David Libeau flies aboard Thai Airways flight TG945, from Rome to Bangkok.
The plane: An almost brand new Airbus A350.
Class: Royal Silk Business Class.
Seat: I was in 15A. The lie-flat beds are in a 1-2-1 configuration. The only thing I did not like is that the overhead lockers are quite low and it was easy to bang your head when getting in or out of your seat.
Flight time: About 9hr 30m, leaving Rome just before 2pm and arriving into Bangkok at 5am.
Food and drink: We flew four sectors on Thai on this holiday and it was consistently very good. There is an excellent Business Class wine list, with Veuve Cliquot Brut and Carnard-Duchene Leonie Brut Rose champagnes available on all sectors. They also offer a choice of three white and four red wines, all French vintages. As well there is the usual selection of spirits, beers, liqueurs and ports available.
Lunch was served after take-off and with a nod to departure point Rome, the first course was a very tasty prosciutto and lentil salad with grilled zucchini and parmesan cheese. The main course included both Thai and international cuisine options. I chose the Thai roasted duck in red curry which was delicious and was accompanied by a chicken and straw mushroom soup and jasmine rice. A cheese course followed then a choice of two desserts, and again an international and Thai choice. I went for the Thai coconut custard with crispy shallots — sounds weird but it was magnificent.
Breakfast was served prior to arrival into Bangkok and I particularly liked the individual bakery baskets.
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Entertainment: I go to the cinema a lot so I often struggle to find movies I haven't seen but I did enjoy Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool. There was a reasonable selection of movies, TV and music although perhaps not as extensive as some other airlines.
Service: The Thai crew were happy, friendly and helpful throughout the flight and provided an attentive service which saw any extra requests met with warmth.
Toilets: Always clean and well-stocked. The purple orchids added a lovely bright touch to the bathrooms.
Airport experience: Rome's Fiumicino Airport is modern and functional. Thai Airways use a shared lounge that was very comfortable and had a surprisingly good selection of food and beverages. It was much better than the Thai-operated Royal Silk Business Class Lounges at Bangkok Airport, which are well overdue for renovation.
Would I take this flight again: Yes, overall a very positive experience on Thai Airways and our 12-hour transit in Bangkok coming home included a complimentary day-use room at the excellent Novotel Hotel at Bangkok Airport. A shower and a few hours' sleep and we caught the train into Bangkok before returning to the hotel for a swim in the pool and freshening up for the flight home to Auckland.