Taipei to Sydney via Bangkok – think again, at least for now

What’s a great way to fly Taipei to Sydney? Well, at the moment it isn’t via Bangkok. Forget political instability, curfews, and potential delays, if you just want to do a simple transfer, think again.

Don’t get me wrong, flying Thai Air can be a pleasure; even in Economy. And a stop over in Phuket or Bangkok (at any other time) can be great. Here are some tips if you are flying Taipei to Sydney.

  1.  Thai Air leaves from the old terminal in Taipei’s Taoyuan Airport. It means dealing with pretty run-down facilities. Though the huge Mr Brown coffee shop is a good place for wireless internet and a strong latte. The “salted beef” roll is a pretty good pre-flight snack too. But don’t expect to kill too much time either before or after customs.
  2. The 7:45pm Taipei to Bangkok flight TG635 does not offer individual TVs in each economy seat – so get ready to bring a good book or a couple of newspapers. The connecting flight to Sydney, TG477, did have individual TVs, with pretty up-to-date programming.
  3. Tarmac buses: okay, you might expect it for other airlines coming to Thailand, but Thai Air flights that don’t pull right into a gate, are a big inconvenience. This is what we got for both inbound and outbound flights.
  4. Transfer times: Thai does a pretty good job of having evening flights to Australia. The connection between Taipei to Bangkok and Bangkok to Sydney was a bit over an hour…enough time to grab something to drink, check out the airport shops and take a reasonably leisurely time to move over to departure gate.
  5. Food: airline food on this trip was better than some other airlines I’ve flown, which can really make a difference on overnight flights.

All up? Well, the Thai Air staff are always helpful. Just this trip felt a little bit like flying in the 90’s: poor airport facilities, with buses on the tarmack, and no inflight TVs. But if you want to cut a few hours and enjoy more convenience  at the airports themselves, then try flying directly to Australia via China Air, or through Hong Kong via Cathay.

  • Flight Schedules: 9/10
  • Airport Facilities: 5/10
  • In-flight Services: 7/10
  • In-flight Food: 7/10

Overall rating: 7/10

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