I flew up to Hanoi from Kuala Lumpur, arriving in KLIA in good time because of concerns about that is locally called “the haze” (acrid smog to you and me), which was bad in KL that day, might do to flights. Online check-in, while advertised as possible from KL, was unavailable. Despite long queues for economy, I was the only passenger using the Premium check-in desk, courtesy of my FB Platinum Card, and my luggage was tagged Priority without my asking. I requested a forward aisle seat and this was no problem.
Armed with my Lounge card for the MH Satellite Lounge, I headed through Immigration and onto the connecting train to ‘C’ Gates where my flight was due to depart. Although signage is not great, I found the Lounge and was welcomed and directed into the Business Class section. This is a large and airy space, offering a good selection of hot and cold food so, rather than risk onboard catering, I ate before my evening flight.
I made my way to the Gate when it showed ‘Open’ on the monitor and went through security into the holding area, from where Premium passengers had just been called to board. My seat, 10C, was in the first row of Economy and appeared to have extra legroom and very comfortable seats for an A3290 series aircraft. The flight was only about 60 per cent full so I was delighted when no other passengers joined me in my row.
We pushed back a couple of minutes early and were soon airborne. Drinks and dinner service commenced – chicken with rice or fish and potatoes but I declined both in favour of a couple of drinks. I then slept after a busy day and woke in time for the second drinks service shortly before we began our descent. We landed 15 minutes early, parked remotely and were bussed in to the Terminal, Business class passengers first in a mini-bus and then the rest of us by coach.
Immigration was deserted and the luggage had started to arrive by the time I got through – bags tagged ‘Priority’ appeared to be, collectively, the last to arrive!! Once mine arrived, it was out and into a taxi and Hanoi at its worst – rain storms, 35 degrees and what seemed to be 100 per cent humidity!!