Emirates EK 392
Dubai – Ho Chi Minh City (DXB-SGN)
Departure: 9:30 Actual Departure: 9:50
Arrival: 19:40 Actual Arrival: 19:33
Duration: 7 hours 10 minutes Actual Duration: 6 hours 43 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration #: A6-EBK
Seat #: 38K (Economy Class)
Sunday, 15th May 2016
After my 6 hours flight into Dubai from Hamburg and after getting to the terminal and clearing security, I had about 2.5 hours in my hand until the next flight. The first thing I did then was to check the flights information screen to search for the gate number to my next flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). My gate was located at C43, which meant about 15-20 mins walk inside the Emirates Terminal from my present position. I was pretty sleepy at this point so I just headed straight for the gate to sit down and relax a bit. After arriving at the boarding area I concluded that this wasn’t one of those gates with boarding bridges. This meant we’d be taking buses to a remote aircraft stand and boarding with stairs.
The boarding began at around 8:30 AM, about 15 mins earlier than planned. And by boarding, I mean boarding the buses and not the actual aircraft. The aircraft was parked about 10 mins bus ride away. As I’ve mentioned earlier that the aircraft for the first flight had old, outdated product, I was kinda hoping that they deploy a newer aircraft on this flight. But I had no luck when I noticed the aircraft with registration “A6-EBK”, which I knew was a 10 year old airframe. (How I know which Emirates aircraft is old/new? I’ll save that for another post another time) 😉 .
We boarded with the stairs through door 5L, the very last door of the aircraft. Upon presenting my boarding pass, I was told to go through the right side aisle to my seat. My seat this time was located at 38K, which was just one row behind the 4R emergency exit door. I settled down on my seat, which was the same as the previous aircraft with the outdated in-flight entertainment system. As for my seat neighbors, I wasn’t lucky this time! Both seats next to me were occupied by two British women. This made me feel like I was a bit squeezed but I nevertheless introduced myself and we had a short chat. The boarding process lasted about 35-40 mins.
The flight was pretty full I would say, with about 90% occupancy. Half of the passengers seemed to be Vietnamese and other Asian nationals, though there were a lot of Germans and British as well. We were then distributed hot towels to freshen up as well as the lunch menu. The captain then announced that our flight would take around 6 hours 40 minutes at an altitude of 35,000 ft and that we had a slight 5-10 min delay. At 9:50 AM, the pushback began and after 20 mins taxi to the runway, we took off from runway 30R. By 10:10 AM we were airborne.
The seat belt sign was turned off 12 minutes into the rather smooth takeoff. An announcement was made that the cabin crew come from 11 countries and speak 12 languages. From their name and flag tags I noticed they were Greek, British, Polish, Vietnamese, Egyptian etc.. I started to browse the movie selections on my screen and decided to watch the newly released ‘How to be Single’. We were then served post-departure drinks and I asked for Mango Juice and a Cola.
The meal service started around 1 hour 10 minutes after takeoff. The menu looked like this:
Sounds quite delicious doesn’t it? As I already had chicken in my previous flight, I decided to have the Cod fish this time.
I wasn’t sure how the meal would taste but the fish actually took me by surprise! The appetizer was okayish and though the cake dessert was quite good, I’d say I had better ones 😛 . The meal was done in about 30 minutes and I continued finishing the movie as the day rolled into afternoon. Btw, I liked this movie and I recommend watching it! I opened the window shade to see how it looks.
I decided to take a nap but unfortunately that didn’t last long. 1,5 hours before landing, we were served an afternoon snack consisting of a chicken roll sandwich and cookies. Sorry, I was pretty tired at this point so I forgot to take pictures! As the sun started to set when flying over Thailand, I finally opened the window blind to enjoy the view outside.
At 18:50 local time, the captain made a pre-arrival announcement informing us of the landing time at 19:30. Our descend began at 19:00 as we were over Cambodia. There was a lot of thunderstorm that night over Cambodia and Vietnam, which luckily gave me an opportunity to admire some spectacular lightnings among the clouds in the sky. It looked really amazing when the aircraft was descending through the clouds and lightning! Unfortunately I couldn’t capture such moments with my camera 🙁 . Inside the aircraft, the light was already dimmed and the starry ceiling effect could be seen.
We touched down at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport at exactly 19:33 local time on runway 25R. The taxi to the airport terminal took around 10 mins and our aircraft was then parked next to an Etihad A330.
After deplaning through the boarding bridge, I headed for immigration but there was a whooping long queue! It took about 30 mins to clear the passport controls and another 30 mins to retrieve my luggage from the conveyor belt. About an hour after landing, I could finally get out of the airport and start to explore this city in a (for me) totally new country….but first, I need a good sleep!
To Sum Up
This flight too wasn’t bad. I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if it wasn’t for the fact that I was quite tired. I was happy with the food, but the crew kinda looked slightly unfriendlier on this flight. And again, I got unlucky with the aircraft turning out to be an old one with old economy class product… damn it! But there is always next time 🙂