✅ Trip Verified
| A giant leap in 5 years It's been 5 years since I last flew with Vietnam Airlines and I was less than impressed back then. But a very good price and the convenience of direct flights had me back in a blue and gold Boeing 787 flying Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City and returning 8 days later. Others more talented have sung the praises of the 787 and its mostly true. There were noteworthy variations between the flight over and the return. It is these disparities that VNA needs to address if it is to progress in the airline rankings. Boarding in Sydney on a cool morning the cabin was uncomfortably hot and fully open air vents didn't help. Push back was almost 30 minutes after scheduled departure and take off almost 15 minutes later. An annoyance in my seat was the overhead reading light which continually turned on by itself. It wasn't until I began using the IFE that I discovered the remote control on the top of the seat armrest not only activated the light, but the crew call alert, and the stop/play/end on the IFE. If a passenger uses the armrest that has a control, they're going to have an eventful flight. The cabin crew call alert was heard every few minutes throughout the flight. It's set off accidentally so often, the crew ignore it. This design flaw requires rectification. Every pre-recorded cabin announcement was almost inaudible, as they have been on past VN flights. Announcements by the crew were audible and the flight deck announcements were too loud and a little distorted. Meals were quite good and tasty, and the cabin crew were more friendly than they have been in the past, although it seems there may be a rule that cabin crew are not allowed to smile. SGN back to SYD was quite a contrast. Boarding commenced 30 minute prior to departure and was well organised. Push back was close to scheduled departure and we were airborne without much delay. In-flight comfort kit was distributed along with a menu. Again, the armrest remote had the crew call alarm going off continually. Dinner was served about an hour after departure and was superb. I had the beef stroganoff which was delicious. Drink service was generous and the crew very attentive. Overall, the IFE choices are a marked improvement with fairly good choices of movies and TV programs - keeping in mind it is Vietnam Airlines and about 80% of passengers are Viets. Breakfast was also excellent and the crew very attentive. All cabin announcement could be clearly heard and understood and the toilets cleaned about every 30 minutes. The crew were far more "passenger-focused" on this flight and more friendly. There was quite a variance in the service standards between both flights and its these inconsistencies that VNA needs to rectify if they are to get the sought-after 5 star rating. In closing, the Vietnam Airlines product is a massive improvement in 5 years and one can only hope it continues.