Thai to Stop Flying New York to Bangkok?

Flyertalkers are reporting that Thai Airways is canceling its New York-JFK to Bangkok flights, effective July 1.

Actually, the consensus seems to be that Thai isn’t currently selling any tickets on the route after that date, and that the flight is ‘under review’ with a decision to be made shortly, possibly next week.

Asian long-haul flights clearly are gas guzzlers, they need really high load factors and high average fares in order to be profitable. My sense has long been that Thai has neither for this route, scheduled at roughly 17 hours of travel time.

It’s sad to see flights like these disappear, they’ve long been some of the better award redemption values and certainly anyone who has booked their travel for dates beyond July 1 could be in a difficult spot. Thai will certainly reaccomodate their own revenue passengers, and they do still fly Los Angeles-Bangkok (although with a 7pm arrival in Los Angeles on the return, connections after clearing customs and immigration can be difficult). But customers traveling on award tickets issued by partners may be in a tighter spot, as well as those who may have purchased nonrefundable positioning flights, or onward flights from Bangkok to destinations such as Bhutan or Nepal.

So anyone in such a position would be advised to start checking their itineraries, and possible alternates, sooner rather than later in anticipation of the flight’s likely disappearance.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Whew, I have an award for this July and was originally booked SIN-BKK-JFK. Not sure why, but I ultimately booked SIN-PVG-YYZ on SQ/AC instead, so now I’m happy I made that decision.

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