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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


China Airlines Dynasty Flyer


5.17
(34 ratings)

7.00

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in August 2010. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

TAIWAN'S Plum Blossom

Taiwan's flagship carrier, China Airlines, began operating in 1959 with only 26 employees. The airline now travels within Asia and to Europe, North America and Oceania and employs more than 10,000 people.

China Airlines' logo features a plum blossom, which is said to symbolize beauty and longevity, and some say it represents perseverance in the face of adversity because the flower blooms in the winter. Dynasty Flyer is the airline's frequent flyer program.


EARNING ABILITY:

5.58
Our
Rating:

6.00
The miles earned by flying China Airlines vary by the cabin and ticket class purchased. First class fares earn either 150 or 130 percent of the miles flown (F and A class, respectively); business class fares earn 130, 125 or 100 percent of miles flown (J, C, D, respectively) and economy class flights earn 100, 80, 50 percent of miles flown or no miles. To receive 100 percent of the miles flown in economy, a member must fly in Y, B, T or M class; K, W or V class for 80 percent and R, Q, H, N or Z for 50 percent of the miles flown.

Airline partner accrual varies according to the airline flown, sometimes the route that's flown, and the class of service purchased from zero up to 150 percent; and for some partners, such as China Eastern, there can be five levels of accrual in economy class alone. Full information for accrual for each partner can be found on the China Airlines Web site. Occasional bonus offers are available for members including double miles for select flights and more.

Members can also earn miles when flying partner airlines and through other partners including credit cards, car rental agencies and hotels.

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AWARD CHOICES:

5.05
Our
Rating:

7.50
Members have access to award tickets to destinations worldwide. China Airlines award levels are divided into short-haul flights within Asia; and long-haul flights between Asia (excluding Guam) and North America, Europe and Australia or between Tokyo and Hawaii. A roundtrip coach ticket within Asia is 35,000 miles, a roundtrip business class flight within Asia is 50,000 miles and first class is 90,000 miles. Long-haul flights are 100,000 miles, 135,000 miles and 150,000 miles in coach, business and first class, respectively. Members can spend more miles for flights during blackout dates for 140,000 in coach, 175,000 in business and 190,000 miles in first class. Another option is to redeem miles for two long-haul business class tickets for 240,000 miles (or 280,000 to avoid blackout dates) and 270,000 miles for two award tickets in first class (310,000 miles to avoid blackout dates).

One-way award tickets are available for more than half the cost of a roundtrip ticket. A one-way coach ticket within Asia is 21,000 miles (as opposed to 17,500 miles, if it was half a roundtrip flight). One-way business flights within Asia are 30,000 miles and first class awards are 54,000 miles. Long haul one-way awards are 60,000 miles in coach, 81,000 miles in business and 90,000 miles in first class. Members can redeem more miles to avoid blackout dates (84,000, 105,000 and 114,000 for coach, business and first class one-way flight awards). Two enroute stopovers on long-haul award tickets are allowed. Up to two extra stopovers can be added by redeeming an extra 20,000 miles per stopover. No stopovers are allowed on short-haul award tickets unless redeemed for 20,000 miles and no stopovers are allowed on one-way award tickets. Award tickets may have one open jaw.

Upgrade awards on China Airlines are available starting at 15,000 miles for an upgrade from coach to business class within Asia; flights that include Delhi require 20,000 miles for this same upgrade. Long-haul upgrade awards start at 30,000 miles between Taipei and Australia, Tokyo and Hawaii and Delhi and Rome and 40,000 miles between Taipei and North America or Europe and between Bangkok and Amsterdam. Restrictions apply regarding the booking classes you must purchase in order to use an upgrade award and there are upgrade awards available for more miles to avoid blackout dates.

Members can also use miles for flights on partner airlines such as Mandarin Airlines with similar redemption rates (35,000 miles within Asia) and with Delta where the redemption matches the industry norm of 25,000 miles for roundtrip coach tickets within the continental U.S., Alaska and Canada. First or business class within the same region is 45,000 miles on Delta.

