At the end of 2019, we flew EVA Air Business Class for only 13k Lifemiles points (+ fees) and here we will tell you how our flight experience was.
Despite being a short flight, it was possible to evaluate the Royal Laurel Class, Eva Air’s Business Class name. In this post, we highlight the pros and cons. Finally, we also comment on how it was flying Eva Air’s economy class, that we also flew at the beginning of 2020.
About Eva Air
Eva Air, which stands for “Evergreen Airways”, is a Taiwanese airline based in Taoyuan, a city near Taipei. By the way, it is at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), the busiest airport in the country, that the operations of the company are concentrated.
Considered a 5-star airline by Skytrax, Eva Air has a fleet of Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-10/9 Dreamliner, Airbus A330-300/200 and Airbus A321-200 aircraft. It operates with long-range routes to North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Its route network comprises more than 40 international destinations.
In turn, domestic and international short-haul flights are operated by its subsidiary Uni Air whose hub is at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Eva Air belongs to Star Alliance, which allows you to earn points in other airlines of this alliance as well as redeeming star alliance award tickets. However, this does not apply to Uni Air, as it is not a participant in this alliance.
EVA Air is famous for decorating some of its aircraft and installations with Hello Kitty motifs.
About our Flight
Our flight (code BR 711) departed from Shanghai Pudong (PVG), in China, at 1:15 PM (estimated) and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan Internacional Airport at 3:10 PM (estimated). However, the actual flight duration is only 1h30 minutes.
Issuing the ticket with Lifemiles
The airline ticket was issued with Lifemiles points, the frequent flyer program of Avianca Internacional, which is also a member of Star Alliance.
The issuance was very fast and directly through the Lifemiles’ website.
After logging in, you have to click on “Vuelos” (flights in Spanish) and choose the departure and destination airports, the number of passengers and the service class. Then, you select your flight date.
After that, a table with a list of flights will be shown. On the left column, flight schedules will appear and, on the right column, the service class options (economy and business). The premium economy class seats do not appear on the website.
- When looking up for the flight award, I usually set the economy class, which allows me to compare the service class options. In this case, I found an economy class ticket for 8k points and a business class ticket for only 13k points, that is, spending more only 5k points, I could fly with much more comfort. I didn’t think twice!
- It should be noticed that, for some dates, you find only one service class option.
In my case, a 38-dollar fee per person was charged. Anyway, this business class one-way flight costs around 460 US-dollars, which means I had a tremendous saving.
At first, a setback. I tried to check-in online early on the day of the flight, but it was not possible. The flight status was “Flight Schedule Changed” and the site suggested me to contact the airline’s reservations center.
We had to wait for Eva Air’s Shanghai office to open at 8:30 am to call and try to solve the problem. Our fear was that the ticket had been canceled or that the flight time or day had been altered, damaging our travel plans.
However, after contacting the office, the online check-in option was immediately enabled.
The online check-in carried out on the Eva Air app. The whole procedure was very fast. It was only required the name of the other passengers, the passport numbers and its expiration dates.
It was also possible to select the seats, but there were not many options available. On the flight, however, we noticed that several “blocked” seats were vacant.
At the airport
At the airport, there is an exclusive queue for Executive passengers and Star Alliance Elite customers.
However, the procedure took a little longer. The attendant had to enter several data into the system (visa, exit ticket from Taiwan, etc.) before we could drop off our baggage.
After going through immigration, we had a fast-track in the Security check: an exclusive line at PVG airport was destined for passengers traveling in business and first-class.
The airport lounge used by Eva Air passengers belongs to Air China and can be reached in the mezzanine level of the boarding area. The lounge has 2 floors. On the first floor, one finds basically armchairs and some drink options. In the second, there was a wide variety of food and drink options.
To use Wifi, passengers must insert their passport into a totem and then obtain their login and password.
Boarding was carried out in 5 groups. The first group comprises business class passengers or elite customers of the Star Alliance alliance. The second group consisted of passengers in the premium economy class. Groups 3 to 5 are of economic class passengers.
The boarding took place in a smooth and organized manner. To make things quicker, the employees checked, still in the queue, the documents of the passengers, making a note on the boarding passes.
The aircraft was a Boeing 777-300ER. In the Business Class, the seating configuration is 1-2-1. The seats are flat-bed and all have direct access to the corridor.
This layout is technically called “Reverse herringbone seating“, in which the seats are tilted in relation to the axis of the aircraft in the opposite direction to the corridor, which guarantees more privacy to its occupants.
Business Class’ width is 26 inches and the distance between the seats (pitch) varies from 81 to 87 inches. The length of the bed is 78 inches, which provides enormous comfort to the occupant.
Business-class’ toilet has several products for passengers such as different types of liquid soaps and moisturizers.
In premium economy, the seats have a 2-4-2 configuration (38″ pitch and 19.3″ width) and in the economy class, it is 3-3-3 (33″ pitch and 18.3″ width). In all classes, comfort is superior to that of other companies operating the 777-300ER.
The service on board was very good and individualized.
As the journey was short, only one meal was offered: lunch.
There were three main course options: beef, fish or chicken with side dishes. For dessert, there was fruit. As for drinks, there was an option of sparkling wine and two options of red and white wines.
I chose the beef, but I found it just ok. In fact, people have different tastes!
Unfortunately, no amenity kits were provided for passengers. Probably, due to the short duration and/or the schedule of the flight.
The entertainment system has a variety of movies, TV series, and music. The list of programs can be found on the Eva Air website.
On the flight, I decided to watch another episode of the HBO Chernobyl series. I’m almost finishing!
Only in business class, noise-canceling headphones are offered.
Internet access (Wifi) was available onboard after take-off. However, it’s not free and the cheapest option costs 4.95 USD.
- Qatar Airways, for instance, offers free Internet access to all passengers for 1 hour. Only after then the wifi onboard is charged.
Despite having just a “tasting” experience of Eva Air Business Class, we could say it was a very good and comfortable one. The service was excellent! However, we expected a little bit more on the food served on board.
Anyway, it was very worthwhile to have spent 13k Lifemiles points in this experience. Certainly, excellent value for money, or rather, value for points!
Bonus: Eva Air Economy Class
In early 2020, we flew Eva Air from Taipei (TPE) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in Vietnam, on the same type of aircraft (Boeing 777-300ER) as the previous flight.
The entertainment system is the same as the business class. I took the opportunity to continue watching the latest episodes of the HBO Chernobyl series. Food was also similar but without the variety of drink options available. The service was compatible with the economic classes of the other airlines.
However, what stands out most was the seat width of economy class (18.3″). It’s a very large seat if compared to the other airlines that operate the same aircraft (Boeing 777-300ER), in which the seat width is usually 17 inches. I don’t remember flying so comfortably in economy class. Additionally, the distance between the seats (33″) provides good legroom.
Have you ever flown Eva Air? We want to know how your experience was! Write down here in the comments section!
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Cover photo credits: Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia.