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"Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Vancouver, Canada
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"Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Thanks in advance!

I have always used Cathay. I thought I'd try a different airline because it's a significant savings. I'm flying from Vancouver, Canada.

I am booked on China Airlines this time as it's $400. cheaper which goes a l-o-n-g ways in Thailand.

Has anyone ever flown China Airlines Internationally?

(1.) I am curious about China Airlines food? I have meals in economy class. (12 hour 10 min flight to Taipei.) I love noodles, fish, any kind of curry and cheesecake or Asian cake desert. Any chance of that happening? (I flew Jal [Japan] and was not fed meals for 22 hours only a few snacks.)

(2.) Is it accurate to assume I will be cramped for leg room as I'm booked on an Air Bus A340-300 (CRUNCH!) as far as Taipei?

I change planes to a Boeing 747-800 (PHEW!) for the remainder from Taipei to Bangkok.

(3.) Is the airport in Taipei user friendly? (Hong Kong is my fav; airport and I know Taipei is much smaller.) I'm hoping for lots to look at in Taipei Airport? (By that I mean... Not just designer shops but reasonably priced shops.) And of course a descent sized food floor with a good selection?

I have a stop-over in Taipei for 6 hours on route home

Edited: 14 March 2011, 20:49
California
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1. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Hi;

I have used China Airlines the last trip Nov. 2010 LAX to Bangkok via

Taipei transit .

1. The foods were very much standard for air travel . That means good

enough with noodle, rice and chicken or beef . They serve 3 meals

LAX- Taipei leg and snack. You will Not fly hungry for sure .

2. I had an aisle seat in the middle row in the B747 , so it was good with

leg room and elbow .

3. The in board entertainment was Ok, with 2 old movies.

4. The Taipei airport was very confused and easy to get lost .

I definitely take the HKK airport any time witn a Big smile .

5. I agree China Airlines is Cheap to fly and there is the old

saying You get what You pay for.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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2. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Hi,

I use CI quite a bit both regionally within Asia as well as long-haul to/from the US..

1) Being an Asian carrier, they menu will be 'bent' towards the Asian palette..so yes, there's a strong chance it will feature something like what you mention.. they usually have a non-meat based entree-- which is usually seafood or fish..

2) According to Seatguru their A343's are set at 32in for pitch-- commonly known as leg room.. and 32in is in fact right in the middle of what is the norm for long-haul international leg room.. so it really is no better-- or worse-- than the average.. Further, their B747's as well as their A333's are also 32in so there's no differentiation across their long-haul fleet.

Of course how it "feels" is subjective, but mathematically it's the same.

Are you sure it's a B747-800? I suspect you mean a B747-400.. The reason I say this is the -800 variant isn't even FAA certified yet and the first passenger version delivery is planned now for late 2011 or into early 2012..

If you're on the -400 variant then the leg room is, as noted, the same mathematically.

3) Taipei isn't my personal favorite-- but-- I think that's driven more off the fact that the Asia region is home to some of the world's absolute best airports for connections like Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul's Incheon airport.. So the "bar" is set rather high..

I don't think you'd get lost.. Just follow the signage..

TPE isn't hard per se to navigate and when you arrive there will be plenty of CI staff to guide you.

As a note, when you arrive in TPE-- very early in the morning-- there will be at least 3 to 4 other CI flights arriving nearly at the same time from North America.... From San Fran, Los Angeles, as well as Honolulu for example.. So there will be *plenty* of people around and CI staff as well. They send at least two or three agents to meet plane-side each arrival.

A very large percentage of CI's passengers are in fact going onward beyond TPE to other South Asia destinations so you won't be the only one going onward to BKK by a long shot..

When you get off the plane, there is a large CI transit desk.. Look above or beside the desk and there will be connection flight information listed for all the various onward CI flights.. and there will be A LOT of them...

Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Denpasar-- just to name a few.. Once you see where you gate is, just follow the crowd thru the security re-check and head over to the gate.

Simple and straight forward.. If you're not sure where you're going, ask a CI agent.. there will be lots of them around.

The food? the shopping? THIS is where TPE falls somewhat flat in my opinion.. I'd say it's fair at best.. They have a few places to eat, but it's not top-end.. decent and all.. Shopping? Average at best.. again, nothing like SIN or HKG, but you might find something cool.. On a side note, they do have a Sanrio store there.. if that's your thing.

There IS a transit hotel INside the airport on the air-side that's accessible to you.. it has day-use rooms as well as shower and sauna facilities.. It's actually owned and run by EVA Airlines' hotel arm-- the Evergreen Hotel Corp, but IS open to non-EVA passengers as it's a pay-for-use facility.

I've reviewed it in the past, you can read my review if you wish.

Will you be bored with 6 hours? How about we say this..You won't be sorry you're leaving.. Again, it's not bad.. there is far, far worse-- most US airports for example.. but when compared to the other major Asian airports it's not on that level.. but the bar is very high in that respect.

In summary.. I think you'll have a good ride with them.. They're a solid carrier and have good service on-board and on the ground.. nothing flashy or cutting-edge.. but not sub-par or shabby either.... It may not have all the "bells as whistles" like a Singapore Airlines does, but their price point usually makes them very, very attractive..

So, I'd agree with the comment that "you get what you pay for" but this isn't to say it's an inferior or 'bad' airline.. not by a long shot..

Travel Safe,

Edited: 14 March 2011, 22:10
Vancouver
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3. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

When are you flying?

