Review of China Airlines flight Taipei Tokyo in Business

Airline China Airlines
Flight CI106
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 03 Jul 17, 16:10
Arrival at 03 Jul 17, 20:30
CI   #20 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 60 reviews
Rewardflying
Published on 10th August 2017
photo ci106 cover

Greetings fellow Flight-Report #avgeek fans. They say if you fall off a horse the best remedy is to get right back on. Well after my last disaster trip I got right back on. This trip came a whisker of being cancelled, but the opportunity to fly Lufthansa and Asiana first class was too much to pass by. Then as I like to say, the stars aligned when United's 777-300 with Polaris seats became available the day I was headed home.

The original plan:
ORD-FRA United 777-200 Polaris First
FRA-DUS Lufthansa A320 Business
DUS-NRT ANA 787-9 Business Staggered
NRT-ORD Japan Airlines 777-300 First Class

turned into this:
ORD-FRA Lufthansa 747-8i First Class
FRA-ICN Asiana A380 First Class
ICN-TPE China Airlines B777-300

TPE-NRT China Airlines A330-300 Business Class - This Flight Report
NRT-SFO United Airlines 777-300 Polaris Business Class
SFO-ORD United Airlines 757-300 First Class

My ride on China Airlines late last year departed out of Terminal 1 where I visited the Dynasty Lounge in the morning. Today's flight was originally scheduled for Terminal 2 but changed to T1, so the lounge visit was a repeat. Without the morning international arrivals it was not nearly as crowded during the afternoon.



An impressive array of food was there for the wanting. 


Having just had lunch on CI161, I snapped a few photos then headed to the gate. 

I certainly wasn't overly excited for this flight as it was on an older A330 with the ancient business class seats China Airlines can't replace soon enough. (Which apparently is being done.) They have two types of business class seats on the A330. 

The angle-flat version that is the same as Singapore Airlines regional business class seat, mostly on the A330s.

photo china airlines a330 bus seat 2 monitorphoto china airlines a330 bus seat 2

And the even older reclining version on today's plane.

photo ci106 seat 1photo ci106 ife 2

So what is the difference? One is called a reclining seat while the other is called angle-flat. However the dimensions are the same, 63 inches pitch, 20 inches wide and 166 degrees recline according to seatguru. One thing is for sure, the monitors are very different. 

How do you know the difference? The angle-flat seat with the larger monitor has 30 seats in the business cabin across 5 rows. The later has 36 in 6 rows. 

photo a330 seat map v2photo a330 seat map v1

Boarding was slightly delayed due to late arriving aircraft and a crew change. But ultimately the flight was on time. 

photo ci106 cabin 1

Window shades were drawn due to the warm summer temperatures in Taipei. I was in seat 3K. As you can see, the rows are slightly offset. 

photo ci106 cabin 2

As I was taking photos of the cabin I remarked to a flight attendant how much legroom was in row one.

photo ci106 cabin 3

A comparison of leg-room in row one bulkhead seats and rows 2-6. Of course row one loses under-seat storage and doesn't get these 3 trays that can hold…something I guess.



A few minutes later she approached me and said, "Mr. Simmons you are free to take seat 1A. Just leave your bag where it is, you can get it when we arrive." Wow, that's proactive.

The lavatory wasn't stocked with anything on this 3 hour flight. 

photo ci106 lav 1

The seat controls and IFE controller. Guess what, the IFE screen wasn't touch screen :)

photo ci106 seat a1

Power plugs were out of the way on the front of the armrest.

photo ci106 seat a2

In row one the monitors fold out from the armrest. 

photo ci106 ife 1

Seat 1A was in need of a bath.

photo ci106 seat a4

Slippers and headphones were provided. Ancient China Airlines Noise Cancellation Headset [Ancient ad libbed by me]. Slippers were certainly a nice touch. 

photo ci106 amenity 1photo ci106 amenity 2

Separate beverage and food menus were distributed.

A Château Les Combes. Whole Foods carries this Bordeaux, it's a nice inexpensive red. 

photo ci106 menu wine composite

And food
photo ci106 menu food 1photo ci106 menu food

Heading to Japan, why not start on Japanese cuisine?

photo ci106 food main 2

Amuse: Corn Bean Jelly

photo ci106 food main 8

Starter:
Smoked Salmon Rose
Marinated Daikon
Salmon Roe  Tamagoyaki

photo ci106 food main 4

Cannied Smelt (on the fence with these guys)

photo ci106 food main 5

Simmer Dish:
Seaweed Tofu
Braised Eggplant in Ginger Soy Sauce
Fried  Green Pepper

photo ci106 food main 7

Entree:
Saikyo Yaki Salmon
Shiitake Mushroom
Spinach
Pumpkin

photo ci106 food main 6

Pickled Vegetables

photo ci106 food main 9

Obviously a preferred service would have been dish by dish instead of the tray. But in the end there wasn't anything left. It was very good. 

