Boeing 747-400 (Registration: B-16411)
Taipei, Taiwan (TPE) to Los Angeles, CA, USA (LAX)
September 19, 2004
Seat: 13C (Super Business/Aisle)
Gate: C5 (Terminal 2)
Scheduled vs. Actual
Departure: 09/19 6:40 PM vs. 09/19 6:45 PM
Arrival: 09/19 3:50 PM vs. 09/19 3:58 PM
Flight Time: 12:10 vs. 12:13
The flight arrived 8 minutes behind of schedule.
I arrived at the airport about 1 hour prior to departure. The Business Class line was virtually empty, and I only had to wait for the previous person to finish. Earlier in August, I called EVA Reservations to use 30,000 miles for the upgrade from Evergreen Deluxe to Super Business Class. The agent issued a boarding pass and a lounge invitation. She also tagged my three bags to LAX with Priority tags.
Immigration and Security
Immigration was extremely smooth. There were about five people per line, and the officers were efficient. Security was even better, unlike the TSA. My laptop stayed where it belonged--inside its case. Best of all, my shoes never left my feet.
There were two agents greeting passengers once I entered. One of them looked at my invitation and invited me to the First Class section. She explained that the Business Class section was crowded. The First Class section looked full, and it took me some time to find an empty seat. The table was unclean, and there were empty plates and cups. No one ever came to clean up, so I just piled my plates and cups next to the mess. The First Class section had a nicer food selection, including a vegetarian section. We could also get made-to-order items, like dumplings and noodles. Unfortunately, they called boarding for my flight, so I did not get a chance to order.
Before entering the gate area, an agent checked my passport and my boarding pass. The flight had already begun boarding Evergreen Deluxe and Economy Class passengers. I could have cut the line, but I decided to wait. The agent ran my boarding pass through the machine and welcomed me aboard. I made a wrong choice and decided to enter through door 1L. I had to fight across several Evergreen Deluxe passengers to get to the stairs. Once I arrived upstairs, I showed the flight attendant my boarding pass, and she walked me to my seat and placed my boarding pass on the armrest.
The aircraft was a Boeing 747-400 configured with 368 seats. There are 32 Super Business Class seats at 46"/47" pitch. All the Super Business Class seats are located in the upper deck with a 2-2 abreast configuration. The seat was electronically controlled although there was only simple recline and leg rest. The PTV screen was small and featured only eight channels. A pillow and a comforter were already placed on seat. Noise-canceling headsets, an overnight amenity kit, and slippers were in the seat pocket. There was also a bottle of water under the armrest.
After I was seated, a flight attendant came around with a tray of drinks. She offered me two choices: orange juice or water. I chose the orange juice, which came in a nice glass. Another flight attendant passed out cold wet towels. After the used towels were collected, the menus and wine lists were distributed. Later, a flight attendant came around addressing each passenger by last name and took drink orders. I ordered the Evergreen Special cocktail. The safety demonstration video was played. However, only the tiny screen located in the very front was used, so no one saw anything.
We reached cruising altitude and the flight attendants sprung into action. My Evergreen Special cocktail came with a nice pack of mixed nuts and rice crackers. When I finished my drink and snack, a flight attendant came and collected my empty cup and trash. She asked if I would like another cocktail. I kindly declined. I flipped out my PTV, but I found out my control was jammed. I told a flight attendant, and she said she would take a look. Shortly, my system was working again. The flight attendants then passed out tablecloths.
First Meal - Dinner
Cajun Spiced King Scallops on Cauliflower Puree and Baby Spinach Salad
Stir Fried Cod with Ginger and Celery Sauce, Kailan and Pumpkin, Steamed Rice
Pork Picatta with Herb Cream Sauce, Carrot Pumpkin and Broccoli, Potato Gnocchi Sauteed with Parsley and Crushed Peppercorn
Braised Sliced Beef Fillet with Vegetables in Red Wine Sauce, Broccoli, Butter Taglierini
Cheese and Seasonal Fruit
Baked Cheese Cake in Pomelo-Sago Coulis
UCC Freshly Brewed Coffee and Selection of Tea
Served with Godiva Chocolate
The appetizer was placed on the tray. It was excellent, and the salad dressing worked well. However, I would have preferred if we had a choice between different dressings. While I was eating the appetizer, a flight attendant asked what I would like to drink. I asked for red wine, and she asked if I would like Australian or French. I chose the French wine. From the wine list, it was Chateau de Fonbel 1996. After she poured the drink, another flight attendant introduced the breadbasket. I asked for garlic bread. She gave me two slices.
