As I was short on time for this trip, I opted to fly back to Bangkok instead of catching the train as that would get me into Bangkok too late at night. While comparing fares online, I somehow found that Thai Smile had a lower fare than low-cost carriers and even the train despite them including baggage allowance and a snack, so my choice to get back to Bangkok was a no-brainer. The 3pm flight from Ubon Ratchathani, Thai Smile WE25, was perfect for me.
I caught a taxi from the city to Ubon Ratchathani International Airport as there are no Songthaew routes serving the airport. As there was some construction going in to the terminal, I was dropped off just outside the terminal at the temporary drop-off point.
Heading into the terminal on the former driveway.
The entrance to departures.
The sales counters for all airlines and AirAsia check-in kiosks are found just in front of the entrance.
The check-in row can be found on the right, undergoing some renovations.
As I got to the airport more than 2 hours before departure, the Thai Smile check-in counters were still closed.
Despite being named as “Ubon Ratchathani International Airport”, the only destination that the airport serves seem to be only Bangkok.
The check-in counter opened at 1pm, precisely 2 hours before departure.
My boarding pass for my Thai Smile WE25 flight from Ubon Ratchathani back to Bangkok.
Heading to the departure area. No immigration counters nor international departures were in sight at this “international” airport.
After security screening, the waiting lounge was simply this for Gates 1 and 2.
Gates 3, 4, 5 and 6 were upstairs.
Heading up to Gate 6.
Seems like the gates are fixed by airlines rather than actual parking berth.
Gate 6 is served by Nok Air and Thai Smile Airways.
The simple waiting room of Gate 6. Unfortunately, the amenities were rather sparse with no charging sockets and just 1 television for entertainment. Toilets are available at the right side.
Once boarding calls were made, I made my way to get my boarding pass checked and torn.
Hmm, where’s my plane?
Heading on according to the directions of the ground staff.
Oh hello there, my first Thai Smile flight.
A full-service airline in an empty airport and it’s parked at a remote stand?
At least there’s an escalator down to the remote stand.
Heading out to catch my flight.
A Nok Air flight for Don Mueang taking off before my very eyes in the open.
Heading to board my plane.
HS-TXA “Ubon Ratchathani” is on duty for my flight from Ubon Ratchathani to Bangkok. How apt.
The facade of Ubon Ratchathani International Airport from the airside.
Heading up to the plane by the mobile stairs.
Goodbye Ubon Ratchathani International Airport.
Boarding the Thai Smile Airbus A320-200.
The first 3 rows of seats are for Smile Plus Class, which feels similar to Europe Business Class where a premium for Business Class is paid but it’s actually just Economy Class with the middle seat blocked for comfort.
Heading on to my regular Economy Class section of the plane.
My window seat of 48A for this trip, which is actually the 18th row of the plane. Not that there are more than 48 rows of seats on this Airbus A320-200.
The legroom available at my seat.
There are two types of seat pockets on my seat, a regular one near my knees and a rigid one in front of my face.
The view out of my window of the remainder of the airport, including the really tiny cargo terminal.
It was a rather full flight on a Saturday.
Pushing back from the remote stand.
Taxiing to the end of the runway from the runway.
The overall view of Ubon Ratchathani International Airport terminal building.
U-turning at the end of the runway.
The air base of Wing Division 21.
The flight took off at 3.28pm, 28 minutes delayed from schedule.
Goodbye Ubon Ratchathani.
Making a u-turn to the left to head for Bangkok.
Ubon Ratchathani International Airport as seen from above.
Flying past the Mun River.
Heading above the clouds for the remainder of the flight.
Shortly after the seat belt signs were switched off, snack bags were distributed.
The snack bag contained a bottle of mineral water, a cold sandwich, a wet tissue and a dry tissue.
The sandwich box unfolds nicely to form a small tray with a wooden feel to it.
The chicken and crab sandwich served for this flight. Not sure why the patty was green. It tasted just alright, but I wasn’t expecting much from a small cold sandwich on a short flight anyway.
After serving the snack bags, the stewardesses came around with a selection of drinks. While it isn’t as comprehensive as Thai Airways, it is reasonably sufficient for a short flight with hot coffee, hot tea, Coke, Sprite, apple juice, orange juice, and more mineral water if you like, available with ice.
This is unlike my previous Malaysia Airlines experience where even the basic coffee and tea was not available on the said MH flight.
I opted for orange juice.
Descending into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.
Flying past Green Valley Country Club.
Flying over the Bang Na Expressway, one of the longest road viaducts in the world at 54km.
Touched down in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi at 4.32pm, 32 minutes delayed from schedule.
The upcoming Suvarnabhumi Airport Phase 2 under construction.
Heading to the terminal.
Turning in any time now.
Wait, where are we going?!
Ok, turning in. Let’s turn left back to the terminal.
This remote stand is so remote that the terminal was shrouded in slight haze.
To add on to the flight delay, the apron bus came in a few minutes late too.
Here comes my bus.
Here comes the mobile stairs too.
Disembarking from the plane.
Heading down the mobile stairs.
Goodbye Thai Smile.
Squeezing up to the apron bus.
Departing from the plane.
Heading the long way to the terminal.
Passing by the Bangkok Airways bus depot.
Passing by the Bangkok Airways domestic bus terminal.
Heading under Piers B and C.
Passing by the Thai Airways international bus terminal.
Some planespotting along the way.
The emptied out interior of the Thai Airways apron bus.
Heading into the terminal from the domestic arrivals door.
Heading up to the baggage reclaim area.
Baggage reclaim was at Belt 4, which hadn’t arrived when almost all the passengers have. Luckily, as I had no check-in bags, I headed straight out to Bangkok.
From here, I headed on to catch the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link City Line to get into the city with my Klook discounted ticket.
Overall, the Thai Smile flight itself was rather pleasant but the double whammy of two remote gates, flight delay and apron bus delay wasn’t too attractive for me. In total, it was about an hour’s delay to exit customs as compared to the scheduled arrival time. But if the fares are equally cheap in future, sure, I might consider Thai Smile again.