Airline reviews Thai Airways Lounges First & Business

Thai Airways Business & First Class lounges

NEWS: Thai Airways now prevent Gold Star Alliance members from entering the main business class lounge in Bangkok. Instead, they are shuffled off to the satelite lounges.

Bangkok lounge location map Jan 2007
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport The lounge location map
Thai Airways have three types of lounges, however some are still branded with the old names, and so it can be a bit confusing. To make it harder to work out what you'll get for your money, Thai bung a 'Royal' on the front of everything, in the hope it'll make it seem classy. It doesn't.

First Class lounges do what they say on the tin. Food is brought to your seat, and there's a barman with a better range of drinks than you'll get in the cheaper lounges. A couple of lounges are still branded as the obscure Royal Orchid (for ultra long haul, now used just for Star Gold) lounges. These are only just above the Royal Silk (What once were called Royal Executive lounges, or Business Class) lounges that have a walk up bar, and snack bar type food.

Thai Airways lounges were once some of the worst in Asia, but Thai revamped them to the level that they are now up to the usual international standard: a few even won awards. Alas Thai Airways has no rapidly cut back on these lounges, and perks are nowhere near as good as they were. For example all lounges used to have a good choice of international newspapers and magazines, but now these can be hard to find.

Thai Airways Bangkok Business Class lounge Concourse D Piano Bar July 2010
Bangkok Concourse D Thai Airways New Business Class lounge piano bar

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi - BKK - Thai Airways Business & First Class lounges

Thai Airways maintains several lounges at its new hub, the sparkling Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). This is not to be confused with the old airport at Don Mueang International Airport (now called DMK, although it had the airport code BKK for decades).

The lounges are vastly different from the old lounges at Don Mueang, and include a main lounge area with both a business class and a full First class lounges, plus a spa.

And after all, why have one lounge when you can have... five? Including two Business Class lounges that are opposite each other? It all seems a bit odd now, but there are two good reasons: firstly, when BKK was first built, all of the lounges had different themes, and there was a concept, back in the day, of giving the passenger value for money. How laughably public spirited that seems now. Plus Suvarnabhumi is such a big airport, it can take a good half hour to walk from one end to the other: therefore, the airport was planned with sub-lounges near the popular gates.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Star Alliance Gold in Concourse D, warning sign July 2010
Star Alliance Gold The meaning is clear - keep out of Concourse D

If only it still worked that way: many close at random times during the day, and the Thai website makes it clear that facilities are pretty much the same. However the bad news is that Star Alliance Gold are banned from the main D concourse lounge: instead Star Golds are shuffled into the C and E lounges. As part of the cutbacks at Thai, there is also now no access to any Thai lounge from 2am until 5am (or often nearer 5.30am when the staff eventually roll up). You can no longer sleep overnight in the lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.
More lounge photos:
Thai Airways Bangkok BKK Business/First lounges:
Concourse D Business Class lounge photo gallery... more»
Concourse C Business Class lounge photo gallery... more»
Concourse E Royal Silk lounge photo gallery... more»
Concourse E Royal Orchid lounge photo gallery... more»
Concourse A Domestic lounge photo gallery... more»

Thai Airways did have a plan for an arrivals lounge at Bangkok, but it never opened, and was scrapped before the airport was complete.

The various lounges are all past security, and all on Level 3, with the main lounge complex just past security in concourse D, plus more lounges at Concourse C & E.

Bangkok - BKK - Thai Airways First Class Lounge

Concourse D, Level 3 Open 0500-0200
Access for First Class only.
Bangkok First lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New First lounge

Travelling in First on Thai Airways and you get the delight that is... a golf trolley ride. After you check in you are escorted down the escalator, and at the bottom sat on a golf buggy: this drives you to the end of the business class lounge where the first lounge resides. It is a wonderous novelty, but utterly pointless (it only saves about 3 minutes walking) and you feel a bit of an idiot taking it. There is a similar cart that picks you up if you arrive on a First class flights.

Up in the Thai Airways Bangkok First Class lounge (which is separated from the plebs in business by the dragon's desk and double doors) there is a large room with comfy chairs, and smaller sitting rooms (all with TVs) for those who want a bit of privacy. The only snag is the constant nagging attention of the staff. You aren't expected to get anything yourself: they hover at your elbow, and you only have to raise a hand and there are several of them fawning at your feet asking what they could possibly do for you. This can get annoying.

Bangkok First lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New First lounge

Food is great in the lounge. There is a separate dining room where you can sit down with a menu and work your way through a five course dinner, or a smaller pantry where snacks are on display. Don't make the mistake of taking any from the display though: the staff ask you what you want and bring it to your seat. There is a large array of la Carte dining, including pasta, and salads, canapes, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables (with dips) plus cheese and biscuits.

Bangkok First lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New First lounge dining room

The small Bar has a great selection of spirits and Sparkling Wine: the staff will happily open a bottle of whatever Sparkling Wine you like (such as Krug) just for you to drink. The whisky selection is quite spectacular, and there is a comprehensive wine list, but you should resist when staff tell you that they will "bring your drink to your seat". This involves the butler passing on your request to the barman who then hands your drink to a waitress: the whole process can take 20 minutes, and you are much better off just talking to the barman yourself.

There are four en suite shower rooms right at the back of the lounge, and four very good slumber rooms, plus a mini Library. Computers are however very poor in the lounge, with just four in the office by the main door, which are very slow and often occupied by precocious children.

The First lounge is no longer open 24hours a day, but Suvarnabhumi airport is often full of flyers camped overnight, and looks rather like a homeless shelter: come to that, so do most of the passengers. However there are reclining chairs in concourse C and D which are open to all who want to sleep overnight in Bangkok airport. Get here early to grab your chair in among the orchids.

