Getting an award seat to Sydney in first class is about to become a LOT harder for Star Alliance fans. Thai Airways is changing up their service and switching to 777s for flights to Oz, removing what was once a relatively easy redemption to score. The change takes effect on 26 October 2014 as part of their semi-annual schedule adjustments.
Interestingly it seems that ITA is still showing P fares for sale on the thrice-weekly daytime flight from BKK to SYD and Thai definitely calls that a first class fare. But the aircraft doesn’t have a first class cabin so good luck with that.
This is definitely a blow to folks sitting on Star Alliance points as the other options into Sydney don’t generally offer much in the way of first class seats. Asiana, Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Air China and Air India all fly in to Sydney without a first class cabin (Ben says CA will have 3-cabin service 10 Dec-4Mar). United and Singapore Airlines will continue to offer 3-cabin flights for now, but getting partner awards up front on SQ is more than a bit challenging and United historically has been challenging on the Oz routes as well, a pattern which likely won’t be helped by the down-gauge to 777s earlier this year.
The long, slow death of the international first class cabin is hardly a new theme. The story has been told for quite some time now. But first class to Sydney has long been a huge aspirational award and the Thai flights were a relatively easy way to get there. No more.
h/t Airline Route:
THAI has closed First Class reservations to Sydney entirely, for travel on/after 26OCT14
— Airlineroute (@Airlineroute) August 27, 2014
- In flight: Royal First Class on Thai Airways’ A380
- Lufthansa cutting first class cabin on some routes
- First Class is dead; long live first class
- Lamenting the proliferation of flat-bed business class
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