Sunday, December 16, 2012

China Airlines Business Class: YVR -> TPE

A little over a month ago I flew from Vancouver to Taipei on my birthday.  I took off 12am on the morning of my birthday and landed 5am the day after.  Because I spent the entire birthday in the air I decided to splurge a bit and treated myself to business class.  

With my business class ticket I got access to the Plaza Premium Lounge at YVR.  A bunch of airlines share it and it was actually quite busy even at 11pm at night.  So what do you get at this private lounge?

Instant Noodles!



A stocked fridge with more booze, yogurt, and vegetable sticks

There is also hot food.  For example there are buns.

Spring Rolls

Fried Noodles


In the lounge there is also a private room where you can take a nap.  An attendant will come in and wake you when it's time to board your flight.

What's business class like on the plane?  One thing is that the flight attendants address you by name.  They also quickly learned that I preferred to communicate in English and made sure that they always spoke to me in my language of choice.  Since you board first they start attending to you immediately by offering a beverage while you wait for the entire plane to board.

The chairs in economy are so cramped and don't have a lot of room to lean back.  On the way back I took economy and I was seated next to this big burly guy that was not gracious with sharing the middle arm rest with me.  The chairs in business are a lot different.  Look at all the buttons that you have to adjust your chair!  The backs can lean all the way back and the legs can come all the way up so that you are lying completely flat.  And there's also no sharing a middle arm rest!

The entertainment system is the same as what the economy seats get.  You get access to a PVR like system where you can get view a lot of different movie and television programs in both english and chinese.

The display unit though is larger than what you get in economy.  It folds out of the arm rest.

Here are the meals that you get.  You get a meal soon after takeoff, and another meal 2 hours prior to landing.  For the first meal I got an Ahi tuna and duck pâté starter.  Fried halibut in oyster sauce as the main.  You also get real china, linen and utensils.  The wine they serve is also quite good.

Fruit, cheese, and dessert platter.

Breakfast!  The omelette is surprisingly good for something that must have been cooked in a microwave.  Too bad they couldn't get the bacon really crispy.

Here are the menus that you get.  At the start of the flight you make your selection for both meals.

You also get a small little kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, a sleep mask, and slippers.  You can take home the kit after the flight.  Also any baggage you check in are specially marked and will be offloaded first at the destination.

Overal I fairly enjoyed the business class perks!  Is it worth the extra cost?  It's really hard to say.  Business class tickets can be 2x - 3x more than economy class tickets.  I have a hard time saying that the experience I had was 2x -3x better than what you get at economy class.  However when I returned to vancouver sitting in economy I struggled the entire flight (as I was seated next to a big burly guy) and couldn't wait for the flight to be over.  I had no such thoughts on my flight to Taipei.


  1. Wow, great report. I always liked travel reports because it is better than other experimental reports.Thanks for such a post. I will keep visiting your site once a week. :)
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