Since I was the last row, the main course trolley did not reach me until quite a while later. I chose the Braised Sliced Beef Fillet. I was really hoping for some real steak, but I guess this choice was the best one available. I spent the next twenty minutes eating my entree and sipping wine. The flight attendants later pushed out a cart and collected the trays. The cheese and fruit was pushed out. The flight attendants began serving from the front. Fortunately, they had many fruit. I chose a banana from the basket full of apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes. However, I was never asked if I would like any cheese and crackers. I felt neglected.
Later, I was directly served the cheesecake with my choice of Oolong Tea. The cheese cake was excellent, but I would have preferred ice cream. Strangely, they did not have ice cream in Business Class. I was tempted to ask for it, but I refrained. In addition, I never saw a piece of Godiva chocolate being passed out. I guess they were out of stock? Finally, after the tablecloths were collected, the flight attendants passed out a warm towel.
The blinds were closed, and the lights were dimmed a little. The Chief Purser came around taking duty free orders individually from each passenger. Later, other flight attendants came twice to take duty free orders. They did not know that their Chief Purser had already taken my order.
Later, a flight attendant asked what I would like to eat for the second meal. I chose the Chinese Style selection with Ti Kuan Ying Tea. After I received my duty free items, the lights were turned off, and we were already flying past Japan. I was tired, but some person was snoring very loudly. I know his seatmate could not sleep because she kept perking up. I watched Harry Potter 3, yet I still was not tired. I went to the galley and requested a gin martini. If I could not filter out the noise, I might as well drink my worries away. The gin martini had no effect. After what seemed like an eternity, I caught some sleep.
About five hours away from L.A., I asked the flight attendant for something to eat. She offered me crackers! I was expecting some noodles or sandwiches. In the end, I got a glass of orange juice and crackers! I was disappointed. Was I expecting too much for a 12-hour flight?
With two hours and thirty minutes left in the flight, the lights were turned on. A warm towel was passed out. Later, a drink trolley was pushed out, and I got another glass of orange juice.
Second Meal - Refreshment
A Selection of Teas
Doubled Boiled Pork Broth and Top Shell Fish with Wild Yam and Wolfberry
Dried Pork Julienne
Dried Turnip Egg Patties
Braised Mushroom and Folded Tofu
Raspberry Banana Energizer
Tea, Freshly Brewed Coffee
Choices of Bread
Served with Butter
American Pancake with Blueberry Compote, Pork Sausage, Vegetable Frittata, Roasted Tomato with Herb
I was first served the fresh fruit. For some reason, I do not remember the exact fruits, but some tasted quite good. The soup was served, and it was perfect after waking up and feeling a little cold. I was not too excited to try the shell fish, but the pork and soup was excellent. Then our tray of sides and plain congee was served. I wasn't too hungry, but I finished the congee and some of the sides. The flight attendants came around to offer second bowls of congee to the passengers who had finished. I was still eating when they passed out seconds. The trays and cloths were then collected.
Prior to Landing
We were given another warm towel. When we began our descent, the flight attendants passed out candies. They had a nice variety including Vitamin C candies and coffee candies. The noise-canceling headsets were then collected.
Like all incoming flights to Tom Bradley International Terminal, we were towed into the gate. After the seatbelt sign was turned off, I grabbed my belongings and headed downstairs. I do not remember if the flight attendants even said "Good Bye." Anyway, they apparently had herded the First Class passengers, and they disembarked first. Afterwards, I was the first Business Class passenger to leave. Immigration was smooth, and I actually had to wait for my baggage. I guess everything was too smooth.
I enjoyed my first Business Class flight on EVA Air, but I expecting so much more. The seats were outdated, and the pitch was horrendous. I have flown better on AA Business Class. The service was not very attentive or consistent, and China Airlines seems to offer better food and service. Plus, the upgrade from Evergreen Deluxe was a huge chunk of frequent flyer miles. I was actually quite dissatisfied with the flight in general, and I have written to EVA Air. We will see if they ever reply.