Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Vietnam Airlines Business Class Singapore to London Heathrow Flight Reviews Part 1

We fly Vietnam Airlines (SkyTeam Alliance), Singapore to London Heathrow and return.  Excited!  This was the first time the entire family was flying together in a premium cabin, to anywhere.  So, let's get started.  From a cost point of view, this trip was made possible because Vietnam Airlines offers very competitive fares (by Business class standards) on the Singapore-London route.  So, we decided to give it a try.

SATS Premier Lounge
Our trip started with a visit to the lounge at Singapore Changi Terminal 3.  Vietnam Airlines (and a good number of other airlines) use this lounge, which is located right beside the Krisflyer Gold lounge.  The lounge wasn't too crowded when we were there.  It had a decent selection of hot food (including mee siam).  These Osim leg massagers as well as the Osim massage chairs kept my kids busy for a bit.


Vietnam Airlines Business Class Singapore to Ho Chi Minh
Airbus A321, Flight Time- 2 hours

Our first leg of the flight was to Ho Chi Minh.  The aircraft used was a relatively old Airbus A321. Curious that this version of the A321 had only 2 rows of Business class seats, in a 2-2 configuration, in front of the plane, making a total of only 8 Business class seats.  I was surprised because I had thought there were 4 rows.  The seats were wide and comfortable enough for a regional flight, however, they were old-school, and there was no individual inflight entertainment system.

Overall, service was very good for the short flight, even though the flight started out a little bumpy.   The usual hot towel and welcome drink (I got champagne) was served.  We had 3 choices for food, and the taste was not too bad.  More details in the video below.


Bus ride from plane to Terminal
Upon landing, there was no aerobridge, and passengers had to disembark via staircase and take a bus to the terminal.  Disembarkation is always tricky with stairs, because of cabin luggage.  Thankfully we made it.  Not sure how it is done if the passenger has difficulty climbing stairs!  For Business class passengers, there was a separate bus catered just for us.  So the 6 pax in Business took one small bus to the terminal, which meant we did not have to wait for the rest of the passengers and we arrived at the terminal very quickly.  Here is a video of the planes I saw on the way.  The bus had to stop because an Emirates Boeing 777 jet was pulling into an aerobridge.  If the bus didn't stop and we got in front of the jet, we may be sucked into (or blown away) the jet engines.


Lotus Lounge Ho Chi Minh Airport
The lounge was rather crowded when we got there.  Fortunately, the far end of the lounge was still empty and the four of us could find a very nice corner to park ourselves.  We would be here for quite some time (the layover was more than 6 hours!) because we arrived at around 7PM local time and the flight was not till close to 1AM the next morning.  If you were wondering why the flight connection time was so bad, well the answer was that we chose it to save money.  There was a later flight from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh that arrived at around 9pm.  However, taking the earlier flight saved us a few hundred dollars.  Since we had access to a lounge, why not.  Just chill, we were on holiday.

This review gives you a good overview of the lounge.  We enjoyed the hot Vietnamese Pho, even though we weren't very hungry as we had just had food on the plane.


In the next blog post, I will show you the Ho Chi Minh to London leg, this time on a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.  But before I go, here is a video of us walking to the Lotus Lounge, while in Ho Chi Minh terminal.

Thanks for reading!

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