Bangkok lounge entrance Nov 2007
Bangkok lounge entrance

Bangkok - BKK - Thai Airways Royal Silk (Main Business Class) Lounge

Concourse D, Level 3 Open 0500-0200
Access for First & Business Class and Gold Royal Orchid Plus. No entry to Star Alliance Gold.
This is the main, central, business class lounge at Bangkok.

Once you've checked in at the dedicated business desk - or even in the small First enclave to the left of this - at Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi International Airport, you'll go through passport checks, and then the security checks (a new revelation at BKK: previously all the checks were at the gates, but these were moved in 2009 except for flights to the US, Australia, and the UK) and then down a long escalator. At the bottom you are already in the lounge, with the desk ahead of you, the piano bar to the right, and the main lounge to the left.

 Thai Airways Bangkok Business Class Royal Silk lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New Business lounge food

Carry on down - past the halfway landing where the shops are - and you'll be greeted at the desk to have your ticket checked, and welcomed to what must rank as the longest business class lounge. The huge flagship-lounge is like a corridor - with banks of seats on either side. Alas it's all rather gloomy, with no windows looking out onto the runway, and all decked out in a purple and blue colour scheme.

There are several food areas, the main one on the left about half way down. It's on a raised area, and is pretty much continually topped up by the staff who hover around you. There are some big silver toureens with noodles (chicken, beef, or fish: it's good to see Thai stick to the airline cliché s).

Thai Airways Bangkok Business Class Royal Silk lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New Business lounge bar

There are several bars throughout the lounge, but not as many as there used to be. Indeed, the main cocktail bar for most passengers is on the small tray, opposite the main food area, where there is a rack of 17 bottles of spirits. And oh, what a selection, it includes Chivas Regal, Drambuie, Martini (x3), and a whole host of other specials that rarely make it into an airport lounge. There are also two cans of coke, Schweppes tonic, and Schweppes Soda. In what must rank as one of the most stupidly labour intensive jobs at the airport, if you take a can, one of the waitresses goes into the kitchen and replaces it on the tray. Madness. At two other points in the lounge there is a fridge with beer – Carlsberg, Chang and Singa - although these are rather poorly stocked.

Thai Airways Bangkok Business Class Royal Silk lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New Business lounge

There once used to be a lounge Lobby Bar with piano, and a walk-up cocktail bar. No longer: the bar is still there, but it hasn’t been open for years. However, this is by far the nicest area of the lounge to sit in, as it is far more open, light, and airy than the other parts of the lounge. It is a shame this bar closed, but it was shut as part of major cutbacks at Bangkok by Thai that also saw another bar in the same lounge, and the further food area closed.

Bangkok Business lounge Nov 2007
Bangkok New Business lounge

The lounge also abandoned 24 hour opening at the same time, but in the usual spirit of Thailand of trying to sell you something at every opportunity, Thai did open a small duty free shop which is opposite the main food area, and beside the small children’s room, called the Kids Corner (there's not really a lot in here, but a few toys).

In a small room off the far end of the lounge there is an Internet Room with 13 brand new fast PCs. Free wifi is available throughout the lounge. There are TV on several walls (normally showing CNN), and departure boards. Further back in the lounge there is a sleeping corner, with slumber seats, and the shower Rooms which are actually quite swish.

More lounge photos:
Thai Airways Bangkok BKK Business/First lounges:
Concourse D Business Class lounge photo gallery... more»
If you’re really going to try and get your money’s worth out of this lounge, there are also the newspaper racks, beside the main corridor, with a very Spartan collection of papers, but there are usually a few international papers here, mainly of the US variety (despite the lack of flights to the US). Curiously, there are no UK papers (despite the regular flights to the UK). Magazines are much harder to come by – you may have to nip around the corner to the Singapore Airlines lounge for that.

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Orchid Spa

Concourse D, Level 3 Open 0600-2330
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus. No access Star Alliance Gold.
Bangkok Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa July 2010
Royal Orchid Spa Bangkok Thai Airways Spa

If you are travelling in First or Business on Thai, you can access the Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok Airport. There is no access to Star Alliance Golds. It’s a nice perk, but not really worth raving about. You have to leave the lounge in concourse D and walk over to the other side.

Reception are generally pretty good and will run through the options, and you then take a seat in either the First or Business class waiting areas. Here only Cold Herbal Drinks and herbal nibbles are available.

There are two main options: either a Neck & Shoulder Massage, or a Foot Massage, both lasting 30 minutes, and designed to clear stress and tension before or after long journey. It’s best described as “variable”, and you will either get a masseuse who is an expert, or a new kid straight off the street. If your hopes aren’t too high, you may not be too disappointed.

If you’re in First Class, you can also get a “Touch Of Silk” Body Massage lasting 60 minutes. It has a full body massage, including a Jacuzzi.

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C  West July 2010
Bangkok Concourse C Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Silk Lounge

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C West

Concourse C, Level 3, West (right) Open 0515-0100
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance.
This Business Class lounge used to be the pick of the bunch, and once had a cook to order theatre kitchen noodle bar. No longer: it is still there, but now used by the staff as a gossiping hole. There is just the usual spread of food on the table in the middle of the main lounge.
More lounge photos:
Thai Airways Bangkok BKK Business/First lounges:
Concourse C Business Class lounge photo gallery... more»

The good news in this lounge is that the Slumber Rooms and showers (at the back of the lounge: turn right as you go in) are still here: alas the slumber rooms resemble little more than prison cells. I mean look at them: with hard plastic mattress and a communal pillow (avoid unless you want some Asian contagion) they are pretty grim.

