celestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 449 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12189 times:
I am sorry as I still have not figured out how to load photo into my trip report. (If someone can send a simple, line by line instruction, I promised to do so on my next report! email@example.com)
MARCH 25th 2013
TPE to JKF
Well, let me started off by saying that I am not a big fan of EVA. I flew it because it departed out of Taiwan where I am based. I flew it this time because I was just a short trip from renewing for another 2 years of Gold member status. If time allows, I rather take the Cathay flight even I have to head South before heading North to USA. This is the first leg of my trip, I proceeded to Boston the next day after I arrived at JFK. With over 120,000 miles, I was to use them for my family vacation but Aveney, my daughter told me that she would prefer CX! I am not sure why a 9 years old can have that sentiment, maybe she has been hearing so much good words from me about how good CX is! OK, I will take that upgrade by burning up some miles on my own.
Heading off to airport after work with a brief stop at home to pick up my luggage. Not that much for a short 6 days trip. I forgot to mention that I took EVA because I had to pick up a bicycles (TREK) in LA area before heading back. It would be too risky to have that extra size luggage, having to make a transit in HK.
For those familiar with EVA AIR, this is one of the two airlines in Taiwan. If there is one single thing that EVA outshines, it must be the safety record, as compared with CHINA AIRLINES. However, if you are looking for an experience of a true international standard of great Asian Airlines, you would be disappointed, firstly by the standard of service, and all other things included, probabl with the exception of in-flight entertainment, which is quite good by all standard.
Greetings at the check-in was as robotic as it can be. I requested an upgrade and was told that the only available C class seat, which I asked for a window seat, was at the last rows. I asked if ground staff was able to check around or make a note on this request should seats become available, there was no reply. After seeing him working on the computer for some time, I thought miracles happen. It did not. What bothersome was the ground crew printed out the boarding pass to me, smiling all the way and me, being not that familiar with seating chart, thought things are sorted out. Well, it did not. I hate to say this, but that is exactly what EVA AIR service attitude is, they are not good at handling special request or providing a solution to an issue that customer ask. If you have no preference, or, if you have not flown with other premium airlines, you are the perfect customer for EVA AIR. Sometime I wonder, if that is because of the history of EVA being a freight service provider. They have cleared SOP and they wish every passenger is like a freight, don't ask, don't request, we will get you to the final destination!
The lounge at Taiwan Taoyuan airport for EVA went through a huge renovations. Kudos to the new decoration, particularly the lighting and the furniture, put them close to world standard. The food offered was as terrible as before. Sometimes I wish the management had the chance to experience themselves. It is a pity that they are willing to spend on the hardwares but often failed to look at the details. Look at CX, all lounges worldwide are decorate to the same theme and each and every details are there. The shower room was a welcome change at EVA. Restored beautifully (Damned, I took several photos but was not able to share it!), this shower room was clean and spacious. However, the shower floor was slippery and true, there is a mat next to the entrance door corner. I think sooner or later, someone is going to sue EVA for causing injury because of the slippery floor as there is no obvious sign to warn you! Be careful if you plan to use them. Still, I recommend this shower experience. I always took a shower before long trip to make myself relaxed and readied to sleep.
For the very few times (1 out of my last 15 trips I believe), this flight leaves on time! This is so precious as this was often not the case. Boarding again was disorganized. Premium passenger do get to board but there was no straight enforcement. Again, ground crews are nonchalant about your boarding experience. I got to my last row of seat, albeit with some disappointment.
The fully flat seat installed on some of the EVA AIR B777 is the same type like the new CX seat with some minor differences. A word of caution, since it is being angled off the center, there is an unequalled amount of leg room extension depend on which side of the plane you seat is. In my case, my seat as J or K row and I do have longer leg on my right than my left. Kind of discomfort but that is still minor issue.
