I’m posting this on both OAT and GCT forums since they each have threads on this particular issue.
Using airline reviews is tricky at best. So many factors—i.e. which flights, internat’l or domestic, particular routes, the reviewers’ personal preferences, incidents (e.g. poor customer service, bad service, etc.) & with China Airlines, confusion with Air China. Air China’s airline code is CA & China Airlines is CI, making evaluation all the more difficult since intuitively you would think CA means China Airlines. It looks like some reviewers had them confused so which airlines were they actually rating? The ratings I’ve looked are neither best nor worst—more middle ground.
Bearing that in mind, I look for other more objective factors such as cost, seat pitch, travel time, hubs, etc.
OAT’s travel counselor told me last week the reason for the change was that Cathay Pacific raised their prices substantially, hence the switch to CI. However, checking Cathay’s website, I can do better pricewise altho I would have to stay overnight in LA on the return before going on to San Diego the next morning. I would rather have the overnight in Hong Kong or in the case of CI in Taipei. I’m still working on this and will have another discussion with OAT travel tomorrow before making my final payment with or without air. I’m due to leave on Apr 28.