Taipei Mileage Runs – Birmingham to Taipei

We woke at 5:30am and left Kate’s house at 6am. Kate was kind enough to drive us to the Birmingham airport.

As Kate expected, the Birmingham airport was pretty empty. We got through security quickly and then walked around the airport for a while. We enjoyed the art exhibits as well as the plentiful Pokemon stops.

Our American Eagle flight boarded about 40 minutes before departure, and they paged for us 25 minutes before departure. We hurried over to the gate and boarded immediately.

Lots of legroom in the first row of economy on the AA CRJ-900

This CRJ-900 had a first class cabin, but we couldn’t upgrade since we were flying on a JAL flight number instead of an American flight number. We were in the first row of economy, which had tray tables in the arm rests but plenty of legroom.

Snack in the main cabin on the AA CRJ-900

As an executive platinum flying in the economy cabin, Katie was able to get a free snack from the menu. This flight offered trail mix, Pringles, and hummus mix. The economy cabin flight attendant said the first class flight attendant would come back and help Katie. She came back and offered a menu item or something from the first class snack basket. Katie opted for the hummus. This ended up being by far the best choice, as it was a low sugar snack big enough to split.

Our AA CRJ-900

We landed in Dallas at 9:20am. After deplaning, we walked from the far end of Terminal B to Terminal D. Once in Terminal D, we went to the JAL gate to pick up our JAL boarding passes.

All of the ‘disabled’ passengers waiting to board an Emirates flight. We saw many easily walking around their chairs.

We used the remaining time before our 11:15am flight to try to get our daily steps in before our flight.

Our JAL 787 from Dallas to Tokyo

The JAL flight began boarding at 10:45am and pushed back on time. We were in seats 46A and C again in JAL’s 787-8 2-4-2 economy cabin.

Departure meal choices

The air was rough after take off, but then the departure drinks and meal service began. Meals were a choice of salmon with rice or honey mustard chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables. JT tried the salmon and Katie tried the chicken. The chicken had no bones, but the meat was not of good quality. The rest of the meal was good though, especially the cranberry salad side dish. We were served small vanilla ice cream cups for dessert.

Salmon with rice departure meal
Chicken with potatoes and veggies departure meal

There was no wifi on this flight, so while Katie was still able to code some during the first half of the flight, JT couldn’t work. He enjoyed some action movies though, and fell asleep before the mid-flight snack.

The mid-flight snack – served 6 hours before landing – was a chocolate croissant. After the mid-flight snack, Katie also fell asleep.

Ground chicken and rice arrival meal

We both woke up after the arrival meal was served, but were quickly brought warm meal trays. Even so, we were still served more than 2 hours before landing. The arrival meal was ground chicken and sweet soy over rice. This main dish was served with fruit, yogurt, and cheese with crackers. It was all pretty tasty.

We visited the JAL First class lounge in Tokyo Narita

Once in Tokyo, we walked around during our two hour layover before going to the satellite terminal JAL first class lounge. This lounge had showers, spa services, and a dining room – but no sushi bar. It was a good place to stop for a quick snack though.

Business class seats on the JAL flight from Tokyo Narita to Taipei
Economy meal on JAL flight from Tokyo Narita to Taipei

We had thought row 9 seemed a bit far forward on a JAL 787 to be economy, so we were happily surprised to find ourselves in the business cabin for the 3.5 hour flight from Tokyo to Taipei. Our tickets still showed economy though, which started to make sense when we received economy class meals and service. The seat was nice to read and nap in though, so we were happy to get the free upgrade to a better seat!

The arrivals area at TPE

Once in Taipei, we cleared customs with no issues – although Katie’s officer seemed to want to practice her English and concluded with “okie dokie – stay happy!” which Katie found cute.

Despite the Uber app claiming cars were 3 minutes away, ours took 12 minutes to arrive after requesting. It was an easy ride to the Holiday Inn Express Taoyuan. Check-in was super quick, and we were assigned the same room as our last stay. We got some work done and then called it a night.

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