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C  West July 2010
Bangkok Concourse C Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge

Other than that, with a seating capacity of 137, this lounge is pretty average. Free Wifi. The computers are nice – overlooking the windows, and with private printers – and there is one private sitting room at the end on the left. This lounge is mainly used by Thai Airways.

The lounge on the other side (Concourse C, Level 3, East (left)) is nearly identical, but without the showers. Note that even though security checks have move to pre-lounge, there are additional checkpoints after this lounge on the C concourse for flights to the UK, Australia and the US. To get to the lounge once in the central square at the C concourse, you have to wiggle left around these chechpoints.

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Orchid Lounge Concourse E West July 2010
Bangkok Concourse E Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Orchid Lounge

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Orchid Lounge Concourse E West

Concourse E, Level 3, West (right) Open 0515-0200
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance.
Access to Business class Thai passengers daytime, First Class at night, and Star Alliance Gold.
Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Orchid Lounge Concourse E West July 2010
Bangkok Concourse E Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge

This lounge is a Royal Orchid, rather than a Royal Silk lounge – and you may well ask, what do you get extra. The answer seems to be – slightly comfier seats, and an extra bottle of wine on the table. But then again, it was designed for First Class Thai passengers, but now when the Royal Silk lounge opposite is shut during the day this lounge takes all comers: First, Business, even Star Alliance Gold who have been kicked out of the main lounge. As a result the lounge has a kind of “drag ‘em in off the street” feel, particularly if you are here before the main departures at midnight when this place gets packed. SAS also use it as their main lounge in Bangkok (and it makes you badly miss the old airport, where SAS used to operate their own small lounge).
More lounge photos:
Thai Airways Bangkok BKK Business/First lounges:
Concourse E Royal Orchid lounge photo gallery... more»

This lounge also boasts the most stupidly designed slumber rooms of any lounge. They are hard up against the far wall, where one wall is a sheet of glass, with no curtains or anything. The sun glares in. As a result, no one ever uses them. There are also a couple of Private sitting rooms.

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Orchid Lounge Concourse E West July 2010
Bangkok Concourse E Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge

Much is made of the Buffet Bar in this lounge, however it is pretty poor: worse even than the C lounges. The bar is a small tray of spirits. There is Wi-fi, and a very small internet corner, toilets and showers.

Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Silk Lounge Concourse E East

Concourse E, Level 3, East (left) Open 0600-0900 & 2100-0000
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance.
Of all the lounges to visit in Bangkok, this has to be the worst. It is small, with room for just 137 passengers, and that number regularly try and cram in the door. In the late evenings it can get packed. There is Wi-fi, toilets and showers.
Thai Airways Bangkok Royal Silk Lounge Concourse E West July 2010
Bangkok Concourse E Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge

The main reason so many people make for this lounge is that it does a lot of Vegetarian food in the evening: indeed, for the late night buffet bar, one area is specifically marked out as the Veggie corner. There are also plenty of rice and noodle dishes: much better than in most of the other Thai lounges.

More lounge photos:
Thai Airways Bangkok BKK Business lounges:
Concourse E Royal Silk lounge photo gallery... more»

Bangkok - BKK - Thai Airways Economy Class Lounge

This lounge is now closed.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Economy Class Slumber Seats in Concourse C July 2010
Slumber Seats in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Concourse C

Economy passengers on Thai used to get the rare treat of access to a lounge at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport, located on Level 3, Concourse B, and free of charge. It was widely reported in the news at the time as a great revelation. It was a lovely place with sofas, a TV room, and a pay snack bar, but it was not advertised and few people knew about it. Most Thai officials denied it existed.

No longer – it’s been closed for an extended period, and instead you can sit on the hard metal benches in the airport concourse, shop, or if you really want, there are soft leather slumber couches half way up concourse C and concourse E.

Bangkok - BKK - Domestic - Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Concourse A

Concourse A, Level 2 Open 0500-2300
Access for Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Thai Airways Bangkok Domestic Royal Silk Lounge Concourse A July 2010
Bangkok Domestic Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge


The Bangkok Thai Airways Domestic lounge is actually rather a pleasant place to be. The Domestic corridor in Concourse A isn’t up to much, with just a few shops and a snack bar, but the lounge is quite different from its International cousins upstairs. If, that is, you accept that it is dry.

The lounge is on the left as you walk down the concourse. There is one small and rather gloomy room as you walk in. Most passengers assume that this is all the lounge has to offer. A few may make it to the small corridor on the left, with a few extra chairs and a small room at the end, however if you follow the tiny sign marked “garden oasis”, wiggle left, and past the cleaners cupboard, you enter a huge cathedral like space, with vast windows overlooking the gardens. There are pleasant comfy wickerwork sofas here, under umbrellas, with greenery and everything. All that’s missing are tweety birds. The seats here are much more comfortable than in the main lounge where the black plastic seats are very hard and unforgiving to the stage when you think you’re sitting on a plank. There is also always plenty of space outside, because few passengers venture here, or even know it’s there. This is where the seating capacity of 138 comes from.

Thai Airways Bangkok Domestic Royal Silk Lounge Concourse A July 2010
Bangkok Domestic Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge

Food is OK, although you’ll never rave about it. There is a small heated cabinet in the “inside” room with puff pastries, asparagus flans, and the unique Thai sausage croissants. In the corner cabinet are strange steamed pastry confections filled with duck, eel, and beef. There are plenty of sandwiches (of the British Rail variety) and fruit in a dish (mainly melon). There is a similar food counter outside, with a more spartan collection.

