Reader review: Vietnam Airlines A350 premium economy, Melbourne-HCMC

By Goldmember | Mar 14, 2019, 06:42 PM
As a rusted on Qantas/Oneworld flyer, it takes a bit to nudge me out of the system. After looking at all the options, the only way I could get direct flights for the days I wanted was to go with Vietnam Airlines.


When quoted, the difference between Premium and standard economy was not massive (approx 900AUD vs 1400AUD).


Aside from more space, Premium gets its own check in queue and boards via the business queue. Queuing in the economy queue is one of the more daunting prospects for someone that has been gold for a long time so this was almost as appealing as the extra room.


Flying to HCMC I was in 12C, but was lucky to have 12A empty which afforded more space. The seats are reasonably comfortable, but at 6'5" it is still a bit snug and legroom under the seat in front was cluttered with what I assume is an entertainment box.


First time for me in an A350, the plane is reasonably quiet despite being seated just ahead of the wing, Service is prompt with drinks coming out quicker than some recent Qantas International Business trips. Food was pretty average, of the four services I had on the two flights 3 Asian and 1 western meal, my advice is stick with the Asian meals.


Returning on the overnight flight from HCMC to Melbourne, I was in 12C again, however, 14D and 14E were empty when the doors closed. Unlike Qantas they were Ok with me moving in to claim the seat before departure. Immediately I noticed there was more room under the seat in front, so for taller passengers, this is a better seat option. Sleeping though was still hard work, but still achievable.


Overall - I would say that Vietnam Airlines Premium Economy is in the "Economy Plus" camp, not the "Business Lite" class. Service is prompt, food and drinks options aren't the greatest, but do the job. Entertainment was OK, decent range of options, but I tend to watch Netflix downloads on my tablet. Departure and arrival were both on time, so really, there is nothing to complain about. Would take it again to over non-direct flights.


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By Goldmember | Mar 14, 2019, 06:48 PM
Additional Photos

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By sid | Mar 14, 2019, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the review Goldmember!
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By oliverkeighley | Mar 14, 2019, 07:41 PM
I flew PE on the 787 and highly recommend it for the price.

Am flying VN to London later in April in PE, fare paid was AUD 1300, and have submitted an optiontown bid to upgrade to business on the longer Hanoi-London leg, cost USD 500.

As far as I was concerned on the 787, wide armchair style seats, good pitch at 38" but felt like more.

Fortunately I am only 5ft11!

Ollie
Last edited by oliverkeighley at Mar 14, 2019, 07.44 PM.
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By ChrisCh | Mar 15, 2019, 11:03 AM
Thanks for sharing Goldmember, and if anybody wants to compare with the premium economy on Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787s, we've published a review of a premium economy flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney (as well as Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787's business class from Sydney to Hanoi).
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By tris06 | Mar 15, 2019, 08:41 PM
Looks okay. And also business lite like PE usually sells for atleast a few hundred more. I also find it difficult sleeping in Premium Economy even with extra leg room when sliding the seat into its lowest position my legs get cut off.
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By Aidan | Mar 16, 2019, 08:13 AM
Bahn mi as a breakfast/lunch option 🍳 would be awesome 😎.

I have never flown this airline, this review has provided great insight to the PE product.
Great price aswell..

Thanks
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By khtbtravels | Mar 16, 2019, 10:49 AM
Fares for PE/business class to Europe with Vietnam airlines are cheaper than other airlines but you need a transit visa and that is too inconvenient to fly with VN airlines.
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By Joe | Mar 17, 2019, 12:09 AM
You get what you pay for. You payed half what Qantas would charge if they had a HCMC route for not much more!
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By Digicola | Mar 18, 2019, 03:26 PM
Fares for PE/business class to Europe with Vietnam airlines are cheaper than other airlines but you need a transit visa and that is too inconvenient to fly with VN airlines.

I don't know about Hanoi but I've transitted multiple times in HCMC from international to international on an Australian passport and have never had problems
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By ptcruiser | Mar 19, 2019, 10:03 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed flying Vietnam Airlines Business Class a couple of years ago and that was on the old A330 so I would imagine the new 787 and A350 are far superior with just as great service and value. A very good way to fly to Europe from Sydney for example and splurge on PE or Business Class. The only slight negative being you have to basically night stop on the way back due connection timing but that's not such a bad thing as you can explore the amazing cities.
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By Goldmember | Mar 22, 2019, 09:21 PM
You get what you pay for. You payed half what Qantas would charge if they had a HCMC route for not much more!

Well I would have flown Qantas by default, but there were no direct flight options. Time is worth more than price.
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