This trip, I had the mission to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh again. As It was the business trip, the on-time traveling and timing is my priority. From Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh, with morning flight, it had THAI SMILE and Thai AirAsia. But the low cost carrier might be risk for delay. So, I decided to fly with Thai Flag Carrier. Indeed, Thai Airways is the flag carrier of Thailand, but short haul routes were operated by subsidized airline, THAI SMILE. For the trip details, they are following.
Flight No. : WE 550 – THAI SMILE
Route : Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) – Ho Chi Minh (SGN)
Departure Time : 07.40 AM (GMT +7)
Arrival Time : 09.15AM (GMT +7)
Flight Duration : 1 Hours 35 minutes
Equipment : Airbus A320 – 200
Cabin Class : ECONOMY (Smile Class)
About 5am, I arrived Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. THAI SMILE had the check-in counters at Row F. The queue was not busy as it was weekday. I spent only 10 minutes for ticket check, baggage check-in and getting the boarding pass.
After passing security check and immigration, it was just 5.15am (the processes were quicker than expected). I had sometime to have lite-breakfast. At that date, the barding was at Gate : D1A. The boarding time was 7am.
Once I had everything I want, I were at the gate about 6.45am. The boarding was on-time. Gate D1A is not the aero-bridge gate, it is the bus gate.
THAI SMILE was using single aisle aircraft. The seats were arranged as 3-3. The seat pitch was reasonable wide and quite comfortable to me (my height is 183 cm). It just had safely instruction in the seat pocket, no magazine and any entertainment. 😦
The flight was pushed back and taken-off on-time. When the seatbelt sign has been switched off, the crew had served us the snack. It had only one choice as it is only short-haul flight. At that date, the menu was chicken pizza pie and butter cake served with hot tea or coffee.
Then, after finished the meal, it was time to observe the lavatory. It was well cleaned and had essential facilities.
The flight time was just only 1 hour. I could spend my free-time to take a look sky view for a while during resting.
Then, the captain did ascending and landing at Tan Son Nhat Airport – Ho Chi Minh safely and on-time. After disembarking, I have to pass the immigration before retrieve the luggage. The immigration queue at Ho Chi Minh airport was always long as the airport was too small when compare with the number of passenger. I spent almost 45 minutes for immigration clearance.
Then, after immigration passed, I could get my luggage at the Belt No.2. It meant I have completely arrived Ho Chi Minh.
In overall, THAI SMILE was the good airline with reliably on-time performance. But, it was created to compete with low-cost airlines. Many services were removed to minimize the cost (such as snack was served instead of hot meal, the aircraft was just single aisle, no in-flight entertainment, etc.). Anyway, it was acceptable for me as I am not the high expecting passenger. THAI SMILE is the one of full service carrier for you connecting between Thailand and Vietnam.
🙂 WELCOME TO HO CHI MINH AND HAVE A WONDERFUL STAY IN VIETNAM 🙂
Written By : Shipy Siwarit Tiasuwattiseth