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Thai Royal Orchid Gold - Worth it?


Bawdy

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I go to Thailand 4-6 times a year, usually with Jetstar from Melbourne which I can do pretty cheaply (as low as $300 return but usually $500-600). Recently flew Thai Airways to check out their new A350s and have toyed with the idea of flying with them exclusively to obtain Gold Status with Lounge Access, upgrades and other perks, would the added expense be worth it for greater comfort down the line? Cheers.

Bawdy by name, Bawdy by nature.

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6 minutes ago, Bawdy said:

I go to Thailand 4-6 times a year, usually with Jetstar from Melbourne which I can do pretty cheaply (as low as $300 return but usually $500-600). Recently flew Thai Airways to check out their new A350s and have toyed with the idea of flying with them exclusively to obtain Gold Status with Lounge Access, upgrades and other perks, would the added expense be worth it for greater comfort down the line? Cheers.

Only you can decide if the flight is that much better with Thai so justifying the extra cost.

In terms of lounges etc, I don’t know what they’re like at Melbourne but the Thai lounges at BKK are pretty poor as far as lounges go. However, you will also have access to other Star Alliance lounges once you reach Gold status. The Eva and Singapore lounges at BKK are better than Thai. Obviously, you’ll get free drinks and snacks whichever lounge you use.

Upgrades are a bit of a lottery. You may get the occasional one. It will be difficult to get enough points flying in Economy to buy upgrades with points - but may be possible once in a long while.

You can use your points for internal flights within Thailand if you travel within the country. I ended up using mine for 2 free nights in a Bangkok hotel - though the hotel awards appear to be a little up in the air at the moment. Some hotels withdrawn and bookings only being taken up to the end of June for others.

 

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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I found after a few trips with them inc BC , that anything Thai airways do is shoddy and a rip off  big time ,I would avoid like the plague.Their lounges especially their BKK lounge, which should be their showcase, is absolute shite .Last BC meal with them was disgusting and the choice appalling

Furthermore most of their trolley dollys  are overweight,overaged harridans or gay blokes which is, of course, fine if thats your thing.

 

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I used to be a Gold card holder: blissful travel when Thai Air topped all the satisfaction tables,  had decent lounges, very distracting and friendly hostesses and good in-flight meals and services.  That all stopped about ten years ago, since when I've burned up my points on internal flights and with other Star Alliance partners.    

Not worth it IMHO.

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Thanks for all the informed opinions, will be flying with them in July, including Business Class, so will re-assess after that, cheers.

Bawdy by name, Bawdy by nature.

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4 to 6 times a year with thai wont get you gold card status unless you pay full fare prices for your tickets.

I fly thai 4 to 6 times a year, but get the cheapest ticket I can. I am no where near getting gold class. The difference in tickets is roughly $300 per time. You certainly dont get $300 of value from the lounges. You can cash in some points for the thai lounges in Bangkok. Not Brisbane where I fly from

12 Pints in Know it all

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I didn't think Thai's business class lounge was THAT bad when I flew them last month -- certainly nothing to write home about, but I've seen worse (USA domestic lounges are absolutely putrid!)

The Thai first class lounge at BKK used to be FANTASTIC, but I haven't had access to it in many years.  Quality may have fallen off, and you're not getting access to it with Gold status.

One suggestion if you want a ton of lounge access is to check someone like Priority Pass.  I get it free with a few of my credit card (high annual fee cards!), but they sell plans with unlimited lounge access to their lounges for $399 (USD) per year or a plan that gives you 10 lounge visits for $249 (USD) per year.  Sounds like the difference in fare for just one trip would cover the $249 plan.

Not GREAT lounge access at BKK -- 9 "Miracle Lounges" (which are pretty weak), the Air France/KLM lounge and the Oman Air lounge.

I'm busting my ass to try to get AA Platinum status because it has some nice perks (better chance for upgrades; free Main Cabin Extra seating).  Don't know if I will make it this year...gonna need to a LONG flight to get there....

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 Unless you really Need certain perks such as extra luggage, priority customs & immigration ect for work, or fly Star Alliance a fair bit, obtaining Thai Gold isn't really worth it. 

If you're after extra comfort, you're better off flying Etihad or Emirates in Economy, paying to use their lounges & using Bangkok VIP services. While having Gold status certainly helps with upgrades, you'd need to be buying Full Flex Y fare tickets to reach & maintain Gold.

Would also research if Star Alliance lounges are worth it - *A Gold Will get you into Singapore Airs business lounges everywhere Except Changi - where you can enter the vastly inferior Goldkris lounge (No shower, No toilet! limited f&b)

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If you are after a better trip would Jetstar business class be an option? Probably still cheaper than Thai economy.

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On 5/24/2018 at 20:23, Mr Wombat said:

4 to 6 times a year with thai wont get you gold card status unless you pay full fare prices for your tickets.

I fly thai 4 to 6 times a year, but get the cheapest ticket I can. I am no where near getting gold class. The difference in tickets is roughly $300 per time. You certainly dont get $300 of value from the lounges. You can cash in some points for the thai lounges in Bangkok. Not Brisbane where I fly from

Totally disagree ... first off ... Gold gets you business class checkin and express pass through security ... which saves tons of time in Brisbane.  Also, in Brisbane, you get access to the ANZ lounge, which is new and great (NZ wines are great there).  Gold also gets you priority seat selection on Thai flights ... meaning you get an aisle (my choice) near the front ... and often they would block the middle seat if I asked nicely ... much better than crammed w the brogans in the back!  Plus, you are first off the plane and get to immigration quickly.

In BKK the same ... checkin at business class line, so little waiting.  Lounges are "ok", I agree, but hey ... free drinks.  Thai has gone the way of the entire country ... nuff said.  To be fair, they don’t currently suck anywhere near as bad as Malaysian Airlines, which also used to be great.

Not the cheapest ... you just have to decide if it’s worth it.  I paid the extra to maintain gold for the last 10 years ... up to me.

 

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26 minutes ago, cbmgolfer said:

Totally disagree ... first off ... Gold gets you business class checkin and express pass through security ... which saves tons of time in Brisbane.  Also, in Brisbane, you get access to the ANZ lounge, which is new and great (NZ wines are great there).  Gold also gets you priority seat selection on Thai flights ... meaning you get an aisle (my choice) near the front ... and often they would block the middle seat if I asked nicely ... much better than crammed w the brogans in the back!  Plus, you are first off the plane and get to immigration quickly.

In BKK the same ... checkin at business class line, so little waiting.  Lounges are "ok", I agree, but hey ... free drinks.  Thai has gone the way of the entire country ... nuff said.  To be fair, they don’t currently suck anywhere near as bad as Malaysian Airlines, which also used to be great.

Not the cheapest ... you just have to decide if it’s worth it.  I paid the extra to maintain gold for the last 10 years ... up to me.

 

I didnt realise gold got you access to the air new zealand lounge. I used to pay at the lounge to get access in there. I think it was $55, but that was when they were downstairs.

I check in online so it only takes 5 minutes at the airport to drop the bags, and then security at brisbane for the 2pm flight is a breeze. Again never more than 5 minutes

12 Pints in Know it all

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  • 4 months later...

Thanks for all the input, ended up opting for Singapore Airlines business class and accruing points with them, I can also transfer over my Velocity points if I wish. Am very impressed with their product and service, was also impressed with their lounge at BKK, actually prefer it to the one at Changi.

Bawdy by name, Bawdy by nature.

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