My Jakarta award via Flying Blue included CI679 from Taipei to Jakarta. When booking, there was no indication the flight was not non-stop. I later found the flight made a ground stop in Hong Kong. That meant even an even longer opportunity to check out the China Airlines A330 regional business product.
The business class seat is an angled lie-flat (flat, but sloping downward) similar to what Singapore Airlines uses on its mid-haul flights. It is comfortable enough, though not great for sleeping. Legroom is generous and IFE is on-demand. There is no Wi-Fi on these planes.
Service was once again warm and the purser especially friendly.
Food was disappointing on these sectors. A meal was served from Taipei to Hong Kong (under 2hrs) and another from Hong Kong to Jakarta (4.5 hours). Both meals were similar, consisting of a salad appetizer, bread, and main course all served on one plate. Neither the western nor Chinese option sounded particularly appetizing, but I ordered the western meal on both flights.
The beef and sauce just did not fit–the gravy had an odd taste that did not compliment either the spaghetti (from TPE-HKG) or orzo (from HKG-CGK). The cappuccinos were great, though — the crew made four of them for me.
Two further observations:
1. The China Airlines Lounge in Taipei is great: really beautiful. Review coming.
2. After starting it about five years ago, I finally finished The Last King of Scotland. This is such a fascinating movie and Forest Whitaker does a phenomenal job portraying Idi Amin. One of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
China Airlines regional flights are perfectly mediocre. Not great, not bad, just fine. The food leaves something to be desired and the hard product is fair. Service, however, is a high point and will be fondly remembered.
A full flight review will be published later in the week.