Review of TransAsia Airways flight Taipei City Hualien in Economy

Airline TransAsia Airways
Flight GE 7
Class Economy
Seat 7D
Aircraft ATR 72-500
Flight time 00:35
Take-off 02 Nov 11, 07:00
Arrival at 02 Nov 11, 07:35
GE   #65 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 21 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 2879
Published on 6th October 2013
Since we were to be in Taipei for 6 nights, we decided to get out of Taipei to Taroko Gorge for a day-trip. In order to save time traveling, we joined a day tour from Taipei to Taroko Gorge, flying to the city of Hualien on TransAsia Airways early in the morning and returning back to Taipei by train in the evening. The city of Hualien is only 120km from Taipei and the flight from Taipei to Hualien is the shortest flight I have ever flown on a plane. Probably one of the shortest scheduled flights in the world too? And the route is also probably one of the exotic routes to fly on. It would be interesting to experience such a short domestic flight in Taiwan.

The flight was scheduled to depart from Taipei Songshan, which is the domestic airport (currently also used for limited international services to Japan and Mainland China) right smack in the city center, at 0700hrs. We were picked up from the hotel at 0600hrs and reached the airport just after a 15min drive.

Songshan T2, which is the domestic terminal. The original domestic terminal, T1, has been refurbished and now used for international flights.
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At the TransAsia ticketing counter to pick up our air tickets. There were 11 of us in the tour group.
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Ticketing counters of other Taiwanese domestic airlines.
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Check-in counters for TransAsia flights. Check-in closes 30mins before departure for domestic flights.
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Our tour leader in Taipei checked in for us and handed us our boarding passes. It was basically a slip of paper.
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02 November 2011
TransAsia Airways
GE 007
Taipei Songshan (TSA) - Hualien (HUN)
ATR 72
B-22811
Economy Class


After issued with boarding passes, the whole group went through security into the boarding lounge. Security was fast and we were soon in the sterile looking departure lounge. Nothing fanciful, just rows of seats, a cafe and boarding gates.
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We will be flying TransAsia today!
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Our flight will be boarding after the Makung flight.
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Lets do some plane spotting! Uni Air MD90.
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Mandarin Airlines ERJ190
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Finally we are boarding! Will be bussed to the aircraft parked at the remote stand.
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On the bus towards our aircraft. Eva Air A332 and JAL B763 parked at the International Terminal ready to operate flights to Haneda.
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FAT MD80 stored on the tarmac.
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Early morning at Songshan. China Airlines A333 parked on the remote stand.
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Reached our ATR72 prop B-22811. It is the 2nd newest ATR72 in TransAsia's fleet and is delivered in 2007.
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Another view of our plane.
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Boarding. I was one of the last to board so that I can enjoy my photo taking on the tarmac. No ground staff stopped us from snapping shots on the tarmac.
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Passengers settles down very quickly and the crew immediately prepared the plane for departure. There were 3 cabin crew onboard today, including a trainee crew. Most of the other passengers on the flight this morning were businessmen flying to Hualien for a day of work, judging by the suits and briefcases. Newspapers were also offered at the door. Crew also did a newspaper run down the aisle. Flight time was scheduled to be 35min but the actual flying time was a mere 20mins at most.
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Seat pitch was actually rather good.
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Contents in seat pocket. Inflight magazine, duty-free mag, safety card and 1 more magazine which I forgot what it was. Quite a lot of stuff for a domestic flight I must say. Even onboard shopping is offered on this short flight!
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Cabin view towards the front.
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Doors were closed, engines started and cabin crew performed a manual safety demo. No time wasted here! We then had a fast taxi to Rwy10.
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There was no wait and we immediately took off after turning onto the runway.



We initially passed through thick clouds but the clouds cleared shortly after. Beautiful scenery of outer Taipei after takeoff.
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Service announcement by the crew after takeoff. It was a very long announcement!



Followed shortly by the pilot announcement. We would only be flying at 10,000ft today!



Flying along the beautiful east coast of Taiwan.
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The beautiful TransAsia stewardesses then rolled a cart down the aisle offering packet drinks and wet towelettes.
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On offer were either red tea or an energy drink.
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Seatbelt signs were switched on throughout the whole flight as according to the pilot, there might be some bumps. But I guess it was to reduce inconveniences to the cabin crew during their service on the very short flight.

The flight was so short that when the crew were still serving drinks halfway down the cabin, we started our descent! However the crew still managed to finish serving all passengers and immediately collected the trash and prepared the aircraft for landing.

See the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
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Almost there. Beautiful mountains!
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Nearing Hualien. The scenery is stunning!
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Flew over Hualien city and making a turn back to the airport.
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Runway in sight.
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Landing at Hualien Airport Rwy03. The airport is also an airforce base and so photo-taking were actually prohibited while on the ground. An announcement was also made regarding this. But then…
http://www.youtube.com/watch'v=HrNIFWmCBNs


Just a very short taxi to the deserted terminal. I wonder when was the last time the aerobridges were used.
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View of seats during disembarkation.
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There were airforce personnel on the tarmac to stop anyone from taking photographs. So no photos of the aircraft on the tarmac. However I managed to capture a shot from the terminal building.
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These are all the arrivals to Hualien airport in a day.
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The airport looked very new and clean. And it is definitely very underutilized!
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See more

Verdict

TransAsia Airways

7.6/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment5.5
Meal/catering8.0

Taipei City - TSA

8.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.5

Hualien - HUN

7.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

It was a short and pleasant flight on TransAsia Airways and an interesting experience to try out a Taiwanese domestic flight. I was actually surprised that TransAsia was able to accomplish the services on such a short flight. I was not even expecting a drink, much less newspapers and onboard shopping on the 20min hop. Excellent service by TransAsia!

Informations on the route Taipei City (TSA) Hualien (HUN)

1 Comments

  • Comment 89793 by
    marathon GOLD 8602 Comments

    Oh no, this is not the shortest scheduled flight in the world, or in Taiwan, for that matter ! My shortest Taiwanese flight was GNI-TTT (10 minutes, beating TTT-GNI by 2 minutes thanks to the tailwind), TTT-KYD and back was also very short.
    A Korean low cost airline started services to/from TSA in 2012, as far as I remember.
    Check-in closes at ETD-20', and I have checked in even later than that on a TSA-KNH flight before the one I was scheduled to fly.
    There is no limit on picture taking on the tarmac in TSA, but using electronic equipment (including cameras) is prohibited on all Taiwanese domestic flights, and there is always an annoucmenet and a sign displayed by a FA before take-off. The FAs are not aggressive about it, but they do remind you that this is forbiddent if they see you. I never tried to take a picture of the FAs in flight. Very nice lighting conditions that morning !
    I had a very similar experience on this route, only that I woke later and flew on the next flight. Thanks for this report !

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