The bar though remains a disappointment. There isn’t one – Thai is resolutely dry on domestic flights. However both inside and out, there is a large fridge with over 20 different varieties of types of soft drink, including cans of Coke, Pepsi, Tonic Water, and a very strange Ginger creation. Alas, if you’re looking for a beer, you’ll have to pop out of the lounge, turn right, and enter the snack bar by Burger King and the Coffee Club. Here, there is a small bar serving Singa or Chang.

More lounge photos:
Thai Airways Bangkok BKK Business lounges:
Concourse A Domestic lounge photo gallery... more»

Free newspapers (just Thai papers) are on the table beside the corridor, and in a rack in the cathedral. There are also some computers in the lounge: 4, to be exact, and they are high on the wall beside the “hidden” corridor, facing the lounge. There is even a free printer. There is also Wifi in the lounge, some fairly manky bathrooms (but no showers) and one small VIP Room for various members of the military junta to stay in when they are on their way up north.

One further point of note: there is no access to this lounge if you are arriving off an international business class flight, and transferring to domestic economy, despite some advertising that there is: the lounge gatekeepers seem very strict on this point.

Chiang Mai - CNX - Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounges

You may think Chiang Mai is small, but the International Airport (CNX) sees 2 million passengers a year, and as a result has two Thai Airways lounges. The lounges are very different, with different ways of accessing them – and you need to make your choice carefully, before check in.

If you are just on a one-stop domestic flight, you have no option but to visit the domestic lounge. However if you have an international connection via Bangkok, the magic word you need to know is CIQ. CIQ means Customs Immigration Quarantine. It means you can clear immigration in Chiang Mai, sit on the same domestic plane, and just walk into the international part of Bangkok airport. Because you have cleared customs you can sit in the international part of the airport, in the international Thai CNX lounge, and you are then escorted onto the relevant plane. The downside is you need to wear a sticker saying CIQ. The upside is that you will already have an ongoing boarding card, so at BKK the transfer takes 2 minutes and there no customs formalities other than a brief x-ray check. To do this yourself by walking outside and checking in again would take a lot longer. Don’t lose that CIQ sticker: they have real currency for those who would like to leave Thailand unchecked, and it is the only proof you have that you have already gone through the immigration process. The international lounge at CNX is much nicer, with free alcohol, air conditioning, and it is normally much emptier. Alas, it also has worse food than its domestic cousin.

Also, beware. Whenever the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is closed due to riots or protests, Chiang Mai becomes the alternative international gateway. At these times, the international lounge is packed. Still confused? No wonder – the check in staff will never explain any of this to you: a map makes this clearer.

Chiang Mai - CNX - Domestic Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge

Domestic terminal, north end Open 0600-2130
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
The Chiang Mai Thai Airways domestic lounge is a very different cousin to its international counterpart. It was recently renovated, and the entrance moved after security, with a large lounge extension so it is less crowded than it was. The downside is that you can no longer pop in here, then clear immigration on the international half, and have a drink in international too. Also, it still isn't air-conditioned, and on a hot day the temperature is pretty uncomfortable – which is another good reason to visit international.

The old doors pre-security into the domestic lounge have now been replaced with a wall with odd slit like windows, making the impression of being in a cell even more pronounced. To make it even darker, there are dusty vases cluttering up the windows, and odd half high room dividers in the lounge. At least around the food area there are some decent high wooden stools where you can sit and see out, and around the other half of the lounge there are big squashy padded benches, rather like a 1970s Thai restaurant would have in North London. No Thai specialties for you here, however: instead there are trays of food on the worktop, with sandwiches tightly wrapped in clingfilm, and five plastic canisters with fruit, cakes, deserts, and pastries.

Chiang Mai International Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge July 2010
Chiang Mai Thai Airways International Business Class Lounge

Beware that the Thai Domestic lounge in Chiang-Mai is dry. There is not so much as a beer available: you have to visit the bar in the main terminal for that. However there is a ub of orange juice on the counter, and a coffee machine. There are a couple of TVs, high on the wall, and two computers in a location where everyone can see them. Completing the impression of the lounge are two tubs of orchids, in the middle of the sofas. That completes the entertainment of this lounge, but at least it is after security, so you can stay here until boarding is nearly completed.

Chiang Mai - CNX - International Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge

International terminal, south end, 2nd floor Open 0600-2100
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Chiang Mai International Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge July 2010
Chiang Mai Thai Airways International Lounge food

If you’re lucky enough to make it into the Thai Airways International Business Class lounge at Chiang-Mai, you’re lucky. You’ve saved having to go through immigration at BKK, and you’ve also got access to the Chiang Mai International Royal Silk lounge, which not many people visit.

The Chiang Mai Thai Airways international lounge is after security, right at the Duty Free shop, then left in the main hall like part of the international terminal. There is a small reception desk, bathrooms and two shower rooms on the right, and the main lounge, for what it is, is ahead of you. It is basically one long room, with windows (but not much of a view) at the far end. However the chairs are comfortable, and you’ll rarely have problems getting a seat. The lounge is split oddly half and half, with the left having carpet and harder chairs, the right side having wood and softer chairs at right angles to the other half. The end section by the windows is screened off, and is designated a quiet area: not that it makes much of a difference.

More lounge photos:
Chiang Mai International lounges:
Royal Silk lounge photo gallery... more»

Food in on the oval counter, and consists some great cakes (the strawberry cheesecake is well worth the trip for) fruit, and in the hot cabinet some unusual Thai pastries.

