Review of EVA Air flight Hanoi Taipei in Economy

Airline EVA Air
Flight BR398
Class Economy
Seat 23C
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 02:25
Take-off 06 Jan 19, 12:35
Arrival at 06 Jan 19, 16:10
BR   #12 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 88 reviews
sts86
By 537
Published on 7th January 2019

BOOKING INFORMATION


This flight was the third 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. 


CHECK-IN / WALK TO LOUNGE


Very nice, clean, and new international terminal. Very good check-in experience (read more in the conclusion).



VIETNAM AIRLINES INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LOUNGE (HANOI)


Very good lounge option presented to premium economy ticket-holders and better for EVA Air. Good visibility for plane spotting. Good food and drink options as well.



HONG SONG BUSINESS LOUNGE (HANOI)


Another excellent lounge option at Hanoi for priority pass members. I had awesome five-spice chicken, pretty tasty chicken pho, and a Hanoi beer all while doing some plane spotting. This is a very bright and open lounge that was very quiet on a Sunday around lunch time.



WALK TO THE GATE


I always like seeing Western food options in Asian airports because I'm usually burnt-out after doing food tours and trying to eat all the local street food I can. We skipped Popeye's and Burger King though and headed straight to the gate where we ended up being the first to board the plane.



PLANE SPOTTING (HANOI)


Pretty good lineup in Hanoi. Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Vietjet Air, Malindo, EVA Air, Emirates, Bangkok Airways, Korean Air, China Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, and I caught a Scoot Airlines airbus as well. 



CABIN, SEAT, AND MEAL


Our plane was an Airbus A320-200 (B-16218) that was about three years old. Despite booking a premium economy roundtrip ticket, this cabin class is not available from Hanoi so we were downgraded to economy. There is no pic of the menu because we were given a choice between pork rice and chicken spaghetti. The chicken spaghetti wasn't that bad; my wife really liked the cake slice. I opted for a Heineken beer, which was complimentary; other options for beer were Taiwan beer and Kiran beer. We were given earplugs but I think the only entertainment option was radio because there were no screens in the seatbacks (only screens dropped down for safety video). The cabin configuration was 3-3 and all seats had earplugs and a pillow on them.



ARRIVAL


Arriving in Taipei a little later than scheduled but we still had about a five hour layover so we cleared customs and took an Uber to Taipei to have a bowl of beef noodle soup, a milk tea, and some dumplings. It's a long thirty-minute or so drive into town and it's not exactly cheap either (1,000 NT$ or $32.50 USD one-way) but it was worth it to visit 小林麵食館 (Kobyashi Noodle House). Customs line took about 20 minutes or so. We hit up an ATM before going through the line to take out 1,000 NT$ and paid via card for the Uber. 



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Verdict

EVA Air

6.8/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment6.0
Meal/catering6.0

Vietnam Airlines Business Lounge

7.5/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment6.5
Services8.0

Hanoi - HAN

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Taipei - TPE

7.1/10
Efficiency7.5
Access6.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

EVA Air doesn't offer a great cabin/seat option for this route but the check-in service (dedicated Star Alliance Gold line, priority baggage, security line shortcut pass, lounge pass) was awesome. Furthermore, the Hanoi international terminal was awesome itself and having priority pass gave us another great lounge option with the Hong Song Business Lounge. Very good experience at the Hanoi Airport.

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3 Comments

  • Comment 483132 by
    hometoyyz 406 Comments

    Hi STS86,

    Thanks for sharing this portion of your journey.

    That lounge does look like quite a good and generous option for a premium economy traveler. Was access granted based on your ticket, or did you have BR status to get you access?

    Hong Song also looks good. If you only had time to visit one, which would you choose, knowing what you know?

    Some great spotting. Lots of interesting traffic at Hanoi, especially the Asiana 744.

    The 321 is the smallest plane in EVA’s fleet, isn’t it?

    You mention audio IFE — was there actual plug-into the armrest audio? Catering looks not too bad.

    Nice that you got to go into Taipei for a while on your way through.

    Thanks again for sharing this quick report. I look forward to the next segments.

    Happy flying!

    • Comment 483139 by
      sts86 AUTHOR 3 Comments

      The premium economy ticket permits access to the Vietnam Airlines lounge. I would go to the Hong Song Lounge if I only had time to visit one lounge in Hanoi. A321 is the smallesr plane in their fleet before service gets picked up by Uni Air. There was an IFE plug in the armrest.

  • Comment 483342 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4555 Comments

    Lounge-hopping is always fun, thanks to Priority Pass. It's too bad there aren't better PP options here in the U.S. as PP lounges are usually pretty nice overseas, the Hong Song lounge being a good example. The food in the Hong Song lounge looks good (Being half Viet, I love Vietnamese food, of course, lol).

    It's too bad you didn't get a long-haul configured aircraft with an actual Premium Economy cabin like on the way over, the the Economy product seems solid and the catering looks good, at least visually (though it may not have actually been good based on the 6/10 rating).

    Thanks for sharing!

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