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Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

Snap Report: Bangkok Airways Economy Class Review – BKK-RGN

Bangkok Suvrnabhumi International Airport (BKK) – Yangon International Airport (RGN)

STD:   08:50AM  ATD: 09:14AM GMT+7
STA:   09:17AM ATA: 09:39AM +06.5

Aircraft: Airbus A320 (HS-PPE)
Flight Date: May 28, 2017
Seat: 14F
Class of Service: Economy
Seat Pitch: 31 inches
Seat Width: 19.8 inches
Meals: Hot meal shortly after take off
In-Seat Outlets: No
WiFi: No
IFE: No

Introduction

 

Our first stop on this trip was Bagan, but when flying into Myanmar on an international flight, you’ll have to transit through a handful of airports and connect in order to get there. Most flights will connect via Yangon (RGN), so after a quick overnight in Bangkok, we found ourselves on the third flight of the trip.

When booking the flight, we had the choice of flying Thai Airways (TG) or Bangkok Airways (PG). Since we’ve covered TG a number of times, it seemed like this would be a good opportunity to fly a new airline (it didn’t hurt that the scheduled departure time was 10 minutes later… every minute of sleep counts).

Check In & Boarding

I tried to check in online the night before, but since this was an international flight, the website wouldn’t process my check in. After reading the fine print, the instructions said that passengers arriving from an international flight have to exit the airport and be processed at the check in counter in the departures terminal. This would have rendered use of the pre-border control airport hotel useless, and saved us no time. I was desperate not to have to exit the airport if I didn’t have to, so Brian and I got up an hour early to resolve the issue.

After some aimless wandering, we found the Bangkok Airways transit desk, where I explained that we had arrived last night from an international flight and asked if they could check us in (the desperation was evident in my eyes, no doubt). The desk agent casually looked us up like it was no big deal and printed out our tickets. Crisis averted.

While I was initially keen on checking out Bangkok Airways’ lounge, the lack of sleep had taken its toll and I couldn’t find the directions to the lounge from the transfer desk, so we settled on The Miracle Lounge, which was located between the transfer desk and our departure gate.

Thirty minutes before boarding time, we made our way to the gate, C1A, where there were no gate agents or Bangkok Airways employees to be found. Not a good sign. Twenty minutes after our scheduled boarding time, a gate agent finally appeared and let us know that our flight was delayed by about 15 minutes and that we would soon be on our way. The captain and crew arrived shortly after and the boarding process kicked off.

Boarding was easy due to the half-empty nature of our flight. While my ticket listed a zone number, they didn’t bother using these to board the plane and just opened up the process as general boarding. After our tickets were scanned, we made our way down the escalator and boarded a bus, which took us to our A320 parked a quick 5 minute ride away. 
Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

Boarding via mobile stairs is typically a messy situation, but people were pretty orderly and lined up to get on board. 

The Flight

We through the front door and we were greeted by our friendly flight attendants at the top of the stairs. One of them showed us to our seats and offered to help us with our bags.

Economy Cabin - Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

Bangkok Airways A320 Economy Cabin

The Economy Cabin (main cabin? Only cabin?) was laid out in a 3-3 configuration and offers 31 inches in seat pitch, which is average (though on the lower side of average) for this type of cabin in this kind of aircraft. As a point of reference, Air Asia, who operates the same route from Bangkok (out of DMK, not BKK) to Yangon flies an A320 with a pitch of only 29 inches. Thai Airways flies an A330 on this same route, which is configured with 32 inches of pitch.

Seats - Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

The seats felt decently wide at 19+ inches, but we lucked out since we had a row of three to just the two of us. The seatback tray table was smallish in size, but I did appreciate a small hole to perch your cup on mid-flight.

I had a decent amount of legroom, but then again, I’m only 5’3 feet tall. However, it’s worth mentioning that I’ve flown Air Asia in the past, and I can guarantee this felt much roomier than that experience (but then again, Air Asia charges half the price, so maybe the limited legroom might be worth it to some).

The seat came equipped with what appeared to be audio entertainment that no longer worked. At no point during the flight did they hand out headphones, and since the input was a two prong jack, standard headphones wouldn’t have worked on these.

As passengers settled in for the flight, the Flight Attendants came by with moist towelettes.  
Towelette - Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

Shortly after, another FA came by with Myanmar Customs and Immigration forms.Immigration Cards - Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

The FAs began the safety demonstration, during which they asked us to put away our cellphones until the seatbelt sign was off, including earphones used to listen to music. Shortly after, we began to taxi towards the runway. Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

We took off at around 9:15 AM, 20 minutes later than our scheduled departure time. The views of Thailand’s landscape as we ascended were stunning.

View of Thailand after take off

View of Thailand after take off

Ten minutes into our flight, a hot breakfast was served. There was only one option – eggs served with sausage and potatoes, with a side of fruit, a muffin, and yogurt. The beverage offerings on the flight were limited to coke, juice, water, coffee and tea. The eggs were average for airplane eggs (I don’t remember a time I’ve had great eggs on a flight), but I was impressed to get a hot meal on such a short flight. While this isn’t unusual on intra-asia flights on full service carriers, it never happens on flights within the United States, so this is always appreciated when I get a meal on a short haul.

In-Flight Meal Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

Bangkok Airways Breakfast

By the time we finished our meals and the FAs came by to pick up our post-breakfast trays, we were beginning our descent into Rangoon. The FAs came by one last time to check that we had our seatbelts on… And that we had placed our phones away.

Bangkok Airways PG 701 Airbus A320 BKK - RGN Economy Class Review

Landing

We landed at 9:39 AM Yangon time. While the flight was about an hour long, Myanmar is half an hour behind Thailand, so while it was 10:09 AM in Bangkok, it was still 9:30 in Yangon. Yangon International Airport is a small one, so we had a brief taxi before pulling up to the gate in Terminal 1. (Yes, a gate!). We made it through customs and immigration quickly, and walked to Terminal 3 to catch our domestic flight to Bagan.

The Takeaway

Though I’m a Thai Airways fan, I’d certainly consider flying Bangkok Air again if the time and price was more ideal. Other than the slight delay, the flight was a pretty good one. Within a one hour flight, we got a hot meal and a (limited) beverage service. While I’m never a fan of using mobile stairs, the service on the flight was friendly and prompt, so overall, it was a pretty good experience – better than most on similar domestic flights operated than American carriers.

Check in & Boarding: 8/10 – We annoyingly couldn’t check in on time, though the transfer desk was able to help us and we didn’t have to leave the airport just to go to the ticket counter to check in.
Food: 8/10 – Okay, I’ll admit my rating is entirely for being served any meal (read: more than just a bag of pretzels) on a flight that was an hour long. Bonus points for a hot meal!
Seat: 7.5/10 – Not the worst seat ever, but not spectacular either.
Crew: 8/10 – Friendly, helpful, oh and hey, did I mention they served the entire plane a meal on an hour long flight?
Flight Experience: 8/10 – Honestly it was an hour long, totally fine.
Overall: 39.5/50 (79%) ★★★★

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