stared us down for nearly running them over. Fun stuff.


Enroute to the plane


Plane from two days earlier


Terminal

When we arrived at our departure gate, E5, boarding was just already complete, so we were able to board immediately.


Gate


Our plane

Conversations (48)
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  1. JRV

    @Lucky- My flight next Month will be MNL(Buss)-BKK-SYD(First). Are they going to pick me up from my plane arriving from MNL?

  2. Al

    @Tom P, was allowed to when I did LHR-BKK (F) - SIN (J). However only the J massages were available (the 30min treatments)

  3. Tom P

    Ben,

    Do you know if you are allowed to use the Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok during a connection if you are arriving on Thai first class flight connecting to a Thai business class flight on which first is not offered? SYD-BKK (first) BKK-PVG (business). Thanks,

    Tom

  4. Nathan

    “...reactions are priceless" "Waving to business class passengers" "...got to watch as each pissed off person stared us down for nearly running them over. Fun stuff”

    Good LORD - I laughed out loud & so hard at the above cart comments that my puppy got so scared he jumped off my lap in fright & ran away; love it!

  5. Mike

    I have a 90 minute layover in BKK in first.. Can i somehow squeeze 60 minute massage or can it be customized to 30 minutes instead? Not looking for feet or neck/shoulder massage

    1. lucky

      @ Mike -- If you're early 60 minutes might be possible, though it's definitely on the optimistic side. Not sure they can shorten the full body massage to 30 minutes, though you can do one of their 30 minute treatments otherwise.

  6. Erndog

    I assume that if the flight originates in HKG and ends in BKK, you could use be first class lounge in BKK upon arrival? Does Thai offer lounge services in HKG?

    1. lucky

      @ Erndog -- You can't use a Thai lounge as an arrivals lounge -- you must be connecting. Yes, Thai also has a lounge in Hong Kong.

  7. JD

    Lucky, can you comment on the lounge food a bit more? Is the a la carte menu free? Are the food in general enough to serve as a meal, or do they only suffice as a snack?

    1. lucky

      @ JD -- Yep, no charge for anything in the lounge, and certainly can serve as a meal.

  8. Happy

    We will be flying HKG-BKK-CDG in Sept.

    There are only 3 hours layover at BKK - is it enough time to have one-hour body massage?

    1. lucky

      @ Happy -- Assuming everything is on-time that should be enough time.

  9. ER

    The lounge opens at 5am...does the massage 'schedule' start immediately?

  10. Stephen

    You wave at people from that funny cart they have? What do you expect to achieve by doing that? Or maybe you hint at your desired outcome when you express enjoyment from the pissed off faces of strangers. You sound like a very grounded and nice person.

  11. lucky

    @ Andy -- You can get there as early as you'd like! Enjoy the experience!

  12. Andy

    Now it's finally my turn! Yup, tonight I fly out on Thai First BKK-MXP. Been looking forward to this part of the journey since before leaving Europe (and the inflight service out here was amazing). I was wondering though, my flight leaves right after midnight, and I would actually like to get to the lounge early to do some work. The regular departure gates open 3 hours before take off, but do you think they'll...

    Now it's finally my turn! Yup, tonight I fly out on Thai First BKK-MXP. Been looking forward to this part of the journey since before leaving Europe (and the inflight service out here was amazing). I was wondering though, my flight leaves right after midnight, and I would actually like to get to the lounge early to do some work. The regular departure gates open 3 hours before take off, but do you think they'll let me in at the First Class check-in say 5 hours before?
    Must also reiterate the tipping thing. Service is included in bills from the more upscale hotels and restaurants but is often not shared to staff. Tip for good service, why not? It's really small change for us Westerners but good for the locals. And masseurs definitely should get a tip (provided they don't break anything :-) ) But Thais rarely expect tips, which in my view makes it all the better to give them if you feel it's due - they really appreciate them.

  13. CDKing

    I'll probably look like a moron arriving to the first class check in by foot tomorrow. Either way looking forward to trying out the ground services for BKK-HKG. Rinse and repeat in a few days at LH FCT.

  14. Levi Flight

    Looking forward to this. I have. 10hr layover snd need to work. Mihht as well do it in the comfort of the first class lounge amd sneak in a quick massage.

  15. lucky

    @ Mary -- They just have female masseuses.

  16. Mary

    Does ladies massage the girls and men the guys or what

  17. Frank goes snort a line!

    Ben would you please just ban Frank's comments entirely from your blog now and forever? All he does is insulting you in every single post.

    Frank obviously has nothing worthy in his life but his own negativity. He's one of those guys who just can't be happy for anyone and for anything.

    We don't need to read his nasty comments here.

  18. Andy Bluebear

    @ Dax I don't mind nudity when getting a massage as long as I can wear a towel over it ;)

  19. Jonathan

    @Frank,

    You must have been raised in a sexually-repressed family who cherished Puritan values. I feel sorry for you. We enjoy Lucky's blog because it is interesting and has valuable info.

  20. Dax

    @Frank: Are you worried that if you hear about the body of another man you may not be able to contain your curiosity? If so please keep in mind that you're always free to leave this travel cum porno blog and go back to to watching the Disney channel or listening to AM Radio or whatever else you consider to be wholesome entertainment. Meanwhile, those of us who are not scared of the human body...

    @Frank: Are you worried that if you hear about the body of another man you may not be able to contain your curiosity? If so please keep in mind that you're always free to leave this travel cum porno blog and go back to to watching the Disney channel or listening to AM Radio or whatever else you consider to be wholesome entertainment. Meanwhile, those of us who are not scared of the human body will continue to discuss topics that may or may not be sanitized enough for your sensitive little eyes.

