There were two obvious options for our internal flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui: Bangkok Airways and Air Asia. If I’m given the choice, I avoid Air Asia, after an ill-fated journey on their long distance carrier, Air AsiaX about ten years ago. It was a one-off experience involving snow and a 25-hour stay at Stansted Airport, but I still bear a grudge. So we booked Bangkok Airways. And they didn’t disappoint.
Booking our flights
We booked the flights direct via the Bangkok Airways website and it was delightfully simple. Our fare included allocated seats and 20kg of luggage allowance. I wasn’t bombarded with optional extras (a la Easyjet/Ryanair) and I was sent an email confirmation.
You don’t have to do the online check-in before you get to the airport, but I quickly did it online and asked our hotel reception desk to print our boarding passes. There’s no financial penalty for checking in at the airport (unlike Easyjet/Ryanair) but we were able to skip the long check-in queue and go through the speedy Bag Drop lane. Once through departures at Bangkok Suvarnabhui Airport, we headed straight to the Bangkok Airways lounge. This lounge is an unexpected bonus, a free utility for all Bangkok Airways passengers. It was a little crowded, but there was free wi-fi, drinks, snacks, and a small play area with a tiny slide. I didn’t see a lounge at Koh Samui airport on our return journey, but the airport itself is lovely so there are plenty of places to stop for a drink or a snack if you have the time.
Our aeroplane was an Airbus A319 with a seat configuration of 3-3. I was surprised by their insistence that we turn off all handheld electrical items for take-off and landing, even those that can be put into flight mode. They did hand out stickers for the kids to keep them occupied while I put our trusty ipads away though. I also had some Galt Water Magic books, which worked a treat to keep them quiet.
The in-flight service
The flight was short and sweet but we were still given a meal. It was a tasty curry with rice and some biscuits. I wasn’t offered any alternative for the kids but I wasn’t too concerned, as we hadn’t really expected a meal on such a short flight.
We had a great short haul experience with Bangkok Airways. It was a simple domestic flight, but the added bonus of the departure lounge, and the unexpected inflight meal, made it a pleasure.