International & Domestic Flight Experience with TransAsia Airways 復興航空14 May, 2013
TransAsia Airways (復興航空) was established in 1951. Over its past 60+ years, it has established an impeccable track record and reputation in providing reliable air transport services for both passengers and freight in Taiwan and the Asia Pacific region. With TransAsia Airways direct flight from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 to Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (桃園機場), there are now more choices for travellers to Taiwan.
TransAsia Airways flight departs from Singapore for Taipei daily at 1am and arrives at Taoyuan Airport at about 5.15am (4 hours+ flight; no time difference between Singapore and Taiwan) – this departure time is perfect as it helps you save one day vacation leave (as you can leave work at around 6pm and still have some time for last-minute pre-trip packing before the flight) and allows you to arrive in Taipei with one whole day to start your shopping!
The return flight from Taipei depart at 7.20pm and arrives in Singapore at 11.45pm – allowing travellers to maximise their time to Taipei with at least half a day available for some last minute shopping!
With TransAsia Airways’ new aircraft Airbus A330 deployed on the route from Singapore to Taipei and back, travellers with TransAsia are assured of more comfortable seats in both economy and business class and a great onboard entertainment system.
We have flown with many airlines for our trips to different destinations and we can safely say the service onboard TransAsia Airways is among one of the best that we experienced. Attentive, helpful, friendly – pretty much what you would expect of a top airline 🙂 and this level of service is consistent whether we were flying business or economy (understandably though that business class service is more personalised in view of the smaller number of passengers).
Another interesting fact about flying with TransAsia Airways is the inflight announcements made in 3 languages – English, Mandarin and Taiwanese (the latter is what we Singaporeans can relate better as Hokkien). I didn’t know that Hokkien can be spoken in such a graceful manner! 🙂 These “Hokkien” announcements will familiarize first-time travellers to Taiwan (who are Hokkien-speakers) with the type of Hokkien and the way it is spoken by Taiwanese. 🙂
The new Airbus A330 aircraft that TransAsia uses for the Singapore-Taipei route boasts business class seats with a
60-inch seat pitch and the comfortable seat can be adjusted to become a flat-bed – perfect for the overnight flight from Singapore to Taipei for travellers to catch a short nap.
The TV screens for the in-flight entertainment are also gigantic – the in-flight entertainment hosts a good selection of latest movies, TV shows, music and games. It was a lot fun exploring the various hidden compartments on the seat. Everything seems well-thought through – things that travellers usually bring along for their flight can be stowed away somewhere in the different compartments.
The inflight meals was unexpectedly sumptuous – it was served in 3 courses, starting with appetisers (cut fruits, nuts and warm bread) then Eggs Benedict (it was hard enough preparing poached eggs in normal kitchen setting so I was very impressed with how well this meal was prepared – very much restaurant-standard). We ended our gourmet meal onboard Restaurant TransAsia with crispy and savory egg tarts!
For our flight back to Singapore, we flew Economy on TransAsia Airways. We were impressed with the efficiency at which the plane was boarded and that we departed on time from Taipei – the great service began right at the boarding gate where we were handed bottle of mineral water as well a flavored sweet corn drink.
The inflight meals on Economy Class, while not a 3-course meal like at Business Class, was still good. My selection – fried rice was well-cooked and tasty. We were also provided with different biscuits (from the packaging, I assume these are Taiwanese local specialties – last chance to savor some Taiwanese snacks! Both the Business and Economy class shared the same inflight entertainment system – just with different screen sizes; the screen size was adequate and I was able to catch 2 movies throughout the journey home to Singapore.
Upon arrival at Taipei Taoyuan Airport 桃園機場, we had to make our way to Taipei Songshan Airport 松山機場 for our domestic flight to Penghu 澎湖 with TransAsia Airways. I have shared a few tips on how to get to Songshan Airport from Taoyuan Airport – you can read more about it here: http://www.passportchop.com/asia/taiwan/taiwan-penghu-island-itinerary/
Our flight from Taipei to Penghu Magong Airport 馬公機場 was on a TransAsia Airways ATR72-500 propeller airplane. Boarding starts from the back of the plane and this is a single class plane – the best seats are the ones at the back since you will be one of the first few to board and alight from the plane. The seat capacity of this plane is only 72 so boarding of the flight was a quick and efficient process. The flight from Taipei to Penghu Magong Airport 馬公機場 took about an hour and there was no meal service – just one round of drinks by 2 friendly stewardess.
The seats were standard – avoid choosing the 1st row seats – there are only 2 seats at the first row and they face the back of the plane i.e. different direction from the rest of the seas (which are front-facing); these 2 seats are also quite cramped compared to the rest. There are no inflight entertainment. Considering that flight time is only 1 hour, these are only minor inconveniences that we can live with – I dozed off upon take-off all the way til landing so the cramped seats didnt matter to me. The benefit of such a small plane is that boarding is quick and luggage collection is a breeze. When you collect your luggages from the carousel, remember to carry your luggage tags with you as the Taiwanese airport security are quite strict with this (in Penghu or in Taipei) and they will not allow to leave with your luggage unless you can show them the luggage tags proving that they belong to you.
Besides Taipei, TransAsia Airways also flies to other destinations e.g. Hokkaido through Taipei. The frequency of the flights also make such connections very convenient e.g. for Hokkaido, there are as many as 5 immediate connections all within 2 hours and there is no need to check-out and check-in your luggages again as they are passed through to your next destination.
To cater to Singaporean travellers’ reputation as being quite technologically and mobile-savvy, TransAsia Airways had made flight bookings available via the TransAsia Airways Singapore Facebook page through the “Book My Flight Application. Click here now to check it out: www.facebook.com/TransAsia.sg
Look out for frequent promotions and deals from TransAsia Airways Singapore Facebook page – I saw a few one-for-one Business Class seat deals a few months back and some really cheap fares too.
Over the next few posts, we will be sharing with you more on the beauty of Penghu. Feel free to download our suggested Penghu-Taipei itinerary if you need a quick reference. You can also check out pictures of our Penghu island-hopping reference through the Qiito trip planning itinerary widget below.