Review: Flying China Airlines From Bangkok to Los Angeles — Cheap, Good Food, On Time Flights

copyright KCS — Creative Commons license

Over the last five years, I’ve flown on China Airlines several times from Bangkok to Los Angeles and back. With every round-trip I’ve taken with China Airlines, I’ve been very happy with just about every part of the experience and here’s why.

The Price of China Airlines Plane Tickets – Just about the best thing about China Airlines is the price.

Flying from Bangkok to Los Angeles, flights have been going up quite dramatically over the last five years. Before I booked all my China Airlines flights from Bangkok to LAX, I checked several other airlines for flight prices. Starting out with Thai Airways being the most expensive flights at almost $1,800 round-trip, I then checked United and American.

Both airlines were still more than I wanted to pay and it looked like China Airlines was my last hope. What a pleasant surprise then, to be able to book a round-trip flight from Bangkok to LAX for just over $900 – and $900 less than on Thai Airways. In fact, every time I’ve checked any flight price against other airlines flying international flights from Bangkok, China Airlines has always been the cheapest.

What You Get for the Cheap Price on China Airlines – Many people seem to think, if you pay a cheap price for a plane ticket, you get cheap service. That however has not been my experience on China Airlines.

The service from the flight attendants is always professional, enthusiastic and friendly, and helpful. The planes, albeit some of them being a little old, are still clean and well taken care of. The food too, for airline food, has always been good.

With at least three choices for every meal, plus the option to book vegetarian meals, or other special meal service, and some pretty tasty desserts, I’ve found every meal completely edible, which is more than you can say for most airline food.

China Airlines Efficiency – With around twelve flights on China Airlines, I’ve never had one take-off more than 30 minutes later than scheduled. Even then, the pilot made up the time en route and we actually arrived in Los Angeles twice almost 30 minutes earlier than scheduled.

On other airlines I take, I can count on one hand the time they’ve taken off less than two hours late, so China Airlines efficiency and time-keeping is always welcomed.

In Flight Entertainment – The first time I took the flight on China Airlines from Bangkok, the only in-flight entertainment were three movies shown on a screen at the front of the plane. If you get a bad seat, you’re pretty much guaranteed no in-flight entertainment as you can’t see for the numerous people’s heads in front of you.

However, on every subsequent flight I’ve always had Video and Entertainment on Demand, and with a huge number of choices of movies, TV shows and games, the long flights went quite fast. I did hear that most of their planes now seem to have VOD, so you’ll be quite unlucky to end up on a plane without it.

China Airlines is not the national airline of China, but is instead a Taiwanese airline that is headquartered in Taipei. Most international flights in Asia therefore will fly to Taipei for the layover, but as Taipei has a very nice airport, I’ve never complained about that.

China Airlines has had a few fatal crashes and incidents where several people were killed, and is slightly over the average for fatal events per million flights but, at less than 6 fatal flights per million, I’m not going to worry about that too much as flying China Airlines is still far safer than your average car trip.

In fact, overall I’ve had excellent experiences with China Airlines and will continue to fly them in the years to come.

SOURCES: Wikipedia – China Airlines Incidents and Accidents