QANTAS ECONOMY FLIGHT & BANGKOK AIRWAYS FLIGHT SYDNEY TO CHIANG MAI
Qantas Economy Flight
Have you heard the story about the guy who loved Emirates so much that he got their logo tattooed on his arm? Apparently, the airline’s given him a stack of awesome upgrades since that, and even a birthday party on board with caviar and Dom Perignon Champagne.
I know people think this is a bit crazy, but I honestly don’t see the difference between getting their logo inked, and anything else you love. For me, it’s on par with getting a football team inked on your arm. Then again, I’ll never quite understand the passion for football…
I’m not as big a fan of Qantas as this guy was of Emirates, but I have to say they are my favourite airline because of the generous space, considerate service, and consistency in quality. Not sure if I’ll be getting their logo tattooed on me any time soon, however!
Check in & Airport
We had a little bit of a hiccup checking in at Sydney airport.
This was an interesting trip for getting on planes. On our way to Sydney from Chiang Mai, we found out North Nomad needed a visa to visit Australia, and were advised by Bangkok Airways that it would take 72 hours to process(it took five minutes).
This time, I’m the trouble maker.
Despite not living in Australia for almost three years, it’s technically my country of residency. My Canadian visa has expired, and our visas for Thailand are tourist visas – even if they are good for 6 months in Thailand.
And it turns out, Australian residents aren’t meant to board flights to Thailand without a return flight, or a flight to another country (the details of which countries were okay and which weren’t were a little lost on me to be honest, but I learnt we could go to Hong Jong, but not to Singapore).
I was a little confused as we didn’t need this when we flew from Toronto in Canada to Chiang Mai inThailand, but there may be different requirements at Pearson Airport.
In any event, I explained my situation to the very nice lady behind the counter. I also let her know that we were more than happy to book flights to a neighbouring country before we checked in, if required. I just couldn’t buy them to Australia because I had no idea when (if?) we’d be back.
And because she was a very nice lady, she went and talked to her manager and it turned out they could sight one of my credit cards, and waive the requirement.
They did let me know though that the reason for the requirement was that Qantas could be fined $10,000 if an Australian resident didn’t have and then couldn’t buy a plane ticket out of Thailand. And that I should be prepared to buy a ticket to Hong Kong or somewhere similar at Bangkok Airport.
So the check in took a while, but the lady was very helpful and got us there in the end.
Class, Seating & Service
This time, we’re in economy class, not business.
On a 9 hour flight during the day, economy class is perfectly enjoyable with Qantas. As mentioned, the space and leg room with this carrier is one of the reasons why I enjoy flying with them so much.
For an overnight flight of this length I prefer business class. I have a tendency to fall asleep in odd positions in economy class, put my back and neck out of place, and get a nasty few months of vertigo afterwards as a result.
But, we’re on a daytime flight, so economy is more than fine, and even enjoyable.
The service as always with Qantas is polite and friendly. I noticed that there were a good scattering of babies and small children on this flight. Some of the air hosties nursed the babies while the parents ate, which I thought was really lovely.
Food & Entertainment
The food was AMAZING. I know, you rarely hear anyone say that about their flight food unless they’re in business or first class.
But I keep telling people they need to get the vegan or vegetarian meals! We get treated so well with food.
We get a lunch service, and an afternoon snack service. For lunch, I have the noodle curry. It’s a coconut based curry, with pumpkin, mushrooms, and snow peas. It’s just delicious.
It comes with a spinach side salad (a very good pairing with the veggies for vegans, iron gets more easily digested with vitamin C), a roll, vegan spread, dressing, and two Anzac biscuits.
I’m particularly excited to get a vegan dessert that isn’t fruit. I love fruit, but it can get a little same-same after a while.
For the afternoon snack, I get a “Rowie’s” Popeye Toastie – a focaccia style sandwich. It’s spinach, with white beans mashed up to mimic the look and consistency of feta.
Again, this is delicious, and I make a mental note to look up the company that makes them.
North Nomad’s meal is a chicken curry with Jasmine rice. His chicken curry comes with a coleslaw style side salad on spinach, a roll and butter, and cheese and crackers.
For dessert, he has a chocolate mousse which I look longingly at and wish there was a vegan version of because it looks so tasty!
His afternoon snack looks like something that should be served up in a hipster bar in a laneway in Melbourne: two cute little beef sliders. They were a wee bit too fancy for North Nomad, however, who likes his burgers on the traditional side.
The movie selection is okay. We’ve seen all of the good movies already.
I watched Pompeii entirely because it had Kit Harrington in it. I’d only suggest watching it if you’re a huge Kit fan, and even then, you’ll be left wondering if he can actually act or not.
Bangkok Airways – All Economy flight
Our Bangkok Airways experience on the way over to Australia was really impressive.
I don’t know what happened here, but it was craptastic. I guess everyone has their bad days! This section will be super short, because frankly, it was super unimpressive.
When we boarded, the entire plane smelled like a public toilet that had just been disinfected, but the underlying stench was still there, and remained for the entire flight.
Then they forgot my meal, which I had pre-ordered maybe a week earlier.
On a one hour flight, not getting a meal is not usually an issue.
But when you’ve had a connecting flight, a layover, had to go through security and customs, and it’s dinner time… you get a pint-sized South Nomad hulkette suffering from hanger.
And then when I asked for the vegan meal I’d selected when they tried to give me chicken, they gave me attitude and said I’d never ordered it – which is a little unusual for Thai customer service staff! I suspect they were just having a bad day…
It was lucky we’d had a good experience with them before, so I hope this was just a hiccup on Bangkok Airway’s part.
Costs: We booked via Travelocity with the following costs for two adults one way from Sydney in Australia to Chiang Mai in Thailand.
|All prices quoted in US dollars.|