D for Dhaka [17 – 20 Feb 2012]
Thai Airways operates out of DAC Terminal 1 and the security personnel checked that I was flying with Thai before allowing me to go through. I spotted a ticket booth for non-flyers who wished to send their friends or family off; it was a total rip-off at 200 BDT considering how pathetically small the terminal was.
There were five counters for Y passengers and two for Star Alliance Gold and J passengers. From the lines the flight was probably quite full. Considering how mediocre the Bangladeshi airlines are, TG must be getting quite a bit of connecting traffic out of DAC (as well as O/D). The demand should be quite high considering it is sending a widebody for the 2.5 hour flight.
The check-in agent asked if I had any check-in luggage (none) and my seat preference (window). She proceeded to give me my two boarding passes and a lounge invitation.
The immigration control was quite fast for South Asian standard and I entered into a rather sparse boarding area.
The Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge was actually on level two which I had some problems locating.
The lounge was kinda small and got quickly filled up with J passengers and Star Alliance Gold members, all of whom would be on the same flight as me. Most of the other lounge users were business travelers and I could overhear them discussing mega deals on their BlackBerrys while I played Bejeweled Blitz on my iPhone.
The food offerings were mainly of the finger food kind and there were several types of canned juices to choose from. Alcohol was also available but I didn’t partake in them.
The lounge was beginning to get kinda stuffy and I was glad when the boarding time arrived. There was no separate queues for the J passengers and by the time I finished with security, boarding had already commenced.
Flight: Thai Airways TG 322
Depart: Dhaka (DAC) – 13:40 -Actual 13:43
Arrive: Bangkok (BKK) – 17:10 – Actual 17:14
Duration: 2h30m (Actual 2h31m)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 16 K
The Bangladeshi woman sitting in 15K requested to change seats but the crew informed that they were not able to accommodate her due to the flight being full. Thus I was quite glad that I scored an empty seat beside me.
Besides the departure drinks, the crew also went around distributing reading materials and menus.
I did my usual rummage through the seat pocket.
I spotted an unlikely plane.
Push back was on time and there was hardly any traffic in DAC.
As soon as the seat-belt sign went off I went to the washroom. The crew were getting ready for service in the galley then and I caught a funny sight there. There was this super-cute crew who wasn’t tall enough and had to jump a few times to close the overhead cabin. I wished I could help her but being a short fellow I probably would have to jump as well.
After I returned to my seat I booted up the IFE. The touch-screen wasn’t too sensitive but I managed to get it to work and catch another two episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”.
In the meantime the crew started their service.
After the meal the crew went around with one more drink service and I got my hot tea. No praline though.
Just before descending I needed the washroom again. Waited for a while for the lavatory located behind my seat and there was a Frenchman speaking to three of the crew in the galley (including the super-cute one). He was complaining about how bad India was and gushing on how fantastic Thai food is. The latter comment definitely helped him to score points with the Thais.
It seemed as if the plane was chasing after its own shadow.
Noticed two things on the flight:-
1. It seemed that the crew changed their uniforms twice. The female crew were welcoming passengers in a traditional Thai uniform and later changed to a work-friendly one. Before landing they changed into a purple uniform (different from the one during boarding).
2. TG didn’t collect the headphones before landing. There were quite a few passengers who kept them on during the landing which was in contrast to SQ whose crew would ask for them way in advance. Not sure whether it was a breach of safety protocol but it was definitely more passenger-friendly in my opinion.
I always got remote gates in BKK (albeit on LCCs) and hoped that there wouldn’t be a repeat this time. Fortunately for me, the plane parked at one with aerobridge. The crew thanked us on our way out of the aircraft and I was already thinking about flying with TG again.
Transit was pretty easy in BKK; I followed the signs until before an escalator where a security personnel checked my boarding pass. I went up the escalator and found the security checkpoint there. I was quite lucky as the security officers opened up an additional line when I joined the queue. The entire process took less than five minutes for me in total.
My next flight would be leaving from Gate D2 so I went to the nearest Royal Silk Lounge to while my time.
There were also hot food on offer for dinner but I didn’t check them out. I couldn’t logged onto the WiFi initially and it took me quite a while to resolve. I thought that it was a pretty nice lounge and it was a shame that I had to spend more time in DAC’s lounge than in there.
Flight: Singapore Airlines SQ 979
Depart: Bangkok (BKK) – 18:30 -Actual 18:27
Arrive: Singapore (SIN) – 22:00 – Actual 22:04
Duration: 2h30m (Actual 2h31m)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 12 K
My seatmate was a Japanese businessman who was already in his seat when I boarded. I didn’t take many photographs for this flight as it was on the same type of aircraft as my outbound flight to DAC.
BKK is a bigger hub than SIN and during the taxi I spotted quite a few airlines which we don’t get in SIN normally.
After take-off the crew went about to serve the drinks that was ordered on the ground. My aisle was served by a pleasant Singapore Girl whose name-tag spotted a Filipino surname (oxymoron isn’t it?). As it was a short flight, the meal was served in one tray which was kinda disappointing for me.
I had pre-ordered the seafood meal which turned out to be a noodle dish.
I’ll let you guess what I watched on KrisWorld.
Only until this flight did I notice that the call button symbol was a silhouette of a female.
After the awesome noise-canceling headphones were collected (way too early again), my entertainment was the airshow.
Upon landing I wasn’t too pleased to learn from the announcement that we would be parked at T3 instead of T2. As I would be taking public transportation home, T2 would be more convenient for me as its bus stop was the final one for public buses leaving the airport.
I used the automated gates which had no queue and picked up half a dozen of Heinekens at the duty-free before walking over to T2 to catch SBS Bus 27 home. Despite having to wait quite a while for my connecting bus at Tampines, I reached my door around 45 minutes after exiting the aircraft.
This could only happen at my beloved Changi Airport.