Members of Royal Orchid Plus (ROP) can now trade just 9,900 frequent flyer points for an hour-long session in one of Thai Airways’ flight simulators – the same used to train the airline’s pilots.
Located at Thai’s head office in Bangkok, honorary pilots will earn their stripes at the helm of a virtual Airbus A380 or Airbus A330 with a ‘simulator specialist’, depending on which aircraft type is available at the time.
Members can practice take-offs and landings at some of the world’s best-known airports including Sydney, Bangkok, Hong Kong and London Heathrow, along with the basics of flying at altitude in a full-motion sim.
Sessions are available at various times between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday, but must be booked at least three business days in advance by calling 1300 651 960 in Australia, 02 545 3622 in Thailand or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a mere 9,900 miles, ROP members would notch up enough miles for the session from a single return business class trip from Sydney to Bangkok.
That's a steal compared to the two-hour A380 simulator sessions offered by Qantas in October last year, which set frequent flyers back a whopping 275,000 frequent flyer points – only 5,000 points shy of a round-the-world business class ticket.
Qantas still has Boeing 747 simulator sessions on the frequent flyer menu, but at a much more affordable points cost of 115,000 Qantas Points outright or 69,000 points plus $354.20.
If you're wondering what it's like to go for a spin in one of these incredibly lifelike simulators, check out the video below – shot in 2011 when Australian Business Traveller editor David Flynn made the virtual journey from Sydney to London in one of Qantas' Boeing 747 simulators:
Take our word for it: the 3D motion of the simulator plus the detailed scenery outside the cockpit makes a simulator visit an extraordinary and unforgettable experience!
For more details, head to the Thai Airways website.
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