Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm

TPE-HNL-TPE China Airlines Business/Economy

Thu Sep 18, 2003 1:42 am

Note: TPE-HNL is Economy; HNL-TPE is Dynasty

China Airlines CI 2
Airbus 340-300 (Registration: B-18806)
Taipei, Taiwan (TPE) to Honolulu, HI, USA (HNL)
August 28, 2003
Seat: 12K (Economy/Window)
Gate: B7 (Terminal 1)

Scheduled Departure: 08/28 2:50 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 08/28 6:30 AM
Scheduled Flight Time: 9:40

Elite Qualifying Mileage: 5,053
Elite Qualifying Bonus Mileage: 4,947
Bonus Mileage: 0
Total Mileage Earned: 10,000 (to CI Dynasty Flyer)
Mileage Used: 0

Having always flown EVA Air across the Pacific for the past eight years, I was looking forward to my trip to Hawaii on China Airlines. I've always heard good remarks about China Airlines' inflight service. This flight would mark the first time on an A340-300, the first time on an Airbus long-haul flight, and the first time on China Airlines long-haul in 10+ years.

I arrived at Terminal 1 of CKS Airport about three hours prior to departure. Since my Dad holds a China Airlines Gold Card and was also traveling in Dynasty Class, our family checked-in at the Dynasty Class line. Check-in took a while because we had three people on two different reservations. However, everything worked out well, and all our bags were priority checked to Honolulu.

Immigration and security checks were smooth. My Dad gave me his lounge invitation so I could experience the Dynasty Lounge. The lounge was packed, and I spent some time looking for an empty seat and table. The lounge was stocked with dim sum, snacks, cold beverages, hot beverages, reading material, and Internet terminals. A full bar was also available.

At the gate, boarding was smooth, from First to Dynasty to Economy. The flight was packed. Dynasty Class was full, and Economy only had a few spare seats remaining. The aircraft was an Airbus A340-300 configured with 8 First Class, 30 Dynasty Class, and 220 Economy Class seats. Economy Class seats were 2-4-2 abreast with 32" seat pitches.

Each seat in Economy was equipped with a PTV, which played movies, short features, games, and Airshow. In addition, cameras provided outside views of below and in front of the aircraft. Entertainment wasn't AVOD, but the PTV was definitely nicer than watching from the main screen.

Prior to take-off, the flight attendants came around with warm wet towels. The safety demonstration video was played, and we were in the air shortly afterwards. Once we were at a cruising altitude, the flight attendants served cold beverages and peanuts. I chose apple juice to accompany my small, not-so-special snack. While the snacks were served, the flight attendants also closed the window shades.

About an hour later, the carts were pushed down the aisle, and we were served lunch. The entree choices were between seafood with noodles or pork with rice. I chose the pork entree, which came with a warm roll (with butter), a Chinese-style salad, fresh fruit, and mango pudding. For my choices of beverage, I chose red wine and hot tea. The meal was pretty good, and presentation was excellent. Of course, since we were US-bound, our knives were plastic.

After the flight attendants recollected the trays, they began their duty free sales. The lights were then dimmed so the passengers could relax and sleep. Unfortunately, I was unable to get plenty of rest. I spent most of my time fiddling with the PTV and the satellite phone, which offered free seat-to-seat calls. For most of the flight, the flight attendants didn't come around every once in a while to serve beverages. When my Mom and I went to ask for some water, the flight attendant asked us to pour it ourselves. I wasn't really expecting this from an airline with such a high service reputation. In addition, the seats in Economy were rock hard. At times, I felt like my head was resting on a stone.

Two hours prior to landing, breakfast service began. We were offered a Western selection and an Oriental selection. I chose the Western selection which came with baked eggs, hash browns, bacon, yogurt, and a cinnamon roll. For my beverage, I chose hot coffee. The meal was okay, but the bacon and hash browns were way too oily.

Once we began our descent, the flight attendants came to collect the headsets. The window shades were re-opened. We were just in time to catch a sunrise off the horizon. The view was definitely worthwhile. After arrival, my family and I quickly passed through Immigration and collected our baggage.

