Flight Check: China Airlines

China Airways

Business Class KUL – LAX via TPE

I have to start by saying that there were some big differences on my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei and my flight from Taipei to Los Angeles. It was like I was on a different airline.

China Airlines is Taipei’s national carrier.  I think I’ve traveled on almost every national carrier in the world except for China Airlines, so I was excited to try out their hard and soft product.

The first leg was a fast flight of 4 1/2 hours from KL to Taipei. It was on a 747-400 aircraft. Luckily with my diamond status on Delta I was able to get in the first row of the 747.

This was actually an old cloth seat but they give it to business class with elite status. It was better than the traditional business class on this flight which was was very dated and offered only a slight recline on the seat. First class was also dated but at least it offered a lie flat bed.

What was very strange on this flight was they offered a lunch menu which started with satay. Once the satay was served they cleared up. I was expecting the main course but instead the cabin lights went out and stayed off for 2 hours. Half way through the flight lights came back on and the lunch was served. Then the lights went off again. I found this to be quite bizarre as it was a lunchtime flight and not an overnight one.

Regardless we landed on time in Taipei.

I must say the airport was fabulous. TPE reminds me of a mix between Seoul, Korea and Narita, Japan.

The China Airlines Lounge was modern and the food was fantastic. The had a great mix of dim sum, egg fried rice, sandwiches and a noodle bowl which was made a la carte.

Given the experience on my first leg I was not expecting much on my next flight. But I was blown away.

China Airways

On the TPE – LAX route, China Airlines flies their brand new 777. I love the cabin design. Panels with bamboo and one of the most modern interiors in the air. The suite featured the largest touch panel screen I have ever seen, a great seat which converts to a comfy bed and excellent storage.

A bar area was set up upon take off. The plane featured modern bathrooms which were clean and the food was one of the best too. The on board dining was far better than my first flight, but honestly most carriers get a poor catering out of KL.

China AirlinesThe food was fresh, with real Chinese flair. European and Chinese options were available and it was all presented on fabulous plates. There was a great cheese selection and desserts. It was all really top notch and far more than I was expecting. All together my second flight was quite surprisingly good.

There was absolutely no consistency between the two flights, but I understand they are implementing this new business cabin on an on-going basis, so you’ll have to check and see which routes have the new hard product.

I would say China Airlines exceeds business class of many airlines is in the region such as Japan Airlines, ANA and Korean.

The only down side was parking at LAX on a ramp with bus service that delayed us for at least an hour. Otherwise I had a great experience.

Daniel - Living GreenDaniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living  well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

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