I had the opportunity to travel to Chongqing, China with my university’s Community Field Experience program. It had been over eight months since I experienced ANA First Class from San Fransisco to Tokyo and I was very excited to try out another world class airline.
Prior to booking this flight I was looking into economy flights on Air China, which started at roughly $640 roundtrip. I asked Tyler if there was anything available on points that could get me to my destination for less, including taxes and fees. We found this great flight through Los Angeles to Taipei that came to a fraction of the cost of an economy flight and I would be able to experience EVA Business Class (secretly hoping for the Hello Kitty airplane). I would later make a connection on Shenzhen Airlines to my final destination in Chongqing!
EVA Air’s business class on their Boeing 777 is reverse herringbone in a 1-2-1 configuration, with 22 seats in the front cabin and 16 in the rear. Reverse herringbone seats offer a lot of privacy and are similar to what are found on Air Canada and Cathay Pacific on their long haul aircraft. While I would have preferred the smaller cabin in the back, all window seats were booked. I selected seat 5A, a window seat in the forward of the two cabins.
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I arrived to LAX on a delayed Air Canada flight coming in from Vancouver (a separate ticket booked using Aeroplan market fare rewards, since fixed mileage seats weren’t available). Though it was a very full flight (the Disneyland Express), it was smooth sailing after the delayed take off.
Once we landed in Los Angeles I had to run to the Tom Bradley International Terminal and check in to my EVA flight. Check in was quick and easy and I was able to get through the security line without any issues. I would have liked to have more time to explore the beautiful Star Alliance lounge, but after a small bite and a quick drink, it was time to head to the gate. Check out a comprehensive review of the lounge by James Dozer to see why it’s a favourite amongst frequent flyers!
When I arrived at the gate I was called to the counter, as they had forgotten to give me the new luggage tags I was checking in. Shortly after that, they called for boarding!
EVA Air 15
Los Angeles (LAX) – Taipei (TPE)
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Arrive: 5:39am (+1 day)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 5A (Business Class)
Boarding was on time and very smooth, and I was one of the first passengers on the plane. I was greeted by a very pleasant flight attendant who walked me to seat 5A.
I found the configuration of the seats to be great for privacy, and spacing was good in the shoulders and foot area!
Space was not an issue on this flight, and as someone that is only 5’9″, I found the amount of leg room to be very comfortable in any seating position.
The in-flight entertainment remote was located next to the power source, headphone jack and reading light. There was also a storage compartment for small items and a water bottle. The seat storage was good, but everything had to be stowed in the overhead bin for takeoff and landing.
At first glance, the seat controls seemed to be confusing, but this could have been due to the time of day it was and how long I had been awake, as they were very easy to use when I decided to take a proper look.
Once relaxed, I was super excited to see the Rimowa amenity kit that was placed at my seat. Tyler and I are always talking about which airlines offer these amenity kits, so I was quite pleased to get one, and in this colour!
The contents of the amenity kit included a comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, eye mask and a couple of products by Harnn (a lip balm and body moisturizer). While not crazy about the contents, I sure love the kit!
I decided to change into the provided pyjamas prior to departure for more comfort, and knowing I would be sleeping shortly after the meal service. Upon returning to my seat, I was offered a glass of water, a warm towel and a Godiva chocolate!
We departed pretty much right on time, and meal service started right after the seatbelt sign was turned off. To begin, the flight attendants came around to each seat with a table cloth and a very nice menu. I really liked the touch of the printed table cloth (a lot nicer than the white square you get on most flights, or the ugly blue Tyler got on his United Polaris flight). The beverage menu was extensive and offered a good variety for any mood.
Menus were distributed before the flight and offered a good selection of western and Asian options. After having a cultural dining experience on my ANA flight from San Francisco to Tokyo, I decided to go with the western option!
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EVA Royal Laurel Business Class served some of the most delicious food I have eaten period. The menu was not huge but they offered some amazing options.
I started meal service with a glass of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006. Over the years, EVA has served Krug and Dom Perignon, which is better than what most airlines serve in first class (according to price, anyways). While Veuve Clicquot does not have the same brand recognition as the others, it was one of the smoothest I have tasted. I enjoyed the first glass with an appetizer of shrimp with avocado coulis and walnut cauliflower tartlet (so tasty). The cabin crew could not have been better throughout the service!
After enjoying the appetizer and champagne I was excited to try the alaskan king crab leg with avocado and corn salsa, and yes, it did taste as amazing as it sounds.
For my main course, I decided to continue on the seafood train, so I went with the steamed seabass with seasonal vegetables and egg fried rice. The fish was cooked well and the vegetables seasoned nicely!
For dessert I had the fruit & earl grey mousse with crunchy pearls, which was a delicious way to wrap up the entire meal. All around I was very happy with the dinner and the Veuve Clicquot champagne. Actually, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it if I tried.
Now that dinner service was done, I decided it was time to get comfortable, have my bed made, and check out the in flight entertainment. But first, the lavatory! While fairly standard, the bathroom was kept spotless the entire flight, and featured nice touches like the fresh flower by the door.
I returned back to my seat ready to relax and check out the provided noise cancelling headphones, which blocked out the majority of noise in the cabin. The in-flight entertainment wasn’t as good as North American carriers, but I was glad to see some recently released movies that were just in theatres (including Lion, though not recommended for airplane viewing if you have any sort of emotions).
A few movies in and I was starting to get a bit hungry, so I decided to order a late night snack! The instant noodles were calling my name and they did not disappoint (especially served with a mimosa – a weird combination for sure).
After my noodles I fell asleep and could not have slept better with the fully flat bed! The bedding was just right, with a comfortable pad, warm duvet, and supportive pillow. One complaint is how hot the cabin felt, though this seems to be standard on a lot of Asian airlines. After a few (very needed) hours of sleep, I woke up with enough time for breakfast! I ordered the fresh fruit and carrot juice as a starter and the cornbread french toast with roasted peach and pecan blueberry maple syrup as my main.
After breakfast was done, I went to the lavatory to change out of the pyjamas. I returned to my seat to discover the bedding had been cleaned up and my seat was in its upright position for landing, ready for our descent into Taipei.
This was a great flight! The cabin crew, seat, and food and beverage options exceeded any expectations. My anticipation for this flight was high, and I was not disappointed at all! Highlights of the flight:
- The cabin crew was amazing! Even when they thought they had ran out of champagne, they were apologetic and somehow were able to find another bottle on the plane.
- The meal services were fantastic, with good menu options, delicious food, and top service from all crew.
- The fully flat bed long enough to easily find a comfortable sleeping position, and the bedding was high quality.
- Rimowa amenity kit, need I say more?!
I would recommend EVA Air to anyone I know, and am so glad I had the opportunity to fly with them (before Tyler even)! For 75,000 Aeroplan points and less than $20 in taxes/fees, this was a great award redemption and can’t wait to try them again in the future!
Want to try it for yourself? Consider applying for The American Express Platinum Card in Canada to earn 60,000 Membership Reward points as a welcome bonus -almost enough for a one-way business class flight from North America to anywhere in Asia!