Review: Vietnam Airlines Lounge Ho Chi Minh City Airport

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My flight from London was scheduled to arrive at 5:20AM, while my flight to Shanghai was scheduled to depart at 7:50AM, so I had a 2hr30min layover.

We seemed to be one of the first arrivals of the morning, and when I showed up at the international transit security checkpoint there weren’t even any staff there. So when the ground staff saw me coming they asked me to wait for a moment so they could get two security personnel to screen me. They showed up quickly, and in the meantime a handful of other passengers got in line behind me (a vast majority of the people on my flight seemed to be terminating their travels in Vietnam).


SGN Airport transit security

Once past security I took the escalator up a level and followed the signage towards the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge, which the airline uses for their business class passengers.


SGN Airport transit security

The terminal was still very quiet, with most shops closed.


SGN Airport terminal

After walking for about a minute I found signage for various lounges.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge signage

The Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge is located on level three of the terminal, just across from a Burger King.


Ho Chi Minh City Airport terminal


Vietnam Airlines Lounge entrance

When I first arrived there wasn’t even an employee at the desk, as they just seemed to be setting up for the morning. He showed up within about a minute, and told me there would be a boarding call for my flight.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge reception


Vietnam Airlines Lounge reception

I think I’ve visited just about all the lounges at the airport at this point, and this one was surprisingly nice. It had tons of natural light, and great views of the taxiway and runway. The beautiful sunrise I was witnessing didn’t hurt either.


Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge seating

The lounge had a variety of seating options. Along the center of the lounge were rows of dining tables with 2-4 seats each, some communal tables with high-top seating, and just rows of chairs facing one another, separated by coffee tables.


Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge seating


Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge seating

Along the windows were more rows of seats facing one another.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge seating

There were also some cute seating areas that had four seats each, with a little roof covering them. That really added quite a bit of style to the lounge, in my opinion.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge seating


Vietnam Airlines Lounge seating

In the back corner of the lounge was a business center with some PCs and a printer.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge business center

The lounge was in an “L” shape, and the buffet was along two walls by the interior.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge buffet

Along one side of the buffet were the drinks, which included liquor, beer, wine, soft drinks, juice, a Pepsi soda fountain, and a Nescafe coffee machine. The liquor and wine selection was pretty basic.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge buffet


Vietnam Airlines Lounge alcohol selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge drink selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge soda fountain


Vietnam Airlines Lounge coffee machine

As far as the food selection goes, there were both cold and hot options. Cold options included cereal, salad, fresh fruit, pastries, croissants, and cake.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection

I’m not sure what exactly all the hot options were, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection


Vietnam Airlines Lounge food selection

The lounge had bathrooms that were basic but clean. There was one shower room located inside the men’s bathroom, which had wall-mounted toiletries and a towel. There was no toilet in the actual shower room.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge bathroom


Vietnam Airlines Lounge shower room


Vietnam Airlines Lounge shower room

I spent about an hour in the lounge using the fast wifi. Otherwise I just had a cup of (fairly decent) coffee and enjoyed the views of the apron and runway in the distance.


Vietnam Airlines Lounge view

I decided to head towards the direction of my gate at around 6:30AM. My flight was departing from gate 26, which was about a five minute walk from the lounge.


Ho Chi Minh City Airport terminal

As I approached the gate I had a view of the Vietnam Airlines A350 that would be taking me to Shanghai — what a beauty!


Vietnam Airlines A350

The gates at the airport are one level down from the main concourse, so I took the escalator down.


Vietnam Airlines departure gate


Vietnam Airlines departure gate

There weren’t any gate agents at the time, though the two pilots were there, and couldn’t get onto the plane. So they had a seat, made a couple of phone calls, and 10 minutes later were let on the plane.


Vietnam Airlines departure gate

While my boarding pass indicated that boarding would start one hour before departure, in reality boarding started at 7:10AM, 40 minutes before departure.

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge bottom line

I think I’ve visited just about all the international lounges at Ho Chi Minh City Airport at this point, and the Vietnam Airlines one is my favorite. That’s simply a function of the great views and the amount of natural light. The food and drink selection was alright as well.

On top of that I love how easy international to international connections at the airport are. Very few people seem to connect at SGN internationally, so I’ve repeatedly found this to be an easy process.

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Comments

  1. Lucky, what do you normally eat? Somehow I think you don’t go too far out of your comfort zone .

  2. @Lucky. I seem to remember seeing advertisements at SGN airport for a one day pass (more like max 4 hrs) to these lounges for around $20-30 per person. Which one of the lounges would you recommend to purchase passes for in the International and the Domestic terminals? I am heading there in a few months’ time. Thanks.

  3. Had a similar experience with the international to international transfer, although when I went there lines at immigration were clogging up the entrance to the transfer room. Immigration desks were not staffed, I was baffled at how this could happen !

    I found the lounge to be quite nice although a bit crowded during the night time peak (when Europe and Australia bound flights depart).
    I really liked the tarmac views.

    One thing I really dislike about SGN is the amount of remote gates, I know it helps them shuffle their fleet around between domestic and international without having to tow them around. But last thing you want to do when you’re wearing a suit is to walk around in the hot and humid weather of Vietnam.

  4. @debit.

    Lucky rarely eats Asian food when flying J or F class on Asian airlines so let that speak for itself re: his level of knowledge re: Asian food.

  5. Personally, I never bother with the airline lounge(s) at SGN, just head straight to the massage lounges. Last time I was there I spent four hours in the lounge. Incredibly value for money.

  6. @Kevin A quick look at the trip reports from the past would reveal this to be quite false, particularly in the case of the Korean carriers.

  7. Just curious as I am flying from this airport next week. Did you take a shower after this long flight?
    How was the shower room in terms of convenience.

  8. @bill

    Ordering a salmon with tomato basil sauce (lunch) and shrimp noodle soup (dinner; Cantonese dish) on KE LAX-ICN and salmon with pesto cream sauce (lunch) and potato crusted orange roughy (snack) on OZ LAX-ICN isn’t exactly stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

    I frankly don’t care anyway because I don’t read this blog for food recommendations.

  9. Yes, it’s a pretty good lounge compared to the old one. There is also a Priority Pass lounge in both domestic and international terminals for those not flying in a premium cabin. In country, I only ever fly Vietnam Airlines.

  10. The price of the food on airport quite shocked me. Prices same like in US with wages 4times less. What a rip off

  11. I went to Vietnam with Colonel James Braddock to look for missing POW’s. We ran into General Trau, and some bad stuff went down.

  12. If only US airports could learn how to organize international transfer in a more effective and professional fashion

  13. What’s the point of travelling everywhere when Lucky doesn’t even bother learning the basics of a country’s culture? Even a random person off the streets of LA would likely know what pho is. It is literally the most well know Vietnamese dish.

  14. Lucky is pretty much the opposite of what Anthony Bourdain was. I’m pretty sure you wont see Lucky eating anything local from a street vendor. It’s got to be a place where you can get credit card points.

  15. As a frequent traveler to Viet Nam, I found the post about the lounge spot on. I have used this lounge several times, and it is quite an improvement over the old one. You typically don’t qualify to use airline lounges on arrival. For anyone departing on Vietnam Airlines flight in a premium cabin (domestic or international), it’s a great facility. Great post!

  16. Careful with the lounge food at SGN. I’ve called at the Apricot Lounge 3 times recently, and twice I saw cockroaches…

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