Rating The Airlines: Bangkok Airways – “Asia’s Boutique Airline”

I’m not certain what makes Bangkok Airways “Asia’s Boutique Airline.” Perhaps it is because it was the first private aviation company in Thailand when it was founded in 1968, and the fact that it was rated the World’s Best Regional Airline in 2014. Or, it could, perhaps, be the cool paint job on the exterior of each jet, friendly service, incredibly edible inflight meal services, or complimentary breakfast service stand at the departure gate in Samui Airport.

In 1986, Bangkok Airways branded itself as the country’s first privately-owned domestic airline in a response to meet the increasing demands for air transportation within Thailand. Today, Bangkok Airways operates scheduled flights over 20 different major routes, including nearly all major resort destinations in Thailand, and to 13 different international destinations within the Asian region.



    • Friendly, helpful service
    • Free standard baggage allowance up to 20kg
    • Cost efficient
    • Transfers that are easily navigated
    • Good in-flight meal service
    • Perks of complimentary coffee and breakfast muffins at some airports



    • No entertainment system (which was actually nice – people read and relaxed) on short haul flights


A Note On Bangkok Airways’ Hub:

The Suvarnabhumi Airport is what a standard airport should be – it’s not über modern, nor is it archaic – with the friendly, warm vibe that the Thai bring. There are occasional displays of flowers in certain locations, free internet stations to the public, clean and comfortable recliners for weary travelers, several food options (all of which are reasonable and many of which include fresh local fruit stands), your quintessential Irish pub and book shops. It is clean and airy. The shopping was fairly touristy, but in a good way. All in all, a very good experience and a place I would not mind having a layover.


Bangkok Airways Rating (one out of five whistles, five being the best): 4.5 Whistles


As a career sommelier, Kimberley Drake has overseen some of the finest wine programs and operations in America and Asia. Her accomplishments range from working as a sommelier at Jean Georges in NYC to opening Hong Kong’s Café Gray Deluxe as their chef sommelier.

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Photo Courtesy of nitinut380 /