This is my first flight in 2017 and also my very first time trying China Airlines. I was thinking of using my GarudaMiles miles during new year's holiday before it gets expired, so I just thought to give China Airlines a try, since they also offer a flight to Singapore from Surabaya which will continue to Taipei.
I didn't have much expectation from CI flight, especially for its business class. However, as I could reckon, this was one of the most remarkable flights I've taken so far with great amenities on board, delicious meal, and excellent service from the crew which was warm and friendly without being too much intrusive.
This flight departs early at 6 AM and Juanda airport was quite busy that morning with many flights from Garuda Indonesia and Air Asia departing almost the same time with this CI flight.
China Airlines premium business class check-in counter at Juanda airport:
The aircraft is A333 equipped with 30 regional business class seats which are angled-flat type in 2-2-2 configuration. It was quite a light load that day since only 10 passengers in business class, but economy class was packed.
China Airlines has its own design for lounge invitation which is very similar with its boarding pass. For this flight, CI uses temporary lounge by Angkasa Pura II which is the airport operator in Indonesia. This lounge is used by several international airlines departing from Surabaya. Nothing unique in terms of design and the offering was pretty basic as well, perhaps because it was still too early in the morning. But, I've seen some covered areas just nearby this lounge which is supposed to be the new lounge for international flights. Let's see if there are some improvements when this new lounge is ready.
China Airlines lounge invitation:
Something to nibble that morning inside the lounge:
Pretty basic design but suitable enough:
Boarding was on time and was done orderly with families and special needs passengers come first, followed by Skyteam Elite & Elite Plus and business class passengers, and then economy class.
One smiling FA greets me at the door and shows the way to my seat.
One plush pillow and a duvet-like blanket are already available in each seat. The monitor screen however, is of to older type which is more on to the lower resolution and pretty hard to see clearly when exposed to sunlight.
The seat controller:
Each seat is also equipped with universal plug and USB port located under the seat:
A decent and nicely looking noise canceling headphone is also put in each seat pocket:
As welcome service, drinks consist of water, orange juice or apple juice are offered. A pack of mixed snack was also distributed followed by a hot towel.
Before take-off, the crew came around to distribute a menu. There were 2 options for breakfast, one Indonesian breakfast choice and one cheese omelette. Since this was a morning flight, so there was no alcohol offered, only coffee, tea, water, and some juices. After some time, the crew came again to collect the menu book. I think this is the norm for China Airlines which I don't find the same practice in other airlines I've flown in, but it's better to let the menu stays around with the passenger during flight so it will make us easier to choose, without being hurried.
Breakfast service starts some 15 minutes after take-off when we have reached cruising altitude.
First, the crew laid down a piece of yellow linen on the table. The linen has some kind of Chinese calligraphy pattern that is also found in other items, like the pillow sheet. And then came my Oolong tea.
Followed by my choice of breakfast, the cheese omelette:
China Airlines uses a rather plain white chinaware in its business class. It always comes with a stripe of purple as decorative pattern which matches its livery color.
The breakfast itself was delicious and very fulfilling. Thumbs up for the catering.
The toilet was kept clean and I really appreciate the vanity mirror. Toiletries use Acca Kappa brand.
The rest of the flight went uneventful. After breakfast was cleared off, the crew came down several times to check our well-being or to offer more drinks if we needed one. Really appreciate this effort for passenger's safety and comfort.
Some shots of the cabin prior to landing:
We arrived at Changi pretty much some 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
For me, the highlight of this flight was the crew and as per my habit when I found the crew did a remarkable job was to have some pictures with them. Request granted and mission accomplished.
Surabaya - SUB
Singapore - SIN
It was a very nice first experience with China Airlines and can't wait to have next flights with them.
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