During my most recent trip to Thailand, I rode on one of China Airlines’ newly delivered 777s in economy class. I was very impressed. China Airlines’ economy class is comfortable and nicely designed, offers unique seating options for families. and has a friendly crew.
This was my first time flying on China Airlines, and my senses are always heightened when I fly an airline I haven’t flown before, especially overseas. I took the 777 between LAX and TPE (Taipei) and back and the 747 on both legs between TPE and BKK (Bangkok). Everything about the experience was great but below are the things that stood out and surprised me most about China Airlines:
At first, I wasn’t in a very great mood when I realized I was seated in the last row of economy class next to the bathrooms. However, when I sat down I felt pretty comfortable, and I stayed that way for the entire flight (as comfortable as you can be in economy). I noticed walking aboard that the seats were very slim, but that actually didn’t bother me at all comfort-wise. I could recline back pretty far (to 120 degrees) even in the last row. The 120-degree recline and the headrest with the side cushions allowed me to fall asleep almost immediately after dinner. This was surprising to me because I haven’t been sleeping well on overseas flights lately.
I also liked the touchscreen in-flight entertainment system because it was a touchscreen that actually worked well, which I feel isn’t all that common yet. I didn’t notice any long delays when I pushed a button (I really hate those) and China Airlines had a great selection of movies and TV shows.
Here’s something I found really nice and unique for families, even though I really couldn’t test out this feature. I first wrote about this idea here when I talked about the new design. Each 777 has 30 family couch seats—a set of three seats can turn into a sofa bed. How cool, right? It’s a pretty unique offering and a great alternative to families having to purchase business class seats to be able to lie flat on their backs. It works by raising a special footrest to 90 degrees, which fills the legroom space. Then, with the seat cushion in place, the three seats convert to a single sofa bed.
The family couch comes with special seat belts, mattress, pillows, and blankets. I walked by a mother and her little girl set up in one of these couches. The little girl was laying down covering two seats with some stuffed animals lined up at the second seat and the mom was sitting up on the third seat. It was so cute. Families can secure the family couch by booking three adjacent seats on the family couch in economy. Just make sure it notes “family couch” when booking because family couches aren’t offered on every economy seat.
I also really enjoyed all of the gate agents and crew members. The pilots even looked me in the eye and smiled when they were at the gate waiting to board the airplane. I feel like this doesn’t normally happen! All of these people were nicer than I remember staff being on other international flights, even in times I was sitting in business class. One of the gate agents even struck up a conversation with me, asking me where I was from.
And normally no one really wants their picture taken, but when I posed the idea these guys smiled big and even asked me to take more pictures.
I also noticed the flight attendants didn’t get annoyed when people took long to order their meals or block the aisles (I mean, I got annoyed). I’ve observed flight attendants acting differently on other international flights, so to me, it was a nice breath of fresh air. I could go on and on about how much I appreciated the fact that they were all genuine, friendly people.
Kudos to China Airlines for an excellent economy experience. The 777 has a beautiful design, comfortable seats and at least in my experience friendly people, which made my flight very special.