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Trolling through the song offering on TG 476 an ageing Jumbo from Sydney to Bangkok and one of the songs, written, recorded and made famous by an old schoolmate “Everything Old is New Again” convinces me the lyrics fit my flight circumstances perfectly. Whilst the aircraft has been in service for 18 years, staff, service, facilities, meals, vibe and reliability are like new. Peter Woolnough aka Peter Allen’s song rings true.

Seated in Y class 39C aboard TG’s 747 400 a dependable workhorse that spends most of the time in the sky flying thousands of Aussies weekly to the land of smiles.  The 747 has been a loyal part of the Royal Orchid program for many years.

The meal during the nine hour flight, chicken curry proceeded by an entrée of smoked salmon and salad was capped off by Bega cheese and biscuits. The aisle seat was fine with room to stretch. There was an adequate selection of movies. Beverages of all types, alcoholic, non-alcoholic and hot are always forthcoming and if you run out, you only have to ask.

When mixing classes book J class on the return leg. Business class passengers have access to the TG lounge in BKK which is like a 100 metres long; good enough for Usaine to bolt down. Next to the starters’ blocks is another enticement; the option of a 30 minute neck and shoulder or foot massage – free.

The 747’s have been in service since the late 1960’s the newer TG model 747 400 has been recently re-furbed so everything old is new again. There is plenty of room in J class in the bubble and on the main deck but the 2 X 2 configuration does not include completely flat beds. My seat partner on the return leg was an interesting man from Philadelphia who ordered a seat belt extension. That certainly ain’t going to work for either of us in Y class. Flight TG 475 BKK to SYD was chockers in all cabins proving that the ‘queen of the skies’ is a TG money making machine although recently the airline announced they were cutting back on flights to and from Australia. These aircraft are rarely on the ground on the SYD- BKK route which is a great airline business model. Flying 10 am SYD TO BKK arriving at 4.25, turning around at Suvarnabhumi and returning to Sydney at 7.20 pm.

mixed entree

The 747 Jumbo’s will be phased out in the coming years to make way for the state of the art A380’s, Dreamliners and B 350’s (TG already has these aircraft in their 80 strong fleet) which have added another welcome dimension to airline history as the 747 did when it rolled off the line at Everett more than half a century ago.

Thai has regular global sales offering some unbeatable fares which tick the boxes to most global destinations. A two night stay is always worthwhile in BKK, the airlines hub, to experience and soak up the atmosphere of the hustling bustling city, its fantastic food, the people, shopping and sightseeing in the land of smiles. The Australian Society of Travel Writers picked Bangkok for their AGM this year.

Peter Woolnough

Thai Airways International is as Smooth as Silk, and on the Sydney route, everything old is new again.


Written by John Savage who paid for his fare and upgraded to business class with points on the return flight.