Vietnam Airlines » User reviews
All-class rating 6.0
- Boarding 7.6
- Seat for sitting 6.8
- Seat for sleeping 3.1
- Service 6.6
- Entertainment 1.0
- Food & drink 5.8
- Punctuality 7.7
- Baggage 5.8
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
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This review relates to an international sector from Hanoi to Singapore. I arrived in good time at Hanoi airport and was able to use the Premium check-in desk, where things moved reasonably quickly. Through Immigration and Security, I headed to the Viewtan Airlines Lounge which is a large open if not exciting space with a wholly acceptable range of snacks and drinks.
Boarding was on time and I used the premium lane and was directed to the Business Class mini-bus waiting to ferry us to the aircraft. This meant boarding at relative leisure before the main rush which was good. I was seated in 10C, the front row of Economy.
Once loaded, we pushed back on time and service commenced soon after the seat belt signs went off. This consisted of a drinks run followed by lunch - beef with noodles or fish with rice. I opted for the beef which was fine, if a little bland.
The flight itself was uneventful - service was the normal VN adequate but uninspiring. We landed roughly on time and, after a short taxi for Changi, were able to disembark into the terminal. A short walk (for Changi) to an empty Immigration Hall and my priority tagged bag was one of the first up, less than 10 minutes after we deplanned. So I was quickly able to locate Left Luggage in the very quiet Arrivals area of T3 and then head to the MRT to travel into the City for my meetings.
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 raher 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.
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!!
I actually had a 2-5-2 configuration, which doesn't seem to be an option on this site.
The seats were truly the worst I have ever sat in. They had an adjustable, mechanical lumbar system, which adjusted from uncomfortable to very uncomfortable. I ended up using two blankets on the back of my seat to make it bearable.
The cabin felt very densely packed. Fortunately I was sitting on the outside aisle, as being part of the 5 would have been very claustrophobic. The seat pitch was very tight, and the window seats had a large box under the seat, which left almost leg room.
General service was the usual I expect on a long haul flight, except a little more chaotic. There was no in-seat entertainment, which I didn't realise was still available these days.
I know others who flew from London to Vietnam who had a much more modern plane with entertainment, but I had this type from both LGW to HAN, and SGN to LGW (VN141).
Hanoi - London Gatwick
Check in wasn't very organised or very well signposted in the airport. I had to ask at the desk to find out which desks I could check in at as they were initially only labelled for Paris. The desk staff that I spoke to didn't have a good grasp of the English language and in the end I had to ask other passengers.
Once again I asked to be seated in the back of the plane away from the children and this wasn't a problem. I checked in one large bag at 20kg and took my standard cabin bag on board without having to get this weighed.
Security in the airport was a nightmare and took about 40 minutes to get through. There were a large number of flights departing around the same time and only a couple of desks open for security checking. After about 20 minutes another desk opened but the wait was far longer than I have experienced in other international terminals around the world.
The airport in Hanoi is basic at best and no consumables can't be purchased air side so if you're looking for painkillers or pharmacy items get them before you go to the airport.
Boarding was quick and efficient and we departed on time. As soon as we were at the right altitude food was served but without any drinks run prior to this so I was lucky to have a bottle of water with me in the meantime. The food was excellent and I chose the noodle dish which looked far better than the western option of beef with pasta.
No sooner has the food been cleared the lights were turned off. This would have usually been fine with me except that not only did the row that I was sat on have no working IFE system this also meant we had no reading lights which was frustrating as I could only read when someone in front of me had their lights on.
The staff on this flight were lovely and I spent an interesting hour talking with one of the crew while the rest of the cabin slept.
I managed to sleep for about 4 hours uninterrupted which was a record for me on a flight and we were woken to have breakfast a 2 hours before we landed. In contrast to the excellent meal in the evening breakfast was awful. Whoever decided that mangetout and carrots work with scrambled egg, bacon and beans should be sacked!
We landed on time and while there were no queues at immigration the wait for the baggage was nearly an hour! Clearly we're not as efficient as Asian countries.
London Gatwick - Hanoi
Check in was quick and efficient when I arrived at Gatwick. I was initially seated at the front of the economy section but when I inquired as to where they seat the children it seems that I was placed right next to them so I asked to be moved to the back of the plane which was carried out with minimum fuss.
We were over an hour late boarding the flight owing to technical difficulties with the plane which had been resolved while the plane was at the gate. Passengers were updated during this time so we knew to expect a longer wait.
The 777 was seated in a 3-3-3 formation which had surprisingly comfortable seats and as soon as we were at altitude the cabin crew served drinks followed by a choice of roast chicken or chicken with yellow bean sauce. I went with the roast chicken in naturally got food envy when I saw the other option. The dish I opted for was mediocre with an almond and coconut cake that was dry and unappealing.
I was disappointed with the IFE system, it didn't seem to work properly and films seems to have a scheduled start time so when i was ready to watch a film it indicated that i had to wait over an hour to watch it from the beginning again so I gave up and read my book instead. The selection wasn't all that good but I had hoped to pass some time on this long flight watching a movie.
