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VietnamAirlines LHR-MEL 1,659 return all Dreamliners

VietnamAirlines LHR-MEL 1,659 return all Dreamliners

Old Feb 1, 17, 2:32 am
  #1  
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VietnamAirlines LHR-MEL 1,659 return all Dreamliners

I just successfully snagged this fare from London Heathrow to Melbourne via Saigon in Vietnam Airlines business class for 1,658.77 all in directly from Vietnam Airlines' website.

https://goo.gl/flights/zQWL

It's their 787-9 dreamliner all four segments, fully flat beds.

For miles and plane junkies like me it's also possible to try out their A350 biz class with an extra leg Hanoi-Saigon for no extra money. Doing so should earn nearly 56k miles (I'm crediting to Alitalia).

Happy hunting!
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Old Feb 1, 17, 3:08 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by djmac20 View Post
For miles and plane junkies like me it's also possible to try out their A350 biz class with an extra leg Hanoi-Saigon for no extra money. Doing so should earn nearly 56k miles (I'm crediting to Alitalia).
That's a good fare, though the long stopover in SGN each way makes it a little less attractive.

One word of warning, though - it books in D (at least on the Expedia link) which earns precisely zero in Alitalia Millemiglia.

https://www.alitalia.com/it_it/mille...-airlines.html
http://www.wheretocredit.com/vietnam-airlines/d

It earns 125% in Flying Blue.

That's not the first time I've seen screengrabs from whatever tool/website that is - but if you programme it wrong - which you have done - you get inaccurate results. The mileages reported there are wildly incorrect, out by a factor of 2. LHR-SGN-HAN is 10,508 miles; MEL-HAN-SGN-LHR is 11,858 miles, giving a total roundtrip mileage of 22,363 miles. In FB, you would therefore earn in the region of 27954 miles.

It is always better to just look at the website of the programme which you are intending to use.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 3:28 am
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Yes a very good fare that has been on and off for a while (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premi...1916-euro.html).

Worth noting that a lot / most nationalities will require a visa from an embassy or letter of approval (from an agent) for a Visa on Arrival when the itinerary includes the domestic leg or if you want to leave the airport.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 4:07 am
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IIRC VN has free transit/stopover package for transit passenger from/to Australia. this should waive visa requirement (TWOV)

link: http://www.etg.travel/file/download/33499
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Old Feb 1, 17, 5:21 am
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Why do they (anyone) never offer fares like this ex Aus?
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Old Feb 1, 17, 6:44 am
  #6  
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@irishguy28 - wow thanks for flagging this to me about it booking into a D fare and earning ZERO Alitalia miles!

With the goal of earning SkyTeam ElitePlus, would I be best off enrolling in Vietnam LotusMiles and putting the miles there? Do you know how many LotusMiles I would earn for this trip? (LHR-SGN-MEL-HAN-SGN-LHR in D class).
Takes just 50,000 qualifying miles to get Vietnam Platinum..

@blueferrari- Thanks a million for this free visa, hotel, meals, and tour info for transit passengers on VN at SGN, I had no idea.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 7:03 am
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Do you have any use of VN status? Anyway, it would earn ~31500 redeemable miles and ~21000 qualifying miles in VN program.

I would credit to either Flying Blue or Skymiles.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 10:37 am
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Korean also has a pretty good award chart. D fare on VN earns 125% redeemable miles.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 2:08 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by djmac20 View Post
With the goal of earning SkyTeam ElitePlus, would I be best off enrolling in Vietnam LotusMiles and putting the miles there? Do you know how many LotusMiles I would earn for this trip? (LHR-SGN-MEL-HAN-SGN-LHR in D class).
Takes just 50,000 qualifying miles to get Vietnam Platinum..
This ticket alone will not earn you status in any Skyteam programme.

Therefore, the question mutates into one of "which Skyteam programme is best for me"?, which question is the subject of many threads in the Skyteam forum. Please don't start a new one but take these questions to an appropriate existing thread over there!
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Old Feb 2, 17, 12:44 pm
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I'm intrigued -- assuming you want to earn miles on SkyTeam (in my case, DL) --
depending on dates -- LHR-MEL for US$2169 plus an award ticket DCA-LHR for 140,000 miles plus US$267 taxes or $2644 for cash.
LHR-MEL books into D for over water and J for the HAN-SGN leg. DL earnings are 125% base miles (26,448), 75% MQM (15,870), but MQDs based on 25% distance flown ($5200) I think I calculated correctly.
And maybe a stopover in London and HAN or SGN.
DCA-MEL RT on Delta is US$7229 for about the same dates or $5200 to $5600 on other airline combos.