Chiang Mai International Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge July 2010
Chiang Mai Thai Airways International Lounge computers

Bless the cook, for they seem to have seen pictures of Western food but never tried any in reality, for there are unusual things like hot sausages in a croissant, and cheese flans a la banana. It makes you desperate for a beer – which, since you are no longer on a dry domestic flight, you can have.
Chiang Mai International Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge July 2010
Chiang Mai Thai Airways International Business Class Lounge

It’s the Bar which makes this lounge – if only by virtue of the fact that there is one. There is Singa or Chang beer in the fridge, and while on the worktop there are free pour bottles of Beefeater Gin, Campari, Black Label, Thai Whisky (avoid like the plague), and wacky Green liquor (again, avoid, unless you want an instant hangover) and two types of Martini. There are the condiments for making Bloody Marys (Worcestershire, Tabasco, Tomato, etc) but oddly, no Vodka. The bar is indeed, not exactly well re-supplied. Thankfully there is plenty of coke, Sprite, and Schweppes Tonic in the fridge. There is no wine.

There are two computers in the lounge, and newspapers on a rack at the far end. There is no wifi.

Singapore - Thai Royal Orchard lounge

Terminal 1, third floor Open 0700-1300 & 1400-2200
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
The major problem with this lounge, is getting into it. If you are a Star Alliance Gold member the staff try very hard to turn you away, and encourage you to use the Premier lounge in Terminal 2. Be assured you are allowed in, despite the lack of Star Alliance Gold signs.
Thai Airways lounge in Singapore Jan 2004 SingaporeThai Royal Orchard lounge

The lounge is however very similar to the Premier lounge, with no real windows or views of the runway. The seating is good, but there are no computers, and the newspapers are Thai only, apart from the obilgatory Straits Times. There are two phone cubicles, which take credit cards.

There are two small fridges on either side of the food area, with Tiger and Singa beer. There are a few bottles of spirits, with 3 types of whisky, and one gin.

Food is limited, with the usual asian pasty warmer, having a few crossants, and lovely little pies. There are also some boxes of cornflakes in the morning.

Kuala Lumpur - Thai Royal Orchard lounge

Satellite Building, Mezzanine Level Open 0700-last flight
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Thai Royal Orchard lounge Oct 2004 KUL Thai Royal Orchard lounge
Access for Star Alliance Gold card holders
Thai Royal Orchard lounge Oct 2004 KUL the bar selection
This lounge really shows what is wrong with Thai. The quality of implementation is superb - this is a large, well built lounge, with some fantastic carving around the walls, good seats, and it gives a solid impression of quality. Alas maintainance and service let down the whole system, food is poor, the drink selection is downright lousy, and business facilities woeful.

There is a great view of the (normally deserted) KLIA apron from the big comfy armchairs, with two TV's overhead (which just show local KL TV, and have poor reception). Indeed, if you are travelling first class you can go into the normally chained off area, with leather armchairs and get your own TV - although this ridiculous attempt to make a first class area surely only benefits those who seek to let people know they are travelling first.

The bar is very poor. There is no wine. Beer is in the fridge and comes with the usual varieties of Heiniken, Carlsberg, and the highly unusual Anchor Steam Beer. This is a lovely smooth sort of bitter. There is a vast rack of a lot of empty optics (spot how poor the Thai service is - they can't even be bothered to replace the empty bottles) with just a single bottle each of Gin, Vodka, and Johnnie Walker.

Thai Royal Orchard lounge Oct 2004 KUL the food

Food is just about tolerable. There are some pretty nasty sandwiches, wrapped in vast amounts of plastic, spring rolls, noodles, and weird bright green Swiss Rolls.

Thai Royal Orchard lounge Oct 2004 KUL the beer

There is a derisory collection of newspapers with just the New Straits Times, a Malaysian language daily, and plenty of copies of inflight magazaines. At the far end are two office suites, with some very old computers. Only one is open - broken furniture is stored in the other - and the computers do not connect to the Internet.

All in all this lounge is a bit of a waste of time, however access is sometimes possible if you are on the Thai/Malaysian codeshare to Phuket with a Star Alliance Gold Card, even if you didn't buy your ticket via Thai.

Hong Kong - HKG - Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge

West Concourse, level 7, Far end of terminal pier Open 0600-2200
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Thai Airways Hong Kong Royal Silk Business Class lounge July 2010
Hong Kong Thai Airways Royal Silk lounge

The Hong Kong Thai Airways lounge is actually pretty good, and one of the best on Thai Airways International network. It has to be – by the time you’ve got to the far end of the long pier at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok airport, you’ll need somewhere for a bit of a rest.
Thai Airways Hong Kong Royal Silk Business Class lounge July 2010
Hong Kong Thai Airways Royal Silk lounge

The lounge is at the end of the long pier, upstairs, and at the other side of the V shape to United's somewhat poorer offering. It is open to the roof, with great views of the rif-raf below you. Throughout the lounge there are great views of the aeroplanes, and of the sunset over the sea.

The lounge takes up most of the point of the V, with large armchairs that are harder than you expect, and a small quiet room in the middle of the V. The chairs go all the way around the V, and there is even a pair of chairs on the “third” side of the V if you want to sit away from the crowds.

Food is pretty good, with a self service salad bar (which is quite special, having salad, sweet corn, tomatoes, ham, cucumber & pasta salad) plus hot soup and pasta in heated tourines, noodles, Dim sum, rice porridge, curry, satay and various hot entrees are available. There are sandwiches tightly wrapped in cling-film, and ice-cream in the small table-top freezer. Packets of Lay’s Crisps are by the bar.

