Skyteam.... Firstly, I was happy to hear that Vietnam airlines had joined Skyteam as I often travel to and from Vietnam to Japan. However, disappointment that turned to disgust can explain what happened on my recent trip on this so called "airline".
Let me detail my experience in their lack of customer service:
March 11th, 2011: 3pm(Earthquake had just hit Japan and Narita airport had closed down making landing impossible)
Called customer service to change to another day but was told since this request was due to passengers wish that they would charge a change fee per ticket. I told them about an earthquake that just occured but they did not receive any "official" notice from head office so change fees would be imposed. Therefore, I went to the airport as scheduled for my flight back to Narita airport.
Spoke to airport staff to determine flight status. VN staff said flight was going to leave as scheduled though all TV monitors (and News reports ) were reporting flights were unable to land in Tokyo. When I mentioned this to them, they said they had no report of any news out of Japan and had no information about "any" quake at all!
At 8pm, (United, Delta, Korean, JAL, and ANA) had all cancelled flights as they should to put passenger safety first, Vietnam air still kept flights as delayed only to cancel 1 hour after expected departure time! It was already midnight and finding a hotel was difficult at that time.
When I was finally able to board my flight back to Tokyo two days afterwards, I would have to say their planes are really in terrible condition AND staff from ground crew to flight attendants are poorly trained in customer service.
1. Though I was traveling business class, there was no differentiation in boarding times. Only one announcement for general boarding!
2. "Business class" seats are so tight together that legroom was very minimal. Honestly, it would only be 3 inches more than coach.
3. My "business class" seat could not recline. When I mentioned this to the "flight attendant" and I used this term very loosely, she told me it had been like that and she could not do anything...
4. When I was sleeping, I was irked to be woken up only to hear "Sir, tea or coffee?" Do you really think someone sleeping wants to be woken up for tea or coffee?
Never ever take Vietnam Airlines if you have an alternative choice.