Ohh. Emm. Gee.
Flying on international airlines is amazing. This was easily the best flight experience of my life. Not only did I get an incredible deal on my flight (roundtrip from SFO to TPE for $750 including the insurance package!) but my experience was one for the books. Which duh, that’s why I’m writing you about it.
As I walked onto the plane, I was greeted by two smiling Chinese flight attendants with hair pinned back into perfect buns. Oh how I envy their skill…I continued on down the path of enlightenment that would lead me to my assigned seat, the hazy yellow light guiding my way. A wonderfully light floral smell danced into my nostrils and was surprisingly calming. Quite a difference from the aromas of plastic and stale circulated air I’m used to inhaling during a flight.
I strolled past fist class (I attempted to upgrade whilst checking in but no luck) and HELLER! It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. China Airlines treats their first class riders right! Outfitted with large comfy lounge chairs, each seat with its own small desk fitted with a television, cup holders, and charging ports, and the seats were even angled to give you some privacy (and I assume so you wouldn’t have to look at your neighbor).
My seat was 61K, so naturally I kept walking. Sadly leaving first class, Snapchatting my way through business class, then finally finding my seat in economy. What a pleasant surprise!
I found a complimentary pillow and blanket nicely folded and waiting for me. Presentation really does make a difference! Once I got over the shock of their hospitality, I looked up to see that on the back of each seat was a screen. This guy is the one that controls the reading light, allows you to call the flight attendant, and provides movies, TV shows, music, and more as entertainment. Once I’d settled in and placed my bag safely under the seat in front of me, the flight attendant walked by and offered free headphones. FREE. Also, the movies and such on the screens in front of me were free as well! What? I don’t have to swipe my credit card and pay $21.50 to see a movie that came out on VHS in 1998? Sweet. I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to receive complimentary goodies during a flight…
I sat there anxiously awaiting my neighbors to arrive. I wanted the aisle to myself so I could spread out and sleep (Yes, I’m short enough that the whole aisle is a perfect bed for me). Luckily, no one else showed, meaning I got not one, not two, but THREE blankets and THREE pillows. This girl just struck the travel jackpot of free amenities.
The plane took off and I passed out almost immediately, despite recommendations to sleep during the latter part of my flight to help with the time change. FYI, we took off around midnight and I’m a grandma who was falling asleep on my god-mother’s couch by 7pm, so staying awake during the first 4-6 hours of my flight was a cool idea but laughable. The cabin was dark and made falling asleep easy peasy.
Naturally, the smell of food woke me up after about an hour. The lovely flight attendant asked me which dish I wanted, so I chose the chicken and rice (kind of a given on an Asian airline). But wait, what? They didn’t charge me?! Nope. I guess the meal was factored into my ticket…weird. Step up your game, U.S. of A.
This meal consisted of teriyaki chicken, jasmine rice, and steamed cabbage as the main dish and sides of cucumber slaw, sliced cantaloupe and honeydew (my absolute fave), and a warmed bun. Can’t forget about the cup of green tea, too! The food was quite delicious. I’m used to eating plane food because it’s there and better than nothing but this food was actually pretty tasty! My favorite part (aside from not having to dig for my credit card) was that they offered fresh fruit.
Back to sleep I went! I’ve perfected the skill of passing out on airplanes to make the time pass by quickly and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments. I slept for a few more hours and woke up to the cabin still dark. I decided to play around with the screen before me and found that their newest movies were the ones currently available to rent on iTunes! So naturally I watched two: Suicide Squad and Trolls. I know, I know…why pick two basically identical movies to watch back-to-back? I’m just that predictable.
Suicide Squad was first up and I was ready for a nap after that. I popped a melatonin and passed out once again (I told you I was good at this). I slept for another hour and woke up because the lights were on and, shocker, I smelled food. I sat straight up (remembering that the food was free!) and wore the biggest grin, happily awaiting the “This or That” option the flight attendant was going to give me. This time, I chose pork and rice.
I don’t know how the pork was seasoned but it was over a bed of jasmine rice and had a side of bok choy, carrots and mushrooms, and ½ of a hard-boiled egg. For sides this time, I was given a banana, raspberry yogurt, warm bun, and, of course, green tea. I dug into my food and soon realized that some of the meat was kind of funny shaped, so of course I had to investigate. Sadly, I must report, I was eating the tiniest of baby shrimp. I thought the flavor was a bit weird but I just chalked it up to the fact that it was airplane food. I continued to eat the surrounding foods but left the pork and shrimp combo alone. However, that banana and yogurt was a great breakfast treat.
In total, I’d say I slept about 10 hours of this 14-hour flight. I was torn between wanting to sleep and have the flight pass by quickly or take advantage of the movie options available. Obviously I chose sleep since my flight arrived in Taipei around 6am and want to make the most of the day.
Alright well this post has been long enough. But I had to tell you about all of the treatsies! Until next time, here’s to adventure and following where your heart leads you.