Monday, November 24, 2014

Vietnam Airlines Business Class

Want a little taste of Vietnam? I'll be updating my blog with photos of my experience, from flight to food to other randomness. 
Welcome aboard to Vietnam Airlines Business Class. 

Lets talk about the cost of these airfares, the usual price range from $700 (off peak) to $1500 (peak season) on economy class, so it seems ridiculous to spend over $3k for an 8 hr return trip from Melbourne to Saigon on Business class. Have you heard of OPTIONTOWN? Optiontown is a site where you can upgrade from "economy" to "business" class on various airlines (including Vietnam Airlines). It cost approximately $300-$500 each away to upgrade (double for return cost) on top of the original airfares you paid for. For example, on off peak season you pay $700 (economy class) + $600 (optiontown upgrade return) = $1300 for a Business class seat through Optiontown. Personally I think this is a fantastic find, especially when you are going on a honeymoon or a special occasion and you want to be treated like royalty at a fraction of the original price. Is there a catch? Yes but no biggy:
  1. Once you have your economy airfares, go onto Optiontown, fill in the blanks (including the PNR # on your ticket) then press show upgrade... prices and seats availability will show up. After payments are made, there will be a confirmation of your debit. However Optiontown does not guarantee customers a seat until the date of departure, if there is no available seats money will be reimburse into your account. That has never happened to me so I'm sure it won't happen to you
  2. Business class customers usually get 40kg of luggages whereas economy are only allowed 30kg on Vietnam Airlines, hence upgrading your seat on Optiontown does not mean you can get that extra 10kg. Remember to pack under 30kg even if you purchase an upgrade on Optiontown
  3. Business class customers have access to business lounge, even though you've got the upgrade, you have NO access into the business lounge.
  4. You will get a front of line pass, so when going through customs you can go into all express lanes without queuing. 
  5. When checking in, just wait at the designated gate, and listen up for your name on the overhead speakers. Once your name is called, go to the gate front desk and your upgrade ticket will be replaced with your old economy class ones... ENJOY!

How are the services? I would have thought stewardess would be extra polite and friendly on this class, besides doing a job well done, some of their attitude and snobbiness were also up there somewhere. Don't get me wrong, this isn't my first experience on business class, other groups of cabin crews who served us on other occasions were awesome... but not today. So please don't take them the wrong way if you get some attitude from a few of them. 
Another annoying thing on Vietnam Airline flights are their bad English accents, I feel sorry for those who don't understand Vietnamese on these flights because I cannot understand their strong English accent on the overhead speakers. 

On another note we had an overflow of food, the seats reclined and we could lay comfortably flat with an abundant of games and Hollywood movies to watch (The Great Gatsby was fantastic).
 Entree: smoke fish, prawns and chicken on bread. This isn't my thing, but others seemed to like it. It's chilled, salty and fish was raw. 
Another entree: coleslaw, raw beef, chicken, tomato salad and capsicum. 
 Garlic bread and the soup was delicious, I loved it!
beef steamed veggies on rice, again I didn't enjoy this that much
udon, scallop and veggies
rice, mango, pork, mushroom and baby corn
Dessert: fruits, coconut tart, ice cream, coffee and tea
We were welcomed by pouring rain, it was humid and sticky but that's the feeling of being in Vietnam. 


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