Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Flying Thai Vietjet Airbus A320 from Phuket to Bangkok (BKK) Airport!

 Welcome to my 96th airline trip report! 



A Thai Vietjet A320 aircraft was pushed back for departure at HKT airport.

Introduction 

I was deciding which airline I should fly on the Thai domestic flights, and looking at the list of airlines, the only one left that I haven't flown was on this airline so checking the flight's schedule, this airline operated to BKK airport which was perfect. BKK was better for travellers as there is a train connection connecting the airport to the town area. So once decided, I did the booking with the airline's website. Do note: Thai Vietjetair is a subsidiary of Vietjetair.

These are the list of Thai airlines I have flown so far, you can check out the trip reports over here. 

Thai Air Asia (SIN-KBV) trip report
Thai Smile (CNX-DMK) trip report
Nok Air (DNK-CNX) trip report

Booking the airline's website and mobile app 

The booking website is basic but it is clear specifying the type of classes. The more you pay, more previlages you get, of course. I did consider the Boss Class but for such a short flight, I didn't see the need to book the front row seat. 


This price below is for 2 persons and that is how cheap it is! 



I was able to do the online check-in the day before. Usually by doing so, you are able to queue up at the web check-in counter which may help you save time queueing to get your passport and documents verified together with your luggage checked in by the airport staff. 



A brief history of Thai Vietjetair 

This airline was set up by Thai Vietjetair which uses a fleet of Airbus A320, has been operating since December 2014. Currently the airline is operating 10 A320CEO and 4 A321CEO and are operating on both regional and domestic flights. Vietjetair has confirmed an order of 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8, mentioned that this airline will receive about 30 units of the Boeing aircraft replacing the fleet of A320CEO. This comes to a surprise as most of us thought that the A320NEO family would be a natural successor to the current A320 fleet. Did Vietjetair receive a good discount on the 737 MAX? Probably they did. 

My 2 days stay at Phuket 

I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town and it was a pleasant stay at this 4 stars hotel. I was greeted with a magnificent view. I won't hestiate to return to this hotel in Phuket. 





The bed was comfortable and I had a good rest. 


I explored the streets nearby the hotel. 




This is one of the popular night markets (Naka Market). 







The English breakfast was highly recommended by the locals, so we went to give it a try. 


The apple cumble pie + blueberry cake together with a couple of coffee drinks at Starbucks. 


This is the fruit blended drink, can't remember what it contains.


This is the buffet breakfast we had at the hotel before checking out.



We went to a popular French restaurant to enjoy some steak. 


This is the veal surrounded by mash potatoes. 




On the day of departure 


I called for the grabcab which took about 45 minutes to travel from the hotel to the airport. What is funny about this trip is that we didn't visit the beaches as it was what Phuket is famous for. Next time perhaps!




Once we reached the airport, we went to do our check-in. 




Check in was a breeze and within minutes, we received our boarding passes and had our luggage checked in. 



The security queue took about 10 minutes and we were soon at the air side. 

Airside 

There were ample shops around with complimentary Airport WiFi available for travellers. 








The terminal was small so it didn't take very long to finish exploring. 

This retro livery of Malaysia Airlines caught my attention! She was on her way back to KUL. 




This was my ride, just arrived from Chiang Mai. 






My ride: HS-VKO (Photo: Suparat Chairatprasert)


Aircraft leased from Macquaire Air Finance 
Ex- Vietjetair VN-A678
Airbus A320-214 with winglets
Configuration: Y180 
Delivered to Thai Vietjetair in November 2020
MSN: 6025 
Engines: 2 X CFM 56-6B4/3
Built in Hamburg (XFW)

My flight route: HKT-BKK


Miles: 417 

Date of departure:  19 September 2022 
Airline: Thai Vietjetair 
Flight number: VZ2303 
Route: HKT-BKK 
Aircraft type: Airbus A320CEO 
Registration: HS-VKO
Seat: 3A 
Load: 60% 
Gate: 4 
Scheduled departure: 1320 
Boarding: 1245 
Push back: 1309
Take off: 1321
Touch down: 1433 
Announced flight duration: 1 hr 5 mins 
Actual flight duration: 1 hr 13 mins
Scheduled arrival: 1445
Departure runway: 27 
Arrival runway: 19L 

