Thai Doesn’t Call it “Royal First” for Nothing

There are no shortage of threads in various online travel communities in which members recount their onboard and in-airport celebrity sighting experiences. But it is a rare distinction indeed to share the first-class cabin with members of a country’s royal family.

FlyerTalk’s Shenanigans shared a flight with a Thai princess and her entourage and described the experience thusly:

The front part of the First cabin was off limits to us commoners and, likely, most of the accompanying F entourage. This meant that at least the four of us other poor schlubs had no access to the large lavatory nor the lounge at the front, for what either of those are worth. In the morning, members of the entourage from the C cabin were frequent visitors to the front and included people like hairdressers and makeup people etc. The perception I was left with was even though we were F passengers we were more C passengers in the F cabin.

I said it was rare to share the first-class cabin with a member of a royal family, not necessarily desirable.

On the Thai Airways website it says this about the Royal First cabin:

On board, in the privacy of their segregated cabin, passengers receive exceptional, friendly, and personal hospitality from a dedicated cabin crew member.

Perhaps that should be amended to include, “…unless a member of the royal family is flying with you.”

The discussion takes some interesting twists and turns onto topics such as how the Thai royal family is perceived in Thailand, and things you might want to be careful talking about when riding in a Thai taxi. Among the quotes I personally found most interesting/entertaining:

I believe TG should in such cases where such a fuss is made not mix “ordinary” passengers with “royal” ones. There are ways to rebook people on other airlines or to compensate them in a way to make them happy ~behuman

I’ll bet that the OP’s names implied that they were Westerners. If they’d been Thais, they would have been downgraded for sure. ~warreng24

Perhaps TG should have installed it’s own version of the “Ethiad Residence” on it’s A380 fleet? … The lounge at the front of the F cabin is a waste of space (nobody uses it). They could have made that area along with a part of row 1 into a “Royal First Residence” or “Royal First Villa”. ~daniellam

To the best of my knowledge I have never shared a flight with a royal family member. But on my return flight from New York following the last Freddie Awards I attended I did share the plane with actress Debra Messing. Kept to herself mostly. Seemed pleasant enough. Probably wouldn’t have even noticed her if not for her unmistakable hair.

Have you shared a cabin with royalty? If so, how were you treated? If not, do you think you would feel put out, or would you enjoy the unusualness of it all?

Read the thread in its entirety: Thai royalty and entourage on TG930

Image: “Royal First Lounge” by Richard Moross. CC BY 2.0.

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