* Prices may differ from that shown
Before travelling from Bangkok in May 2008, I had never heard of EVA airlines before. However, I was keen to maximise my 3 week trip and avoid any long stop overs or transfers. EVA offers a direct service between London Heathrow and Bangkok and on the advice from the good people at Trailfinders, I was reassured that this was a large, trustworthy airline.
~ Airline Background ~
Eva, pronounced E-V-A is a Taiwanese airline, which was founded in 1989. It's main hub is in Taipei's Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and has a large presence at Kaohsiung International Airport, Taiwan and Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Although the airline is not particularly well known in the UK, the airline has a global presence operating in destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.
~Check In and Boarding~
We checked in at the airport at the good old fashioned check in desk. They had plenty of desks open and the process was quick, easy and painless. The boarding process was the same, quick and straight forward and there were staff on hand in the departure lounge at the airport to answer any of your questions and to keep you informed.
EVA use Airbus, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aero planes and it was an Boeing 777 that was used for my flight from Heathrow to Bangkok. I was in Economy and have to say that I was very impressed with the comfort of the seating and the amount of leg room on offer. My previous long haul trip was with Emirates and I felt that EVA offered the same level of comfort on this flight.
The flight attendants were excellent and very professional and provided as good an in flight service as I have had before. They would happily attend to your needs, bringing you refreshments when you asked them.
The food served on the flight was pretty average. I did not have huge expectations as I have yet to be on a flight where the food has been good. The food on the way to Bangkok the food that was offered had an Asian flavour and on the return to London it had more of a European flavour, less rice and more potatoes to go with the meat that was offered.
There was in flight entertainment in the form of a small TV in the headrest in front of you. There was a handful of channels to choose from, some showing a movie, some showing 'Entertainment' programs such as Friends. There was also music on offer and you could keep track of your flights progress on a map.
~ Frequent Flyer ~
EVA operate a frequent flier program, known as The Evergreen Club. The Evergreen club awards members for the number of miles they have flown as well as the class that they have travelled. They are generally redeemed for free flights or seat upgrades. There are 4 tiers to the Evergreen club, there are Green, Silver, Gold and Diamond. The various levels, allows you a variety of privileges, such as access to their Evergreen lounge and extra baggage allowance.
They not be the best well known airline in the UK, but they offer good customer service with comfortable and spacious aircrafts. I would highly recommend EVA to family and friends and wouldn't hesitate in flying with them again.
I went on Eva Air on the LHR-BKK route in May 2005. It was our honeymoon and I was initially a little nervous about travelling on an unknown airline. I trusted the choice by Trailfinders first and business class department. They had a special deal for a flight/hotel package for about 2 grand a person (12 nights in Thailand). After reading a few random reviews online that were mostly good, my initial worries were laid to rest.
Our wedding day came so quickly and unsurprisingly it was a stressful runup. We were so relieved and happy to be on our honeymoon. The checkin at Heathrow was confusing because there was some building work directly next to the Eva counters, we couldn't find the business class counter but there was no queue for the Evergreen class (equivalent to premium economy) so we used that one instead. We spent most of the time after checkin browsing duty free. The business lounge was a shared one with multiple airlines, it was busy but not too much so- we could have easily stayed there for a while. There are games, refreshments, interesting books, magazines, PCs etc.
The departure lounge was quite crowded and typically didn't have enough seats for everyone. There was a slight delay for takeoff, but we more than made up for it and arrived over an hour ahead of schedule.
Now for the flight-
Seats: Older style (not fully reclining) but very comfortable with leg rests and personal screens
Food and drink: Selection of oriental teas was excellent. Wide selection of wines- better than Virgin upper class IMHO. We were fed 2 meals and both were excellent. Both meals are split between Eastern and Western dishes. If you have a disposition to try oriental food, they have alright congee (rice porridge), for those wanting to stick to western food this is also good.
Entertainment system: Movies are on a loop across about 8 channels with 2 movies looping on each. The quality is not great, a couple of the channels were unwatchable due to the are lines on the screen. I guess that they running on analogue tape system which wears out after repeated usage. Noise-cancelling headphones are excellent (similar to Virgin upper class). I think that they are running an upgrade programme for their cabins in business so these problems would be ironed out in the near future.
Service: You will feel pampered- the attendants are extremely attentive to your needs.
The air attendants wear quaint aprons that you can even buy to take home!
I was more than a little sceptical when my travel agent of choice, Trailfinders, found me seats on Eva Air, for my recent trip to Thailand. I did a little research, and in general, I couldnt find any bad word against the airline. Even consumer reviews, limited as they were, all rated the airline as four stars out of five. I was attracted to flying with them as for approximately the same price as BA economy, I could fly Eva Air Premium Economy, and that extra pitch makes all the difference when flying long haul..so I took the plunge and figured I could cope with inferior service and inferior food as long as I had leg room
and if technically they were inferior and it crashed
well I wouldnt be any the wiser. My sister was a source of further encouragement when she said, I have looked at them more than once, so you take the plunge and let me know how they are! Charming - a travelling guinea pig for my sister with wanderlust. Anyhow
About Eva Air
Chances are, like me three months ago, you are scratching your head and wondering But who are Eva Air? Well in fact they can probably claim to be one of those large companies you have never heard of, as they are an absolutely huge airline, with a strong cargo market as well as passenger transport. Based in Taiwan, (Ive heard all the Taiwanese airline jokes already, thank you), they launched almost 14 years ago and now have 1.2billion capital .so pretty big then.
They now have at least 19 jumbos, together with approximately 30 other smaller aircraft, including Boeing, Airbus and McDonnell Douglas aircraft, covering 40 routes over four continents.
