- Introduction: A Quick Trip to Taipei
- EVA Air Business Class Review (Royal Laurel Class) LAX-TPE
- Grand Hyatt Taipei Review
- JAL Business Class Lounge TPE
- JAL Regional Business Class Review TPE-NRT
- JAL First Class Lounge NRT Review (Sakura Lounge)
- JAL First Class (Sky Suite) Review NRT-LAX
After enjoying my time at the always wonderful Star Alliance Lounge at LAX, I headed to my gate where boarding got a late start. I boarded and was walked to my seat, much like would happen in a First Class cabin, and was seated quickly. Everything going on around me felt very rushed, which I assume was because of the late start to boarding, but I don’t think this is the norm. I kept time of long it took to board the plane and the door was closed in a whopping 22 minutes! That’s pretty quick for a plane this size.
The cabin looks nice – the seats are configured to be private and are generally very comfortable. The TV isn’t huge but doesn’t really need to be. The seat controls are intuitive and there’s a good amount of storage space around your seat. There were also some noise cancelling headphones that worked reasonably well. An interesting item was the artwork at the front of the cabin – I guess they’re trying to make it feel homey? Didn’t quite work but it was appreciated nonetheless!
I was brought an option of either water or orange juice as my pre-flight beverage, plus a hot towel. I also got a bottle of water before takeoff, which is usually something that come later in the flight but was appreciated. Take off was quick and easy and soon we were up in the air, where the flight attendants distributed the menus.
Full size images of menus:
I don’t drink alcohol, but I suppose it’s worth noting that this is the only Business Class flight that serves Dom Perignon…something that’s usually reserved for First Class cabins. The rest of the menu was pretty standard. I’d read reports that food service wasn’t the most fun experience on this flight so I was curious to see how it would work out.
I went with the Prime Beef Fillet Steak with veggies and potatoes, and everything came out slowly but there were several courses. Shortly after taking the order, everyone received a small snack to whet our appetites.
Next up was the Hors D’oeuvre (which I now realize is very hard to spell): Cauliflower Coated with Scallop and Carrot Chutney. There was also a flower.
Next up was the Spring Pea Soup, which tasted better than it looked. I also got an option of breads from a bread basket, so I grabbed one “standard” brad and one garlic bread.
Finally came the Salad, where the ranch dressing was right on top. I’d prefer it on the side, but you can’t always get what you want I guess. Good thing calories don’t count in the sky!
The service was kind of robotic. Everything came out one after the other, which I didn’t think was a bad thing because it helped speed up the service, but it also wasn’t very personal. Up to this point I hadn’t been asked if I needed anything else or a refill on my drinks. It’s not because they didn’t care – it was more a function of them being so busy with the several pre-entree courses.
Finally my main course arrived.
It tasted like most other beef dishes on an airplane – nothing special. The sides were particularly bad in my opinion and I didn’t eat much of them. Thankfully I got some veggies with the salad previous to this. My glasses were starting to empty at this point and still no refill in sight!
The next course was an option of either cheese or fruit, and the fruit was brought around on a tray. There were apples, oranges and bananas to choose from and I asked for a banana. They actually plated it for me with a knife and fork. Fancy!
Dinner finished with some good old Haagen Dazs Ice Cream.
I think the best way to describe the service was efficient. Everything came out quickly and empty plates were promptly picked up, but the flight attendants didn’t seem proactive about the service aspect of it. When I asked for my drink to be refilled it was done so promptly.
The cabin lights were dimmed after dinner and I decided to get some work done. I worked for a couple of hours before deciding to get some sleep. The seat was comfortable in all positions – I really have no complaints about any aspect of the seat. All the controls were in one spot also, which I appreciate rather than some airlines that have buttons all over the place.
I grabbed my EVA blanket and laid back for a few hours of sleep. I only slept about 3-4 hours because the guy sitting at the window seat next to me was watching something on his personal TV player (people still have those?) with the volume on FULL BLAST with no headphones. Granted the little machine could only get so loud with the hum of the airplane, but this dude is right across the aisle. Upon further inspection I found he was watching The Walking Dead. So yeah…screaming, yelling…all that. It’s pretty mind boggling that people don’t have manners or proper etiquette even in premium cabins.
After a while it was time to serve the next meal, which they were calling a “Refreshment” since it wasn’t a full meal. Note that there were also some mid-flight snack options available that I chose not to take advantage of.
I started with some bread, apple juice and a plate of fruit.
I went with the Kaya French Toast with Grilled Pineapple as the main course.
There was shaved coconut on top which kind of ruined it for me, but otherwise it was pretty decent.
Just before landing they made sure to give info on connecting flights, one of which I was technically supposed to be on but had no intention of catching.
And just like that the 14+ hour flight came to an end. It was an excellent flight overall in my opinion. While the food options aren’t spectacular, they rarely are. Service wasn’t amazing but when I asked for something I always got it promptly. Most importantly, the seat was fantastic. I didn’t feel like my feet were being squeezed like I did on the United 787 and the seat had a lot of privacy built in. If it wasn’t for an annoying guy watching TV with no headphones, I would have slept a lot longer since the seat is comfortable in all positions.
If I needed to find one thing to complain about the hard product, it would be the size and quality of the TV. Still – I didn’t really make use of it (I usually have my computer to entertain me) so it didn’t bother me and is really minor.
I think EVA is a fantastic way to get from the US to Asia or vice versa, and you can fly them using quite a few mileage currencies since they’re part of the Star Alliance. You can search and book using United miles, Aeroplan (transfer from Amex), and Avianca Taca like I did. Unfortunately the Guam Trick is no longer in play, but it can still be a good value if you buy miles at 1.5 cents each.