Vietnam Airlines

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Vietnam Airlines is the main carrier of Vietnam. It was founded in 1956 under the name Vietnam Civil Aviation and became a state-owned enterprise in 1989. Headquartered in the Long Bien District of Hanoi, the airline flies to 52 destinations in 17 countries. About 300 flights take off daily, and it has agreements with several airlines for routes including those that head to North America.

Contact Details

What are Vietnam Airlines’ check-in options?

Mobile boarding passes and priority boarding
Priority boarding
Flying with children
Seating for infants and children
Unaccompanied children
Flying while pregnant
Group bookings
Disabled access and medical equipment
Pets and service animals

Online check-in


Vietnam Airlines allows you to check-in online between 24 and 2 hours before departure time. Note that online check-in is only available for flights departing from certain airports. The list may be found here. You can show your boarding pass, which will be sent via email after check in, or print it out and bring it to the airport check-in desk if preferred. For online check-in details, click here.

Priority boarding


SkyTeam alliance members from the tiers Business Class, Platinum and Elite Plus can enjoy SkyPriority benefits with Vietnam Airlines.

SkyPriority benefits include:

  • Priority check-in areas
  • Priority baggage drop off
  • Priority service at ticket/transfer desks
  • Accelerated security and passport clearance
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage handling

Check out Cheapflights.com’ guide to 10 things to do before your flight.

Flying with children


Every child must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 on Vietnam Airlines. The child and accompanying passenger must travel in the same compartment of a flight. If the child is not accompanied by an adult in the same compartment, they will be considered as an unaccompanied minor. In this case, see the Unaccompanied Minors section below.

If you plan to bring your own stroller with you, you may check it in at the boarding gate. However, some airports may have to deny access to strollers inside the boarding areas. Inquire in advance to ensure you can take the stroller with you.

Check our our guide to flying with children.

Seating for infants and children


Vietnam Airlines offers a free bassinet service on board for infants up to 2 years old. Only a limited number of bassinets are carried on all flights, so you will need to request this service at least 24 hours before departure.

Children up to two years old are not required to have their own seat but if you plan to travel with an infant on your lap, you will need to alert the airline in advance. Note that only one lap child is allowed per adult. A seat will need to be purchased for each additional infant.

Unaccompanied children


Vietnam Airlines offers an Unaccompanied Minor Service that assists your child from the check-in counter onto the aircraft. Once at the destination, your child is accompanied by the immigration processes to the baggage claim area and safely into the company of the adult designated to pick them up.

You will need to request this service for minors between ages 2 and 6 years old at least 3 days prior to the scheduled departure for domestic flights and 5 days prior to the scheduled departure for international flights. For minors between 6 and 14 years old, the service can be requested up to 24 hours prior to the flight departure. The charge for the service is VND 500,000 (about US $22) for domestic flights or US $50 for international flights.

You can request the service here, and we have a helpful guide for kids flying solo.

Flying while pregnant


Expectant mothers are required to provide a letter from their doctor stating the duration of their pregnancy and associated risk factors if they fall under any of the following categories:

  • Term of pregnancy has passed 32 weeks
  • Birth is expected to be complicated
  • The expectant mother has previously given birth to twins or triplets

Pregnant women are not permitted to fly after their term of pregnancy has passed 36 weeks. Here’s our guide to flying while pregnant.

Group bookings


Check with the Airline directly for more information.

Disabled access & medical equipment


Please give the airline 48 hours’ notice if you require mobility assistance. You will need to provide the following information at the time of booking:

  • Your type of mobility aid(s)
  • Whether they are collapsible, electric or non-electric
  • Dimensions, in adjusted or disassembled state, and weight
  • If any medical assistance will be required
  • Whether you are traveling alone or with a caregiver
  • A wheelchair service is offered to those who have difficulty walking or moving about on their own, including:
    • Wheelchair for Ramp
    • Wheelchair for Steps
    • Wheelchair for Cabin

An accompanying cabin crew member can be requested for blind passengers if required. If your itinerary involves one or more international sectors, you will need to make this request at least 5 days before departure. If your itinerary only involves domestic routes, you can make your request no later than 3 days before departure.

Walking aids such as canes and crutches can be carried onboard and are to be stowed under your seat or in the overhead compartment.

Vietnam Airlines also carries wheelchairs free of charge. You will need to advise the airline of your intent to bring your wheelchair when making your reservation.

More information about special services can be found here. We also have guides on flying with disabilities and traveling with medication.

Pets & service animals


Vietnam Airlines’ Business, Platinum SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers are offered the ability to take their pets with them onboard. This service is only available on Vietnam Airlines operating flights between:

  • Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang (Vietnam) and Paris Charles De Gaulle (France)
  • Moscow Domodedovo (Russia)
  • Incheon, Busan Gimhae (South Korea), Guangzhou Baiyun (China), Taipei, Kaohsiung (Chinese Taipei).