One thing I missed a lot, was the pre-flight briefing that captain will give. EVA only do that, in some cases, before landing where the pilot would give a very brief announcement, often less cheerful or engaging, most of the time, difficult to understand English. Even in Mandarin, I sometimes cannot understand what he is trying to say, let alone it was always short and sounds very unwilling. I enjoyed the CX pilot briefing, even though some of which can be Scottish or Australian accent English but it was always very personal, very warming and very reassuring. It makes you think that the Pilots are having a good time and they will make sure you feel the same way.
The flight was uneventful, heading north after took off, flying and eventually to 37000 feet, on a path between South Korea and Japan West Coast, before crossing over to catch the jet streams. Only on return journey from JFK would EVA took the Polar route - this is quite the same as CX flight path. Talking about the favorite subject in TR, food. I chose Beef and it was served in the most smallest size possible with some Japanese sea salt on the side. It was BAD. No taste and overcooked. The salt for dipping did not help either. I had to ask for the other main dish - which is another overcooked piece of duck and I ask if I can just have the duck and rice minus the other vegetable etc, I was told NO! I was surprised because it is obvious that the meal were prepared by the FA in the kitchen and why she insist it has to be a full set? Anyway, too tired to argue, I ate it. I simply do not understanding how can food be so bad in the business class where you pay full price and premium for it. I did tell the FA and the standard answer was we are sorry and we will note this down! I am not bashing but I have heard enough of this reply that sometimes, I am not sure if providing feedback makes any sense - and yes, they will send you questinaire in email asking your feedback and it was like a letter down the drain as there is always no follow-up. I have since deleted such email. The salad was nothing to write home about either.
I did enjoy the movies and I managed to watched two in total. Throughout the flight, FA did some drinks run, and just like the case of my previous flight, they do not proactively pick up your used cups and you have to hand them over! Well, what can I say, even in business class, such is the practise.
Overall, I want to summarize this as a typical EVA AIR flight. I sincerely wish they can do more to improve their soft touches and believe me, I have tried hard and things are not happening. My return flight from LAX on Economy Deluxe was about the same, bad food, standard service, no pick-up of cups, except my Vietnamese FA crew was kind enough to provide some cheerful eye contact during servicing - which is rare and need to be treasured.
I will fly EVA AIR if I need to be. If I have a choice, I will not. I certainly will not be paying the Business Class fare on EVA AIR.
It is a pity for EVA because at times, I could feel that they want to improve themselves and are willing to spend money but such effort often fall short of reaching that goal, which to me, is sometimes, frustrating.
To summon up, if you do not expect too much, EVA AIR is a good choice. If you do, service fall short of even CHINA AIR standard. Ironically, flying out of Taiwan to Europe or USA, EVA AIR charges a premium over CX for a transit at HK. In terms of going to Europe, it does not make a difference between EVA has to stop over at BKK.
Thanks for reading. Again, please help me. A picture is more than thousand words. Help me and teach me how to load up photos (I think I need to shrink down the resolution when I upload to Flickr - my JPEC were 4.5MB each!)
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 662 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 12087 times:
Thanks for sharing. A nice insight into EVA Air's trans-pacific service. I have always wanted to try flying EVA Air one day. I thought they outshines CI in both "safety and comfort" but apparently from your report this was not the case.
I have flown CI before and I feel that my experience is quite similar to yours. They did provide the basic service, although it was a bit robotic, however on my particular flight the crew's command of English were better than what I expected. But for the deal I got on the flight, I guess it was value for money.
Quoting celestar (Thread starter): I was to use them for my family vacation but Aveney, my daughter told me that she would prefer CX! I am not sure why a 9 years old can have that sentiment
Haha, I think your daughter may have similar interest on reviewing airlines too! Anyway, back when I was 9 CX was my favorite airline , although now it has been a really long time since I flew with them.
Quoting celestar (Thread starter): Again, please help me. A picture is more than thousand words. Help me and teach me how to load up photos (I think I need to shrink down the resolution when I upload to Flickr - my JPEC were 4.5MB each!)
