• Plumpflyer


Updated: Dec 28, 2017

So here's my first trip report! More to come :D

The last time I came to Taipei was exactly about a year ago in December 2016 with my family. This year I am back mainly to clock my enrich frequent flyer membership as well as having some personal time to myself after a hectic year of work. P.S still working on this trip from time to time.

Taipei weather was generally fine over the last 6 days here. With temperatures reaching as Low as 15c at night, it was a kind of an enjoyment for me because we don't have such cooling weather back in Singapore.

Cut to the chase, I didn't know why I choose to fly to Taipei. Perhaps I was trying to pick the longest route within my Budget. Back in November, Malaysia Airlines(MH) was offering a double mile promotion for any booking between a certain period in November. I needed a miles run to clock enough mileage to get on to the silver tier of the Enrich Frequent Flyer Program.

It was the only one Malaysia airlines flight out of Taipei today on a small Boeing 737-800 aircraft. This issue has been pretty puzzling as to why they only fly once a day but anyway thanks to the double mile promotion, i am getting 12,916 miles for this return trip. That's already half of the 25,000 miles needed for one to attain the silver tier or maintain a silver tier membership.

Check in starts about 2 hours before the flight at ROW2 of Taoyuan Terminal 1. Business Class Queue also serves Enrich Platinum, Gold, Silver as well as Oneworld Sapphire, Emerald & Ruby members regardless of the travel class.

Followed by Security Checks & Immigration. There was no fast track queue in TPE for first/business class passengers unlike some other major airport around the world. But nonetheless, the queue was pretty short and I was cleared out of both checkpoints within 10 minutes.

I was given a lounge pass to China Airlines Dynasty Lounge but decided to go for CX Lounge. Cathay Pacific Lounge is open to all first/business class passengers travelling on all Cathay flights/Oneworld member flights as well as well as passengers with Oneworld Emerald/Sapphire status. Ruby members aren't eligible for lounge access.

In Taoyuan T1, all the airline lounge was pretty much next to each other. China Dynasty, Cathay Pacific Lounge as well as plaza platinum lounge which is a pay per use lounge available for any passengers travelling regardless of travel class. Plaza platinum lounge also serves business class passengers from Scootbiz for example.

So after clearing immigration Turn Left, go all the way down Turn Left and left again up to level 2 where you will see Cathay lounge

Once you enter the lounge, you will be greated with a front section of the lounge. It features a mini fridge bar, salad, hot tea and also some cold dishes and desserts.

P.S The pineapple tart is bad. I had one bite before i throw it aside. Gotta put it together guys. I mean taiwan is the place that's famous for it's pineapple tarts.

So the first stop inside CX lounge is definitely and always will be the Noodle Bar. You just can't miss this noodle bar whenever you visit a CX lounge.

So here is a picture of the noodle bar menu and I went for 2 rounds of noodles.

First round was the Taiwan beef noodles with selection of shrimp dumplings and spring rolls from the dim sum menu. The beef noodle were delicious, the spring rolls was really something but the shrimp dumpling(Harkow) was maybe overcooked I guess? The skin is falling off the moment I try to pick it up with my chopstick. Well maybe I just suck at my chopstick skills or else actually the shrimp dumpling(Harkow) tasted good.

I went for a 2nd round with Dan Dan noodles and char siew bun. Now back at home I am still thinking of that dan dan noodle in TPE. So what does it says? It was awesome for sure. Remember to stir the noodle throughly and wait for it to dry up a bit & cool down before eating. Plus that char siew bun, it has this heungkong(Hongkong) taste. Thumbs up!

You gotta try one of these napkins when you visit here. It's like one of a kind and feels more a handkerchief.

So after clearing 2 rounds, I went for the drinks bar located further down the lounge. Around the drinks bar are really a whole lot of comfortable sofa seats and it was very empty. Maybe because there was no food here.

So as we can see on the drinks bar menu, we have both non alcoholic as well as alcoholic drinks available. As someone who do prefer to be sober especially in foreign land, I decided to go for 2 non alcoholic drinks. Naturally I choose the 2 signature drinks. Cathay Delights as well as the bubble milk tea.

The bubble milk tea tasted just like any other bubble milk tea hence feel free to skip it. But when you are in CX lounge, you must try the Cathay Delight at least once. Cathay Delight is a really special blend consist of Kiwi, Mint & Coconut in it. Mixing it together, it forms a really unique flavour and perhaps the word "healthy" comes to mind as well.

There is a power "drawer" just by the side of this table i am on. It comes with AC power point and USB ports on each side for you to recharge your laptops and phones before your flight.

The lounge remains pretty much empty which is a good thing as I am a guy who prefers not to be in crowded places. So after sitting for maybe about 10-20 mins, I decided to leave the lounge and head to my gate early.

On the way out, I spotted these single pod which suit solo traveller like us. I also spotted 5 iMac station for us to use whenever we like.

