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.
Our flights on EVA Air from Canada
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; read our post on 21 quirky and useful things to know about Yangon.)
EVA Air check-in
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!
Okay, so we didn’t get the really nice EVA Air amenity kits you get in business class.
But 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.
EVA Air legroom and loo service
EVA Air currently typically uses Boeing 777-300ERs on the Vancouver to Taipei flights.
On both our trips, the plane to and from Taipei was one of those roomy old-fashioned jumbo jets (Boeing 747s).
The seat pitch on the new replacement Boeing 777-300ERs is the same though. (Seat pitch is the term used to measure the distance from the back of your seat to the back of the seat in font, i.e., a technical airline term for how much legroom you get.)
You get 33 inches of legroom.
This is two inches greater than the usual 31-inch seat pitch for economy seats that many other airlines have. (We didn’t feel the seats in front slamming down on our knees.)
We also liked that the seat configuration was 3-3-3.
(Some of EVA Air’s 777 planes have extra economy seats, however, and they’re configured 3-4-3, with four, not three, seats in the middle row. See here. That means a tighter fit. Too bad…)
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 for European flights that we checked. No thank you…
Another plus on our flights was that the toilets were kitted out with hand lotion as well as foaming soap.
The larger loos in the economy cabin got us smiling with cute vases of flowers and baby change areas too.
As well, we noticed that the flight 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
For the best seats, check SeatGuru.
EVA Air Economy food
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.
EVA Air inflight entertainment
Economy seats on EVA Air’s new Boeing 777-300ERs have touch-screen TV displays 11.1 inches in size.
(On our flights, each economy seat had a personal TV screen in front, but they were smaller than we’ve seen on other planes.)
The movie selection was, however, good and included all the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
Price? Can you use points?
EVA Air is a Taiwanese international airline.
For our flight to Bali (with a connection in Taipei), 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 actually 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.)
So, yes, you can use Star Alliance partner points to book EVA Air flights.
EVA Air ranking and safety record
Other travelers like EVA air too.
It’s one of the top 10 airlines in the world (2018 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards).
EVA Air is also one of top 20 safest airlines to fly in the world, according to AirlineRatings.
EVA Air Economy review: Bottom line?
We’d hoped that if EVA Air swapped out its 747s on long-haul flights, they would continue to offer decent legroom in economy class. And we’re so glad to hear they do!
EVA Air won our loyalty, and we’d definitely fly with them again.
See their website for more information.
We paid full fares for our economy tickets on these two, round-trip flights and did not receive any special discounts. Nor has the airline paid us to write this EVA Air review or influenced us in any way here. This post consists simply of our own independent, unbiased thoughts and views.
Read more of our airline reviews
What it’s like to fly Emirates Airlines in economy class with an overnight at the Dubai Airport hotel.
Why you might not want to choose LAM to fly to Mozambique.
Update 2018: EVA Air said goodbye to the last of its Boeing 747 jets in August, 2017. From North America, they now fly Boeing 777s and A330s. See here for the airline’s fleet. Our EVA Air Economy review now covers the new 777s. Also see here for a 2017 review of flying economy on an EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER flight from Chicago to Taipei.
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Now that EVA Air no longer flies the Boeing 747s, we can give away this secret…
The Boeing 747s had two decks. And the airline had put an economy cabin in the upper deck. Economy seats in the lower deck were configured 3-4-3. But economy seats in the upper deck were set up as 3-3, and we preferred the cozier feeling of this smaller cabin.
Also, there was a ledge or side-bin beside the window seat in the upper deck, so you had at least six inches of space between the seat and the wall. That made the window seats feel roomier and less claustrophobic than usual. (And if your traveling companion was seated in a window seat in the row in front of you, then you could even stretch out your leg there on the ledge.)
Update January 18, 2016: We originally wrote this EVA Air review after our first EVA Air trip to Bali, but we updated it after our second EVA Air trip to Bangkok (from where we traveled to Myanmar for an exotic river cruise).