About posting photos into your account, firstly it is recommended for you to re-size your pictures before posting it into photo-sharing websites like flickr, or photobucket. Personally I used photobucket more often on posting TRs.
On photobucket you can click on one of the pictures, and see the "Image links" of the particular pictures, located at the right hand side of the photo. Select the IMG code (as circled) and paste the highlighted link into your a-net forum post.
Hopefully this helps, if you have further questions don't hesitate to PM my a-net account. Thanks and will be looking forward for your next TR.
christao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 954 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12004 times:
Hmm... sorry you didn't have a good experience with BR. I've actually found their staff extremely helpful at handling special requests and on several trips with them, they went out of their way to solve problems for me. But, I guess we each have our own experiences.
I do agree about the pilot announcements, though. Never understood why the first and only time we hear from the pilots is in the final hour before landing.
celestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11909 times:
Hi Guys, thanks for the feedback. I was a little worried about the tone of my TR, thinking it might be too dark to offend some EVA lovers! Granted, keeping it safe is one of the basic requirement and I can't fault EVA.
I have a simple conclusion with EVA, if things are smooth (meaning nothing happen), you will like them much. If you run into a problem where one need to be creative in solving, well, you might just pray to your GOD and forget about it!
Hi Dirttraveller, not sure when was your last trip with CI, but if you have a chance to do so, you will notice the difference. I flew between Taiwan and China regularly and sometime, I should say everytime, the service and food from CI beats BR. I am not the only one but the person from my team feel the same way. On the side, most of the FA on the CI flight are so attractive and absoutely nice skin look, all combined, make the trip with CI to be quite wonderful, provided they are safe of course!
I thank you very much for your instruction and I plan to do this with photo on my next trip.
Speaking about English skill, not only are the pilots on EVA, in general, do not like to talk to the passenger, even the FA manager (Chief Pursor) English was so terrible that I often wish they finish their announcement quickly. Not that I like Angel voice but common, when we truly need a clear announcement in English for emergency, I for sure would like to be properly be told what to do!
If I put CX as 10/10 as a reference, CI is around 7/10, and EVA is barely at 6/10 - again personal opinion, no offense.
dirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 662 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11870 times:
Quoting celestar (Reply 3): Hi Dirttraveller, not sure when was your last trip with CI, but if you have a chance to do so, you will notice the difference. I flew between Taiwan and China regularly and sometime, I should say everytime, the service and food from CI beats BR.
My last trip was on 2010. I have no chance to fly on BR yet, and probably after I have done so, then I could even notice the difference. Hopefully I will have the chance to get on board BR someday soon.
I am sure there were many factors that might cause my flight to be below average (and probably it might not represent the entire CI). But so far, I found CI is satisfactory and I have nothing against flying them again, given the price is right.
Quoting celestar (Reply 3): On the side, most of the FA on the CI flight are so attractive and absoutely nice skin look, all combined, make the trip with CI to be quite wonderful
Haha, I have to agree with you on this one.
Quoting celestar (Reply 3): I thank you very much for your instruction and I plan to do this with photo on my next trip.
You're welcome! Hopefully you find the steps helpful on making your next trip report. Looking forward to it!
CdnCactus From Canada, joined Mar 2013, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11471 times:
That's very interesting how inconsistent BR can be. My flights with them between YVR - TPE have historically all been quite excellent in terms of service. Consider my first-ever trans-pacific flight was with AE (I believe Mandarin Airlines was the first to fly direct between YVR-TPE...does anyone else remember? Or am I too old?) I had no problems switching to CI, but ultimately went with BR because I got older and broken down and needed Premium Economy.
My extended family complained about BR's service between TPE/BKK/CDG though, once in a while.
