VietJet is a Vietnamese low-cost airline that commenced operations in 2011.
Since then, it has grown to operate a fleet of almost 70 aircraft – with many more on order – on flights to and from more than a dozen airports in the country. Besides an extensive domestic network, it also connects cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Nang with other Asian cities.
All of that for very competitive prices.
Recently, I had a chance to fly with the airline from Da Nang to Seoul. In this review, I will share what the flight onboard VietJet’s Airbus A321 was like.
Check-in, Lounge & Boarding at Da Nang Airport
After arriving at Da Nang from Hong Kong and entering Vietnam, I immediately went into the departures hall to check-in for the VietJet flight to Seoul. While the counters were not open yet, there was already a decent queue.
Check-in started at 7:50PM, and it took another half an hour until it was my turn.
On the other hand, immigration and security were a breeze, and I found myself airside in just ten or so minutes.
Since I still had about three hours until departure at this point, I visited the CIP Orchid Lounge to relax a bit and get some work done. While I used my Priority Pass membership to do so, it’s also possible to buy access into the lounge on the spot for 25 dollars (although it’s not worth that in most cases).
VietJet’s “SkyBoss” fare passengers also get access.
I left the lounge around 11PM and headed to gate 8 where the VietJet flight was boarding at.
Before that, though, I stopped by gate 7 for a few minutes to take some photos of an Asiana Airlines 747 that was just about to push back for its flight back to Seoul.
When I got to gate 8, a bus gate, at 11:15PM, boarding was already in progress.
I handed my boarding pass to the gate agent, got on the bus, and about ten minutes later, I found myself in front of one of VietJet’s 33 Airbus A321s.
The airline also operates a dozen or so of the newer A321neos – and it still has an additional hundred or so on order.
VietJet A321 Cabin & Seat
VietJet’s A321s are equipped with 230 seats.
While the seats themselves are all the same, when pre-booking a seat, they are split into a number of different categories.
The seats towards the front of the aircraft are more expensive to choose than those towards the back. Seats with extra legroom (bulkhead and emergency exit row) are the priciest of all, but even then still very reasonably priced.
Since the flight from Da Nang to Seoul was blocked at more than five hours, I decided to pre-book myself seat 12A. This was one of the four “infinite” legroom seats on the plane.
At just 7 dollars, the extra cost was well worth the increased comfort on a red-eye flight. Since then, it seems like the price of the extra legroom seats has increased to 11 dollars or so, but even at that price I wouldn’t hesitate to book the same seat on a red-eye flight.
While there was nothing but empty space in front of my seat, seat 12F had a cabin crew jump seat across from it. As such, if you have the choice, I recommend going for the “A” side.
Alternatively, you can also pick one of the regular, “non-infinite legroom” emergency exit row seats which offered more than enough space as well.
Onboard a VietJet Flight from Da Nang to Seoul
The aircraft doors were closed at 11:36PM, and we were pushed back at 11:38PM – seven minutes ahead of schedule. At that time, the cabin crew performed a manual safety demonstration.
We started taxiing at 11:45PM, and nine minutes later, we took off.
After being briefly offered views of Da Nang, we continued climbing above Da Nang Bay, and set course for Seoul.
Once seatbelt signs were switched off about ten minutes after take-off, I paid a quick visit to the restroom. While nothing groundbreaking, I was surprised to find that VietJet decided to decorate its walls with some pictures of – what I assume was – Vietnamese nature.
After returning to my seat, I fell asleep right away. As such, I’m not sure whether in-flight sales were done on this red-eye flight or not.
When booking the flight, however, there was an option to purchase a meal. At about 5 dollars, the price was reasonable.
In the middle of the flight, the cabin crew handed out Korean immigration forms and announced the flight numbers so that passengers could fill it in.
Considering that most of the passengers were asleep, I wonder why the forms were not handed out later – shortly before landing.
Arrival at Seoul Incheon Airport
Cabin lights were switched back on at 5:35AM Korean time – about 30 minutes before landing.
At 5:49AM, the seatbelt signs were switched back on and the cabin crew prepared the cabin for landing.
We landed at 5:57AM.
We came to a full stop at our parking gate at 6:06AM, six minutes behind schedule.
After disembarking, I entered South Korea, made my way to Incheon airport’s terminal 2, and checked in for the last flight of this trip. More about that in the next instalment, though.
VietJet A321 Summary
VietJet offered a decent fare on the five-hour red-eye flight and the flight operated on-time – the two things that are the most important and that one can realistically expect from a low-cost airline.
It’s also worth noting here how cheap it is to get a seat with unlimited legroom on VietJet. While the airline seems to have raised the price from 7 dollars to 11 dollars between September 2019 when I took the flight and now, even at the higher price, it’s still worth paying for the better seat, I believe.
Overall, I can only recommend VietJet based on my limited experience.
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