Thai Airways is a unique airline. A member of the Star Alliance, the flag carrier of Thailand was previously known for its wild hodgepodge of aircraft, luxurious first class products, and exceptional service.
Due to a handful of wildly unprofitable years, Thai Airways has shifted its focus to fuel-efficient aircraft, sticking to the basics, and shrinking its fleet to one that’s more manageable.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the Thai Airways business class product, known as Royal Silk Class, and show you how to book these tickets with points.
A Look Inside Thai Airways Business Class
Thai Airways is a Star Alliance member airline with its main hub located at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).
When you fly through Bangkok (BKK) in business class, you are entitled to access the Royal Silk Lounge, an impressive facility with self-serve dining, a noodle station, a full-service bar, and most importantly, a full-service spa. You can choose from a handful of complimentary 30-minute treatments and board your aircraft feeling energized and relaxed.
But if you’re not originating in Bangkok, you’ll still have access to Star Alliance partner lounges in the U.S. and abroad, such as the series of business class lounges by ANA in Tokyo.
Most of Thai Airways’ aircraft feature forward-facing staggered seats, similar to what you’d encounter in Asiana Airlines business class.
These seats are fully lie-flat, have direct aisle access, and are equipped with a side table with your own personal inflight entertainment monitor and remote.
For solo travelers, choose the window seats on either side of the aircraft. Companions traveling together should reserve middle seats, some of which are honeymoon seats. These honeymoon seats are situated right next to each other, so you can sit right next to your companion and easily chat.
Thai Airways’ service is incredible, so look forward to that!
How To Fly Thai Airways Business Class Using Points
Thai Airways business class is generally pretty difficult to book using points.
In general, business class award availability shows up 1 to 3 weeks before departure but generally not far in advance.
Additionally, you might see 1 or 2 seats available at a time, but your chances of snagging 4 business class seats at the same time are remote.
Thai Airways would rather fly its plane slightly empty or offer cash upgrades at the airport than release the majority of its empty seats for mileage redemption.
And although Thai Airways used to fly to the U.S. nonstop in the past, it no longer currently offers any nonstop service to the U.S.
Thai Airways’ levied fuel surcharges are pretty mild but can run in the $200s in some markets, especially to Europe.
Let’s take a look at our favorite frequent flyer programs to book Thai Airways business class.
ANA Mileage Club
Our absolute favorite frequent flyer program for Thai Airways business class flights is ANA Mileage Club.
This isn’t surprising because if you can stick to round-trip bookings (one-way bookings aren’t allowed with ANA miles), you can enjoy some excellent redemption prices.
Plus, you can complete your Thai Airways award booking completely online!
Here’s the award chart for Thai Airways flights to/from Bangkok:
|Bangkok (BKK) To/From ||Cabin Class||ANA Miles Cost (Round-Trip)||Taxes and Fees|
Unfortunately, ANA passes on Thai Airways’ fuel surcharges. You’ll notice that the fuel surcharges to/from London are higher due to the U.K.’s air passenger duty fee (APD).
In general, we recommend finding award availability on a partner airline website like United before confirming your tickets on ANA’s website.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Use United’s website to search for award availability for both segments.
- Write down the flight details.
- Go to ANA’s U.S. website.
- Click Award Booking near the top of the search box on the left-hand side of the homepage.
- Log into your ANA Mileage Club account.
- You’ll be redirected to the search page.
- Choose Round trip or Open-jaw and fill in your trip details from step 2. Click Search.
- Pick your flights, redeem your ANA miles, and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.
Here’s what a successful Thai Airways business class award search on ANA’s website would look like:
Earning ANA Miles
ANA Mileage Club has 2 lucrative transfer partnerships with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, making it easy to earn miles.
Amex transfers to ANA at a 1:1 ratio with most transfers taking around 3 business days.
Meanwhile, Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 ANA miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at a time. Furthermore, transfers from Marriott Bonvoy to ANA take around 4 business days.
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Avianca LifeMiles, nowadays, is one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in the world.
