July & August 2008, Both my wife and i and our 12 year old having accrued 33,000 air miles on each of our accounts decided we'd like to upgrade ourselves to business class for our annual trip to Thailand. Thai airways informed us that we'd have to book our flights first, so i did that and beforehand checked business class availability on the Thai web site which was shown as available, enough seats for all in business class. Contacted thai airways and was subsequently told the only seats available were for full price, cash paying business class passengers, this applied to all our departure and return dates. So effectively the air miles were useless, even though we had paid several hundred pounds more to fly Thai on this and many previous occasions. E-mails to Royal Orchid Plus were returned with sorry we cant help you. We were also told future tickets in some classes would no longer qualify for air miles, though how you find that out prior to booking through agents is up to you, Thai airways will not inform you.
Next.... subsequent use of our air miles for internal flights in Thailand were fraught with disaster, our 22 month old daughter failed to appear on any e-tickets issued, this i questioned but was assured all would be ok at check-in. It never was, every domestic check in failed to find our babies booking and when coming home it came to a head. On our departure from Krabi to Bangkok to catch a connecting flight to London at check in several problems occurred.
1st) despite being given two itineraries with booking references (one for Krabi to Bangkok the other Bangkok to London) and pointed these out to him the check in clerk went ahead with just booking us only on the Krabi to Bangkok flight. It wasn't until i questioned whether our baggage was being sent direct to London that the penny dropped and we were gruffly told off for not pointing it out to him, we had !
2nd) It took 45 minutes to check us in, then we finally were given all our boarding passes and we went off to emigration control, with 15 minutes to board the plane. It was here the check in clerk came running after us and told us we hadn't paid for our baby, this was infuriating as she was the only one we had paid for ! (the rest of us used our air miles) indeed at check in i had to produce the credit card that was used to purchase her ticket ! I was dragged back to the Thai airways ticket office where an unhelpful ticket clerk was unable to locate the babies e-ticket at all, let alone the payment. Meanwhile whilst separated my wife was coerced into paying for our baby again, unbeknown to me.
3rd) Believing all was resolved, i was unaware my wife had paid again, i was returned to my wife at emigration, only then the check in clerk took back our boarding passes for our connecting BKK to LHR fllights stating they were unable to find the e-ticket and payment for our baby on the return flight to London. We were told we'd have to check in again at Bangkok. By now the plane is waiting on the tarmac with everyone else fully seated and the delay appears to all concerned to be due to us.
4th) Arriving at Bangkok with 45 minutes left to departure of our flight to London we were left alone to find our way out of the domestic area and up to international departures carrying a baby and hand baggage. We managed this after about 25 minutes, (its a long walk and up 4 floors) finally arriving at check in where a Thai airways lady came running towards us asking if we were from Krabi, she was very apologetic, apparently she knew what had happened and said all the check in clerk had to do at Krabi was phone Bangkok and there would have been no need far any of the problems, she didnt understand why he was so incompetent saying again and again how very very sorry she was. She escorted us to immediate check in and on through emigration (now a second time) and through the several scanning areas to the departure gate. My wife and daughter are run off their feet, I am now soaked to the skin with sweat from carrying the baby, my 12 year old has been desperate for the toilet since we landed and obviously there's no time to purchase my wife her birthday present at the shopping area because the plane was waiting with all other passengers seated for a second time.
5th) During the flight my wife asked whilst a film was being shown and all the window blinds were down whether the one solitary blind that had remained up (a sleeping passenger) could be closed for us because it was shining daylight straight into our babies face and preventing her from sleeping. My wife had to become quite forceful to get the stewardess to deal with it, and subsequently the same stewardess then tried to ignore my wife when it came to distributing drinks etc.
All in all it was desperate affair from the word go and i will never fly Thai airways again.