This wasn't a restful flight as we had crying children in the cabin the whole way and a medical emergency with another passenger who was diabetic and hadn't bought a glucose monitor with them.
Breakfast was served a couple of hours before landing and again it was mediocre but no more so than the breakfast on any other long haul flight I've taken in the past.
We landed a little later than scheduled but after a short wait for my visa the bags arrived quickly and I was out of the airport within an hour of landing.
This is our last leg returning to HK from Hanoi during Easter. There was a very long queue for economy class check in and thank goodness we spotted Mille Miglia Club (A'Italia) sign and we could use it to check in at Business Class Check-In counter as they are Skyteam member.
The economy class configuration is 3x3 and we got row 29 A, B, C and D ( C & D are aisle seats), D is behind jump seat.... Row 15 & 28 are emergency exits row with configuration of 2x2, great for tall passengers.
There are no TVs and they served noodles with seafood or pork with rice.
This is one of the leg of our Easter trip returning from Cambodia and stopping by Hanoi for a few days from Siem reap to Hanoi.
The flight departs at 19:45 sharp, there are 4 rows of business class and economy class has a configuration of 3x3 and I selected seat 22 D which is a aisle seat.
There is no TV, so no IVE, though it is an hr's flight and late evening flight, they served cold cuts, sausage and bread.
One little trauma at the Hanoi airport is my son realised he had lost his passport (obviously he had it when he board as there is security check) but no one at the airport not even the Diplomatic Counter would help or speak English! I have to get a VN ground staff to help radioing in to the cleaning staff on the flight and find his passport....I was soooo disappointed with the immigration officers there, standing there for half an hr and no one is willing to help.
We flew from Saigon to Siem Reap during Easter as a transit, we were quite impressed with the transit terminal which is very nice and clean.
There are 4 rows of business class and we got economy seats -18A, B, C and D with configuration of 3x3. There are no personal tv nor tv in the aisle at all to even show any video.
Though it was an hour flight, we were served sandwich in a box with a glass of water.
Most gratifying part is when the captain annouced flight info, it was a western captain and somehow we feel very relieve.....(not sure if there is anything to do with VN being a Skyteam member)
This was my second VN flight of the day, the 2 hour journey from HCM to Singapore.
I transited through the VN Lounge (I am KLM Platinum) and headed for the gate in plenty of time, before the flight was called. The layout of gates in HCM is odd. We were leaving from gate 10 which, it transpired, is one of the bus gates. These gates (10-14) are located between Gates 17 and 16 and quite a walk away from gates 6-9 which are next to 15....... You need to have your wits about you which I did and walked straight on to the bus via the Elite Plus line.
The aircraft was parked very remote but we arrived there after a tour of the airport. I was originally seated in 16C but agreed to move to 15B (very spacious emergency exit but a middle seat) to accommodate a boisterous group of Russians who wanted to sit together.
Push back was early but there was a long and slow taxi before we took off slightly late. Service was an excellent beef dish with rice and fruit plus drinks (soft, wine, tea and coffee).
We landed at Changi bang on time and after a short taxi deplaned. A reasonable hike to Immigration was good for the blood circulation and i arrived to find a choice of about 6 empty Immigration desks to choose from (eat your heart out, LHR!!). Although tagged 'Priority', my bag took a few minutes to emerge but I was still through the orderly queue and in my taxi within 30 minutes of landing.
Another thumbs up for Vietnam Airlines...
I took this flight from Vientiane to Ho Chi Min City, with a transit stop in Phnom Penh. I arrived at wattay International by tuk tuk in plenty of time for my flight.
Check in was empty and I was processed quickly and given two boarding cards for my flight to HCM, one for each leg (plus a further one for my connecting flight to SIN). I was also given a Lounge invitation. I had to wait a while before immigration and security opened (this is normal for Vientiane which does not have so many international flights). Once open, I made my way quickly through both.
There is but one Lounge at Vientiane and it is of the old style, basic sort with plenty of dubious looking food but fresh rambutan which was a treat!! Most of the 'guests' appeared to be airport or airline officials but it was somewhere to sit...
Boarding on this continuation flight from Hanoi was swift and I was seated in 12C with a free seat next to me. Take off was on time and service of drinks and a cold, savoury snack commenced immediately, followed by coffee.
We landed in Phnom Penh after one hour and deplaned via transit security into the waiting area where free wi-fi allowed a bit of a catch up. Re-baording was swift and we were soon airborne for the 30 minute hop to HCM.
Bottled water was served en route. We arrived a few minutes early and I again made my way through transit to the VN Lounge where by KLM Platinum card was viewed with some suspicion. However, Iwas able to settle down comfortably for my 90 minute wait.
A good service again, no complaints at all!
Flew Hong Kong to Hanoi on this early afternoon flight, with an onward connecting flight to Vientiane. I checked my luggage in at Kowloon Airport Express Station where only the first boarding pass could be issued, even though my bag was tagged through. This made life easy on arrival at the airport, although I called by the Vietnam Airlines check-in desks to obtain my Lounge Pass (I am KLM Platinum).
