Bamboo Airways 787 Business Class: More Than Just A Flight

Bamboo Airways 787 Business Class: More Than Just A Flight

32

After flying Bamboo Airways’ A321neo business class from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, I flew Bamboo Airways’ Boeing 787-9 business class from Hanoi to Frankfurt, and it was… delightfully interesting! Like, it wasn’t amazing, it wasn’t terrible, and it also wasn’t boring. For better or worse, I won’t be able to make any puns involving pandemonium or getting bamboozled. 😉

I actually got off the flight with an overall positive impression. While there are some oddities, this is an overall professional airline. Let me share a few highlights, and then soon I’ll have a full trip review of this flight.

Bamboo Airways business class is quirky

Flying Bamboo Airways’ 787 business class to Frankfurt was more than just a flight. Why? Well, because the airline keeps telling you it is. When the (Dutch) captain welcomed us onboard, he said “welcome aboard Bamboo Airways… more than just a flight.”

Bamboo Airways Boeing 787-9

When the chief flight attendant welcomed us aboard, he also reminded us it was “more than just a flight.” Heck, there’s even a poster at the back of the cabin telling us that flying with Bamboo Airways is “more than just a flight.”

Bamboo Airways… “more than just a flight”

And they really aren’t wrong. Flying with Bamboo Airways sure is an experience. For example, the boarding music consisted of ABBA’s “Happy New Year” on repeat, which I totally loved and now can’t get out of my head.

The song is fitting not just because it’s the new year, but also because of the lyrics. The first three words of the song are “no more champagne,” which is appropriate, because Bamboo Airways doesn’t serve champagne.

That’s kind of strange as well, because Bamboo Airways’ marketing video heavily features champagne.

There were some super cute cabin details, like the massive orchid in the bathroom, which was so big that you kind of had to reposition yourself to use the bathroom. I would’ve rather seen bamboo, but…

Bamboo Airways’ massive orchid

While other airlines still aren’t offering warm towels in business class, with my second meal I was offered a towel on four separate occasions. I’m not sure if coordination between the crew was just lacking, or if they just wanted to make sure my hands were really clean. Regardless, I didn’t mind.

Bamboo Airways… more than just a towel (four towels!)

Bamboo Airways’ 787 business class hard product

Bamboo Airways’ Boeing 787s have reverse herringbone seats, which will be familiar to most. I quite liked the cabin finishes, and found the seat padding to be excellent.

Bamboo Airways Boeing 787 business class cabin
Bamboo Airways Boeing 787 business class cabin
Bamboo Airways Boeing 787 business class seats

While Bamboo Airways’ 787s have the Wi-Fi “domes” installed, it’s not turned on, so there isn’t any Wi-Fi.

I was worried the entertainment would be awful, though to my surprise it wasn’t too bad. No, it wasn’t like what you’d find on Emirates or Qatar Airways, but there was a decent selection of movies and sitcoms.

Bamboo Airways 787 entertainment system

There were also some Vietnamese options, as you’d expect. I tried to watch “The Cougar Queen 2,” though eventually got tired of reading subtitles.

Bamboo Airways 787 entertainment system

As far as I was concerned, just tracking the flight’s course was sufficient entertainment. You’ve gotta love the routings many flights take between Asia and Europe.

Bamboo Airways 787 map feature

All-in-all, it was a solid and competitive hard product.

Bamboo Airways’ business class soft product

There were some highs and lows to Bamboo Airways’ business class soft product. Let’s start with the positives. The food was actually quite good, and certainly plentiful. The first meal began with mixed nuts and drinks.

Bamboo Airways business class meal service

There were a couple of starters and several mains to choose from. To start, I enjoyed the lemongrass grilled chicken and Asian style green salad. Bamboo Airways sure knows how to brand its service items — I spot seven Bamboo Airways logos on a single tray.

Bamboo Airways business class meal service

For the main course I had the snapper with ginger rice and braised vegetables.

Bamboo Airways business class meal service

Then there was a huge trolley with cheese, fruit, and dessert, which was plated at each seat.

Bamboo Airways business class meal service

Before landing there was also a substantial meal, consisting of seafood soup, grilled chicken salad, stir fried noodles with vegetables and prawns, and blueberry mousse.

