Hello and welcome to this new Flight review between New Delhi and Bangkok on board Vistara.
I have been following this young and promising airline for several years now, owned 50% by Singapore Airlines and 50% by TATA. It has received many awards, including "India's Best Airline" which it constantly promotes.
I had the choice for this flight between several airlines, including Thai Airways and its Boeing 777, Air India and its 787, and Vistara with its A320neo. It is this last solution that I have chosen, knowing already the product proposed by the two other national airlines and being interested in discovering the real service offered by Vistara.
Here I am at the Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi, in Terminal 3, on the departure floor.
I head towards the entrance of the building. Identity and ticket controls are carried out in order to enter the terminal.
Once inside, I spot the charts with the flights. The check-in will be done at the A counters.
I go towards them by crossing the big check-in hall. My first impression of this airport: a really modern, clean, and pleasant hall.
Beautiful Indian decoration as well.
By the way, I notice that the airport is equipped with free Wi-Fi. A good point!
I arrive at the Vistara check-in counter. There is a Business Class line, a Premium Economy line, and a Baggage Drop line. No special Economy line, they are optimistic to think that everyone does their Online Check-in!
Once registered, the vaccination certificates checked and my boarding pass in hand, I head for the controls.
First, immigration. A bit waiting, quite fluid.
Then the security. A little messy (Indian style) but it gets done. It is fast.
Once the controls are passed, it's time to find something to do during these three hours of waiting.
We pass first by a classic Duty-Free. Very clean, large, not bad of choice where a multitude of salesmen try to reforge you everything and anything.
Then, we fall into the zone of transit. Really pleasant, clean, and modern. The choice in terms of stores and restaurant is colossal.
There is even an aero store with models, some goodies, and... a Boeing 737 simulator! Just that!
A look at the signs.
I continue in the corridor towards my gate. Still a lot of cafes, restaurants, stores... And a very bright terminal, really beautiful and pleasant.
I finally arrive at my gate, the 9A.
I take advantage of the long wait to do some Planespotting around.
An Air India Boeing 787-8 also departing for Bangkok.
A Boeing 787-10 of Singapore Airlines parked nearby.
An ATR of Alliance Air, a regional subsidiary of Air India, taxiing.
A 737 MAX of SpiceJet, coming from Bangkok (definitely!).
An IndiGo A321neo taxiing to the runway, an A320neo of the same airline on short final.
One of the two 787-9 in the Vistara fleet (at the time of writing).
An Indigo A321neo at the push, with a mix of local airlines behind: on the left, Akasa Air (a new Indian airline with only two Boeing 737 MAX), GoFirst, IndiGo, GoFirst in GoAir livery...
The presence of obstacles in front of my plane prevents me from taking pictures of it from the terminal.
Around 7:30 am, almost an hour before departure, boarding begins. It starts with the passengers seated in Business class. It is then followed by the passengers at the back of the plane and ends with the others.
Boarding is done quickly, in a pleasant way, and without too much stress.
We arrive inside the jetway and I can finally admire the Vistara livery! A livery that I find really nice with this juxtaposition of brown-purple and yellow-gold.
My aircraft is VT-TNU, a two-and-a-half-year-old Airbus A320-251N.
The fuselage shot is done.
Once on board, we are welcomed by the purser.
Cabin and seat
We pass by the Business Class, the Premium Economy Class (yes, a Premium Economy on an A320!) and we arrive finally in Economy Class.
For the record, I should have initially flown Premium Eco. However, the day I booked my ticket, the prices had suddenly gone up and Economy ended up being the same price as Premium. Premium Economy was twice as expensive. So I finally opted for Economy.
I arrive at my seat, 18A.
Upon arrival on board, a blanket in the airline colors awaits each passenger. Nice attention!
The belt is nice, in the airline colors too.
An individual USB port is offered at each seat.
In the seat pocket, a lot of things! We find a safety card, a sickness bag but also a card presenting the "Vistara World" offer (which we will detail later), and an in-flight magazine. Really nice to see an airline that does not limit itself to the safety card and the sickness bag in this post-Covid period!
The seat includes a smartphone holder, handy!
I like the finish of the seat, very sober, in leather, with the logo on the headrest.
A hook is proposed to attach a jacket for instance.
The seat moves back a little, just like on most A320.
A big negative point that I notice immediately was the legroom. This one is really bad. My legs are completely blocked by the seat in front, impossible to move them. I'm not the smallest (1m82) but still...
I have a theory about that: Vistara touts its Premium Economy tremendously. But putting a Premium Economy on an A320 (in addition to a Business Class) requires finding advantages. Huge legroom on an A320 is not so feasible, this "extra Premium legroom" is surely possible by reducing the space in Economy. Too bad...
Nice view on the left Sharklet painted with the colours of the Indian airline. The parent airline, Singapore Airlines, in the background.
The boarding is finished. A beautiful pink lighting reigns in the cabin.
The jetway disconnects. The seatbelt sign is turned on.
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 arrives on our left.
A stowaway is walking on the wing!
The light turns white and the safety demonstration begins.
We push back facing northwest.
The engines start up and we begin to taxi in stride.
We pass in front of an Air India Boeing 787, which just arrived from Paris-CDG.
We cross another A320neo of Vistara followed by a British Airways 787.
We race the A320 to the runway threshold. This allows us to admire more the beautiful livery!