More lounge photos:
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok lounges:
► Thai Royal Silk lounge photo gallery... more»

There is a self-service bar, which is mostly OK, with two types of wine (white or red) but is fairly nondescript. Wine is rarely topped up, and you have to ask the cleaners for more, but at least there are large full sized wine glasses. Orange and mango juice is in big glass jars on the worktop. There is only one type of beer- Carlsberg - in the fridge. Spirits are Beefeater Gin, Stoli vodka, Bacardi, Martini (x2) Campari, Black Label whisky, Jim Beam, and Connoisseur brandy.

Thai Airways Hong Kong Royal Silk Business Class lounge July 2010
Hong Kong Thai Airways Royal Silk lounge

There is a small slumber area, with three slumber chairs (one reserved for First Class passengers) but they are in the full glow of the lights, and only separated from other passengers by thin slats of wood. It’s not very relaxing. There are showers in the lounge, but the facilities in the United lounge at Hong Kong are better. Indeed, even the bathrooms in this lounge have seen better days.

Thai Airways Hong Kong Royal Silk Business Class lounge July 2010
Hong Kong Thai Airways Royal Silk lounge slumberseat

In the Hong Kong Thai Airways lounge there are two very large HD TVs, showing CNN, and which the staff will not let you change onto any other channel. Computer facilities are very good in the lounge with 9 new, fast, internet PCs, on strange minimalist glass chairs with thin designer chairs. At the back of the business class lounge there are also three playstation computer game consoles. You have to talk to reception for a joystick, and hand it back after 20 minutes. Newspapers are also good, with a decent pile on the table by the playstations that also has a few magazines such as the economist and Newsweek in the rack underneath.

Thai Airways has a Royal First Class lounge in Hong Kong, however it is the most ridiculously separated First Class section you'll ever see in a lounge. For aircraft operating flights that still operate with a First Class cabin, the section of the lounge nearest the desk overlooking the sunset & the sea is roped off, and you can sit there in all your isolated glory. One of the relaxation chairs is also has a temporary barrier put in place. The only other advantage in flying First Class in Thai out of Hong Kong is that there is a slightly better selection of booze, with two different wines, Gordon’s Gin (odd, the cheaper version is in First!), and Bailey Irish Cream.

London Heathrow - LHR - Thai Airways Business Class lounge

At London Heathrow, Thai Airways are on the move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1. Depending on when you fly, you may use the old lounge facilies provided by SAS in Terminal 3, or the new ones in Terminal 1 provided by SAS.

This will certainly make transfers between flights easier - and equally will give access to the joint Star Alliance Arrivals lounge in Terminal 1 at Heathrow.

London Heathrow - LHR - Thai Airways old lounge - The London Lounge

Terminal 3, airside Open 0600-2200
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Thai Airways are shortly to move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 at London Heathrow, and at this time will move to the new joint Star Alliance lounge in LHR Terminal 1.
LHR Air Canada London lounge June 2007 London LHR Thai Airways lounge

Thai Airways currently use the joint lounge with Air Canada and Scandinavian Airlines at LHR. Designed by Swedish architects it combines the old SAS (which was only a third of the size) & Air Canada's previous Maple Leaf Lounge.

Imagine a minimalist land of stripped pine, white walls, and the wow factor that very few lounges have now.

LHR  London lounge June 2007 London LHR Thai Airways lounge

Called 'The London Lounge' the two-story lounge seats 350 people and is easy to find - its located directly adjacent to the duty free transit area.

It's has two floors with very different atmospheres. The ground floor provides a livelier atmosphere, similar to a hotel lobby, while the upper floor offers a more 'relax-and-unwind' atmosphere with seating areas including massage chairs, a library (with some really good books and a big reading table) and showers. There are several works of art including mini Buddha figures by Fredrik Wretmann and Albin Karlsson's clock. Award winning Canadian textile artist Elyse de la Fontaine has two prominent pieces on display.

Upstairs the lounge features a 12-seat cinema (a box glass room with a really big TV), along with a TV in the open (a 32" with Freeview); a games room with tabletop curling developed by a former member of the Swedish Olympic team (which is great fun to play on - mind the curtains); and a separate Kids Lounge (with lots of Lego). The seats up here are the most comfortable, and in the corner there is a view of some of the nearby gates. There is a bar here hidden by the back corridor, with beer on draft, and spirits (vodka, gin, whisky). On the upper level there are also four shower cubicles: ask for the key (and a towel - these are not normally given) at reception.

LHR  London lounge June 2007 London lounge food bar

There are a large number of computers at the back of the top floor, which are fast and work well. There is also free wi-fi in the lounge (Network: SASWipoint Name: lhrb Password: sas).

LHR London lounge June 2007 London LHR Thai Airways lounge

Downstairs there's a business centre with computers and high-speed Internet access including wireless options around a circular bar area. There is Sky TV on the flatscreen TV on the wall under the stairs, and a smoking glass box, next to the newspaper pod, with loads of papers (all of which you can take away) including all the UK papers, and some Thai papers.

Downstairs the bar has 4 types of white and red, but no Sparkling Wine. Mineral water comes on draft, but there are no spirits, and the only beer downstairs is Singa, in small bottles.

Food on both levels comes in a buffet area. It provides fresh fruit, including peppers, carrots, and cauliflower (but no dips), and lots of cheese to choose from, with Boursin & Smoret in tubs, plus two types of cheddar and red Leicester. There are digestives or Cream Crackers to put them on. Two types of nuts in bags. Three types of fruitcake, all sealed in plastic. Early in the morning there are some good pastries.

