Filmed on a Nikon D5500 and a Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 lens at 1080p60.
Step onboard China Airline’s beautiful 777. The cabin is truly one of the coziest and inviting cabins I have ever step into. Most airline cabins are filled with boring off-color white and metallic finishes, but on China Airlines’ 777 you will find wood accents, warm mood lighting, and bright and crisp clear screens. Often the seats are the most colorful furnishings in an airplane cabin, but on China Airlines the entire cabin, including the bathroom, come together to form a unique and beautiful flying experience. The galley was redesigned around a beautiful bar called the “Sky Lounge.” While the center piece of the Sky Lounge showcases varies alcoholic drinks, the most unique aspect of the Lounge is the many different Taiwanese snacks showcased on each side of the lounge. I especially loved the pineapple cake and green tea/white chocolate biscuits. However, even if you don’t fully believe in Skytrax ratings, there are a few reasons why China Airlines is still not a 5 star airline.
China Airlines has several lounges in both terminal 1 and 2 at Taipei Taoyuan. The Dynasty lounge in terminal 1 is the one I visited. I was really impressed by it during my previous visit when I flew on China Airlines 747 business class. Just like the 777 cabin, the lounge is beautifully designed with earthy and cozy colors. I did not sample the food this time because I was saving my appetite for China Airlines’s longhaul business class. There is a hot food section with a noodle bar similar to Cathay pacific.
The service onboard is just as good as Cathay. Like EVA Air, China Airlines is removing all first class and focusing on business class as their highest level of service. While the flight attendants were professional and kind, the FAs didn’t introduce themselves nor took each passenger’s drink preferences in the same way as EVA Air. This is perfectly fine for business class and it is also similar to my experience with Cathay, but it showed how much more personal and “first class-like” the service was on EVA Air. I also had an unusual encounter with the purser, who after watching me film the Sky Lounge told me not to film it anymore and asked me about my reasons for filming. She told me that because of copyright concerns I cannot film it, and my viewers can view the Sky Lounge on China Airlines’ website instead. I had never encountered “copy right concerns” while filming a plane, especially for personal use. I told her I am not a reporter
The differences between EVA Air and China Airlines is especially apparent in the catering. EVA continues to demonstrate that it goes above and beyond what you expect in business class. China Airlines seems more content with doing business class as business class. The meal was served on a tray similar to Cathay, however what was disappointing is their use of plastic bowels, which seemed out of place in such a luxuriously designed cabin. China Airlines also allows for online ordering of meals similar to EVA, but the choices seem to be the same as in the cabin and there aren’t any unique choices to pick from unlike EVA. Many airlines design their own cocktails as a way of celebrating their identity, and I was disappointed to find that China Airlines did not have any unique cocktails to try. Nevertheless, the meals and drinks are good quality and I enjoyed both. The FA made a very good batch of gin and tonic. She was initially surprised when I thanked her for making the best gin and tonic I had on a plane, thinking she had done something wrong. For the food, I really liked the beef cheeks with fettucine and the minced pork noodles. Usually airplane noodles are either overheated and dry or overcooked and mushy, but I somehow these noodles were perfect. I actually wondered if they had made it fresh on the plane because it was so perfectly cooked.
The amenity kit was very disappointing. The kit itself has no branding and is the same as premium economy kits. The only differences were the extra tube of lotion and a comb and mirror. Considering the efforts they put into the cabin, I was confused why China Airlines couldn’t think of a unique Taiwanese–inspired kit and instead provided business class with the same kit as premium economy. Similar to Cathay, there is no pajamas for business class passengers. Having flown China Airlines’ premium economy, I actually think they do a better job with their premium economy service than business class in comparison to other carriers.
In the end, I think China Airlines is a great carrier to fly with in both business and in premium economy, with tasty food and drinks. I think if they can smooth out some of the odd service components, such as the use of plastic bowels, the boring amenity kit, and catering, China Airlines would be one of the best airlines in the world.
Filmed on Nikon D5500 with Sigma 17-50mm F2.8