gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', '118983626-1');

China Airlines New 777-300ER: An Adventure In The Sky

Heading to Taiwan anytime soon? If not, you may soon find yourself itching to making plans. This summer, I was able to experience business class premium on the inaugural 777-300ER Boeing flight from SFO to TPE. Let’s just say, it was the most comfortable 13 hours I’ve ever spent in an aircraft flying across the world.

China Airlines is redefining the phrase “flying in style” with its introduction of the 777 Boeing this year, flying direct between San Francisco International Airport and Tao Yuan International Airport in Taiwan. Founded in 1959, the airline is Taiwan’s largest airline carrier, and holds a long-standing reputation for modern, top-service flights in Trans-Asia travel. The airlines has gone to lengths to completely renovate their main airbus model, in a fleet of 81 aircrafts. It’s paid off, as just last year China Airlines won the Golden Pin Design Award for “Best Design of the Year” with this NexGen 777 cabin design. Here’s a breakdown of the complete Premium Business Class experience: from check-in at SFO, to stepping off the plane in the tropical paradise of Taiwan.

All set and ready to fly!

All set and ready to fly!

Pre-boarding:

Right from check-in, I was on my way. Being used to standing in the longest line for everything, from post offices to airport customs, skipping past the long lines never felt so good. I was presented with a handy e-card in the cutest packaging, put together by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. The card acts as a sort of credit card, which can be loaded and used at convenience stores, the MRT (Taiwan’s subway system), and other shops onsite. Neat stuff! After passing through security, I headed over to the VIP Dynasty Lounge, where there was a multitude of complimentary drinks, snacks, and soft couches to relax on.

The handy e-card I received at check-in. Actually, I got 2!

The handy e-card I received at check-in. Actually, I got 2!

Service in the Sky:

Impeccable, professional, warm, and kind. One of my favorite things about China Airlines is that the air stewardesses are incredibly attentive to the needs of the passengers, no matter what class you fly in. But there’s no doubt that Business Class Premium is up there on the top line of luxury and comfort. Upon boarding the aircraft, the ladies come around with warm towels for you to freshen up for the long flight ahead, and also offer beverages–the orange juice is strangely different from American OJ, but better. I had more than a few glasses during the flight.

Promptly greeted with a refreshing beverage and snacks!

Promptly greeted with a refreshing beverage and snacks!

Premium Business Class: fully lie-flat seats, enormous touch-screen TV, little lamp for reading, and complimentary gift.

Premium Business Class: fully lie-flat seats, enormous touch-screen TV, little lamp for reading, and complimentary gift.

13 Hours of Luxury:

You know that ‘new car smell’ that we all love? Well, this plane certainly had what’d we call ‘new plane smell’. After toying around with all the tech in my pod (that’s what I called it, because we looked straight out of a sci-fi movie!), I realized it was a bit chilly in the cabin. I asked my attendant, Cynthia, if she had a thicker blanket than the one we’d already been given, and she nodded before whisking away. A minute later, she came back with a fluffy down blanket that made my IKEA throw at home feel like a dish towel. But before I got too comfy, I told myself that I wasn’t going to sleep through the entire flight, despite being on a red-eye schedule. This experience was just too good to be snoozing through!

I browsed through the touch screen TV (which boasted a larger screen than my Apple Macbook) and settled on watching the cheesiest movie possible: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. It was actually incredibly entertaining, but I felt the need to stimulate my intellectual side afterwards, so stood up for a stretch and strolled over to the “Sky Lounge”, where I picked up a quick read from the modest collection of books.

The "library" full of interesting reads (I picked up 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin) and unlimited snack bar. Photo by China Airlines.

The “library” full of interesting reads (I picked up ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin) and unlimited snack bar. Photo by China Airlines.

A close up of the classy snack bar & library.

A close up of the classy snack bar & library.

The full Sky Bar, with spirits and gold-packaged cup noodles! Photo by China Airlines.

The full Sky Bar, with spirits and gold-packaged cup noodles! Photo by China Airlines.

A comfortable area to stand and enjoy your drink or make a quick cup noodle. Photo by China Airlines.

A comfortable area to stand and enjoy your drink or make a quick cup noodle. Photo by China Airlines.

Feast on a Flight:

A couple hours passed as I was reading “The Happiness Project”, when I began to feel the familiar old rumble in my stomach. Perfect timing, as I was very excited to try the dining service on the flight. Full disclaimer now: I am a huge foodie. The menu was very detailed, and featured both ‘Chinese’ and ‘Western’ options for both dinner and breakfast.

Long menu list, along with between meal snack options (dim sum!)

