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Sky Team Madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business

Sky Team Madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business

Old Oct 4, 14, 6:24 pm
  #1  
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Sky Team Madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business

It has been a while since I've had sufficient time to write up my travels the way I prefer, live (or very nearly so). However a good alignment of some interesting travel, long connections and a bit more time than I've had for the past few years means I can release my inner writer once more.

This report will cover several Sky Team airlines, flying premium cabins of course. While the travel covers 14 weeks in total, it is concentrated into a 6 week period and a 2 week period with a break in the middle. I will have some other travel in that break but non-Sky Team.
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Old Oct 4, 14, 6:26 pm
  #2  
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Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 3:36 pm
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Old Oct 4, 14, 6:40 pm
  #3  
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Index to this trip report
  1. Prelude
    Trip the First
  2. Auckland to Sydney on China Airlines in business (AKL-SYD CI C A333) and menu
  3. Sydney transit
  4. Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines in business (SYD-TPE CI C A333) and menu
  5. Taipei transit
  6. Taipei to Los Angeles on China Airlines in business (TPE-LAX CI C B744) and menu
  7. Los Angeles to Taipei on China Airlines in business (LAX-TPE CI C B744) and menu
  8. Taipei to Sydney on China Airlines in business (TPE-SYD CI C A333) and menu
  9. Sydney to Auckland on China Airlines in business (SYD-AKL CI C A333) and menu
    Trip the Second
  10. Trip the second
  11. Taipei to Bangkok on China Airlines in business (TPE-BKK CI C A333) and menu
  12. Bangkok transit
  13. Bangkok to Amsterdam on China Airlines in business (BKK-AMS CI C A343) and menu
  14. Amsterdam to Bangkok on China Airlines in business (AMS-BKK CI C A343) and menu
  15. Bangkok to Taipei on China Airlines in business (BKK-TPE CI C A333) and menu
  16. Taipei to Sydney on China Airlines in business (TPE-SYD CI C A333) and Sydney to Auckland on China Airlines in business (SYD-AKL CI C A333)
    Trip the Third
  17. Auckland to Sydney on China Airlines in business (AKL-SYD CI C A333) and menu
  18. Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines in business (SYD-TPE CI C A333) and menu
  19. Taipei to Hong Kong on China Airlines in business (TPE-HKG CI C B77W) almost inaugural and menu
  20. Hong Kong to Taipei on China Airlines in business (HKG-TPE CI C B77W) and menu
  21. Taipei to Frankfurt on China Airlines in business (TPE-FRA CI C B744) and menu
  22. Frankfurt to Taipei on China Airlines in business (FRA-TPE CI C B744) and menu
  23. Taipei to Sydney on China Airlines in business (TPE-SYD CI C A333) and menu and Sydney to Auckland on China Airlines in business (SYD-AKL CI C A333) and menu
    Trip the Fourth
  24. Auckland to Incheon Seoul on Korean Air in business (AKL-ICN KE C B772) and menu
  25. Incheon Seoul to New York JFK on Korean Air in business (ICN-JFK KE C A388) and menu
  26. New York JFK to Incheon Seoul on Korean Air in business (JFK-ICN KE C A388) and menu
  27. Incheon Seoul to Auckland on Korean Air in business (ICN-AKL KE C B77W) and menu
    Trip the Fifth
  28. Auckland to Sydney on China Airlines in business (AKL-SYD CI C A333) and menu
  29. Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines in business (SYD-TPE CI C A333) and menu
  30. Taipei to Macau on EVA Air in business (TPE-MFM BR C B77W) and menu
  31. Macau to Taipei on EVA Air in business (MFM-TPE BR C B77W) and menu
  32. Taipei to San Francisco on China Airlines in business (TPE-SFO CI C B744) and menu
  33. San Francisco to Taipei on China Airlines in business (SFO-TPE CI C B744) and menu
  34. Taipei to Hong Kong on China Airlines in business (TPE-HKG CI C B77W) and menu
  35. Hong Kong to Taipei on China Airlines in business (HKG-TPE CI C B77W) and menu
  36. Taipei to Brisbane on China Airlines in business (TPE-BNE CI C A333) and menu and Brisbane to Auckland on China Airlines in business (BNE-AKL CI C A333) and menu
    Trip the Sixth
  37. Auckland to Incheon Seoul on Korean Air in business (AKL-ICN KE C B744) and menu
  38. Incheon Seoul transit
  39. Incheon Seoul to Amsterdam on KLM in business (ICN-AMS KL C B744) and menu
  40. Amsterdam to Incheon Seoul on Korean Air in business (AMS-ICN KE C A332) and menu
  41. Incheon Seoul to Auckland on Korean Air in business (ICN-AKL KE C B744) and menu
    Trip the Seventh
  42. Auckland to Guangzhou on China Southern in business (AKL-CAN CZ B788) and menu
  43. Guangzhou transit
  44. Guangzhou to Los Angeles on China Southern in business (CAN-LAX CZ A388) and menu
  45. Los Angeles to Paris CDG on Air France in business (LAX-CDG AF A388) and menu
  46. Paris CDG to Johannesburg on Air France in business (CDG-JNB AF A388) and menu
  47. Johannesburg to Paris CDG on Air France in business (JNB-CDG AF A388) and menu
  48. Paris CDG to Los Angeles on Air France in business (CDG-LAX AF A388) and menu
  49. Los Angeles transit
  50. Los Angeles to Guangzhou on China Southern in business (LAX-CAN CZ A388) and menu
  51. Guangzhou to Auckland on China Southern in business (CAN-AKL CZ B788) and menu


