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“Nice easy flights to and from Sydney. Excellent staff, very good overall experience.”
Review of Air Vanuatu


Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Excellent flights there and back on their 737-800 aircraft. Great service, nice comfortable seats, and pretty good in-flight catering for what is after all a short trip! Fast check-in at Sydney, fast check-in at Port Vila (even though the return trip was well-nigh full!) Getting through Emigration / Passport Control from Port Vila a little slow (but they ARE expanding the International Terminal, so a good service nevertheless). Not as fast as Sydney (as you'd expect), but FAR faster than Bali (which can take hours!).

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    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Timea S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 147 reviews

Reviewed 2 November 2017

I don't know if this experience is any different to any of the other airlines. But here goes.
The check in experience in Sydney was not great, I flew economy and they don't call it cattle class for nothing (and no wonder you are advised to get to the airport 3 hours before a flight). There is an obvious difference between business and economy. 2 counters were available for each. Business class obviously got the better end of the stick - they pay more for their tickets and get a better service. But why does this mean the economy class ticket holder has to shuffle through a zig zag queue for more than 40 minutes (and I was early on the queue) while persons manning the business class counters yawned between the excessive wait for their next customer.
It is almost like, having purchased your economy class ticket, the business (and this is not unique to Air Vanuatu) has to ensure you have a sub par experience just to teach you a lesson for being so cheap. I think all airlines could lift their game in this regard. After all, the tickets aren't that cheap when you think about it - I have no idea about the airline businesses profit line but a bet improvements could be made in economy class service.
The cabin itself was the same as any other economy section, very small seats with minimal leg room.
The food was the worst of this experience. The flight left at 11:55 am so people are going to be hungry. A choice between ginger chicken and a meat pie. The chicken dish ran out (what a surprise) so was left with an abysmal (meat?) pie and a nasty white chocolate cookie that didn’t even taste like it was cooked - maybe people are used to eating raw cookie dough and this is a "thing" now, I found it very unpalatable. I have flown with AV twice now and the wine is just not worth drinking.
The staff are lovely, and proficient at performing a great jig to get passengers past the trollies and to the loos and back. Ever smiling and friendly.
The stop over at Port Villa was confusing. The 4 of us continuing to Santo had to go through security (again, the security check at Sydney Airport must not be enough). This was not explained well with a passenger going the wrong way and being reprimanded for it. I had to clarify at the plane where I had to go and once inside the building had to ask again as the security section was stuck around the corner. Hand luggage was re x-rayed and I was patted down (seriously). All to go back on board the same plane.
On the return flight there is a 5 hour wait at Port Villa to Sydney (I believe there are direct flights from Santo to Brisbane). It would be great if this wait could be reduced at all. On my flight, the Santo to Port Villa leg was delayed. This was not relayed to passengers well. All the announcements had a poor audio quality so everyone shooshed each other then said "what, did you understand that?". We all got up and stood on queues, then realised we were on the wrong queue, back to sitting down again. One passenger almost missed her flight to Brisbane in all this chaos (she was queued with the later leaving Sydney flight).
There are not that many airlines flying to Vanuatu and I would imagine they would all be pretty much the same, maybe I will try another airline next time, just to see the difference.

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    • Value for money
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1  Thank Emeraude8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2017

To be clear the flight was from Luganville (Espiritu Santo) via Port Vila (Efate) to Brisbane, two planes involved, firstly a turbo prop ATR72 to Port Vila then the 737-800 to Brisbane.
This review is based on all the flights we took with Air Vanuatu, so includes the Sydney-Port Vila-Luganville flights.
In the air you could not fault a thing on any of the flights, great friendly crew, plenty of leg room, clean interior and very good food and complimentary bar service and free wifi on the international legs, it really was a pleasure to be on board, so if this review was based on that alone it would score 5*, excellent.
However on the ground they are poor, at check in at Sydney we asked to upgrade, having telephoned the previous evening to check the cost & availability. Without even checking the Service Agent that was dealing with us said that there was no availability, when we boarded the flight there were available seats. The same Service Agent asked us to sit and wait for a wheechair for my wife, after waiting 20 minutes I approached her again to be told that there were no wheelchairs available, in the whole of Sydney International airport there were no wheelchairs available!! My wife endured a long and painful walk to the gate.
Returning to Brisbane our two hold bags were "lost" on the 50 minute flight between Luganville and Port Vila, we received them 3 days later in Brisbane.
A meagre amount of compensation was finally agreed and my bank details sent, only for nothing to happen. My emails to query the delay were ignored, my email requesting details of their CEO was also ignored, however after intervention from my travel agent Your Travel, they finally paid up over three months later. Without the help of the travel agent I doubt I would have received anything as I feel they would have carried on ignoring me.
If the ground organisation was as good as that in the air this would be a great little airline.

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    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
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1  Thank HemelGooner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2017 via mobile

Lovely flight and lovely attendants the flight was a great way to start our holiday check in was fast and simple. Ensure you have your return flight details or etickets on you as you need those to get through customs at Port Villa

Thank triciaebb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2017

Although the airport in Port Vila is a little dodgy, the flight itself was very pleasant - starting from the upbeat music being broadcast & the big smiles by the crew.
The service on board was very good and attentive. Seats were comfortable.
It was a pleasure to fly Air Vanuatu.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC