The China Airlines long haul Business Class is a surprisingly great experience. In this extensive review, I’ll explain why the airline from Taiwan is a great choice for flights to Asia.
China Airlines might not be the first airline that comes to your mind when thinking about flights to Asia, but a modern fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft as well as a modern business class product combined with a good soft product make the airline a great choice for long haul flights.
In this extensive review, I’ll get you an idea of what to expect. I had the pleasure to test the airline from Hongkong to Taipeh as well as from Taipeh to Amsterdam, both times on board an Airbus A350.
The China Airlines long haul Business Class can be found between doors one and two of the Airbus A350 (there are seats behind door two on the Boeing 777) and consits of 32 flat bed seats (40 in the Boeing 777), which are arranged in a reverse herringbone configuration.
Personally, I thought that the cabin, while a little bit dark, looked really nice and might be one of the nicest business class cabins I’ve seen, definitely nicer than for example the Lufthansa Business Class or old Singapore Airlines Business Class cabin.
The design of the seats is a combination of brown and grey and looks really nice, in my opinion. This is mainly due to a really good eye for detail. For example, there’s a nice little lamp on the, which adds atmosphere. The faux wood is quite nice, too.
The seats as such are quite comfortable in the upright position as well as in the various stages of reclining positions you can choose.The level of privacy is also quite high thanks to the high privacy shield and the positioning of the seat in direction of the window.
The seat pitch might look a little limited, but is perfectly fine when actually sitting. You can also reach the ottoman when in upright position, which I always enjoy.
Not only is the seat as such quite nice, there’s also a lot of storage. There are three main compartments, one doubling as a little vanity thanks to a mirror. In this compartment, you can also find a plug, the headphone jack etc., but there’s also room to store things.
There is another storage compartment in the raisable arm rest, which is quite spacious and holds the amenity kit at boarding. The last storage space is located right next to the first and holds the headphones when boarding. The only downside is that there is not really a place to put a laptop. However, you can store a latop bag underneath the ottoman, so this might not actually be that big of a problem after all.
The seats come with a really solid with a great for getting some work done. It also doesn’t need to be folded out, but can just be extended from underneath the entertainment screen.
All in all, I really like the seat in the China Airlines long haul Business Class and it reminds me very much of the Garuda Indonesia Business Class seat, which I very much enjoyed, too.
On my second flight in the China Airlines Business Class, I had the chance to sleep for several hours thanks to the flight time of slightly more than 13 hours. The seats can be automatically adjusted into a fully flat position.
In this position, the seats look a little bit tight and you can not perfectly move in all directions, but I thought that the bed is reasonably comfortable in the fully flat mode. It’s worth noting though that the footwell is a little bit tight, making the China Airlines long haul Business Class not perfect in that regard.
Especially taller people might have problems getting comfortable here, but I thought that the seats offer a good sleeping spot in the fully flat position. The bedding of China Airlines consits of a medium-sized pillow as well as a nice enough blanket. I think a second pillow would be a good addition, but besides that I was content with the offerings.
What’s lacking is some sort of a comforter, but the sleeping surface of the seat is comfortable enough, so that’s not too much of a downside.
I had the chance to try various different meals in the China Airlines long haul Business Class, making it possible to judge the catering quite well. On both flights, I was offered a menu, which, on the long haul segment, also came with a wine list.
Both flights started with a choice of welcome beverage on the ground, which was either a juice, champagne (Pol Roger 2006) or water.
On my flight from Hongkong to Taipeh, I was offered dinner on a tray. There was a choice of two main dishes, but the whole meal was served on a tray. I thought it was reasonably good, though not outstanding.
In addition to the main dish, there were two desserts, but oddly no starter on the tray. The fruits and little cake were good though.
On my flight in the China Airlines long haul Business Class there was another round of drinks upon reaching cruising altitude.
This was accompanied by a package of nuts, which I thought wasn’t presented particularly premium.
The first course of the main meal was a so-called ‘Summer Appetizer’, which was reasonably tasty, but served with just a plain bread roll and a not so inspiring salad.
The soup (cream of corn) served afterwards was way better and came with a choice from the bread bakes, where I had a tasty garlic bread.
Of the three courses offered as a main, I decided to go with the beef, served with courgette as well as mashed potatoes – it was really good despite looking not so great.
Afterwards, I was given a choice of desserts and just wanted the mouse cake, but was pro actively brought a cheese plate as well.
There was also ice cream available, but I was quite full at this point already. I really enjoyed the quick and efficient service in the China Airlines Business Class as dinner was done in just 90 minutes after take-off, allowing for longer sleep. Breakfast was served approximately two hours before landing in Amsterdam and came with the choice between Asian and Western. I went with the Western option, which was a cheese mushroom omelette.
I’m not a fan of egg dishes in the air and this one was no exception. While the hot dish was rather disappointing, I thought that the fruits and joghurts served with it were reasonably good. The croissant looked a little sad though and also didn’t taste particularly great.
While I liked the catering in the China Airlines long haul Business Class, I was a little disappointed by the service, which I’d say was mediocre at best. There was not really anything bad about it, but neither was the service were friendly nor especially polished.
The China Airlines long haul Business Class comes with a good entertainment selection. First of all, there’s a large entertainment screen, which doesn’t need to be extended and thus can also be used during take-off and landing.
The selection of movies and shows (Western and Asian) is quite good in my opinion, though not exceptional. While not on the level of Emirates, for example, I think everybody can find something in the selection, which also includes songs and games.
China Airlines also offers headphones to Business Class passengers, which come with noise cancelling and are reasonably good. I still prefered my Bose headphones though.
Upon boarding, I was also offered a newspaper of my choice, including an English language version.
In addition to the other entertainment options, China Airlines also offers WiFi on board, which comes with a reasonable cost (you can buy a full flight pass for less than 20 Euro).
It worked quite well throughout the flight for messaging and basic browsing. All in all, I’d say that the entertainment options in the China Airlines long haul Business Class are really good.
Despite a full cabin, the two lavatories available for Business Class passengers were kept reasonably clean and were modern, while not spacious.
Other amenities in the China Airlines Business Class include a bottle of water and an amenity kit.
It had the typical contents like a toothbrush, creams, etc., but also came with a cute comb, dental floss and a pen and was better than many amenity kits I’ve seen at other airlines.
Furthermore, there were slippers waiting at my seat upon boarding on the long haul flight.
All in all, no special, but totally fine amenites for Business Class.
My flights in the China Airlines Business Class were very enjoyable and I particularly liked the modern Airbus A350 jet. The seats are among the best out there, the sleeping comfort is high and the catering is good. The same is true for the entertainment and the amenities. While there’s not really any area where China Airline really shines, the great hard product and modern jets make it a really good option for flights to and within Asia!