VT-TNE won the race :/ He leaves before us, to Thiruvananthapuram.
After an Air India A320neo at touchdown, we line up on runway 11. Sorry Air India A321…
At 08h39 (local time), we take off from Delhi Airport with 15 minutes delay.
We then pass through a small turbulence zone that we will quickly leave by passing above the clouds.
About 20 minutes after the take-off, flight attendants start the service.
Vistara is not a low-cost airline and offers complimentary catering on board. Two choices are offered: the vegetarian meal and the non-vegetarian one. I opt for the non-vegetarian.
The tray is served; it contains a hot meal (an omelet with potatoes and tomatoes), a roll and butter, a yogurt, a small bottle of water, and a brick of orange juice.
Wooden cutlery: nice ecological initiative! Too bad the bread is in a plastic bag...
The meal is not excellent at all. It's barely edible. The bread is a bad piece of plastic.
My companion opts for the vegetarian offer. It is rice with… I don't know actually. To have tasted it, his dish was quite good. I will think about converting to a vegetarian for my next flight in India.
Flight attendants then pass by with tea and coffee.
As I mentioned, this meal is not exceptional. It's a pity for a country with such good gastronomy to opt for such a... lame meal.
When I flew on Air India three years ago for a domestic flight, they offered much better quality food in Economy Class. Nevertheless, free services for short-haul flights are getting rarer and rarer, especially in the post-Covid period. So I take it more as a semi-bonus than a malus. I'm Still Hungry.
Now that the meal is over, it's time to tell you about "Vistara World".
Although Vistara does not have individual screens on board its A320 (it only has them in its A321neo and 787), the airline is offering to all its passengers a free entertainment service accessible from smartphones/tablets/computers. This service, available on a portal accessible by connecting to the "Vistara World" Wi-Fi network, allows passengers to access a range of films, TV series, and music. There is also a section dedicated to children, as well as an in-flight magazine and finally an interactive map to follow the progress of the flight!
And that's a real plus! The offer of movies (for example) is quite interesting. There are about a hundred movies in different categories: Indian movies, American movies, comedies, romance, drama, intrigue… In short, very good point for Vistara! Our dear Europeans should take an example for their short and medium flights in twin-aisle...
Nevertheless, if Vistara proposes this in-flight entertainment offer, it does not propose Wi-Fi for all that, which is a pity... Probably still for the same problem of absence of Satcom on 320neo due to an imbalance concern.
A quick look in the in-flight magazine.
It includes the airline partners...
...the current fleet...
...and the network. A network that is very interesting for a young airline. It serves three destinations in Europe: Paris, Frankfurt, and London.
A beautiful wing view with a very nice Sharklet!
We see in the distance the Burmese coast.
Many thunderstorms are on our way which often force us to make some detours.
Descent and arrival
We start the descent towards Bangkok. The lighting of the cabin adapts consequently.
There was some nice turbulence on the approach. I thought it was funny but the Indians didn't agree with me!
We finally land on runway 19L of the airport of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi at 14h08 (local time), 7 minutes early, after a 4-hour flight.
We quickly vacate the runway.
We pass a 777F of AeroLogic coming from Frankfurt.
What a sadness to come across this whole suite of Thai Airways planes parked... From the 747-400 to the A380 to the 777... all in a catastrophic state, the paint dull, barely maintained.
Behind the "wrecks" can be seen the new airport terminal building, which is scheduled to open in late 2023.
The 777 AeroLogic passes us again.
We cross two A330 of Thai AirAsia, a "neo" and a "ceo".
We see a beautiful A330neo of Starlux.
And we end up stopping at gate F4.
The deboarding takes place afterward.
We cross the (long) concourse F to immigration.
No connecting flight for today.
In ten minutes, the immigration is passed. We find ourselves at the Baggage Claim.
The first luggage arrives.
After not less than 20 minutes of waiting, the luggage is in our possession and we leave the airport in direction of Bangkok, by taking a cab.
In conclusion of this Vistara flight between New Delhi and Bangkok, I confess to being a bit mixed. I was idealizing a little too much this airline, owned half by Singapore Airlines. In fact, the crew was nice and helpful. The plane was clean, the cabin quite nice, and the seat equipment was nice. The entertainment offer, for a 4-hour flight in a plane without Wi-Fi, is excellent with Vistara World available for free on phone/tablet/computer. The reinstatement of paper newspapers is also nice. Two black points: the catastrophic legroom and the meal not so tasty. It's a shame. I would still be very interested to try Vistara again in the future, maybe in other classes or to other destinations (Paris with a 787 for example?).
Concerning Delhi, the fluidity is correct, the cleanliness irreproachable, the offer of restaurants/shops very good. I was not at an extremely busy time so I did not undergo the controls in the worst conditions. But from what I saw, it's really a "smooth" and nice airport that I would gladly pass through again!
Finally, concerning Bangkok, no worries about the cleanliness. As far as services are concerned, I have too few elements to evaluate them objectively. Concerning the fluidity, it was a bit long at the immigration and luggage. Moreover, I know from experience that this airport is far from being the most fluid in Asia. But today, it was still correct. I must also say that I wasn't there at the worst time.
This was the second Flight review of my trip to Asia. I hope you enjoyed this Flight review as much as I enjoyed making it, and I can't wait to take you with me on the next flight.
Thanks for reading and see you soon ;)