There are tons of ways to amass LifeMiles, great redemption prices, and absolutely no fuel surcharges.
LifeMiles has some quirks, though. Namely, the online search engine doesn’t show all available flights, and calling LifeMiles to try to make a booking over the phone is a huge pain.
Check out the following award chart for select Thai Airways flights to/from Bangkok using LifeMiles:
|Bangkok (BKK) To/From ||Cabin Class||Avianca LifeMiles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
One quirk of LifeMiles is that it has hefty change fees and cancellation fees of $150 and $200, respectively.
Check out our recommended roadmap to book Thai Airways flights using LifeMiles:
- Find award space using united.com.
- Write down all the applicable flight details from your search.
- Go to LifeMiles’ homepage.
- Change the site from Spanish to English by going to the top-right corner, clicking the flag icon, and choosing English.
- You’ll be redirected to the English site. In the top-right corner, use your LifeMiles Number and Password to log in.
- Click Travel on the top banner after logging in successfully.
- You’ll be directed to a flight search page. In the drop-down menu that says Smart Search, choose Thai Airways (Thailand).
- Enter your flight details from step 2.
- Choose One-Way or Round-Trip.
- Click Find Flights.
- Choose your travel dates.
- Complete the booking by redeeming your LifeMiles and entering your credit card information for taxes and fees.
Earning Avianca LifeMiles
Avianca LifeMiles is, without a doubt, the currency on this list that’s easiest to earn.
LifeMiles has transfer partnerships with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex, Citi, Brex, and Capital One transfer at a 1:1 ratio instantly while Marriott Bonvoy does so at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Marriott Bonvoy takes 1 business day to process LifeMiles transfers.
One neat fact about these transfer partnerships is that they have the potential to get even more lucrative, thanks to transfer bonuses of 20% to 30%, mostly from Amex and Chase.
Additionally, you could double up on your savings by timing your award booking to line up with a LifeMiles award flight discount!
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Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada’s frequent flyer program is Aeroplan. It’s our favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so if you only have Chase points, this is your best bet to book Thai Airways business class.
The Aeroplan award chart is incredibly complicated. Normally, you’d have to figure out which regions your route falls under and then locate the appropriate award chart. Finally, you’d have to figure out the flight distance within the appropriate award chart to ascertain the points price.
We’ve done the work to help you figure out the award chart for a handful of popular Thai Airways business class flights:
|Bangkok (BKK) To/From ||Cabin Class||Aeroplan Points Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
One unique perk about Aeroplan is that if you decide to book 1-stop connecting flights, you can add a stopover for just 5,000 points more.
If you do decide to add a stopover to your flight, you’ll need to first find availability on each segment and then call Aeroplan to book the ticket.
Aeroplan doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges, bringing your out-of-pocket cost down to ~$40 one-way.
Here is our recommended set of directions to book Thai Airways business class using Aeroplan points:
- Go to the Air Canada website.
- Hover over the button in the top-right corner that says Sign in and click Sign in.
- Log in using your Aeroplan details. Click Sign in.
- On the homepage, toggle the button in the main search box that says Points.
- Choose Round-trip or One-way.
- Fill in your travel information and click Find.
- Find the flight option you’d like to book, redeem your Aeroplan points, and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.
- To add a stopover for 5,000 miles extra, call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 after finding availability for each segment separately to make your award reservation.
Earning Aeroplan Points
Air Canada Aeroplan is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Additionally, Chase, Capital One, and Amex transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan points when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Marriott Bonvoy to Aeroplan transfers take 5 business days to execute.
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Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.
United MileagePlus is the other Chase transfer partner besides Air Canada Aeroplan, but it generally has higher redemption rates, which limits its attractiveness.
However, United MileagePlus has a reliable search engine, which can simplify your award booking process significantly.
The problem is that United consistently devalues its miles, so we wouldn’t recommend transferring any points speculatively.