From Cathay lounge to my gate was perhaps a 5-7 mins walk even for a fat young guy like me. Gate A6 was a pretty small boarding lounge which is perfect for today's 737 flight. There was no secondary security check which is good. When I arrived, a fresh batch of pilots and cabin crew were still waiting for the plane's arrival. In another words, its gonna be delayed.

Departure time was supposed to be 3.10pm but the plane only docks in to gate A6 at 2.39pm. Not surprising as MH tend to always delay because previous sector before today's flight could have been the problem. Hence the delay is been sort of passed down. So technically the next flight after us could be delayed due to our late arrival in to KUL.

At 2.53PM, the new batch of Pilots and cabin crew boarded the aircraft for their preparation back to KUL. In just 15 minutes at 3.09pm, the flight is ready for boarding.

As this is a 737 flight with only one forward door for boarding of all passengers, I tend not to board the plane first. Reason being because when economy class passengers board the plane, the queue tend to stuck at the business class section and that's where it gets really uncomfortable & awkward with the economy class passengers crowding the whole J cabin while they wait for the queue to dissolve.

Unless you are boarding aircraft like B777/A330/A359/A380, they have separate aerobridge for both Business and Economy class passengers. Some even had a 3rd door for First Class Passengers.

Talking about the A330/A359, I will be going onboard these 2 aircraft in the next fews weeks and will gladly write my experience onboard.

Even being the last few to board the aircraft, we were stucked at aerobridge as well.

Once seated, F/A started serving pre flight drink promptly. As always I choose to have their signature pink guava. A drink that is only served on flights out of KUL as stated on the drinks menu. I guess this might be leftover from the inbound flight earlier.

The business class section for today's flight to KUL was full and after almost 40 mins of delay, at 3.49PM we begin our push and subsequently by 4.05pm we were airborne. It was a pretty steep climb before levelling off. I guess the captain might have been trying to reach cruising altitude quickly.

As you can see the Business Class seats onboard the 737 was more for regional and domestic flights of not more than 2 hours in my opinion. I last checked that a flight as long as 5 hours were still being served by these regional birds. As you know, Malaysia Airlines is still on the road of recovery after the 2 unfortunate accident. Hence their product in terms of plane upgrades will definitely slow down and need a least for a few years before they are in a suitable financial ability to do so. In fact, they just taken delivery of their new A359 aircraft just a few weeks ago. I will be going onboard these new birds in January and will be glad to pen down my experience.

At 4.11pm, F/A started their drinks service offering a list of alcohol available onboard. Very tempted to get a Bailey but I had some work to do when I land back home hence decided not to.

Proper meal service started promptly at 4.34pm. As always, MH starts off with their signature satay. For the past few flights, I do realised that they mostly serve the satay for flights back to Malaysia except for once I was served satay from KUL to SIN on business class. I guess perhaps it's is part of their policy and country's hospitality by serving their country delicacy on flights back to their home base(sounds proper right). This also means that these satay were actually prepared in KUL, flown with the previous flight into TPE then getting them served onboard this flight. I went with 2 servings of satay but the F/A doesn't seem very pleased about it. I guess I must have taken their share. HAH.

Pictured here is the brunch menu and decided to pick the tandoori salmon as the main course for today's flight.

The tandoori salmon was one of the few good main I had all these while. The empty plate is a proof. The meal was served along with a the standard selection of gourmet bread as well as some really fresh fruits. I like the fruits most to be honest. Plain water was served without asking which I think it was thoughtful because I had a spicy option. Either that or it's a standard procedure but anyway meal service went on without a hitch and soon it was time to get some sleep before arrival.

But before the sleep, a visit to the toilet seems compulsory especially after a spicy meal. Business class amenities in the toilets are very limited with just one perfume. There are no combs or shavers available. I remember SQ providing combs and shavers in Economy Class toilets. Not sure about these days but anyway nope, I didn't use the perfume.

I tried to go to the economy class toilet halfway thru the flight but was welcomed to a Q of about 6/7 rows of seats leading to the toilet. My hearts are with those with stomachache.

In conclusion, this flight went well with occasional turbulences, the F/A went around regularly for drink service but however there was no fast track pass been offered to us passengers. Maybe the F/A might have assumed all passengers in the cabin are Malaysian hence there's no need for fast track where they have their own Malaysia automated clearance.

We started our descent in to KUL at approximately 7.50pm and we managed to arrive in to KUL ard 8.20pm. Just 15 mins late although the 40 mins delay at TPE.

The only complain I have is that this route should be served by wide body aircraft. Which in fact they planning to implement it from next year onwards.

Please check back my blog regularly as I try to blog as much as I can. Unfortunately I don't own a bank hence I expected that there will be down periods where I have nothing to update. But in the coming months, i do have a lot of updates for you.




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