Note that at Terminal 3 at LHR BAA have abandoned fasttrack for Gold card holders - you can now only use fast track if you are in a premium cabin.

London Heathrow - LHR - New Thai Airways Business Class lounge

Terminal 1, after security Open 0500-2200
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Thai Airways will shortly to move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 at London Heathrow, and at this time will move to the new joint Star Alliance lounge in LHR Terminal 1. Check your booking to see if your flight has moved.
London LHR Star Alliance lounge March 2009
London LHR Star Alliance lounge used by Thai Airways
At London Heathrow, Thai Airways will make use of the brand new Joint Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1, to where Thai Airways is moving its flights. It is after security, and then you walk right through the shops, and right again into the main square: the lounge is hidden in the corner, to the right of WHSmiths.

The lounge is very large, but rather dull. Food is pretty good, with a hot option available for the Asiana flight so you can eat in the lounge before getting on board. Food is often curry, with salads and sandwiches also available.

London LHR Star Alliance lounge March 2009
London LHR Star Alliance lounge used by Asiana

The bar is rather poor, with bottles of Gin, Vodka, VSOP, Bacardi Rum, and Whisky with Jack Daniels, Famous Grouse, and Jamesons. There is just one type of white, two types of red, and a rose wine. Most of these are pretty cheap and nasty versions. There is a beer pump for Grolsh, and - rare for a lounge - Magners cider in bottles in the fridge, along with bottles of Becks and cans of Guinness.

There are showers in the lounge, and free Wifi, but no computers.

Full details of this lounge are contained in the bmi pages, under the Joint Star Alliance LHR Lounge section.

Note that if you are on First Class you can access the First Class side, but you must ask for a coupon at check in. However, even if you are 'just' travelling in Business Class, you might be better off going to the bmi Great British Lounge by gate 5. This has a much better atmosphere, great views of the runways, and a lovely bar called The Local. Again, details of the London Heathrow Great British Lounge are contained in the bmi pages, under the Great British Lounge section.

Sydney - SYD - Thai Airways Business Class Lounge

Terminal C, level 3 above Gate 53 Open 0615-2230
Access for First & Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
Sydney Air New Zealand business lounge July 2010
Sydney Air New Zealand lounge used by Thai Airways
At Sydney, Thai Airways make use of the Air New Zealand Lounge in Terminal C. It is a vast roomy concourse with big squasy arm chairs and large windows giving great views overlooking the runway. This lounge is better than the Unite lounge that Thai previously used before moving to Terminal C in 2006. There used to be a separate First Class section on the right, however this area has now been merged with the main part of the lounge. If you are in First on Thai, you can of course nip over to the Singapore Airlines First Class lounge, if you insist on sitting in First.

There is a good bar area with 4 types of Kiwi whites and red, a Kiwi sparkler, and half a dozen types of beer in the fridge, plus vodka, Bacardi, Bunderberg rum, Gin & Brandy. However with the thai flight leaving at 9am, you'd be a brave passenger to work your way through these before boarding.

Food is equally good, with some flights leaving early in the morning there in time for the cooked Kiwi breakfast including sausages, tomatoes, and a strange cheese flan type thing. There is also a rare delight of a pancake making machine, and maple syrup is in the jug. This lounge gets pretty lively before the 3pm Thai departure, because the lounge is now also used by United following the closure of their lounge, and as luck would have it two United departure coincide with Thai, and several NZ flights at this time.

Sydney Air New Zealand business lounge Feb 2009
Sydney Air NewZealand lounge bar area

Newspapers are on the top of the shelving Units, with the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Financial Review, but no Korean papers. There is a small business centre at the far end of the lounge, and three computers. There are also two sets of showers: in the main lounge, and around the corner of the old First section.

Full details of this lounge are contained in the Air New Zealand pages, under the Sydney Lounge section.

Thai Airways Frankfurt Lounges

Travelling on Thai in First Class means you can use the new Lufthansa lounge at the airlines hub in Frankfurt. The Senator lounge is the first on the Lufthansa network with a spa. ...read more here

For the regular Thai flights to Frankfurt, Thai Airways use the Lufthansa lounges.

The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt pier B
Frankfurt The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in pier B
At Frankfurt, remote stands are used a lot by Thai, and this involves a sometimes lengthy bus ride once you're off the plane. The lounges can be quite a hike from the gates, and they don't always announce departures, so watch those monitors carefully and give yourself a little extra time to make your boarding.

Full details of both the Frankfurt Thai Airways lounges are contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Frankfurt - FRA - Thai Airways First Class lounge (Lufthansa Senator Lounge)

Terminal 1, Pier B (International, non-Schengen) by gate B43, top floor. Open 0530-2230
Access for First Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
The large new lounge has only just opened, and is a vast improvement on what went before. There are the usual large armchairs, with small tables between (which also have power sockets).Oddly, you can access it either with a First Class ticket, or in Economy as a Gold Royal Orchid Plus, but not on a business class ticket.
The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt pier B
Frankfurt The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in pier B

The bar is great: called the City Lights Bar, you can sit around the bar on high bar stools, looking at the lights behind it. There is a barman to mix cocktails. Service is slow, and a separate bar area has two beer taps, spirits on the glass shelf, beer in the cooler on the worktop, and 3 white and 2 red to the left of this. Food has the usual Lufthansa lounge offerings of cheese and lard, olives, rice, ham and salad. Alas the eating area is dull, with a curved wall with small tables.

There are showers and two spa rooms, offering massages for €50. There are a few computers in the business area, and free wifi, plus luggage lockers and a smoking room.

