Newest Review: ... and courteous and we didn't have any problems at all. Another good thing that China Airlines did was not to change airplane. So we ha... more
China Airlines - Cheap flights yet great service
Member Name: janmikel
Advantages: Cheap price and people are very accomodating
Disadvantages: see text
It has been four years since I last went home and I was very excited to finally get a chance to come home. After all the necessary documents such as passport renewals were completed I immediately purchased my plane ticket home from Orbitz. I chose China Airlines since they offered the cheapest tickets
~About the Flight
When you look at the itinerary it looks pretty hectic because the flight had three legs. The journey started from JFK (NY) Airport and I had a stop at Anchorage (AK) for the first leg. The second leg was from Alaska to Taipei, Taiwan. The final leg was a short flight from Taipei to Manila. The whole journey took approximately 22 hrs. to complete. It was very tiring especially if you have a five and two year old with you.
~Check in at JFK
We checked in at Terminal 1 in JFK airport and I was glad that we arrived about 5 hrs early before the scheduled takeoff because the line for checking in was building up fast. Another half hour would have meant a longer wait time. Checking in was a breeze and the attendant was very helpful and she assigned seats so that we will be together in one row. We brought a stroller for our 2 year old daughter and the attendant arranged for it to be checked in just before we boarded. I was also very much happy that whenever we had a stop they returned the stroller so we can use it on Taipei and Anchorage. We were asked to board first because we had kids with us. I appreciate that they do this because I can choose were I can put my carry-on's and seat my kids properly without disturbing or being disturbed by other passengers. The plane that we took was a 747 with a 3-4-3 row seating configuration and we occupied a row in the middle column (the one having four seats)
~New York to Anchorage Leg
The journey was pleasant but was quite long and it took us approximately 9 hrs to reach Anchorage. The stewards and stewardess were very helpful and they also provided fresh milk for my daughter. The standard amenities like pillows and blanket were provided and I even asked for a toothbrush. I have this habit to brush my teeth in the airplane and see the different toothbrushes an airline has to offer. They had this single use toothbrush with dried toothpaste already on the bristles of the brush. I have no complaint about leg room as me and my wife have a small build and we are not tall either. The food was Asian food such as meat with rice or meat with noodles. They served us three meals and I felt bloated after this flight because I was finishing the food that my kids did not finish. I noticed that the sauce is the same but the meals are either in beef, pork or chicken. I observed that some passengers arrange for no meat meals and other special dietary issues and I am glad that they provide this. The stewardess was very helpful and seems to be popping all the time offering coffee, tea, juice or water.
~Anchorage to Taipei Leg
This was a long flight also. I am glad that they chose Anchorage as the entry point as this airport is not very busy. I tried LAX before and the queue at the immigration was very long and I missed my connecting flight. Because I had kids with me, they gave us special consideration on the immigration queue during the return flight. My daughter is a US citizen so they sent us to the line for permanent residents and US citizens. The immigration officer was very helpful and courteous and we didn't have any problems at all.
Another good thing that China Airlines did was not to change airplane. So we had the same seating arrangements as with the JFK-AK leg. This is very helpful because now my kids are very familiar with the plane and seems to know where there places are.
~Taipei to Manila Leg
This was the last leg and the shortest one. The flight was about 1.25 hrs long. We had an Airbus plane with a 2-4-2 seating arrangement. Naturally we took the middle column so that we can seat together. This airplane was newer and I wished this was the plane that took us from Taipei to JFK. It had a more ergonomic seat and it had an LCD screen on each seat. I and my wife even played in flight trivia. I guess this was a smaller capacity plane that it is why they chose it for shorter distances.
To sum it all up, I was satisfied by the service provided by China Airlines to their passengers. They were very sensitive to the needs of passengers traveling with kids and they provided all the standard amenities that a modern airline would. The stewards and stewardess as well as the ground crew were very accommodating and courteous. My only complaint is that during flight announcements that they don't broadcast in English first rather than last. (They broadcast in Mandarin, then Cantonese or some Southern Chinese dialect then in English) because more than half of the passengers are not Chinese. Another thought (not really a requirement) would be to have the LCD screens on the long flights as this would help me entertain my kids.
~posted in ciao US by the same author
Summary: Cheap flights yet great service
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