I like this and it is even better with the tip from @blueferrari, although I may try working it out for a longer SGN or HAN stay.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 9:48 am
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Just booked this with a 5 day stopover in HAN and the obligatory overnight in SGN on the return. After taxes and conversion of GBP to USD it came up to US$2356, so I think the intentional stopover in HAN added a bit to the price.
Thanks to djmac20 for the OP and to blueferrari for the twov pointer. I'll still need to get a visa for the HAN stopover but may be able to use the program to pay for the hotel in SGN for the overnight.

Last edited by mot29; Feb 5, 17 at 11:32 am
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Old Feb 6, 17, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by mot29 View Post
Just booked this with a 5 day stopover in HAN and the obligatory overnight in SGN on the return. After taxes and conversion of GBP to USD it came up to US$2356, so I think the intentional stopover in HAN added a bit to the price.
Thanks to djmac20 for the OP and to blueferrari for the twov pointer. I'll still need to get a visa for the HAN stopover but may be able to use the program to pay for the hotel in SGN for the overnight.
We used GoVietnamVisa.com on our trip last year for visa on arrival. Worked splendidly well for an otherwise crazy visa process.
Pay a little extra for the VIP package...bypasses some very long lines.

Don't be terribly disappointed if VN changes equipment on the day of your flight. I had booked flights on both 787s and A350s...only to be on A320s and 330s.
The purser said the airline will assign equipment depending on the pax and cargo load on the day if the flight.
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Old Feb 6, 17, 12:25 pm
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Actually my 3rd trip to Vietnam -- first time was before visa on arrival so had to mail my passport in. Second time had a VOA experience at SGN and yes, a bit chaotic. Given that I'm spending about 30 days in OZ, I'll need to get a 3 month, multi-entry visa.
This trip my arrival is at HAN at 4:50 am so it won't kill me to spend some time waiting at the airport for the visa, but I've heard that HAN is a bit less chaotic than SGN for VOA.
I did try to arrange for the two internal flights to be on a 350 but was told, as you were that, domestic equipment changes depending on load so it doesn't make much sense to worry about it.
I'm guessing that the trans-cons will likely stay 787s (or maybe 350s). I guess they could sub in a 77 or 330 for the OZ and LHR service but you can do seat selection for the trans-cons but not the domestic.
tom
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Old Feb 14, 17, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by BSBtraveller View Post
Why do they (anyone) never offer fares like this ex Aus?
Australians will tolerate much higher airfares than Europeans.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 9:25 am
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Flew LHR-SGN-MEL on the outbound (22/1) and MEL-SGN-LHR on the inbound (3/2).

The lie-flat seats were in good condition, and the airplanes (and bathrooms!) were fairly clean. One the LHR-SGN leg, staff seemed a little bit grumpier, and the lunch they served (marinated pork cheek for me, Beef steak with horseradish sauce for my wife) were not bad, but not great. For breakfast before arriving in SGN, we decided to have the Stir-Fired Noodles, and these were much better in terms of taste. Oh, and we had a few of their signature cocktails: Saigon Sunlight and Chao Vietnam were my favourites, and indeed very good.

During the layover in SGN, we decided to make the most of it, and headed into town early in the morning - booked a nice hotel in the centre of town for about 80 to have a nap/shower in, and explored a few of the museums and markets during the day. Overall, our 20-hour stop in SGN was very nice, and the only "downside" was the "mean" immigration officers who insisted that my wife and I HAD to come through the immigration booth separately. I needed a visa to enter Vietnam (which I had gotten from my nearest embassy), while my wife (British) did not (they allow you one entry a month I think without a visa). SGN airport is very manageable, and by taxi, you can be downtown in about 15 mins. Overall, a nice experience for a stopover, and we are now considering a more in-depth visit.

Although SGN-MEL was late a nightflight, the cabin crew seemed to be much more into the job, and service was drastically improved. The food was quite simply delicious, although it was exactly the same on the SGN-LHR return - not that we minded it, because the Pho in particular was great. The 7 hours or so to MEL went by quite quickly, and before you knew it, we had arrived, and felt quite human!

On the return trip, the service for both legs was also much better than our first leg, and we arrived in London again feeling quite great. As my wife had already used her "free" entry over a 1-month period, we stayed in SGN airport, making full use of the lounge, internet etc. Although we thought that it'd be quite boring, the 8 hours or so we had to kill actually went by quite quickly, helped by a decent offering of food and drinks in the lounge, which is fairly new and gets good light during the day.

Pros:
Great Prices
Very interesting stopover on the way out
Lie-flat and on a 787
Mostly good food

Cons:
Service is variable, although most of the flight crews do put in a lot of effort
Some may not like the long stopovers
Reduced mileage earned
IFE is a bit Vietnamese-heavy - you have about 20-25 English-language films, but no TV Series

Overall: I would certainly fly them again, though I would load some extra TV on the computer
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