I just spent the majority of a 24 hour period on an airplane. Sound hellish?
I slept – and worked – well.
I have been in the business class lounge most of the time since I arrived in the Taipei airport. The airport is very clean, very quiet, and everyone is quite orderly. It feels less stressful than an American airport.
I’ve seen a few things here I’ve never seen in any other airport, though I’d love to learn about other airports that might have these things:
- a sit-down calligraphy desk, where someone helped teach me how to draw a couple names in Chinese characters. At the end, I drew her name in roman characters.
- a library – a completely non-commercial space in the airport. They were not selling anything, but instead just had this space for people to quietly work on a computer or read, complete with walls full of various types of books.
- a workout area, with a shower – I don’t know who could use the shower, but I assume anyone. The workout area was very spacious, although it had only 6 pieces of equipment: 3 bikes, a treadmill, and two weight machines. It was connected to a small Adidas store, but there was zero sales pressure… though perhaps the language barrier had something to do with that.
I’ve spent a long time in the Turkish airport, and this time is flying by in comparison, because:
- a quiet space is much more calm, and the hours go by smoother there… at least, when you’re my age, apparently
- lots of good food and drinks – I’m sipping on some single malt scotch right now before bed, and I had Bailey’s and some red wine since arriving here
- there was a shower, complete with towels, toothbrush and toothpaste, cologne, and soap, shampoo, and conditioner… all for free, within the business lounge. Considering I will be spending over 12 hours here, it’s not too far off from a hotel experience.
Wifi is solid, food is delicious, and there’s issues of Time, The Economist, and Bloomberg to read if I get bored… which, trust me, I’m not, with all the work I’ve got to get done.
China Airlines wifi
I asked online whether wifi on an airplane crossing the Pacific Ocean would be reliable or any good. People said it was bad. I disagree. I worked for about 7 hours on the flight, from 9am central time until touchdown around 4pm central time, and the wifi – although too slow to, say, stream videos – was perfectly fine with the text chat, file downloads, and web browsing I was doing. I was committing just like I was sitting on the earth. I’m sure your results may vary depending on weather and other unexpected technical difficulties, but I had zero problems.
China Airlines Business Class
It was a great experience! Everyone was nice, the food was good, and the TV screen was huge (I drifted off to bed to Ted 2, after leaving LAX at 11:45pm). The noise-canceling headset wasn’t branded Bose, and it didn’t seem as good as some other ones I’ve used, but at least they had one, which came in useful early in the flight.
Overall, it’s been a great first day of adventure … spent mostly in an airplane and in an airport lounge.