16/12/2017, flights TG304 from Yangon to Bangkok, 09:50 h to 11:45 h local time, plus TG922 from Bangkok to Frankfurt, 12:50 h to 19:05 h local time:

Thai Airways booked this connection for us although transit time in Suvarnabhumi Airport was very short. The first flight arrived 15 minutes late, boarding time for TG922 was 12:10 h, so the time available for the transit in the airport reduced to 10 minutes. Disembarkation gate at Bangkok was D1, boarding gate for TG922 was E1. This is a distance of about 500 meters, hardly to be made on foot in 10 minutes. Add to this that the transit includes additional security controls, which are unnecessary in the case of transit passengers, thus, a home-made inefficiency of Suvarnabhumi Airport which rendered it impossible to arrive in time at the departure gate.

Well-organized air carriers, including ones of Star Alliance, which Thai Airways is a member of, provide information on connecting flights when the first flight is about to land, either on the on-board displays or by loudspeaker announcement. In their booking files, they check which passengers of an outgoing flight are arriving by connecting flights and whether these will arrive on a tight schedule. They then place a local attendant at the gate of disembarkation of the arriving flights to assist passengers in transit and, if necessary, to lead them to their departure gate. Thai Airways did nothing of the sort. There was, at the arrival gate of TG304, not even information on the departure gates of connecting flights. We had to find out ourselves, and as there was no assistance whatsoever, we ran to gate E1 to the best of our capacities. At that gate, there were several ground staff turning their thumbs, who might well have been sent to the arrival gates of connecting flights to provide the assistence needed.

As it turned out, departure of TG922 was delayed. Thus, our running had been unnecessary. Again, the obvious thing to be done was to inform disembarking passengers of this so they would know that they could take their time.

Thai Airways has yet much to learn about efficient and passenger-friendly ground service.