FLIGHT CI 948
CLASS OF SERVICE Economy
SEAT NUMBER 14A
AIRCRAFT Airbus A330-300
TAKEOFF 16-11-24 4:35 p.m.
VIEWS 981
LANDING AT 6 p.m.
NGO85
The 3rd December 2016

Photo review of China Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung in Economy

Background:

This series covers a trip to Kaohsiung (高雄) and Kinmen (金門). Refer to Part 1 for a detailed background. As a reminder, the routing for this series is:

Part 1 – LAX-ICN [OZ 203, Boeing B777-200ER, Economy] – Here
Part 2 – ICN-HKG [OZ 721, Airbus A330-300, Economy] – Here
Part 3 – HKG-KHH [CI 948, Airbus A330-300, Economy] – You are here
Part 4 – KHH-KNH [B7 8915, Aérospatiale/Alenia ATR 72-600, Economy] – Here
Part 5 – KNH-RMQ [AE 770, Embraer ERJ-190, Economy] – Here
Part 6 – KHH-HKG [AE 981, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Here
Part 7 – HKG-ICN [OZ 722, Boeing B747-400, Business] – Here
Part 8 – ICN-LAX [OZ 204, Airbus A380-800, Economy] – Here



Pre-flight:

I left off the last report as I was leaving my flight from ICN and heading towards the transfer desks. CI’s transfer desk is listed as being at E2, so I made me way to the other side of the terminal in search for it.

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Reaching the transfer desk, the agent takes my info and prints out a boarding pass for me after confirming I didn’t have any checked bags from my previous flight. He tells me the lounge is near Gate 15 and to check the monitors for any gate changes.

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Transfer security is always pretty light at HKG and I’m back into the terminal quickly.

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I try to follow the signage to the ST Lounge, but completely miss it. I thought it was right next to the SQ Lounge, but before I knew it I was at the end of the terminal and never saw it. Turns out, it’s located down a floor and you need to use an elevator or escalator to reach it.

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Entering the lounge, the agent welcomes me and scans my boarding pass.

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I take a seat near the entrance since the lounge seemed very full and not large enough to handle all the premium ST passengers that would be passing through HKG.

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My boarding documents.

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I went in search of food. I noticed there was a noodle bar so I got a bowl of Taiwan beef noodle soup.

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Nothing too impressive on offer at the drinks area. There was only one espresso machine for the entire lounge and it had a really long line of people waiting to use it.

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The buffet island was filled with vultures, but the hot/cold buffet offerings just looked average and there was nothing that I tried from it.

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My offering.

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I love how the newspaper is “courtesy of Air France.”

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After my snack, I went to go take a shower. An attendant escorted me into this very cold and spartan room. There must have been an AC vent in here because it was freezing cold in this room. The room itself was tiny, with no name amenities, and this bizarre egg-shaped toilet. It was very sterile feeling.

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I left the lounge to go in search of my gate as soon as flightradar showed my inbound flight landed. The FIDS shows my gate has changed to 26.

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AE B738, started to get excited for Part 6 of this series^^

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GA A333.

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SA A343.

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CX A333.

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AC B772.

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KE B748.

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AY A333.

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A trio of CX A359s lined up, the future is here^^

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Reaching my gate.

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Just in time to catch my plane pulling in as it arrived from KHH.

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While they deplaned, I wandered over to the other side to take some pictures of planes departing.

Pair of KA A333s.

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Pair of CX B77Ws.

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OD B738.

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NH B763.

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————————-

China Airlines, CI 948
Equipment: Airbus A330-300 [B-18308, delivered October 2005]
Departure: 16:35 (ATD: 16:58)
Arrival: 18:00 (ATA: 17:57)
Flight time: 0:59


Back at the gate, boarding started on time. Going through the SkyPriority line, I tried to use a mobile boarding pass to keep my paper one untouched. That was a fail. The agent recognized me since he was at the Transfer Desk. He asked me for the paper boarding pass so I had to dig it out of my backpack for him to rip into two, just like my heart…

There were newspapers at the end of the jetbridge, but I only saw Chinese newspapers.

Entering the plane, there was a couple of FAs welcoming passengers, I turn to the right and get my first glimpse of a CI cabin. This cabin has the older seats.

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My seatmate was already there, so I just take a seat without taking any more cabin shots. The seat pitch is fine on these A333s.

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These seats remind me of the old SK A340 seats. They have the same size IFE, the little mirror and the cellphone/water bottle/glasses holder.

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Seatback contents.

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Dynasty.

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The delivery of CI’s first A350 happened. You’ll see it in a couple of pictures, so keep scrolling.

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CI route map.

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CI fleet. Already out of date since there were 2 CI A350s spotted in this series.

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The safety card for this A333.

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A really creepy looking entertainment guide.

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Headphones were pre-placed in the seatback pocket.