Latest summary

As at post #136.
  • map
  • 214,314 flown miles
  • 6 airlines
    • AF Air France
    • BR EVA Air
    • CI China Airlines
    • CZ China Southern
    • KE Korean Air
    • KL KLM
  • 16 airports
    • AKL (Auckland)
    • AMS (Amsterdam)
    • BKK (Bangkok)
    • BNE (Brisbane)
    • CAN (Guangzhou)
    • CDG (Paris CDG)
    • FRA (Frankfurt)
    • HKG (Hong Kong)
    • ICN (Incheon Seoul)
    • JFK (JFK New York)
    • JNB (Johannesburg)
    • LAX (Los Angeles)
    • MFM (Macau)
    • SFO (San Francisco)
    • SYD (Sydney)
    • TPE (Taipei)
  • personal firsts and other trivia


Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 3, 15 at 10:50 pm
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Old Oct 4, 14, 6:53 pm
  #4  
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Prelude

These trips came about almost by accident, with coincidental alignment of a number of factors which together made it all possible.

Firstly, after a long time of almost neglect of the South Pacific by Sky Team, in the past several years there has been significant expansion of their presence in both Australia and New Zealand.

In my past trip reports you'll struggle to find any Sky Team flights, with just a couple of flights on Air France thanks for Lufthansa not advising me of a schedule change and then dealing with me when I turned up at the airport for a booked flight that no longer existed (and the next flight was too late for my meeting). Now I have an easier opportunity to try more airlines.

Secondly, the high dollar in Australia and New Zealand has meant some great fares locally and also meant greater buying power for fares ex- other places than has been the case historically (ignoring mistake fares).

Thirdly, for the first time in a few years I had more time available for travelling.

Fourthly, having qualified for lifetime status on Oneworld (2007) and Star Alliance (2013) I decided to collect the set with lifetime status on Sky Team also.

So, I didn't set out to fly so much in such a short time but some happy circumstances have led me to this point. On with the travel.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Oct 4, 14 at 6:58 pm
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Old Oct 4, 14, 8:13 pm
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really looking forward to your thoughts on CI new business class. a bit late to the game in my opinion since BR has basically been running the same product for 2 years now
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Old Oct 4, 14, 9:58 pm
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looking forward to the ci segment as well.
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Old Oct 4, 14, 10:37 pm
  #7  
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Auckland to Sydney on China Airlines A330-300 in business (AKL-SYD CI C)

I had a long transit in Auckland from the domestic flight, much longer than I prefer. When on a single ticket I like the connection to be about 2 hours - this is ample time to change terminals and refresh in the lounge if all goes to plan, and also allows for a moderate delay without risking a misconnection. On separate tickets, as I am travelling today, I like a bit longer buffer - say 2.5-3 hours. Today I had a ridiculously long transfer because I'd booked the trip only a few weeks ahead of departure at which time all the afternoon flights were nearly full fare. For the sake of a few extra hours I saved hundreds of dollars.

