China Airlines Awards Now Bookable On Delta.com

Last May I wrote about Taipei-based China Airlines’ new business class product, which is available on their newly delivered Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

China-Airlines-777

China Airlines is known as the second rate Taiwan-based airline (after EVA Air), and doesn’t have the best reputation (historically both in terms of safety and passenger comfort), though they’re trying to turn that around.

Their new 777-300ERs feature a fantastic business class hard product, consisting of reverse herringbone seats and onboard wifi. Their business class cabin consists of a total of 40 seats, spread across 10 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

China-Airlines-Business-Class-1

China-Airlines-Business-Class-2

China Airlines is great about releasing award space, though the catch is that it’s really tough to search their award space online. So historically you were best off just calling Delta SkyMiles to try and book an award on China Airlines metal using SkyMiles.

Well, the good news is that China Airlines award space now shows up on delta.com. So you can redeem your SkyMiles for travel on China Airlines directly through Delta’s website.

Award availability is excellent, as expected. By the end of the year China Airlines will be flying their 777-300ERs to Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and availability is excellent across the board, with two business class award seats on many flights.

China-Airlines-destinations

For example, picking a random five week period in October/November, every single day has nonstop award availability between Los Angeles and Taipei:

LAXTPE1

And in many cases you even have your pick between their three daily frequencies:

LAXTPE2

Award availability is equally excellent on their flight between San Francisco and Taipei:

SFOTPE1

SFOTPE2

And the same is true between New York and Taipei, though that flight is just operated 3x per week.

JFKTPE1

JFKTPE2

It’s worth noting that the major exception to the excellent China Airlines award availability are their blackout dates. The remaining ones for 2015 are as follows:

  • June 1 through August 31, 2015
  • December 10 through December 31, 2015

Also keep in mind that China Airlines imposes fuel surcharges, though they’re quite mild — about $130 in each direction for a transpacific flight.

Bottom line

It’s impressive how much SkyTeam options to Asia are improving. Not only is China Airlines massively overhauling their longhaul product, but China Eastern is as well.

China Airlines is a great option for nonstop travel from the US to Taipei and beyond, especially from the east coast, from which it’s otherwise quite difficult to find saver level SkyMiles award availability.

I’ll have to give China Airlines a try at some point.

Do you have any interest in trying China Airlines’ new 777-300ER business class?

(Tip of the hat to Mac)

Comments

  1. Good to know ! thanks for the update Lucky, as I travel often to tw for business/personal.
    I love the fact you mentioned with ample space available, consider Eva now only open up their business space two weeks in advance of departure along with the close in fee from united.

    Now time to rack up that skymiles from delta.

  2. Looks like TPE-SFO will be operated by 77W from this July rather than September, and TPE-JFK non-stop will be 4 weekly flight from this September. TPE-FRA will also switch to 77W from this November per earlier announcement.

  3. Worth noting that their old business class is really bad, so anyone looking to book in the next few months before all the 77Ws deliver should check the aircraft type on their flight very carefully.

  4. only thing that woes me is delta charging 90k biz one way to asia if you’re flying from their non base airport like IAH 🙁 terrible consider united hub here for 80k biz

  5. Just booked yesterday BE for spouse SFO-TPE on 744 in April, hopes it’s not too bad. Says 7B requested which is upper deck. Can’t figure out how to work the TERRIBLE CI website to fiddle with the seat.

    I had terrible problems with Delta award engine. It would find the flights but be unable to book it.

    I called the GM line, agent only saw the direct outbound initially, and a complicated return. Then I read off to her the one-ways which Delta showed 70K availability as CI3 and CI4. Once she had the flight numbers I wanted, she was able to stitch them together. 140K SkyPeso + ~$300 of fees.

    Here’s a question for y’all since you are talking partner award bookings. Why is it that SFO-LHR on the Virgin A346 (VS42) is easy to find, but there is ZERO inventory for the other daily flight on the 744 (VS20)? Pick any date you like try it yourself.

  6. While the fuel surcharge isn’t outrageous, its $300 roundtrip which is 3X what you pay on Korean for BE to Asia, and 5X what you pay on DL metal (assuming you can actually find availability at low on DL)

  7. @ Mike Palmer — Fair enough, but I’ll gladly pay that for a reverse herringbone seat, as opposed to Korean Air’s mediocre business class configuration.

  8. I speak from personal experience, having taken both EVA and China airlines in long haul, that food is generally better (if you like Asian food, cuz that’s always my go-to), and service is almost always warmer on China airlines. In glad they finally caught up with newer hard products!

  9. We flew the older seats from TPE-LAX after connecting from NRT. It wasn’t the best seat (Not totally lie flat) but the service was pleasant and flight comfortable. Now we are not accustomed of fully lie flat beds so anything more than a reclining seat is an improvement for us. Only other option using sky miles at the time was coach on KE.

  10. I’m looking forward to the new planes, and more specifically trying their Family Couch product this summer. Flew the older business class product on an award flight SYD-TPE last year and the kids just want to sit/sleep in my lap, despite my son having his own seat.

  11. Flew the new CI Business seats on TPE-LAX back in January. It was incredible and just unbelievable the investments made to improve the airline (i’ve flown them for well over 10+years). You should definitely check it out one day! Glad to hear people state-side can redeem DL miles with CI now!

  12. Delta.com has been showing availability on China Airlines flights LAX-TPE from 2/7 thru 2/9 for several weeks now. When I transferred points from AmEx and SPG over to book, it failed at the last step where I Confirm booking. As I talked to several agents today and yesterday, they all said China Airline keeps on unconfirming the requests. It’s the same for SFO-TPE. It’s the same for LAX-CAN-TPE on China Southern. Delta blames the false availability on their partner airlines not updating their inventory. What can I do?

  13. This new business is basically the old first class and better! I have tried both premium economy and the new business class, and the experience has been very positive. China Airline almost always has top notch service in this route and the new seats are now more private and comfortable. As always, being emerald member helps!

    I now always fly China airlines over Eva now for better planes and more consistent service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *