- Introduction, Positioning Flight to New York, and the Hilton JFK
- British Airways First Class Lounge, New York JFK
- Cathay Pacific First Class, New York JFK – Hong Kong
- The Pier First Class Lounge and Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City
- Park Hyatt Saigon
- Lunch at Pho Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City
- Vietnam Airlines Business Class, Ho Chi Minh City – Danang
- Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa
- Vietnam Airlines Economy, Danang – Siem Reap
- Park Hyatt Siem Reap
- Angkor Wat and Other Temples
- Dragonair Business Class, Siem Reap – Hong Kong
- Turbojet, Hong Kong Airport – Macau and the Sheraton Macao Hotel
- The Venetian, Fernando’s, and the Ferry to Hong Kong
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Harbor View Suite
- Bo Innovation, Hong Kong
- Amber Restaurant, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – New York JFK
- American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge and New York – Washington National
Vietnam Airlines flights don’t show up on all online booking engines. Often when they do, only full fare tickets are available. So I booked my Vietnam Airlines travel on their own website.
I found that one-way business class tickets were ~ US$155 all-in, or $30 more than the cheapest coach ticket available (and less than the price of coach booking through online travel agency sites).
Since I hold no Skyteam status, and I was checking bags on this two week trip, I decided that the extra $30 made sense.
The trip from downtown to the airport was quick, and I was dropped off at domestic check-in around 3:30pm for my 5:35pm flight to Danang (which, really, was way too early).
Check-in queues were busy but I only had to wait behind one person to be helped in business class.
Once checked-in, it was up to security — and that was a mess. There was an entire security hall teeming with passengers waiting to be screened. Fortunately there was one line for premium passengers, and my business class boarding pass got me access.
The lines were being enforced, too — several people ahead of me were turned away once they got to the front and they had to return to the back of the other lines (although it’s possible they tried to cut those lines, I saw many people doing that). Thinning out the ranks of the elite queue the line went even faster and I was through within 10 minutes while it looked as though other lines would have taken at least 3 times as long.
I headed through the terminal to the lounge, which was right beside the gate I’d be departing from.
Walking into the lounge, the staff recognized that the place was completely crowded — that there was simply no seating available — and so they escorted me through to the attached next lounge over which wasn’t furnished quite as nicely but that had pretty much the same food spread and was mostly empty. (It just wound up a decent quiet place to seat away from the gate, and with functional internet.)
The wrapped candies were surprisingly good, but I didn’t partake in any of the other food. I just sat for awhile, catching up on work, until it was time to board.
I was thrilled not to have been waiting at the gate, and walked out just as people queued up to board buses to depart for the aircraft.
Business class had a separate, uncrowded bus.
We arrived at our aircraft and would soon be on our way.
The seats were similar to what you’d get in US domestic first class, which was more than fine for an hour-long flight (coach would have been fine, too).
Pre-departure beverages were served along with hot towels.
The audio system reminded me of something from the 1990s.
Once everyone was on board, we had our safety announcement, and the plane pushed back. There wasn’t much of a delay before getting airborne, and once we hit our cruising altitude the flight attendants were up serving a snack.
It wasn’t great, wasn’t bad, just something to nosh on for the short flight and to not be hungry on arrival.
By the time the tray was cleared it was nearly time to begin our descent. The flight was smooth, and without delay, and soon enough I’d have my bags and be on my way to the resort.
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