The day started around 5am when the alarm went off. Ugh. Everything was packed, all I had to do was shuffle along like the sleep-deprived zombie that I was, get some coffee into me so I could make it out the door 🙂 Farewelled the cat, who was even purring, happy at the prospect of a few hours peace and quiet once we’re out of the way. Fortunately we have some lovely people house-and-cat-and-plant sitting while we’re away, so everything should be fine on that front.
At the airport, check-in was fine, the “smart gate” worked, I don’t miss the old days of filling out departure forms to hand to angry people.
Minutes later we arrived at the Skyteam Lounge to wait for our flight. The lounge has been refurbished since we were last here back in 2015, it looks nice, there was some standard Bain-Marie food (bacon, mystery sausages, solid scrambled egg), plus the usual bread and little pastries. It was all tasty though and helped to pass the time.
I’m not a plane nerd (despite being an almost-everything-else nerd) but our plane for the first leg is an A350-900 if anyone finds that kind of thing exciting. The bit that I find exciting is that we’re fortunate enough to be travelling business class, the extra room and comfort are very very much appreciated.
Boarding was delayed a bit, but with 6 hours to wait in Ho Chi Min we weren’t in a panic – and soon enough, we are on the plane. Since Business is still a bit of a novelty, so gotta admit it was nice to ‘Turn Left’ upon boarding, to find our comfy seats.
One thing I found a bit unusual – it’s quite normal to be expected to turn your phone etc on to Flight Mode, but this time anything that was capable of transmitting was not allowed to be activated – so, no Bluetooth, no Airpods, no nothing. Felt a bit weird. They did supply their own (wired) noise-cancelling headphones, which weren’t exactly noise-cancelling, just noise-politely-suggesting-could-you-please-tone-it-down-a-bit-thanks. But they were better than nothing so shouldn’t grumble.
And then, the food! If Vietnamese Airlines has a secret, this would be it. I was really surprised by just how darn good it was! Yes I’m one of those people who takes pictures of my meals (on holiday at least), so here’s the ones I manage to get pictures of before scoffing them down.
The flight itself was uneventful, hardly any turbulence the whole way. Since I couldn’t use my headphones I watched ‘Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle’ on the in-flight system, which was a fun enough way to kill some time. The cabin crew asked if they wanted me to prepare my seat for sleeping – so I thought sure, why not. This basically involved them chucking a thin cover over the chair so… ok, guess I’m ready for sleep now. But it was all good, I pushed the buttons to make it go from a seat to a lie-flat bed. There’s juuuuust enough room to sleep, though I kept jamming my elbow in to the side of the seat which wasn’t real smart, or comfortable. But seriously, shouldn’t complain, did get to sleep for a bit of time so all good.
Actually Time is one of those weird things about flying, you’re kinda in a few time zones – the one you left from, the one you’re flying through, and with any luck you’re already thinking about the time at your destination, so the hours kind of stretch out in all directions, but I guess the most important one is ‘time to destination’ – weirdly when I saw it was only 2 hours I was like ‘almost there!’, unlike regular me who gets annoyed when the microwave tells me I have to wait a whole 15 seconds.
With around 2 hours to go we were served a light meal, I had a delicious chicken mushroom pie and after that, time to get ready for landing. Next minute, here we are in Ho Chi Min! It was easy finding our way to the international transfer bit, and on to the lounge, which is lovely. Overlooking the airport, it’s s always fun to watch the planes come in, check out the interesting food/drink on offer, and also fun to see some of the ground staff getting around on bicycles – which, in the 36 degree heat, is a good effort.
Since it’s 6 hours to the next flight, we’ll be here a while, which seemed like a perfect time to write a bunch of stuff in the blog. So, job done! Hoping to get more sleep on the next flight, to arrive at least half fresh and relaxed early in the morning in Frankfurt. See ya then.