Vietnam Airlines’ Boeing 787 premium economy provides travellers with a better-than-economy seat at an affordable price, and if you’re planning a trip from Sydney or Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, choosing the right seat for your needs can do much to improve your flight experience.
Whether you’re planning to work, sleep or enjoy the journey with company in tow, Australian Business Traveller scopes out your top seating picks aboard Vietnam Airlines’ Dreamliner.
Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787 premium economy: the basics
Spread across just five rows, Vietnam Airlines’ cosy Boeing 787 premium economy cabin comes in a 2-3-2 seating layout, with the A and K seats against the windows, the C, D, F and G seats lining the aisles and the E seats in the very middle.
Premium economy begins at row 10 and runs until row 15, skipping row 13.
Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787 premium economy: best seats
Solo flyers – it’s an aisle or window: A 2-3-2 cabin layout doesn’t provide any perfect seats for individual travellers as you’ll either be stepping over somebody to access the aisle or will be stepped over yourself, so this one falls to that classic preference of an aisle seat for easy access or a window seat to remain undisturbed.
Couples – aim for the outer pairs: One of the benefits of flying premium economy over ‘regular’ economy is that couples can avoid sharing their seating space with a stranger when they select a pair of seats together on the sides, such as 11A+C.
However, these seats are very popular with both couples and individuals alike, so to maximise your chances of sitting alone it’s best to select your seats as soon as you’ve booked.
For inflight productivity – aim for the front row: If there’s work to be done, you’ll find the most room in the front row of premium economy (row 11), as there’s nobody in front to recline into your space and get in your way.
That said, the 42-inch seat pitch of Vietnam Airlines’ premium economy is on the more generous side, so if you do get stuck in row further back and the passenger in front reclines, laptop work isn’t an impossible task.
For a good night’s sleep – take a window seat: With nobody stepping over you to access the aisle, choosing a window seat means your rest won’t be disturbed if your seatmate needs to hop up during the flight – and as you’re in control of the window dimmer, you can set this to block any incoming sunlight which might otherwise keep you awake.
Should all of the window seats be occupied, a strategic play is to select an aisle seat in the centre group (D or F), as the middle seats in between are the least desirable in the entire cabin and are the last to be allocated to passengers after all of the aisles and windows.
If your flight isn’t completely full, there’s a reasonable chance that middle seat may fly empty and you’ll travel from gate to gate without anyone sitting next to you – this also being a good strategy for business travellers who’d like some extra room to spread out any books and documents.