Review of China Airlines flight Taipei Bangkok in Business

Airline China Airlines
Flight CI 823
Class Business
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 03:40
Take-off 18 Dec 16, 07:20
Arrival at 18 Dec 16, 10:00
CI   #12 out of 101 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 94 reviews
MrMax
By 2163
Published on 4th May 2017
Welcome to my new series of FR's on my trip to Thailand this December!



BACKGROUND

This December, I went with my Dad and Brother to Thailand. My dad used to live here so it is a very special place for him. I've never been before, so we saw this opportunity. We settled on flying Y+ on CI for $1800 roundtrip SFO-TPE-BKK rt. The plus for CI Y+, is that on regional flights (without Y+), you are put in J! For the domestic flights, we flew on PG (Bangkok Airlines).

The itinerary is as follows:

PART I:

SFO-TPE — Y+ — CI 003 — 12/17/16 http://flight-report.com/en/report/21926/China-Airlines-CI-003-San-Francisco-SFO-Taipei-TPE
TPE-BKK — J — CI 823 — 12/18/16 YOU ARE HERE
BKK-CNX — Y — PG 906 — 12/18/16 [COMING SOON]

PART II:

CEI-BKK — Y — PG232 — 12/27/16 [COMING SOON]
BKK-USM— Y — PG135 — 12/27/16 [COMING SOON]

Part III:

USM-BKK — Y — PG148 — 12/31/16 [COMING SOON]

Part IV:

BKK-TPE — J — CI836 — 1/2/17 [COMING SOON]
TPE-SFO — Y+ — CI004 — 1/2/17 [COMING SOON]


Here is my routing for my international flights:

photo screen shot 2017-03-19 at 4.34.29 pm

And the domestic ones:

photo screen shot 2017-03-19 at 4.35.17 pm

CNX – Chiang Mai
CEI – Chiang Rai
USM – Koh Samui



Anyways…. lets get flying!



After arriving at TPE from my flight from SFO (http://flight-report.com/en/report/21926/China-Airlines-CI-003-San-Francisco-SFO-Taipei-TPE), I found out that the connection infrastructure there is pretty bad. They make you go through security again and the line is very long (30-45 mins) for the one lane that is operational and there is not a priority lane. Well, that needs work, hence the 2/10 efficiency rating. After that, we grab a quick breakfast in the CI lounge, sorry no pics. But if you're wondering, it is very crowded with hardly enough seating but the food is okay-ish, even though there is a lack of western options rendering most of the options relatively foreign for someone who has never set foot in Asia before (like me, except for the MidEast).

TPE Airport:

photo img_2026

I had checked flightawere before boarding my plane in SFO, and it said that CI 823 was to be operated by a 737. However… when I arrived at the gate I had a surprise waiting for me…

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The beautiful "Queen of the Skies" was waiting for me!!!!! Just glorious in the sunrise!!!!


My ride to BKK:

photo img_2031

Priorities were respected at the boarding gate, and I went from lounge to seat in probably less than 10 mins. Boarding was equally painless in SFO with SkyPriority. CI is very good with their priority boarding.


Empty J-Class section of the gate:

photo img_2033


And with much excitement, I enter the belly of the beat!!!!!!!

photo img_2034


Some pics of CI J-class on the 747:

photo img_2035photo img_2036


My seat w/ pillow:

photo img_2037


Very nice selection of PDBs and snack mix / nuts (both were offered):

photo img_2039


An apple juice for me:

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This was the most delicious apple juice I've ever had, everything tastes better in J-class I guess!! :)


Taxiing at TPE:




Lining up to the runway:

photo img_2058photo img_2059photo img_2060


And the mighty empress of the skies lifts off: (I'm playing of CI's callsign: "dynasty"):



After takeoff and before landing, a weird smell filled the cabin, witch is worth noting. Its probably not CI's fault, but it caused me to deduct 1 pt from the "cabin" rating.


Oshibori:

photo img_2048


IFE folds out from armrest. Its called "fantasy sky". I think the slightly older system on the 747 is better than the new system (777 and A350). The interface makes more sense and the hardware is more intuitive.

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The selection is also quite good, enough to keep me entertained.


