VietJet is Vietnam’s incarnation of a low-cost airline. VietJet is a publicly listed company and has been enjoying a competition-free environment in its sector as AirAsia hasn’t decisively moved in yet.
The VietJet website was a bit clunky to work with and it took some back and forth to get the ticket I wanted. The website itself is fast but the booking workflow is very one-directional – it did not like me jumping to and fro. Somewhat misleading, fares are listed as $15 but come out to $55 including fuel surcharges and airport fees. In most countries, this would be classed as misleading advertising – and for good reason!
Check-in at Saigon Airport had long lines (there is no online check-in for international flights) but they moved quickly and 45 minutes later I had cleared check-in, immigration, and security.
I was offered an emergency exit row window seat without asking.
I only showed up with a small backpack which did not raise any issues. I felt like anything that would likely fit into the overhead bins would be fine and would get the little, red hand luggage tag. Nobody started crying over high bag fees at check-in, that is.
I’m not sure what it is but (former) communist countries seem to have very efficient airports and shine at punctuality for their air traffic – just a random thought. So was my experience that day.
There is a Priority Pass lounge (Orchid Lounge) on the other side of the airport. The seats were comically uncomfortable but the cooler was well stocked and some food options looked surprisingly appetizing.
While Saigon Airport has a number of jet bridges, VietJet loves its bus gates and the planes are all parked at the far end of the airport – almost in a different section. Boarding was right to the minute as printed in my boarding pass. Everyone followed directions and while the bus transfer was long, it moved fast enough for our on-time departure.
The A320 fleet is as standard as you can imagine. It could easily be switched to another low-cost airline in a heartbeat – just a paint job would be required. The slimline seats come with 29 inches of legroom and are all leather.
The biggest upgrade is likely the winglets, which seem to be the latest setup for maximum fuel saving.
There is a seat pocket but only minimal security and onboard food info are in there.
After a routine flight, we landed at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – yes, VietJet does not use Don Mueang Airport like most other low-cost airlines. This is great if you’d like to take the airport train or have an international connection from BKK.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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