Vietnam Airlines A330-200 Economy

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  • Anonymous
    Guest

    TominScotland
    Participant

    I had booked this route (plus four other legs with VN) a couple of months ago and, in the interim, had received 19 texts encouraging me to upgrade my flight to Business with a 75% reduction to the normal fare. I did not avail of these offers. I was originally booked on a later flight but was informed by e-mail of a schedule change which would have made my connection in HCM City rather tight. I e-mailed the airline with my problem and they transfered me to an earlier flight – great! However, another e-mail told me that this flight, in turn, was re-scheduled, back by about 50 minutes, so I headed for Hanoi airport about the time I had originally planned.

    The benefits of a FB Platinum card kicked in as I was able to by-pass horrendous Economy queues to Business where processing was slow but not too protracted. I made my way through Security and waited in the general area as my FB status does not get me access to VN Lounges for domestic flights.

    A further delay was announced before boarding commenced. I was able to board quickly, having had to persuade the gate Agent that, despite my Economy Boarding Pass, I was, indeed, entitled to do so. Once aboard, the benefits of the A330 kicked in – good legroom and a spacious feel to the whole experience.

    In the end, we took off exactly at the time my original flight was due to go. Service was a filled roll and soft drinks, delivered with efficiency rather than a smile!!

    We landed after a 1’45” flight and a short taxi later deplaned into the Domestic Terminal from where I made my way to International and my next flight.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Just to append two further VN flights to this review:

    1. VN658 from Singapore to Ho Chi Min City – A321 in Economy

    I checked in for this flight as the only passenger waiting at the Business counter. A fabulous check-in agent, working for SATS, handled by seating request etc. My current Vietnamese visa expired that same day and he noticed that my authorisation for another visa, from the Immigration Department, contained an incorrect Passport number!! As I would arrive some 2 hours before the expiry of my visa, he suggested that we go for it rather than use an incorrect document (I know, I should have checked!!).

    I went through Immigration and purchased some duty free items – a multitude of product advisers and just one till open meant that this was a very protracted and un-Changi experience. Then up to the SATS Lounge – a quiet and well provisioned space where I waited until the Gate opened.

    Boarding as a FB Platinum card holder was easy and I was soon in 12C. Fully loaded, we pushed back on time and service commenced soon after take-off – the same hot food choices that I had been offered (and again refused) as on a flight from KL a week or so previously. I slept and woke up on landing (on-time). As is VN’s wont these days, we remote parked and were bussed in to the Terminal at SGN. My almost expired visa did elicit comment from the Immigration Officer but he let me through and I was on my way to my hotel.

    2. VN220 SGN to HAN, A321 in Economy

    This is the first flight of the day, leaving at 05.30 and I arrived in a very quiet Domestic Terminal at about 4.30 for my check-in. Notwithstanding my duty free purchases from the previous day (cosmetics), I was able to retain them in my hand luggage and quickly made my way through to the departures area for a very, very welcome cup of wonderful Vietnamese coffee. We boarded and I made my way to Emergency Exit seat 15E – a poor choice because it abuts the crew seat and restricts movement fo your left arm severly. Its also a seat with solid sides and is quite tight for the broader European beam!!

    However, I did manage to sleep for a good chunk of the 1’40” flight and we arrived early in hanoi and, yes, remote parked before being bussed to the Terminal from where i was able to pick a cab to the office.

    Vietnam Airlines run an efficient service but really have not managed to crack the finer side of service achieved by other regional carriers. It is efficient but delivered without a smile, can be quite surly and does not truck requests beyond the standard. A pity…..

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