BACK­GROUND:

Business Traveler (USA) - - TRIED & TESTED -

China Air­lines rolled out its 777-300ER air­craft in Oc­to­ber 2014, and has ten as of Au­gust this year, op­er­at­ing them on routes to NewYork, San Fran­cisco, Los An­ge­les, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The Taipei–Frank­furt ser­vice is now a daily flight.

My flight de­parted from Ter­mi­nal 2, and China Air­lines’check-in coun­ters are lo­cated in Zone D. Busi­ness class pas­sen­gers can check in two bags, but I was re­minded to keep any lug­gage con­tain­ing items I wanted to claim tax re­fund for. China Air­lines’ check-in process was quick, but it took me 40 min­utes to queue up for tax re­fund.

China Air­lines and other Skyteam mem­bers share the Sky Lounge at Frank­furt Air­port, which is sit­u­ated op­po­site gate D8. It’s large, with plenty of seat­ing, lots of nat­u­ral light, and pro­vides all the req­ui­site ameni­ties, in­clud­ing a good Ger­man break­fast, snacks, drinks, fast WiFi and pay shower fa­cil­i­ties. How­ever I no­ticed that the lounge is only open un­til 9 PM.

Board­ing started punc­tu­ally at 1020, and I didn’t have to wait at the gate. Once on board, a flight at­ten­dant de­liv­ered a hot towel, soft drink, and in-flight food and wine menus.

This plane has three classes: busi­ness, pre­mium econ­omy and econ­omy. The Sky Lounge bar sep­a­rates busi­ness class into two cab­ins, row 10 to 16 and 20 to 23 (with no row 13), con­fig­ured in a 1-2-1 her­ring­bone pat­tern and of­fer­ing 40 seats in to­tal. The cen­ter seats face slightly in­wards but the curv­ing of the moulded shell means you are slightly re­cessed, which gives more pri­vacy. Ac­cess to the aisle is good for all seats.

A touch­screen panel above the gen­er­ous arm­rest con­trols seat ad­just­ment, there’s a nice side ta­ble lamp and a read­ing light. The seat ex­tends to a 198cm flat-bed, and its er­gonomic de­sign made it com­fort­able to lie on. The 18-inch touch­screen TV is paired with a Pana­sonic Ex IFE sys­tem, pro­vid­ing Chi­nese, English and Ja­panese lan­guages and a com­pre­hen­sive en­ter­tain­ment se­lec­tion. The noise-can­cel­ing head­phones pro­vided were of high qual­ity.

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