China Airlines Premium Economy – the worst ever ?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  rferguson 5 Jun 2019
at 09:38
.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

  • Shand
    Participant

    This was new A350 Auckland to Brisbane (part of the daily Auckland-Taipeh service). A wider seat only. No greeting, no welcome drink, no table cloth, plastic cutlery and dishes, only economy meal and drink service which was awful. Main course was a tiny chicken and rice (I felt hungry on arrival) and desert was (wait for it!) a tim tam bar. Almost non-existent drink service. I am glad flight was only 3 hours – imagine a long haul with this !


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    This doesn’t sound good.

    As you may know CAL has been using the A350 to launch non-stop service between Europe and Taipei.

    Its LGW-TPE flight is timed to take 13.5 hours and some ex-UK travellers continue with CAL to elsewhere in the region including Australia.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi.

    I actually flew CA from AMS=TPE-SYD return some weeks ago, and return 3 weeks later.
    This was a return Business Class, and for the amazing return sum of Euros 2,700.
    It was a 773ER ex Amsterdam and full, but the A350 from TPE to Sydney had only 6 passengers in the wonderful suites.

    I did see the PE Cabin and it looked very comfortable and only a few people were there, but nice and comfortable for a Brand new A350.
    I am surprised and sorry you had a poor experience on the new A350 in terms of the catering.
    How was the cabin and new A350 itself? I can imagine it was not too busy. Some year ago, they would travel onto AKL from the Sydney flight.
    My summary…

    https://www.businesstraveller.com/forums/search/china+airlines/

    (Please see down a little for my China Airlines review)

    Interested in what you may have paid for a PE return or what they charged for a Business return. I hope it was competitive compared to Air NZ, QF and VA, that really can be very expensive only having Business. I hope you found a good price at least.
    I have to say the new A350 was superb, BC more like a First Suite, and they had a whole fleet in Taipei, at least 10 i could see moving around.
    The A350 is used on the LGW Route, but for Business is almost £1,000 more expensive than flying from Amsterdam, on the well established 773.
    I would have thought, the catering would have been loaded in Brisbane, so maybe you can address a complaint, compared to what it states you should have received for this decent 3 hr flight?


    Shand
    Participant

    The price was very reasonable compared to NZ, QF and VA – only NZD 770 return. The seat was fine 2-3-2 but the cabin decore was rather garish.

    On food service I could have added that the serviette/napkin handed out with the meal was nothing but a nose tissue – tiny and thin. And when they brought around a small ice-cream towards the end of the flight it just was handed to me without even a napkin.

    In short absolutely no effort to make this “premium” in any way.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    If the hard product is good, one should not expect too much service/food in a 3 hours flight. Likely the onward journey to Taipei have better service.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    If the hard product is good, one should not expect too much service/food in a 3 hours flight. Likely the onward journey to Taipei have better service.

    Good point. This would be considered a tag sector so one could not expect the full service. The ticket price would compensate.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CS KOK
    Participant

    The China Airlines premium economy seat has a hard shell that does not actually recline. The bottom kind of slides forward and the back tilts a little so you get into some poor imitation of a reclining chair. Advantage is the seat in front of you never intrudes into your space.


    paulkaz
    Participant

    It is possible that the China Airlines catering on the AKL BNE segment is poorer than their other services to reflect the cheaper fares and limited catering from QF VA and NZ on this 5th freedom flight. Certainly Latam’s catering on the SYD AKL service is average compared to the much more substantial service on the subsequent AKL SCL flight.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Doesnt surprise me. Cheap tickets, and let’s be honest PE is basically economy with a bigger seat.


    EU_Flyer
    Participant

    Sounds like China Airlines sell the PE seat at a slight premium over economy to fill the cabin but don’t offer a full service, as Alex MCW suggests given it’s a tag flight.

    For the money you paid it sounds good value. Still a lost opportunity for China Airlines to convert you into a long haul customer.


    SPAMELOPE
    Participant

    I traveled in PEY class on China airlines on 4 long haul flights and, quite honestly, cannot find anything to complain about. One always need to compare similar products from other carriers and, while China Airlines PEY is not the best, it is certainly not the worst. There were negative comments about the quality and meal portions being the same as those served in economy. This is true, but other carriers do the same. Admittedly, the meals were nothing to rave about, but the seat comfort, service and cabin crew were good. Overall, good value for money.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    rferguson
    Participant

    When booking Premium Economy (or any other class I guess) Google/Youtube/Blogs/Review sites are your friend.

    Premium economy comes in so many guises – from ‘Economy with a little plus’ to ‘Business Lite’. It’s best to do some research. On China Airlines website they only really highlight the seat. I would guess that’s because there is little to set the Y and W catering apart.

    Not all airlines offer even a different seat in Premium Economy. When I flew Hawaiian from HNL-SYD it was just additional legroom in the mini cabin wedged between Business and the doors two galley. The US airlines followed suit with this model although most are installing a ‘real’ PE cabin now.

    Others have nicer seats but still essentially Economy food and beverage.

    Some are a truly elevated experience. Like Qantas where it’s almost like a ‘recliner Business Class’. BA and Virgin both aren’t bad either with upgraded food and amenities. Some airlines give priority check in and a few even lounge access (JAL for instance but only in their own lounges).

    For me it will always come down to the value. How much extra did I pay for that PE seat? If it’s a couple hundred bucks my expectations are realistic. If i’ve paid thousands more then i’d probably set them a little higher.

    But as others have mentioned short ‘tag’ flights rarely receive the same service and product as the long hauls continuing on. I noticed the same when I flew LATAM (Then LAN Chile) in business from AKL to SYD. I had the flat bed and breakfast wasn’t bad but it definitely wasn’t the ‘full experience’ and based on the fare I had paid I wasn’t really expecting it to be either.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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