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EVA Air review: We’ll fly Economy with them again!

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EVA Air review: We’ll fly Economy with them again!

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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 North America on a couple of trips to Asia turned out to be a bargain – and a pleasant flying experience to boot.

Writing this EVA Air review therefore wasn’t as difficult as we thought it might be.

EVA Air review: flights

In North America, EVA Air flies from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver – offering non-stop service to Taipei, Taiwan. There are some 84 flights a week.

From Taipei, you can then connect to scads of cities in Asia.

These are the weekly flights from North America as of March 9, 2020:

  • Chicago – 5 flights
  • Houston – 7 flights
  • Los Angeles – 21 flights
  • New York – 7 flights
  • San Francisco – 21 flights
  • Seattle – 10 flights (increasing to 12 weekly flights on May 20, 2020)
  • Toronto – 6 flights
  • Vancouver – 7 flights

Since we live in Victoria, Canada, we’ll focus on the departure cities closest to us – Seattle and Vancouver.

EVA Air Seattle to Taipei:

EVA Air currently has 5 flights a week from Seattle, using the Boeing 777-300ER.

In May, 2020, EVA Airways will add two more flights a week, bumping up the number of weekly flights to 12. The two additional flights will be aboard the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Seattle to Taipei schedule (from May 20, 2020)

Dreamliner – Daily, departing at 1:50 am

Boeing 777-300ER – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, departing at 1:20 am

Taipei to Seattle schedule

Dreamliner – Daily, departing at 11:40 pm

Boeing 777-300ER – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, departing at 7:50 pm

EVA Air Vancouver to Taipei:

On our first EVA Air flight, we flew from Vancouver via Taipei, Taiwan, to Bali. Our second EVA Air trip was from Vancouver to Bangkok, also via Taipei. (From Bangkok, we flew on to Yangon, Myanmar.)

Up until recently, the EVA Air planes used for the Vancouver to Taipei flights have been Boeing 777-300ERs.

But on February 18, 2020, EVA Air started offering a special preview service of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Vancouver to Taipei route. The Dreamliner operates this route until May 19, 2020.

Will the Dreamliner replace the 777-300ER after the “trial” period? That’s currently not known…

Vancouver to Taipei schedule

Dreamliner – Daily, departing 12:45 am

Taipei to Vancouver schedule

Dreamliner – Daily, departing 11:55 pm

EVA Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner:

The airline has configured its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to carry 304 passengers, with 26 in Royal Laurel (Business) Class and 278 in Economy Class.

What’s especially nice about these EVA Air planes is that the Economy seats are ergonomically designed and feature upgraded 12-inch HD touchscreen TV screens.

The Dreamliners also boast quieter cabins and cleaner air (with a higher concentration of oxygen, which helps you feel less tired).

EVA Air review: 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 amenities you get in EVA Air’s Business Class – like the Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits and comfy pyjamas by Taiwanese-Canadian designer, Jason Wu.

Eva Air amenity kit
No, we didn’t get these Ferragamo amenity kits you get in Business Class…
EVA Air pyjamas
And we didn’t get these comfy-looking Jason Wu pyjamas either!

But as we settled into our seats, we discovered green disposable slippers (really nice touch for Economy Class!), down cushions with washable cotton (not synthetic disposable) covers, and thick blankets that don’t create annoying static.

The sleep masks you get in Economy aren’t very good though, so you should bring your own. (We like the Eagle Creek Sandman brand – soft, really good coverage and they black out all light.)

How to have a better flight? Check out the carry-on essentials you need to take onboard!

EVA Air Economy seats

EVA Air legroom:

Boeing 777-300ER legroom

The seat pitch on the Boeing 777-300ERs is between 32 and 33 inches. (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.) Basically, this means you get 32 to 33 inches of legroom.

We liked that the seat configuration was 3-3-3 on our flights.

EVA Air Economy review: Some Economy Class cabins only have 9 seats in a row.
On our flights, we were lucky that the Economy cabins were configured with 9 seats across (not 10, like on some of EVA Air’s 777s)

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 for details of the different EVA Air plane configurations.) 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 leisure brand), the seat pitch is only 30 inches for European flights that we checked. No thank you…

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner legroom

Interestingly, the Economy Class seats on the new Dreamliners have less legroom than on the Boeing 777s. Their seat pitch is 31 to 32 inches.

And it’s surprising how much difference an extra inch can make!

But there are only nine seats in a row (not ten), configured 3-3-3.

