✅ Trip Verified
| Generally, I prefer to fly on Thai Airways within Thailand, this is due to the fact that they use larger aircraft (widebodies) even on domestic routes. I flew Thai Airways up to Chiang Mai, but due to schedule requirements I needed the first flight to Bangkok so I chose Thai Smile who are fully owned by Thai Airways, but operated with a different style. At check in, there was no exact sign showing where to check in if you’re star alliance gold, but they still checked me in using the business class counter, and very kindly gave me a full row to myself. The lounge opens at 5 am and the flight departs at 6:15. I arrived at 4:50am and was told to wait near the reception (inside the lounge) by a janitor and a receptionist arrived and took my gold card and boarding pass. Do note that only Thai Airways’ own elites have lounge access, as Thai Smile is a Star Alliance Affiliate, not full member. I was first to board the aircraft after people needing wheelchairs, and was directed to my seat. The flight was 80% full although as promised they gave me an entire row. The seat itself is identical to BA on their short haul fleet, except for the fact that the backrest is fabric and not leather. It’s comfortable enough and much better than most slimline seats. Service on this flight consisted of something very weird, one sandwich was full of meat and no vegetables, whereas the other one was mixed veg with mayonnaise. I didn’t like the food on board, but I already ate in the lounge. I definitely feel sorry for the 120+ other passengers on the flight. They do come around with a drinks cart, and I asked for Coke Zero and they gave me a can, whereas they normally just pour it from a large bottle. One thing Thai Smile does well is the packaging in which the food comes in, it’s very chic and practical after the flight, appealing to millennials. I find that the flight attendants on Thai Smile are in the beginning of their careers and the airline itself is very age-selective, so the crew may not be as experienced as Thai Airways or other companies. Nevertheless they will absolutely serve you with a “Thai Smile” pun intended. With a smooth arrival and an actual gate (normally they use air stairs) it was gate to kerb in 10 minutes including a bathroom break. Overall, Thai smile works as an airline, and their route network is quite large regionally and I think they are comparable to airlines like Silkair or JetBlue in the US. I would still avoid them unless Thai airways doesnt fly to the particular destination I need to get to.