On arrival at the Auckland domestic terminal I grabbed a free computer terminal to check messages and weather before heading into town to do some things. When I finished my stuff I returned to the international terminal about 4 hours before departure hoping check in might be opening soon. It was shut with no sign of an imminent opening so I took the chance of a break between showers to walk across to the domestic terminal and back to fill in the time.

Check in opened right on 3 hours before departure. Since I'd booked this ticket directly with the airline I had to show my credit card before I was checked in. I collected a boarding pass and a lounge invite card. I'd hoped to collect the onward boarding pass but was told it was unable to be printed for security reasons - bah.

Upstairs to the ritual carry-on weighing at the entrance to immigration. This annoys me no end, as usual. The airport has staff checking the weight of any carry-on that "looks heavy". In practice this means any rollaboard is weighed while backpacks are not (unless they appear massive). The pre-cleared immigration passengers (premium and elite passengers on some airlines like Qantas, Singapore daytime departure but not nighttime departure and Emirates) do not get this treatment, and nor do Air NZ premium passengers who have their immigration facility via the premium check in lobby. So my carry-on that weighs maybe 5kg gets weighed every time when I fly certain airlines, but not when I fly other airlines. This despite having generous carry-on allowances and passing through very frequently (it wasn't overweight when you checked it the last 3 weeks either). I shouldn't let it bother me because it only takes 30 seconds (most of which is spent waiting for the person in front of me). But it does. Every time.

That unpleasantness dealt with I pass my departure card to the agent, proceed through smartgate and join the security line. Today there is only 2 lines open so it takes a while to get through. I manage to avoid the "random" pat down and head for the lounge.

Air NZ lounge is the contract lounge for many airlines at Auckland. However generally, when not flying star alliance, you need to collect an invite card at Auckland check in. This is the case even if you've checked in at another airport. Naturally this is annoying, because the first time you find out of this requirement may be when you're at the lounge entrance having already cleared immigration and then been told that you can't enter the lounge without the invite card.
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Old Oct 4, 14, 11:00 pm
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After a while in the lounge I got bored and walked around the terminal to stretch my legs. The flight hadn't commenced boarding when I was walking the B pier so I was surprised to be paged when I got back to the main part of the terminal. The flight load was light and they'd boarded really quickly. This is not unusual for the China Airlines flights via Sydney or Brisbane. The airline fills most seats between Taipei and Australia with a relatively low proportion continuing to Auckland, and unlike Emirates they do not heavily discount the trans-Tasman legs to fill them up.

So I was the last to board but I didn't mind because I'll be sitting a lot over the next few days and so the more time standing up or walking the better. The pre-departure ritual on China Airlines is a little different to what I'm used to. Pre-departure beverages are water, orange juice or apple juice (sometimes plum juice also appears); but bubbles can sometimes be opened on request. There is also a packet of snacks - some nuts, some rice wafers. Newspapers are offered, but not magazines. Menus are handed out and meal and drink orders are taken straight away, without giving passengers time to choose at their leisure, and then the menus are taken away. No amenity kit or slippers for the short flight. A hot towel that was rather dry.

As an evening flight I switch on the light so I can continue reading when the cabin lights are turned down for departure. The IFE switches on a few minutes after the safety video finishes, and so is available during takeoff. The IFE selection is fairly poor and is slow to be changed. With several China Airlines flights already this year I've already seen most of the interesting movies and shows, and so I'm glad I brought a decent book. Nonetheless, as I'm fairly tired I opt to watch an old movie knowing it really doesn't matter if I fall asleep during it (for unwatched movies I have a tendency to fight sleep in order to see the end of the movie).

I forgot to talk about the seat. It is quite comfortable despite being rather old. Normal face forward 2-2-2 layout. I of course take a middle aisle seat - there is little view flying overnight and I can sleep without interruption from others climbing over me, and I don't need to climb over others. It is on a slope rather than fully flat but has decent pitch and width. The foam is a bit old and sometimes uncomfortable. The seat pockets are mostly small - there are 2 with latches that are supposed to be shut for take off and landing (shut they can only fit a pair of glasses whereas open they can take a book) and there is a cubby by the centre armrest. The tray table folds out from the centre armrest and is a decent size and quite manouvreable. On some airlines the tray table has insufficient adjustability for some passengers comfort, but that is not the case here. The headrest is small and doesn't go up very far. However, with an empty adjacent seat I have two big pillows which more than makes up for that.