EVA Air's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has nine seats in a row, configured 3-3-3.
The 787-9 Dreamliner has 9 seats in a row, configured 3-3-3

Best economy seats on EVA Air:

When selecting your seats, check SeatGuru.

Nice loos!

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 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 (in contrast to flight attendants on U.S. and Canadian carriers, who won’t deal with any lavatory freshening).

We received friendly and attentive service on our EVA Air flights in Economy Class.
We received friendly and attentive service on our EVA Air flights in Economy Class

EVA Air food

The EVA Air meals in Economy Class 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 Boeing 777-300ERs have touch-screen TV displays 11.1 inches in size.

The movie selection is good and includes all the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

EVA Air Premium Economy

Want to treat yourself a bit?

If you can’t spring for lie-flat beds in Business Class (called Royal Laurel Class on EVA Air), you might want to try its Premium Economy Class. We hear this class of service is pretty good – if you’re not in the middle row.

EVA Air Premium Economy seats
For an upgraded experience, you might want to try EVA Airlines’ Premium Economy Class

These EVA Air Premium Economy seats are available on flights using the Boeing 777-300ERs (but not on the Dreamliners). The configuration is 2-4-2. Ergonomic seats are 19.3 inches wide and have a 38-inch seat pitch and extra-wide armrests.

Along with an upgraded food service, other onboard Premium Economy perks include noise-canceling head phones, Erno Laszlo or THANN amenity kits, large down pillows and soft quilts.

If you can swing it, check out Premium Economy on EVA Air.

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 (less expensive), 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 rating and safety record

Other travelers like EVA Air too.

The World Airline Awards have rated it one of the 10 best airlines in the world.

EVA Air is also one of top 20 safest airlines to fly in the world, according to AirlineRatings.com.

China Airlines vs EVA Air?

Both airlines are based out of Taipei in Taiwan.

But China Airlines has a 4-star airline rating, according to Skytrax, whereas EVA Air has a 5-star airline rating for its onboard product and service (e.g., cabin and seat cleanliness, entertainment and attention to cabin safety).

We had a choice, and we picked EVA Airlines.

EVA Air Economy review: Bottom line?

So, is EVA Air good?

EVA Air won our loyalty, and we’d definitely fly with them again.

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More airline reviews

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We paid full fares for our economy tickets both times we flew round-trip with EVA Air and didn’t receive any special discounts. Nor has the airline paid us to write this EVA Airlines review or influenced us in any way here. This post consists simply of our own independent, unbiased thoughts and views. Images are courtesy EVA Air.


Have you flown EVA Air? What was your experience? Do you prefer flying on Asian airlines rather than North American carriers?


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Anide

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

I flew with EVA last year November from Toronto to Taipei, round trip, business class. Without a doubt, the service was excellent. Can't compare with any North America airline, not only because it was business. I had flown with EVA on Economy also two years back and service was also also impressed. Crews were polite and always with pleasant smiles, just made you feel relaxed and the trip more enjoyable. I would definitely fly with EVA again.

Janice and George

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Thanks for letting us know – next time, we'd like to try their business class! Though, like the rest of the world, we'll likely have to wait a little while before traveling again :-).

Jim Williams

Saturday 13th of July 2019

Check the seat layout of the 777-300. You will see that the Premium (extra) Economy Seats are 2-4-2 vs 3-4-3. Which makes for more room than regular economy.

Janice and George

Sunday 14th of July 2019

Thanks, Jim! The Premium Economy seats look much nicer than the regular economy seats. They would naturally be more comfortable! We'll update the post to add this information. Thanks for alerting us :-).

CJ Crystal

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

Just flew with them, i love theirfood , and the taiwan terminal. repeat customer here for sure.

Janice and George

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

Thanks for letting us know. In this day when we hear of (and have) so many negative flying experiences, it's nice when you have a pleasant one, isn't it?

ishwar

Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

Myself and family say Eva air is SUPERB... professional... flight attendant... look at their friendly smile.{all d time}.give you more comfort... highly recommended...

Janice and George

Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

Glad to hear you've enjoyed flying with EVA Air :-).

RIENZIE MARTINESZ

Saturday 25th of November 2017

I am planning to fly on EVAAIR from Toronto to Taipei next week. Very interested to discover what they could offer different to other airlines.

Janice and George

Saturday 25th of November 2017

Hope you have a good trip! We'll be interested to hear how you like the airline (or not) -- let us know :-)

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