This flight was the last (fourth) 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 has four lounges in Taipei. We visited the Star as we were given a complimentary pass with our premium economy ticket at check-in (back in Hanoi). We've visited this lounge before and it's not our favorite (not the most appealing food choices, not my favorite coffee or gin offered, no good view of the airport [although this is typical of all of the lounges in Taipei], and it's generally busy). The lounge does feature showers, which could be a nice feature on a long-haul layover.
Our gate was a relatively short walk from the lounge considering all the lounges are centrally located between A, B, C, and D gates in Terminal 2. Unfortunately with a night deparutre and night arrival I couldn't get any great spotting pics but I was able to capture our plane. The plane was a two-year old Boeing 777-300ER (B-16729). Our boarding was delayed by 25min and wasn't announced until nearly the originally scheduled boarding time. These transpacific EVA Air flights are typically behind schedule in my experience (6 flights). Star Alliance Gold passengers may board in Group 1, which is awesome.
Snapped a pic of the second business class cabin on my way to premium economy (be advised that economy passengers all have to travel through the second business class cabin at boarding). The premium economy seats offer 38 inches of pitch and are 19.5 inches wide. The width is great; the pitch is still tough for a long-haul; the recline is really deep but since it doesn't go lie-flat, it's still tough for a long-haul. Premium economy passengers get an amenity kit from Furla with chapstick, lotion, toothbrush, comb, socks, sleeping mask, and ear plugs. I posted two pics from the restroom; the first shows the products and the second shows the level of service that's all too uncommon on American carriers with the stewardesses actually working hard throughout the flight for the safety and comfort of the passengers. The only knick I could say for the stewardesses on EVA Air would be that they hover over you and don't leave until you correct issues on take-off/landing like putting your tray table up, putting your seat upright, raising your window shade, etc. Also, they can be a little brief with you but if you view it as how efficient they are trying to be, you can forgive them. Additionally, the premium economy seat has a water bottle, pillow, blanket, slippers, and noise-cancelling headphones waiting for you.
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 would get when booking a business class ticket. 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 picked the fried fish with garlic flavoured cream sauce served with spaghetti and the macaroni pasta with mushroom and bacon cream sauce. Neither were memorable or looked super appealing; however, neither were offensive in taste. I didn't mind the entrees.
If you're like me, you can sleep on the return long-haul flight no matter what. It's a little more challenging in premium economy but it's possible. Here are my favorite things for a Star Alliance Gold customer booking a premium economy flight on EVA Air: 1.) fast check-in at dedicated counter, 2.) excellent service at check-in (we've been given passes to shortcut the security lines before, the staff is always friendly and helpful, and priority bag tags), 3.) complimentary access to at least one lounge when available (whether in Houston, Taipei, Bangkok, Hanoi, etc.), 4.) priority-boarding (Star Alliance Gold can board in Group 1 while premium economy can board in a separate group thereafter), and 5.) a more comfortable seat and cabin than economy (less of a fight for a restroom visit, more legroom, decent entertainment, etc.).