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Pillows were handed out by the FAs, I guess they didn’t have time to pre-place them prior to boarding.

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Seat controls in the armrest.

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A detailed look at the seat behind me.

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Taiwan immigration forms were handed out as the front door closed.

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The safety video plays as we initiate push back.

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QR B788 next door.

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NZ B772.

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As promised, the first CI A359 (B-18901) was here operating HKG-TPE. It features the Mikado Pheasant on the side.

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EY A330.

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CX B77W.

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CX B773.

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CX A359 taking off in front of us.

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ZH A320 will take off behind us.

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As we begin our roll down the runway, two more CX A359s are sitting there bringing us to a total of 5 CX A350s spotted at HKG today.

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Lifting over the new terminal, primarily used by HX.

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The main terminal.

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The last glimpse of HK before we disappear into the clouds.

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The IFE is small, just like on the last flight in OZ. The content looked minimal, maybe a downgraded version from long-haul? I just used the moving map.

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Our projected route.

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Cloudy today.

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This is a short 55-60 minute flight so service immediately starts. My meal tray is plopped down with 44-minutes remaining. There is no option (you can request special meals online), there is also no drink service, but you can request a drink and they will bring it out after the trays are distributed My seat mate got a tomato juice, but I stuck with water.

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The meal for this flight was pork and rice, which was served with water and a small cake.

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I like the trays they use.

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Refreshing towel and toothpick were in the silverware packet.

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Coffee and tea service was done after the meal.

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Less than 15-minutes after my tray was delivered, it was removed as we began the decent into KHH at sunset. Very fast and efficient service, kudos to CI for feeding an A333 with a short flight time.

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A stuffed animal makes an escape for it mid-flight.

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Final cabin preparations for arrival into KHH initiate here. It was interesting, the flight is so short that they make a cabin announcement that there is not any time to for duty free sales.

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Reaching Kaohsiung, a clear night as we arrive into KHH south of downtown.

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RIP GE: a sea of their ATR72s sitting grounded at KHH.

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We pull into our gate.

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Heading towards immigration.

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The immigration officer doesn't speak a single word to me. Just gestures for my finger prints, then stamps my passport and hands it back to me. Outside I grab some NTD from the ATM then head towards the MRT station.

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An advantage of KHH is that it is on the MRT line making it one of the most convenient airports in Taiwan (other than TSA).

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Apparently you can use Taipei’s IC card here too, but I left mine at home so I had to buy a new IC card for 100 NTD and charge it. I went for the Minions one to accompany my LINE Friends IC card for Seoul^^ The ride into the city is less than 10 minutes and only costs 26 NTD (~$0.80).

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Welcome to Kaohsiung^^

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I was staying at the Hotel dùa, which is right next to Formosa Boulevard MRT station in the center of the city so was very convenient. It was well appointed and had a good breakfast.

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I’ll leave off this series as I begin my 3-night stay in Kaohsiung.

Verdict

China Airlines 

Cabin 7.0
Cabin crew 8.0
Entertainment 5.0
meal/catering 9.0
TOTAL 7.3/10

Air France Lounge 

Comfort 6.0
meal/catering 7.5
Services 7.0
Entertainment 7.0
TOTAL 6.9/10

Hong Kong - HKG 

Efficiency 9.0
Access 7.5
Services 8.0
Cleanliness 9.0
TOTAL 8.4/10

Kaohsiung - KHH 

Efficiency 9.0
Access 9.0
Services 6.0
Cleanliness 8.0
TOTAL 8.0/10

Conclusion

My first time taking CI, and not too bad. They might not have as much as hype as BR, but they met all my needs on this route and had decent catering. The older A333 cabins were acceptable on short flights, the crews did exactly what they needed to do, and we got there with excellent punctuality. Ticked all my boxes. The ST Lounge at HKG is a miss in my opinion, it's blind and overcrowded, and just has no character. As Numero_2 put it, "there are no good ST Lounges," that sums it up ;)

Cabin comfort: Older CI cabin. The seats were more than adequate for a 1-hour flight, I didn't have time to check the lavatories on this flight.

Crew: The CI crew did exactly what they needed to do, they fed an A333's worth of passengers in 20-minutes. This obviously can only be done if they cut out the formalities and do their work, so I'm not going to complain about what seemed to be "cold" demeanor during service. English ability was no problem.

Meal and catering: The meal was unexpected. I didn't have many expectations, but CI does promise a hot meal on international flights. The food tasted good and the hot main and dessert was more than appropriate for a short flight in Y. Well done CI, glad you didn't mimic the snack bag that CX offers.

Entertainment: Newspaper available on the jetbridge (no English???) and the standard seatback literature. CI's IFE is old, but the contrast seemed much better than what OZ has and the moving map was a newer version. It's not great, but it's not like you have time to watch anything on this flight.

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