Security and Immigration were fast and i made my way to the Traveller's Lounge by Gate 1 which is a facility used by Vietnam Airlines and shared with a number of other carriers. Its a very spacious place, if a bit dark, and there were both Asian and Western food options plus a good choice of drinks. I used my waiting time to catch up on e-mails.
Boarding was from Gate 41 which is at the far end of the concourse and I could have used the shuttle. However, I generally prefer the brisk 10 minute walk and I gave myself plenty of time, arriving just as boarding commenced. This was orderly but not segregated.
I was in an aisle seat in Row 18 with a free seat between me and the passenger by the window. We pushed back early and were quickly airborne, with the pilot promising a 90 minute slight rather than the scheduled two hours.
Service was a choice of two hot Asian mains, both of which looked very palatable but I was not hungry so just had orange juice and coffee. We landed some 30 minutes early and taxied past Secretary Leon Panetta's 747 parked alongside US Navy aircraft in a scene that would have been impossible just a few years ago!!
Deplanning was rapid and I arrived in the Immigration Hall to be met by a personal escort to the Transfer Desk (as the only person off the flight not ataying in Vietnam), where I was issued with my onward Boarding Pass and checked by Immigration.
I have flown VN on a number of occasions over the past few months, both domestic and international, and am constantly impressed by the professional and efficient service.
We flew Hanoi - CDG on a VN 777, leaving on the eve of TET although there was little celebratory about the service. I was in Economy and my wife (courtesy of an Award ticket) flew in Business. Walking through the Premium Economy cabin en route to my seat, the extra £500 for this option did not look worthwhile.
We enjoyed the reasonable lounge in hanoi for a while before on-time boarding through one airbridge, which caused some congestion in the cabin. Economy seating is 3-3-3 and i had a forward aisle seat in the middle block. Legroom is fairly good for this aircraft type although the recline is limited.
Push back was on time and drinks and dinner service commenced soon after take off. The food options were Veitnamese or western (a beef stew with noodles) and the cabin settled quite quickly and, despite quite a few families with young children, remained quiet throughout the night. I did not try the IFE, preferring to read instead. I understand that meal options in Business were fine but uninspiring and the seat, good for sleeping but not fully flat.
Sandwiches, pot noodles and drinks were available throughout the night. Breakfast was served about 90 minutes out (scrambled egg which was tasty) and we landed on-time in CDG. We were transferring to onward flights to Glasgow with AF/ KLM and managed to negotiate the maze that is 2E/ 2F OK.
AF/KLM have it in for me, however. For the third time in the last 3 journeys, my luggage failed to appear in Glasgow although my wife's did. So much for Platinum membership.... It will be interesting to see how long it takes until I see it again...
This review relates to a short domestic flight from Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) to Da Nang, the first of a number of domestic and regional flights to be taken with VN and other carriers over the next few days. We arrived at the Domestic Terminal at Saigon in plenty of time and an orderly queue allowed for speedy check-in and baggage drop. Security was efficient and we were airside in no time. Although I am Skyteam Platinum, Vietnam Airlines does not permit Lounge Access for domestic flights unless travelling Business so we waited in the busy public area and enjoyed the local catering and shopping services.
The Gate was changed shortly before boarding time and there was a slight delay before we were allowed on board - a separate line for Elite card holders allowed us on board first to our seating at the rear of the aircraft. This was standard for this type of aircraft and gave plenty of leg room for a short flight.
Pushback was 15 minutes late but a flight time of just 45 minutes meant an on-time arrival in Da Nang. Service was confined to bottled water for all passengers and was fast, efficient and delivered with a warm smile.
Luggage was appearing on the carousel by the time we arrived downstairs and we were in a taxi within 15 minutes of landing. A well-run, hassle free domestic service.
I think that with Vietnam Airlines if you can afford it (Domestic and Short Haul not too bad $$) then you should always try to fly Business Class. You get lounge access, which whilst not being a Kris Flyer lounge is acceptable. You get to travel out to the plane on a separate bus for Business only passengers. The seat is not too bad, good width, try not to sit in the first row however as you can't take advantage of the extra legroom. Food is edible but the drinks are not cold. The Business Class tags that you get on your luggage however seem to make no difference to the time in which you receive your bags.
When riding economy on an Airbus A321, choose rows 15 or 28, and not 33 (seat K) as I did. These two rows are by the emergency exists and have more leg room. My window seat would have been fine except for the very young man beside me who was the seatmate from hell. He could not resist conversing at the top of his voice with his companions behind us and forever leaning over me to look through the window at the scenery (what scenery?) outside. I was soon forced to ask the flight steward to shush him (my attempts to do so proved futile). Although he seemed surprised I made such a request, I persisted anyway. This only kept the boy quiet for a few minutes then he was at it again. A good thing the flight was only about two hours. I should remember to have some earplugs in my vanity kit so that in case something as annoying as this happens again I am prepared.