China Airlines uses the same hub as Eva Airways (also available from YVR, for usually around the same cost)

It's pretty easy to navigate the airport..just follow the signs, and always ask if you need assistance

When you are waiting for your next flight, there is a massage chair area. Just go the duty free stores, and ask for a free token. You can use these for the massage chairs..which is very nice..especially after the flight from Vancouver. And, you can ask as many times as you desire..

And, they also have numerous free internet terminals, and wifi..so lots to do to pass the time..

Also, I have found the Taipei airport to be quite cold..so make sure that you dress accordingly. I made this mistake on the way back from Thailand.. ;-)

If you are worried about the seating..just go to the head office..located at Suite 1416, 1030 West Georgia St. (same building as the Eva Airways office). They can always assign you a seat before heading to the airport, and answer any other questions..

Chok dee

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Thank-you everyone soooo much! I wasn't quite expecting that much help. WOW! Good info.

Hey Timmy – I should of explained… I am not flying until peak season. China Airline actually doesn't change it's prices - but they only sell so many tickets and when they are gone... they're gone. Keep in mind... this is a day time arrival flight which puts me in Bangkok Christmas morning. (I paid $1100. for my ticket with C. A – peak season.) By the way... surplus tax charge for China Airlines is going up $30. Mar 15th.

This flight sells out fairly quick. For this reason I purchased my ticket early. I tried to book this flight a few years ago in July (to arrive Christmas morning) but it was sold out until the day after Boxing Day. The only downside with buying this early is - If I wanted to cancel or change the date I can not change anything until after Christmas. (And of course I do have to pay a little interest on the card.) ...Oh well. I arrive when I want.

I touch down Christmas morning @ 10:05 a.m. Eva Air’s price peak season is really over the top for me. My travel agent is very cool. My T.A. normally books (several competitive flights) 10 months prior to my holiday and I choose the one I want & pay 6 weeks before I fly. But China A; doesn’t allow this.

My T. agent is going to book my seat in Sept. (Normally C.A. doesn't open the seats for booking. But my T.A. has already spoken to the manager of Dynasty Flyer / China Airlines Membership.)

Hey...I had no idea about the massage chair area and free token etc.

Very helpful in deed. I am so glad I posted.

GOPBI - I guess you thought I was flying soon. Well, I guess it’s right on time. 2011-2012. Yes, my flight itinerary does say: EQP: BOEING 737-800 (I have no idea what this means?) I guess I'm on the first passenger version delivery. Thank-you for explaining everything. It takes the fear out of where to look for my forwarding flight. (I only have 1 hour and 25 min between my arrival flight.) …Especially after reading another post – “easy to get lost.”

Awesome info everyone!

Bangkok
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5. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Hi,

HT,

Glad to help.. I do notice that you say you're on a B737-800 and not a B747.. big difference.. The 737 is a single-aisle (narrow-body) aircraft.. where as the B747 is a twin-aisle (wide-body) aircraft.. but in the end, it's still the same leg room-- 32in-- in economy..

Travel Safe,

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

OOPS! WTF? My T.A. has already spoken to the manager of Dynasty Flyer / China Airlines Membership. (...That's for air miles.)

I meant to say: My Travel Agent has already spoken to the manager of China Airlines booking dept. (She used to work for China Airlines.)

New York, NY
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7. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

They always seem to be the cheapest option to Bangkok but I refuse to fly them based upon there history of numerous accidents. Thai Airways non-stop flight from LAX is fantastic!

Mokhotlong, Lesotho
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8. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

A friend of mine used to fly for them. He eventually left as the flight crew never got the legally required rest time.This would be a reason for me to be hesitant to fly with them.

They may have improved over the years. Haven't heard accident reports for a while.

Bangkok
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9. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

Him

Jemma,

Interesting.. I've not heard reports like that from ROC carriers.. but I have heard it before with some middle, near-middle east carriers with their contract non-national staff..

But.. what you commonly find after digging around these types of reports is that any violations of Minimum Rest (MR) were actually violations of either company-imposed standards or contractually mandated minimums and not the minimum set by the national regulators..

Not saying it's right, only that there's a difference between violation of internal policy or labor contracts versus violations of national/regional safety standards.

Almost all airlines establish (and as a part of their labor negotiations) their minimum crew rest periods at levels above and beyond what the the regulators set as being their minimum allowable levels.. A buffer is you will..

So, any violations of MR-- be that accidental or intentional-- by the company would still render the crew member statutorily eligible for duty and wouldn't trigger an NED (Not Eligible for Duty) report filing..

Granted, one could argue that it's a safety issue as not getting enough rest is a bad thing.. but in the vast majority of cases, you find that the matter was actually a violation of an internal company policy or labor agreement and not a matter of regualtory violation...

Most airlines and countries require that the carriers submit (usually electronically) their crew manifesting records to the regulators who then cross-compare this with what the database shows as flight times etc.. this is where any discrepancies would commonly be discovered.

It's not impossible for violations of MR periods to happen, only that the penalties for such are substantial and severe-- and in some cases the penalty can also be imposed on the acting employee if s/he knew they were illegal for duty but reported anyway. However, since airlines set their minimums greater than what is required by law, unless the violation was substantial in nature, the overall probability it was a regulatory violation are in fact slim.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 15 March 2011, 12:04
10. Re: "Anyone Ever Used China Airlines Internationally?"

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