Getting to Hong Kong from New York City is about a 16-hour journey. Selecting the right airline can make all the difference, especially when traveling with kids. In this China Airlines review, I’ll share the ups and downs (mostly ups!) of our recent experience flying from New York to Taipei to Hong Kong, and back.
New York to Taipei: China Airlines Review
We began our vacation with the first leg of our journey from New York to Taipei. This meant flying on China Airlines flight 11 on a Boeing 777-300ER. Flying premium economy comes with a few fantastic perks. To start, they have their own check-in desk, and they board all families with kids first, not just families that have infants and toddlers. We were welcomed with an amenity kit that included a mask, toothbrush, toothpaste, and there was a bottle of water in the seat pocket, which was a nice touch. My husband, Serge, and I really appreciated that we didn’t have to make special arrangements in advance to get kids meals, too.
We sat in the middle four seats, which had lots of storage built into them. We had two bottle/cup holders on the seatbacks and there were pockets near the armrests, which were very useful to stow all the little things we needed during the flight (without our stuff getting lost in the big seat pocket).
The service was mixed. Serge’s flight attendant was really nice, but mine was a little brusque. The in-flight entertainment was pretty good for the kids. There were so many shows, movies and games, that they hardly touched their tablets. The food was decent. On Asian airlines, I always order the Asian option, as the Western entrees usually aren’t as good. Our first meal was minced pork over rice, which had a really nice flavor. The middle meal was a sandwich, and the last meal was beef in oyster sauce. The girls very excited that the airline served Haagen Dazs ice cream!
Taoyuan China Airlines Lounge: China Airlines Review
Once we arrived at Taipei Taoyuan Airport, we headed to the very impressive China Airlines Lounge, which is located in Terminal 1. Warning: It was an absurdly long walk from our gate. We seriously spent 20 minutes walking from one side of the airport to the next, sometimes felt like we were going in circles. By the time we got there, we had only 10 minutes to eat before racing to our gate for boarding!
It was so worth the long walk! The lounge was lovely. It’s spacious, with wood and stone aesthetics. The dark and moody lighting was quite relaxing. There was a great food selection, including a variety of Taiwanese noodles, congee, tea eggs, dumplings and buns. There were also some Western-style eggs and breakfast meats. The lounge had plenty of seating, desks, Wi-Fi, and showers available as well.
Taipei to Hong Kong: China Airlines Review
We then boarded China Airlines flight 601 on a Boeing 737 from Taipei to Hong Kong, and flew business class. It wasn’t one of their newer business class cabins; it was comparable to a U.S. domestic airline business class. It was a small plane, so there were just three rows of two standard reclining seats. There was no Wi-Fi and no in-seat power. We were, however, offered juices and waters as soon as we were seated. The girls were again given kids’ meals, which we appreciated. Breakfast consisted of waffles, eggs and sausage, which were nice. Oh, and the girls would kill me if I didn’t mention the Crown Pies (similar to American Whoopie Pies) in my China Airlines review!
SkyTeam Lounge in Hong Kong Airport
We had an amazing time in Hong Kong (read more about that here and here). When it was time to fly back to New York, we enjoyed the newly renovated SkyTeam Lounge in Terminal 1 of Hong Kong International Airport. First- and business-class travelers have access to this lounge. It’s ultra-modern with a bright, sleek design and a delicious, hot noodle bar! It’s also got a great selection of beverages and a wine bar. There’s even a designated yoga room to stretch out before the next leg of your journey. The “living walls” covered in live plants are a nice touch that keep the space from feeling cold and sterile. Visitors get free Wi-Fi and showers, as usual.
Hong Kong to Taipei: China Airlines Review
The first leg of our trip home meant taking China Airlines flight 910 on an Airbus A350 from Hong Kong to Taipei. We flew business class, and this time we enjoyed lie-flat seats with Wi-Fi and in-seat power. We had a great experience! There was tons of legroom, loads of room under the seat for storage, and even on-demand video. Ella fell asleep within five minutes of take-off! Serge is 6 foot 3 and even he was able to sleep comfortably.
Taipei to New York: China Airlines Review
From Taipei to New York, we flew premium economy on China Airlines flight 12 on a Boeing 777. We ended our vacation in pretty much the same way we started it. We really enjoyed the little perks and services that set our premium economy experience apart. When you’re flying home with kids, you just want to get on the plane and get settled in, so being able to board ahead of the crowd was great. Spacious accommodations, entertainment for the kids, good food, and friendly service really went a long way.
And that wraps up our China Airlines review!
I hope this China Airlines review will save you some time and hassle while planning your next family vacation. As I’ve shared in previous posts, flying first- or business-class with kids on long trips is ideal. But if that’s not an option, premium economy is a fantastic alternative. China Airlines travels to 151 destinations and has frequent promotions on their website, including fabulous vacation packages for experiencing the 2018 Winter Olympics. In my book, the space and amenities really make China Airlines a great carrier for travel throughout Asia.
Where’s the first place you’ll visit using China Airlines?
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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