In general, I enjoyed flying with China Airlines. Their food was well-made, and service was satisfactory. I would consider flying with China Airlines on my next transpacific flight to the mainland U.S. if they offered a Premium Economy class, similar to EVA Air's Evergreen Deluxe. But, all in all, I had a wonderful on China Airlines, and I definitely enjoyed flying their newest aircraft type--the Airbus A340-300.

China Airlines CI 1
Airbus 340-300 (Registration: B-18801)
Honolulu, HI, USA (HNL) to Taipei, Taiwan (TPE)
September 4, 2003
Seat: 7J (Dynasty/Aisle)
Gate: 31

Scheduled Departure: 09/04 8:00 AM
Actual Departure: 09/04 8:09 AM
Scheduled Arrival: 09/05 12:15 PM
Actual Arrival: 09/05 12:18 PM
Scheduled Flight Time: 10:15
Actual Flight Time: 10:09

Elite Qualifying Mileage: 5,053
Elite Qualifying Bonus Mileage: 4,947
Bonus Mileage: 0
Total Mileage Earned: 10,000 (to CI Dynasty Flyer)
Mileage Used: 20,000 (for Upgrade from Economy to Dynasty)

I was definitely looking forward to my return journey on China Airlines because I had a confirmed upgrade to Dynasty Class. Moreover, it was a long-haul flight on China Airlines' newest aircraft type--the Airbus A340-300.

I arrived at Honolulu Airport about an hour and thirty minutes prior to take-off. I discovered the longest line for Economy Class check-in. My family and I couldn't even find the Dynasty Class line. Once we found the single counter, we filed in the line with about four people ahead of us. No one would believe how slow the agent worked. It took my family and I over fifteen minutes for the agent to give us our boarding passes. Personally, I think the agent was unfamiliar with the computer. Well, after the hassle, we were given three boarding passes and invitations to the Dynasty Lounge.

The Dynasty Lounge was disappointing compared to the one in Taipei. There was no hot food, and the snacks were very limited. Besides my family and I, only three other people occupied the lounge. I guess the lounge was okay for an airline with only one daily flight to Honolulu.

After we walked from the lounge to the gate, the boarding area was completely empty. Almost everyone had already boarded. We probably had the farthest gate in the terminal that day. Once we were on board, the flight attendant came and asked if I wanted water or juice. I asked for juice, and it came in a glass cup with a pack of mixed peanuts.

During this time, my Dad was also in Dynasty Class, but he was bumped up to First Class. Again, my Mom and I were sitting together, while my Dad was in a higher service class. Prior to take-off, the safety demonstration video was played. During that time, the flight attendants passed out warm towels and collected the empty glasses.

The aircraft was an Airbus A340-300, with 30 Dynasty Class seats. The seats were arranged 2-2-2 abreast with 50" pitches. Each seat was electronically controlled, and had a 10.4" VGA PTV. Every seat was equipped with a 110V AC outlet for laptops, etc. I think those are better than the ones which require a converter. The seat was definitely well beyond my expectations.

Once we were airborne, the flight attendants closed the shades and passed out menus and wine lists. They referred to each passenger as Mr./Ms. (Last Name). On our ten hour flight, we would be served a breakfast and a lunch. After the flight attendants passed out the menus, they asked each passenger for their breakfast and lunch selections.

Our menu for breakfast as follows:
Congee Soup with Delicatessen
Halibut with Ginger Cilantro Sauce

Fresh Fruit of the Season


Bread Basket

Tea. Coffee.

Originally, I chose the Congee Soup. However, everyone else seemed to have chosen the same thing, so the flight attendant kindly asked if I was willing to change to the Halibut. I agreed to the change. After a while, the flight attendant serving my area came around with white table cloths. She gently placed the table cloth onto my tray table and began passing out trays. The trays were already filled with food, so there wouldn't be any cart service for this meal. The menu was also somewhat misleading. Passengers with the Congee entree didn't get any Yoghurt, and there wasn't any bread basket. Once I finished my meal, the flight attendant collected it and asked if I would like anything to drink. Shortly, my coffee came in a nice cup.

