Bamboo Airlines 787 business class: more than just a flight

After flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a Bamboo Airways A321neo Business Class, I flew from Hanoi to Frankfurt on a Bamboo Airways Boeing 787-9 Business Class and it was… very interesting! Like, it’s not amazing, it’s not scary, it’s not boring. For better or worse, I couldn’t make any puns involving confusion or being deluded. đŸ˜‰

I actually got off the plane with an overall positive impression. While there are some quirks, this is a well-rounded specialist airline. Let me share some highlights, and then I’ll be doing a full travel review of the flight soon.

Bamboo Airlines business class is weird

Flying to Frankfurt in Business Class on a Bamboo Airlines 787 is more than just a flight. Why? Well, because airlines keep telling you it is. When the (Dutch) captain welcomed us on board, he said “Welcome aboard Bamboo Airways… more than just a flight.”

Bamboo Airlines Boeing 787-9

When the purser welcomed us on board, he also reminded us that this was “more than just a flight”. Heck, there’s even a poster in the back of the cabin telling us flying with Bamboo Airways is “more than just a flight”.

Bamboo Airways…”Not just a flight”

There is really nothing wrong with them. Flying with Bamboo Airways is certainly an experience. For example, the boarding music includes ABBA’s “Happy New Year” on repeat, which I love so much I can’t get rid of it now.

The song is fitting, not only because it’s New Years, but also because of the lyrics. The first three words of the song are “no more champagne,” which is appropriate because Bamboo Airways does not serve champagne.

It’s also a bit odd, since Bamboo Airways’ marketing videos use champagne heavily.

There are some super cute cabin details like the giant orchid in the bathroom which is so big you have to reposition to use the bathroom. I’d rather see bamboo, but…

Bamboo Aviation’s large orchids

While other airlines still don’t offer hot towels in business class, I got one on four different occasions while eating my second meal. I’m not sure if there was a lack of coordination among the staff or if they just wanted to make sure my hands were really clean. Anyway, I don’t mind.

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

Bamboo Airlines 787 business class hard products

Bamboo Airways’ Boeing 787s feature inverted herringbone seats, which are familiar to most people. I really like the cabin trim and find the seat padding to be very good.

Bamboo Airlines Boeing 787 Business Class
Bamboo Airlines Boeing 787 Business Class
Bamboo Airlines Boeing 787 Business Class Seats

While Bamboo Airways’ 787s had a Wi-Fi “dome” installed, it wasn’t turned on, so there wasn’t any Wi-Fi.

I was worried that the entertainment would be bad, but to my surprise it was not bad. No, it’s not like what you’d find on Emirates or Qatar, but there’s a good selection of movies and sitcoms to choose from.

Bamboo Airlines 787 entertainment system

As you might expect, there are also some Vietnamese options. I tried watching “Cougar Queen 2” but eventually got tired of reading the subtitles.

Bamboo Airlines 787 entertainment system

In my case, just keeping track of the flight path is enough. You will love the many flight routes between Asia and Europe.

Bamboo Airlines 787 map function

All in all, this is a solid and competitive hard product.

Bamboo business class soft furnishing products

The business class software products of Bamboo Airways have highs and lows. Let’s start with the positive. The food is actually very good and certainly plentiful. The first meal begins with mixed nuts and a drink.

Bamboo Airlines business class catering service

There are several appetizers and several main courses to choose from. For starters, I love the Lemongrass Grilled Chicken and Asian-inspired Green Salad. Bamboo Air sure knows how to brand its offerings – I found seven Bamboo Airways logos on a tray.

Bamboo Airlines business class catering service

For mains I had sea bream with ginger rice and braised vegetables.

Bamboo Airlines business class catering service

Then there’s a huge trolley filled with cheese, fruit and desserts, with plates for every seat.

Bamboo Airlines business class catering service

There is also a hearty meal before landing, including seafood soup, grilled chicken salad, fried noodles with green vegetables and prawns, and blueberry mice.

Bamboo Airlines business class catering service

I also think the travel set is very cute. As an avgeek, you can bet I’m going to put that bag to good use, thanks to the giant Bamboo Airways logo. It’s great for storing cables.

Bamboo Airlines Business Class Travel Set

Some aspects of the soft product could be improved. For example, the bedding was not good at all, the blanket was hot and itchy, and there was a small pillow.

Bamboo Business Class Pillows and Blankets

I asked for a second pillow, although the flight attendant apologized that no extra business class pillows were available. However, she was able to bring me an economy pillow. Looks kind of familiar… hmm.

Yue Bamboo Aviation Pillow——Business Pillow and Business Pillow Economy

While there are printed menus, they are not actually distributed to passengers. When ordering, the flight attendants simply show each passenger the menu and let them choose.

It would be nice to have a menu as sometimes communication is a challenge. I tried to order a coffee with milk (specifically listed on the menu) but the flight attendant couldn’t understand me. I asked repeatedly, speaking slowly and clearly, but lost my way in the translation. She didn’t get it until I pointed to it on the menu.

How cute is the Bamboo Airlines branded coffee mug?

Wine selection is also limited. No champagne, just one white and one red wine.

the bottom line

I am very happy to finally have the opportunity to fly with Bamboo Airways long haul route. As longtime OMAAT readers know, I like to fly exotic and fewer airlines, and Bamboo Airways certainly fits the bill (thanks to Aeroplan for offering this with points).

While Bamboo Airways does not yet offer a world-class product, the experience has, frankly, exceeded my expectations, especially for an airline start-up. The seats of Bamboo Airlines are comfortable, the entertainment facilities are not bad, and the service is also very attentive and friendly.

There are definitely some areas that could easily be improved, like better bedding, actually handing out menus and expanding the beverage selection. I think with a little effort Bamboo Airways can offer a competitive product between Asia and Europe.

What do you think of Bamboo Airlines’ Boeing 787 Business Class?

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