My last ride on China Airlines out of Taipei departed from Terminal 1 where I visited the Dynasty Lounge. 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.
A version that is the same as Singapore Airlines regional business class seat.
And the even older version on today's plane.
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.
Boarding was slightly delayed due to late arriving aircraft and a crew change. But ultimately the flight was on time.
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.
As I was taking photos of the cabin I remarked to a flight attendant how much legroom you would have in row one.
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.
The seat controls and IFE controller. Guess what, the IFE screen wasn't touch screen :)
Power plugs were out of the way on the front of the armrest.
In row one the monitors fold out from the armrest.
Seat 1A was in need of a bath.
Slippers and headphones were provided. Ancient China Airlines Noise Cancellation Headset [Ancient ad libbed by me]. Slippers were certainly a nice touch.
Separate beverage and food menus were distributed.
A Chateau Les Combes. Whole Foods carries this Bordeaux, it's a nice inexpensive red.
Heading to Japan, why not start on Japanese cuisine?
Amuse: Corn Bean Jelly
Smoked Salmon Rose
Salmon Roe Tamagoyaki
Cannied Smelt (on the fence with these guys)
Braised Eggplant in Ginger Soy Sauce
Fried Green Pepper
Saikyo Yaki Salmon
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.
So is it just me thinking they put some thought into this dish of fruit?
Baumkuchen Cake with Red Bean
More please. Delicious, the detail is lovely and incredible to think this was served on an airplane.
While the seats were subpar (at least compared to the B777 and A350 planes), China Airlines made amends with a fantastic dinner.
Carrier: China Airlines
Date: July 2017
Route: Taipei - Tokyo Narita
Flight #: 106
Aircraft: Airbus A330 #B-18351, delivered February 2006
Configuration: J36 / Y277
On Time: Yes
Reward Flying Rating: 5.4 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Showing it's age
Cabin/Seats Rating: 4 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Less than the shorter ICN-TPE flight, but slippers were welcomed
✔︎Dishes would be nicer presented individually as opposed to single tray
✔︎Good Japanese style meal with an incredible dessert
Amenity/Food rating: 7 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Old technology, limited content
IFE rating: 3 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Another great flight crew. When have you been offered to change seats just because you made a positive comment about another seat in passing? On all 3 of my China Airlines flights the crews have been equally outstanding.
Flight Attendant rating: 8 out of 10 ✈
✔︎A330. This aircraft is one of their leased A330s and apparently won't be upgraded with new seats as it will be returned at lease end. Hopefully this is soon.
Aircraft rating: 5 out of 10 ✈