We’re not often impressed by airline customer service in economy class.
But paying the equivalent of only $900 USD for return EVA Air flights from Canada on a couple of trips to Asia turned out to be a bargain – and a pleasant flying experience to boot.
On our first trip, we flew from Vancouver via Taipei, Taiwan, to Bali (where we fell in love with the beautiful culture). Our second EVA Air trip was from Vancouver to Bangkok, also via Taipei. (From Bangkok, we flew on to Yangon, Myanmar. See here to read our post on 21 quirky and useful things to know about Yangon.)
It started with the ginger tea
Both times, while waiting at the gate in Vancouver, EVA Air had a table (decorated with a large vase of fresh lilies) with complimentary help-yourself hot ginger tea and coffee. That’s the first time we’ve ever seen this service offered.
Other airlines, take note!
Hey, we got slippers!
Then as we settled into our seats, we discovered green disposable slippers (really nice touch!), down cushions with washable cotton (not synthetic disposable) covers, and thick blankets that didn’t create annoying static.
Comfy seats and cabin configuration
On both trips, the plane to and from Taipei was one of those roomy old-fashioned jumbo jets (Boeing 747s). According to EVA Air, the seat pitch is 33 inches for economy seats in this plane. This is two inches greater than the usual 31-inch seat pitch for economy seats.
We didn’t feel the seats in front slamming down on our knees.
We hear that at least one North American carrier has reconfigured their 777s on their Asia routes to squeeze in over 100 additional seats in economy, so economy passengers are stuffed in like sardines. And on Rouge (Air Canada’s new leisure brand), the seat pitch is only 30 inches, according to Seat Guru, for European flights that we checked. No thank you…
Another advantage of EVA Air’s 747 configuration is that there are plenty of toilets – four at the back and two at the front of the economy cabin (with additional toilets for premium economy and business class up front).
The loos are also set far apart from the food preparation galley areas. And they’re kitted out with hand lotion as well as foaming soap.
The larger loos at the front of the economy cabin also got us smiling with cute vases of flowers and baby change areas too.
As well, we noticed that the attendants freshened the toilets constantly and kept them spotlessly clean (again in contrast to flight attendants on U.S. and Canadian carriers, who won’t deal with any lavatory freshening).
Best economy seats on EVA Air
We’re a little reluctant to give away this secret in our EVA Air review – we want to make sure we can get good seats again on EVA Air! But the Boeing 747s have two decks. And EVA Air has put an economy cabin in the upper deck.
Economy seats in the lower deck are configured 3-4-3. But economy seats in the upper deck are set up as 3-3, and we prefer the cozier feeling of this smaller cabin.
Also, there’s a ledge or side-bin beside the window seat up here, so you have at least six inches of space between the seat and the wall. That makes the window seats feel roomier and less claustrophobic than usual. (And if your traveling companion is seated in a window seat in the row in front of you, then you can even stretch out your leg here on this ledge.)
What’s for dinner?
Meals on our flights were nutritionally balanced and fairly healthy (as airplane meals go).
For dinner – a choice of fish and noodles or teriyaki chicken and rice, with an accompanying salad, hot bun and plate of fresh fruit slices (plus the requisite dessert cake). For breakfast – perhaps a cheese omelette with sausage and potatoes or pork congee, plus no-fat yogurt, a bowl of cubed melons and hot croissant.
Price? Can you use points?
EVA Air is a Taiwanese international airline.
For our one-stop flight to Bali, we had a choice of China Airlines (cheaper again), Cathay Pacific (more expensive) and EVA Air. On EVA Air, we could have flown for about $100 USD less than what we paid. But we chose to pay more to earn more Aeroplan points on Air Canada, which is a Star Alliance partner of EVA Air’s (hoping to earn enough Aeroplan points to earn back our Silver Prestige status on Air Canada – any perk is a blessing when flying these days.)
Each economy seat had a personal TV screen in front, but it was quite small, certainly smaller than we’ve seen on other planes. That would be our only niggling complaint, but a minor one. The movie selection was good and included all the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
EVA Air review: bottom line?
We hope that if EVA Air swaps out its 747s on long-haul flights in future, they’ll continue to offer decent legroom in economy class.
In the meantime, EVA Air has won our loyalty and we’d definitely fly with them again.
We paid full fares for our economy tickets on these two, round-trip EVA Air flights and did not receive any special discounts. Nor has EVA Air paid us to write this Eva Air review or influenced us in any way here. This post consists simply of our own independent thoughts and views, meant to be helpful to you, our readers. We originally wrote this EVA Air review after our first EVA Air trip to Bali, but we’ve now updated it after our second EVA Air trip to Bangkok (from where we traveled to Myanmar for an exotic river cruise).
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