Bamboo Airways business class meal service

I also thought the amenity kit was pretty cute. As an avgeek, you can bet that I’ll be putting that pouch to good use, thanks to the huge Bamboo Airways logo. It’ll be great for storing cables.

Bamboo Airways business class amenity kit

Some aspects of the soft product left a bit to be desired. For example, the bedding wasn’t good at all, with a warm and scratchy blanket, and a tiny pillow.

Bamboo Airways business class pillow & blanket

I asked for a second pillow, though the flight attendant apologized that there were no extra business class pillows. She was able to grab me an economy pillow, though. It looked kind of familiar… hmmm.

Bamboo Airways pillows — business vs. economy

While there were printed menus, they weren’t actually handed out to passengers. Rather while taking meal orders, the flight attendant just briefly showed the menu to each passenger to ask for their selection.

It would have been nice to have a menu, because at times communication was a challenge. I tried to order a coffee with milk (which was specifically listed on the menu), but the flight attendant couldn’t understand me. I asked repeatedly, speaking slowly and enunciating clearly, but it was lost in translation. It wasn’t until I pointed to it on the menu that she understood.

How cute are Bamboo Airways’ branded coffee cups?

The alcohol selection was also quite limited. There was no champagne, and there was one white wine and one red wine.

Bottom line

I’m so happy I finally had the chance to fly Bamboo Airways on a long haul route. As longtime OMAAT readers know, I love flying exotic and lesser flown airlines, and Bamboo Airways certainly fits the bill (and thanks to Aeroplan for making this available with points).

While Bamboo Airways isn’t yet offering a world class product, frankly the experience exceeded my expectations, especially for an airline startup. Bamboo Airways has comfortable seats, pretty good entertainment, and well intentioned and friendly service.

There are definitely some easy areas for improvement, like much better bedding, actually handing out menus, and expanding the drink selection. I think with a bit of effort, Bamboo Airways could offer a competitive product between Asia and Europe.

What do you make of Bamboo Airways’ Boeing 787 business class?

Conversations (32)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Jake Guest

    Thanks for the review!

    Are the seats the Collins Super Diamond or the Safran Cirrus?

  2. DrZ Guest

    Interesting read and airline.
    AA still continues to offer hot towels prior to serving dinner in business class.

  3. Stan Sesser Guest

    The reverse herringbone seats of most business classes are fine unless you’re disabled. The entrances to each pod are so narrow it’s nearly impossible to get from the airline’s wheelchair to your seat. Ben—you cover every minutiae of the flight, but you pretend that we disabled people don’t exist. For instance, some airlines have one bathroom on their planes big enough to accommodate a wheelchair, but many others leave no alternative but to pee into...

    The reverse herringbone seats of most business classes are fine unless you’re disabled. The entrances to each pod are so narrow it’s nearly impossible to get from the airline’s wheelchair to your seat. Ben—you cover every minutiae of the flight, but you pretend that we disabled people don’t exist. For instance, some airlines have one bathroom on their planes big enough to accommodate a wheelchair, but many others leave no alternative but to pee into a bottle at your seat. But you never,ever mention this.

    1. Austin Guest

      I'm not sure what you want Ben to do. He is an able-bodied man. How can he critique something that he doesn't know, and can't speak too? Not to mention in many countries around the world they frankly don't care about disabled people, harsh but true. In the US is a different story, and if you think that it is discriminatory towards people with disabilities or people who can't or have a hard time moving...

      I'm not sure what you want Ben to do. He is an able-bodied man. How can he critique something that he doesn't know, and can't speak too? Not to mention in many countries around the world they frankly don't care about disabled people, harsh but true. In the US is a different story, and if you think that it is discriminatory towards people with disabilities or people who can't or have a hard time moving around, you need to take that up with the airline and the DOT. Complaining to someone who is not disabled, on a blog is not the place. I'm sure if you look hard enough you could find a blog that address your concerns, from someone who lives with these challenges.

    2. Jason Guest

      Umm okay, I bet you are fun at parties.

  4. Tim Dunn Diamond

    I am sure that paying their employees much less than Lufthansa, eliminating the possibility of an airline career as well as eliminating all types of diversity allows them to spend more on the soft product

    1. Niko_jas Guest

      Presumably you would expect most people earn less in Vietnam regardless of the job type compared with German salaries. Why would they pay German wages for staff who live in Vietnam?