About 30 minutes after take off we get the first drink and this is followed 15 minutes later by the meal tray with starter and salad. Great timing for a drink refill. The bread options on China Airlines aren't very good so I skip those. The crew are quick to notice when you're ready for your main, and later for dessert; and happy to refill the glass each time or whenever asked.

I had a short nap following dinner and awoke on descent to Sydney.
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Old Oct 4, 14, 11:01 pm
  #9  
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China Airlines
Business Class menu
Auckland to Sydney
September 2014


Refreshment

Salad

Mesclun salad
semi dried tomatoes, with tomato vinaigrette

Main course

Orange roughy with ginger soy glaze sauce
kailan, shiitake mushroom, steamed rice

or

Seared beef tenderloin
assorted vegetables, corn mashed potato, green pepper corn sauce

or

Chicken confit-French style slow cooked
bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, carrot, risotto cake, mushroom cream sauce

Assorted bread served with butter

Herb baguette, wholemeal roll

Fresh fruits of the season

103Q3-CI052C-1


Beverages Menu

Aperitif

Gin Tonic
Bloody Mary
Screwdriver
Martini

Spirit

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky
Aberfeldy 12 Years Old Single Malt Whisky
Dewar's Family Reserve 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch
Smirnoff Vodka
Bacardi Light Rum
Bombay Dry Gin

Digestif

Martell Noblige
Taylor's 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, Portugal
Cherry Brandy
Bailey's Irish Cream

Chinese Rice Wine

Premium Shaohsing 10 Years (For Japan Routes Only)

Sake

Kizakura Ginjo (For Japan Routes Only)

Beer

Golden Medal Taiwan Beer
Heineken Beer
Sapporo Beer

Tea

Oolong Tea
Jasmine Tea
Japanese Green Tea
Twinings Darjeeling Black Tea

Coffee

Fresh Brewed Coffee
Decaffeinated Coffee
Cappuccino

Champagne

Champagne Gremillet, France
Champagne Gremillet is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, due to which the pale golden brilliant color of the champagne, it reveals attractive fruity noses of peaches, apricots, pears and white flowers. Quite fresh in the mouth, it brings grapefruit and citrus taste on the palate, making it a great match with grilled food or as an aperitif.

White Wine
Domaine Moutard Diligent, 2010 Chablis 1er Cru
Chablis Chardonnay, France
This selection uses fifteen years Chardonnay vineyard grapes are brewing within the French Chablis white wine, is to adopt traditional planting, hand harvesting, transporting and crushing machinery, the use of alcohol and lactic acid in the apple barrel in stainless steel fermentation, after fermentation residue containing at least about 4 to 6 months of time before they can be bottled. The most basic way to filter in order to preserve the natural characteristics of the wine, and taken to the low-pressure way to ensure the quality of bottling. Delicious typical Chablis with a delicate white flowers, acacia and honey aroma, full of elegance and meticulous excellent taste experience.

A Schmitt Riesling
Mosel Valley Riesling White Wine, Germany
Riesling is the most important and widely planted white grape variety originated in the Rhine region of Germany. The generally cooler climate of the Mosel Valley allows the production of this light-bodied Riesling with animating acidity and a fine mineral slate note. The aroma combines peaches, green apples and gooseberries. The taste is fresh and sweet, revealing the typical acidity and good balance of Riesling. Recommended with Oriental cuisine.

Wairau River, 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc White Wine, New Zealand
New Zealand's Marlborough region is unique in its ability to create Sauvignon Blanc wine with juicy, upfront tropical fruit flavors unlike anywhere else in the world. The grapes used in our selection were hand picked with some fermented in stainless steel for freshness and others fermented in oak to add character, complexity and body. Exuberant aromas of pink grapefruit, passion fruit and citrus. Penetrating pomegranate character with refreshing fruit flavors adding to an overall elegance and refined structure. Recommended with Chinese, Western cuisine, chicken, or seafood dishes.

