With China Airlines offering competitive Business Class airfares from New Zealand to Europe via Taiwan, Fine Travel Consultant Irene Field took the opportunity to experience China Airlines' Business Class and Economy Class to Taiwan.
In February 2017, I was fortunate to experience return flights to Taiwan, courtesy of China Airlines and the Taiwan Tourism Board. Taiwan is another blog in itself, and here I would just like to focus on China Airlines. Fortunately we flew one direction in economy class via Brisbane to Taipei, and then returned flying Business Class via Sydney to Auckland. This gave me a great overview of what to expect from each class, without peering through curtains!
China Airlines operate an Airbus A330 on both routes. However there are whispers that these will be upgraded to an even better product (the current planes are in excellent condition as they are). The new planes will introduce mood lighting, and apparently toilets as you have never seen before – in all classes of service, not just for those turning to their left when they board.
The seating configuration in Business Class is 2 – 2 – 2. The current product is not a lie flat bed, but is a recliner seat with a 166 degree recline. I get asked all the time by customers whether seats are true lie flat or reclining. This is not a true lie flat bed.
The flight departs Taipei for Sydney late in the evening, but there was still a meal service and the obligatory (for me) glass of champagne before I managed to nod off and catch some zzzzz’s practically all the way from Taipei to Sydney (and this is a rarity from someone who can never sleep on a plane, no matter which class she is in). For the flight from Sydney to Auckland I left my seat in an upright position, and found the seat extremely comfortable and the flight seemed to be over, before it even started.
When departing Auckland, Business Class passengers have access to the Emperor Lounge at Auckland Airport. At Brisbane, Sydney and of course in Taipei, China Airlines have their own lounge. Just as an aside regarding the Emperor Lounge in Auckland – this lounge is up to par with any airline lounges, and it is possible to purchase entry if you are not on a Business Class ticket. The lounge is kept clean, the food is regularly replenished and there is a wide selection available.
The seating configuration is a 2 – 4 – 2, which is perfect for couples travelling together, who do not want a third wheel encroaching on their personal space. There is complimentary inflight entertainment with USB ports for charging the electronics we all have. Drinks, meals and snacks are also complimentary. I should also mention the 30kg luggage allowance for economy class customers. What more could you wish for in an economy class product.
Staff are extremely attentive and efficient. Definitely keep China Airlines in mind. Not just for your jumps across the Trans-Tasman to Sydney or Brisbane, but to Taipei and onwards to a myriad of Asian destinations, and in Europe to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome and Vienna. We are awaiting an announcement for a further two European cities to be added to China Airlines schedule, which will be exciting.
Would I fly China Airlines again – of course!