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Worst in Class - Vietnam Airlines

Worst in Class - Vietnam Airlines

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Old Mar 15, 11, 9:03 am
  #1  
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Angry Worst in Class - Vietnam Airlines

Skyteam.... Firstly, I was happy to hear that Vietnam airlines had joined Skyteam as I often travel to and from Vietnam to Japan. However, disappointment that turned to disgust can explain what happened on my recent trip on this so called "airline".

Let me detail my experience in their lack of customer service:

March 11th, 2011: 3pm(Earthquake had just hit Japan and Narita airport had closed down making landing impossible)

Called customer service to change to another day but was told since this request was due to passengers wish that they would charge a change fee per ticket. I told them about an earthquake that just occured but they did not receive any "official" notice from head office so change fees would be imposed. Therefore, I went to the airport as scheduled for my flight back to Narita airport.

6pm:
Spoke to airport staff to determine flight status. VN staff said flight was going to leave as scheduled though all TV monitors (and News reports ) were reporting flights were unable to land in Tokyo. When I mentioned this to them, they said they had no report of any news out of Japan and had no information about "any" quake at all!

At 8pm, (United, Delta, Korean, JAL, and ANA) had all cancelled flights as they should to put passenger safety first, Vietnam air still kept flights as delayed only to cancel 1 hour after expected departure time! It was already midnight and finding a hotel was difficult at that time.

When I was finally able to board my flight back to Tokyo two days afterwards, I would have to say their planes are really in terrible condition AND staff from ground crew to flight attendants are poorly trained in customer service.

1. Though I was traveling business class, there was no differentiation in boarding times. Only one announcement for general boarding!

2. "Business class" seats are so tight together that legroom was very minimal. Honestly, it would only be 3 inches more than coach.

3. My "business class" seat could not recline. When I mentioned this to the "flight attendant" and I used this term very loosely, she told me it had been like that and she could not do anything...

4. When I was sleeping, I was irked to be woken up only to hear "Sir, tea or coffee?" Do you really think someone sleeping wants to be woken up for tea or coffee?

Never ever take Vietnam Airlines if you have an alternative choice.
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Old Mar 15, 11, 10:27 am
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Where did you fly from and which aircraft was used?
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Old Mar 15, 11, 11:06 am
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Welcome to FT, scaosan. Sorry your first post was about a frustrating trip.
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Old Mar 16, 11, 7:47 pm
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Usually first posts about poor service are unreasonable expectations, but this looks like a valid complaint.
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Old Mar 17, 11, 3:00 pm
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In my experiences while flying with VN, there are actually 2 sides to VN;

1. Short Haul flights to SE Asia & Southern China/Hong Kong
2. Medium Haul to Long Haul flights to Australia, Europe, Japan, Sth Korea

All the flights in let's say 'Zone 1' that I have taken with them had been with nice, polite and friendly crew, who would even talk to you in a polite manner with exceptional service levels, with clean aircrafts, while their 'Zone 2' counterparts are very pretty much the opposite, no smiling, and very rude behavior to all pax even in J, although the aircraft varies.
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Old Apr 16, 11, 1:36 am
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uh-oh, that's not good to hear. They're 30% cheaper than even a couple of the Chinese airlines for a long-haul flight I need to make later this year. I'm very cheap - do you still think I should avoid it?
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Old Apr 17, 11, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by secretbunnyboy View Post
uh-oh, that's not good to hear. They're 30% cheaper than even a couple of the Chinese airlines for a long-haul flight I need to make later this year. I'm very cheap - do you still think I should avoid it?
What route will you be traveling on?
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Old Apr 18, 11, 1:07 am
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All long-haul international: Australia -> Hanoi -> Europe (somewhere).
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Old Apr 18, 11, 2:52 am
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Originally Posted by secretbunnyboy View Post
All long-haul international: Australia -> Hanoi -> Europe (somewhere).
If you fly business, I would totally recommend VN. In Europe they fly only to Moscow, Frankfurt and Paris. The prices would be lower than most carriers, I would imagine...
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Old Apr 20, 11, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by secretbunnyboy View Post
All long-haul international: Australia -> Hanoi -> Europe (somewhere).
Where in Australia? SYD or MEL? SYD will change from 772ER (Regional) to A332/3 on 12/June and MEL already has the A332/3, each A330 aircraft has different configurations, some have PTV with the new J & Y and some have over head screens in the old configuration with the old J product. It's really a gamble, (the ones with the new configurations have the larger titles)