Red Wine

Chateau La Gorce, 2006 Medoc
Chateau La Gorce, France
The wine was produced in Medoc, an area runs along the western bank of the Gironde estuary and is 7km away from Saint Estephe. This typical ruby-red Medoc wine is dark, deep, and oaky with rich red berries and spices. The aromas of cherries, plums, and minerals vividly reveal after slight shaking of the glass. The taste is soft, well-balanced with sturdy tannins and ripe fruit, and full-bodied with good length and persistence accompanied by woody and mineral aroma. Overall, this wine comes with elegant aroma, sweetly fragranced ripe fruit, and delicate attack on the palate as smooth as silk. Recommended with red meat and cheese.

Chianti Classico, 2011 COLI
Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy
This "Chianti Classico" is a full bodied wine, dry, recalling the sensations of the flavour, with good structure; sapid, cheerful, supple, a young and well balanced wine. With bottle aging this wine will become softer and more velvety. It is a great partner for rich red meat dishes, pasta and strongly flavored cheeses.

Galvin Family Cellars, 2009 Merlot Reserve
Napa Valley, Merlot Reserve, USA
The wine is from American Viticultural Area, Napa Valley which is made from elegant and approachable Merlot grapes. The color is a healthy dark ruby with aromas of red cherries, blackcurrants, plums, and seductive toasted oak. It is juicy, full-bodied, opulent, and layered with fruit and spice flavors. Long, supple tannins and elegance make it impossible to resist. Recommend to enjoy the wine with heavier flavor cuisine.

103.07
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Old Oct 4, 14, 11:45 pm
  #10  
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Sydney transit

At the bottom of the airbridge airline staff had out a transit card and place a sticker on the chest of all through passengers. At Brisbane this occurs at the departures side of transfer security. Another airline staff stands outside international transfer security directing people with stickers to follow the signs to transfer security (which is also obvious by the views of carry-on xray machines).

I managed to get through without being picked to take the nudeoscope (there is no opt out in Australia but instead they select passengers so there is a continuous stream through nudeoscope with the rest going through walk through metal detectors). Then up the lift past departures level to the Qantas business lounge, which is the contract lounge used by China Airlines in Sydney.

It feels very odd to me to be walking past the first class lounge entrance - it has been so long that I've had first class lounge access when flying Qantas or One World that the last time I'd used the business class lounge in Sydney international terminal was before the current lounge opened! The lounge bouncer checks my boarding pass stub against the valid passenger list provided by China Airlines. You can tell if the lounge bouncer is new by the reaction to the boarding pass stub - a new staff asks for the rest of the boarding pass (or "please give me the real one, not this used one"). With a moments delay I'm welcomed in and I grab a drink while checking my messages. You need to watch for the time as the departure monitors in the lounge do not list China Airlines flights (or China Southern), instead only display Qantas, One World and Emirates flights. Boarding is called about 35 minutes before departure, just slightly later than was announced during our taxi in to the terminal.
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Old Oct 5, 14, 12:33 am
  #11  
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Sydney to Taipei on China Airlines A330-300 in business (SYD-TPE CI C)

Boarding was only half complete when I reached the gate and I hung around so as to board towards the end. The business cabin was 100% full.

With a fuller cabin it takes longer for meal orders, and some are taken after take off. The drinks and meal service also takes much longer despite some passengers going directly to sleep. For those travelling just to Asia, the flight is just long enough for a modest sleep, but only if not eating dinner or breakfast. It departs late in the evening and arrives early in the morning. For me, I have onward flights in which I can sleep so do not mind if I sleep only a few hours on this flight. About half the passengers have opted to try to sleep through and the other half ate dinner before sleeping.

Dinner took over two hours and breakfast commences about 3 hours before arrival so there is only 3 1/2 hours between meals when the cabin is dark and quiet. I managed a few hours sleep plus a final nap of an hour between breakfast service and landing.
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Old Oct 5, 14, 12:36 am
  #12  
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China Airlines
Business Class menu
Sydney to Taipei
September 2014


Late Night Supper

In order to allow you as much time as possible to rest, we shall be serving you supper very shortly after takeoff. We wish you a pleasant flight.

