Flight Review: China Airlines from Sydney to Taipei

Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines

A few months ago, I found myself faced with a choice: fly China Airlines from Sydney to Taipei with a connection to Bangkok, or fly Scoot Airlines from Sydney to Singapore. When I read that Scoot doesn’t allow you to take your own food or drinks on board — good Lord, it’s like Spirit, but worse — the decision was made for me.  China Airlines it was!

To be honest, part of that choice was motivated by my new Priority Pass. I’d heard good things about Priority Pass in the Taipei airport, and I was curious to try it. Plus, the Sydney to Taipei flight left at 10PM, which essentially gave me another full day in Australia.

Inside the China Airlines AirbusA350-900 En Route to Taipei

I was a little bit nervous about trying China Airlines, which was totally new to me. I’ve flown on some sketchy airlines (hello, Montenegro Airlines), and the last thing I wanted was to be trapped for 9 hours on an ancient plane that smelled of smoke.

I needn’t have worried — the China Airlines plane that flies between Sydney and Taipei is just fine. The seats in economy are a bit narrow; I was comfortable, but I’d guess that if you’re much bigger than a U.S. size 16 (women), you might want to look into the more expensive seats. (I’m not sure if the premium economy is wider, or if there’s just more leg room)

The inside of the Airbus A350-900 was nice and relatively updated. The economy cabin is laid out in a 3-3-3 configuration. Everything was super clean, and there were blankets and pillows waiting on the seats for us. There was plenty of overhead space, even with a full flight.

The best part of the flight from Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines? The in-seat entertainment! The system was excellent — very new, with a widescreen TV. There was a USB power port, and the airline handed out headphones at the start of the flight. I found plenty of English movies and TV shows to keep me entertained during the flight. Each seat also had a standard power outlet.

Service on China Airlines from Sydney to Taipei

I was impressed with the China Airlines service from beginning to end. Boarding was super-efficient, and the flight attendants were helpful and friendly (though not warm). They were quick with meals and drinks.

Food on China Airlines SYD-TPE
That’s some kind of egg dish + mystery veggies + inexplicably, goulash

There’s one major downside to China Airlines: the food. In all of my travels (to 60+ countries), it has the worst food of any airline. Truly inedible. The flight from Sydney to Taipei is quite long, so it might be a good idea to pack your own snacks. (Luckily, it was an overnight flight, and I’d just finished using my Priority Pass in Sydney, so I was stuffed.)

Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines: terrible food!
More terrible food on China Airlines

Overall, I was happy with China Airlines from Sydney to Taipei! It was reasonably priced ($230 USD from SYD-TPE-BKK), and I’d fly the same route again with confidence.

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