The European flights are all operated by 772ER with the long-haul configuration which includes Deluxe Economy, although sometimes VN may like to throw in a regionally configured 772 with no PTV in Y. There are only 4 772 with the newly reconfigured J & Y. If you are flying to CDG or FRA, these flights are normally with the long-haul product.

So flying with VN is really a gamble, it just depends which aircraft you happen to fly on. Australian flights are normally very very full, although the service needs vast improvements.
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Old Apr 20, 11, 5:33 am
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Vietnam Airlilnes

Originally Posted by scaosan View Post
Skyteam.... Firstly, I was happy to hear that Vietnam airlines had joined Skyteam as I often travel to and from Vietnam to Japan. However, disappointment that turned to disgust can explain what happened on my recent trip on this so called "airline".

Let me detail my experience in their lack of customer service:

March 11th, 2011: 3pm(Earthquake had just hit Japan and Narita airport had closed down making landing impossible)

Called customer service to change to another day but was told since this request was due to passengers wish that they would charge a change fee per ticket. I told them about an earthquake that just occured but they did not receive any "official" notice from head office so change fees would be imposed. Therefore, I went to the airport as scheduled for my flight back to Narita airport.

6pm:
Spoke to airport staff to determine flight status. VN staff said flight was going to leave as scheduled though all TV monitors (and News reports ) were reporting flights were unable to land in Tokyo. When I mentioned this to them, they said they had no report of any news out of Japan and had no information about "any" quake at all!

At 8pm, (United, Delta, Korean, JAL, and ANA) had all cancelled flights as they should to put passenger safety first, Vietnam air still kept flights as delayed only to cancel 1 hour after expected departure time! It was already midnight and finding a hotel was difficult at that time.

When I was finally able to board my flight back to Tokyo two days afterwards, I would have to say their planes are really in terrible condition AND staff from ground crew to flight attendants are poorly trained in customer service.

1. Though I was traveling business class, there was no differentiation in boarding times. Only one announcement for general boarding!

2. "Business class" seats are so tight together that legroom was very minimal. Honestly, it would only be 3 inches more than coach.

3. My "business class" seat could not recline. When I mentioned this to the "flight attendant" and I used this term very loosely, she told me it had been like that and she could not do anything...

4. When I was sleeping, I was irked to be woken up only to hear "Sir, tea or coffee?" Do you really think someone sleeping wants to be woken up for tea or coffee?

Never ever take Vietnam Airlines if you have an alternative choice.
But this is what one often gets when flying a third world airline. There are reasons that people avoid EgyptAir, AirSudan, and YemanAir.
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Old Apr 20, 11, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by soorox View Post
In my experiences while flying with VN, there are actually 2 sides to VN;

1. Short Haul flights to SE Asia & Southern China/Hong Kong
2. Medium Haul to Long Haul flights to Australia, Europe, Japan, Sth Korea

All the flights in let's say 'Zone 1' that I have taken with them had been with nice, polite and friendly crew, who would even talk to you in a polite manner with exceptional service levels, with clean aircrafts, while their 'Zone 2' counterparts are very pretty much the opposite, no smiling, and very rude behavior to all pax even in J, although the aircraft varies.
+1

My experience with Vietnam airlines was like this as well.
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Old Apr 20, 11, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Usually first posts about poor service are unreasonable expectations, but this looks like a valid complaint.
Another thing about first post complaints: They are rarely followed up with a second post.