My GLW- LHR connecting flight was via British Midland, who were able to check my bag the whole way to my destination, involving three airlines, but I myself had to check in at each airport. Thankfully, I had more than adequate timings between flights (too long actually, as the journey to Koh Samui took me 24 hours in total). I checked in via the Air Canada desk at terminal three. On my arrival at Flight Connections, Air Canada had a sign stating their desk was shut and I needed to go to T3 itself. Not a major problem as I had the time, although normally I like to be in full possession of all the boarding cards as soon as possible. In any event, check in was swift as there were zero queues, and I still had nearly four hours to wait, thanks to the less frequent connecting flights from Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon.
More pre-boarding initally..the plane itself was late in boarding due to late arrival of the inbound flight. However when all the planes that are due to depart after mine announced their boarding gates, I was starting to worry a little. What if I am stuck in LHR for 15 hrs .as no announcements are ever made, and there isnt an information desk to ask, I resorted to using an internet telephone to check the website for arrivals no sooner had I logged on, than the gate was announced and we could finally board
alas, the doors were closed and cross checked..the plane announcements were a little difficult to understand but I was sure I heard the pilot say Cabin Crew, doors for arrival ! Arrival? Sure enough we had a technical problem which resulted in plenty of stressed ground staff before we finally got on our way, some one hour later, at about 11pm, any later and I am sure I would have been sleeping in an Heathrow Hotel somewhere!
In Flight Service
In general, I dont think this could be faulted. The cabin crew, while generally subservient in approach, could not do enough and certainly worked much harder than the BA staff on the dozen or so business class journeys I have made across the same route. My outbound flight was overnight, while the return was during the daytime. On the day flight, the cabin crew brought trays of fresh non alcoholic drinks every hour or so, implicitly promoting the importance of regular non alcoholic fluids. Alcohol was available throughout during meals and on request, although I stuck to the H2O. There were eight video channels, plus radio channels with a reasonable mix of entertainment. Blankets and freshen up packs were also provided.
Dare I say it - even the food wasnt too bad. I ordered special vegetarian meals and this meant I was served ahead of the cabin. One thing I did note on this airline is that they are not inclined to let you sleep by the time the outbound delayed aircraft had got off the ground and served the first round of drinks, I was asleep but they woke me anyway with my dinner this happened on the return too, with one of my meals!
In premium economy (known as Evergreen class), there was nothing wrong with the leg room, compared with regular long haul carriers. My major gripe with the seat was that there are no side head rests, so I simply could not get comfortable. For me, having the side headrest would have made all the difference, in what is, after all, an uncomfortable journey no matter what! The outbound journey from LHR to BKK is approx 11.5 hours, while the return is an hour longer..
The seat pitch in Premium Economy is 38 which is a lot better than a 30-32 pitch which you would get in economy cabins, particularly at the price, which was comparable to the best BA deal I could get. If you really want to splash out, then the business and first cabins have pitches of around 62 and 71 respectively. The premium economy seats have separate TVs with eight TV channels, plus audio channels to choose from.
My ticket in Premium economy cost £666 plus airport taxes of £83. This included the shuttle from GLW LHR and the Bangkok Airways flight from BKK Koh Samui.
So in summing up, all in all I think that Eva Air offer excellent value for money (especially if you book though a decent agent such as Trailfinders) and if you have booked, you have nothing to fear you are guaranteed at least as comfortable a journey as with one of the more well known carriers!
There is a frequent flyer club for those who anticipate making regular journeys.
Overall, four stars and recommended. Just a shame those headrests are not more comfortable.
I have a ride from Macau China to Los Angeles recently. there is a stop over in Taiwan for around two hours. I found out that this airline improves a lot in many different ways.
From macau to taiwan trip, all my flights are right on time. Inside the plane is clean and tidy, the seats are very comfortable. A pair of disposable slippers is given to each passenger. There is a small tv for each passenger in the economy class. as for the seat, there is a compartment for the user to rest their legs on. And the seat can really laid back, likely a massaging chair. The quality of food is good but the quantity is not enough for adults. One can even have chinese breakfast, such as thousand year old eggs & pork porridge with dried pork delights. (delicious and taiwan's specialty food) but on the taiwan to Los Angeles trip, the chair could not stretched out that much and there is no small tv in front of each seat. and it is still more spacious than luthansa or thai airline. (to my surprise) the air hostesses are helpful and friendly.
The movies showing are pretty up-to-date. one of them is harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban.
The thing that I like about this airline is that it is very flexible in scheduling. I can change the date of departure or arrival anytime without any penalty. For a changeable person like me, it is really great!
Please give me a rating if you found my experience is useful for your information! Because I need your support to plan for next trip! Many many thanks! ^!^
Capital letters courtesy of: http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fixit.php
I'd never heard of Eva Air before I tried to find a cheap flight to Thailand - it scared me a bit to discover that the airline was based in Taiwan, because that made me think of the many fragile little plastic toys manufactured in that country (I'm sure that's an unfair slur on the country, but there you go....!) But the prospect of paying just a smallish supplement for a bigger seat and a personal tv for a 12-hour flight, meant I took the plunge... In fact, my flight from Heathrow to Bangkok (en route to Tai Pei) was comfortable and pleasant enough - the extra legroom was welcome for me at 5 foot 4 and I'm sure would be even better for taller passengers. Evergreen Class was a nice compromise between business and economy - though sadly it didn't exempt us from the rather curious Taiwanese news bulletins. The food was fine, not outstanding but edible, and for the equivalent of £50 each way supplement(less than an economy ticket from Manchester to London in peaktime, this was affordable near-luxury...