    @Andy: You should consider a Thai Traditional Massage if you're concerned about nudity. These are generally done fully clothed in thin pajama style garments. However, if you choose a massage that includes oil, lotion, or powder you will probably not want to be wearing your own clothing (if any) as it is likely to come in contact with whatever is being applied to your skin. Then you'll have an oily or powdery mess to take with you (or replace) after every session.

  21. rohit

    @Frank Are you serious? It's his blog, he can turn it to whatever he wants. And it's nothing close to a porno. You're a ridiculous little man.

  22. Andy Bluebear

    @Frank lighten up. I don't think there was anything wrong in his reply. I never knew that about spas in Thailand, but if I go, I'll definitely be packing a bathing suit for use in the spas.

    Anyway, let's not feed the troll further.

  23. Frank

    Lucky, none of us want to hear about your genital area. If you want to take jaunts across the planet with another male and stay in the same bed and do some hanky-panky that is none of our business. Just don't turn a travel blog into a porno.

  24. Simon

    @Voice of reason: Tipping is an imported practice that has no origin in Thai culture.

  25. Alex

    Perhaps from tourists it has become expected but certainly from locals tipping is not common practice. While I was in Thailand last I didn't have porters or bellman hang around like they do in the US waiting for a tip. I guess Thailand would be one of those countries where it is what you are comfortable with. Not expected, but appreciated if you do.

    As per Tripadvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g293915-s606/Thailand:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html

  26. Dax

    Here is what Frommers says about tipping in Thailand...

    "Tipping -- If no service charge is added to your check in a fine-dining establishment, a 10% to 15% tip is appropriate. In local shops, tipping is not common. Airport or hotel porters expect tips; 50B is acceptable. Feel free to reward good service wherever you find it. Tipping taxi drivers is appreciated. Carry small bills, as many cab drivers either don't have change or won't...

    Here is what Frommers says about tipping in Thailand...

    "Tipping -- If no service charge is added to your check in a fine-dining establishment, a 10% to 15% tip is appropriate. In local shops, tipping is not common. Airport or hotel porters expect tips; 50B is acceptable. Feel free to reward good service wherever you find it. Tipping taxi drivers is appreciated. Carry small bills, as many cab drivers either don't have change or won't admit to having any in the hope of getting a tip."

    I would certainly add massage therapists to the tipping class. Many Thais make very little compared to Western wages. I'm generally inclined to tip for good service while visiting Thailand. I never tip for lousy service no matter what the country. Thais are certainly familiar with tipping thanks to interaction with Americans during and after the Vietnam War.

    I've never seen a Thai worker refuse a tip, just like I've never seen a Japanese worker accept a tip, but I have seen a Japanese customer tip a Thai worker. I think that should put the whole tipping question to rest, no?

  27. lucky

    @ John -- There sure is, you're allowed one guest.

    @ Andy -- Will do. They're the same ones they have at most "luxury" spas in Thailand. I don't think they're really even designed to cover you up, since they massage pretty close to the "goods."

  28. Andy Bluebear

    Lucky, next time you're in the lounge, can you take a pic of the fishnet underwear before you put them on? If they really don't cover you up, why bother making people wear them instead of wearing your own, more covering shorts or underwear or whatever?

  29. John

    Is there +1 allowed into the Thai First Class lounge is one passenger is in F and the the other in C?

  30. lucky

    @ Voice of reason -- Since when is tipping an important part of Thai culture?

  31. db

    NO TIP only in the US does (bad) service requires tip. Of course nothing stops you from doing so

  32. Voice of reason

    A tip is definitely expected. It has nothing to do with multicultural tourists -- tipping is an important part of Thai culture.

  33. lucky

    @ Robert -- I've never gotten the impression a tip was expected, especially since it's such a multicultural environment, though I always do, usually around $10USD. It's a lot of money for them, and at the same time less than I'd pay for a massage anywhere else.

  34. Robert Hanson

    Since the massage is comped, is a tip expected?

  35. RakSiam

    Lucky for you there was a cart available for you. When I flew BKK-NRT last Nov they were scrambling around looking for a cart and never did find one. So they led me and another pax out through some side door downstairs to the nonsecure area (after we had obviously already gone through security prior to entry to the lounge). There was a regular golf cart downstairs which we drove in to near the E...

    Lucky for you there was a cart available for you. When I flew BKK-NRT last Nov they were scrambling around looking for a cart and never did find one. So they led me and another pax out through some side door downstairs to the nonsecure area (after we had obviously already gone through security prior to entry to the lounge). There was a regular golf cart downstairs which we drove in to near the E gates. But then we had to reclear security there with a NoS. I was royally pissed off. Then from there we had to walk down to the gate. I thought it was completely stupid. I would have preferred just taking the long walk myself without having to go back through security. When I first tried to leave the lounge they made me wait and said they would come get me to drive me to the gate. I guess maybe it is worth noting that TG likes F class to board last.

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JRV

@Lucky- My flight next Month will be MNL(Buss)-BKK-SYD(First). Are they going to pick me up from my plane arriving from MNL?

Al

@Tom P, was allowed to when I did LHR-BKK (F) - SIN (J). However only the J massages were available (the 30min treatments)

Tom P

Ben, Do you know if you are allowed to use the Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok during a connection if you are arriving on Thai first class flight connecting to a Thai business class flight on which first is not offered? SYD-BKK (first) BKK-PVG (business). Thanks, Tom

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