I had never flown with Vietnam Airlines before. They often have excellent deals out of Hong Kong and I was curious how they are. I was impressed on this, my first flight with them.
At the Airport
There was only a short queue at checkin, in Aisle E. The gate was 524, which is a bus gate. After a long bus ride we arrived at the remote gate (111). The airline had proper, light card tickets with their logo printed in colour.
The flight was operated by an Airbus 321 (registration number VN-A327). It is decorated in a Skyteam livery, which I do not find as aesthetically pleasing as the standard Vietnam Airlines livery.
The seats were in good condition and comfortable for a short flight. The headrest was not adjustable, but the seat had a slight recline.
There was no personal screen, but communal overhead screens showed some banal north American show similar to “Just for Laughs”.
I was surprised to see on this afternoon flight that the economy cabin was completely full. A group in front of me had brought bowls of hot noodles from a fast food shop at the airport on board, so they made the cabin smell with them before continually asking the cabin crew for hot water, tea, or something else. The crew handled their demands with aplomb.
The flight pushed back soon after boarding and we did not have to wait long before becoming airborne. The flight was completely smooth and we landed a few minutes ahead of schedule at gate 31 of Hanoi’s terminal two.
The service started with the distribution of wet paper towels. There was then a meal service followed by tea and coffee from gleaming large pots, with lemon slices as well as milk or sugar for the tray (and tongs to lift the slices). This sort of small touch impressed me about Vietnam Airlines.
The cabin crew was smartly turned out. I have always liked the ao dai style uniforms of Vietnam Airlines’ female cabin crew, which is feminine and elegant, but flying with them I noticed that the male uniform is also smart.
Food and Drink
The cabin crew had a large menu to show passengers the option, which was between beef and rice, and seafood and noodles.
The starter was an apple salad which was decent. The main course was good, with the rice very well cooked compared to the rice one normally receives in economy class meals. The dessert was a simple coconut mousse cake.
I thought that the presentation, though fairly simple, showed a restrained elegance. The light colour hue used worked very well. I also liked the proper shape of cup which although plastic felt substantial, although the glass was very small.
This was a good flight, on time with excellent service and a good meal. I would not hesitate to fly with Vietnam Airlines in the future.