Flight number: VN 786
Route: Sydney to Hanoi, Vietnam
AirCraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Class: Business Class Seat 2D
Flight time: 8 HRS and 55 minutes
Spirits are high as I board the inaugural Vietnam Airlines flight from Sydney to Hanoi. There is plenty to celebrate on this milestone trip, as I am welcomed with a Heidsieck & Co Monopole champagne and relax into my Business Class seat.
Vietnam Airlines has expanded its services with the addition of three flights weekly on a direct route between Sydney and Vietnam’s capital Hanoi. We are flying on the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, and it’s simply delightful. The one-two-one seat configuration ensures all Business Class passengers get an aisle seat.
The spacious seats have plenty of compartments to stow your necessities as well as a USB plug and power point to charge your devices inflight. The armrest can be lowered or locked in position for your comfort, and there’s a pillow, blanket and slippers provided also.
The crew is friendly and welcoming. Choose from signature cocktails inflight like the ‘Hello Vietnam’ with Campari, Orange juice and sprite, or the ‘Saigon Sunlight’ with whisky, lemon juice, sugar syrup and sprite.
The menu is a mix of Vietnamese and Western food. I was well catered for with my special low lactose meal. An entrée of salad and soup was followed by a delicious main of grilled beef fillet, Lyonnaise potato and vegetables. I had to turn a blind eye to the divine dessert offerings of cheese, ice cream and mini pastries (cursing my lactose intolerance), but I savoured my fresh fruits anyway.
I popped on the luxe noise-cancelling headphones (no dodgy foam headsets here) and popped out the 15.4 inch screen. LotuStar, Vietnam Airlines’ inflight entertainment system, offers a great range of new release movies (Bad Moms, Doctor Strange, Bridget Jones’s Baby), classic films (Big and Say Anything) and recent favourites (500 Days of Summer) as well as a selection of Asian cinema.
There was a smaller collection of TV shows in the system, but audio options were good and ranged from Adele to Asian pop and country to classical. It is just one touch of a button to recline the seat 180 degrees to a fully flat bed, perfect for a mid-flight nap, after one too many movies.
The Chopard amenities kit was a nice touch with Chopard body lotion and lip balm. All in all, this was a smooth first flight from Sydney to Hanoi, which left me relaxed and ready to explore Vietnam.