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newbief1yer
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Part 3 - Long way to Vietnam - VietJet - Domestic Vietnam - A320

Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:53 pm

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Video Report:

VietJet VJ306 - Ho Chi Minh - Hui - A320-200 (VN-A671)
VietJet VJ724 - Da Nang - Haiphong - Airbus A320-200 (VN-A681)

Background

During our trip across Vietnam, our next leg, after HCMC, we aimed at reaching the central part of Vietnam - Hue, Danang and Hoi An.

Plan was to fly into Hue and then make our way to Hoi An over 4 days.

To our luck, the week we were travelling was the Tet Festival (Vietnamese New Year's) and the Air tickets had sky rocketed!

But since we had no other choice, decided to bite the bullet and book the VietJet flight from HCMC to Hue at 14:00 on the 13th Feb. The normal fare, on this route, if you book in advance, is around $20-$25 all in. We had to pay over $100 per ticket! Hopefully no Bikini clad Flight attendants on this flight :)

All in, for 7 tickets, costed us $761! Sigh!

VietJet website is like the old Ryanair website. They automatically add luggage and insurance for you, and you have to proactively un-tick them. Not a good looking website, but it was quick to respond and achieved what we wanted to do.

This series of trip reports will be split into 5 reports:

1. BA to Shanghai (WTP)
2. Vietnam Airlines from Shanghai to HCMC (in Business)
3. Domestic Vietnam in VietJet
4. China Southern from Hanoi to Shanghai via Guangzhou.
5. And finally our return back to London from Shanghai on BA (Club World)


Thanks to GCMaps, route map of the entire trip and this part of the report

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Heading to the Airport
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Vietjet Air - VJ306
Route: SGN - HUI
Flight Reg:VN-A671; Delivered to VietJet on Feb 2016
Aircraft Type: Airbus 320-200
Seat: 18F
Flight time: 14:00 - 15:20 on the day pre-notification of a new flight timing of 14:45-16:05 (15:40 - 16:40 )
Actual flight time: 1 Hr
Distance: 391 Miles
Load: 100%
13 Feb 2018
My Log book: 1st Flight on VietJet/ 35th flight on Airbus 320-200/ 152nd Total overall flight


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Day before flight I was able to check in online, albeit only one at a time! I had to input the reference numbers and the names of each passenger, check seats, confirm and then repeat it again for the next passenger -> 7 times. Well, at least I was able to select seats and check in, so all good in that respect.

On the day of the flight received an email stating that the flight had been rescheduled to 14:45, a delay of 45 minutes from the original schedule.

The drive to the airport was alright, rather slow but 45 minutes is acceptable in Vietnam.

Being the busy Tet holiday period understandably the airport was heaving with people.

VietJet have a separate terminal area within the domestic check in desks which is quite handy. They have circa 45 check in desks in operation and check in was brisk. We were checked in within 10 minutes of entering the airport.

Saigon Airport (VietJet) Terminal
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FIDS
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Hello - Check in desks
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Security was quick too. Quite impressive given the number of people. They did have quite a lot of X-ray counters opened.

Once in the departure area you're led to believe that there is only a small area. But climbing up the steps you are transported to the main departures area. Quite extensive range of restaurants and food options along with a host of duty free shopping too.

Busy airside section
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If you're ever traveling VietJet do go upstairs as there is quite a lot to do to while away your time.

Post Lunch spent 30 minutes walking around the terminal and headed to our boarding gate. Extremely busy and no place to sit.

Quieter section, upstairs
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Plane spotting at SGN:

VietJet A321
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Boarding was delayed and when it started it was a complete nightmare. 1 queue magically turned to 4. There's supposed to be sky boss priority boarding but it wasn't checked.

We were bussed to the aircraft. Probably one of the most overpacked airport busses.

Our flight's delayed
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Boarding gate
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Chaos during boarding -> 2 lines becomes 5!
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Theme for this trip -> Bussed again to the aircraft
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You know you are in Vietnam when even airport staff have a 2-wheeler
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Our ride for this sector
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A sea of Vietnam Airlines, before boarding
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First impressions

It was a typical LCC A320. The overhead luggage bin was filled with advertisements and the seat pitch at the legal minimum. For an hours flight it wouldn't make a difference.

VietJet - First Impressions
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Safety card
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Safety demonstration
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View from the window
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Flight time of an hour announced by our Spanish pilot. I did notice quite a few foreign looking pilots at the airport flying for VietJet.

Plane spotting during taxiing
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A VietJet A320 leased from Freebird
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An Eva Air B77W
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What is this doing here? A Biman B777-200 (S2-AHK)
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Bye Bye Saigon
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Paid drinks and snacks round commenced as soon as we reached cruising altitude. A can of diet coke costed 1 USD (20000 VND).