Check out Cheapflights.com’s guide to flying with pets.

What are Vietnam Airlines’ baggage allowance limits and fees?

Carry-on size
Checked luggage size
Extra and overweight baggage charges
Musical and sport equipment

Carry-on Baggage Allowance


Passengers flying in economy class may carry one free item on board with and Business Class passengers may carry two free items. Each item must not exceed 15.4 lbs in weight and the sum of three dimensions should not exceed 45 inches.

Baggage Allowances


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Extra and overweight baggage charges


Extra baggage allowance can be purchased at the airport during check-in, with fees varying according to size.

Musical and sport equipment


For information on costs and fees associated with the special transport of sporting equipment, see the pricing guide here.

What additional fees does Vietnam Airlines charge?

Booking fees
Flight cancellation policy
Travel insurance

Booking fees


The booking fee for your flight will depend on the route you are flying. For domestic routes, the online purchase fee is VND 50,000 (about US $2.25) per ticket. International flights from Vietnam are charged at USD $7 per ticket.

Note that if you book online, you will need to present your credit card, eTicket and Passport for verification at check-in if you have booked online. If someone else paid using their credit card and cannot be at the check-in counter to verify the purchase, they will need to do so at a Vietnam Airlines office before the flight departure.

Flight cancellation policy


For information related to cancellation fees for flights out of South East Asia, click here.

Travel insurance


Check with the airline directly for more information.

What amenities does Vietnam Airlines offer?

In-flight entertainment
Food
Seating
Lounges
Frequent Flier Program

In-flight entertainment


The airline offers a collection of international films, feature documentaries, television series, newscasts, and children’s programming. Audio books are also available on A330, A350 and B787 aircraft.

Food


Vietnam Airlines offers a diverse array of in-flight meals for passengers. The airline has collaborated with chefs and expert sommeliers to offer a gourmet menu for different passenger classes.

Special meals can also be booked in advance online. See the following for details.

Seating and Legroom

Lounges


Vietnam Airlines offers guests access to their Lotus Lounge in selected airports. Here passengers can take advantage of the amenities available for business and entertainment, including:

  • Power sockets in seating area
  • High-speed Wi-fi connectivity
  • Wide-screen cable/digital televisions
  • Various Vietnamese and International publications
  • A separate area for smoking

The full-service restaurant and bar also offer a range of meals and drinks.

Extra Legroom
You can reserve your seat during the booking procedure at no extra cost. It is also possible to upgrade. The pre-reserved seating service is only available for international flights operated by Vietnam Airlines and on bookings made 24 hours before flight estimated departure time. More information can be found here.

The airline also offers a unique Empty Seat service. If you wish to travel with one or two empty seats next to you, you first need to purchase your economy ticket and then sign up to the service, then do the following:

  • Select the Empty Seat option (ESo)
  • Provide your Airline Booking Reference, Last Name and Email to retrieve your booking
  • Select the flights in which you want an Empty Seat(s)
  • Pay a small Sign-up fee and a nominal Empty Seat Price to complete your ESo Sign-up

After 24-48 hours, you should receive a confirmation that your empty seat has been reserved beside you. In case no empty seats are available on the flight, your payment will be refunded within 5 business days.

Frequent Flier Program


Vietnam Airlines is a member of Sky Team but also offers its own frequent flier program – the Golden Lotus Plus. This program does not offer air miles, however.

How do I contact customer service?

Contact
Delayed, missing or damaged luggage
Compensation for baggage

Contact


Worldwide Customer Service contact details can be found here.

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage


If after arriving you notice that a checked bag is missing, you will need to contact a Vietnam Airlines representative in person immediately and complete a Baggage Claim Form. Once the form is completed, the tracking for the baggage will commence. You will be given a file reference number to check the status of your baggage online. The airline traces your missing baggage through a worldwide computerized tracking system and will keep you informed of the status of your baggage. You can also use your file reference number (e.g. HANVN12345) to track your baggage online through the WorldTracer website.

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage


In the event that your baggage is not discovered following a search, Vietnam Airlines will issue compensation 30 – 45 days following your arrival in accordance with their current Conditions of Carriage. The search can be extended to up to 100 days if you request this. Check the airline’s current General Conditions of Carriage for more information related to compensation amounts.

Fun Facts

  • Vietnam Airlines often increase the number of flights between Vietnamese cities during the annual Tet celebration to allow Vietnamese to return to their families.
  • As of January 2017, Vietnam Airlines has a fleet of 84 aircraft, mostly Airbus’ A321-200.

Image source: Vietnam Airlines’ Facebook page

Vietnam Airlines was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Martin Clinton