Taiwan's national carrier, China Airlines serves around 20 million passengers every year from its base at Taipei Taoyuan Airport (TPE). The company is owned by the locally-owned China Airlines Group but operates globally - connecting Taipei and other regional cities with Europe and the Americas.
The airline's route map is extensive, encompassing Canadian locations like Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver, as well as various US airports, such as Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York JFK, LAX, and Dallas. China Airlines is also part of the Star Alliance of global airlines, which means that passengers can arrange multi-leg trips involving China Airlines flights.
The company operates a fleet of 88 planes, including state of the art Boeing 777-300ER vessels, as well as Airbus A330 models. And new versions are on order, too, ensuring that travellers will continue to enjoy cutting edge features.
Along with updating its fleet, the carrier has developed a strong reputation for safety, earning a 7/7 score at AirlineRatings. It has also won numerous awards for service, including global contests involving the world's elite companies. That's in keeping with the corporate motto "Journey with a caring smile", which informs everything China Airlines does.
Additionally, the company runs a frequent flyer scheme called Dynasty Flyer, which operates as a typical loyalty program, allowing passengers to earn miles as they travel, These miles can then be cashed in for future journeys, or redeemed in the form of upgrades.
As with most global carriers, China Airlines offers Business, Premium Economy, and Economy classes. In general, all classes should exceed expectations for comfort, space, and on-board services. However, it's important to note that Wi-Fi isn't available on any flights, no matter which class you choose.
China Airlines Business Class
Business Class travellers enjoy personal suites which include seat pitches ranging from 152.4-198.1 cm (60-78 inches) (depending on which plane model is involved). All seats have personal monitors and lamps, cabinets, and reading lights. They can also be reclined, providing a comfortable place to sleep during long haul flights. Elsewhere, Business Class passengers can use the SkyLounge bar for coffee or alcoholic drinks. Or they can stay in their seats for gourmet Asian cuisine.
China Airlines Economy Class
Passengers choosing the Premium option receive more dining space and 30.5 cm (12 in) screens, as well as a 99 cm (39 in) seat pitch and amenity kits to make the journey pass smoothly. Standard Economy seats have a 81.3 cm (32 in) seat pitch and come with smaller screens, but still provide enough leg room to travel in comfort.
Entertainment and Extras
During flights, travellers can use personal devices, while a selection of up to date TV and movies is available via personal touchscreens. Travellers can also pre-order duty-free and other items via an online e-Shopping system. Back on the ground, members of the Star Alliance Gold club and the Dynasty loyalty scheme can access VIP lounges in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as many American airports.
Airport check-ins will start 2-3 hours before boarding for all services, while online check-in can be carried out between 48 and 1.5 hours before flights leave.
Generally speaking, passengers are advised to arrive at the airport 2 hours before departure to ensure smooth check-in and security screening.
Travellers in Business Class can check-in 2 items of luggage for free, and these items must weigh less than 32 kg (70 lbs).
Carry on baggage must weigh under 7 kg (15 lbs). Passengers are allowed to take on board one carry-on bag, and one personal item.
In Premium Economy Class, travellers can check-in 2 items, each one weighing less than 28 kg (61 lbs).
In Economy Class, travellers are allowed to check-in 1 item of luggage, which must weigh less that 23 kg (50 lbs). Flex tickets may increase the allowance to 2 items weighing 23 kg (50 lbs) or less.
Carry-on allowances are the same as in Business Class. Travellers can take one personal item and one bag or case. Both items must weigh less than 7 kg (15 lbs).
All checked luggage must have maximum dimensions of 158cm (62 in).
Carry-on bags must measure less than 56 x 23 x 36 cm (22 x 9 x 14 in).
As with most airlines, travellers can pay extra to check-in oversized items. This includes cases as well as special items such as musical instruments and sporting equipment, and prices rise per kilogram.
Restrictions apply for some sports gear, such as angling equipment, golf clubs, surfboards, or skis. So check with the airline before booking to ensure that no complications arise.
Parents will be happy to learn that bassinets can be provided in most cases, and that those with infants have priority access to bulkhead seats with extra space. Separate fares are also not charged for infants aged up to 2 years of age who do not occupy a seat.
In some cases, Dynasty members may also be able to cut the cost of checking baggage. Members can check-in 10kg or additional baggage on flights that don't involve Canada or the USA. Although that rules out journeys from Toronto or Calgary, it may be handy for trips within East Asia.
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