Members may redeem 5,000 miles for one VIP Lounge pass award for themselves when flying with China Airlines departing from select airports. Elite members can also spend miles for lounge access for companions for 5,000 miles for a business class lounge and 10,000 miles for a first class lounge.

Members can redeem miles to pay for excess baggage and members in Taiwan can spend miles for magazine subscriptions. Dynasty Flyer does not offer a miles plus money option or other ways to spend miles such as hotel stays or car rentals.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

4.41
Our
Rating:

7.50
China Airlines does not currently participate in a global airline alliance; however, a partnership in SkyTeam has been announced with no estimate of when the airline will join the alliance. The airline partners with Mandarin Airlines (a subsidiary of China Airlines), Delta Air Lines, Czech Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air China and Hainan Airlines (also, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express Airways--two airlines that are part of Hainan Airlines' frequent flyer program, The Fortune Wings Club).

Members can earn miles when renting from Hertz (250 miles per qualifying rental in Asia or for corporate rentals and 500 miles elsewhere), Sixt (100 miles per day's rental, up to 1,000 miles per rental and 500 miles per Sixt limousine service) and Avis (500 miles per qualifying rental).

Dynasty Flyer partners with InterContinental Hotels Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Regal Hotels International, JAL Hotels, Windsor Hotels, Accor hotels and others.

Most hotel partners offer 500 miles per stay with the exception of Hotel JAL City and some Accor hotel brands including Novotel, Grand Mercure and Mercure hotels that offer 250 miles per stay and Windsor Hotels, Taipei Garden Hotel and the Taipei Cosmos Hotel that offer 100 miles per night. Members can earn two miles for every 10 RMB spent for eligible Ctrip hotel bookings.

China Airlines has relationships with several credit cards including cards specifically for Taiwan residents and for residents of the United States.

HSBC Bank co-brand credit cards are available for Taiwan residents. Members can choose from three cards including the HSBC China Airlines Platinum Card that earns one mile per TWD 30 spent and a 10 percent discount on Duty Free along with other benefits, the HSBC China Airlines Signature card that offers one mile per TWD 15 spent or the HSBC China Airlines Infinite Card that also offers one mile per TWD 15 spent plus first year free upgrade to Dynasty Flyer Gold membership and other perks.

The China Airlines MasterCard for U.S. residents offers 7,500 bonus miles for first use, up to 5,000 bonus miles for balance transfers and two miles for every US$1 spent on China Airlines travel and one mile for all other purchases. The annual fee is $59. Members in the U.S. may choose a no-fee version.

Members can also exchange American Express points for Dynasty Flyer miles as a Membership Rewards member in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Japan.

Members do not have the option to earn miles through telecommunications, wireless or retail purchases and there is no program for donating miles.

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

5.08
Our
Rating:

7.50
Dynasty Flyer has a three-tiered elite level program and members earn elite qualifying miles by flying China Airlines only. Gold membership is offered when a member earns 40,000 miles or takes 10 eligible flights in first or business class within a 12-month period. Gold members can also qualify through "weighted trips" that are calculated based on the class of service flown. Once a Gold member, the membership will be valid for two years and to renew the Gold membership, the member must either earn 55,000 miles, take 20 eligible flights in first or business class or take the required weighted trips within the two years of Gold membership. Gold members receive 2,000 bonus miles yearly if they fly within a month of their birthday; priority waitlisting, boarding and baggage; exclusive check-in counter; extra baggage allowance and VIP Lounge access on outgoing China Airlines flights.

