Vietnam’s national carrier has a Schmick-looking fleet painted in its trademark blue with a giant golden lotus on the tail. Inside, the female cabin crew elegantly show off the country’s traditional Ao Dai dress.
I recently had the chance to experience Vietnam Airlines first hand on board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Here is my experience of flying from Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City.
Check in and Pre-Take off
I thought I was cutting it fine checking-in in just under an hour and a half before an international flight, but apparently not, there was still a reasonable line up at the Economy check-in counter. Thankfully, the line moved smoothly and I was checked-in with a smile by a pleasant member of Vietnam Airlines ground staff.
I began my trip sitting in standard-sized Economy aisle seat 37F but I had one of those fabulous experiences that everyone in Economy class hopes for – no one sat in my entire row of three seats. Ahhh room to stretch out.
Entertainment and Food
I think it may be for safety reasons (although it’s the first airline I have flown with that has done it) but we were not given a headset or permitted to watch the entertainment until we were in the air and the seatbelt sign had been switched off. When you take into consideration pushing back, waiting for a runway and getting into the air, this was a while to wait without being able to use our entertainment system.
Once in the air, I was pleased to see there was a decent variety of new release movies and television series to watch. As soon as we began our descent though, cabin crew requested our headset and the entertainment was switched off.
We were served lunch shortly after takeoff. We were given menus to look at but the options on the menu didn’t match up to what we were being offered by the cabin crew. It was disappointing as I had chosen an option (braised pork with chilli bean sauce) that wasn’t available. The food which was ultimately served was pretty standard economy fare. I had a beef dish with rice and vegetables.
The same scenario unfolded with the refreshment meal served an hour before landing, however, what was served (chicken, rice and vegetables) was still tasty.
As a passenger who loves to stay hydrated on long haul flights I was particularly impressed at being handed a generous 600ml bottle of water during the flight and regularly being offered a cup of water or juice by the crew.
The service was refined and professional. I could regularly see the cabin crew passing through and attending to any passengers’ needs.
All in all, it was a comfortable (thank you free seats) and pleasant flight and with a few refinements, it would have been a perfect trip.
Aircraft: Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Seat Class: Economy
Flight Time: Dept. 10:15am (AEST), Arr. 4.00pm
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