Monday, December 18, 2017

Japan 2017: Flying with Vietnam Airlines


For my trip to Tokyo this year, I flew with Vietnam Airlines, one of the airlines under SkyTeam Alliance. The return trip that I chose required a transit in Ho Chi Minh, both ways.


After confirming my trip with my sister, I was deliberating between MAS and AirAsia - the latter was winning with its cheap prices but since I flew with AirAsia previously when I went to Japan (twice!), I was interested in giving other airlines a chance.


And I thought it'd be nice to fly on a full-service flight. 😜

So I looked at JAL, ANA, Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines. At that time they were offering about RM1200 for return trip, with Vietnam Airlines offering the lowest, at about RM750+!


But I took my time to decide because I was low on funds (I didn't plan to go to Japan this year, but this happened) until it was nearing the trip!


Yup, I only got my tickets about one and a half months before my trip. At that time all the prices on the official airlines' websites had already reached RM1500, something that we were not willing to pay.


In the end I resorted to Expedia and we scored return tickets at about RM950 per person! The price included meals on all four flights, seat selection and 30 kg luggage allowance (2 pieces)!


So yeah, Vietnam Airlines it was!


Flight departed from KLIA (KUL) at 7.10 pm. The flight was comfortable, the cabin crew was nice and good looking (I really love the stewardess' uniform, the national costume ao dai). It was a smooth journey.

Dinner is served


I love this sago pudding in gula melaka syrup


Arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 8.10 pm local time (HCM is 1 hour behind of Kuala Lumpur). We had until the next morning to kill time but we decided not to leave the airport and proceeded to go through transit security process straight and enter the terminal.



Had dinner at the food court even though we already had our meals on the plane. #gluttons


But that was the only opportunity for us to eat pho!


And Vietnamese rolls!


Payment can be made with US dollars so you don't have to change your currency if you're just going to stay in the airport. There was Burger King too!

We slept nearby the food court in front of a TV and thankfully were not the only ones. We were't prepared for the low temperature in the airport - I only had a shawl while my sister had her sweater so it was quite an uncomfortably cold night! Be sure to have some blankets/thick clothing if you're planning to sleep at the airport.


Flight out was scheduled at 6.25 am, and we had opportunity to enjoy Vietnam's sunrise, which started at about 5.30 am!








Breakfast choice was between Japanese or Western. Obviously I chose Japanese-style breakfast to prep myself for Japan.

😁

Rice, saba and vegetables

side dishes


look at the fluffs





entering Japan

The journey was about 5.5 hours, but since Tokyo is 2 hours ahead of Ho Chi Minh, we lost some time there.

spotted the ANA Star Wars plane while landing

Landed smoothly at about 2-something in the evening, marking the start of our Tokyo trip!


Sorry but I have nothing to write about our flight back.

Our flight from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh was supposed to depart at 9.30 am, but it got delayed up til 11-something?

We managed to drop our bags and got to use the SkyTeam Alliance priority lane because we did online check-in, but our original itinerary had only less than 2 hours transit. So imagine our horror that our flight got delayed for almost 2 hours!

We reached Ho Chi Minh and rushed out, there was a staff of Vietnam Airlines waiting for us after exiting the plane and he told us our gate number. Quickly went through security and dashed to our gate to see "Final Call" flashing at the door.

PHEW.

We made it home, but our bags didn't, so off to Malaysia Airlines Lost & Found counter we went to report.

😥

Anyways, it was a pleasant experience flying with Vietnam Airlines, apart from the delay.

We noticed that there were a lot of Japanese and Korean people traveling on the airline as well.

I wouldn't mind choosing it again if the offer is good and/or when I'm on a tight budget. But I think I'll ensure my transit time to be long just in case there are delays. LOL.

Looking forward to flying with other airlines next time(s)!

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