China Airlines is the flag carrier of Taiwan, and I was stoked to try out their 777-300ER product in Business Class. I have heard great reviews about their in-flight hard products. Their network is fairly limited in the U.S., as they only fly to Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. However, today would be the day that I got to give them a whirl!
I do not believe there are that many China Airlines Business Class review articles published out there on the world wide web, so this hopefully would be a good barometer on what to expect from a hard product perspective.
Trip Report Series
- Self-Connecting to an International Flight: Lessons Learned
- Review: Singapore Airlines Economy Class, San Francisco – Singapore (via Hong Kong)
- Review: Plaza Premium Lounge, Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok Airport
- Review: Free Singapore Stopover Tour, Changi Airport
- Review: Tigerair (now Scoot), Singapore to Denpasar, Bali
- Review: Premier Lounge, Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport
- Review: EVA Air “Hello Kitty” Economy Class, Denpasar, Bali to Taipei
- Review: China Airlines Lounge, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport
- Review: China Airlines Business Class, Taipei to Seoul Incheon Airport
- Review: Korean Air KAL Prestige Lounge, Seoul Incheon Airport
The check-in process at TPE Taoyuan Terminal 2 is very easy, and there is a dedicated premium check-in area that is a bit of a walk from the entrance to the terminal once you’re dropped off from the hotel bus area. However, that also allows for a shorter walk to the actual gate and departure area.
Sadly, there is not a dedicated premium cabin lane for security at TPE, but the lines weren’t too terribly long, despite the busy morning rush hour. Asian airports can be very hit-or-miss with queuing, as I personally have found KLIA, Narita, and Incheon to be terrible, but Suvarnabhumi, Changi and Chep Lap Kok to be very good. It could also depend on the time of day, too, I suppose. I stopped by duty-free to get some pineapple tart desserts for my family, which were fantastic.
After a visit to the China Airlines lounge, I went to the gate area. While the interior corridors of Taoyuan could have been a bit more inspirational, the walking zones were clear and the signage was good. We were departing from gate B5 today.
The gate area was pretty jammed, and there was a stairwell that led down towards the boarding area. The premium class lines were already boarding, so I proceeded to the gate and made my way to the plane.
I noticed that upon entering the plane, the beautiful wood paneling that appears to be a common motif in China Airlines’ branding was one of the first things that customers noticed as they boarded. It’s so pleasant to see.
The Business Class cabin on China Airlines starts with row 10 as the first row, I have no idea on earth why. I was seated in 10A for today, and the cabin uses a reverse herringbone style of seating. The seat is a plush, rich deep purple hue and comes with a very comfy duvet and full pillow.
There is a wood panel area to work if you wish, and the TV monitor is huge. I also liked the lamp that was next to the panel. The panel also doubles as a storage area, if needed.
We were given rice snacks as a pre-departure offering, along with apple juice.
As I had boarded somewhat early, I went to the rear cabins to get a glimpse of the Premium Economy cabin as well as the economy class.
Once I returned back to my seat, I received the menu for this mornings’ flight. Orders were taken on the ground, as it was a shorter flight, and I was keen to try out the quiche.
We pushed back from Taipei on-time, and then we taxied and lifted off from TPE. Immediately after take-off, as we were climbing up, I drifted off to sleep…tthen I was awoken for breakfast service.
The meal came with a mushroom and leek quiche with spinach, baked beans, and tomato sauce. There was also croissant, fruit, and muesli to accompany the meal. Alternatively, the Asian entrée was a minced pork sauce over Mi Tai Mu noodles with smoked pork loin.
The meal was served piping hot. I loved how the baked beans paired perfectly with the quiche. The potato leek and bacon also were tender, melt-in-your-mouth quality. The fruit was fresh and the muesli was sumptuous, even if the quantities were small.
As I ate breakfast, I explored the IFE. The selections were about as extensive as they were on EVA Air, which was fine. I was more in love with the seat on this plane than anything and continued to drift back to sleep
Sadly, the TPE-ICN flight is very short, less than 2.5 hours, so the combination of sleeping, eating and watching a little bit of Taken were enough to let the flight pass by very quickly. Before long, we were descending into Incheon.
We landed in an overcast Seoul and taxied to our gate. The transit experience at Incheon was much better than the outbound experience. I managed to clear security relatively quickly, which was great.
I think that China Airlines has incredible potential for long-haul service should I ever have the chance to fly them on a transoceanic flight. The carrier strikes me as the more, “Japan Airlines” -like airline of Taiwan, as opposed to EVA which is more like ANA. In other words, one is more conservative whereas the other is a bit more hip and trendy. That being said, I really liked the experience on China Airlines and felt that the hard products and the soft products were fantastic, so I’d love to see if it is the same on a long-haul flight in premium class.
I hope you enjoyed my China Airlines Business Class review. Have you flown on it? Let me know if you have.