I knew I wanted to stop in Taiwan on my way to South Korea for my most recent trip. It’s so important to choose the right airline. Checkout my post Choosing the Right Airline. The Taiwanese airline EVA (they have the Hello Kitty plane) was my first choice. Planning was just not working out, though. China Airlines is also a Taiwanese airline, btw. Now I’ll show you why I decided to give China Airlines a try.
All Chinese Airlines Are Not Equal
People get confused because there are so many airlines with China in the name. I was one of those people. There was China Airlines, Air China, China Southern, China Eastern… What on earth! This was when I started thoroughly reviewing the ratings and reviews. Then I saw that China Airlines stood out above the rest.
The plane used for the long haul flight was the Boeing 777-300er. I was impressed the moment I boarded the plane. I had seen reviews on YouTube and the rumors were true. There was so much attention to detail. The cabin rivaled Emirates. Check out my Emirates review to decide for yourself. There were faux wood finishes throughout the cabin.
Each chair had an embroidered design. A cherry blossom was embossed on the removable headrest covers. There was a good amount of legroom. I was able to fit all my items under the seat.
On my departing flight I was able to get some extra room because of the narrowing of the plane. There are only 2 seats on the side rows of the Boeing 777-300er at the very back of the plane. That means extra space for the 2nd and 3rd rows from the back. I don’t recommend the very last row. The extra room definitely made up for being at the very back of the plane. Having the galley and bathroom nearby was also nice.
They provided headphones, a pillow and a blanket. The blanket should have come in a bag, but who know if the ones in bags are even clean. Toothbrushes, sleep masks and slippers were also available on-demand.
I also managed to snap some shots of the Premium Economy seats (above) and Business seats (below). This plane had no First Class. It really does seem like First Class cabins are slowly going extinct.
We were on a much older plane for the flight from Taipei to Seoul. It was an
Airbus A330-300 and served its purpose for the short haul flight.
The little mirror on the seatback was a nice touch. I never found out what that little mesh pouch was for. It was too small for a drink and too narrow for a phone. It might have fit a phone from 20 years ago.
This is what you’ve all been waiting for! Drum roll please. The food really impressed me.
The first meal I had was pesto salmon with potatoes and vegetables. It came with a dinner roll and fruit. The salmon was not too dry and seasoned really well.
Baked chicken and quinoa was my second meal. The chicken was tender and well seasoned. This is something very hard to achieve with airplane food, especially in economy. The quinoa should have been cooked a little longer but it was okay. They also threw in a snack mix. I liked the snack mix, which reminded me of those little dried snacks (dried peas and crackers) you get at certain Chinese restaurants.
Light snacks were served in between meals. I remember something like a tuna sandwich, which I passed on. I feel like I can’t eat tuna on a plane. I’m weird like that. On a side note, the apple juice they served was amazing. I’ve never tasted anything like it anywhere.
I pre-chose a special meal for every leg of my trip. I was served first and had a longer time to eat my food.
The China Airlines team was very attentive. The flight attendants didn’t crowd the galley and hide away from sight. I saw the attendants constantly. They were always bringing items to passengers. Or maybe the passengers just called them a lot. Either way, they were always available and willing to help.
I give China Airlines a B when it comes to their IFE (In-flight Entertainment). There was a large selection of Asian-based and Western-based movies and television. Latin-based options were even available.
Was there a never ending selection? No. There was no option to make a music playlist and a lot of Asian-based choices didn’t have subtitles in other languages. Wi-fi was available for a price.
Even the older Airbus A330-300 on my shorter flight had the same entertainment selection, however the smaller screen wasn’t as nice and the screen showed a lot of glare.
The bathroom was a standard bathroom. I appreciated the fragrance mist and moisturizer on the vanity.
The staff kept the bathrooms clean throughout all my flights. They immediately took care of any issues (lack of TP).
Would I fly China Airlines again? Yes. I also recommend them. The plane was so nice and the food was very good.