The Vietnam Airlines long haul Business Class in the Boeing 787 is a solid way to travel between Asia and Europe in comfort. In this extensive review, we’ll show you what to expect of flying with the airline!
There are quite a few international airlines in South East Asia and while the focus on travelers is often on products like the Singapore Airlines Business Class or the Cathay Pacific Business Class, Vietnam Airlines can be an attractive option for flights between Europe and Asia as well.
The airline is offer various routes to Europe and Australia from its hubs in Hanoi and Ho-Chi-Minh-City. I had the chance to fly from Hanoi to Frankfurt and did enjoy the experience even though there is still room for improvement.
The Vietnam Airlines Business Class in the Boeing 787 (and most Airbus A350) is in a reverse herringbone configuration.
The design elements in the Vietnam Airlines long haul Business Class are a bit odd if you ask me, particularly speaking of the color of the seat.
As it’s the norm with reverse herringbone seats, all are created equal, regardless of where you are seating. However, when travelling alone, I’d recommend sitting by the window.
If you are travelling with someone, the seat in the middle are better for communication, but due to the shape of the seats, it’s still a bit difficult to speak to each other.
The version of reverse herringbone seats Vietnam Airlines is using is a rather standard one, which I find to be decent.
My major complaint is that there is not all that much privacy in the head area as there’s no shield blocking the views from the gallery.
That said, the seat otherwise is comfortable and comes with decent padding. Regardless of what position you put the seat into, it’s generally comfortable.
A general complaint about reverse herringbone seats is the rather small area for the feet, which is particularly problematic when trying to sleep and moving around.
When it comes to storage, there’s an area right below the footrest, where you can put a small bag.
Furthermore, there are two exposed storage compartments, which I didn’t find all that practical as things are following out when turbulence occurs.
There’s also an enclosed compartment below the armrest, which is where I put most of my things.
The exposed table on the one side of the seat is a good thing though as you can easily put things there, including larger devices like a laptop. The main table folds out from underneath that area and is both, big and stable enough for working on it.
Right next to the area, where you are sitting in an upright position, you can find various control panels, including the seat control and the entertainment controller. Furthermore, this is where you can charge something via USB, plug in your headphones and find a reading light.
The entertainment screen has to be folded in this configuration, which I’d consider to be an issue, particularly as Vietnam Airlines doesn’t allow usage of the folded out screen for taxi, take-off and landing.
Anyway, I’d consider the seats in the Vietnam Airlines Business Class to be good, yet not exceptional. The privacy is decent, you don’t have a seatmate, the seats can be put in a fully flat position and there’s a fair amount of storage. Most important boxes are ticked!
When it comes to long haul flights in Business Class, sleeping is a particularly important aspect of the experience. As I’ve mentioned before, Vietnam Airlines offers fully flat seats, which offer a good sleeping comfort.
However, it’s worth noting that the seat is on the hard side and there is no further mattress sheet or even cover, so you are just laying on the somewhat hard seat, which I found only semi-comfortable.
The bedding in general is a bit disappointing as it only consists of a pillow and a thin blanket. I slept fairly well, but still wouldn’t consider the sleeping comfort to be particularly high.
Catering is an aspect of the experience in the Vietnam Airlines Business Class, which left me a bit puzzled. The beginning was actually quite nice with a welcome drink of choice being offered right after boarding.
The dinner service was a slightly different experience. Right after reaching the cruising altitude, a tray with the starter was brought out (I was asked for my choice while still on the ground).
The choice was between two different fish options (an oddity in my opinion) with one being a salmon roll and the other one shrimps with tuna and a mango salad. I chose the latter and thought it was okay.
On the try was another start of sorts, which I don’t really know how to describe (I wasn’t told what it was).
A selection from the bread basket was offered as well and the garlic bread I chose was yum.
When it comes to drinks, I was asked for my wishes once, where I ordered some Perrier. After that, I wasn’t offered any refills anymore and also no further drinks for dinner. The service continued with the main dish however, where I had originally opted for pork ribs with potatoes, but despite an empty cabin, this dish was already gone. The other options where Japanese style grouper and a Vietnamese Pho – I went with the latter.
It was a decent dish, but the meat was too fatty in my opinion. Anyways, the meal service was fine, particularly as it was really quick. However, service was okay at best and the food quality and choice weren’t great either. Breakfast was a bit better though and was also a quick affair.
Yogurt and fruits are offered for everyone and upon serving, you are also asked whether you want cornflakes or something from the bread basket. I went with a croissant, which wasn’t great, sadly. The fruits and yogurt were quite good though.
So was the main dish, where I went with the savory crêpe including scrambled eggs, mushrooms and more instead of a cold platter with cold cuts and cheeses or another pho.
All things considered, the catering experience in the Vietnam Airlines Business Class in the Boeing 787 was fair. It was not excellent, but also not too bad. Other Asian airlines are definitely better, however. For example, the Japan Airlines Business Class catering is on a totally different level.
When it comes to the entertainment, I was positively surprised by the fact that (German) newspapers were offered after boarding.
Furthermore, entertainment mainly consists of the system, which includes a couple of different options.
There are various movies, but the Western options aren’t that great.
You can obviously find a couple dozens movies and TV series, but I’ve definitely seen a better choice before.
Vietnam Airlines also doesn’t offer Wi-Fi on board, so I’d say that for example the Lufthansa Business Class offers a better entertainment.
When flying with Vietnam Airlines, you can also expect some further amenities. For example, all Business Class passengers receive slippers, which is nice for going to the lavatories.
The lavatories were kept clean during the whole flight and there were also some extra amenities.
Furthermore, a nice looking amenity kit is being distributed after boarding.
It includes what you would expect, including a toothbrush, socks, an eye mask, some creams, but nothing out of the ordinary.
It’s also worth noting that there are two restrooms in the Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787, so there were hardly any queues.
My flight in the Vietnam Airlines long haul Business Class was enjoyable and I arrived in Frankfurt relaxed. It’s worth noting that Vietnam Airlines sure doesn’t offer a spotless experience as the reverse herringbone seats are just good, not great and the catering and entertainment are average for international business class. Nevertheless, if the times are convenient and you are looking for a good price for direct flights to Vietnam, I’d recommend giving the airline a shot!