Long menu list, along with between meal snack options (dim sum!)

I went with the Chinese-style dinner, which featured stir-fried shrimp and scallop in XO sauce with steamed rice, broccoli, mushrooms, carrot & red bell pepper. The other options were:

-Beef filet with wild mushroom ragout in red wine sauce & steamed parsley potatoes.

or

-Moroccan chicken tagine with couscous, zucchini, carrot, and red bell pepper.

First course of Chinese herbal soup before the entree!

First course of Chinese herbal soup before the entree!

Very tasty! The scallops were my favorite, with the perfect bouncy texture.

Very tasty! The scallops were my favorite, with the perfect bouncy texture.

This was so cute--a tiny glass dressing bottle. I really wanted to take it with me, but thought better against it.

This was so cute–a tiny glass dressing bottle. I really wanted to take it with me, but thought better against it.

I know what you’re thinking–don’t worry, of course I didn’t forget dessert. They had a choice of seasonal fresh fruits, cheese platter, mango mousse cake or Haagen-Daz ice cream. Guess which I went with…

Mmm, impressive plating for plane dining! Then again, I'm in Premium Biz Class...

Mmm, impressive plating for plane dining! Then again, I’m in Premium Biz Class…

For breakfast, we had a choice between:

“Chinese Classical”–Congee and assorted side dishes like steamed tofu stuffed with shrim paste, stir-fried pork strips with pickled cabbage, gluten with snow peas, pork floss, and Chinese donut chips. Steamed bun and seasonal fresh fruits.

“Western Favorite”–Chive scrambled egg with potato rosti, Irish bacon, tomato, button mushrooms. Plain yogurt, seasonal fresh fruits, toast, croissant, apple danish.

Delish. My 'western-favorite' breakfast, featuring chive-scrambled egg with potato rosti.

Delish. My ‘western-style’ breakfast, featuring chive-scrambled egg with potato rosti.

So interesting that small details like ceramic plateware and fine silverware make such a profound difference in the flight experience! It really begins to feel more like an actual restaurant rather than eating in a suspended cubicle.

Safely landed in TPE and ready to go.

Safely landed in TPE and ready to go.

Good Morning and Touch Down!

After what seemed like a short nap (I tried my best, but the lie-flat bed was just too tempting…) we were nearly in Tao Yuan International Airport! Time really does ‘fly’ when you’re having fun, and this experience in Premium Business Class on China Airline’s 777-300ER put the start of my 5-day trip in Taiwan on a high note. Amazing service, delicious eats, a beautiful and comfortable atmosphere made it plain and simple: the classiest flight of my life thus far. It’s a no-brainer, that is if you’ve the funds to book one of the seats, at $4300-$5300 a “pod”. Otherwise, start saving up now for your next vacation!

The journey ends...and another begins!

The journey ends…and another begins!

Hustle & bustle in Taipei city, love it.

Hustle & bustle in Taipei city, love it. Photo by Serena Mo.

High and mighty Taipei 101, always an impressive sight.

High and mighty Taipei 101, always an impressive sight.

Safe travels and a happy trip to all!

Photos, article by reporter Jocelyn , News for Chinese

 

 

中華航空新世代波音777-300ER: 雲端上的探奇悅心之旅

 

最近計畫要去臺灣了嗎?如果還沒有,分享我這次台灣特別悅心旅之後,你很快就會下決定到台灣一遊。這個夏天,我有幸乘坐波音777-300ER商務艙,體驗了San Francisco-臺北航線首航之旅。這麼說吧,這是我環球飛行之旅中所經歷的最為舒適的十三個小時。

中華航空公司今年引入波音777,開啟San Franciscoˋ國際機場和臺灣桃園國際機場直飛航班,重新定義「品味飛行」。成立於1959年,中華航空是臺灣最大的航空公司,以其現代和高端服務的跨亞洲飛行擁有長久聲譽。擁有81架飛機的中華航空全力而為,進行大規模客艙升級改造。它的努力得到了回報,就在去年,中華航空以新世代777客艙設計贏得德國紅點獎「最佳設計獎」。

現在讓我為你細細道來這次豪華商務艙之體驗:從舊金山機場辦理登機到在亞熱帶天堂寶島臺灣步下飛機的心情。

登機前:

從辦理登機手續起,開始了我的體驗之旅。早已習慣在辦理每件事都必須排長長的隊伍-從郵局到機場海關等,所以當不用再站在長長的隊伍中等候,感覺是如此輕鬆暢意。我拿到了一張由臺灣觀光局整合的電子卡-包裝可愛,使用便利。這張卡有點信用卡的意思,可以在便利店、MRT(臺灣地鐵系統)以及其他當地商店充值和使用。很棒的東西!通過機場海關安檢後,我直奔華航貴賓室(VIP Dynasty Lounge),貴賓室有各式的免費飲料和小吃,還有柔軟的沙發讓你放鬆休息。

