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- BT Plus
- Tried & Tested
- Plan & book
- Tried & Tested
This flight was my continutauon from Hanoi to Vientiane, having travelled from Hong Kong with Vietnam Airlines. Indeed this flight is a code share with VN and so my boarding pass at the trsnfer desk was issued as such, allowing me access to the airline’s Lounge in Hanoi. This is spacious and well appointed with an excellent choice of snacks and fresh tropical fruit in ambundance. It also has a great view over the apron and surrounding countryside.
The flight was scheduled as an ATR-72 but, to my delight, instead of the turbo-prop, one of Lao Airlines famous A320s rolled up, some 40 minutes ahead of the ATR’s scheduled arrival time.
As readers will see from my review of 26th March, then I was ‘cheated’ out of my first flight on this wonderful aircraft – now I was to make up for it. For those who are not familiar with the background, these aircraft were scheduled for delivery to Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways but, in the midst of events last year, were diverted to Lao after being fully fitted out with garish green seating and varying coloured lights (green, blue) which, most interesting, change at take-off and landing. So my excitment was at fever pitch when i headed down to the gate to find myself second last aboard 25 minutes before departure (they had forgotten to inform the Lounge).
I was in seat 8D and had the row to myself as the passenger load was clearly intended for the ATR. Notwithstanding bright sunlight outside, the lights changed greenish once we pushed back before settling to normal brightness. Service was a sandwich box (refused) and soft drinks/ beer/ coffee, offered with a warm Lao smile.
We touched down some 20 minutes early to blue cabin lighting and taxied to the terminal and an airbridge deplanning. Even though I had to buy a visa on arrival (30 Euro), this has=d some advantages as this allows you to skip the main Immigration queue. My luggage was already there when I got through and I was in the car, leaving the airport about 15 minutes after landing.
I can now travel happy, having been on a plane about which i had heard so much. Its got to be a collector’s item and worth a visit to these parts just to experience. Mind you, you never really know which plane you’ll be on……