Boeing 747-400 (Registration: B-16401)
Taipei, Taiwan (TPE) to Los Angeles, CA, USA (LAX)
January 4, 2005
Seat: 33H (Evergreen Deluxe/Aisle)
Gate: C5 (Terminal 2)
Scheduled vs. Actual
Departure: 01/04 11:55 PM vs. 01/05 12:00 AM
Arrival: 01/04 7:15 PM vs. 01/04 7:47 PM
Flight Time: 11:20 vs. 11:47
The flight arrived 32 minutes behind of schedule.
I arrived at Terminal 2 about two hours prior to departure. At the Silver Card check-in desk, I waited for one person to finish. I handed the agent my passport and e-ticket receipt. My upgrade to Evergreen Deluxe had not cleared, so I prompted to be added to the airport stand-by list. She issued my Economy Class boarding pass for 51D and an invitation to the Evergreen Lounge. My bags were issued "Evergreen Club" priority tags to Los Angeles.
Immigration and Security
The waits for immigration and security were short. There were not too many flights leaving Terminal 2 at this time of day.
I was invited to use the Business Class section of the Evergreen Lounge. I have not visited this section since January 2004, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it's new design. The seat capacity has increased, and a new gaming area, filled with several computers and Xbox consoles, was added. In addition, the new refreshment area had a larger variety of Oriental and Western food selections. A nice plus was the made-to-order IS Coffee, brewed fresh by an IS Coffee employee. However, I believe the IS Coffee was a promotional and may not be permanent. I grabbed a latte and some food while I surfed the Internet via wireless.
I arrived at the gate after making a quick call in the terminal area. They first welcomed aboard Super First Class, Super Business Class, Evergreen Club Diamond and Gold Card members. I finally boarded with the Economy Class passengers, but my boarding pass was rejected. My upgrade to Evergreen Deluxe had cleared, and I received my new boarding pass for 33H! When I showed my boarding pass to the flight attendant, she pointed me in the direction of my seat.
The aircraft was EVA's first Boeing 747-400, configured for 386 passengers. There are 142 Evergreen Deluxe seats at 37"/38" pitch. These seats remain unchanged since they were introduced in the early 1990s. A wrapped blanket and a pillow had been placed on my seat. A simple overnight amenity kit, a headset, and a menu were inside my seat pocket. I also had my own ancient PTV with 8 channels of video.
The flight attendants passed out warm towels before the doors were closed. After the doors were closed, the Chief Purser made her usual welcome message. The safety demonstration video was played while we taxied to the runway.
As we leveled off, the flight attendants passed out immigration forms for the United States. Since this was a late night flight, I was not expecting any pre-meal bar service, and I was absolutely correct. The flight attendants began meal service shortly after take-off.
First Meal - Supper
Pesto Marinated Ribbon Pasta with Diced Ham
Sauteed Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Braised Pork and Pumpkin in Yellow Bean Sauce
Haagen Dazs Ice Cream
When the cart was pushed to my aisle, I chose the Sauteed Chicken, which came piping hot. It came with a warm roll and a cold beverage. In addition, I also had the choice between red or white wines. The meal was nicely prepared and tasted good. When I was almost finished with the entree, the flight attendants passed out the cups of cookies and creme ice cream. Hot tea and coffee were also offered several times.
After the trays were collected, the flight attendants began duty free sales. I contemplated buying gifts for my friends, but I'm always getting them chocolate. I really had no idea what else to get. After the lights were turned off, I watched a movie on the TV. However, the effects of a very big shot of Vodka in the lounge was kicking in, and I felt tired. It might also be attributed to the late night departure of this flight. I slept through most of the flight, and I wasn't aware whether the flight attendants did drink rounds. I am under the impression that cup noodles are not offered on flights departing from Taipei to L.A.
Second Meal - Refreshment
Chinese Green Salad
Stir Fried Rice with Shrimp
Cheese Maccaroni with Beef Meat Balls
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
Almond Mocha Mousse
Service about five minutes after the lights were turned on. Hot towels were passed out and drinks were served from trays. A short while later, the carts were pushed out. I opted for the Stir Fried Rice with Shrimp, and it was okay. How great can friend rice be anyway? The portions were crazy though; there was a lot of fried rice! There were several rounds of hot tea and coffee just like the previous meal.
Prior to Landing
Once we began our descent, the flight attendants collected the headsets. Little Vitamin C candies were passed out. Even though its a small move, its a nice touch that I always enjoy. Final safety checks were completed before the flight attendants returned to their jumpseats.
We landed in LAX a little behind schedule. I was one of the first Evergreen Deluxe passengers to leave after the Super First and Super Business Class passengers. However, it took quite a while for my bags to arrive on the carousel even though they were tagged with Evergreen Club Priority.
In general, it was a nice flight. I welcomed the upgrade at the gate even though I thought my chances were slim. However, I am concerned that EVA Air is removing priority baggage handling for Silver Card members. I do recommend Evergreen Deluxe for any budget-minded traveler who would like a decent seat on a long-haul flight.