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! firstname.lastname@example.org)
MARCH 25th 2013
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
, 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!)