The next level, Emerald, is obtained when earning 110,000 miles, including four full-fare flights in first or business class within a 12-month period or flying 40 full-fare first or business class flights. Emerald adds the following benefits for members: a welcome gift when reaching Emerald level, confirmed reservations if booking is made at least 72 hours before departure, 10 percent discount for in-flight duty free items, and if the Emerald member pre-orders more than US$60 duty free per flight on the China Airlines Web site, they can offset part of their payment with miles. Emerald members can also bring a flight companion with them into the VIP Lounge. When the spouse of an Emerald member is traveling on the same flight, they can be upgraded to the same cabin class.

The highest elite level, Paragon, is obtained when earning 180,000 miles including six full-fare first or business class flights or fly 60 full-fare flights in first or business class within a 12-month period. Members earn all of the benefits listed under Gold and Emerald status plus two extra bags or 20kg more in weight, 10,000 bonus miles when you reach Paragon status, priority security line, two flight companions instead of one are allowed into the VIP Lounge including no limit to the number of accompanying children, an additional 20 percent mileage bonus on flights taken and the spouse of the Paragon member will receive Gold status. Gold, Emerald and Paragon members may redeem their mileage to invite extra guests, other than those allowed with their membership, to enter the airport VIP room. Lifetime elite membership is not offered.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

4.91
Our
Rating:

6.50
Anyone two years and above can become a member of Dynasty Flyer.

Award tickets must be issued in person at a China Airlines downtown ticketing counter, not an airport counter.

Miles are valid for 36 months (three years). Memberships will be terminated unless mileage is earned within three consecutive years.

Missing mileage can be claimed within six months of the travel date.

Members may transfer awards to anyone of their choosing by submitting an award transfer application form. Each member may have up to six award transfer nominees in each calendar year and one change can be made to each registration per calendar year.

Once an award ticket has been issued, changes to the destinations can be made for the equivalent of US$100.

Account pooling is not allowed and currently, members cannot buy miles.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

6.02
Our
Rating:

7.00
Dynasty Flyer has service hotlines throughout the regions where they fly and this is the best way to reach customer service. In North America alone, there are eight different hotline numbers in eight different cities. When we called the San Francisco office, after going through the phone tree, we were on hold for six minutes until a service representative answered the phone. He was polite and was able to answer our questions. It should be noted that Dynasty Flyer service representatives are only available from 9am to 5pm local time. There is no readily accessible email address that members can access. Readers have reported acceptable service support.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

5.14
Our
Rating:

7.00
Members can access their account details online including their mileage balance and award redemption record. You can also redeem flight and upgrade awards and claim missing miles. The Web site has detailed information about the Dynasty Flyer program including an e-newsletter and an updated PDF membership guide. You cannot contact customer service through the site.

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PLUS FEATURES:
All members of Dynasty Flyer receive some benefit of membership such as advance seat selection and earning bonus miles when purchasing Dynasty Packages (1,500 bonus miles for long-haul travel and 500 miles for short-haul travel) and package itineraries commencing from Taiwan get cash discounts. Even the lowest elite level offers free airport lounge access and there are no co-pays for upgrade awards. Paragon members occasionally receive offers of free concert tickets and other perks.

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MINUS FEATURES:
Although the upper tier elite levels offer some compelling benefits, you have to also be willing and able to spend money on full-fare business or first class flights or you'll never make it past Gold regardless of how many miles you earn. And elite members do not earn elite flight bonuses except at the highest tier, and then only 20 percent. The earning structure for miles, and to gain elite status, are unnecessarily complicated as is the process to transfer awards. The program also does not have some of the basics that many programs offer such as a miles donation program and a cash plus miles option.

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INFORMATION:
In Taipei:
131, Sec. 3, Nanking E. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Phone: 02-2715-1449
Fax: 02-2715-1234

In San Francisco:
Phone: 650-931-8000 Select 3
Fax: 650-931-8019

Web site: http://www.china-airlines.com

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
6.00 7.50 7.50 7.50 6.50 7.00 7.00 7.00
Member
Rating:
5.58 5.05 4.41 5.08 4.91 6.02 5.14 5.17

(34 ratings)

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