What choosing an airline now versus back in the early 2000s is very different for me. As a poor college student, my decision to pick an airline to get to me Thailand was solely based on price. For this epic journey, I chose EVA airlines based on the low price of $900 round trip from Seattle to Bangkok.
I was excited at the opportunity to travel abroad as my international travel consisted of driving to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada for Soccer tournaments, which in my mind doesn’t count. My flight was scheduled for 1:23AM and I was so excited I was up at 5AM the day prior. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but the flight coming from NYC to pick us up in Seattle was delayed an hour.
After getting onboard and situating myself in a cabin without entertainment options, I settled in for some sleep, but about an hour after takeoff the flight attendants came around to give us dinner. I thought it was odd as it was 3AM Seattle time, but then realized they were trying to acclimatize us to Taiwan time as it was dinner time there. It wasn’t a memorable meal, but most airline food isn’t! After dinner it was time for sleep, and because I was so tired for having been up almost 20 hours, I was ready for it!
We arrived in Taipei around 6AM local time, it was a quick security screening and up some escalators for our flight to Bangkok. I was impressed that we were flying again on a 747 as I had learned the flight was making a pit stop in BKK with the final destination of London. This was perfect because economy was wide open and was able to sit in a bulkhead seat for the short flight from TPE to BKK. It’s interesting because the original flight tracker had us flying over China, but with the tensions running high (I’ll explain more on the return flight) we hugged the Taiwanese coast line and then over Vietnam & Laos on our way to Don Muang Airport. It was amazing to fly into Bangkok and see the various fields and buildings, but even more amazing was the golf course between the runways. Suvarnabhumi Airport was still under construction when I first visited Thailand.
After a quick stop at Immigration (because I was staying for 3 months I already had a student visa) it was time to get to the hotel. A torrential downpour greeted us on the drive and by the time I got to the hotel, I fell fast asleep due to the jet lag.