Bamboo Airways, London – Hanoi

A brand-spanking new Dreamliner aircraft with lie-flat beds, polished service and great food make this relatively-new airline an industry contender.

Bamboo Airways, London – Hanoi

A brand-spanking new Dreamliner aircraft with lie-flat beds, polished service and great food make this relatively-new airline an industry contender.

The flight

I flew from London Heathrow to Hanoi on flight QH24 in business class on a brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Flying time was just over 11 hours.

Check in

Arriving at 9am on a Sunday morning, I expected the airport to be empty but there were long queues for economy check-in and to enter the first/business class One Lounge. Check-in for business was swift however, with the option to fast-track through security, which I happily took advantage of given the snaking queues to get through.


Being business, I boarded after families with young children and swiftly found my seat. Business on this flight consisted of 10 rows of 46” lie-flat beds in a 1x2x1 herringbone configuration. Restrictions to Vietnam had just been lifted so I was able to enjoy the entire flight without having to wear a mask.


The seat

Our single window seat was on the right-hand-side of the aircraft looking towards the door. There was storage space under the seat in front of me (I kicked off my shoes and popped on the slippers provided) and in the arm rest, as well as a hook to hang my coat.

The seat had a USB port for phone charging, a fully lie-flat bed operated at the touch of a button (I used the velvety blanket and pillow provided to help me doze off) and an 18” TV screen which popped out for optimal viewing. More movie, TV and music choices wouldn’t go amiss.

Shortly after take-off, I was handed a pair of headphones and a leather zip-up Bamboo Airways amenity kit containing a toothbrush, tooth paste, a pair of socks, a foldable hairbrush/comb, a mini bottle of mouthwash and an eye mask.

The food

Dinner was a white tablecloth, silver cutlery affair with selections made from a menu on an iPad around an hour before service. My appetizer of potato cubes with mustard mayo, starter of chicken and fennel salad, and main course of grilled salmon with cous-cous and a lemon dressing was a triumph. I washed this down with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc served in a proper wine glass. A dessert trolley then came down the aisle with a selection of mini desserts and cheeses to choose from – I loved the fact that I could enjoy both a chocolate tart and a wedge of stilton with crackers. Breakfast wasn’t as impressive, with passengers choosing the Vietnamese breakfast lucking out over those opting for the English version (note to self).

bamboo 3

The service

The crew were a credit to the airline with nothing too much trouble and each and every task performed with a wide smile. Little touches – such as bottles of water handed out before ‘bed’ and ‘please don’t wake me for dinner’ stickers– elevated the experience.

The verdict

Having a lie-flat bed on a long journey is the stuff of dreams. That, coupled with a brand-new aircraft, mood lighting to mimic night-time on a day flight, large TV screen, fantastic food and cheerful staff made this a very enjoyable flight. My only criticism is the limited number of movies on offer but I’m informed that this will soon change.


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