This trip was made during the 2015 Christmas holidays. I wanted to try the new A350 and VN has incredible prices from Shanghai to Europe on business class. The return ticket cost me less than USD1,500 including tax. Since VN is also part of Skyteam, it was a very good opportunity to end 2015 and credit my Flying Blue to secure Platinum level for next year.
I arrived at HAN from Shanghai in late afternoon and went to the VN lounge for the 6 hours layover. All airlines using the VN lounge
Entrance to the VN Lounge
The VN lounge is very basic. Quite large with plenty of space with a buffet section with cold and hot food. Mainly local specialties such as Pho noodles. The beverage selection is very limited and alcohol is served on request at the bar. Few spririts are available with local beer and one white and red wine (unfortunately no bubbles…) Picture Corporate from the lounge
The new Hanoi airport is clean and modern. however, there is no any personal touch and very basic facilities(quite boring actually) I find the terminal very similar to what we have now in China (only few shops selling fruits, local souvenirs and some restaurants) Flights display for tonight
I then made my way to the gate (near the lounge)
The brand new A350, less than 6 months old in VN fleet
After boarding the plane, I went straight to my seat 4A on my own. The FA will only greet you at the door and not escorting any passengers to their seat.
Chopard Amenity Kit
The cabin interior is very nice despite no mood lighting. No overhead bin in the middle give a sensation of space in the business cabin
The cabin was almost full tonight with lot of Europeans going back for Christmas holidays.
The flight eventually took off on time and flight attendants gave us the menu.
Selection of western or Vietnamese were available and dinner service has started only 20 minutes after being airborne. The service is without trolley and each passengers is being served directly from the galley making it more intimate and somehow personalized.
I select the western selection. It was correct. But nothing to crave for.
After dinner, I went to the toilet before startingmy long sleep.
I managed to sleep over 6 hours and woke up over Georgia. I found the seat controls and remote easy to use but unfortunately, the controls are too bright and can disturb you during your sleep.
The IFE is really poor. There were only a selection of less than 5 foreign movies and a large selection of Vietnamese movies ans soap operas. VN does not have any onbaord camera avaiable. Also no Wifi available. There was the "onAir" connection but the system was not working (the FA had no clue about it)
Two hours prior landing, the cabin lighting was turned on (pity there is no mood lighting) and they started the breakfast service.
I have asked for a glass a champagne and make it a brunch! (it was noon time in Asia after all)
Our flight path from the IFE. I wonder why there is a camera above the screen.
We landed in Paris at dawn and it was still dark
Arrival at CDG 2E was a bit confused with long lines to pass the customs but it was the weekend prior X Mas holidays and a lot of French families arriving from all over making it quite busy on this Sunday morning.
Vietnam Airlines Business Lounge
Hanoi - HAN
Paris - CDG
It was a very good experience. My first on business long haul on VN. And first on A350 The plane is very silent, even better than A380 upper deck.
The hard product is great except the IFE. Th flight attendants are nice but with limited service only. They do their job and that's about it. Nothing to remember.
I find VN being a true 4 star airlines. Since they have new planes such as A350 and B787, it is now a real competitor on the market and great Skyteam member in Asia. (Still lower than Garuda but much better than China Southern or China Eastern)
I can't wait for VN to deploy the B787 or A350 on their Australian routes (the recliner seat on their 777 is just out of this world!)
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