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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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