Some people don’t care about the travel when it comes to short-haul flights. Well, I agree a 1-hour or 2-hour flight is not painful even in Economy class, but do you consider ground services? Check-in and waiting time sometimes worth the extra value of a Business class ticket for their optimization, and that’s precisely the case with China Airlines.
Taipei International airport can be very crowded, especially at peak times when business travelers are flying. This is precisely why I decided to go with China Airlines Business Class for my morning flight to Hong Kong: avoid check-in queue, workspace in a business lounge and finally no boarding queue. Ideal for a journey in the middle of a working day.
Being a Taiwan-based company, China Airlines offers plenty of check-in counters in the most easy-to-find location of the airport’s departure hall (Terminal 1). The signage “Sky Priority” is well known to Skyteam travelers and it seems the airline really want to give good services to its premium customers, regarding the number of staff and counter desks.
This check-in process was super smooth and even if I selected my seat in advance, the staff still asked me if I wanted to keep or change it. The lady carefully explained where and how to proceed with security and airline’s lounge.
The biggest surprise of my journey with China Airlines Business Class came from the airport lounge: large, with an astonishing wood design and a perfect integration in the terminal. To me that’s a fantastic showcase for the airline.
After showing my boarding pass at reception, I was invited to go through the long corridor – with news magazines on the side – until the waiting lounge. There, I found a wide place with a restaurant area, some privacy rooms and sofas.
I particularly liked the lounge chairs, in a dark room, where you can listen to music or work in the most peaceful atmosphere. Just what I needed before my flight!
Boarding & Cabin Experience
I boarded smoothly the A330 thanks to the Sky Priority line and have been escorted to my seat by a crew staff. For sure it was not the most amazing Business Class cabin I ever had, but still that 2-2-2 configuration was pretty nice – especially considering the flight length.
My seat was very comfortable and that time I was alone on aisle side; it seems ground staff tries to keep single passengers alone for more privacy, during check-in process. Important point, I must notify that China Airlines Business Class seats DON’T offer full-horizontal recline on that plane… A bit of a pity in 2018.
Regarding entertainment system, the screen was quite small to me but the overall system did a great job! Large movie selection, in multiple languages and good picture quality. Again, for a 1-hour flight, I didn’t need more.
I had a lunch during this trip from Taipei to Hong Kong. After take-off, the hostess asked me for my choice and I decided to go with the rice chicken. It was around 11.30am, a bit early for me to enjoy lunch but.. no choice.
Food quality was average, I have not been particularly impressed. It’s probably not fair to give a food review on such a short flight; I believe a long-haul one would bring a much more evolved cuisine.
It starts to be a habit with Asian airlines: ground services for premium passengers are just amazing. It’s clearly visible companies are able to make huge investments in order to gain a loyal clientele and airport lounge is definitely one of them. China Airlines Business Class is for me the best option to reach Hong Kong in good conditions before going to work; I hope to experiment it one day for a much longer flight and give you the same opinion.
China Airlines 909
Taipei (TPE) – Hong Kong (HKG)
Wednesday, January 10th 2018
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 2K (Business Class)
China Airlines – Book