Full details of the Frankfurt Thai Airways First Class lounge is contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Frankfurt - FRA - Thai Airways Business Class lounge (Lufthansa Lounge)

Pier B - International (left and right rotundra) Open 0600-2200
Access for Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
The Thai Airways Business Class lounges in Frankfurt is in the central part of both rotundra in pier B, reached by the spiral staircase right next to the gates.

Frankfurt Business lounge Pier B Sept 2003 Frankfurt Business lounge Pier B
There are drinks and nibbles provided, showers, and free Internet. There is also a big sleeping room. Take a circuit of the lounge as you walk in to check out all the facilities - its on a circle, so you can walk all the way round.

The bar has an OK choice is good with excellent coffee, two types of wine, and Sparkling Wine (or rather "Lufthansa Brut").

Full details of the Frankfurt Thai Airways Business Class lounge is contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Seoul - ICN - Thai Airways Lounges

Incheon Main Concourse Asiana Business Class lounge March 2009
Incheon Thai Airways Business class lounge

There are two Business Class lounges available at Asiana's hub in Seoul. One is used exclusively for Asiana flights, in the main concourse, and the other one is in Concourse A, and used for all Thai Airways flights, but operated by Asiana. In any event there isn't any real significant difference that I've noticed between the two, except the Concourse A lounge also has hot food at 1530. However, because there is a one way train to the Satelitte, you can't use the Concourse A lounge if you are on an Asiana flight. There is a convenient Map so you can find them.

Full details of both the Seoul Incheon Thai Airways lounges are contained in the Asiana pages, under the ICN Lounge section.

Incheon Main Concourse Asiana First Class lounge

By gate 42 Open 0500-2100
Access for First Class passengers
This lounge is on the left hand side of the lounge pair. The significant difference in the First lounge is the food. The drinks section are impressive, with spirits including Johnny Walker Blue. There are two more magazine racks in the small private sitting areas.

Incheon Main Concourse Business Class lounge

By gate 42 Open 0500-2100
Access for Business Class, Gold Royal Orchid Plus, and Gold Star Alliance
This lounge is much larger than the Business side, and covers a big chunk of both sides of the upstairs area above the shops. The large bookshelves along the wall give the feeling of being in a modern hotel, although there are again just the usual rack of the same four or five books. The Bar was fully equipped with a large range of spirits. In front of the bar area is the food. There is salad 24 hours a day, in large tubs in the fridge.

Closed & Abandoned Bangkok Airways Lounges

These lounges are now closed, and information is only retained for historical interest.

Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) lounges

At the old Bangkok airport (Don Mueang International or DMK (NB: This was called BKK until 2006)) there are four Thai lounges, two of each type. There are first and executive lounges on the extreme end of terminal 1, just by the walkway to the domestic terminal. There is also another first lounge by duty free next if you turn left after passport control. There is another executive lounge if you turn right after passport control, right by gate 31. This is the most convenient, but also the smallest, and fullest. At check in its worth asking for a lounge map to find all of them.
Thai Bangkok Don Mueang DMK International Executive lounge
Terminal 1, by Gate 1 to 11 Open 0530-2330
These lounges are now closed, and information is only retained for historical interest. Use of the lounge is open to Thai Airways First and Business class, Star Alliance Gold members - and is used by some TG codeshare partners.

Welcome at reception is very curt. A number of computer terminals provide free internet access - however you must register at the counter, and have to pay if you require more than 15 minutes. Food is good, however the bar service is downright lousy.

This is a vast room of a lounge, which seems a bit dingy, as there are no windows. Armchair seating is located around the outer areas of the lounge, with the self serve food counters in the central area. Fencing divides the areas of the lounge up, but they just seem to get in the way rather than making it cosier.

As you walk in you are confronted by the bar, while there are separate rooms around the edges, such as the prayer room, a small smoking room, and massage chairs in the opposite corner. At one end of the lounge is a fenced off raised platform - with a range of seating - reserved for first class passengers. However this is no more comfortable than the other end of the lounge, and there are no checks on who goes up here. There is a small free internet centre, however its hard to get onto the machines as they are always busy.

Two TVs are located around the lounge (often on CNN very loud) , however to watch them you have to in effect sit in the corridor, with a hard lino floor - sterile, its not the most comfortable of places.

The food in the central buffet area is pretty good. By lunchtime there's a big pot of curry and rice. There are also pastries in a small heated cabinet, and a good selection of cheeses.

The bar has a very good spirit selection, particularly whisky, however there is only Singa and Chang beer, and the wine is particularly disappointing, with just one bottle of white.

Thai Bangkok Don Mueang DMK Executive lounge by Gate 31 at DMK
Terminal 1, by Gate 31 Open 0700-2100
These lounges are now closed, and information is only retained for historical interest. This is a much smaller, more intimate lounge, which is also much more convenient for the gates - alas this means it's normally crowded, and very hard to get a seat. At mid-morning and late evening periods, the lounge gets very overcrowded - and finding 2 seats together proves a daunting task. To compensate it has huge windows, with great views of the planes.

Food early morning is great, with a good selection of fruit to the left hand side of the lounge, and pastries to the right, but the selection of food by mid-morning period is sparse - the breakfast offering having run out and little else available for the rest of the day.

The bar is very good, with a great selection of 8 whiskys. Beer is the usual Singa, in cans, and there is only one type of white and red, and no Sparkling Wine. Do not believe the clock above the bar - it hasn't worked in years.

Newspapers are very poor, with just Thai language editions. There are two internet computers, and two showers which are filthy, decrepit and falling apart, with mould on the walls. Thai codeshare airline customers must pay if they want to use the shower.