Airline Blunders - China Airlines

"Good service" will always be defined differently depending on who you ask. Some travelers consider good service to be good meals, complimentary wine, or simply the ability to get you to your destination on time. 

Recently the TL Travel staff flew to Thailand via China Airlines; this was to be our first China Airlines experience (as we typically fly with Air Canada who prove themselves to be a disappointment time & time again.) We arrived, excited, to the airport in Edmonton, Alberta in the hopes that China Airlines would be a far superior experience compared to the shortcomings we had experienced with Air Canada in the past, and at first glance .... it wasn't superior at all.

Not only were we delayed departure while waiting impatiently on the airplane, but after two hours of sitting silently in the heat we were informed that due to technical difficulties we would be exiting the airplane & flying out a whopping seventeen hours later. We disembarked & re-entered the airport to find total chaos. Travelers lining up to get one of the limited hotel rooms that were still available at 4am & attempting to retrieve their luggage which seemed to be a disaster in itself (thankfully we travel with all our luggage in our carry-on bags!)

By 7am (three exhausting hours after exiting the airplane) we checked into our hotel room & fell quickly to sleep knowing that we would have to check out a mere four hours later! However, that was when things took a turn.

Armed with complimentary food vouchers, we started the check out process only to be informed that China Airlines had called & extended our check-out to 6pm in order to ensure that we got the rest we needed to endure our 13 hour flight to Taipei. Excited, we grabbed a quick bite to eat (compliments of the airline of course) & then headed back up to our room for another extended nap! 

Fast forward to check-in where we were each given an additional set of food vouchers & $100 USD to use on in-flight duty free as an apology for the delay. We had already been upgraded to seats with additional leg room & so we were off to a great start. The flight ran smoothly & upon arrival in Taipei we were greeted with gift bags full of chocolates & sweets before being ushered to the China Airlines VIP lounge where we were offered blankets, wifi, complimentary meals & drinks (even a tasty glass of white wine.) To top it all off, when it came time for us to collect our onward flight tickets, China Airlines had happily extended our flight service all the way to our final destination of Chiang Mai (our tickets with China Airlines had only originally gone to Bangkok & we had booked our own flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai). It is my understanding that they were in no way required to do that (I know Air Canada never did) & for that, we were eternally grateful.

Call me crazy, but I know that no other airline has never once offered me anything by way of an apology for extensive delays unless you count the pre-fabricated "We are sorry for the inconvenience" email offering 20% off of my next flight (prior to taxes and additional fees of course) and it was like magic watching China Airlines work to retain the happiness of their customers. Among the few hundred of us who were inconvenienced & delayed (some by multiple days) I never heard a single traveler raise their voice or become unruly, and sure ... the entire experience could have been better (we could have arrived on time ... that would have been nice), but it was refreshing to feel, for once, as if there was still an airline out there who truly cared about those of us who were lost in transit.

We have all had it happen at least once throughout our travels; We arrive at the airport excited & fully prepared for our long haul flight only to find out that our long haul flight is NOT ready for us. Check out this video of our time spent in transit & subscribe on youtube for more great travel stories, tips & tricks!