But two things I don't particularly like about BR, and you've pointed them out:
1) Lack of pilot greeting/briefing: maybe I'm used to the North American ways of doing things, but I'd prefer to hear who the heck's up there flying us in this big metal tube. (as an aside: that's how I found out I've flown WS with "Two Steves" THREE TIMES) To date I've never heard the BR pilots during the beginning (purser makes the announcement instead) other than "10,000" when we reach the height - which begs the question why do we need to hear that?
2) BR catering: bland. Hey at least they are consistent about it!
I'll continue to fly BR trans-pacific, but what's an a.nutter without sampling the myriad of Asian airlines when and while I'm there?
I used to like EVA Economy deluxe class a lot, back in the old days of 747 Combi. Not only does the seat recline, it was sufficiently wide and the place they put this class, starting from the nose of the main desk, was a luxury one can ill afford.
With the 777, they introduced the newer Deluxe class which really look good and inviting on the photo, was horrible to seat on. As a start, the seat lack depth, (Cushion position is too high) and when they recline, the whole seat actually pivoted itself on the same axis of recline, which put your legs up in the most uncomfortable position ever! The leg rest might as well get deleted as it served no purpose at all! The only improvement, as I can attest, is the much improved AVOD.
Mandarin airline is the subsidiary of China Airlines. They were formed primarily to serve new destination and also at that time, to dilute the political tension between the Taiwan Straits. We can say, it is a business disaster. Mandarin airlines, I believe only have a handful of aircraft, notably the ERJ 190. Some flights to China destination actually use Mandarin (AE) but flown by CI plane and crew. (It is funny when the FA make the in-flight announcement and very often than not, use CI and corrected itself by AE later) Rumor has it that China Airlines might rebrand Mandarin into a low cost, no frill alternative, to face off competition from AIR ASIA and others! I missed the MD11 with Mandarin Airlines. My girlfriend (now my wife) flew on one to SFO to meet up with me from Taiwan and I still vividly remember that.
Yes, BR food is bad and you are right about that. I am not asking for 5 star food but just decent quality and quantity and I think CX is much better. They are not opulent but sufficient enough to make you feel that they care about.
As for CI, I really like them a lot but I still worry about their safety record. Bad image takes long time to dilute.
Do you know the BR President is the son of the chairman of EVA AIR group (Mr. Chang). He was fired because, against his father will, he married a FA and was asked to leave EVA for some time before being recall back, finishing his term of 'exile'
Mr Chang (Jr) is a avid aviation fan. He himself is a qualified B777 pilot and I actually had flown in one of the flight to Paris under his command. Mr. Chang cares and it shows in the recent investment and addition of new aircraft, A330-300, A321 and more B777 but I think he is a technocrat in nature and need to understand, Airline industry is about service not just hardware. Family business in Taiwan is hard to accept changes, I guess. I have a friend who is a FA with EVA. From talking with her, I realize most of the problems, we as passenger see, are rooted in the poor training they received, from a hospitality point of view. EVA AIR previous pride itself as recruiting non-college graduate for FA, because they expect FA to do chores not serving. They choose the most ugliest women they can find in Taiwan and molded them according to EVA AIR way. It still shows, if you happen to see older FA on flight, their appearance is not going to inspire you much at miles high! However, I have noticed their younger FA are much prettier and nicer, more self-assured.
legacyins From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 11066 times:
Nice report. I flew BR in RL class a few weeks ago from LAX-TPE ( my report might still be on this site) and found the menue to be substandard. The seats were hard also to sleep on and I wrote a note suggesting a sleeping pad be offered.
They will soon be in the *A group and will offer another way to earn miles.
CdnCactus From Canada, joined Mar 2013, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 11052 times:
I've only ever flown BR premium economy in their trusty old 747-400 (not combi) because that's all they send to YVR. I've spotted some 777-300ER but only in summer. The seats for 744 are very comfortable for me though; are they not the same type of seats?