Here’s the United MileagePlus award chart:
|Bangkok (BKK) To/From ||Cabin Class||United Miles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
|London (LHR)||Economy||49,500||~$172 to $320|
|Business||115,000||~$172 to $320|
|Paris (CDG)||Economy||49,500||~$23 to $69|
|Business||115,000||~$23 to $69|
Unfortunately, the traditional paradigm of United MileagePlus not passing on fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees isn’t valid on London routes, thanks to the hefty U.K. APD.
In all other cases, though, you’ll see total taxes and fees of less than $100!
Check out how you can book Thai Airways business class flights using United miles:
- Go to United’s homepage.
- On the site, check off the box that says Book with Miles in the middle of the screen.
- Choose either Roundtrip or One-way.
- Fill in the origin and destination airports, travel dates, number of travelers, and class of service.
- Click Find flights.
- Locate Thai Airways business class award availability, enter the traveler information, redeem your United miles, furnish your credit card details for any taxes and fees.
Earning United MileagePlus Miles
United MileagePlus has 2 transfer partnerships and a robust co-branded credit card offering that makes it easy to earn United miles.
It is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 and 3:1.1 ratio, respectively.
Chase transfers instantly while Marriott Bonvoy takes 3 business days to transfer.
Marriott Bonvoy also offers a bonus of 5,500 miles whenever you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United. That means if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United, you’ll end up with 27,500 United miles after all is said and done.
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Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Turkish Airlines has an interesting frequent flyer program called Miles&Smiles that can be used to book Star Alliance flights, including on Thai Airways.
The only drawback is that Turkish Airlines miles are a bit harder to earn since it’s not transfer partners with Chase or Amex.
That being said, the redemption prices are generally pretty attractive and one-way flights are allowed.
Here is the Turkish Airlines award chart for Thai Airways flights:
|Bangkok (BKK) To/From ||Cabin Class||Turkish Airlines Miles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles passes on all fuel surcharges, and booking Thai Airways requires a phone call to Turkish Airlines.
Follow these steps to make it happen:
- Visit the United website and find award availability.
- Call Turkish Airlines at 800-874-8875, feed the agent your flight details, redeem your Turkish Airlines miles, and use a credit card to pay for taxes and fees.
Earning Turkish Airlines Miles
Turkish Airlines is one of the more niche loyalty programs, but its loyalty program has 2 neat transfer partners in Citi ThankYou Rewards and Capital One Miles.
Citi transfers at a 1:1 ratio in 1-2 business days, and Capital One transfers at a 1:1 ratio in around 24 hours.
Other Great Options for Booking Thai Airways
Plenty of other frequent flyer programs offer the ability to book Thai Airways business class using points.
These include EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Miles & More.
Unfortunately, these partners are either not competitive in redemption prices, have no mainstream transfer partners, or feature a convoluted booking process.
The main programs we discussed have great redemption rates, relatively simple booking processes, and plenty of transfer partnerships to earn points through everyday credit card spending.
Great Thai Airways Business Class Redemptions
In this guide, we covered 5 main frequent flyer programs, all of which belong to Star Alliance airline partners.
The price you’ll pay in points will vary depending on what route you book. Here is a concise table illustrating the mileage costs for a handful of major Thai Airways routes:
|Route (Round-Trip)||ANA Miles Cost||Avianca LifeMiles Cost||Aeroplan Points Cost||United Miles Cost||Turkish Airlines Miles Cost|
|Bangkok (BKK) – London (LHR)|| 94,000 + ~$604|| 156,000 + ~$146|| 160,000 + ~$81|| 230,000 + ~$492||90,000 + ~$604|
|Bangkok (BKK) – Melbourne (MEL)|| 72,000 + ~$115|| 100,000 + ~$146|| 90,000 + ~$81|| 132,000 + ~$78||150,000 + ~$115|
|Bangkok (BKK) – Paris (CDG)|| 94,000 + ~$386|| 156,000 + ~$146|| 160,000 + ~$81|| 230,000 + ~$92||90,000 + ~$386|
|Bangkok (BKK) – Sydney (SYD)||72,000 + ~$115|| 100,000 + ~$146|| 90,000 + ~$81|| 132,000 + ~$92||150,000 + ~$115|
|Bangkok (BKK) – Tokyo (HND)||60,000 + ~$172||72,000 + ~$146||90,000 + ~$81||99,000 + ~$54||70,000 + ~$172|
Of course, this chart is not exhaustive because Thai Airways flies to so many more destinations than what we see above.
