Review of Vietnam Airlines flight Hanoi Moscow in Economy

Airline Vietnam Airlines
Flight VN65
Class Economy
Seat 33K
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 10:00
Take-off 10 Dec 16, 10:30
Arrival at 10 Dec 16, 16:30
VN   #92 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 196 reviews
SIN7
By 1775
Published on 27th December 2016
Decided to visit Moscow and St Petersburg this Dec. SQ has direct flights to DME from SIN. But with a few searches I found VN offering an absolutely value for money fare from SIN-HAN-DME-SGN-SIN with no extra charges for layover transit. So I took the opportunity to make a 4 day transit stop in Hanoi prior to the Moscow flight and a 2 day stop in Ho Chi Minh on the return.

This FR will be on the HAN-DME flight. Most pax in economy were Vietnamese long term residence of Moscow. Think they form the Vietnamese business community with their larges boxes during check-in. Think there were bout less than 20 Russians / Caucasian looking pax. We were the only non-Vietnamese and non-Russian. On the return DME-SGN, it was almost 90% Russians escaping the snow for the tropics.

The A330-200 that will fly HAN-DME
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Boarding was quite orderly
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My seat 33K
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Cabin view around 33K
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The middle seats had their seat cushions removed by the crew as not to allow pax to use the last 4 rows. Load was about 60% in Economy.
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Wet wipes given after all pax were on board.
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IFE was only operational after first meal service. Many pax (including me) thought it was not functioning. Anyways, about 50% were actually down. Not good for a 10 hour flight!
Anyways VN Lotus Star movies, tv and music selections were not that exciting. But good for re-runs and catch up if you miss any movies. This IFE system is the older version with VN crew in their old red uniform.
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Thinking my IFE was down I claimed 33AB. But it was not functioning too.
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Good to see VN giving out hard-copy menu cards. These were collected before landing.
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The return sector
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Drink service before lunch. Good range of juices, soft drinks, Vietnamese beer and wines.
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Lunch - Tamarind chicken with rice. Sounds exotic but rather ho-hum.
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Before landing - Beef and rice sounded boring. This was equally unexciting, but edible.
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Some pics during the flight


Approaching Moscow DME
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See more

Verdict

Vietnam Airlines

5.5/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi4.0
Meal/catering6.0

Hanoi - HAN

6.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Moscow - DME

5.3/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Have flown VN a few times. They are ok - Skytrax 4 stars. Over the years I seen improvements… online check-in, choice of seats, more orderly at airport check-in, better meals, IFE, newer a/c, new crew uniform and better language ability of crew engaging pax in English (including check-in staff).

Overall, VN Economy is fine product if you’re satisfied with above average inflight service.
Meals – Comes with menu. Two choices of mains – nothing to shout about. A range of drinks. Lots of instant cup noodles for in-between snacks… that’s all they have though for main cabin.

IFE – Hardware: Your luck depending on the a/c. On my outbound flight (A330-200), about 50% screens were not working. Survived on movies on my notebook. On my outbound flight ex-DME (A300-200), had a newer a/c and all screens were working on the new AVOD touch screen. IFE Programing: This part sucks… Movies, documentaries, tv shows, music not the latest. But you can find something you miss to catch up.

Crew – polite, courteous, helpful and as stated earlier, much better English language ability and more smiles than previous years. However, you’d only see them actively working during drinks and meals service. After that, they are all resting/sleeping/doing their own stuff at the galley. On the 10 hour flight HAN to DME, there was only one water run service in between the 2 main meals but you can help yourself to drinks and cup noodles at the galley. Main announcements were made by Chief Purser in Vietnamese, English and Russian. Procedural announcements like fasten seat belts due turbulence, prep for landing were pre-recorded in the 3 languages. Captain came on at the start and ending of the flight to give the usual flight direction, weather, time information in Vietnamese and English.

I don’t mind flying VN long-haul again but on their new A350 and B787s.

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3 Comments

  • Comment 379297 by
    KriegerHo 15 Comments

    Hi Sin7!

    You were lucky to have such nice service on your journey. I also travelled on Vietnam Airlines before, it was terrible!

    • Comment 379361 by
      SIN7 AUTHOR 12 Comments

      Hi KriegerHo,
      You’re quite right too. Most of my previous flights with VN I had cabin who didn’t smile, engage with pax or just didn’t feel like working. This year was an exception. On all sectors short SIN-HAN and SGN-SIN and long to DME vv, I could see improvements. But, they are still miles away from TG, PR, CI. Let’s not even talk about SQ, CX, MH, etc.

      • Comment 379389 by
        KriegerHo 15 Comments

        Yes, I agree! You can check it out on my two reports:
        1. http://flight-report.com/en/report/17899/Vietnam-Airlines-VN599-Hong-Kong-HKG-Ho-Chi-Minh-City-SGN
        2. http://flight-report.com/en/report/17900/Vietnam-Airlines-VN598-Ho-Chi-Minh-City-SGN-Hong-Kong-HKG

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