Believe me when I say I am very easy to please when it comes to airline food, but some BR meals were so bland as to be unpalatable. I'm not one to put more salt and seasoning on top so I am hooped. I have to mention that couple of times when I nicely pointed out to the FA the quality of the meal can be improved (and making clear to them I know they probably can't do much about it), the ladies either quietly offered to give me a different selection, or they'd try to make it up by bring me other tidbits to chow on for the rest of the flight. Like any other airlines there are some excellent employees, and I wish they can be in charge!
Regarding AE, I've always regretted not being able to remember which plane flew me direct to TPE for the first time in 1992. Now that you've mentioned it, I think it WAS a tri-holer...
Neither am I particular about airline food but sometime, it just fall down the cliff.
Yes, the premium economy seat on 747 was different than the current 777. Having said so, the current economy class seat on 777 was much better than the 747! I often downgraded myself to economy, if there are extra seat available at the back.
Yes, your observation about FA matches exactly what I am experiencing. I was told by an insider within EVA AIR that because I had voiced so much 'feedback', they had me marked as "special customer" which I was not too happy. It is like BIG BROTHER watching you.
Having said that, I think EVA AIR air crew are among the best. On this trip, I was taking a break at the smoking lounge where an EVA AIR pilot dropped in for a shot! Not the best place to see pilot and I had talked/seen with MAS/SQ pilot etc. He was very nice and share with me some information as he was indeed the relief pilot on this very flight. He told me that they will not fly in this case, over 37000 feet, as I commented I had been on flight were the cruising altitude almost above 40000 feet! He also told me about the Polar flight route they flew. As a response to my comment about how nice 777 was to fly, he smiled and put a very interesting remark " I think all Boeing planes are a pleasure to fly" That would really put some salt on AIRBUS lover not to mention EVA also have a fleet of AIRBUS plane! Interesting fellow. Seems relaxed. Actually his English was not that bad at all!
chiawei From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 958 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 10931 times:
I agree somewhat that BR service is subpar as compare to other Asian carrier. But i don't think its worse than CX.
I fly over 140k miles a year in J. I found CX to be more robotic and generally vary their service depends on the traveler (upgrade vs paying J passenger).
Food wise, i think both CX and BR are pathetic with exception that CX has slightly better snack.
SQ has gone down hill as well. Satay is now gone. On my flight last friday, the dim sum was over done and stuck together. The only reason that I insist on flying them is i like the seats much better. Ground staff in changi is the worst i have ever experienced. I usually travel in short and t-shirt. Last time i was checking in at changi, the lady told me that the gold card check in is next aisle, this is business. So because i dress lite, i am not a business class passenger. I always find singaporean among the worst in stereotyping others. So changi is the airport that I really have distaste.
But service wise, KE is the best among the asian carrier.
Your comment on CX was quite a surprise as I regularly get upgrade and I did not notice the difference in service. Your comment about Singaporean stereotyping is very much in agreement granted that I am not really a 100% native born Singaporean.having said that, I do agree that SQ service was never to my taste. To me, punctuality on departure time, consistent product and service are ability to solve and deal with issues, are keys to my rating. I sometime pity EVA because the FA are not being both the authority nor the hardware to perform their service, much like some mainland Chinese carrier, where occasionally, I was greeted with cheerful service and personality but aside from that , those flight offered nothing to serve customer - you would be hard pressed to even get a decent cup of coffee!
I am not sure about KE as I had flown them once from Incheon to Tokyo. My serious issue, and I am not kojing
, was I cannot figure out who was serving me, as they all look artificially alike!
tommy525 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 10363 times:
I have lurked a lot on these forums and TR involving Taiwanese airlines are of interest to me. As I grew up in Taiwan and am half Taiwanese.
I enjoyed your TR, and i totally agree about not liking the lack of interaction between flight deck and us passengers. Not long ago just did a long trip with EVA myself. I think they are better then the American airlines but sub par compared with SQ and CX in general. Ci has better service but I too worry about their bad reputation. Ci might be better off renaming itself entirely.
