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I have to take a flight from Germany to Taiwan (Taipei), however I have zero long haul flying experience from the past.

There are different options for traveling from Germany to Taipei, but the only non-stop flight is offered by China Airlines. Unfortunately the reviews that I saw online are not the most encouraging ones.

In a Business Insider post, this airline is listed among top 10 worst airlines in the world. The article is outdated (2010), but recent posts in other travel related forums are on the same line.

Obviously, also other people had concerns regarding this airline: 1) Is China Airlines safe? 2) China Airlines, safe?

Since I am not much experiences, I don't know how should I approach those posts either. Take them for granted? Take them with a grain of salt? One thing I know for sure is that, I don't want to fly for 12+ hours in an uncomfortable flight.

Other option would be flying with another airline, with the downside of 1 stop. Judging in terms of the time lost, but safety (most importantly), and comfort gained, Is it worth it?

I also noticed Eva Air carrier, although it does not appear in any of the flight search engines that I tried (is that an indication?). Any thoughts about them?

  • If you want a comfortable flight, pay extra and fly in business or first class! – Gagravarr Dec 22 '15 at 14:24
  • Thanks @Gagravarr, but unfortunately I am not in a position to do that :/. I must remain the regular/economy class due to refund policy, but I can pick different airlines. In general I just want a reasonably comfortable flight, especially since it is a case of long-haul... – Kristof Tak Dec 22 '15 at 14:26
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    Is it safety or comfort you are after? full comfort is flying business or first as @Gagravarr commented, safety is another issue.. so which one? – Nean Der Thal Dec 22 '15 at 14:29
  • @HeidelBerGensis safety I'd say – Kristof Tak Dec 22 '15 at 14:57
  • It's hard to travel in economy class from Europe to Asia in complete comfort. China Airlines (Taiwan) has had some safety issues, but I'd personally not hesitate to fly with them. The Asian carriers tend to run planes full and with tight seat pitch. EVA, I think, has a bit more room and are a fine carrier too (their roots are in the shipping industry- perhaps you've noticed all the shipping containers with Evergreen on them). – Spehro Pefhany Dec 22 '15 at 16:36
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Safety wise, if an airline is allowed to land at an EU airport they are safe. That simple. They need to adhere to the EASA regulations for that. Also, they are in the IATA IOSA registry and the last time China Airlines had a fatal accident was in 2002 and the last time they had any accident was in 2007. Source: https://aviation-safety.net/database/operator/airline.php?var=6932 This airline is as safe as any.

Edit: also, the airline flies to the USA and Australia. And Australia is never too shy to revoke certificates for unsafe airlines, it happened as recently as 2011 when Tigerair was grounded.

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    +1 This is the best answer regarding the "safety" worries.. – Nean Der Thal Dec 22 '15 at 15:52
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Eva Air is definitely a good carrier but they only serve Vienna, Paris, London and Amsterdam in Europe. Depending on where you are in Germany one of those may be an option.

If you allow for a stopover there a literally 100s of options. Most of them seem to be considerably cheaper than China Airlines and you could consider spending on "Premium Economy" for a little extra comfort.

For review of individual flights, airplanes and seats, check out seatguru. Very helpful in determining "comfort".

Assuming you are departing from Frankfurt and you are not trying to squeeze the last Euro out of the ticket I would go with Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong.

Safety is typically not a real concern with any internationally operating airline. Even if the record is less than spotless, the risk of accident during flight is many times lower than risk of driving to the airport. Airplane accidents get hyped in the media but in actually they are exceedingly rare. See for example: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2015/01/air-safety

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    +1 for suggesting seatguru and Cathay Pacific. I was actually just about to suggest the exact same thing. Cathay has 18.5" wide seats in economy instead of the 17" seats on China Airlines. At least for those of us who are 6+ feet tall and have wide shoulders, this is a very significant difference for a long-haul flight. Hong Kong is also a nice place for a layover, IMO, and it's not far out of the way when going from Europe to Taipei. – reirab Dec 22 '15 at 17:34

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