Route: Sydney to Ho Chi Minh | Seat: 3A | Flight Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
The Dreamliner is my favourite way to get from A to B. It feels open and spacious with large windows and great lighting, and somehow the air seems fresher. Business Class seats 28 passengers with a 1-2-1, reverse-herringbone seat configuration, giving everyone direct access to the aisle.
I was in seat 3A, a window seat that is far enough away from the galley and toilet to ensure you are not disturbed during the flight by noise or lights. Seats are comfortable enough and convert to a fully flat bed. I slept well, although a mattress topper would be a lovely bonus. The armrest can be raised for added privacy. There are two designated storage compartments as well as space under the leg rest, a dimmable reading light, and convenient power points and USB charging.
Orders are taken before we are airborne, unfortunately both my first choice for entrée and main are unavailable. Considering the cabin is only about a quarter full, and I am in the third row, this is surprising. My second choice is pretty good, though: smoked salmon confit with crème fraîche dashi cream, olive tapenade and nori powder followed by lamb backstrap served with potato chestnut puree and roasted parsnips. The flight attendants come through the aisles with a choice of bread and after the meal they offer cheese, fruit, pastries and pistachio ice cream with chocolate sauce.
The flight attendants are polite, courteous and efficient. While they are not chatty or outgoing, the service is prompt and I am given a cool towel and offered a drink within minutes of taking a seat. Menus and newspapers are distributed, with more reading material available at the front of the cabin.
Each seat has a 15.4” HD screen, which has both touch screen and hand held remote available. Headphones are provided, though I find my own more comfortable. There are several new releases on offer and some interesting documentaries, especially those showcasing Vietnam culture and destinations.
Lighting was good, especially as I was in a window seat. There were very few announcements or disruptions. I put my Do Not Disturb sticker on and was not bothered at all. I like the designated business class mini bus to and from the aircraft. It means not having to wait for everyone to unload and squeeze in like sardines on the big bus.
The Fine Print
Baggage:30kg checked baggage plus two carry-on items
Tip: If possible, get your visa before travelling to Vietnam. While it’s possible to get a visa on arrival, the immigration lines in Ho Chi Minh can be very long.