China Airlines | Business Class
Photo: © CHINA AIRLINES
New York (JFK) to Taipei (TPE)
On the Ground: I misjudged time and found myself on the Belt Parkway on the way to JFK with insufficient time to make the flight. Even so, I figured I would give it a try and do my best to park and go through security. I honestly thought my error meant I would stay overnight at the Hilton New York JFK Airport and catch the next flight the following day. As it happened, the team at China Airlines came to my rescue, ferrying me through security with the help of friendly TSA staff and onto the flight as the door closed behind me. My fellow passengers had no idea of my anxiety; and as I sat, we pulled back from the gate and I received all the amenities as if I’d been on the plane for 20 minutes. My colleague from Los Angeles was flying from LAX to Taipei to meet me, and she knew of my dilemma. She texted me, asking if I made the flight; I replied, “Of course, I am a professional!” The reality is, China Airlines’ ground team made me look like a professional, and that is all a frequent traveler can ask for. Bravo for all they did to get me on the fight, with no delay to our departure — and we arrived early in Taipei!
Pre-Flight: I appreciated the pre-flight snacks and selections of wine and other drinks. I am particularly impressed with China Airlines’ Champagne selection (Pol Roger 2004) and choice of Johnny Walker Blue Scotch. In addition, it serves from full bottles, an elegant touch that adds to the private club feel of its business class. The gent next to me noticed my order of JWB and followed my lead — we “cheered” each other as the plane taxied. I sat in the middle section of the business class; each seat has its own aisle exit, and I found the seat roomy and comfortable.
In-Flight: If you have not flown China Airlines’ business class in a while, I suggest you try it. The flat bed is relaxing, allowing for a good night’s sleep. Entertainment abounds, and I watched several movies, enjoyed a Chinese-inspired dinner and took a full night’s sleep. As the departure was past midnight, it made rest feel quite normal.
On my return, I was seated on the right side of the aircraft in a single window seat. Again, the meal service and crew were tops. The Taipei–New York flight offered a selection of canapés and appetizers followed by a choice of pork mushroom stew with warm rice, grilled halibut in miso sauce and grilled chicken with spicy black pepper sauce. I opted for the halibut, which was tasty and prepared me for my sleep to NYC.
During the flight, attendants offered snacks including various noodle soups. Before landing, they served breakfast, both traditional Chinese and Western.
◆ The wood décor in business class helps passengers feel relaxed in a club-like ambience.
◆ The great China Airlines lounge in Taipei mirrors the look of the new business class.