This was the 3rd leg of a ORD-TPE route through Paris. Having read about the positive experiences flying EVA air I wanted to try them. I'm glad I did. An added bonus I was on one of their "Hello Kitty" flights.
Business Class cabin
The business class cabin has 6 rows of 1-2-1 seating and a 7th row of 2 center seats in the front and 4 rows of 1-2-1 seating in the cabin aft the 2nd door. (Newer EVA Air 777/300 series jets have a 7th row with three seats on the right side of the aircraft.) The window row seats are angled to the window while the middle 2 seats are angled to each other. This arrangement creates a sense of privacy that is welcome on a 12 hour flight. The cabin itself is quite attractive. It was immaculate.
The front cabin wall had a painting of what else, the Sanrio Family, and the back cabin wall held a long magazine rack. (row 6 middle probably not a good seat choice) There were 3 lavatories available for business class, one in front by the cockpit entry and one at the rear of the business cabin on either aisle. What was most impressive about these lavatories is their size. Having been on many 777 aircraft I know the standard size. These where at least 50% bigger.
The seat was comfortable, but not as comfortable as the United seat I just left. There were two differences, and maybe these are just my preferences.
First the seat is firmer which became more noticeable into the flight.
The second, which I noticed immediately, is the width was narrower than United. But with that comes privacy so it’s a trade off I’m willing to take as it wasn’t too narrow or cramped. The compartment itself was extremely well laid out. My photo of the footwell because of the lighting doesn’t show how much room you have for your shoes and to stretch out, but it’s plenty. There is a magazine rack and slippers just off your right side down by the floor. On the left is the audio hand set, seat controls, a reading light and multiple jacks for electric and portable devices with stable storage for water and other items. The meal tray neatly slides out and folds into a huge table. The Zodiac Cirrus design is well thought out.
This seat is very comfortable to sleep on. A tall person would have no problem with this seat. I did not like the seat extended to lie flat as it seemed to have a hump in the middle, but that may have been just me not setting the seat right, so I had it almost lie flat. A blanket and pillow are provided. The blanket is thick and large which can be used as a mattress pad and blanket. The material was warm and soft.
EVA Air is one of the few airlines that provides pajamas for business class passengers, EVA Air hopefully will set a trend. They are super comfortable. A word of caution however to anyone who is normally wearing XL and up. They only had M and L. (I’m not sure if that’s all they had on my flight or that’s all they carry for men.) Large is usually good if not a little big for me. This large size is tight on me, but that is the only issue.
And then there is the Rimowa amenity kit. Since I was inbound I got the olive green kit. It contains Harnn moisturizers and lip balm along with ear plugs, toothpaste, comb, etc. It is a very nice kit and the sample moisturizers are decent size tubes, not one squeeze and your done like most others. This is just a little thing that combined with other EVA touches sets them apart from the pack, in my opinion.
I’m not sure what the whole Hello Kitty thing is but it’s a theme and they stick to it which is ok by me. Menus, pillows, silverware ties, plane decorations, they do it all. Krug Grande Cuvée champagne and a nice Bordeaux, my choice.
Time to eat.
EVA Air allows you to order your meal online before departure, days in advance, which I did. The menu has Western and Chinese cuisines with multiple selections for each. Online had an additional 3 choices that were not on the printed menu. This is another little thing that sets EVA apart.
EVA gets a bad rap on their catering and I have to agree, it is not in the same class as say a Lufthansa or Cathay Pacific. The meal started with a smoked tartare of salmon canapé and a shrimp canapé which was fairly good. The Hors D’oeuvre was a duck liver terrine and was excellent. Next the mushroom soup (not shown) wasn’t so good. I had pre ordered the pan fried Charolais Beef, which is a grass feed french beef. It was NOT good. The plate looked nice but that was it. I did not finish it.
What's more impressive in these photos is the size of the meal tray. It's huge with plenty of room for everything.
Now on to outstanding. Mid-flight I asked for a bowl of noodle soup, which is a staple in Taiwan. In fact I went to the most popular place in Taipei for noodle soup, EVA’s was better. I followed that up with a delicious cup of hot chocolate and a cookie. And then there was breakfast. I had pre-ordered the French Toast. The menu said it came with Red Berries and Sweet Mascarpone. This dish is probably the best meal I’ve EVER had on an airplane. It was restaurant quality. Moral of the story, I will order this for dinner next time!
EVA did not disappoint with IFE either. The headphones were comfortable. Movie and TV selections were plentiful in both English and Chinese. The air show was informative.
Flight Attendants: Another area where EVA stands out. Most business class cabins have 2-3 flight attendants. One works the galley and one on each aisle. I lost count with EVA they had so many different FA’s on duty. Of course that is an exaggeration but point taken is I had at least 5 different people attend to something for me during the flight.
The Boeing 777 is one of the best planes in the sky. This aircraft was delivered to EVA in June 2006 making it a few months shy of 10 years old. To me it was brand new.
Arrival into Paris before EVA flight: Star Alliance Lounge in Paris/CDG
After an overnight flight the priority was to head to the Star Alliance lounge for a shower. At 7AM CDG is bustling with arrivals. However when I arrived at the lounge it was fairly empty. You take the elevator up to what is called the 11th floor, check in, then go down the stairs to the 10th floor where the Business Class lounge is (First is on the 11th).
Asked for a shower, got a key. They probably had about 5 showers, none of which were occupied at the time.
The food selection was limited. However there were some freshly cooked items, like these mini cheese omelets that were excellent.
It was a clean and comfortable lounge.
The flight to Taipei landed at 7AM. It was a rainy morning. EVA has a number of international flights that land at that time. We had to wait for a gate, 30 minutes. Once at the gate it was a breeze through customs and passport control. There is no arrival lounge on the arrival floor. If you are connecting there is a lounge on the departure floor. So if your destination is Taipei, you can't shower or freshen up at the airport.
I was excited to fly EVA Air based on comments read in blogs and reviews. They did not disappoint. I am now a big fan of EVA and will fly them again. In fact I have another reservation later in the year. My home base is Chicago and they’ve recently stated they will begin flying out of ORD in November 2016. Perfect, as Taipei is a beautiful place to visit. xiè xiè.
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