That said, if you analyze the chart above, the preferred frequent flyer program with the best deal will change depending on what route you’re booking.
If you have a bunch of ANA miles, you’ll get the best deals on flights between Thailand and Japan or the South Pacific. You’ll also get good deals on these routes when redeeming Avianca LifeMiles.
Turkish Airlines has the best redemption prices for flights between Europe and Thailand — it also has the added benefit of being able to book one-way flights (as opposed to ANA, which mandates round-trip award bookings).
All in all, if you have Amex points and can book round-trips, we love ANA Mileage Club as your first choice. If you can’t find round-trip award space or if there’s a transfer bonus available, we recommend Avianca LifeMiles.
If you have Chase points, we recommend Air Canada Aeroplan. You can add a stopover for just 5,000 miles more, and you won’t be liable for fuel surcharges.
United MileagePlus should generally only be used if you already have a stash of United miles or if you need the absolute simplest redemption process possible.
Turkish Airlines has the best redemption rates for Thailand-Europe routes, but it comes with all taxes and fees and a booking process that requires a phone call.
Here’s what each frequent flyer program has to say about stopovers:
- ANA Mileage Club allows 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw on every award ticket
- Avianca LifeMiles does not allow any stopovers
- Air Canada Aeroplan allows 1 stopover for an extra 5,000 miles, even on one-way award tickets
- United MileagePlus allows a stopover through the Excursionist Perk
- Turkish Airlines 1 stopover or 1 open-jaw, even on one-way award tickets
With all that being said, let’s take a glance at some of the best redemptions you can make in Thai Airways business class:
- Bangkok (BKK) – London (LHR) one-way in Thai Airways business class for 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles + ~$302 in taxes and fees
- Bangkok (BKK) – Melbourne (MEL) one-way in Thai Airways business class for 50,000 Avianca LifeMiles + ~$52 in taxes and fees
- Bangkok (BKK) – Osaka (KIX) one-way in Thai Airways business class for 36,000 Avianca LifeMiles + ~$73 in taxes and fees
- Bangkok (BKK) – Sapporo (CTS) one-way in Thai Airways business class for 49,500 United miles + ~$27 in taxes and fees
- Bangkok (BKK) – Stockholm (ARN) one-way in Thai Airways business class for 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles + ~$184 in taxes and fees
- Bangkok (BKK) – Tokyo (HND) round-trip in Thai Airways business class for 60,000 ANA miles + ~$172 in taxes and fees
- Phuket (HKT) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Thai Airways business class for 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles + ~$184 in taxes and fees
- Seoul (ICN) – Bangkok (BKK) – Auckland (AKL) round-trip in Thai Airways business class with a stopover in Bangkok for 85,000 ANA miles + ~$115 in taxes and fees
- Seoul (ICN) – Bangkok (BKK) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in Thai Airways business class with a stopover in Bangkok for 65,000 Aeroplan points + ~$42 in taxes and fees
How To Earn Enough Miles for Thai Airways Business Class
The fantastic news is that Thai Airways has enough partners so you can book its business class product using any type of transferable currency.
In this section, we’ll explore the numerous ways you can accumulate enough points for Thai Airways business class.
In general, ANA Mileage Club and Turkish Airlines will have the best redemption rates.
However, in theory, Avianca LifeMiles could end up being cheaper on certain rates if you time your award booking with a transfer bonus and/or an award flight discount.
That being said, Aeroplan is a great option if you have Chase points, and the added benefit is you can throw in a stopover for 5,000 miles more.
United is an option, too, though you’d generally want to use this only if you already have a lot of United miles sitting in your account.