Hmmm, what do I eat?
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A Coke Zero should do for now
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40 minutes later it was time to descend
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Rest of the flight was uneventful in a good way. As expected our arrival was delayed. But once on the ground it was a quick exit as Hue was a relatively small airport and our bags arrived quickly.

Next part of this report will be of our flight from Da Nang to Haiphong, once again on VietJet… soon..

..And we have landed in Hue
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Disembarking the aircraft
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The shortest bus ride to the terminal
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Baggage collection
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All here
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Hue Arrivals
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Exiting Hue Airport
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newbief1yer
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Posts: 644
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Re: Part 3 - Long way to Vietnam - VietJet - Domestic Vietnam - A320

Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:30 pm

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*Courtesy gcmap.com

VietJet Air -VJ724 (Old VJ722)
Route: DAD - HPH
Flight Reg:VN-A681; Delivered to VietJet on June 2013; previously with Airphil Express (Philippines); built Nov 2010
Aircraft Type: Airbus 320-200
Seat: 12F
Flight time: 12:40 - 13:55 (Actual: 13:20 - 14:09) (Old:08:25 - 09:40)
Actual flight time: 49 min
Distance: 343 Miles
Load: 100%
17 Feb 2018
My Log book: 2nd Flight on VietJet/ 36th flight on Airbus 320-200/ 153rd Total overall flight


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Our second flight booking via VietJet was a lot more reasonably priced at $265 all in for 7 tickets. This was to take us from Da Nang (DAD ) to Cat Bi International airport (HPH) for our next part of the trip around the HA Long bay/Cat Ba Island area.

Having traversed VietJet website previously I was aware of the pitfalls so it was a much more easier and intuitive experience this time.

A month before the flight, it looks like this flight has been cancelled and VietJet has put us all on the 12:40 flight to Cat Bi. This meant that I had rearrange the taxi pick up from the airport at Cat Bi.

Day before flight online check in was as before. One by one. I had also paid for an extra baggage to be checked in. Looked like a full flight and we had the group to be split when selecting seats.

On the day of the flight. It was a quick 8 minute drive to the airport. Da nang domestic airport is quite functional for what it is.

Approaching Da Nang Domestic Terminal
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Da Nang International Airport terminal at the far end
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Group check in with VietJet worked a treat. Checked in in 10 minutes and also got seats assigned to be sat together. Very helpful gate agent.

Da Nang Domestic Terminal
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VietJet Check in desks
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Our flight seems to be on time
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Heading to security
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Once airside it's a very airy area and great views of the tarmac. Settled in for a quick beer before the flight.

Aircraft arrived from Haiphong 10 minutes late which meant a slightly late departure.

Airside at Da Nang Domestic Terminal
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Enjoying a refreshing beverage before flight :)
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Great view of the tarmac from the terminal
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Gates changed and boarding only commenced by 12:55. Boarding complete by 13 10 and airborne by 13 16.

Time to Board, this time a lot more orderly
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Our aircraft, playing peek-a-boo
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Boo..
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Cabin - First Impressions
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Exit row seating
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Blurred view out of the windows
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Infinite leg space
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Reading material on board
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Flight time of an hour announced with good flying conditions. Once again it was a foreign sounding pilot. Perhaps Italian.

Rest of the flight was uneventful and we landed 15 minutes behind schedule.

Bags arrived swiftly and we were out in no time.

Not too many photos after this, due to the blurred windows. Just after taking off from Da Nang
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35 Minutes later, landing at Haiphong
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Disembarking at Haiphong
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Baggage collection
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Overall VietJet verdict

For the price paid (Except for the first sector which was an anomaly due to the Tet Festival), I could not ask or more. Clean aircrafts, reasonably on time (Vietnam standards) and overall decent service. For domestic Vietnam travel this was ideal for us and given the frequent flights they have from most of the main locations in Vietnam, you are never too far away from a VietJet flight.

Hope you liked this edition of the report. The next set would be for our flight from Hanoi to Shanghai, via Guangzhou on China Southern. I shall try and get the edit done as soon as possible.

Until then happy and safe flying, adios!

