Royal Orchid is the official frequent flyer program of Thai Airways. You will find that this program provides its members with a number of perks and benefits, including the ability to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights, flight upgrades, hotel bookings, and vehicle rentals. This program currently has thousands of members, and it is highly recommended for those who fly with this airline on a regular basis. Because Thai Airways has a number of partner airlines, earning points through this program is quite easy. There are also a number of special Elite levels in the Royal Orchid program that members can work their way up through after accruing enough points through flights. The many different perks and benefits that can be enjoyed in these various levels make them well worth pursuing for members of this program. The Royal Orchid program has a distance-based accrual system, which means that you accumulate points based on the distance you travel on flights. There are a number of transfer programs for Royal Orchid, including Citi, Starwood Preferred Guest and other hotel chains. Those who fly with this airline often will definitely want to look into all that this program has to offer.

General Information

Star Alliance™
+1 (800) 767-3598

Pros

  • Good number of partner airlines
  • Attractive first class mileage price
  • Good number of transfer partners

Cons

  • One way costs more than 50%
  • Call centers have limited hours
  • Partners cannot be booked online
  • Star Alliance flights round trip only
  • Most airlines impose fuel surcharge
  • Need to have miles to search online

Fees & Charges

  • Stopover fee ❸
    $95
  • Cancellation fee ❷
    $190
  • Change award fee ❶
    $95

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 36 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ Reservation change on all ticketed Air Awards per each change: Within Thailand on THAI $16, International on THAI $40, Star Alliance awards $95, Re-credit of a THAI Award ticket within Thailand $60.
❷ Regional or International destinations: $125 or 10,000 miles per ticket, Intercontinental destinations: $190 or 15,000 miles per ticket.
❸ Stopovers when backtracking, for example Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok-Sydney, are subject to a service fee of $95 per stopover.

Transfer Partners

1,000
Citi points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
2 days
1,000
Citi points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
2 days
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
30 days
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
30 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to Royal Orchid Plus.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Thai Airways Thai Airways
Star Alliance™
Adria Airways Adria Airways
Star Alliance™
Aegean Airlines Aegean Airlines
Star Alliance™
Air Canada Air Canada
Star Alliance™
Air China Air China
Star Alliance™
Air India Air India
Star Alliance™
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand
Star Alliance™
ANA ANA
Star Alliance™
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines
Star Alliance™
Austrian Airlines Austrian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Avianca Avianca
Star Alliance™
Brussels Airlines Brussels Airlines
Star Alliance™
Copa Airlines Copa Airlines
Star Alliance™
Croatia Airlines Croatia Airlines
Star Alliance™
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
EgyptAir EgyptAir
Star Alliance™
Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Star Alliance™
EVA Air EVA Air
Star Alliance™
LOT Polish Airlines LOT Polish Airlines
Star Alliance™
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Star Alliance™
Scandinavian Airlines Scandinavian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen Airlines
Star Alliance™
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines
Star Alliance™
South African Airways South African Airways
Star Alliance™
SWISS SWISS
Star Alliance™
TAP Portugal TAP Portugal
Star Alliance™
Turkish Airlines Turkish Airlines
Star Alliance™
United Airlines United Airlines
Star Alliance™

Program Review

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the flag carrier airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline has its corporate headquarters in Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and primarily operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. THAI is a founding member of the Star Alliance. This airline is the largest shareholder of the low-cost carrier Nok Air with a 39 percent stake, and it launched a regional carrier under the name Thai Smile in the middle of 2012 using new Airbus A320 aircraft. 
From its hub at Suvarnabhumi Airport, THAI flies to 80 different destinations in 37 countries, using a fleet of more than 90 aircrafts. The airline was once the operator of two of the world’s longest non-stop routes between Bangkok and Los Angeles and New York City, but due to high fuel prices, the withdrawal of aircraft, luggage weight limits and rising airfares, it abandoned all non-stop US services as of 2012.

 

Royal Orchid Plus Rewards Program

The Royal Orchid Plus rewards program offers its members the opportunity to earn points/miles for flying with Thai Airways and their partners. The points that members accrue can be used for a variety of rewards, including award flights, cabin upgrades, hotel bookings, and vehicle rentals. There are numerous credit cards that can be used to accrue Orchid Plus points, such as the Citi Prestige Card, Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, and a number of others.

 

Earning Orchid Plus Points

To make the most of the Royal Orchid Plus program, be sure to take advantage of earning extra miles from such activities as paid flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and credit card spending.