However, I do think you are being very rude about EVA stewardesses though. I know Taiwan has many many beautiful women and while not all EVA stewardesses are stunningly pretty. Everyone of them are attractive and fit. NONE Of them are ugly or the ugliest girls in Taiwan as you say. Many of them are actually very beautiful ! That has been my personal experience. And I am a very experienced girl watcher. My ex girlfriend flew for CX for many years and my cousin flew for NWA as a stewardess for many years too. It is a very hard job. Please dont disrespect stewardesses in this manner. It much lowers my opinion of you.
And I would question why you would even fly EVA since you dislike them quite a lot it would appear from this TR.
I shared with your background in the sense that I was born in Taiwan and grew up in Singapore.
Technically, I am a Singaporean.
I agree with you that perhaps, CI should change its name completely to draw a line across their dubious past.
As for your feedback on my comment, I took it and apologize if it sounds offensive to someone. I thought I was making a very general comment without specific mentioning of name but again, I suppose, it could be rude and I took that in my mind.
For the obvious reason why I continue to fly EVA AIR, one, company regulation, two, it cut short of my travel time to USA. To take CX, I would have to go backwards to HK and then north or east ward. For Europe route, yes, I will take CX most of the time, for obvious reason that both CI or BR need a stop at BKK, it is almost same as CX having a stop in HK.
The main reason is that on certain business trip, my company insist on BR, for whatever reasons. I hope this answer your question.
One last thing, I really hoping that EVA AIR could be better and I have tried many ways to do so to no avail.
tommy525 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10311 times:
Well one could say we both are Taiwanese as we are both MADE IN TAIWAN. LOL. Although I take it you hold Singapore citizenship , and i hold a US passport.
I feel bad that you are stuck with EVA, try not to make life hard for the girls though because of that? I own no EVA shares and have no friends that work for EVA so I am not being biased. IN fact I have friends that work for China Airlines, EVA's main rival.
I think its ok to criticize the food or the seats, or the music or other hardware. And one can even say the service sucks if one feels that way but to personally insult EVA girls as among the ugliest in Taiwan is very low. I am sure you didnt quite mean it this way.
But it doesnt gain you fans really. Many people, myself included have seen EVA girls to be, at worst plain and many are very pretty. I wonder if you would be embarashed if the next EVA cabin crew you found yourself with read this forum and your thoughts about them. I dont think you would like that.
palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1232 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10291 times:
celestar - thanks for your report and I hope you've been able to sort out your photos for the next report?!
Interesting to read about your experiences with EVA. I flew with them a few years back on shorter sectors (both on the A332) and had a similar experience in the sense that the meals we were served were somewhat uninspiring and not incredibly tasty. However, the crews were very friendly and the flights were on time. I also love the A332 so I was a happy camper.
I also agree that no interaction from the cockpit with passengers is a real negative in my books. I experienced this on my China Southern flights and it's the first time in flying for over 25 years that there's been no word from the cockpit at all on a longhaul flight that I've taken. It's quite unnerving. If it's a language issue, I'd rather the announcement was still made in the cockpit crew's native language and then at least translated by a crew member - this happens frequently on other flights I've taken in the past.
celestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10226 times:
Hi Palmjet, I could not load the photo and will take all the heeds and try to do so on my next trip.
There is nothing fundamental wrong about EVA, it is just they fail to reach a higher level as they should be.
I was surprised but based on my frequency of travel, it was never on time to depart. Somehow, due to some adjustment on travel time, they almost always arrive on time! Ha Ha....
Hi Tommy525, I may have a slip of tongue on my comment about the physical outlook of EVA FA which I took that back. Your comments and continue comment on this point was overwhelming to say the least. I want peace on this subject. As to whether you think you and I are both Made in Taiwan, that is a subject that I cannot sometimes comment or agreed.
I will continue to fly EVA AIR and always hope their service can be more consistent and improving!