Exiting the airport
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newbief1yer
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Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 3 - Long way to Vietnam - VietJet - Domestic Vietnam - A320

Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:39 pm

Few pictures from our trip, thus far

Boat ride across the Mekong Delta
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Chùa Vĩnh Tràng - One of the many Pagodas visited
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MEkong Delta
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Tomb of Tự Đức, Hue
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Thien Mu Pagoda - Chùa Thiên Mu
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Marble Mountain
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Hoi An
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Dragon Bridge - Da Nang
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 3 - Long way to Vietnam - VietJet - Domestic Vietnam - A320

Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:39 pm

Previous Trip Reports

Part 2 - Long way to Vietnam - Vietnam Airlines A350 to Saigon - Business Class
Part 1 - Long way to Vietnam - BA to Shanghai - Club World
Weekend trip to Budapest on FlyBe (SEN) and BA (LHR)
Part 4 - KLM from Beijing to London via Amsterdam - B787-9 & ERJ190
Part 3 - Spring Airlines - Seoul Incheon to Shijiazhuang - Airbus 320-200
Part 2 - Korea Domestic on Korean Air and Jeju Air
Part 1 - London to Seoul on KLM? No. Air France? No. Korean Air?
Part 5 - Canadian Escapades - Vancouver to London - BA A380-800 - Club World
Part 4 - Canadian Escapades - Edmonton to Vancouver - WestJet B737-800
Part 3 - Canadian Escapades - Toronto to Calgary - Air Canada B767-300ER
Part 2 - Canadian Escapades - Quebec to Toronto - WestJet Encore Dash8 Q400
Part 1 - Canadian Escapades - London to Montreal - BA 787-8
Weekend in Bilbao - BA A320 - Photo + Video Report
Cambodian Escapades - China Southern B787, A321 and A320
Domestic Cambodian Escapades - Sky Angkor - KOS-REP - A320
Weekend in Zurich - Swiss and BA (Club Europe) - Airbus 320-200
Weekend at Cinque Terre - BA to Bologna - Airbus 320-200
Journey to the East (Part 5, Final) - BA B747-400 (Club World)
Journey to the East (Part 4) - China Eastern A321-200
Journey to the East (Part 3) - Etihad 5th Freedom Route
Journey to the East (Part 2) - BA, JAL, Etihad, China Eastern
Journey to the East - BA, JAL, Etihad, China Eastern
Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX
London To Muscat On Gulf Air - A332 And A320
Part 4:India Domestic-9W, AI, SG On A321,B737,Q400
Part3: Phuket To India - Bangkok Airways -A320-200
Part 2:Thailand Domestic -Nok Air And Thai AirAsia
Part 1:Qatar Airways - Thailand And India
Part 3:BA Club Europe - LCA-LHR - Boeing 767-300
Part 2:Blue Air - Athens-Larnaca - Boeing 737-400
Part 1: Aegean Air - LGW-ATH-JTR - A320-200
Ryanair London(STN) To Lake Como (BGY)
Weekend In Belfast - Aer Lingus A319-100
BA First - PEK To LHR - Mid J B747-400
China Railway (CRH) - Video Report - SJW - Beijing
BA CW - Upper Deck To Beijing - High J B747-400
LAN Dreamliner (J) Experience - MAD FRA
Weekend In Trondheim - DY/SK - Boeing 737-800/600
Baltic Escapades - VNO/TLL/RIX On W6,BT And OV
South France - EasyJet A320 BA A319
UK To India - The EK Way - B777-200/300 & A380
India Domestic–Jet Airways And Indigo–A320/ATR 72
BA A320/321 - LHR To Berlin TXL - Christmas Day
China Southern - LHR-CAN-HKT - B787/A321
Cool Blue To BOS And Got Blue? To LAS - E190 A320
Mahalo Hawaii, Hello NYC - DL B767-300
Aloha! The United Way - B777-200 And B737-900
VS Little Red To ABZ And EZY Return
24 Hours On A 787! - Final Leg CZ - AKL-CAN-LHR
Part 5 - BHE-WLG-AKL On NZ Beech1900D And A320
Part 4 - MEL-AKL-ZQN On QA And NZ B738\A320
Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200
Part 2 - SYD - CNS On Virgin Australia E190
Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332
DREAM(liner)ING Of Hainan - China Southern
Panda Calling - BA LHR To CTU - Club World
China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU
China United Airlines (KN) - CTU - SJW - B737-700
Norwegian B737 - LGW-TOS-BGO-LGW
Jet Airways: LHR – COK
Barra Trip – that was not to be
Dusseldorf Calling - BA & EZY - Club/Eco - A321
Part 5: PVG-LHR - BA - Economy - B777
Part 4A&B - SHA-SJW-SHA - FM: Eco: B737
Part 3A&B : DXB-HKG-PVG: CX & KA :Eco: A333
Part 2: KWI-DXB - FlyDubai - Economy - B737
LHR - KWI - BA 747 - Part 1 - Middle East -China
Morocco Trip - LGW-RAK-TNG-LHR - EasyJet & Iberia
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8310
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

Re: Part 3 - Long way to Vietnam - VietJet - Domestic Vietnam - A320

Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:31 pm

Nice read & pictures.

Love Vietnam, will be returning in 2020, can’t wait!!
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 3 - Long way to Vietnam - VietJet - Domestic Vietnam - A320

Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:27 pm

Thanks.
Indeed, lovely country, very diverse and their food! I could happily be on a Vietnamese diet :)

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