Starter

Smoked salmon
avocado salsa, cherry tomato, micro salad, Italian vinaigrette

Main course

Wok fried prawn, scallop with black bean paste, broccoli, carrot, egg fried rice

or

Braised short beef ribs, green peas, mashed potato, bacon red wine sauce

or

Pan seared herb chicken breast, zucchini, red bell pepper rice, mango sauce

Assorted bread served with butter

White torpedo roll, ciabatta roll, multigrain roll

Dessert platter


Western Breakfast

Fresh fruits of the season

Yoghurt

Cereals are also available upon your choice

Main course

Scrambled egg, spinach, tomato, bacon, baked beans, potato

Assorted bread served with home made butter and jam

Croissant, toast


Chinese Breakfast

Assorted delicatessen

Pan fried dry turnips with egg omelet
Stir fried green bean and preserved vegetables with chicken

Plain congee

The bakery

103Q3-CI052C-5


Beverages Menu

Aperitif

Gin Tonic
Bloody Mary
Screwdriver
Martini

Spirit

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky
Aberfeldy 12 Years Old Single Malt Whisky
Dewar's Family Reserve 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch
Smirnoff Vodka
Bacardi Light Rum
Bombay Dry Gin

Digestif

Martell Noblige
Taylor's 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, Portugal
Cherry Brandy
Bailey's Irish Cream

Chinese Rice Wine

Premium Shaohsing 10 Years (For Japan Routes Only)

Sake

Kizakura Ginjo (For Japan Routes Only)

Beer

Golden Medal Taiwan Beer
Heineken Beer
Sapporo Beer

Tea

Oolong Tea
Jasmine Tea
Japanese Green Tea
Twinings Darjeeling Black Tea

Coffee

Fresh Brewed Coffee
Decaffeinated Coffee
Cappuccino

Champagne

Champagne Gremillet, France
Champagne Gremillet is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, due to which the pale golden brilliant color of the champagne, it reveals attractive fruity noses of peaches, apricots, pears and white flowers. Quite fresh in the mouth, it brings grapefruit and citrus taste on the palate, making it a great match with grilled food or as an aperitif.

White Wine
Domaine Moutard Diligent, 2010 Chablis 1er Cru
Chablis Chardonnay, France
This selection uses fifteen years Chardonnay vineyard grapes are brewing within the French Chablis white wine, is to adopt traditional planting, hand harvesting, transporting and crushing machinery, the use of alcohol and lactic acid in the apple barrel in stainless steel fermentation, after fermentation residue containing at least about 4 to 6 months of time before they can be bottled. The most basic way to filter in order to preserve the natural characteristics of the wine, and taken to the low-pressure way to ensure the quality of bottling. Delicious typical Chablis with a delicate white flowers, acacia and honey aroma, full of elegance and meticulous excellent taste experience.

A Schmitt Riesling
Mosel Valley Riesling White Wine, Germany
Riesling is the most important and widely planted white grape variety originated in the Rhine region of Germany. The generally cooler climate of the Mosel Valley allows the production of this light-bodied Riesling with animating acidity and a fine mineral slate note. The aroma combines peaches, green apples and gooseberries. The taste is fresh and sweet, revealing the typical acidity and good balance of Riesling. Recommended with Oriental cuisine.

Wairau River, 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc White Wine, New Zealand
New Zealand's Marlborough region is unique in its ability to create Sauvignon Blanc wine with juicy, upfront tropical fruit flavors unlike anywhere else in the world. The grapes used in our selection were hand picked with some fermented in stainless steel for freshness and others fermented in oak to add character, complexity and body. Exuberant aromas of pink grapefruit, passion fruit and citrus. Penetrating pomegranate character with refreshing fruit flavors adding to an overall elegance and refined structure. Recommended with Chinese, Western cuisine, chicken, or seafood dishes.

Red Wine

Chateau La Gorce, 2006 Medoc
Chateau La Gorce, France
The wine was produced in Medoc, an area runs along the western bank of the Gironde estuary and is 7km away from Saint Estephe. This typical ruby-red Medoc wine is dark, deep, and oaky with rich red berries and spices. The aromas of cherries, plums, and minerals vividly reveal after slight shaking of the glass. The taste is soft, well-balanced with sturdy tannins and ripe fruit, and full-bodied with good length and persistence accompanied by woody and mineral aroma. Overall, this wine comes with elegant aroma, sweetly fragranced ripe fruit, and delicate attack on the palate as smooth as silk. Recommended with red meat and cheese.

