I have a hard time understanding why Thai Airways runs their updated 3-class 747s with angled lay flat business seats and true flat first class seats on a short run like Bangkok-Phuket. Seems like poor fleet planning at first glance, though I haven’t looked at whether the planes also fly internationally and this is just a way to get a few extra hours’ of flying time out of them.
Asiana does something similar, flying 3-class planes sold as 2-class. (I flew Hong Kong-Seoul earlier this month, and an old style 747 was running the route on the day I traveled.)
Trick is just to request the first rows of the plane when traveling on a business class ticket. Worked no problem for me on both carriers.
Of course, American still does the same thing on certain domestic US routes (and sells two-cabin planes as all-coach on certain international routes) — a boon for American elites who can pre-reserve their upgrade while still unfortuantely receiving coach service.
Here’s the Thai Airways seat I had for less than 500 miles…