Vietnam Airlines, Sydney to Ho Chi Minh, business class


THE PLANE

Vietnam Airways, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

THE ROUTE

Sydney to Ho Chi Minh.

SEE ALSO

Vietnam journey information

LOYALTY SCHEME

Lotusmiles program, with SkyTeam alliance compatibility

DURATION

A speedy eight hours

FREQUENCY

Every day from Melbourne and Sydney

CHECKING IN

No enterprise class queue means a speedy check-in with categorical lane passes for immigration and safety

CLASS

Enterprise, seat 4G (aisle)

THE SEAT

The wide-bodied Dreamliner has 28 roomy, totally lie-flat angled enterprise seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Inside design presents serene, lotus-embossed pale green-gold. All seats have aisle entry so no mountaineering required. Seat pitch is 42 inches (106 centimetres); width is 21 inches (51 centimetres). There isn’t any privateness display, solely a (fairly giant) bulkhead between center seats. With this in thoughts, solo travellers would possibly want the window seat, particularly when adjusting the seat ahead for eating, and to keep away from disturbance if the companion leisure display is inadvertently left on when locked in place. In-seat and ceiling lights are adjustable. Seat storage is completely sufficient. Armrest will be lowered for straightforward seat entry. No overhead bins for center seats however there are giant aisle bins – this design provides a spacious really feel and many headroom.

BAGGAGE

A most of 40 kilograms for checked baggage and two carry-on luggage weighing a complete of seven kilograms.

COMFORT

My 165-centimetre peak means I’m extraordinarily snug, although my 185-centimetre companion cannot totally lengthen his legs into the tapering ottoman foot space when mendacity flat. He is not complaining, sleeping like a child. Slippers are a pleasant contact. There is a pillow and acrylic blanket, fairly than quilted cover. Vietnam Airways says it will likely be introducing new pyjamas, blankets and mattress linen for long-haul flights. A Swiss Charriol toiletry bag accommodates nice handcream and lip balm, folding brush and comb, correct sized toothbrush and paste, earplugs and socks. I would favor a better-quality eye masks – it was a bit tight with an artificial really feel. Bogs had been persistently clear and accessible, with mouthwash and hand lotion.

ENTERTAINMENT

A big 16-inch HD contact display pops out on the press of a button and there are normal noise-cancelling headphones. The airline has not too long ago doubled the variety of leisure channels and diverse the content material. Whereas there is a completely sensible choice (and a very good Asian assortment), I might nonetheless prefer to see extra first-release films and newest TV sequence. Feeling extraordinarily snug, I entertain myself by studying.

SERVICE

Excellent, although, on account of an English challenge, the incorrect entree arrives for me, and the incorrect most important for my companion – a small value, shortly remedied, for genuinely useful, environment friendly and courteous service. Scorching towel and Heidsieck Blue High Brut, orange juice or water are supplied on boarding and, a giant plus, water is replenished all through the flight, in addition to wine with meals, if that’s the case desired. Ladies cabin crew are sensible in turquoise ao dai (yellow for senior crew) whereas male crew put on sensible black pants, white shirts with blue tie.

THE FOOD

Largely Vietnamese delicacies, which fits me wonderful, with one Western providing per meal. An upcoming refreshed enterprise menu by chef Luke Nguyen will proceed to mirror Vietnam’s delicacies and tradition. The abundance of recent greens, flippantly steamed broccoli, asparagus, snow peas, carrots and salads accompanying meals is great. Cabin crew take meal orders – a three-course lunch in our case – shortly after take-off, with matching drinks supplied for entree, then most important course. I really feel duty-bound to attempt a “signature cocktail”, so enchanting are the names – Phan Tiet crimson dunes and Gongs dance – however cannot go previous the Beloved Hue  with its accompanying bowl of wasabi peas, cashews and crunchy chickpeas. My grilled prawn and jellyfish salad with chilli and cucumber appetiser is juicy and recent. There is a crisp vegetable salad, then asparagus cream soup. I select the stir-fried beef with lotus root and recent chilli, fried rice with egg from a selection of 4, with a glass of pretty 2016 syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley. Garlic bread, French brown, sourdough, oatmeal and ciabatta are supplied from a basket. The little truffles are tempting however I’m going with the French cheeses. An hour earlier than touchdown, refreshments are served – barbecue pork with oriental sauce and steamed rice, then fruit is my selection.

ONE MORE THING

The cappuccino – avoid it. It begins its life as a packet of candy cocoa substance. Keep on with tea or filter espresso – it is wonderful.

THE VERDICT

Vietnam Airways’ aggressive enterprise fares (at present from $4400 return to Paris by way of Hanoi or Saigon) make this airline a lovely possibility. Vietnam has simply acquired a brand new World 4-star certification from APEX (which charges solely on passenger suggestions) and a 4-star Skytrax ranking for 3 years operating.

Our ranking out of 5: ★★★★

Alison Stewart was a visitor of Vietnam Airways and Mat McLachlan Battlefields Excursions.

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