Review of China Airlines flight Taipei Hong Kong in Premium Eco

Airline China Airlines
Flight CI919
Class Premium Eco
Seat 11K
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 28 Sep 19, 17:00
Arrival at 28 Sep 19, 18:40
CI   #7 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 76 reviews
Jett Tyler
By SILVER 803
Published on 27th November 2019

Welcome to the Golden Route!

One of the busiest routes in the world. A 2 hour shuttle between Hong Kong and Taipei. The route sees various wide body airliners flying hundreds of people at various times in the day. The popularity of the route traces back to the ousting of the Chinese Government in 1947 by the Communist Party which now rules Mainland China and Hong Kong, whilst the People's Republic of China remained in Taiwan.

Due to tensions between the PDRC and PROC, the only way for Taiwanese and Chinese people to travel between the areas was via Hong Kong, then a colony of the United Kingdom until 1997.  



Airbus A330 have become the main wide-body aircraft seen on the route from Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Eva Air. Airbus A320-family and Boeing 737's have also become common place. Eva Air and China Airlines also use their new Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft on the route, and as a bonus on days they are scheduled- China Airlines uses their dwindling fleet of passenger Boeing 747-400!

The Boeing 747 was a mainstay on this route thanks to China Airlines, Eva Air and Cathay Pacific- however the latter two retired their fleets in favour of the Boeing 777/787 and Airbus A330/350 in 2016 and 2017. The China Airlines fleet are only 15 years old, some of the final passenger Boeing 747-400 delivered from 2002 to 2005.


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I am reporting on my flight on one of the 5 Boeing 747-400 in the China Airlines fleet, B-18210. This 747 was delivered to China Airlines in December 2004 and from its delivery until December 2012- it wore a special Boeing house "Dreamliner" livery. 

My flight was the Dynasty 919 flight, departing TPE at 16:35pm local time and arriving at HKG for 18:40pm.

The flight I was running a little late. By the time boarding was completed we were already 20 minutes behind.


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I was seated in the Upper Deck. I didn't pay any extra, but the seats were not what I would associate with economy class. I was very impressed. I am under the impression these are either Premium Economy or international business class seats, but for the short hop between Taiwan and Hong Kong- they market them a Premium Economy Seat.


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The upper deck offered a cupboard at the side of the seat, before the window. Allowing for storage of some of the personal items I had on me, which I didn't need for the flight. I placed the headphones in there and my charging leads as I knew I could use the charge points on the 747 after we departed.

Our plane was pushed back as promptly as possible, given we were running late, although we could make up time in the air to soften the delay. It didn't bother me too much as I was on this as a direct flight and not connecting onward.


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The weather was terrible in Taipei, raining on and off both light and heavy, however once we were airborne we had nice clear skies on the 2 hour trek across the Taiwan Strait. We didn't have a long wait once we taxied to the end of the runway, passing the Eva Air maintenance facilities.


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About half an hour into the flight the stewardess's servicing the Upper Deck offered us all a complimentary meal. I had the chicken option on my flight to Taiwan, so I decided to enjoy the beef noodle option, which looked quite nice and tasted good. The meal wasn't too big or fancy which is ideal for this type of short-medium haul flight. The desert biscuit was a made up of white chocolate and almonds.


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I played about with the seat settings to try and see how the recline was. Oh man! I was not let down!


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I explored the music on the IFE screen. Various western pop/rock options were available including: Bee Gees, Billy Joel, Elton John & the Eagles. Just to name a few. Many of the latest films were offered including Rocketman (which I saw about 20 minutes of) plus I had a look a few times at the in-flight map as we progressed.

After the meal, I asked for a Cola and a Coffee whilst there was a good 75 minutes of the flight left. 


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The sun was setting as we neared Hong Kong. We circled in the hold above the sea for about 20 minutes as we descended, before we finally arrived in Hong Kong. We arrived only 10-15 minutes behind schedule, which wasn't long enough to warrant a complaint or any frustration. Anyone connecting onward probably still had enough time to make their flights.


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I did ask if I could visit the flight deck after landing, but the stewardess said it wouldn't be allowed, which is fair enough as different airlines and countries have their own rules, with that I left the Boeing 747 and headed for the transfers as I was going to be spending the next 16 hours almost living air side in Hong Kong Airport!

I found the gate my 747 was due to depart from and got this amazing shot of the aircraft! 


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Verdict

China Airlines

8.8/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.0

Taipei - TPE

9.0/10
Efficiency9.5
Access10.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness10.0

Hong Kong - HKG

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

China Airlines was very decent, getting a return trip for £180 which also included complimentary beverages and free seat selection. Great service from the cabin crew and the meal was nice for such a flight. The seats provided from the Upper Deck were brilliant, though I am certain they aren't normally economy seats.

Information on the route Taipei (TPE) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 48 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Taipei (TPE) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 49 minutes.

  More information

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