Review of China Airlines flight Singapore Taipei in Economy

Airline China Airlines
Flight CI754
Class Economy
Seat 63A
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 04:35
Take-off 27 May 22, 13:25
Arrival at 27 May 22, 18:00
CI 97 reviews
Wilson_772
Published on 28th May 2022

Introduction


There are no shortages of flight and airlines between Singapore and Taipei. As a frequent flyer who often has to hop between these 2 cities, the choices are plenty. Well known players such as Singapore Airlines, Eva Air and China Airlines to the new entry of Starlux or LCCs such as Scoot and Tigerair are available. Apart from Eva Air and Tigerair, I have pretty much flown on all of them. Before the pandemic, China Airlines used to fly their outdated A330 product on this route. Lucky for me however, their flagship A350 is serving this route right now (2022). Let us find out how well it stacked up against the others. 


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Booking


Booking ticket was straightforward. I used China Airlines to book a round trip flight. Ticket price was around the reasonable range of 400 to 500 US dollars around the period of my flying. 


Changi Airport Terminal 3


Since I have done most of my check in online, the bag drop process was a breeze. China Airlines operated out of Changi Airport Terminal 3 at check in island 11. Since Taiwan still has one of world’s most restrictive COVID policy, PCR and quarantine information is still mandated and will be checked during bag drop. Fortunately, the non-existent queue and staff’s efficiency left me plenty of time to stroll around the world’s best airport ( you do not argue with me ;) )


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Flight Brief and Avgeeks stuff


Flight: China Airlines Flight 754
SIN-TPE
Duration of flight: 4 hrs 35 min
Departure 13:25 GMT+08
Aircraft: A350-900
Registration: B-18916
Age: 4.3 years
Seat: 63A (economy class) 


Since Terminal 3 is practically a fortress for Singapore Airlines, the only thing I saw on the apron was a sea of A350 in SQ liveries. 59 A350 in a fleet is a lot…and more are coming…geez. Occasionally, their baby 737 MAXs and obese A380 do come into the views.



After some plane spotting, its time for today’s chariot. A 4-year-old A350 in a classic orchid color scheme. Yes, I know there are too much A350s on the tarmac but they’re beautiful.


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Boarding was smooth, we departed right on time despite the slight hiccups of finding 2 missing passengers. Since Changi Airport is currently expanding, we were forced to depart from runway 20 Left which inevitably caused a long pre-departure taxi.

As the RR Trent XWB engines scream to life, we were off to the sunny Singaporean skies in mere seconds. The climb out was rather bumpy until we reached past 24000 feet. 


Cabin Layout and Seats


China Airlines’ A350 economy class is lay out in a 3-3-3 format. Each seat is 32 inch in pitch and 18 inch in width. Seats are pretty much like many A350 operators. They are not as cushy as Singapore Airline’s 787 but not horrid. For a 175cm man, leg room is good, and width is just right. I will certainly not hesitate a flight in these seats up to 12 hours. Head rests are adjustable and recline up to 15 cm. However, no leg rest is provided. Due to the light load, I got to use all 3 seats near me. This is poor man’s business class, I guess? One thing that infuriates me is that the lack of air nozzles does not help in sunny Singapore. I felt cooked for most of the time before those 2 massive engines wind up. 


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As for the cabin ambience, mood lighting was a big bonus to the already stunning cabin. The carbon-fiber fuselage of the A350 also made the interior felt cavernous, a far cry from the sterile looking A330.


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Amenities and IFE


Since this flight happens in 2022, I could not help but question the decision for China Airlines still insist on not providing pillows and blankets. According to them, this is part of the covid policy. But with the world opening and most airlines return to normalcy, this really feels cheap. For the same flight, Starlux at least provided them on request. 


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A sudden twist of event happen when flight attendant started distributing amenity kits, hygiene kits and ear buds. I am confused. This is a 4 hour day time flight but they are distributing eye shades, ear plugs, dental kit, sleeping lotion but not pillows really throws my logic off. Nevertheless, the content was amazing by any economy class standard. Count me pleasantly surprised, lotions and cologne were also stocked in the immaculately clean bathroom too. 


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In Flight Entertainment (IFE) on this flight are provided by a high definition 10.1-inch screen, a gargantuan improvement from the borderline unusable screen on their old A330s. The content was great for a mid to long haul flight but not on par with the US or Middle Eastern big 3 Airlines. However, the screen set up was rattly. The fact that it is a pure touch screen IFE only worsens the rattly situation. It is also not adjustable; good luck trying to watch a movie when your front neighbor reclines.



Services


Since contact minimizing service enforced on this flight, flight attendant only come on request after meal services. They responded promptly to call and are courteous so that was fine for me. Overall, It is hard to pin point how well are there services until their restrictive service protocols have been removed. 


Food and Beverages


The meal services was conducted efficiently. Plates were cleared as soon as the passengers finished their meal so kudos to the crews. However, I found it odd that a flight that is supposed to land at 6pm serves late lunch right after taking off instead of an early dinner. Snack services with China Airline’s signature rice crackers was also noticeably missing on this flight which is strange for me.


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On the meal’s aspect, I was very pleasant. In fact much better than I was expecting. Instead of only serving a main and a dessert like on SQ, I had a full 4 course meal on this flight albeit all in a single tray. 2 mains were provided- teriyaki chicken rice or black pepper beef udon. I opted for the latter. They tasted alright, nothing to blow my mind like Starlux but far from inedible like the ones on Mainland Chinese domestic flights. Unfortunately, no menu and metal cutleries are provided.


Approach and Arrivals into Taiwan


The approach was nothing eventful. As we descended into rainy Taipei, the clouds really does put up a show. We ended up arriving 15 minutes early despite the consistent headwinds faced throughout the flight.


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Arrival into Taiwan on my flight requires arrival PCR test which annoyingly requires passengers to wait at the gate. It took about 45 minutes to complete, and everyone still need to show their place of residence at a make shift check point. It was anything but smooth. Hopefully the borders will open sooner than later.


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Conclusion:


So how does China Airlines A350 stack up against its competitors?
On the hard product front, CAL A350 is slightly wider than the competing SQ 787 but less cushy. Charging ports and other technologies have little differences. Starlux’s A321neo loses due to the lack of universal power outlets. However, Starlux gains credit on overhead nozzles in which CAL doesn’t provide. 


IFE wise, China Airlines is middle of the pact, not SQ good but not Starlux’s mediocre. Food department also gets the above average but not amazing sticker. Service is difficult to gauge as all 3 airlines still have some form of contact minimization, but I feel that they are all some of the best in the world according to my past experiences.


Overall, from the day of my booking, the flight was worth the money. In fact China Airlines was the cheapest premium carrier on that day followed by Starlux, Singapore and the obscenely expensive Eva Air. I will not hesitate to fly with them again if they are reasonably priced.

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Verdict

China Airlines

8.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering8.0

Singapore - SIN

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

Taipei - TPE

7.3/10
Efficiency5.0
Access9.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

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Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Taipei (TPE)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 19 reviews of 6 airlines on the route Singapore (SIN) → Taipei (TPE).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Starlux Airlines with 9.0/10.

The average flight time is 4 hours and 9 minutes.

  More information

1 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 604505 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5832 Comments

    HI Wilson_772 nice review full of nice cabin shots! The seat pitch looks really good--32" used to be pretty standard all over the world, but now sadly is considered above average and very rare outside of premium Asian carriers.

    Food looks really good for a 4h flight. Interesting comparison with SQ and Starlux on the route. With the pandemic there have been very few reviews of Starlux so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of this cool new carrier in the future now that things are starting to open up again.

    Thanks for sharing!

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