Trip Report: EVA Air Business Class from Los Angeles to Taipei

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I recently had to take a quick trip to Bangladesh. While searching the United site, I found some good space on Thai, EVA, United and Asiana. All the airlines have flat bed seats, but I leaned toward EVA Air because they joined the Star Alliance two months ago, so I hadn’t yet had a chance to fly them.

EVA flies the same flat bed business class seats as Cathay Pacific and the new American Air 777-300ER, which are widely considered the best business class seats in the world. The chance to fly a new airline and the best product made EVA my top choice.

I was booking with US Airways miles, so I followed the standard procedure to book an award with US Airways miles.

  1. Search for award space on united.com because it displays all of the Star Alliance, and usairways.com only shows US Airways space. (All alliance partners should have access to the same award availability, so anything found on united.com is bookable with US Airways miles.)
  2. Call US Airways at 800-622-1015 to book the award.

My Itinerary with all flights in Business Class:

The routing via gcmap.com

LAX-TPE 8/13 1:35AM Arrive 5:10AM +1 EVA Air
TPE-SIN 8/14 7:10AM Arrive 12:00PM Singapore Air
SIN-DAC 8/14 8:40PM Arrive 10:30PM Singapore Air

Return
DAC-SIN 8/18 11:55PM Arrive 6:00AM +1 Singapore Air
SIN-HKG 8/19 7:00AM Arrive 12:00PM Singapore Air
HKG-TPE 8/19 1:00 PM Arrive 4:25 PM Singapore Air
TPE-LAX 8/19 6:40PM Arrive 4:20 PM EVA Air

What was my take on the food, service, and bed?

I was very tempted to book a trip through Europe in First Class on Lufthansa but I needed the most time possible in Bangladesh, so I opted for the fastest route available. I eventually ticketed the itinerary for 120,000 US Airways miles and went on my way!

Check In

There’s something about the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX that gives me butterflies. I think it’s the fact that all these airlines are in this huge hall with massive ceilings and a huge board displaying all the flights. I hope they never get rid of those boards because they add a bit of nostalgia to the otherwise horrible terminal. Although they recently underwent a renovation of epic proportions, the check in area didn’t seem to change much except for some visible A/C vents and LCD TV’s behind the counters. The concession choices have changed a little bit, but I wasn’t too interested.

What the new terminal should look like soon

The only thing of interest of checking was that the agent instructed me to go to the international lounge instead of the Star Alliance lounge as it would be closing at 11:45 PM, and my flight wasn’t until 1:35 AM.

The lounge was on par with a typical United Club, so I won’t bore you with the details.

EVA Airways BR 1
Boeing 777-300ER
Flight Time: 12 Hours 35 Minutes
1:35AM – 5:10AM +1
Seat 11K (business)

My flight was leaving through the newly renovated area of the terminal at Gate 130. I was surprised at how minor the renovation  and was even more surprised to see a Sees Candies stall being the only thing open in the new hall (Peanut Brittle!)

Boarding began around 12:20 AM, and it was a free-for-all. All boarding was done through one door, and EVA didn’t do a good job of maintaining order.

When I got on board, I headed the second min-cabin of business class. EVA has seven rows of business class, then a galley, then four more rows of business class on its 777-300ER. I chose the mini-cabin behind the galley because I was hoping it would be quieter and more private. EVA has three classes of service on the 777-300ER: Business, Premium Economy and Economy.

I was extremely delighted to arrive at my seat.

This picture also gives a sense of the reverse herringbone pattern. The window seats face out a bit, and the middle seats face each other.

The seat itself is very comfortable, and there is ample storage space for your shoes and other personal items. Each person gets his own overhead bin, so that was a plus.

Storage Space

The Seat
All the seat controls were to my left. The TV remote and seat adjustments are in the same place, and the TV is placed diagonally onto the seat in front of you. While Cathay pacific has a mini door to hide the headphones, EVA opted to keep everything open and put the headphones in their own bag.

I was worried that by sitting in the middle, I wouldn’t have privacy from the person next to me. Luckily you feel very far apart and separated by your control centers. So the good news is that a solo traveler can have privacy in a middle seat. The bad news is that companions would have trouble conversing easily.

 

The seat turns into a fully flat bed. It’s very comfortable and the supplied duvet also helps!

The Seat/Bed

 The Flight

We left the gate right on time but somewhere between the taxi to takeoff and actually taking off, I fell asleep. I didn’t wake up until about 25 minutes after takeoff and I only woke up to make my seat into a bed. Food service had begun but since it was a late night flight, I wasn’t ready to sit around and eat. I slept for a solid 8 hours and when I woke up, we were about 4 hours out of Taipei and under the stars.

EVA projects stars onto the roof of the cabin.
Night Time View

It was the second longest airplane sleep time for me behind only the 11 hours I got from Hong Kong to Frankfurt once! I took the time to look at the Rimowa Amenity Kit that some people have been going crazy for ;). It was pretty basic with a toothbrush, lotion and some other items. There were even slippers placed in the magazine rack below me.

