If you’re like me, maybe you’ve had the experience of your taxi driver taking you to Don Mueang instead of Suvarnabhumi and you’ve missed your flight.
Careful You Don’t Miss Your Flight
Once your at Don Mueang airport, it’s an absolute bitch getting to Suvarnabhumi. It will cost you 500thb in a taxi or over an hour in the free bus between the airports. When I finally made it from DMK to BKK, I was down about 3,000thb (~$100USD) and had another 4,000 in my wallet which was to see me through for a week in Chiang Mai. With only 4,000 I wasn’t willing to spend 3,000 on another ticket which was the price I was being quoted by most airlines at their sales desks in the airport.
My original ticket was with VietJet Air and by the time I made it to the airport, they had cancelled their mid day flight and subsequently their sales staff never showed up to operate their sales desk. It was as though they were actually avoiding all the customers they had just cancelled on.
Bring on Bangkok Airways
I was hugely relieved when I went to the Bangkok Airways sales desk, which was it’s own office with waiting lounges and a fully staffed support desk. All the other airlines except Thai Airways just had a tiny little cubicle. When I spoke to the very friendly staff there, they offered me a ticket for 2,000 and told me that they also had a lounge that all their economy customers could use.
Their lounge, directly across from gate 2A in the domestic departures area and next to their status member and business class lounge, is equipped with most of the features that you would expect from a business class lounge from most domestic carriers. The only thing it didn’t have was alcohol. The food was reasonable and while the lounge was quite busy, the staff were friendly and kept the place clean. The Wifi is good there also.
Having a well equipped lounge for economy passengers was a huge surprise but not compared to their service on the plane. They were the friendliest cabin crew I have ever encountered and even though it was only a one hour flight, they managed to get several rounds of refreshments in and the meal was very good for economy.
I’m 2 metres tall (6’7”) and take a lot of notice about leg room. My original ticket with VietJet Air had also cost me extra to book an emergency row seat and in my haste to get the ticket with Bangkok Airways, I hadn’t asked if they could put me in an exit row seat.
The staff on board Bangkok are the only cabin crew who have ever asked me if I would like to move to an exit row seat. On most small carriers and especially budget airlines, I have had to pay and beg for those seats.
Bangkok is hands down the best economy service I have ever experienced and I’m rating them above Singapore Air who were my previous favourite.
So while I don’t know of any ways to get free lounge access with any other carriers, I would recommend choosing Bangkok Airways over any other carrier if you get the chance.
If you think that Bangkok Air sounds good but you’d prefer to redeem points on your usual carrier, they are partnered with Etihad, Air Berlin, JAL, Cathay Pacific and Jet Airways.
Have you had an experience like this? Let me know in the comments.