  5. Schar Gold

    Speaking of exotic airlines...you should try Azul from VCO to the US or Europe!

  6. Aaron L Guest

    Asian airlines love to use ABBA's Happy New Year as boarding music. Until just a few weeks ago I thought it was a Taiwanese song.

  7. Daniel Guest

    I don't mind not getting a paper menu if it's available in the entertainment system. On my recent flights with EVA I always looked up the drinks there, and in case of misunderstandings (they don't seem to know their mocktail "Sonata in the air" which tastes so great!) point to the item on the screen.
    Don't know why that's not standard everywhere. It's a cheap and simple solution. Only downside is you can't use it during announcements.

  8. Ian Guest

    Hahaha, Abba's Happy New Year is so typically Vietnamese - They will belt it out from Christmas to the end of March! It's actually why I chose the restaurant where my future wife worked in Nha Trang.... Christmas decorations still up and that song, I thought they don't give a shit and still have customers, their food must be good - and it was....
    Chuc Mung Nam Moi! :)

  9. iamhere Guest

    Your expectations are too high in some way. I think you should keep in mind the type of airline and your origin and destination as well as how much you paid or the cash value. You can't compare it to what you would get on the best airlines. Comments like about the bedding or not being given menus, etc. You should consider more about what is really important. Imagine the costs for some of your expectations.

  10. Sam Guest

    Those nuts certainly to my eyes look more like almonds than mixed nuts. Just my $0.02…

  11. Tim Guest

    Ben, I just got back from several weeks in Vietnam and flew several legs on Bamboo. It really is a great little airline. Love the crew with their hands on their heart during boarding and just how polished everything is. I also heard ABBA’s Happy New Year playing in random restrictions and even people’s homes. It’s a thing in Vietnam this time of year it seems. Very cute.

  12. yjchua New Member

    MH and TG also consistently offer hot towels before meals on several recent flights I had with them in late Dec ‘22 and early-mid Jan ‘23.

    I think most airlines have already reverted back to pre COVID levels of service, I didn’t notice anything significantly different compared to service from before the pandemic.

  13. NedsKid Member

    I can't wait to read more. You seem like you had some genuine fun.

  14. Petri Diamond

    Occasionally, when I post something the comments section does not publish it. When I retry I get a comment that "you have already said this". Does this happen to anyone else?

    1. Yiannis Guest

      Yes! I think he doesn’t put a lot of negative remarks at times……

    2. Schar Gold

      yes. just refresh and your comment will be there. what is annoying is that you have to scroll down and go thru the comments to find your place every time u refresh, after you post, and after you comment something....ugh

  15. Steve M Guest

    British Airways, does in fact serve hot towels before meals.
    At least on the yyz to lhr and lgw to tfs flights.
    As of last Sunday and early Monday.

  16. Petri Diamond

    Personally I prefer blueberry rat, but each to his own taste. How was the mouse?

  17. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    The flowers instead of bamboo in the bathroom is the ultimate missed opportunity of all missed opportunities....

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Bamboo is not an attractive plant in isolation, hence the very attrctive orchids.

  18. Petri Diamond

    Just curious. How did the blueberry mouse taste?

  19. Mike1977 Guest

    I’m curious about the wine, was it Vietnamese wine?

    1. tuotuo Gold

      Dalat,Vietnam produces some decent wine and coffee. But I guess Bamboo Airways' wine is not from in Vietnam.

  20. TravelinWilly Diamond

    If I couldn’t have saved a menu for Carfield the f/a and I would have come to blows.

  21. R B Guest

    Could we have a review of the movie "Cougar Queen"?
    asking for a friend....

  22. AA70 Diamond

    Thank you!!

    Maybe you'll cover this in the full review but would you hesitate to fly them again?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ AA70 -- I'll talk more about it in the review, but I would definitely fly with Bamboo Airways again. I wouldn't seek out the airline on a long haul flight, but I'd have no qualms flying with the airline.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

R B Guest

Could we have a review of the movie "Cougar Queen"? asking for a friend....

4
Schar Gold

Speaking of exotic airlines...you should try Azul from VCO to the US or Europe!

3
Alvin | YTHK Diamond

The flowers instead of bamboo in the bathroom is the ultimate missed opportunity of all missed opportunities....

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,988,713 Miles Traveled

29,627,500 Words Written

32,815 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT