To get from Hanoi to Siem Reap, we booked a flight on Vietnam Airlines. I had tried and failed to book award tickets for this segment using FlyingBlue miles, but the online award search tool kept wanting to route us through Guangzhou on China Southern instead of the nonstop on Vietnam Airlines, even though I was 98% sure that the Vietnam Airlines flight had award space available. So in the end, we paid cash and did some throwaway ticketing and booked roundtrip flights between HAN and REP because it was cheaper, even though we weren’t going to return to Hanoi.
The Hanoi airport offers free wifi, which is great, but there were long check-in queues for Vietnam Airlines, so leave plenty of time for that if you don’t have SkyTeam status (I had also tried and failed to get a status match to a SkyTeam airline). The terminal was also kept pretty warm, and the lounges were located on the upper floor, which was even warmer, so also be prepared for that.
The flight ended up being less than half full. Business class looked just like US domestic business class.
We had checked in online, and I had selected seat 16D, which showed as having no seat in front of it on the seat map. In reality, there’s a jump seat in front of this seat, which is not quite the same as not having a seat in front of you.
Row 14 also isn’t a true exit row, so if you’re looking for extra space in economy, choose row 15 (assuming you have the same aircraft configuration). For what it’s worth, there were a lot of seats showing as blocked online when I was selecting seats that weren’t actually occupied, so you could also try changing at the check-in counter or at the gate.
We were served a small meal of coleslaw, mystery meats, cucumbers, bread, and dessert. I only touched the dessert (we had brought some banh mi to the airport as snacks–why can’t airlines just serve banh mi? so cheap and delicious, and they keep decently well), which was decently tasty. It was a generic, sweet cake, maybe with a hint of coconut.
The in-flight entertainment was some sort of funny home video show, which I found amusing, and I found it interesting that the in-flight announcements were made in Vietnamese, English, French, Korean, and Japanese. The first three make sense to me; the last two less so.
Overall, it was a quick and comfortable flight. I’d be happy to fly Vietnam Airlines again, although I don’t plan on flying SkyTeam unless I have to.