My in-flight experience 

Boarding was fast and it turned out to be 50-60% full, no wonder my original flight was cancelled and we were transferred to this flight. The cabin crew were ok but my partner commented how much she disliked the uniform. The uniform consists of red T-shirts, comes with bow ties matches with short pants making it quite an odd combination. What do you think? (Photo: Vietjetair) 

Once the doors were closed, we taxiied quickly to the runway and took off about a minute after the scheduled departure time. So landing early at BKK Airport was not a surprise. The short flight went past very fast with the hardworking crew came around to serve the passengers with the pre-ordered meals before taking orders from other passengers. There should be limited hot meals available for them plus some snacks. All these are part of the extra income the airline can earn, that's why they are more expensive than let's say the convenient stall near your home or supermarket. 

No in-flight entertainment on this flight as this is what you should expect when flying on Low Cost Carriers in Asia, its more basic than the ones in the U.S. However, for the airfare I paid, I can't expect more from these airlines. Overall I enjoyed my flight with this airline especially with the delicious green curry rice, I highly recommend to you readers to give this a try when you fly with this airline. 


The cabin interior is like any other Low Cost Carrier. This A320 aircraft is of the standard 180 seats so its 3-3 seating configuration from the first to the last row. 


For the Skyboss front rows, the seat pitch was better than the standard rows at 34-35 inches. 






There were Vietnamese words on this aircraft which shows the former deployment of this aircraft with its parent airline (Vietjetair). 



The view from my seat.





Cabin lavatory (Just behind the cockpit) 

The toilet was clean and tidy and this bunch of flower certainly brightens up the lavatory. 



What's inside the seat pocket? 

A good selection of food and beverages 




Disposal Bag 


Safety Card 


In-flight meals 

I was pleasantly surprised that our pre-ordered meals were served during the flight as a friend told me that during his time (about a few months ago), the airlines were not allowed to serve beverages and food during the flight and they would distribute the meals to the passengers after the flight. (take-away package) 

This is the roasted chicken with noodles.


This is the green curry chicken with rice.


These meals were definitely better than the ones I had on my previous flight with Singapore Airlines (SIN-HKT). The green curry tasted very nice and in fact it has to be one of the nicest meals I had on a flight for quite a while. 

Window shot photos 

It was a great day for flying with little bumps along the way. Let the photos speak fo themselves! 

















The sad sight of many Thai Airways aircraft being grounded especially the A380 due to the pandemic but there is positive news that the airline is considering bringing back the A380 to service as there is high demand on certain routes. Will it happen? Watch this space! 



My flight summary 



Arrival at BKK Airport 






Here we are, we landed at BKK Airport and took the train to our hotel. 

My rating 

Airline's mobile app and website: 3/5
Check-in Experience: 4.5/5 
In-Flight Service: 3.5/5 
Seat comfort: 3/5 
Cabin interior: 3/5 
Cleanliness: 4/5
In-Flight Meals: 4/5 
Punctuality: 5/5
In-Flight Experience: 4/5 
Overall rating: 34/45
Percentage: 75%
Verdict: Not bad! 

Conclusion

Thai Vietjetair is a good option to choose to fly on domestic flights and flights to Vietnam and connect with the parent's network making it an advantage over other airlines if you are planning to fly within these 2 countries. As for the airline's offering, it is pretty much similar to its competitors with the low frill concept enabling passengers to pay for what they want, making it a more attractive option for budget-conscious passengers. The seats with better legroom space are at a much more reasonable price compared to the U.S and European Carriers and that is why I highly recommend you to pay a bit more for the better seats and get the in-flight meals if you get famished easily during the flight. Overall, I am happy with my experience with this airline and won't hesitate to fly with this airline in the future. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next trip report with Thai Smile!

For my previous trip report (SQ's 737-800 SIN-HKT), click here.

Have a good one!
Charles Ryan Teo

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