Chianti Classico, 2011 COLI
Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy
This "Chianti Classico" is a full bodied wine, dry, recalling the sensations of the flavour, with good structure; sapid, cheerful, supple, a young and well balanced wine. With bottle aging this wine will become softer and more velvety. It is a great partner for rich red meat dishes, pasta and strongly flavored cheeses.

Galvin Family Cellars, 2009 Merlot Reserve
Napa Valley, Merlot Reserve, USA
The wine is from American Viticultural Area, Napa Valley which is made from elegant and approachable Merlot grapes. The color is a healthy dark ruby with aromas of red cherries, blackcurrants, plums, and seductive toasted oak. It is juicy, full-bodied, opulent, and layered with fruit and spice flavors. Long, supple tannins and elegance make it impossible to resist. Recommend to enjoy the wine with heavier flavor cuisine.

103.07
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Oct 5, 14, 1:03 am
  #13  
 
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I admire the fourth reason of this trip; 3 x lifetime membership in all 3 frequent flyers alliances; woah!
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Old Oct 5, 14, 1:25 am
  #14  
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Taipei transit

Our arrival gate was in T2 (just barely) but arriving passengers were directed to T1 for immigration and customs. I, however, went in the opposite direction as I knew the T1 China Airlines lounge was closed for renovations.

First I stopped off at the transfer desk. The agent insisted I had been issued the onward boarding pass already and so made an annotation that this was a replacement boarding pass and to check my passport at the gate (normally China Airlines does not check passports at the gate).

Security was quick. We had no queue having arrived before most of the other early morning arrivals. No need to take off shoes or belt, or remove liquids bag from the carry-on.

It was still too early for the lounge to be open so I walked around the two terminals to stretch my legs and try to waken up properly. By the time I'd done a lap the lounge was open. While the amenities are fine, I don't particularly like the lounge - it is mostly downstairs (no lift or escalator) on the arrivals level with no windows. With the T1 lounge currently closed it can get overcrowded at some times of day.

I grabbed a shower while the lounge was still fairly empty. No point in waiting until close to departure only to miss out. Then I caught up on some work and had coffees to keep sufficiently awake.

After a while I found tiredness was beginning to creep back in and so I decided to walk around some more until boarding. With the airport being two large connected terminals there is plenty of places to walk some time away.
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Old Oct 5, 14, 2:28 am
  #15  
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Taipei to Los Angeles on China Airlines B747-400 in business (TPE-LAX CI C)

Despite being a relatively old aircraft I am very fond of flying 747s. Perhaps because so much of my early international travel was on this aircraft. Or perhaps it was due to one of my childhood memories of my whole school (located next to a major airport) watching Air NZ's very first 747 land from our field and listening in to a radio that was tuned in to listen to air traffic.

For a long while this was the aircraft type I'd flown most often, other than 737s. It was only earlier this year that I've flown more flights on 777s than on 747s (with around 300 flights on each).

Since the 747 has been retired by many airlines, including Air New Zealand just a couple of days earlier, I don't expect to have many more 747 flights. (Yes I know there is the 747-800i, which shamefully I have not yet flown, but this does not seem likely to be widely used with relatively few airlines flying them.) Still, I'm confident it will be a long time if ever before I fly more A380 flights than the number of 747 flights I've flown.

As usual I waited until late in the boarding process before boarding. The business class cabin was not quite full and I had an empty seat alongside. It was however, fuller than I expected from the booking class availability, suggesting there may have been some upgrades from economy.

The 747 seat is an older design than on the A330, and is less comfortable.

We had about a 15 minute delay in pushing back. I drifted off for a nap and awoke to the dinner service. The riesling was particularly smooth and crisp. After dinner I watched some more movies and they did the trick by letting me fall asleep again.

We made a lot of time en route and landed at Los Angeles an hour early. However immigration took back the hour gained with a 100 minute queue. Time at the immigration desk itself was all of 2 minutes, so I don't know why the queues were moving so slowly. Another 15 minutes queue for customs so I was landside more than two hours after disembarking from the aircraft.
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