China Airlines: 777 vs A350 Business Class
In order to position myself from Europe to Hanoi for my Cathay Pacific First Class mileage run, I redeemed some Delta miles to fly Business Class on China Airlines. The first leg, Frankfurt to Taipei, was on the Boeing 777 airplane. The second leg, Taipei to Hanoi, was on the new Airbus A350 airplane.
This post won’t look at the service (since the two flights were dramatically different in length) but instead at the “hard product”: namely the seats in the aircraft. For info about the food, amenity kit and service, read my post here.
In all the photos below, the 777 is the first photo while the A350 is the second photo.
Both cabins are set up in a 1-2-1 configuration with the reverse herringbone seats. The 777 has the first Business Class cabin with 6 rows and a second, smaller Business Class cabin with four rows while the A350 has all eight rows of Business Class seats in one cabin.
Both of the flights I took I sat on the right side of the aircraft (the K seats).
As you can see, the seats are VERY similar.
The 777 has a darker, velvety seat cover with dark leather accents while the A350 has a lighter, canvas seat cover with lighter brown leather accents. The backing of the shell of the seat on the 777 is light while on the A350 it is dark.
It is harder to tell, but the A350 uses a brushed metal for the hard surfaces (an example is the outline of the seat shell) while the older 777 uses a darker molded plastic.
The seatbelts on the 777 have the annoying airbag while the A350 seat belts do not (I have heard that the airbag is in the shell of the seat in front of you.
The storage bins are similar while the A350 seems to have a slightly larger touch screen on the remote.
The A350 also adds a mirror to one of the storage bins.
The seats adjust in similar fashion with a slightly different control device. The A350 has fixed buttons for the three positions while the 777 has the buttons only on the touch screen.
The table lamp is also slightly different on the two aircraft. The 777 is a more sleek design while the A350 has a “claw” shape.
The inflight entertainment screens are very similar. Of note, on the 777 I was in the first row, while on the A350 I was in the middle of the cabin which may explain the difference you see in the mount of the screen.
For whatever reason, to me the A350 felt more open. I actually would say this isn’t a good thing, it made the cabin feel less intimate and more like an open gymnasium. Below is the A350 ceiling, I didn’t get a photo of the 777. Having eight rows in the A350 Business Class cabin instead of six or four like in the 777 makes the A350 feel less exclusive.
In terms of design of the cabin, the A350 has a slightly updated look from the older 777 but it is hard to even notice. The bigger difference is in the sound (the A350 is quieter). For that reason I would pick the A350.
Have you flown Business Class on both the China Airlines 777 and A350? Which do you prefer?