With increased competition from budget airlines and the entrance of more international airlines plying Southeast Asian routes, it’s tough to stand out and differentiate yourself from competitors. Bangkok Airways, a privately owned airline from Thailand celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and is an example of an airline thriving and still going strong in its Southeast Asia home base.
Branded as “Asia’s Boutique Airline”, the airline’s stated goal is to provide “Exclusive Service to Exotic Gems” and there are six defining pillars to work towards fulfilling towards to goal.
1. Boutique Lounges
When you fly with Bangkok Airways, one of the most significant perks is that you get access to their boutique lounges at the airports owned and operated by them at Samui Airport, Sukhothai Airport and Trat Airport. This is eligible for all ticket classes including economy!
The clean and comfortable boutique lounges are similar to business-class style lounges offered by other airlines, but the striking difference is that it is available to all passengers with no extra charge or hidden fees.
Each lounge has a courtesy corner where passengers can treat themselves to a multitude of free snacks and various choices of hot or cold drinks. Passengers can also enjoy free internet access from one of several computer booths while a kid’s corner located within the lounge area will satisfy the needs of young children.
2. Boutique Lounges – Blue Ribbon Club
For those who would prefer a little more privacy and are willing to top up a little on your airfare, Bangkok Airways’ Blue Ribbon Club Lounges are designed to serve the airlines’ premium passengers flying with their business class, Blue Ribbon Club; or with Boutique Premier Service; or for any passengers with FlyerBonus Premier Membership.
Blue Ribbon Club Lounges differ from the boutique lounges with more extravagant designs, greater personalised service and more attention to passengers’ needs. More services are offered such as hot meals and a personal shower room.
Blue Ribbon Club Lounges can be found adjacent to the airline’s regular Boutique Lounges at each respective terminal.
3. Boutique Airports
Bangkok Airways’ owns and operates three boutique airports—Samui, Sukhothai, and Trat. Each airport’s unique architecture was designed to blend in with the natural and cultural surroundings of each of Thailand’s three provinces.
Samui Airport’s open-air, thatched terminal buildings blend seamlessly with the tropical gardens and coconut groves of Koh Samui. Sukhothai Airport, situated among the calm rice paddies, reflects traditional Thai architecture. Finally, Trat Airport highlights the essence of the province’s surrounding natural environment.
The uniqueness of each airport complements Bangkok Airways’ boutique characteristics.
4. Appetising Menu
From lounge snacks to in-flight meals, Bangkok Airways’ F&B offerings are designed and curated by famous Thai Chef, M.L. Sirichalerm Svasti, better known as Chef McDang, a leading expert on Thai food and is the first Thai chef who has taught at numerous branches of the Le Cordon Bleu Schools of the United States until receiving the title of Honorary Chef Instructor for their Las Vegas Campus.
Chef McDang has also written and published an English book, “The Principles of Thai Cookery” which outlines the history, culture and style of Thai cuisine while also providing 57 recipes for it’s readers to try.
Meals served on board are prepared and delivered with the highest level of food safety standards. I have flown with Bangkok Airways on several occasions and thus far, both their inflight meals and lounge food have never disappointed me.
Special dietary menus such as vegetarian or Halal are also available upon request. On longer flight routes, passengers are given different meal choices to choose from.
Must-try items include their roast duck, shrimp wantons and a delightful selection of Thai dessert items.
5. Exclusive Service
For airlines, one of the most important success factor has got to be the service standards and Bangkok Airways uphold a high standard, having won the World’s Best Regional Airlines award in 2017 from Skytrax.
The staff at the lounge are always helpful and patient, as are the flight crew, bringing out the best from the Land of Smiles.
6. Colourful Aircrafts
The most recognisable trait for Bangkok Airways has got to be their colourful aircrafts and the signature baby blue theme in their branding material.
Bangkok Airways’ aircraft are decorated with colourful liveries of the various exotic and cultural destinations, adding to the airline’s trendy and boutique feel.
The airline also has a mighty cute teddy mascot which you can find a giant-sized one at their various lounges to take photos with.
When flying to the Land of Smiles next time, do consider Bangkok Airways. More details are available on their official website.
For those who like to run (like me), Bangkok Airways also organises the Bangkok Airways Boutique Series 2018, a series of runs aim to promote tourism at 7 attractive destinations in the airline’s route network as well as to respond to the incremental demand of sports tourism in the global market by providing 7 running races all year round which comprises of five Half Marathons in Krabi, Koh Samui, Lampang, Phuket and Chiang Mai, one Full-Marathon in Chiang Rai and one Trail-Running in Trat. More details on the run and how to register are available on the official website in Thai and English.