More than 100 travel-hungry diners have attended a pop-up restaurant at Thai Airways headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday, which served up in-flight meals to customers missing the onboard experience.
The airline has transformed the cafeteria of its Bangkok HQ into a Thai Airways-themed diner, decked out with branded airline cabin seats, and various plane parts and decorations.
“Spare parts from engines, windows and fan blades were used as furniture,” Thai Airways catering managing director Varangkana Luerojvong told Reuters, adding that each decoration is fitted with a QR code, for visitors to learn more information about each part.
Visitors are also greeted and served by cabin crew, dressed in full uniform, to really bring the ‘in-flight’ experience to life.
Thai Airways chef Jun Uenishi, who prepared each meal, said the experience was the first time he was able to interact with the customers consuming his food since joining the airline.
The restaurant serves around 2,000 meals per day, and is one method being utilised by Thai Airways to recoup some of its lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Luerojvong said.
Due to its positive reception, she also said there are plans to turn other Thai Airways offices into similar dining experiences, for travellers searching for a fix amid ongoing travel restrictions.
Attendees of the pop-up restaurant noted that the food tasted “better here than in the air”, as it is cooked to order, rather than pre-prepared and warmed up, as is standard onboard aircraft.
One diner said: “I like the in-flight meals on Thai Airways, but we only get to have it when we fly. Today we get to have it here, that’s good because we want to eat.”