Today's menu:

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The choices for breakfast today is frittata w/ broccoli, ratatouille, and bacon or a minced chicken dish


The table is set and I have an Ovaltine to drink (Australian warm chocolate drink fondly remembered from my time growing up partially in Sydney):

photo img_2076


My breakfast served all at once (w/ bacon removed by my Dad because he likes it and I don't eat it)

photo img_2079

The entree was passable but not memorable. The fruit was nice enough but could have been more ripe. I enjoyed the yoghurt and bread.


After the meal I ask to sample the other dish, the FA hands me another entree with a big smile!

photo img_2081

This dish is definitely better. I should have had it first time around. Never mind…


I finish with a jasmine tea (which I end up smelling but not drinking because I love the smell, but this cup of tea was way too strong for me):

photo img_2078


I ramble around the cabin to find an almost completely empty Y section:

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The galley is barely stocked for this shortish flight:

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I head upstairs to check on the other J section:

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The stairway to heaven:

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They have a water dispenser which would be great on longer flights. EK has them on their A380s:

photo img_2083


I talk with the FAs a bit. I found all of the CI FAs on all 4 of my flights to be very friendly and efficient at their jobs. They were all great, no exceptions!


The WC decoration was quite extravagant:

photo img_2041photo img_2042photo img_2044


The seat is great for a 3-4 hour flight like this, which is mostly the kind of assignment that CI 747s do these days. However, they still do the YVR flight on the 747, and a long haul flight without a flat-bed is meh at best.


The full recline:

photo img_2046


The privacy dividers:

photo img_2093


As mentioned previously, the IFE on the 747 is very nice. Here are some hardware pics:

photo img_2069photo img_2070photo img_2071


Noise cancelling headphones:

photo img_2073


After watching a movie, I look at the moving map and realize that we are almost in Thai airspace!!!

photo img_2089


Who's excited!!!!!!!????????????

photo img_2077

Meeeeee!!!!!!!!!!


I ask for an apple juice before landing:

photo img_2094


Some cool pics on approach and arrival:




BKK terminal:

photo img_2136photo img_2137


CONCLUSION



I think that J class on intra-Asia connecting flights is a great added benefit of CI Y+ .

Their hard product is very good for anything under 8 hours I'd say. But on a long-haul route, not having a lie flat seat or better privacy dividers, say, might be problematic.

The catering for breakfast could use some work but it was generally okay. Dinner on BKK-TPE was very good though.

The IFE has a good selection and the hardware and interface are intuitive and easy to use. I prefer the older system to the new one, as previously mentioned.

The FAs were all great! They were friendly, happy to be there, and efficient!

TPE still needs to improve their infrastructure for connecting flights. The increasing volume of passengers can't fit into just one slow-moving security lane!! I'd also consider expanding the CI lounge so that there is enough seating for everyone. Although, to be fair, this was the morning rush.

BKK is a great airport. I think air travel would be much better and more comfortable if all airports were like BKK.


Please drop me a line in the comments section, and if you enjoyed reading, "like" this FR!


Also, keep reading for the next installment in this series, BKK-CMX on Bangkok Airways!!!

See more

Verdict

China Airlines

8.6/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

China Airlines Lounge - 2

5.4/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services4.5

Taipei - TPE

6.1/10
Efficiency2.0
Access7.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness7.0

Bangkok - BKK

7.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

I think that J class on intra-Asia connecting flights is a great added benefit of CI Y+ .

Their hard product is very good for anything under 8 hours I'd say. But on a long-haul route, not having a lie flat seat or better privacy dividers, say, might be problematic.

The catering for breakfast could use some work but it was generally okay. Dinner on BKK-TPE was very good though.

The IFE has a good selection and the hardware and interface are intuitive and easy to use. I prefer the older system to the new one, as previously mentioned.

The FAs were all great! They were friendly, happy to be there, and efficient!

TPE still needs to improve their infrastructure for connecting flights. The increasing volume of passengers can't fit into just one slow-moving security lane!! I'd also consider expanding the CI lounge so that there is enough seating for everyone. Although, to be fair, this was the morning rush.

BKK is a great airport. I think air travel would be much better and more comfortable if all airports were like BKK.

Information on the route Taipei (TPE) Bangkok (BKK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 9 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Taipei (TPE) → Bangkok (BKK).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is China Airlines with 8.3/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 37 minutes.

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