Review of Vietnam Airlines flight Hanoi Beijing in Business

Airline Vietnam Airlines
Flight VN900
Class Business
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 03:35
Take-off 14 Apr 10, 10:10
Arrival at 14 Apr 10, 14:45
VN   #43 out of 92 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 223 reviews
By SILVER 3537
Published on 31st August 2013
This is the return flight of the FR posted here:
This FR was originally posted in my native French there:

Check-in is very quick, which provides me ample time to go to the lounge, which is huge and carefully decorated. The few steps which cut the area in two is a plus, from the aesthetics point of view (I think I saw a wheelchair ramp). The view is excellent, but not the weather. There is an ample supply of tasty looking food, but I had a good breakfast in the hotel, and I did not try it.

photo P1310198aphoto P1310199aphoto P1310200a

A Korean Air 747 freighter with its jaw open, then closed (a VN plane arrived in the mean time)

photo P1310207aphoto P1310208a

An A321 like the one that I am going to board

photo P1310204a

Like on the way in, the aircraft is not pier-side. Business class passengers take a minibus, but boarding is by both front and rear doors of the aircraft. This has little impact on the business class passengers, but it forces the economy class passengers to cross each other in the aircraft, because there is no separation according to their seat's location. The result is needlessly messy.

photo P1310213a

The flight attendants are prettier than on the way in, and are thinner. One of them as oversized fake eyelashes… OK, is she likes that. I find the apron worn for serving the meals more beautiful than the uniform that it covers. They do not take my jacket, unlike on the way in, but this is no issue, since the seat next to me is free. No English language newspaper and the IFE remains dark during the whole flight.

photo P1310220a

A notable effort of the captain who delivers his announcements in commendable English and hesitant Mandarin, which is shortened version of the original.

Due to the late availability of the aircraft due to a wheel change (sic), the plane takes off 55 minutes late, vs. 25 minutes announced in the airport

From the vicinity of Wuhan onward, an hour of strong turbulences, way beyond anything I had experienced so far in Chinese airspace. Flight attendants at your seat with seat belt fastened, orders the captain, and this is no over-precaution is such conditions. Maybe the captain privileged a direct route to the detriment of comfort to recover some time on the schedule.

This is the menu:
photo P1310217a

There is more food than on the way in, because the hot meal is served after the appetizer, as quickly as on the way in. The whole meal is also much better. This time, the bread is hot and soft. I forgot to take a picture before eating one of the shrimps!

photo P1310222aphoto P1310224a

Touchdown 30 minutes late, which means that the plane recovered 25 minutes. Arrival pier-side ten minutes later, a corridor that I know well and going through Chinese immigration is extremely fast.
See more


Vietnam Airlines

Cabin crew8.5

Vietnam Airlines Business Lounge


Hanoi - HAN


Beijing - PEK



Much better food (both in the lounge and in the air) than on the way in from Beijing. The overall grade is lowered by the late arrival, but VN nevertheless provided an excellent flight.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 85738 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6359 Comments
    A much better overall experience on this return flight. I really like the decoration of the VN lounge; it has a colonial-era old-time luxurious feel to it. The meal certainly looks much better than on the way over. 0/10 for the entertainment? Did you mean to do that--seems quite harsh if so. Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 280697 by
      marathon SILVER AUTHOR 10025 Comments
      Entertainment on board ? There was none : no IFE and Vietnamese newspapers only. When a student gives a blank paper, his grade is zero, and the same is true of airlines. OK, let's admit that these newspapers are worth 1/10. Administrators added VN's lounge, so I added my ratings in that report.
    • Comment 280701 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6359 Comments long was the flight. 3 hours? I think that with this new entertainment rating we should treat it like we do LCCs and meals i.e. 5/10 for no IFE on short/medium-haul. It's pretty normal, IMO, not to have any IFE/PTVs on a short flight on a narrowbody. Any kind of IFE then becomes a bonus. That's just my opinion, but it follows the logic of our past rating practices
  • Comment 85760 by
    Leadership TEAM BRONZE 5416 Comments
  • Comment 85764 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 9762 Comments
    I agree with you all catering looks fesher and more elaborate than on the way in. I think VN could do better with just a little effort.

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