This flight was the first leg of a multi-city ticket booked directly through EVA Air. I booked the ticket 175 days prior; it took me $1,788.31 USD in total to book one premium economy class airfare from Houston (IAH) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) with layover in Taipei (TPE) and then from Hanoi (HAN) back to Houston (IAH) with layover in Taipei (TPE). On this trip my wife and I took two one-way flights on Vietjet Air from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang (DAD) and on Jetstar from Da Nang (DAD) to Hanoi. This flight was a T class ticket.
EVA Air offers a separate check-in desk for Star Alliance Gold passengers. Premium economy class tickets entitle the passenger to check two pieces of luggage, each piece cannot exceed 28 kg (62 lb).
Booking a premium economy ticket on EVA Air for a Star Alliance Gold member with Priority Pass Select and United Club membership offers a few lounge options at IAH. We opted for ease of access and just walked to the lounge we were given access to via a pass at check-in, The Executive Club. This lounge is generally immediately adjacent to the EVA Air gate at D5. The food options aren't too good. We've had nachos here before but today the offerings were soups, barbecue brisket, spinach dip and tortilla chips, bags of chips, and a few other options. None were good. As a gin drinker, I took notice that my two options were Bombay Sapphire and Hendrick's, the latter of which was a nice premium option. There are a few different seating options but none are very private. There is not a restroom within the lounge either. The front desk does make passenger announcements which is nice considering there are only a few flights during our time there late at night.
Not much of a walk but a chance to see our jet, a Boeing 777-300 ER (B-16719), which was delivered in April of 2014. Notice the parked Lufthansa A380 in the background. Our plane arrived late and thus our flight out departed late at 12:16am instead of the 11:40pm scheduled departure. As a Star Alliance Gold passenger, I was given Boarding Group 1 instead of the second boarding group that my wife got with a premium economy ticket.
This was the fifth time I've sat in premium economy on EVA Air and the third transpacific flight with them. I've found it to be a worthwhile product because the seat offers a very good amount of recline, a footrest, and the 2-4-2 layout works well for my wife and I. Like most other premium economy seats, the wider armrest doesn't offer that much benefit but the drinkholder on the end of the armrest and usb outlet underneath both come in handy and are well-positioned. Unfortunately, the headphone plug is also in the same location, which isn't optimal. The headrest is adjustable, which is nice; however, the seat isn't that attractive. The amenity kit doesn't compare to the Rimowa kit I received on my last EVA Air flight (TPE to IAH) the month prior but at least you get something. Another difference I noticed was that the starlit ceiling is not continued from business class back to premium economy. A blanket and pillow were provided without request. Like most other premium economy cabins, these seats were separated by a bulkhead from business class and economy and premium economy passengers share two restrooms within the cabin. It's difficult to actually get a comfortable night's sleep without being able to lay flat; the additional room and seating layout does make it a more comfortable experience though.
Premium economy class tickets entitle the passenger to select special meals within fourteen days of their flight. The options provided online are generic instead of specific like you I had been given the month prior while flying business class with EVA Air. Special meals like Vegetarian Hindu, Children, Diabetic, Fruit, Low Calorie, Low Far, Raw Vegetarian, Seafood, Vegetarian Vegan, Vegetarian Lacto-Ovo, and Vegetarian Oriental were the selections for this flight. I opted to wait until I was on board to make my selection. I ordered the steamed cod with black bean sauce and white rice. Sitting in this seat still afforded me the selection but the following row wasn't able to receive their choice of menu items. The entree was good, the dessert was not. I slept through the snack but was wide awake for the western style breakfast I ordered, which was okay. The complimentary drink selection offered beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options. I only ended up ordering an orange juice aside from water.
Every time I've landed in Taipei, it's always been on the Eastern runway nearest EVA Air's gates. Looks like Scoot 787, Uni Air, Cathay Pacific, and Tiger Air also use gates on this side of the airport. I transferred to my next flight upon disembarking. Despite the late departure, our flight arrived at 5:56am, fourteen minutes prior to our scheduled arrival time.
The flight was okay. Flying in business class on the same route the month before spoiled me. The premium economy cabin that we were in during this flight didn't provide a great night's sleep but the food and entertainment options were pretty good.