Mike
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Old Apr 20, 11, 8:38 am
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The thing about First posts

Yes, you are right. First posts usually are not followed up... However, though I have not been present, I have been happy to see people following my comment. I am sorry I have been absent...

My apologies as since returning to Japan, my mind has been extremely occupied on whether I should stay in Japan or return to the U.S. given radiation problems. Didnt want to post that as it was unrelelated to Flying...

I DID however, mail Vietnam Airlines about my experience. THey actually emailed back saying they apologize BUT did nothing at all in terms of rectifying the problem. Here is their email:

"Dear Mr. XXX,
First of all, please accept our sincere apologize for any inconvenience caused. We would like to take this opportunity to explain some points concerned

About the boarding procedure at Tan Son Nhat airport, we arrange two boarding ways at departure gate, one for priority passengers such as VIP/C/CIP/FFP passengers and the other for Economy passengers. The information is made through FID screen. With clear information signal and FID screen, we do not make separate announcement for passengers. Flight VN952 of 13 March 2011 was operated by aircraft Airbus A321 and only one air brigde could access the aircraft. Therefore, priority passengers did not have to queue at gate but used the same air brigde with economy passengers.

We are sorry to know design and reclination of business seat on this aircraft was not satisfied you. Your comments were forwarded to concerned departments for experience and perusal.

Thank you for your feedback and we are looking forward to having chance serving you on board our flight in the future."

I am now 35 years old.. I learned in my short life (or long) as some may feel, that making excuses does not resolve anything. It is easy of us to push blame on another when we feel we are right. However, doing so will most likely result in others defending why their actions were justified.

For that reason, I try not to use "did you" or "why didn't you" when talking to my coworkers, friends, and most importantly loved ones. That will only force them to argue back or make claims to justify what they did.

With that said, when a passenger pays almost triple the flight costs to fly with an airline, that particular airline is not longer on a personal level with the customer. That airline needs to understand in exchange for a particular price paid for services rendered for that service to be commensurate with the price.

Her comment that "information is made through FID screen" is totally inexcusable as anyone who has ever ever visited that airport will testify that no information is given on the screens except flight number and time! That not only makes me feel truly upset that this particular airline tried to excuse their actions but to lie in justifying their actions was beyond comprehension..

I will not write back to the airline nor will I expect any compensation. I will learn to let it go as a life experience that I hope I have learned from... Life is too short to consume myself with minor things as much as I would like to if I were younger..

I have learned that I will no longer travel Vietnam airlines in Business Class. I learned that I will not expect anything from this airline should I HAVE to take them again (domestic only as they are the only carrier) so I can not be disappointed..

Vietnam Airlines... I hope you are reading this.... It costs much more to attain new customers than to retain current customers. Loyalty to airlines do not begin with false promises but rather actions to show commitment to passenger loyalty...

I do truly wish you improve in your operations and be truthful in offering services rendered for adequate charges as I do not wish my experiences to be put upon another person.

I wish every flyer and I mean every flyer to have better experiences than I have had with this one airline in THIS one experience.

(apologies should there be any grammatical errors. I was just venting all off my mind without thinking about grammar)
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Old Apr 21, 11, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by soorox View Post
In my experiences while flying with VN, there are actually 2 sides to VN;

1. Short Haul flights to SE Asia & Southern China/Hong Kong
2. Medium Haul to Long Haul flights to Australia, Europe, Japan, Sth Korea

All the flights in let's say 'Zone 1' that I have taken with them had been with nice, polite and friendly crew, who would even talk to you in a polite manner with exceptional service levels, with clean aircrafts, while their 'Zone 2' counterparts are very pretty much the opposite, no smiling, and very rude behavior to all pax even in J, although the aircraft varies.
I've flown VN within Vietnam, business class, on several occasions recently. I found my experiences correlate very well with yours.

Originally Posted by DaddyRabbit View Post
But this is what one often gets when flying a third world airline. There are reasons that people avoid EgyptAir, AirSudan, and YemanAir.
Not sure lumping VN in with those carriers is legit.
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