I'm planning on booking LHR / BKK for late December, returning early Jan.
Any tips/advice for travelling in Y on this route? It seems as though departing LHR in the evening (21:35) and departing BKK in the late evening (00:15) look the best times (assuming you can get some sleep), but I'd be interested in any observations, thoughts, comments, tips or advice.
Also, I wondered whether there were any discernable benefits flying as a *G (with NZ) other than check-in and access to the lounge (+1 guest)?
Finally, I see Thai sell airport upgrades on that route for USD1080 - is there a history of OpUps for *G (although I imagine the answer is no, especially at that time of year).
I always use - and strongly recommend - late night departures to BKK and daylight flights back home...very convenient and not so much jetlag...stay awake during the return flight, also in Business Class, and fall asleep when you have reached home....thus you will perfectly overcome any jetlag problems.
The chances to get the USD1080 Upgrade on these flights are quite good, because there are only 200 seats in the back but 60 in the front cabin (besides First). They will be happy to sell as long as any C-seats available. Not much free-bee upgrades as not so much oversold as to my knowledge...
The morning / noon departure from Europe means it is effectively a day flight where it is hard to get sleep. You touch down at midnight Europe time (your bedtime) - but it's 6am in Bangkok and you still have a full day ahead of you where you have to struggle to keep awake.
For night flight out of Europe, you sleep after dinner. When you wake up, it will be almost arrival in the afternoon. You still can get about doing stuff. That night, you probably will stay awake late but you will adjust well in a day or two.
If I'm flying in business, I fly out at night so I can sleep on the plane and effectively shorten the flight. In economy, trying to sleep is futile and miserable. So I would fly in the day, and catch up with sleep in the hotel. You would wake up at about the same time, but get better sleep.
Flying back, I prefer the day flight anyway, but especially if I was in economy. The last time I did the night flight in Y, I arrived in London having not slept and had to trek across town with all the commuters feeling like crap. With the day flight, you get to sleep at home, even if you do wake up early.
I do this trip about 9 or 10 times a year in Y, C and F depending on the time of year, how much money I am making and award availability. At present Y usually has about 100 empty seats and on my last flight I had 3 to myself. Does n't seem much value paying for C in those circumstances.
The period you are flying is almost certain to mean Y is full and C and F will likely be as well so an op-up or stand by upgrade is highly unlikely and I think ROP Gold will get these first if there were any. For this period I would advise you to book now.
I have no trouble sleeping in Y and will sleep about 7 hours of the flight. For this reason I always fly the night flights. After the return flight I can be at work by 08:30. To me the day flight either way means a day lost. I am not troubled by jet lag flying West and on the return so long as I stay awake until 10pm I am fine.
If flying solo I would book an aisle seat in the middle D or G as you only have to get up for one person. and no one has to move for you. Contrary to most advice I prefer to be near the galley, that way I am aware when they start preparing breakfast and I go and use the bathroom before they have queues. Try not to get an aisle seat near the toilets as you will be disturbed by inconsiderate people talking and/or leaning on your seat as they queue for the toilet.
If going to Heathrow by car either get there very early (17:00 latest) or about 19:30 to 20:00. I once left home an hour earlier and got to the airport about 10 minutes earlier than normal. Such is the M25/M4. For this reason I fly out Thursday not Friday. I return Sunday evening So I lose the least days away from my UK business.
If you are leaving a car at the airport book the valet parking, this saves about 30-40 minutes at each end. Meteor do this at little more cost than the on-site business parking.