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Qatar Airways Review Economy Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh QR965 – Airbus A330-200

12th April 2014
Qatar Airways Flight 965
Depart : Phnom Penh (PNH)
Arrive : Ho Chi Minh (SGN)
Departure time : 16:30pm (Actual 16:40pm )
Arrival Time : 17:30pm (Actual 17:09pm)
Airbus A330-200
Seat  19A
Flight Time : 29 Minutes
Meal Service : None

The complete flight

Just 120 Miles

Just 132 Miles today

 We had booked this flight last-minute whilst in Cambodia. It was Khmer new year and we had gone to book the bus to Ho Chi Minh. But it being New Year the bus was sold out for the next few days and we had to get to Vietnam to meet our friends. The bus was much cheaper at about $25 USD per person. But as we had to be there, flying was our only choice.

Qatar Airways was the obvious choice as they offered the only non stop service that day, all other airlines had to connect. We ended up paying $159 USD per person to take the flight, I know it’s normally around $129 USD, but as it was Khmer new year the prices had gone up.

$159 USD makes this probably one of the most expensive flights I have ever taken, considering it was only scheduled to be 29 minutes long.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

We arrived at the airport with about three hours to spare, Phnom Penh traffic is a bit crazy and gets jammed pretty quickly in the afternoon, so we took a taxi to the airport earlier than normal.

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We went straight to check in when we arrived.

Check In

Check In

Check in was very quick and our Vietnam Visa’s were checked before we could hand over our bags.

Security was not letting anyone through until two hours before departure so we had fifteen minutes to pass before we could go through security. I took a look around the airport, as it was fairly small to see what it had to offer.

Surprisingly they had a costa coffee and a burger king

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Security finally started letting people in and we lined up. I was really impressed with the security, the entire process took just over 5 minutes and they did not make me take anything out of my bag (normally I have to with all the camera equipment).

There was not a lot to do in the departure terminal and no staff had shown up yet at the check in counter.

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We had about one hour and thirty minutes left until departure so we decided to have a few drinks in the bar.
It was a fitting end to our trip and we enjoyed our last few Angkor Beers.

Angkor Beer

Angkor Beer

The bar at the airport had a great view of the tarmac and I watched a few planes pass by while we waited.

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As I was watching the world go by I could see thunderstorm clouds starting to form and roll into the city and the skies around the airport became very dark, I had a feeling today’s flight might be a bit bumpy and had a few more beers to relax me.

Today’s flight time would be a total of just 29 minutes. This would be the shortest international flight I have ever taken.
I was also fairly impressed it was operated by such a large wide body aircraft.

Our plane than landed and pulled into our gate.

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Boarding was called on time and everyone huddled around the counter waiting.

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Everyone was on board fairly quickly, it seemed the flight was not really full at all and there were lots of empty seats.

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I was really impressed at how much leg room I had at my seat, it did not really matter for such a short flight, but this was something to keep in mind when flying economy long haul in the future.

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The weather had cleared up a little bit during the boarding process, but before take off the captain came on to inform us we would be flying at 21,000FT today and we would be working our way around a few thunderstorms during the flight and said we might be in for a few bumps.

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We pushed back on time and said out goodbyes to Cambodia. It really is a wonderful country.

 We started our take off role and lifted off smoothly, the first one or two minutes of the flight were very calm, and then we hit the first patch of dark clouds.

The plane bounced around for a few minutes as we cleared the thunderstorm clouds and we made a lot of turns in the air to go around them.
After about ten minutes the captain announced we would be making our decent into Ho Chi Minh.

With about fourteen minutes remaining we began our decent and started to clear the last bunch of clouds to line up for a visual on the runway. We then hit some final cloud cover and it seemed like we dropped out of the sky for just a second and everyone on board either screamed or made some sort of noise as we hit the final patch of turbulence.

Once we had cleared the final cloud cover the last ten minutes of the flight were very smooth and we had a great clear but smoggy approach into Ho Chi Minh.

Great view on landing

Great view on landing

We touched down with grace and everyone on board breathed a sigh of relief after the bumpy flight.

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We taxied quickly to the gate and arrived.

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Even though the flight was bumpy and short, it was great to fly on Qatar Airways and experience another airline. I would really consider flying them long haul in the future as the legroom was great in the economy cabin. I know just this month they have started their A380 service from London to Qatar, which I’m told is an amazing experience.

Now it was time to face the fun immigration in Vietnam….

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