Airline Review: Why you should fly EVA Air
The best flights are those that you don’t want to end, the ones where you need a few extra hours to fully experience all the great amenities onboard. For us, flying on EVA in their Royal Laurel Class 777-300ER service between North America and Asia tops our list of those “best flights”. In this post, we’ll explain some of the advantages we’ve experienced flying EVA Air and share information about different cabins: Royal Laurel Class, Premium Economy and Economy.
EVA Air has been in operation since 1989 and is based out of Taipei Taiwan. Today, EVA is one of 8 airlines in the world rated as a “5 star airline” by SKYTRAX. EVA serves more than 60 tourist and business destinations between Asia and Mainland China to Europe, North America and Oceania. EVA focuses on “Big Ideas, Attention to Smallest Details” which you truly experience in Royal Laurel Class.
Flight Times and Connections:
While price matters, sometimes you need to consider operational factors when choosing a flight. One of the key advantages to flying with EVA to Asia from North America are the flight times. While the flights late from North America, they actually arrive early in the morning at TPE – Taoyuan airport which gives you more connecting flight options, i.e the flight from YVR – Vancouver to TPE – Taoyuan departs around 01:00 and arrives around 05:30 in the morning and in most cases you can connect to somewhere else in Asia and be there in time for lunch or dinner. In comparison, flights on other airlines that depart North America at 12:00 arrive around 18:00 in the evening which limits the number of connection flights available and almost guarantees you arrive to your financial destination when it’s very late and dark outside. The return flights on EVA leave TPE – Taipei Taoyuan around 23:00 and usually get you back to North America around 18:30.
If you have an important connection to make, the flights that depart from YVR – Vancouver and SEA- Seattle Tacoma have a few hours of ground time, which means that if they are delayed a few hours, chances are, you will still be able to depart on time and make your connection. In looking at the last 6 months of flight data on FlightRadar24 for departures out of YVR and SEA, EVA only cancelled flights once due to a typhoon in Japan and flight delays were minimal.
Royal Laurel Class
Royal Laurel Class is EVA’s business/first class product. While EVA doesn’t have a first class, some aspects of EVA’s Royal Laurel Class soft product rivals some first class products on renowned carriers.
Not many carriers provide pyjamas in business class but EVA does. Recently, EVA improved their pyjamas from the previous light brown ones that were pretty unflattering; they worked Ajupan, a UK-based Taiwanese designer to design new ones.The new Ajupan pyjamas are comfortable and stylish; a Henley top with elastic drawstring pants in black hues. The pyjamas are so stylish and comfortable that you really can’t really blame people for wearing them off the flight!
The seats are 2-1-2 configuration pods with limited privacy. That being said, the reverse herringbone seat is very comfortable and compared to other airlines, EVA offers a mattress pad, memory foam pillow and thick comforter, all wrapped in plastic for sanitary purposes. In comparison, on Cathay Pacific, you sleep on the seat and the pillow is in your seat while boarding which is not as comfortable.
The Rimowa amenity kits are well stocked with an eye mask, socks, ear plugs, lip balm, face cream, hand cream, a screen cleaning cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, and other goodies. In the past, the products were Harn but have since been upgraded to Melvita from France, which I enjoyed more due to the better quality and the fragrance. EVA also offers slippers to passengers while other airlines do not. On a long flight, the slippers are really handy in my opinion.
The food and beverage are really good. In addition to serving Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame as the base champagne, they have offered Krug on some routes. While the menu has plenty of western and Asian options, you can pre-order a meal prior to your flight and view menu offerings that will not be on the main menu card in-flight. On some flights, EVA serves the famous Din Tai Fung dumplings, which we enjoyed a lot.
Cleanliness of the Cabin:
The cabin is also the cleanest I have ever experienced on any flight. The staff are diligent in cleaning the bathroom after every use and keeping the cabin tidy, even picking up a piece of lint on the carpet. The last time I few business class on Air Canada, there we instant noodles on my tray table and ketchup on my window. No wonder EVA has won awards for having the “World’s Cleanest Cabin”.
The staff are also helpful and attentive without being in your face. Compared to North American carriers, their staff work hard the entire flight and you will never see them tuning passengers out by sitting and reading magazine and playing on their iPad; EVA flight crew are always available to serve passengers and tend to their needs.
While this post has focused mostly on Royal Laurel Class EVA’s Premium Economy product is a good option if you can’t get Royal Laurel Class. The seat pitch is decent and is a reclining seat which is more comfortable for people that are 5”7 and taller. Other airlines that fly similar routes and operate airbus aircraft and their premium economy seats do not recline as they are “hard shell” which means, they slide down, which is less comfortable for tall people.
In Premium Economy, passengers also get slippers, a premium amenity kit (not Rimowa though), better food and more alcohol. The configuration on the 777 is 2-4-2 though. The seat width is 19.5” and the seat pitch is 38”. This is the same seat configuration as premium economy on Air Canada’s 787 service to TPE.
EVA’s economy configuration is 3-3-3. The seat width is 18.3” and the seat pitch is 33”. Air Canada’s seat is 17.3” wide and has a pitch of 31” which may or may not make a big difference. EVA does offer a basic amenity kit for economy passengers and other air carriers like Air Canada do not. I would still say that economy on EVA is superior because of the staff, the departure times, and how clean the cabin is. If you want to compare seat pitch, figure out which aircraft you are on and visit Seat Guru.
We’ve loved flying EVA every time we’ve had the chance to fly with them. The departure and arrival times for connections are definitely a major factor in why we choose to fly with them. We do find that compared to other airlines, their staff are outstanding; from the ground staff to the flight crew, they’re all focused on service and the passenger experience. We’ve used Aeroplan points and cash to purchase tickets to earn more Aeroplan points and felt that the value was superior to flying the same route on another carrier. The only thing we found weak about the experience was the EVA Lounge in TPE because it’s very crowded and the food and beverage options are limited. Thankfully, we have Priority Pass and used their lounge for a quieter experience and waited less long to use the showers.
Have you ever flown EVA? What is your favorite airline? What is the most important deciding factor for you when booking flights?
Disclaimer: This is a partially sponsored post and I did receive “perks” for sharing it.