Here is a summary of all the transferable rewards points you can earn to book Thai Airways business class:
- American Express Membership Rewards transfers at a 1:1 ratio to ANA Mileage Club, Avianca LifeMiles, and Air Canada Aeroplan. LifeMiles and Aeroplan transfers are instant. ANA transfers take around 3 business days.
- Brex Rewards transfers at a 1:1 ratio to Avianca LifeMiles. LifeMiles transfers are almost instant.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers to Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards transfers to Turkish Airlines and Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. Turkish transfers take 1 to 2 business days LifeMiles transfers happen almost instantly.
- Capital One Miles transfers to Turkish Airlines, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. Aeroplan and LifeMiles transfer almost instantly while Turkish transfers within 1 business day.
- Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio to ANA Mileage Club (4 days), Avianca LifeMiles (1 day), and Air Canada Aeroplan (5 days). Marriott Bonvoy also transfers to United MileagePlus in 1 day at a slightly improved 3:1.1 ratio. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer, you will also receive a bonus of 15,000 extra Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to your desired airline.
Remember to be on the lookout for Aeroplan and LifeMiles transfer bonuses, as these generally happen more often than Turkish Airlines, ANA, and United.
When Should You Search for Award Space
Thai Airways is very stingy with award availability, so it can be frustrating to try to book a business class award ticket.
You’ll generally find 1 or 2 business class award seats available 1 to 3 weeks in advance, though Thai Airways, as a general rule, almost never releases award space far in advance.
Lastly, the airline doesn’t dump much award availability into the inventory last-minute, even if there are plenty of empty seats, which is unfortunate.
The best way to search for award space is using united.com.
What Makes Thai Airways a Great Redemption Business Class
Thai Airways has a diverse flight of long-haul aircraft, including the A350-900, 777-200ER, 777-300ER, 787-8, and 787-9.
In the past, it had upwards of 12 aircraft types, many of which had different business class seats, too!
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Thai Airways business class is a great redemption.
If there’s one thing that makes Thai Airways special, it’s the service. When you board the plane, you’ll be offered a warm towel and a pre-departure beverage.
After that, your crew will efficiently and professionally serve your meal service. Throughout the meal, if you have additional requests, be sure to let your flight attendant know, and they’ll happily accommodate you.
You will be profusely thanked for flying on Thai Airways, and everybody, from the cabin manager to the pilots will express their genuine appreciation for you.
Convenient Schedules Nonstop to Thailand
Bangkok is an international gateway with tons of airlines offering nonstop service.
While Thai Airways is just one of these airlines, it has several home-court advantages. Namely, the Thai Airways lounges in Thailand are top-notch, schedules are built and optimized around the airline, and the domestic connectivity within Thailand is second-to-none.
Also, Thai Airways boasts many nonstop, long-haul routes to/from its secondary hub in Phuket (HKT).
In total, Thai Airways flies to approximately 78 destinations in Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
Complimentary 30-Minute Spa Treatments
Be sure to leave a bit of extra time at the Bangkok airport because those with an international business class ticket can book a complimentary, 30-minute massage.
The only wrinkle is that these massages can’t be booked in advance, so you have to hope that there’s enough time during your layover to get a treatment.
However, it’s one of the only airlines that offer a complimentary massage in business class.
In addition, the lounges have showers, clean restrooms, a diverse food selection, and more.
To book the best Thai Airways business class deals possible using points, you first need to figure out which route you plan on flying.
If you have Amex points and can the ability to find round-trip award availability, we recommend redeeming ANA miles.
The strongest Citi transfer partner is Turkish Airlines. Avianca LifeMiles is also a fantastic option, too.
Chase Ultimate Rewards loyalists should transfer to Aeroplan, except if you already have a bunch of United miles.
If you have Brex points, your best bet is to transfer to Avianca LifeMiles.
With Capital One miles, you can transfer to LifeMiles or Turkish Airlines miles.
When you fly on Thai Airways, you’ll enjoy a very good product from beginning to end. This includes lie-flat seats, good bedding, phenomenal service, and tasty food!
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