Come fly with me

Get an in-flight experience on the ground

Among the many things that we've lost during this pandemic, the ability to get on a plane on a whim and fancy has been the biggest. If you've ever been to Suvarnabhumi International Airport in the past months to just walk around with a trolley to remind yourself what it feels like waiting for your flight (no? just me then?), then you'll know that the airport is a shadow of its former self. Even if you did manage to book a flight, it involves so much paperwork and costs so much, coupled with the fear of catching the virus, it's not worth it unless in an emergency.

Thankfully, Bangkok has a few places that will remind you what it's like to be on airplanes... always ready for take off. Cure your longing for air travel by paying a visit to a few.


THAI AIRWAYS

Aside from selling patongo to alleviate financial woes, Thai Airways opened a restaurant last year where customers can sit in airplane seats to eat airplane food. A few might be wondering why people would actively seek out airplane food when not on a plane, but perhaps that's just how much we miss flying. Or maybe, Thai Airways' food is pretty good. Though Thai Airways has been selling some of their in-flight fare at Puff & Pie stores, this is the closest you'll get to flying on Thai Airways without actually being in the sky. The food comes at a decent price like their Caesar salad, which is priced at B99. But they've also got something called "Preferred Seating", which is the equivalent of flying First Class where you get a welcome drink, salad, main course and dessert. Until June 15, you can choose from a variety of salads and a choice of different main courses from different cuisines like the Penne beef Bolognese or the Buta kimchi seafood and Pork yakisoba among other dishes. To get Preferred Seating, making a reservation is recommended.

8am-2pm / Vibhavadi Road / Call 02-356-1666, visit ThaiCatering.com.


747 CAFE

It's not everyday you can head into a Boeing 747-400 for lunch but that's exactly what 747 Cafe is allowing you to do. Though Boeing announced the discontinuation of 747 production earlier this year, the iconic aircraft is in its full glory at 747 Cafe -- or at least in full glory for a plane that's on a field in Lat Krabang. The aircraft is complete with a cockpit and hollowed out jet engines, both of which are perfect IG photo opportunities. While you'll spend a majority of your time taking pictures at every corner of the plane, you'll also be able to enjoy their menu, which consists of a variety of drinks like Italian sodas and teas. Their coffee uses beans from Chiang Rai to support local farmers. Pay them a visit to have a cool experience complete with stewardesses, pilots and even boarding passes so you really feel like you've been on a flight.

10am-7pm / Luang Phaeng Road, Lat Krabang / Call 082-621-3520, visit fb.com/747CafeLadkrabang.


331 STATION

331 Station at Chon Buri has two planes that have been transformed into unique coffee shops. Having opened a year ago, the land was originally used as an aircraft warehouse until the owner turned it into a coffee shop. Now, decommissioned A330 and L10-11 house guests as they take pictures and sip on drinks instead of taking them up in the air. The interior of the planes have been left untouched: the signature airplane chairs where you fight for arm rests have been retained except that there's an actual table in front of you and you can walk down the aisles as if you're trying to squeeze your way to your seat. The coffee shop is on the plane and it's a little odd seeing a fridge with cakes and the menu plastered on the overhead compartment but it's one of 331 Station's little quirks. It's a worthy road trip and should make for a fun visit.

8am-6pm / Phlu Ta Luang, Chon Buri / Call 083-111-9595, visit fb.com/331Station.


MD-82 CAFE

Much like the previous locations on this list, MD-82 Cafe is found within a refurbished plane where guests can chill, enjoy food and sip on drinks. There's also no shortage of IG opportunities whether it's in the plane or the "terminal", where you go through before getting on the plane. Now you may think that this sounds pretty much like the same thing we've already talked about in the previous places but the one thing that sets MD-82 Cafe apart is: though the plane is grounded, it does take customers to a certain high -- all thanks to its cannabis-infused menu. Not only do their drinks come laced with hemp but some of them are even served in bongs. They don't just have drinks either: pizzas and pastas are on the menu, as well.

Noon-11pm / On Nut Road / Call 064-936-3936, visit fb.com/MD82Cafe.


NA-OH BANGKOK

Na-Oh Bangkok is the odd one out of the bunch. It's found inside a large, silver Lockheed L-1011, which is the centrepiece of Changchui, and ultimately that's what makes it eligible to be on this list. But Na-Oh doesn't serve airplane food, drinks or just pastries. Its official description on the FB page is a "Futuristic-based dining restaurant that promotes innovations of food and cultures", and a glance at the photos there will give you fine dining vibes (isn't that just flying first class or private?). The polar bear encased in glass in the middle of the plane is a major contributor to this. Surprisingly, however, despite the elegant setup, its menu doesn't break the bank. Their five-course menu is priced at B1,800++, and its main course is a choice of Tasmanian lamb rack, Long Island beef sirloin or Kagoshima black pork so that should give you an idea of the type of meals they're serving. They have other courses on offer and aside from the food, you've also got plenty of corners to take photos for your social media feed.

Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 6pm-10pm / Sirindhorn Road / Call 088-612-2188 or 02-007-7070, visit NaOhBangkok.com.

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