China Airlines – Taiwan’s Flagship Carrier

Posted: September 11, 2014 in lunch
Tags: , , , , ,

I am a big fan of airplane food.  It’s easier to make food taste food when one has access to everything you can possibly think of but being at flight elevation is a different story.  The cabin is pressurized with cool dry air dulling your taste buds (perceptions of taste drop by 30%, decrease in humidity dries out the nose decreasing your ability to smell).  The food is not prepared on site nor prior to your order so it has to survive the travel time from the factory to the warehouse before finally making onto the plane.  Once onto the plane it has go through a giant microwave to bring it back to life so its palatable.  The whole chain of events make it quite the onerous process which is why it is hard to make the food taste good.  The best meals are usually of the variety you pack for a picnic – raw foods, fresh vegetables and cold dishes.

China Airlines gave me a bottle of water, a chicken sandwich, dehydrated potato french fries and something from Alishan (high mountain).

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Unwrapping the foil shows a soy sauce marinated piece of chicken with a folded scrambled egg.  A terrible mess for vegetables and unappetizing mayonaise.  I quite enjoyed it as it had a lot of flavour.  It would have been better if I had a piece of chicken and egg in every bite.  Butter would have been ideal in this setting as the mayo made the bun soggy.  It might have been easier to serve everyone a bowl of instant beef noodle soup (the variety one can find inside the 7-11) or tea eggs.  I would have been fine with a vegetarian option but none was available.

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Snack bags.

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The jagabee dehydrated french fries were good.  No one can ever come close to beating McDonalds for french fries but the Jagabee variety in this setting did a good job.

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If you are planning to chose a carrier based on food, China Airlines may be one to avoid – no vegetarian option and the sandwich was terrible.  China Airlines can update their menu offering by visiting the TW 7-11s which are well known to serve a better variety of ready-to-serve meals.  Examples below:

2014-08-28 10.07.23  2014-08-28 10.07.04

China Airlines would be a great ambassador to Taiwanese food.  I fly the national carriers whenever I travel to get a feel for the cuisine.  It would be best if they serve meals geared towards locals.  It’s your customer’s first impression of the different cuisines available at the end destination and the last memory of their travels while returning home.  It would be best to ensure they depart with a sweet taste in their mouth.

  1. I like your appreciation of the effort that goes into creating something palatable for consumption high up in the air. I’d add that often what the food and its container look like is important. It’s hard to have good textured airline food anyway, which will be a detriment to the food no matter how great the flavours are, so more attention should be paid to the presentation as well. Snack bags and foil don’t make me excited. China Airlines could think about how to improve their packaging, don’t you think?

    • Packaging is the first impression for passengers. One of the most notable packaging which I can recall was simple in execution. Philippine Airlines was a brown paper bag with a roast beef sandwich inside. Best greasy sandwich.

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