I rang the call button and asked for my meal to be delivered, but the cabin crew had notified me that they couldn’t serve it to me anymore. ”

Instead I ordered the Lay’s Seaweed Chips, which is a snack I don’t plan to repeat. I ordered some cookies which were delicious and while eating, another passenger told me that I didn’t miss much on the dinner service. I took pictures of the menu just in case anyone wanted to see. I think EVA is the only airline that will serve Dom in their business cabin. I don’t drink but it was pretty cool to see as those bottles go for more than $100 each!

I settled in with my cookies and began to watch some movies. The entertainment selection is actually very good. It seemed like EVA shares the same collection as Singapore Air’s KrisFlyer. There were plenty of American, Asian, Indian, and even European movies onboard. To make things even better, it was touch screen!

When it comes to service, EVA Air is definitely up there with other airlines! They take on a Cathay Pacific approach when it comes to service and sort of anticipate your needs rather than come by every 10 seconds. Every hour, a crew member came around the cabin with water and juice. It was a nice gesture as they continued to serve people individually with whatever drinks/snacks they wanted. I really do think that EVA has the service aspect down because all of their crew is wonderful!

Breakfast service started and I was surprised to see Dim Sum from Din Tai Fung, a delicious Chinese Dim Sum restaurant in Los Angeles, available. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed when I found out the dumplings were pork. I opted for the Red Velvet pancakes instead. An important thing to recognize is that EVA has three set menus. One is Western, one is Asian and one is a quick meal so you can sleep more. They will not let you mix and match from different menus so you have to take only one. However, you can order your meal online up to 24 hours before the flight.

I ordered the pancakes which were bland, but the whipped cream gave is some sort of flavor. Coupled with the strawberries on the plate, it was just an OK dish. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the food, and I have to agree that EVA needs to improve with their catering/culinary aspect.

Fruit Plate
Red Velvet Pancakes

We landed around 10 minutes ahead of schedule and taxied to the gate. This time, two doors were attached and we were out of the plane in no time.

Overall, I think that EVA is a wonderful addition to the Star Alliance network. It has expanded availability and has given the alliance another solid way to get to Asia. Everything from the seat to the service were great and I would fly them again in a heartbeat! The only issue I could find with them was the food, but it wasn’t too bad, so overall I ‘d give the flight very good marks for business class.

Beware, however that the flat beds are only available on the 777-300ER and not the 747’s flying into Seattle. I do see the Seattle flight going on and off with the 777-300ER, so you may want to check ahead of time when flying that route.

Current 777-300ER Routes include:
LAX/SFO/JFK-TPE
TPE-HKG/SIN/BKK
BKK-LHR/VIE/CDG

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the report. I’ve flown EVA a number of times in paid premium economy. The hard product is a huge improvement over economy on any carrier. But, you’re right about EVA’s food. After several flights I learned to order Kosher meals, which are served first (nice to get the meal out of the way on night flights) and are much much better than the standard food on EVA. Pork porridge for breakfast? Spare me!

  2. Thanks for the report! So what’s your recommendation for best seats for 2 travelers?

    Of course we want to be able to converse but have the overall cabin quiet as possible for sleeping. Thanks!

    • Jon,
      I would highly recommend the Lufthansa 747-8 Business Class. Although they are reverse herringbone, they are a little less private in the middle section. In addition, you may want to try the Thai A380 as every other middle row seat has 2 flat bed business seats without a partition! It’s great if you’re traveling with someone!

        • On this plane, if you really want to talk to a companion..I would say get one window and one aisle lol. The divider is just too much. You have to take your seatbelt off completely to even see the other person. However, if you sit aisle and window, it’s easy to talk to each other!

          You don’t share bathrooms with Economy, there are bathrooms in the middle galley of business class for all Business class passengers!

    • That is true! Although I got to experience the EVA 777-300ER 4 times on this trip haha. I would recommend the earlier flight in the day! Hopefully, you have a better experience with the food than I did.

  3. What no review of the SIN flight to DAC? As a Bengali I’m always curious to see how bad service to Bangladesh is. No matter the quality of the airline, flights to Dhaka are always a fresh way to experience hell.

    • Cool, a BD report.
      I dont know about u guys (Raka or Tahsir), but I swear on arrival, DAC airport looks like a sewer. But then on departure, it actually looks kinda nice. It could be that I get used to the dust, the poor, those damn open sewers, the jackass drivers (which is just about every single driver behind the wheel) then u get to the airport to leave BD and it looks somewhat organised (inside I mean, NOT outside).

      Love the Village, though.

  4. How did you get so much us airway miles?
    There isn’t much to offer from the cc.

    My fav flight to tpe would be china airlines.
    Nice review buddy.
    Would you say having baby traveling family. Mom dad and baby would be better in Econ premium or business class?

  5. “HKG-TPE 8/19 1:00 PM Arrive 4:25 PM Singapore Air” Interesting, I didn’t know SQ flew this route and usually this is an only 1.5hr flight.

  6. I have been searching for EVA Business availability from Taipei to SFO on December but it seems there are quite a lot Sep/Oct availability but not much Dec. Is that because they havent released them or there are just not much space at that time?? Thanks.

  7. It’s a night flight so you have to expect people (like you ) will sleep right away….yet they WON’T give you your dinner if you wake up later?? That doesn’t seem very service oriented for a premium cabin. Rather ridgid not to accommodate you. I’m taking the same late night flight out of SFO in Sept. Good to know this limitation.

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