On an invitation from Belmond Napasai, Koh Samui, Thailand, I got to experience the luxury that Belmond is synonymous with. Our aptly chosen airline partner was Bangkok Airways which is Asia’s boutique airline. The award-winning regional airline is celebrating 50 years and is Thailand’s first established private airline. I flew from Mumbai to Bangkok, then onwards to Koh Samui and my return was Koh Samui to Bangkok and then Bangkok to Mumbai.
Web check-in can be done 24 hours prior to international flights. The site is easy to navigate and my web check was smooth. The staff at the check-in counters was efficient and I was issued my boarding pass quickly. When we think of Thailand most of us think of shopping and I am no different. Bangkok Airways is the airline for shoppers as it has a baggage allowance of 30 kgs.
Airbus 320 with a seating capacity of 162 passengers flew us to Bangkok. Passengers from rows 21-28 were seated first to avoid congestion in the aisle. The seats are in a 3X3 seating arrangement. As I settled into my seat and snuggled under the vibrant blue blanket, the air hostess served my vegetarian meal of steamed rice, dal, ladies fingers, chole with potatoes and kheer. The non-vegetarian meal had steamed rice with chicken. Beverages included tea, coffee, coke, sprite, apple/orange juice, beer, wine, and whisky.
The uniform of the air hostesses is designed by a famous Thai designer. I guess these white, sky blue and sea green coloured uniforms were a tribute to the sea. The in-flight variety gives you the option of purchasing mascot merchandise, T-shirts, leather passport holders, shopping and tote bags, caps, key chains, fragrances, cosmetics, packaged food, and confectionery.
The in-flight magazine is called Fah Thai which is the gold winner pearl award 2017 for best photography from The Content Council. Most of the passengers had dozed off on the flight. As we were landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport at Bangkok, I caught the golden-hued sunrise. Our flight was on time which was good as we had a connecting flight to Koh Samui with brief transit time.
Airbus 319 also has seats in a 3X3 seating arrangement with ample leg space. It was a one hour five minutes flight to Koh Samui and we were served breakfast of paratha with potato vegetable, tomatoes and cut fruit with tea/coffee.
The Bangkok Airways Lounge at Samui is cuteness personified. A large teddy bear welcomed me with white and blue interiors. Despite it being 5.40 am, there was a tasty spread. The pancake machine dishing out pancakes, sandwiches, bakery items and the much-needed tea/coffee had me geared up for my return flights back home. Currently, the airline privately owns the Samui airport apart from Sukhothai and Trat. Passengers travel in charming trams from the Samui airport to the aircraft.
The Airbus 319 with a seating capacity of 144 passengers flew on this route. The vegetarian breakfast included chole, baked tomato, masala rice and cut fruit. The non-vegetarian breakfast had roast chicken with broccoli, carrots, and pumpkin with tea/coffee.
For this last leg of my trip, it was Airbus 320 that flew us onboard flight number PG 733. The vegetarian meal included a salad of iceberg lettuce, cherry tomato, capsicum and carrot, potatoes and cauliflower vegetable, rice and cut fruits. The non-vegetarian meals had chicken while shrimp curry was also available. The flight was comfortable and while deboarding, I was missing the familiar Sa-wat-dee-ka or hello in Thai that I had got so used to in Koh Samui. All it took was a Namaste to welcome me back to India.
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