Before the lights were dimmed, the flight attendants passed out overnight amenity kits. The kits were very simple. They merely contained a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, and lotion. We had already been given cotton slippers in our seat back pockets.

Once the lights were dimmed, I began watching movies on my PTV. I watched Bruce Almighty and the Italian Job. About half an hour after the lights were dimmed, the flight attendants came around with glasses of water. I took one, and finished it. Every once in a while, they would come around to refill my glass. I was expecting the flight attendants to pass out some snacks; however, I discovered that we had to request it. So, my Mom got cup noodles while I got a sandwich. Both were delicious, especially the sandwich.

About two and an half hours prior to landing, the lights were turned back on. The flight attendants passed out warm towels and asked for drink orders. White table cloths were laid out, and the drinks served.

Our menu for lunch as follows:
Pate Foie Gras & Mix Greens

Mixed Green Salad
Italian Herb Vinaigrette Dressing

Sliced Pork with Plum Sauce
Grilled Beef Fillet with Balsamic Demi Glace Sauce
Japanese Style Terriyaki Sole & Scallop with Rice

Fresh Fruit of the Season

Lemon & Strawberry Mousse
Dairy Ice Cream

I had chosen the Grilled Beef Fillet. But first, the Pate Foie Gras & Mix Greens was served with the Mixed Green Salad. I didn't try the Pate Foie Gras since it didn't look too good. But the Mixed Green Salad with Italian Dressing was excellent. The plates were collected, and the entrees were served. We had plastic knives, but the knives seemed somewhat stronger than the ones in Economy. Then the Bread Basket from breakfast suddenly appeared. We had a choice of rolls, garlic bread, etc. I chose a roll and garlic bread. Both tasted freshly baked. To accompany my Fillet, I had champagne. It was definitely a weird choice, but I wanted to try out China's champagne, and I liked it.

The plates were collected, and the dessert cart was pushed out. Everyone got a plate of fresh fruit, and I chose the Dairy Ice Cream, which was Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream.

Once we finished our meals, the trays and table cloths were collected. Service pretty much ended here, and we were waiting for our arrival in Taipei. The flight attendants continued to serve drinks, but most people just wanted to catch up on some sleep.

When we began our descent, the flight attendants collected our head sets and helped return everyone's seats to their original positions. I was expecting some candy or something like that, except nothing was passed out. That sort of disappointed me. In no time, we were on the ground in Taipei.

Generally, I enjoyed the service aboard China Airlines. However, I was expecting more from the airline, especially in Dynasty Class.

I welcome everyone's comments and questions!
Posts: 8181
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: TPE-HNL-TPE China Airlines Business/Economy

Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:30 am

Nice little report,we don't get that many CI report's,this is a refreshing change.


Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

RE: TPE-HNL-TPE China Airlines Business/Economy

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:42 am

That was a very good report. Was this your first trip to the USA? How did you like Hawaii?

God bless through Jesus with love,

God bless through Jesus, Jeff
Posts: 1576
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 11:53 am

RE: TPE-HNL-TPE China Airlines Business/Economy

Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:59 pm

Nice report Alex.

A lot of people comment on CI's service, saying that they provide wonderful service in the air. I also have quite a mixture of feelings on them however, their safety record is really somthing that will stop me flying with them for the time-being. However after a couple of years I'd definetely consider them, and also I've always wanted to fly on a A340-300, and the airline that I always fly on has re-tired all A343s so CI could probably be a good choice!

Best Regards
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: TPE-HNL-TPE China Airlines Business/Economy

Sun Sep 28, 2003 4:10 am


This wasn't my first trip to the USA. Hawaii was definitely wonderful! Loved every moment of it.  Smile


Service was definitely wonderful. Safety is always a concern, and I think CI is working hard to improve their record. Hope you get your chance to fly the A340-300 soon!  Big thumbs up


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