空乘服務:

完美、專業、溫暖、貼心。中華航空讓我滿意的事情之一是空姐細緻入微地關注每一位乘客的需要,無論乘客搭乘何種艙位。但毫無疑問,豪華商務艙走的是豪華和舒適的高端路線。一登上飛機,空姐向你送上一條熱熱的毛巾,讓你為馬上開始的長途旅行提神加氣。飲料當然是少不了的柳丁汁,與美國柳丁汁相比有種說不出的不同,但味道更好。在飛行過程中,我喝了好幾杯。

13小時的奢華:

你知道我們大家都喜歡的「新車氣味」?那麼,毫無疑問,我搭乘的這架飛機有我們所稱的「新飛機氣味」。當我在商務座椅個人空間中摸索完身邊的各種科技設備後,我覺得客艙中有點冷。我問空姐Cynthia是否可以給我一條比我們已經拿到的更厚的毯子,她微微頜首示意後移步離去。一分鐘後,她帶著一條絨毛毯回到我這,讓我可以徹底放鬆、讓自己沉浸於舒適之前,我對自己說,但我可不要睡著飛完全程。飛行體驗是如此美妙,可不能睡著度過!

我流覽了觸摸屏電視(螢幕比我的Apple Macbook螢幕要大),最後選定了一部電影「Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter」。實際上,這部電影娛樂性十足,但看完後我覺得還是有必要激發我知性的一面,所以我站起來伸了伸懶腰,然後踱步去往Sky Lounge,在那裏儲藏量還算可以的書籍中挑了一本書,速讀一番。

空中美食:

讀著「The Happiness Project」,不知不覺過去了幾個小時,我開始感受到胃中熟悉的咕咕聲又響了起來。完美時機, 想到可以嘗試飛機上的餐食服務,我心中不免一陣激動。先來個免責聲明:我是一個胃口不算小的美食家。菜單非常詳細,正餐和早餐均有中式和西式可選。

我選了中式正餐:XO醬鮮蝦乾貝佐米飯,西蘭花,蘑菇,胡蘿蔔和紅甜椒。其他的選擇包括:紅酒醬野菇菲力佐香料洋芋;以及摩洛哥塔吉鍋燜雞佐北非小米,西葫蘆、胡蘿蔔和紅甜椒。

我知道你在想什麼-別擔心,我當然不會忘記甜點。他們提供新鮮時令水果、乳酪拼盤、芒果木司蛋糕或哈根達斯霜淇淋。猜猜我選了…

早餐,我們也可以兩選一:

「中式經典」–清粥,小菜,饅頭和時令新鮮水果。小菜包括:清蒸百花釀豆腐、酸菜肉絲、麵筋荷蘭豆、肉鬆和油條。

「西式最愛」–蝦夷蔥炒蛋佐洋芋煎餅,愛爾蘭培根,番茄,蘑菇。原味優格,時令新鮮水果,烤麵包片,牛角包,丹麥蘋果酥。

一些小細節令人興趣盎然,比如陶瓷餐具和精美銀器精的使用。正是這些細節讓飛行就餐體驗有了如此深刻的不同!你會真正感覺到你是在一個實實在在的餐廳優雅地進餐,而不再是在一個懸浮在空中的隔間裏簡單地填飽肚子。

早上好,飛機著陸!

經過似乎一個短暫的小憩(我盡我最大的努力,但平躺的床實在太誘人…),我們馬上就要到達桃園國際機場!當你有樂心之事可做時,時間的確在「飛」,中華航空777-300ER豪華商務艙的愉快體驗讓我5天臺灣之旅有了好的開始。服務令人嘆服,餐食精美可口,氛圍優雅而舒適,而整體上你感覺卻是樸實無華:我生活中目前為止最為經典的飛行。如果預定一個座位的錢對你來說不在話下-一個「商務艙」$4,300 – $5,300,那麼無需費腦,直接開飛吧。如果還沒有,那麼開始為你下次度假攢錢吧!

祝大家旅途平安快樂!

攝影及文章: 老中地方新聞記者Jocelyn Ho

翻譯/老中地方新聞編譯  Steven 

 

Related Posts

金山卡通藝術博物館終於找到了新家
San Francisco明日之星在Tenderloin
San Francisco走對了還是走錯了?民調發現旗鼓相當

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.