  • Paid Flights: Book a THAI flight and provide your Royal Orchid Plus number for mileage to be credited to your account. Bonus miles are given depending on certain fare classes, not to mention those that are awarded when you attain or renew your Gold or Platinum membership.
  • Partner Flights: THAI is a member of the Star Alliance, which allows flyers the ability to earn THAI miles for flights flown with alliance airlines. The number of miles you earn from each partner varies, so it’s best to reference THAI’s site to understand what mileage you stand to earn from your upcoming flight. To earn Royal Orchid Plus miles on a partner flight, just enter in your Royal Orchid Plus number on your boarding pass and then check your account post-flight to ensure the mileage credits were properly posted to your account.
  • Credit Card Spending: While there aren't any co-branded credit cards available to US residents, THAI does offer a variety of cards for other countries. Please refer to this site for further information. THAI is also a transfer partner for Citi ThankYou Rewards, Diners Club, and SPG; all of which have multiple card offerings for US residents. See the section below for card details.
  • Travel Partners: More miles may be accrued from THAI’s Royal Orchid Plus program partners. For example, when you rent a car with Hertz or when you stay in a Hyatt hotel, you get additional miles. See this link for the list of partners and details.
  • Promotions: THAI occasionally offers promotions that provide members the ability to earn additional Royal Orchid Plus miles. For the latest list of promotions, refer to the THAI website.

 

Redeeming Mileage Points

  • Free Flights: Upon collecting enough mileages, you may use these to redeem your award tickets and fly for free on THAI. Make your reservations with any THAI sales office and give your Royal Orchid Plus account number. You can also log in the THAI website to redeem miles for a free flight. Refer to THAI’s published award chart to know how many miles you need for your flight
  • Upgrades: Your Royal Orchid Plus membership can grant you free upgrades on select flight. Please note that you cannot use this privilege when flying on promotional fares. Refer to this page for information on this benefit.
  • Partner Awards: THAI is a member of Star Alliance, which allows travelers to redeem Royal Orchid Plus for award flights on partner airlines, subject to availability. Refer to THAI’s published Star Alliance partner award chart, as well as the Star Alliance strategy guide for further advice on how to search availability and book awards for each member airline.

 

Routing Rules

Royal Orchid Plus also has a generous stopover and open-jaw policy. You can use one stopover per direction on round-trip flights, and one open jaw at either the origin or destination. In 2014, Thai Airways announced a drastic 100 percent devaluation of its Star Alliance award chart. The airline scrapped those plans after customers protested, but be on the lookout for future devaluations.

 

Benefits of Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Plus Program

There are lots of different things to like about the Royal Orchid Plus frequent flyer program, including the fact that those fly with Thai Airways will get a 5,000-mile annual bonus, two complimentary upgrades, guaranteed seating in economy, and complimentary access to lounges. There is also the benefits of Star Alliance members, such as priority boarding and baggage handling and much more. This rewards program is definitely worth looking into for anyone who enjoys flying with Thai Airways and their partners, especially if it is often.

 

Elite Levels

  • Royal Orchid Plus, the frequent flyer program of THAI, allows flyers to enroll and create an account to earn rewards. Its entry level (Violet card) allows members to earn and redeem miles. The elite tiers – Silver, Gold, and Platinum – are achieved after satisfying the qualification requirements. Elite status grants the member additional advantages, which increase as one climbs the status ladder.
  • Silver: Silver status is earned after flying 10k Qualifying Miles in one year or 15k Qualifying Miles in two years on THAI and Star Alliance members. This provides certain privileges like additional baggage allowance and priority baggage handling.
  • Gold: A member may be elevated to Gold status once the requirement of 50k Qualifying Miles within 12 months or 80k Qualifying Miles within 24 months on THAI and Star Alliance airlines is attained. Flying on 40 THAI international segments within 12 months also grants one a Gold membership status. A member gets 5k bonus miles upon attaining Gold status and enjoys complimentary upgrades, guaranteed seating in economy class, and access to THAI Royal Silk Class lounges around the world, along with other benefits.
  • Platinum: The Platinum level is achieved when one accrues 80k Qualifying Miles in 12 months on THAI and Star Alliance flights. This tier affords members the benefits of a Gold status plus immigration fast track, dedicated Platinum check-in, waiver of service fees and so much more.

 

Booking Fees & Charges

There are some fees you might encounter as a Royal Orchid Plus member, including $25 for changing or canceling flights more than 24 hours before departure. There is also a $100 fee for changing or canceling flights between three and 24 hours before departure.

 

Redeem on Upgrades

You can upgrade cash tickets from economy to premium economy or business, from premium economy to business and from business to first. The amount of miles needed for an upgrade is determined by your ticket class, and some promotional fares do not qualify.