Dessert was next.

photo ci106 food des 1

So is it just me thinking they put some thought into this dish of fruit?

photo ci106 food des 3

Baumkuchen Cake with Red Bean

photo ci106 food des 4

More please. Delicious, the detail is lovely and incredible to think this was served on an airplane.

photo ci106 food des 5

Flight Path
photo ci106 flight path

Full report with ratings on Rewardflying.com
See more

Verdict

China Airlines

5.5/10
Cabin3.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment3.0
Meal/catering7.5

China Airlines Dynasty

7.4/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.5
Entertainment5.0
Services8.0

Taipei - TPE

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Tokyo - NRT

7.3/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

While the seats were subpar (at least compared to the B777 and A350 planes), China Airlines made amends with a fantastic dinner.

Informations on the route Taipei (TPE) Tokyo (NRT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Taipei (TPE) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is Cathay Pacific with 9.3/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 3 minutes.

 

8 Comments

  • Comment 407950 by
    Razza_Pr 164 Comments

    Hi Rewardflying, and thank you for this FR.

    I've read your report on the CI 77W, and it was pretty much as I expected of CI based on previous reports - hence why I left no comments there.

    "Window shades were drawn due to the warm summer temperatures in Taipei."
    -Was this done after takeoff? Because safety concerns..

    "Heading to Japan, why not start on Japanese cuisine?"
    -Having to choose between Hokkien and Japanese cuisine would be a tough call for this commenter. I'm also somewhat surprised by CI's presentation of the Japanese course as I was expecting the standard CI affair.

    "While the seats were subpar (at least compared to the B777 and A350 planes), China Airlines made amends with a fantastic dinner."
    -I think that just goes to show how far they've come. Their old seats with the wider screens are also virtually identical to that of hometown rival EVA!

    I see that UA "True" Polaris is up next. First (English?) report on Flight-Report, eh?. What are we to expect?

    Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

      0
  • Comment 407963 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    Hi Razza!

    >Was this done after takeoff? Because safety concerns.
    Prior, I believe just to keep the heat out.

    >I think that just goes to show how far they've come. Their old seats with the wider screens are also virtually identical to that of hometown rival EVA!
    -Yes, both are worthy of any long or short haul trip in my book. I'll be anxious to see what they choose for these A330's seat wise. Have you heard?

    English Sunday. What to expect... A great FR ;)

    Thanks for your comments!

      0
    • Comment 407974 by
      Razza_Pr 164 Comments

      "Yes, both are worthy of any long or short haul trip in my book. I'll be anxious to see what they choose for these A330's seat wise. Have you heard?"
      -According to this https://www.google.com.do/amp/s/talkairlines.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/china-airlines-a333-refurbishment/amp/ the SQ/BR-like seats ARE the new seats. Unless you've come across a more recent update?

        0
      • Comment 407995 by
        Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

        Hi Razza, yes I'd seen this article. Poorly written IMO. I don't think they ever really state what the new seat is. The Zodiac Weber (SQ and TransAsia) seats are in the 6 leased ones that will be retained. So they have these 6 that were leased plus they reconfigured 6 they owed to fly long haul. These 6 apparently have the old product but one less row. That leaves 12 short-haul that currently have 36 seats, which 4 are going to be returned at lease end. Then it goes on to say "Though not specified, it is likely that the upgraded A330 will have products that come in line with those on the 6 leased long-haul A330".

        So if my math is good, which it isn't. They have 24 A330s. 14 owned and 10 leased.

        Long Haul: 6 are configured with 30 Zodiac Weber seats AERO Lift) and these will remain. 6 that have 30 first generation seats will get new seats which are not identified. (so my FR report explaining this is wrong.)

        Short Haul 12: 4 will be returned at lease end (maybe getting seat covers in the interim) leaving 8 to be reconfigured with new seats which the type is not mentioned in the article titled "China Airlines To Refurbish Airbus A330-300 Fleet".

        EVA upgraded their A330 with B/E Diamond, found in many like United/Continental aircraft, Air China and many many more. I would be surprised if they went with the Zodiac Weber as it's completely outdated. We'll see.

          0
  • Comment 408624 by
    socalnow 499 Comments

    Thanks for another informative and interesting FR, Rewardflying.

    "An impressive array of food was there for the wanting."
    -Indeed, looks like a quality lounge offering.

    "I certainly wasn't overly excited for this flight as it was on an older A330 with the ancient business class seats China Airlines can't replace soon enough."
    -They look like the dreaded OZ A330 seats. Not good at all. Glad to hear they are replacing them. Hear that OZ?!?!

    "Heading to Japan, why not start on Japanese cuisine?"
    -What a lovely presentation and thorough meal on this regional flight. Add in the artfully plated dessert too.

    Is CI still in T2 at NRT? It seems like most Skyteam is T1....

    Thanks again and happy flying.

      0
  • Comment 408769 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    Hi SoCal, Yes CI impressed with their food presentation. Some of OZ's older seats are pretty pathetic. I remember being on a 747 in first class. Those seats have to be 20 years old.

    >Is CI still in T2 at NRT? It seems like most Skyteam is T1....
    -Yes T2 is oneworld for the most part. Except CI gets the farthest gate, I can attest to that!

    Thanks again!

      0
  • Comment 408782 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 264 Comments

    Hilton #1030, but thanks for the tip. Next time I will have to check out the park.

      0

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